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Culture films: Eight sides to terrorists' story.

ACTION

VANTAGE POINT

(1hr 29mins)

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox,

William Hurt

Director: Pete Travis

Star rating:

Vantage Point is an intricate action-thriller, which replays a terrorist attack from eight perspectives, exposing a web of intrigue, which leaves the American president fighting for his life during a visit to Spain.

Director Pete Travis fills the screen with enough pyrotechnics and noise to keep our eyes and ears engaged even if our brains are not - including a brilliantly orchestrated car chase.

However, he's far less successful with the quieter moments - hamstrung by a lack of depth to the characters.

President Ashton (William Hurt) travels to Spain to make a keynote address to set out his vision for a new world order.

As he approaches the lectern, shots ring out and Secret Service agents Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid) and Kent Taylor (Matthew Fox) rush to the president's aid. In the ensuing pandemonium, Thomas notices tourist Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker) digitally recording the incident and they review the footage, discovering too late that the terrorists have left another surprise for them.

Meanwhile, television news producer Rex Brooks (Sigourney Weaver) watches as her reporter Angie Jones is caught up in the chaos.

Enjoyed on its own flimsy terms, Vantage Point is a big, muscular popcorn movie with some decent action sequences and teasing cliffhangers - despite its more absurd moments.

HORROR

DIARY OF THE DEAD

(1hr 34 mins)

Certificate: 18

Starring: Josh Close, Michelle Morgan, Scott

Wentwo rth

Director: George A Romero Forty years after George A Romero reinvigorated the horror genre with his low budget classic Night Of The Living Dead, the godfather of gore returns with the fifth instalment of the franchise.

For Diary Of The Dead, Romero returns to his guerrilla filmmaking roots, shooting this latest brush with the undead from the perspective of a group of students, who use their camera to document encounters with the flesh-eating denizens.

Special effects are suitably yucky, but without sympathetic characters or a meaty storyline, the zombies have scant substance to sink their teeth into.

Star rating:

FAMILY

The Game Plan

(1hr 50 mins)

Certificate: U

Star rating: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson,

Madison Pettis, Kyra Sedgwick

Director: Andy Fickma

The Game Plan is - at its soft, gooey heart - an old-fashioned yarn extolling the virtues of the family unit.

The clash between the generations provides the comedy, pitting an American footballer against his eight-year-old daughter.

Wrestler turned Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson demonstrates a flair for comedy, and there's a nice rapport with his cute co-star, Madison Pettis.

Joe Kingman (Johnson) is a quarterback for the Boston Rebels whose world comes crashing down when eight-year-old Peyton (Pettis) turns up, claiming to be his long lost offspring.

The Game Plan isn't shy about slathering on the sentiment. But overall, this is a light, enjoyable comedy.

Star rating:

DRAMA

The Other Boleyn Girl

(1hr 55 mins)

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Natalie Portman, Scarlett

Johansson, Eric Bana

Director: Justin Chadwick

The Other Boleyn Girl is a beautifully dressed and staged costume drama that has pomp and pageantry in abundance, but lacks deep emotion.

Certainly, the central plot is tantalising - the rivalry between two sisters for the love of King Henry VIII - but apart from the costumes and production design, there is little to keep us spellbound.

The Other Boleyn Girl sets out its stall as a frothy bodice ripper, but in the second hour, the film becomes bogged down with historical detail and consequently has to rush the climax when Anne pays a horrific price for her jealousy.

Star rating:

CAPTION(S):

CHILLING Forest Whitaker, Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox examine video footage of the President being shot.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2008
Words:608
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