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Robot & Frank (Cert 12) AGEING ex-con Frank (Frank Langella) lives alone and is slowly relinquishing his grasp on memories of the past. So the old man's techno-reliant son, Hunter (James Marsden), installs a VGC-60L robot helper (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) to do Frank's bidding. At first, Frank is reluctant to switch on the automaton, but once he learns that VGC-60L has no programming to distinguish right from wrong, man and machine carry out the theft of a priceless edition of Don Quixote, which is the pride and joy of the local librarian, Jennifer (Susan Sarandon). Emboldened by their escapades, Frank and his robot ramp up their larcenous activities with wryly amusing and heartbreaking consequences.

Robot & Frank is an endearing, futuristic buddy movie. Jake Schreier's film is a delightful slice of techno-life, anchored by a terrific performance from Langella as a cantankerous old coot, who finds companionship when he least expects it.

Rating: ?? Identity Thief (Cert 15) SANDY BIGELOW PATTERSON (Jason Bateman) lives in Denver with his wife and their two young daughters. Domestic bliss is shattered when a Florida shopaholic called Diana (Melissa McCarthy) steals his identity and runs up huge bills on his credit cards.

Standing on the brink of financial ruin, Sandy resolves to hunt down Diana and drag her back to Denver to own up to her crimes but a tenacious bail bondsman is also in hot pursuit of the con woman.

Identity Thief should be a riot, considering the quality of talent in front of the camera, but Craig Mazin's screenplay is off-balance almost from the start. Seth Gordon's brash comedy relies heavily on the razor-sharp comic timing of the two leads. The opening hour is acrimoniously divorced from reality, reaching a ludicrous crescendo with a motel room threesome, which makes the second half, laced with heart-tugging sentiment, exceedingly hard to swallow.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 12, 2013
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