HOT­SHOTS

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film -

WALL- E ( G): A charm­ing an­i­mated fea­ture from the Dis­ney- Pixar stu­dios about a hard­work­ing robot left be­hind to clean up the mess af­ter the Earth is aban­doned by hu­mans in 2110. Writer- di­rec­tor An­drew Stan­ton brings an eerie beauty and an air of wist­ful me­lan­choly to this de­light­ful fa­ble, which has many dark mes­sages about greed and pol­lu­tion in an age of ram­pant ma­te­ri­al­ism. — Evan Wil­liams

An­gus, Thongs and Per­fect Snog­ging ( PG): Gurinder Chadha ( Bend It Like Beck­ham ) has adapted the first two of nine books by Louise Ren­ni­son about 14- year- old Ge­or­gia ( Ge­or­gia Groome), a plain Jane who hates be­ing an in- be­tween. The film ex­plores, with a great deal of hu­mour, the world of Ge­or­gia’s friends and ri­vals and her un­com­pre­hend­ing par­ents, where the de­ci­sion to wear old­fash­ioned knick­ers or a G- string is of para­mount im­por­tance. — David Stratton

The Ten­der Hook ( M): Set in Syd­ney in the 1920s ( and shot mainly in Mel­bourne), Jonathan Ogilvie’s film con­cerns a crooked box­ing pro­moter ( Hugo Weav­ing) whose girl­friend ( Rose Byrne) falls for a hand­some fighter. De­spite pleas­ing his­tor­i­cal de­tail and a hyp­not­i­cally un­pleas­ant per­for­mance from Weav­ing, the nar­ra­tive feels man­nered and slug­gish, and this in­trigu­ing ex­per­i­ment in pe­riod drama never quite comes off. — E. W.

Caramel ( M): The lives of women, some Mus­lim, some Chris­tian, who work in a Beirut hair­dress­ing sa­lon are ex­plored in this witty and wise drama, which is a con­sid­er­able achieve­ment for di­rec­tor and lead­ing ac­tor Na­dine Labaki. A kind of Le­banese Sex and the City but in­fin­itely bet­ter, this film of­fers real in­sights into the lives of women in this part of the Mid­dle East. — D. S.

Waltz with Bashir ( MA15+): An an­i­mated anti- war film by Is­raeli di­rec­tor Ari Fol­man in­spired by 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 im­ages pro­vide a po­tent re­minder of the ease with which moral­ity takes sec­ond place in the stress of bat­tle. — D. S.

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 lack­ing the hu­mour of its pre­de­ces­sors. Li’s mar­tial arts tal­ents are wasted. — Kerrie Mur­phy 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 top dance school, she ends up work­ing at the world’s most chaste bur­lesque club. The film wants to be Flash­dance but is not cheesy enough. — K. M.

De­light­ful: A scene from WALL- E

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