HOT­SHOTS

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film -

Waltz with Bashir ( MA15+): An an­i­mated anti- war film by Is­raeli di­rec­tor Ari Fol­man in­spired by first- hand mem­o­ries of the hor­rific in­va­sion of Le­banon by Is­raeli forces in 1982 and the sub­se­quent mas­sacre of women, chil­dren and the el­derly in two Pales­tinian refugee camps. The pow­er­ful im­ages pro­vide a po­tent re­minder of the ease with which moral­ity takes sec­ond place in the stress of bat­tle. Grim, but in many ways an un­for­get­table film. — David Stratton

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Em­peror ( M): In the third film in the se­ries, Rick O’Con­nell ( Bren­dan Fraser) and wife Eve­lyn ( Maria Bello, re­plac­ing Rachel Weisz) head to China, where their son Alex ( Home and Away ac­tor Luke Ford) has in­ad­ver­tently awak­ened the an­cient Em­peror Han ( Jet Li). A pass­able story, with some fun com­puter ef­fects, but the film doesn’t de­liver the wit and hu­mour of its pre­de­ces­sor and for most of it, Li’s mar­tial arts tal­ents are wasted. — Kerrie Mur­phy

Funny Games ( MA15+): An un­nec­es­sary re­make by Aus­trian di­rec­tor Michael Haneke of his 1997 film of the same ti­tle, this time set in the US and star­ring Naomi Watts and Tim Roth, who are good as a well- to- do cou­ple ter­rorised by a cou­ple of creepy strangers. Haneke’s at­tempts to de­con­struct the typ­i­cal Hol­ly­wood sus­pense thriller worked bet­ter the first time. — D. S.

In Bruges ( MA15+): Play­wright Martin McDon­agh’s first fea­ture is a di­a­logue- filled thriller with Colin Far­rell ( in top form) and Bren­dan Glee­son as hit men forced to chill out in the Bel­gian town of Bruges af­ter a Lon­don killing goes wrong. The talk, much of it ob­scene, ends with Tarantino- like action, but the ac­tors carry the day. — D. S.

Harold & Ku­mar Es­cape from Guan­tanamo Bay ( MA15+): This se­quel doesn’t quite match the ex­cel­lent 2004 com­edy Harold & Ku­mar Go to White Cas­tle. It re­cap­tures the premise of two stoned guys on a quest be­set by mis­ad­ven­ture and gives it a new twist as Harold ( John Cho) and Ku­mar ( Kal Penn) es­cape from Gitmo af­ter be­ing mis­taken for ter­ror­ists and head across the US in an at­tempt to clear their names. — K. M.

Wel­come to the Sticks ( M): An un­prece­dented suc­cess at the French box of­fice, this ami­able, light­weight com­edy cen­tres on a post of­fice man­ager from Provence, well played by Kad Merad, who is as­signed a re­mote po­si­tion, where the di­alect is al­most in­com­pre­hen­si­ble. It’s a one- joke film, but di­rec­tor Dany Boon has fun with the premise. — D. S. Our crit­ics avoid

Make It Hap­pen ( PG): Mary El­iz­a­beth Win­stead plays Lau­ryn, who leaves her small- town home to pur­sue her dance dream in Chicago. Re­jected from a no­table school, she ends up work­ing at the world’s most chaste bur­lesque club, where she finds friends and love. Hit­ting ev­ery dance movie cliche, the film wants to be Flash­dance or even Striptease, but is not cheesy enough. — K. M.

Pow­er­ful: A scene from Waltz with Bashir

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