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POP Ge­orge Michael at the Point HIP-HOP The Game (left) at the Olympia THEATRE Anna Karen­ina at the Gate DANCE Bal­let sea­son in full swing

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BARN­YARD ★ ★ Di­rected by Steve Oedek­erk. Voices of Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Sam El­liott, Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes, Andie MacDow­ell Yet an­other dig­i­tally an­i­mated film fea­tur­ing danc­ing live­stock voiced by mid­dle-rank stars. What else do you need to know? The an­i­ma­tion doesn’t re­ally suc­ceed in its aim to ape the look of clay­ma­tion. The plot blends An­i­mal Farm with The Lion King to lit­tle ef­fect. Re­ally, the only thing that sets Barn­yard apart is its bizarre de­ci­sion to fea­ture cows of both sexes. Ex­plain that to the kids. PG cert, gen re­lease, 90 min DC NEW RE­LEASE BIG NOTH­ING ★ 15A cert, gen re­lease, 86 min See re­view, page 7 BO­RAT: CUL­TURAL LEARN­INGS OF AMER­ICA FOR MAKE BEN­E­FIT GLO­RI­OUS NA­TION OF KAZA­KHSTAN ★★★★ Di­rected by Larry Charles. Star­ring Sacha Baron Co­hen Jam-packed with vis­ual and ver­bal gags from start to fin­ish, and en­tirely un­en­cum­bered by such in­ci­den­tals as good taste, this up­roar­i­ous, po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect farce stars Co­hen in an imp­ishly over­sized per­for­mance as fic­tional Kazakh TV re­porter Bo­rat on a fact-find­ing tour of the US. There he be­comes ob­sessed with meet­ing Pamela An­der­son, who plays her­self. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 82 min MD NEW RE­LEASE BREAK­ING AND EN­TER­ING ★★★ 16 cert, gen re­lease, 119 min See re­view, page 8 CASINO ROYALE ★★★★ Di­rected by Martin Camp­bell. Star­ring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jef­frey Wright, Gian­carlo Gian­nini The se­ries gets back to ba­sics and to its roots in Ian Flem­ing’s nov­els, with Craig per­fectly cast as a younger, tougher James Bond at the be­gin­ning of his es­pi­onage ca­reer. Out go the gad­getry and dou­bles en­ten­dres in favour of thrilling ac­tion se­quences that are grounded in sheer phys­i­cal dex­ter­ity. The movie fal­ters in its mul­ti­ple end­ings but re­cov­ers to rank as one of the very best in the se­ries. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 144 min MD NEW RE­LEASE DECK THE HALLS ★ PG cert, gen re­lease, 95 min See re­view, page 9 THE DE­PARTED ★★★★★ Di­rected by Martin Scors­ese. Star­ring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Da­mon, Jack Ni­chol­son, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Win­stone, Vera Farmiga, Alec Bald­win Ex­pertly con­structed and dy­nam­i­cally staged, Scors­ese’s supremely stylish thriller trans­poses the Hong Kong drama In­fer­nal Af­fairs to the Ir­ish-Amer­i­can crim­i­nal mi­lieu in Bos­ton. Ni­chol­son flam­boy­antly plays the amoral king­pin, with Da­mon as his mole inside the po­lice force and DiCaprio as the de­tec­tive who goes deep un­der­cover within the crim­i­nal gang. In this en­thralling moral­ity tale, the mor­tal­ity rate es­ca­lates in tan­dem with the ten­sions gen­er­ated by its riv­et­ing nar­ra­tive. