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Ratatouille (Cert U, 106 mins, Disney DVD, Family/Comedy) *****

A bomb detonates on a crowded ferry, killing all 543 passengers including sailors and their families.

Special agent Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms And Explosives (ATF) is assigned the case, and his inquiries lead him to FBI investigator Jack McCready (Bruce Greenwood) and right-hand man agent Andrew Pryzwarra (Val Kilmer), who head up a covert team with the technical capability to glimpse the past: precisely four days and six hours ago.

Deja Vu appropriates the loopy science of Minority Report and Back To The Future, and grafts it onto a modern day thriller replete with bone-crunching action sequences. Screenwriters Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio don't bother to pretend that they know what they're talking about - the time-travelling plot is complete nonsense and the film debunks its own confused logic for the sake of a spectacular finale.

The Brave One (Cert 18, 117 mins, Warner Home Video, Thriller/Drama) ***

Starring: Jodie Foster, Terence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen, Jane Adams, Nicky Katt, Zoe Kravitz.

Erica Bain (Foster) is a presenter on a popular radio station, hosting a show called Street Walk, which celebrates the landscape and people of New York City.

During a late night stroll, Erica and her doctor fiance David (Andrews) are the victims of a brutal and senseless attack in an underpass, which the perpetrators film on their camcorder.

David dies from his horrific wounds, but Erica clings on to life, surviving the physical injuries of her nightmarish ordeal.

The film probes the moral complexities of one woman's crusade for justice on the streets of present day New York.

Control (Cert 15, 117 mins, Momentum Pictures, Drama/Romance) *****

Starring: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Alexandra Maria Lara, Joe Anderson, James Anthony Pearson, Harry Treadaway, Toby Kebbell, Craig Parkinson.

Shot in startling monochrome, this offers a sympathetic though by no means rose-tinted account of the rise and fall of Ian Curtis, the troubled lead singer of Joy Division.

In early '70s Macclesfield, Curtis (Riley) wiles away his teenage years in a haze of music, chain-smoking and prescription drugs. He falls for local girl Deborah Woodruff (Morton) and they eventually marry.

Ian pursues his musical dreams whilst holding down a job at local unemployment office. Soon after, he forms the band Warsaw with Peter Hook (Anderson), Bernard Sumner (Pearson) and Stephen Morris (Treadaway), re-christening the group Joy Division under bullish manager Rob Gretton (Kebbell).

Diagnosed with epilepsy and crippled by depression, Curtis jeopardises everything for an affair with Belgian fan Annik (Lara).

Control is a harrowing journey into the soul of a man wrestling with fame and guilt, based on Deborah's memoir, Touching From A Distance.

Nancy Drew (Cert PG, 95 mins, Warner Home Video, Family/Drama/Comedy) ***

Starring: Emma Roberts, Tate Donovan, Max Thieriot, Josh Flitter, Daniella Monet, Kelly Vitz, Laura Harring, Barry Bostwick, Rachael Leigh Cook, Marshall Bell.

In her hometown of River Heights, teenage detective Nancy (Roberts) is a legend, helping the local police to put bad guys behind bars.

So it's a sad day when Nancy and her father, attorney Carson (Donovan), move to the West Coast where the amateur sleuth enrols in Hollywood High School and instantly clashes with fashion conscious classmates Inga (Monet) and Trish (Vitz).

Carson hopes the move to a new school will distract Nancy from her extra-curricular activities. "No more sleuthing," he implores.

Little does he know that his pride and joy is already beginning to unravel the mystery of suicidal Hollywood actress Dehlia Draycott (Harring) with help from best friend Ned (Thieriot) and new admirer Corky (Flitter).

Following the trail of evidence, Nancy uncovers a web of intrigue involving businessman Dashiel Biedermeyer (Bostwick), single mother Jane Brighton (Cook) and creepy handyman Leshing (Bell).

Director Andrew Fleming (The Craft) gives Carolyn Keene's literary heroine a makeover of sorts in this retro romp, which should play well with young female viewers. Nancy Drew is a gently paced mystery adventure that remains faithful to the spirit of the books, whilst introducing contemporary elements including a bizarre cameo from a Hollywood superstar.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 9, 2008
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