HOT­SHOTS

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film -

Of Time and the City ( M): Ter­ence Davies’s ele­giac semi­doc­u­men­tary ex­plores his love-hate re­la­tion­ship with his home city, Liver­pool, from which he now feels alien­ated. This strangely beau­ti­ful and per­sonal film con­sists of archival ma­te­rial, po­etry read­ings, mu­sic of var­i­ous kinds and the di­rec­tor’s thoughts on the things that mat­ter to him. A haunt­ing ex­pe­ri­ence from the di­rec­tor of Dis­tant Voices, Still Lives . — David Stratton

Love the Beast ( M): Eric Bana shares his love of mo­tor racing in this en­gag­ing doc­u­men­tary about his favourite car, a 1974 Fal­con coupe. While the film never re­ally sur­prises us, Bana di­rects with an af­fec­tion­ate eye for the minu­tiae of an in­no­cent ob­ses­sion that will charm like-minded fans. — Evan Wil­liams

Ap­paloosa ( M): Ed Har­ris di­rects this en­joy­ably tra­di­tional west­ern, and co-stars with Viggo Mortensen as a gun­fighter hired to clean up a town threat­ened by rancher Jeremy Irons. Re­nee Zell­weger is the film’s wild card, her char­ac­ter tak­ing the nar­ra­tive in un­ex­pected di­rec­tions. There are tributes to clas­sics such as Rio Bravo and War­lock , and fine wide-screen photography by Dean Sem­ler. — D. S.

( MA15+): Vi­o­lent and in­co­her­ent comic-strip ad­ven­ture set in an al­ter­na­tive 1985 and di­rected by Zack Sny­der from a graphic novel that charts the in­ter­nal feuds and psy­cho­pathic vendet­tas of a group of su­per­heroes. Odd flashes of imagination are drowned in stylis­tic overkill and a strange air of pre­ten­tious­ness. With Billy Crudup, Pa­trick Wil­son and Jackie Earle Ha­ley. — E. W.

En­joy­able: A scene from Ap­paloosa

( G): For all its whim­si­cal ex­cesses, this strange film from New Zealand is a charm­ing cel­e­bra­tion of English ec­cen­tric­ity, set in Ed­war­dian Lon­don and in­volv­ing dogs, rare wines, spir­i­tu­al­ism and other in­gre­di­ents. Lovely per­for­mances from Sam Neill and Peter O’Toole. — E. W.

( M): A mustsee Aus­tralian film, di­rected by David Field and writ­ten by its lead­ing man, Ge­orge Basha, who plays a Le­banese-Aus­tralian de­ter­mined to stop his brother from be­com­ing a crim­i­nal. Set against the race ri­ots in Syd­ney’s Cronulla, this is a pow­er­fully au­then­tic drama. — D. S.

( M): Oliver Stone’s film about Ge­orge W. Bush, part biopic and part po­lit­i­cal nar­ra­tive, is a pun­gent, ab­sorb­ing and sur­pris­ingly sym­pa­thetic por­trait, lay­ing much of the blame for his spec­tac­u­lar mis­for­tunes on a trou­bled re­la­tion­ship with his fa­ther. Josh Brolin, as Bush, gives us a com­pelling study of a lik­able but in­ad­e­quate man. — E. W.

( PG): A very mod­est ro­mance, set in Lon­don, be­tween two lonely peo­ple, an Amer­i­can ( Dustin Hoff­man) and an English­woman ( Emma Thomp­son). A low-key, fa­mil­iar love story that is el­e­vated by the skills of two fine ac­tors in top form. — D. S.

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