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 151 min MD THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA ★★★★ Di­rected by David Frankel. Star­ring Meryl Streep, Anne Hath­away, Emily Blunt, Stan­ley Tucci Feast­ing on barbed bitchy di­a­logue, Streep ex­udes hau­teur as the dom­i­neer­ing ed­i­tor of the most in­flu­en­tial fash­ion mag­a­zine on the news­stands. Hath­away plays the doe-eyed as­pi­rant jour­nal­ist who wan­ders into the lion’s den as her ju­nior as­sis­tant in what is both a cau­tion­ary tale about worka­holism and a caus­tic satire on the fash­ion in­dus­try. PG cert, gen re­lease, 106 min MD NEW RE­LEASE FLUSHED AWAY ★★★ G cert, gen re­lease, 84 min See re­view, page 8 HOOD­WINKED! ★ Di­rected by Cory Ed­wards. Voices of Anne Hath­away, Glenn Close The Lit­tle Red Rid­ing Hood tale gets an ir­rev­er­ent CGI-an­i­mated makeover in a know­ing con­tem­po­rary treat­ment. The an­i­ma­tion is bland, the hu­mour hope­lessly strained, the puns cringe- in­duc­ing, and the songs aw­ful. Gen cert, gen re­lease, 84 min MD AN IN­CON­VE­NIENT TRUTH ★★★ Di­rected by Davis Guggen­heim This filmed record of Al Gore’s pre­sen­ta­tion on global warn­ing finds the for­mer Veep con­cisely lay­ing out the dan­gers posed by in­creased car­bon emis­sions and op­ti­misti­cally out­lin­ing the pos­si­ble so­lu­tions. For­merly as charis­matic as pro­cessed cheese, Gore has de­vel­oped a hu­mor­ous, self-dep­re­cat­ing man­ner, and the speech proves sur­pris­ingly easy to digest. But is this re­ally a movie? G cert, Screen, Dublin; Tip­per­ary Ex­cel Cen­tre, 100 min DC JACK­ASS NUM­BER TWO ★ Di­rected by Jeff Tre­maine. Star­ring Johnny Knoxville, Bam Marg­era, Chris Pon­tius, Steve-O, Dave Eng­land, Ryan Dunn, Wee Man In the be­lief that noth­ing suc­ceeds like ex­cess, the se­quel strings to­gether an­other suc­ces­sion of dis­gust­ing, wit­less short sketches with no link­ing nar­ra­tive as the team en­gage in co­pi­ous ex­hi­bi­tion­ism, gross stunts and reck­less en­dan­ger­ment. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 95 min MD LIT­TLE CHIL­DREN ★★★★★ Di­rected by Todd Field. Star­ring Kate Winslet, Pa­trick Wil­son, Jen­nifer Con­nelly, Noah Em­merich, Jackie Earle Ha­ley Field fol­lows In the Bed­room with an­other in­ci­sive and riv­et­ing US sub­ur­ban drama. Wil­son and Winslet cap­ture all the pas­sion of mar­ried par­ents drawn into an adul­ter­ous af­fair with each other, and Ha­ley is qui­etly pow­er­ful as a paroled sex of­fender whose re­turn home sparks ten­sions in the area. This is thought­ful, in­sight­ful and chal­leng­ing cin­ema. 16 cert, Queen’s, Belfast, 136 min MD LIT­TLE MISS SUN­SHINE ★★★★ Di­rected by Jonathan Day­ton and Va­lerie Faris. Star­ring Greg Kin­n­ear, Toni Col­let­teAn ex­u­ber­antly dys­func­tional fam­ily – a son won’t speak; an un­cle has just at­tempted sui­cide; grand­dad takes heroin – makes its way from New Mex­ico to Los An­ge­les in an equally dys­func­tional VW bus. Di­rected with hands-off ease by Day­ton and Faris, hith­erto video mae­stros, and fea­tur­ing sparky di­a­logue by Michael Arndt, Lit­tle Miss Sun­shine is one of those rare films whose flaws prove to be al­most as en­gag­ing as its strengths. 