(M) Ghost in the Shell is a Hollywood techno-dread thriller in which the line between humans and machines has become not just blurred but integrated. It’s a timely topic when robots are making humans redundant and workers are being sold the idea of the gig economy. It is a live-action remake of the 1995 Japanese anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii. Scarlett Johansson plays Mira Killian, a human brain encased in a non-human body that is all machinery and wires under lifelike synthetic skin. This is an exciting, fun, futuristic thriller that, like its main character, has a probing mind. It will make you think.
Denial (M) Denial is a powerfully gripping courtroom drama set in London in 1998 when Holocaust denier David Irving (Timothy Spall) sued Jewish American writer Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) and Penguin, her British publisher, over her book Denying the Holocaust. While Irving conducts his own defence, Lipstadt is represented by top silk Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson). The film’s screenplay makes for a gripping drama, not only as it explores the clash between two passionate and driven individuals but also because of the light it sheds on some of the more curious aspects of the British legal system.
The Lego Batman Movie (PG) The Lego Batman Movie is about an American superhero made of Danish building blocks. The result is a movie that children of all ages will rock along with (Batman fancies his own singing) and adults will laugh at. It is a sometimes hilarious spoof, and filled with clever nods to various superheroes and supervillains. The plot is simple: the Joker plans to destroy Gotham City, and Batman plans to stop him. Between all the action, there’s an exploration of the prime Batman theme: his own selfworth, his aloneness and the shifting public attitudes to a vigilante in a Halloween costume. This is a blast from start to finish.
Big Fish Big Fish is based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel and Tim Burton’s 2003 film of the same name. Director Tyron Parke’s indie production stars Phillip Lowe as travelling salesman Edward Bloom, whose tall stories have kept his friends and family entertained for years until his son starts to search for the truth behind them. The production also features Adam Rennie, Kirby Burgess and Katrina Retallick as Edward’s devoted wife. Hayes Theatre, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Sydney. Tickets: $59. Bookings: (02) 8065 7337 or online. Opens Tuesday. The Play That Goes Wrong