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Movies on release.

New Films This Week Catfish (12A) When New York photographer Nev Schulman was sent paintings of his pictures on Facebook by eight-year-old Michigan prodigy Abby, filmmaker brother Ariel and flatmate Henry decided to film his virtual friendship with her, attractive mom Angela and older sister Megan with whom, talking on the phone, he's sparked a cyber romance. But when the online posts started to not add up, the trio visited unannounced and found the family wasn't quite what they'd expected. A cautionary Internet tale perhaps, but Angela's reality is even more interesting and, whether fake documentary or not, ultimately rather moving. (Sat, Mon/Tue, Electric) *** Love and Other Drugs (15) Charismatic ambitious Ohio drugs rep Jake Gyllenhaal falls for Parkinson's sufferer Anne Hathaway in an engaging but wildly undisciplined dramady update of Love Story that bounces between pharmaceutical wars satire, sibling buddy comedy, the birth of Viagra, and living with Parkinson's like a game of thematic pinball. *** Miral (12A) Julian Schnabel's ploddingly preachy historical drama follows four Israeli-Palestinian women over five decades, from the 1948 founder of an orphanage for Arab children through a 60s troubled runaway, her terrorist friend and, finally, the wilful title character who, sent to teach in an 80s refugee camp, is torn between her new radical activism and the orphanage's belief in peace through education. Well meaning but meanderingly dull with pointless cameos by Vanessa Redgrave and Willem Dafoe. ** On Release Animals United 3D (U) Channelling Madagascar and Ice Age, a bunch of animals lead a protest against global warming and the destruction of their habitats. Eco-message animation featuring Stephen Fry, Dawn French and Jim Broadbent. ** Arthur and the Great Adventure (PG) Second instalment of the Luc Besson live action/animation kids fantasy trilogy as Freddie Highmore's lured back to the Minimoys as Maltazard plots revenge. No press preview.

Burlesque (12A) Leaving no clich unturned, smalltown girl Christina Aguilera follows her dream to Hollywood and helps save Cher's burlesque club with her big voice while finding true love with songwriter-barman. Camp and corny fun but it's no Coyote Ugly. *** Chatroom (15) Psychologically troubled teenager William lures emotionally damaged teens into internet chatrooms to exploit their misery for his suicide fantasies. It takes time to get going but Hideo Nakata's cyber-thriller raises thoughtful questions about the dangers of living online. *** The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 3D (PG) A marginal improvement on Caspian, but vague of plot, heavy handed of allegory, short of thrills, and (save for Will Poulter) bland of acting, it lacks charm and magic. ** Despicable Me 3D (U) Terrific animated comedy as bungling villain Gru has his heart softened when he adopts three orphan girls for his plan to shrink and steal the moon. **** Due Date (15) Robert Downey Jr is forced to hitch a ride with wannabe actor Zach Galifianakis to make his child's birth on time. It slows midway but, sentimental and funny, it's a date worth keeping. *** Fred: The Movie (12A) Pee Wee Herman meets Martin Short in cartoonish YouTube spinoff as the high voiced, hyperactive teen has to outwit school bully while trying to make Pixie Lott his girlfriend. Irritating but also often very funny. *** Gulliver's Travels 3D (PG) Undemanding but inane, juvenile, pop culture referencing update of the classic tale with a typically irritating Jack Black discovering his true self and inner hero when shipwrecked on an island of tiny people. ** Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt 1 (12A) Looking spectacular, the epic draws to a close with the darkest, most intense and also most moving and mature of the series. There's nervous humour and action, but this is sober stuff. ***** Lemmy (15) Fascinating, amusing, revealing if a little hagiographic documentary about the legendary Motorhead leader, warts and all. (Wed/Thu, mac) *** Meet the Parents: Little Fockers (12A) The all star cast - and cat - reunite for the third instalment, a meanderingly tired, repetitive variation on the original plot and same jokes but with added kids, more contrived misunderstandings and forced sexual humour. ** Megamind 3D (PG) Another animation supervillain finds his inner hero as Will Ferrell's Megamind discovers life dull after defeating Metro Man (Brad Pitt) and creates a new good guy to battle, only for him to turn bad. Great fun with sly Superman send-ups. **** Monsters (15) Slow burn, low action sci-fi as photo-journalist and his boss's daughter bond journeying through the 'infected zone' inhabited by squid-like creatures that borders Mexico and America. A thoughtful allegory about humanity. (Sat-Tue, mac) *** The Tourist (12A) Angelina Jolie ensnares dupe Johnny Depp to persuade the cops he's her tax evasion lover. Slow, dull, lacking sense, chemistry, flair and interest and with an obvious twist, as an attempt at 60s romantic thriller it's more half cock than Hitchcock. * Tron: Legacy 3D (PG) As visually and technically groundbreaking as the 1982 original, but still slight and confused of plot as Garret Hedlund enters the cyber universe to find missing dad Jeff Bridges and winds up battling his avatar programme nemesis. **** Unstoppable (12A) White knuckle ride thriller as, based on a real incident, veteran railwayman Denzel Washington and rookie Chris Pine have to stop a runaway train before catastrophe strikes. **** The Way Back (12A) Peter Weir's overlong, emotionally distant but well acted and visually striking fact-based (as opposed to true) story of how a group of Second World War Siberian gulag escapees walked 4,000 miles to India. *** Mike Davies

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Burlesque Meet the Parents
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 30, 2010
Words:907
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