Film Review - Grin and bear it

24th September 2010 at 01:00

Tooth fairy

Director: Michael Lembeck

Starring: Dwayne Johnson

Out now on DVD

Rating: 3 out of 5

Tooth Fairy is a magical comedy about a famous ice-hockey player, Derek Thompson. When his girlfriend's daughter loses a tooth he almost tells her the tooth fairy doesn't exist. As a result, Derek is sentenced by a fairy godmother to two weeks as a tooth fairy. In this time he is trained and given lots of gadgets, including a mint that only lets you bark like a dog (to scare off cats), a shrinking paste and amnesia dust in case someone sees you.

Tooth Fairy is a bit like Bruce Almighty or The Mask because they are all films about men who are at sad points in their lives and are given special powers. At first they use these powers for their own good but then they realise that they need to start using them to pull themselves together and become better people.

In Tooth Fairy, the main character doesn't believe in people, magic, or anything - he destroys dreams and that is what he has to change about himself.

I enjoyed the idea of someone getting punished by fairies and I liked the gadgets, but Tooth Fairy doesn't quite do it for me.

Joseph Heber-Percy, nine, Great Bedwyn Primary, Wiltshire

Rating: 0 out of 5

Tooth Fairy is a family comedy about a big tough guy who turns into a fairy and seemingly becomes a better person in the process.

Dwayne Johnson plays Derek Thompson, a cynical ice-hockey star on his way down from the major league, who has to learn that dreams can come true - if you really believe.

One day, when Derek almost tells the six-year-old daughter of his girlfriend that the tooth fairy doesn't exist, he is summoned to Fairy Land to be punished. In Fairy Land (populated by Julie Andrews, Stephen Merchant and Billy Crystal) he is forced to become a tooth fairy.

Hilarious antics should ensue, but don't. Instead we are treated to a string of formulaic and lacklustre sequences, culminating in a predictably cheesy ending that is genuinely hard to watch.

The only interesting thing about this film is Dwayne Johnson's appearance: he looks like an Action Man doll complete with "eagle eyes".

Johnson stumbles through this film looking embarrassed and out of place, and the truth is I could believe in fairies long before I could ever believe in this performance. The underlying premise of this film is also rather depressing.

We are asked to accept that believing in ourselves and our dreams is the equivalent to believing in the tooth fairy. Is that really what they want us all to take away from the movie?

I certainly wouldn't recommend this muddled little film to other Filmclub organisers.

Colin Heber-Percy, Filmclub leader, Great Bedwyn Primary

For more information, see

Filmclub Pupil reviews

The Special Relationship

Director: Richard Loncraine

Starring: Michael Sheen, Dennis Quaid

Out now on DVD

Rating: 3 out of 5

The Special Relationship is a drama based on the political and personal relationships between Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and George W Bush - focusing on Blair's close bond with Clinton between 1997 and 2000.

As I expected, this movie isn't a fire-storm of action set pieces. However, I did not expect a mundane script and lack of cohesive story from the brilliant Peter Morgan, who is best known for writing The Queen and FrostNixon.

A real problem for me is that this film tells a story that doesn't need to be told again. The characters are also underdeveloped and their dialogue is merely distracting through the overblown grandeur of their words. Don't get me wrong - this film isn't bad, it's just tediously average, with Richard Loncraine's bog-standard direction void of both originality and flair.

The one shining light is some great performances. Dennis Quaid's role as Clinton is particularly well done, and as always Michael Sheen is great as Blair, even though his "deer caught in the headlights" routine is starting to get old. Another point to highlight is the lack of political depth to the film - it is almost as if The Special Relationship avoids controversy, veering away from asking any dangerous, and ultimately more interesting, questions.

This is not a groundbreaking film, but it still has enough to offer to hold one's interest for the 93-minute run-time.

Andrew Soulsby, 16, St Cuthbert's Catholic High School, Newcastle


Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Starring: Jean-Paul Belmondo

50th anniversary re-release out on DVD

Rating: 5 out of 5

The first words I said when I found out what film I was watching were: "Oh man, a black and white film made in 1960. This will be boring." I was wrong. Breathless made me sit on the edge of the seat, thinking about what was going to happen next.

Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a part-time thief. While running away from police, Michel revolves his love life around the complicated situations he finds himself in. He is in love with an American, Patricia Franchini (Jean Seberg), but she is not interested in him. She is a typical dreamer, waiting for her prince to come. Alongside them is Daniel Boulanger, a policeman, trying to capture Michel.

The director of this breathtaking film is Jean-Luc Godard, famous for his extreme and radical film ideas. The writers are Godard and Francois Truffaut, who has become renowned for his themes of love and passion.

As well as being a romantic comedy, Breathless is also a drama. Like many films, there are two different themes going on, making the film intense. On the characters, I remember thinking that Patricia was soppy and confused when she went on about her love life: "I don't know if I love you." How can she not know?

However, I did like the character of Michel because I thought he was very daring and clever as well as romantic.

Overall, I enjoyed Breathless because it surprised me. I don't think there were any bad points as the film got better and better as it went on, starting from good to absolutely brilliant.

Afshar Paracha, 14, Plashet School, Newham, east London

Filmclub gives thousands of schools free access to its 4,500-strong film collection. Each week, teachers and pupils review everything from new releases to cinema classics.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today