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GOOD KILL (15) ..... ANDREW NICCOL'S lm unfolds in the Nevada desert, where commanding ocer Jack Johns (Bruce Greenwood) welcomes new recruits to his outt. "War is now a rst-is now a rst-W person shooter," growls Johns. "It's not a bunch of pixels you're blowing up. It's esh and blood."

Ethan |and January Jones in " Major Tom Egan (Ethan Hawke) is one of the few men at the base, who has actually taken to the skies and he hankers for a return to the cockpit rather than sitting in an air-conditioned crate, staring at the enemy through a lens.

His wife Molly (January Jones) and daughter Jesse (Sachie Capitani) get to spend precious time with him in their picket-fenced home but mentally, Tom is thousands of miles away.

'e arrival of a new co-pilot, Vera Suarez (Zoe Kravitz), has a profound impact on Tom as he wrestles with his conscience and the repercussions of his actions.

Good Kill is a clinical thriller that spares the bombast and treats each deployment of drones with cold detachment.

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 (15) ..... SINCE the rst lm, childhood pals Lou (Rob Corddry), Adam (John Cusack) and Nick (Craig Robinson) have exploited the mystical whirlpool for personal gain. Lou has amassed a fortune of $2.3bn as frontman of rock band Motley Lou and inventor of the search engine Lougle.

|Paul Fast & Adam courted celebrity with his novel Jacuzzi Timelord then retreated from the limelight (Cusack doesn't appear), while Nick has become a chart-topping singer-songwriter by plagiarising songs that haven't been composed yet. 'e imsy plot kicks into pedestrian rst gear at Lou's annual party where the boorish host torments his son Jacob (Clark Duke) and assorted guests.

A crash of thunder causes a brief power outage and someone uses the cover of darkness to shoot o Lou's manhood. Nick and Hawke Good Kill Jacob drag the wounded billionaire to the hot tub power the device and prepare to travel back to before the ill-fated shindig.

However, the trio slingshot forwards in time to March 26, 2025, where they join forces with Adam's goofy son (Adam Scott) to unravel the mystery.

FAST & FURIOUS 7 (12A) ..... THE action begins directly after events of Fast & Furious 6 with corrupt British soldier Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) on life support in a London hospital.

Owen's older brother Ian (Jason Statham) seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O'Conner (the late Paul Walker, W who died during lming) and their crew.

Ian hacks into the computer of federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to learn the whereabouts of the team.

Dominic reunites with fast-talking Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) and technical wizard Tej (Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges) to neutralise the threat.

Walker in Furious 7 Fast & Furious 7 is dedicated to Walker's memory. A W heartfelt coda between Diesel and Walker W provides the former with a chance to publicly say farewell to his cinematic brother in arms.

THE DUFF (12A) ..... ARI SANDEL' L' L S lm is an unabashedly feel-good comedy about one young woman's journey from insecurity to self-acceptance that patrols the same high school corridors as She's All at, Clueless, Mean Girls and 10 ings I Hate About You.

Josh A Cagan's script, adapted from the novel by Kody Keplinger, embraces every well-worn cliche and convention, empowering its heroines to take control of their lives and defy magazine articles which dictate how they should behave or dress.

us one tomboy isn't fussed about attending her school's rites-of-passage prom because she already has a date in front of the TV.

"ere's a Vincent Price marathon on so I gotta watch that," she deadpans.

e devoted horror fan is Bianca (Mae Whitman), who attends parties with her best friends Jess (Skyler Samuels) and Casey (Bianca A Santos), oblivious to the fact that she is the D.U.F.F. - Designated Ugly Fat Friend - of her close-knit social circle.

When her next-door neighbour, hunky athlete Wesley (Robbie Amell), who is dating the school's queen bee Madison (Bella orne), opens Bianca's eyes to the upsetting truth, she resolves to transform from an ugly duckling in order to land a date with her dream beau, Toby (Nick Eversman). E Bianca recruits Wesley to polish her rough edges and in return, she improves his academic grades so he can secure a sports scholarship.

With encouragement from her sassy mother (Allison Janney), whose mantra is "believe, retrieve, achieve... just don't conceive," Bianca realises that even the most beautiful girls at school are someone's D.U.F.F. and she shouldn't be dened by a cruel label.

Meanwhile, Madison grows jealous of Bianca's friendship with Wesley and dispatches her acolyte Caitlyn (Rebecca Weil) to spy on the odd couple.

e Du is a heartfelt and frequently hilarious traipse through teenage angst, anchored by a luminous central performance from Whitman.

She endears us to her snarky and cynical 17-year-old and shares winning screen chemistry with dreamboat Amell and Janney as the divorced mom who believes you should "project condence with a power pant-suit combo".

Colourful supporting turns from Ken Jeong and Romany Malco, as members of the school sta, up the laughter quotient.

WOMAN IN GOLD (12A) ..... DURING the Second World War, the 'ird the 'ird W Reich plundered countless artworks and possessions, some of which were traced back to their rightful owners by the Monuments Men. Today, more than 100,000 precious items are still separated from families. Some may never be seen again.

Woman W In Gold is the inspirational true story of one Los Angeles resident, who challenged the legal status quo to reclaim a painting from her native Austria in the face of staunch resistance from bureaucrats in Vienna.

Director Simon Curtis and screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell distil this protracted war of words into a solid drama that juxtaposes harrowing events in late 1930s Europe with legal wranglings six decades later on both sides of the Atlantic.

At the turn of the 20th century, industrialist Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer (Henry Goodman) commissions artist Gustav Klimt to paint his wife Adele (Antje Traue), who dies a few years later.

'e glittering canvas hangs in the family apartment in Vienna until Nazis invade and seize works of art as well as precious trinkets.

Ferdinand leaves the country before the border shutdown, but his brother Gustav (Allan Corduner), his wife 'erese (Nina Kunzendorf), their daughter Maria (Tatiana Maslany) and her opera singer husband Fritz (Max Irons) are not so fortunate.

Helen |Maria Ryan Randol Maria and Fritz orchestrate a daring escape, leaving behind loved ones to a grim fate, while the iconic painting hangs in the Belvedere Gallery in the Austrian capital.

In 1998, Maria (now played by Helen Mirren) attempts to reclaim the canvas, aided by idealistic lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Ryan R Reynolds).

Inspired by Maria's resolve, Randol risks his job at a top California law rm to pursue the case, which everyone, including senior partner Sherman (Charles Dance), tells him is unwinnable.

Mirren as Altmann and Reynold| | Schoenberg Austrian investigative reporter Hubertus Czernin (Daniel Bruhl) pledges support but warns Maria and Randol to expect defeat.

"She is the Mona Lisa of Austria," explains the reporter. "Do you think they will just let her go? Woman W In Gold deftly moves back and forth between the two timelines to establish Maria's tragic past and her claim on the painting.

Mirren teases out the steeliness of her survivor, who gets caught up in the excitement of the case and jokes to Randol, "'is is like a James Bond lm, and you are Sean Connery".

She pickpockets the lion's share of the one-liners while Reynolds has the more dicult task of adding emotional heft to his inexperienced underdog.

Screenwriter Campbell simplies legal arguments so they are easily digestible, while director Curtis maintains a steady pace apart from Maria and Randol's pulse-quickening escape bid that seems destined to end in tragedy.

Not for the last time, Maria dees the odds.


Ethan Hawke |and January Jones in Good Kill

Paul Walker in |Fast & Furious 7

Far from a duffer... Robbie Amell and Mae Whitman |

(him Helen Mirren as |Maria Altmann and Ryan Reynolds as Randol Schoenberg
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 10, 2015
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