NEWDVDs

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS - Don­ald Clarke

SU­PER­MAN RE­TURNS ★★★★ Di­rected by Bryan Singer. Star­ring Bran­don Routh, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bos­worth, James Mars­den, Frank Lan­gella, Parker Posey, Eva Marie Saint 12 cert Routh’s waxy Su­per­man re­turns to earth to dis­cover Lois moth­er­ing a tod­dler and Lex Luthor still bent on world dom­i­na­tion. Singer skil­fully sets up Chris­tian par­al­lels while in­te­grat­ing his he­roes into a less tra­di­tional fam­ily unit. The film, is­sued here in both a bare-bones edi­tion and a groan­ing two-disc set, an­noyed some Su­per­man purists with its sup­posed earnest­ness. But it re­mains cap­ti­vat­ing. OVER THE HEDGE ★★★ Di­rected by Tim John­son, Karey Kirk­patrick. Voices of Bruce Wil­lis, Nick Nolte, Garry Shan­dling, Steve Carell, William Shat­ner, Wanda Sykes, Eu­gene Levy, Avril Lav­i­gne G cert This gen­tle satire on the ba­nal­i­ties of sub­ur­bia, in which a gang of wood­land crea­tures launch raids on their hu­man neigh­bours’ fridges, is the most en­ter­tain­ing an­i­ma­tion DreamWorks has pro­duced with­out the word Shrek in its ti­tle. Chil­dren who en­joyed the an­tics of Carell’s Hammy will be pleased to hear that the bumper DVD con­tains a new short star­ring the hy­per­ac­tive squir­rel. NA­CHO LI­BRE ★★★★ Di­rected by Jared Hess. Star­ring Jack Black, Ana de la Reguera 12 cert Hi­lar­i­ous com­edy from the mak­ers of Napoleon Dy­na­mite, which finds Black play­ing a Mex­i­can monk who takes up wrestling as a way of fi­nanc­ing im­prove­ments to the lo­cal or­phans’ meals. Fea­tur­ing out­ra­geous ac­cents and a fine satire of Hol­ly­wood story arcs, Na­cho Li­bre might be the most un­der­rated film of the year. The DVD teaches you how to make your own wrestling mask. RE­NAIS­SANCE ★★★ Di­rected by Chris­tian Vol­ck­man. Voices of Daniel Craig, Catherine McCor­mack, Jonathan Pryce, Ian Holm 15A cert Some­time in the fu­ture, a Parisian po­lice of­fi­cer dis­cov­ers ter­ri­ble con­spir­a­cies while in­ves­ti­gat­ing the dis­ap­pear­ance of a sci­en­tist. Vol­ck­man’s an­i­ma­tion, which in­te­grates real ac­tors into a stark mono­chrome world, is daz­zlingly im­pres­sive to look at. So much so that one can al­most for­give the rou­tine dystopian sce­nario and flat di­a­logue. The classy English-lan­guage voice tal­ent fea­tures the cur­rent James Bond, who re­mains gruff and charis­matic even when you can’t see his face. STAY ALIVE ★ Di­rected by William Brent Bell. Star­ring Jon Fos­ter, Frankie Mu­niz 15 cert You’d think there were enough use­less movies based on real video games with­out film-mak­ers dream­ing up imag­i­nary dig­i­tal rub­bish around which to struc­ture new id­io­cies. It seems not. Stay Alive, which fol­lows teenage cretins as they play a PC game in a haunted house, is as poor a film as we have seen this year. Avoid. MY SU­PER EX-GIRL­FRIEND ★ Di­rected by Ivan Reit­man. Star­ring Uma Thur­man, Luke Wil­son, Anna Faris, Ed­die Iz­zard, Wanda Sykes 12 cert Misog­y­nis­tic rom-com in which Thur­man, rep­re­sent­ing ev­ery man’s sup­posed night­mare, plays a su­per­hero driven to city-threat­en­ing fury by her break-up from the other Wil­son brother. It’s an achieve­ment to fash­ion some­thing quite so dreary from such a wacky sce­nario. The DVD is packed with nu­mer­ous never-to-be-watched ex­tras.

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