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FILMS ON RELEASE AROUND THE REGION.

NEW RELEASES

Arctic Monkeys at The Apollo (PG) One-off screening for the DVD of their

Manchester Apollo gig at the end last year's tour, with filmed intro by the band.

Shot in full and split screen and crackling with energy it even makes the songs from the second album sound good. (Tue, Electric, Vue)***

City of Ember (PG) Dystopian sci fi adventure for teens as two kids have to take on a corrupt mayor to escape their dying underground city and save the people.

No preview screenings

Gommorah (15) Sprawling Italian mob drama about turf war and shifting loyalties among the footsoldiers of Naples'

Comorra crime families. *** The House Bunny (12A) Be true to yourself comedy as former Playboy Bunny Anna Faris becomes den mother to a sorority house and transforms its insecure ugly ducklings into selfconfident hotties. ***

I've Loved You So Long (12A) Kristin Scott Thomas' finest hour as a woman reunited with her youngster sister and readujsting to society after 15 years inside for killing her son. ****

Jar City (15) Compelling Icelandic thriller as a grizzled cop investigates a murder connected to a rape years earlier and the deaths of two youngsters from a genetic disorder. ***

Mirrors (15) Lame Asian horror remake as troubled ex cop Keifer Sutherland discovers a vengeful evil that lives inside mirrors.**

The Mutant Chronicles (18) Muddled, messy yet dumbly entertaining sci fi as a ragtag team try to destroy a machine that's turning dead humans into mutants. ***

Nights In Rodanthe (PG) Upscale chick flick bittersweet romantic weepie with lonely souls Richard Gere and Diane Lane finding love on a windswept beach. ***

ON RELEASE

Appaloosa (15) Wryly humorous Western with Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen as lawmen for hire asked to clean up a town dominated by Jeremy Irons. Renee Zellweger's brassy widow is the third side of the bizarre love triangle. ***

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas (12A) Tragedy strikes as the young son of a death camp commander becomes friends with a young Jewish boy.

Harrowing Holocaust drama. ****

Brideshead Revisited (12A) Not exactly faithful to the book, but on its own terms a watchable period melodrama love triangle about Catholicism, faith and class. ***

The Dark Knight (12A) Christopher Nolan's awesome Batman sequel plunges into a jet black world of chaos and moral anarchy with a sensational performance by Heath Ledger as the nightmarish Joker. *****

Death Race (15) Loud, violent, empty-headed but entertaining remake of the 1975 sci fi cult with Jason Statham the framed prisoner forced to race against fellow inmates to win his freedom. (***

Disaster Movie (12A) Another scattergun parody of recent movies and pop culture names, loosely hung on a Cloverfield-aping plot.

There's at least two laughs.

**

The Duchess (12A) Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes shine in intellectually sharp, emotionally engaging 18th century drama about the menage a trois in which Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, found herself trapped. ****

88 Minutes (15) Dismal serial killer thriller as forensic psychiatrist Al Pacino gets a message saying he has 88 minutes to live. They don't pass quickly enough. *

Fly Me To The Moon 3D (PG) Visually impressive, narratively dull animation about three flies who stowaway on Apollo 11. **

How To Lose Friends & Alienate People (15) Middling fish out of water romcom media satire with gaffe-prone self-absorbed Simon Pegg trying to make it as a celeb gossip writer in NewYork. ***

Mamma Mia! (PG) Meryl Streep socks out the tunes like a Super Trouper in the feelgood big screen adaptation of the frothy romantic musical built around ABBA songs. ****

Pineapple Express (15) Potheads Seth Rogen and James Franco go on the run after the former witnesses the latter's supplier shoot someone. Stoner comedy you have to be high to find funny. **

Righteous Kill (15) Underwhelming, clunky and painfully obvious De Niro and Pacino team-up as a couple of veteran detectives investigating vigilante killings that point to a rogue cop. **

RocknRolla (15) Guy Ritchie fails to recapture Lock, Stock and Snatch form with his return to Lahndan gangster territory, a promising start sunk by stale plot, recycled characters and a slow descent into flabby repetition and flat dialogue.

**

Space Chimps (U) Amiable CGI kids adventure about finding your inner hero as three astronaut chimps rescue an alien planet from its power-mad despot. ***

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (PG) CGI spin-off, set between Episodes II and III, as Anakin and Kenobi have to rescue Jabba the Hutt's kidnapped son. ***

Step Brothers (15) Crude comedy with Will Ferrell and John C.Reilly as emotionally stunted fortyish men who act liked spoiled six year olds when they become reluctant step-siblings.**

The Strangers (15) Effective minimalist horror as three masked strangers silently terrorise a couple after breaking into their secluded house.***

Taken (15) Ex-CIA agent Liam Neeson kills a lot of people to rescue his teen daughter from sex slave traffickers. Succinct but great action nonsense. ***

Tropic Thunder (15) Ben Stiller's mild action comedy satire on the movie biz as a bunch of self-absorbed actors making a war movie mistake real drug running guerrillas for part of the screenplay. ***

Wall-E (U) Fabulous Pixar animation with a green message and a touching romance as, alone on a trash covered Earth, a rustbucket robot falls for the female drone sent to check if humans can return.

****
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 11, 2008
Words:874
Previous Article:REVIEWS: Comedy RICHARD HERRING THE GLEE CLUB ****.
Next Article:Films of the Week; TV & RADIO.


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