HOTSHOTS

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film -

Club­land ( M): Brenda Blethyn plays a possessive mother and failed club en­ter­tainer in this en­gag­ing com­e­dy­drama. But the fo­cus of at­ten­tion falls on Khan Chit­ten­den as her shy, with­drawn son and the much more force­ful young wo­man ( Emma Booth) who falls in love with him. A feel­good movie with sharply etched char­ac­ters. — David Stratton

Trans­form­ers ( M): Michael Bay has de­liv­ered the year’s nois­i­est and sil­li­est block­buster, in which aliens dis­guised as ve­hi­cles trans­form into killing ma­chines. Spec­tac­u­lar or­gies of de­struc­tion re­place plot, but the film is partly re­deemed by its boofish hu­mour and Shia LaBeouf’s ami­able car- crazy teenager. — Evan Wil­liams

Four Min­utes ( Vier Minuten) ( MA15+): Su­perb per­for­mances from vet­eran Mon­ica Bleib­treu and new­comer Han­nah Herzsprung il­lu­mi­nate this grim prison drama about an el­derly mu­sic teacher and a gifted but vi­o­lent young pris­oner. A down­beat film from Ger­man di­rec­tor Chris Kraus. — D. S.

Blades of Glory ( M): Will Fer­rell ( Tal­ladega Nights ) and Jon Heder ( Napoleon Dy­na­mite ) are hi­lar­i­ous as the Ly­cra- clad he­roes of this low­brow icedanc­ing movie. Bad taste is cheer­fully ac­com­mo­dated in a fam­ily film packed with belly laughs. — D. S.

The Dead Girl ( MA15+): Writer- di­rec­tor Karen Mon­crieff’s film con­sists of five in­ge­niously in­ter­wo­ven sto­ries, each set around the mur­der of a young wo­man. The re­sult is an an­gry and dis­turb­ing film with a bit­ter mes­sage, well acted by a cast that in­cludes Toni Col­lette and Rose Byrne. — E. W.

Bridge to Ter­abithia ( PG): A beau­ti­ful and greatly mov­ing adap­ta­tion of Kather­ine Pater­son’s story about the friend­ship be­tween two trou­bled young­sters ( Josh Hutch­er­son and An­naSophia Robb) and their ad­ven­tures in an imag­i­nary king­dom. Ga­bor Csupo’s film never al­lows its fan­tasy se­quences to dis­tract from the act­ing. — E. W.

Ocean’s Thir­teen ( PG): Ge­orge Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Da­mon and the rest are back in Steven Soder­bergh’s ef­fort­lessly smooth ca­per movie. This time their tar­get is a lav­ish Las Ve­gas casino run by ego­ma­ni­a­cal Al Pa­cino, a highly sat­is­fac­tory vil­lain. The for­mula is served up with the usual pro­fes­sional gloss. — D. S.

Feel­good film: A scene from Club­land

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