HOTSHOTS

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film -

The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia: Prince Caspian ( M): The sec­ond of the seven- part se­ries of books by C. S. Lewis to be brought to the screen af­ter the suc­cess of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 2005, this con­tin­u­a­tion of the saga of the four Peven­sie chil­dren ( who, like Harry Pot­ter and his friends, are grow­ing up fast) in the par­al­lel world of Nar­nia is pretty much the same mix­ture as be­fore. There’s a for­mi­da­ble vil­lain in a dash­ing usurper king ( Ser­gio Castel­litto) and a hand­some hero in Prince Caspian ( Ben Barnes), as well as talk­ing an­i­mals, sav­age scenery and spec­tac­u­lar bat­tle scenes. — David Stratton

Sex and the City ( MA15+): A long- winded adap­ta­tion of the television se­ries about the sex­ual ad­ven­tures of four New York women, di­rected by Michael Pa­trick King, one of the creators of the orig­i­nal show. Sarah Jes­sica Parker leads a familiar cast, but in 21/ hours of stri­dent

2 ex­u­ber­ance, raunchy ban­ter and shame­less prod­uct place­ment there’s barely a witty line. — Evan Wil­liams

Shine a Light ( M): Martin Scors­ese filmed two Rolling Stones con­certs in New York in 2006 and in­ter­cut his live footage with news­reel clips and in­ter­views with the age­ing rock­ers to fash­ion this re­mark­able doc­u­men­tary trib­ute. The re­sult breaks no new ground, yet of­fers a thrilling in­sight into the work­ings of the band. — E. W.

The Or­phan­age ( El Orfanato) ( MA): A gen­uinely spooky Span­ish ghost movie that tran­scends the genre by ex­plor­ing themes of grief and guilt and evokes the spirit of Peter Pan in its story about lost chil­dren. Lead­ing a strong cast, Be­len Rueda gives a fine per­for­mance as a dis­traught mother, and di­rec­tor Juan An­to­nio Bay­ona brings fresh­ness to the familiar ma­te­rial. — D. S.

The Flight of the Red Bal­loon ( M): This del­i­cate and touch­ing film from France, di­rected by Hou Hsiao Hsien, ex­plores the day- to- day anx­i­eties of a sin­gle mother ( Juli­ette Binoche) and her small, lonely son. Based on Al­bert Lamor­isse’s clas­sic short film about a boy fol­lowed through the streets of Paris by a mag­i­cal red bal­loon, it achieves its power with long takes, im­pro­vised di­a­logue and nat­u­ral­is­tic per­for­mances. — E. W.

Leather­heads ( PG): Ge­orge Clooney’s third film as di­rec­tor is a re­turn to the style of the screw­ball come­dies of the 1930s. The plot has to do with the evo­lu­tion of pro­fes­sional foot­ball into big busi­ness, but at its heart it’s a witty love story in­volv­ing Clooney, John Krasin­ski and Re­nee Zell­weger. — D. S.

In­di­ana Jones and the King­dom of the Crys­tal Skull ( M): Steven Spiel­berg gets the bal­ance be­tween ac­tion and nos­tal­gia right in this fourth in­stal­ment of the In­di­ana Jones saga, set dur­ing the Cold War, with Indy and Soviet agents in a quest for an an­cient relic with psy­chic pow­ers. Har­ri­son Ford gives a won­der­fully ath­letic per­for­mance, aided by Karen Allen ( Raiders of the Lost Ark ) and Cate Blanchett. — E. W.

Con­tin­ues the saga: Prince Caspian

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