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Byline: Alan Little

* STAR TREK (12) .... WHEN cocksure and impetuous James T Kirk (Chris Pine) enrols at Starfleet Academy, he makes an instant friend in Dr Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban), but other recruits are harder win over, especially Spock (Zachary Quinto) - until a Romulan attack on the Vulcan homeland unites the young men and women.

With Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) at the helm, crew members Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Chekhov (Anton Yelchin) and Sulu (John Cho) guide the pristine USS Enterprise into battle against wily Romulan Nero (Eric Bana) who has a few tricks up his sleeve, pushing poor Spock to the brink as he races to save his parents (Ben Cross and Winona Ryder).

JJ Abrams' big-budget re-imagining of the series which breathes new life into the iconic characters may upset some fans of the universe created by Gene Roddenberry in the early '70s. It lacks an imposing villain but this is a solid building block for the future and action sequences are orchestrated at breakneck speed, enlivened with slick digital effects. Pine inhabits his role with authority, but Quinto's portrayal of the emotionally-conflicted first officer will linger in the memory.

* BRUNO (18) .. THOUGH Sacha Baron Cohen's eagerly-awaited follow-up to the smash hit Borat follows a similar template, the fictitious Khazakstani reporter was a lovable innocent abroad but his outrageously gay Austrian fashionista Bruno is a crass, insolent media whore.

Occasionally Cohen hits his mark, like his guest spot on Today With Richard Bey, a confessional in the style of Jeremy Kyle. The highlight is his audition for a dubious children's fashion shoot in which he fires odd questions at parents and gets one mum to agree her daughter would be prepared to undergo liposuction.

* ANGEL OF MINE (15) ... KNOWN as Mark Of An Angel on its limited cinema release, this Hitchcockian thriller about a suburban mother who develops a strange obsession was written and directed by Frenchman Safy Nebbou. Abandoned by her husband, Elsa (Catherine Frot) becomes embroiled in a messy custody battle for their young son Thomas (Arthur Vaughan-Whitehead). Familial tensions intensify when Elsa accompanies her boy to a party and glimpses seven-year-old Lola (Heloise Cunin). Elsa is transfixed by the child and sets about worming her way into the life of Lola's wealthy mother Claire (Sandrine Bonnaire), all the while harbouring a chilling secret.

* YEAR ONE (15). HAROLD Ramis's ramshackle road movie through the Paleolithic era fails to raise a single decent laugh despite being headlined by gifted comic actors Jack Black and Michael Cera as Zed and Oh.

The incompetent duo are banished from their caveman tribe and embark on a quest of self-discovery through an ancient world riddled with danger. En route, the misfits encounter colourful characters including feuding brothers Cain (David Cross) and Abel (Paul Rudd) The out-takes, which play over the end credits, should have remained on the cutting-room floor.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 13, 2009
Previous Article:Review: 2012.
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