15A cert, Cork Om­ni­plex; IMC Dún Laoghaire/Santry Om­ni­plex, Dublin, 101 min DC A GOOD YEAR ★ Di­rected by Ri­d­ley Scott. Star­ring Rus­sell Crowe, Al­bert Fin­ney, Mar­ion Cotil­lard There may well have been an en­ter­tain­ing movie in Peter Mayle’s rem­i­nis­cences on life as an English­man in Provence, but his book has found an en­tirely wrong match in the hu­mour-im­paired Gla­di­a­tor team of Scott and Crowe. This te­dious movie fal­ters time and again in its ea­ger­ness to en­ter­tain. 12A, Screen, Dublin, 118 min MD MON­STER HOUSE ★★★ Di­rected by Gil Ke­nan. Voices of Mag­gie Gyl­len­haal, Steve Buscemi, Ja­son Lee, Kath­leen Turner Three pre-teen sleuths are con­vinced that a de­crepit old house is haunted, but it’s Hal­loween and no­body be­lieves them. The con­se­quences pro­vide spir­ited en­ter­tain­ment in this witty and imag­i­na­tive ex­er­cise in mo­tion-cap­ture an­i­ma­tion. While there are some amus­ing scares, there’s noth­ing to frighten younger view­ers. PG cert, Movies@Dun­drum/UCI Blan­chard­stown/UCI Coolock/UCI Tall­ght, Dublin, 91 min MD NEIL YOUNG: HEART OF GOLD ★★★★★ Di­rected by Jonathan Demme In Demme’s un­ob­tru­sively shot and edited film of two con­certs in Nashville last year, Young’s voice is as beau­ti­fully plain­tive as ever as he in­tro­duces his Prairie Wind album and per­forms 10 of his clas­sic songs with a su­perb team of back­ing singers and mu­si­cians. This cel­e­bra­tion of Young’s mu­si­cal ge­nius is an ex­pe­ri­ence to cher­ish in all its per­va­sive warmth and hon­esty. Sheer bliss. Gen cert, Kino, Cork, 103 min MD OPEN SEA­SON ★★ Di­rected by Jill Cul­ton and Roger Allers. Voices of Martin Lawrence, Ash­ton Kutcher A bear and a deer are trans­ported to an in­hos­pitable moun­tain re­gion where they seek to avoid the at­ten­tion of hunters. The an­i­ma­tion is fair but not spec­tac­u­lar. The vo­cal tal­ent ad­e­quate though not ex­cep­tional, the scrip func­tional with­out of­fer­ing any sur­prises. PG cert, gen re­lease, 99 min DC THE PAGE TURNER/LA TOURNEUSE DE PAGES ★★★ Di­rected by De­nis Der­court. Star­ring Catherine Frot, Deb­o­rah François De­cent cuckoo-in-the nest thriller which finds a young pi­anist grow­ing up to visit re­venge on the fa­mous mu­si­cian who spurned her at an au­di­tion. The film is lay­ered with ten­sion and fea­tures se­cure, but­toned-up per­for­mances from both prin­ci­pals. The script is, how­ever, more than a lit­tle trite and fea­tures a de­noue­ment too un­likely even for a film in this height­ened genre. Club, Kino, Cork, 85 min DC PAN’S LABYRINTH ★★★★ Di­rected by Guillermo del Toro. Star­ring Sergi López, Mari­bel Verdú, Ivana Ba­quero, Doug Jones, Ari­adna Gil Del Toro imag­i­na­tively blends magic re­al­ism, fairy­tale trap­pings and ex­traor­di­nar­ily strik­ing spe­cial ef­fects for an in­ge­nious fu­sion of fan­tasy and vi­o­lent drama set at the end of the Span­ish Civil War. Lopez oozes sadis­tic malev­o­lence as an army cap­tain, the step­fa­ther to a young girl who en­coun­ters a fan­tas­ti­cal crea­ture. 16 cert, Queen’s, Belfast; Cineworld/IFI/UCI Tal­lagh/Vue, Dublin, 119 min MD THE PRES­TIGE ★★★★ Di­rected by Christo­pher Nolan. Star­ring Chris­tian Bale, Hugh Jack­man, Michael Caine, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, David Bowie Bale and Jack­man play ma­gi­cians whose ini­tial re­la­tion­ship as friends and col­leagues de­scends into bit­ter ri­valry when they sabotage each other’s acts and try to steal se­crets. Set in late 19th-cen­tury Lon­don, Nolan’s clever, en­ter­tain­ing film plays its own de­vi­ous tricks on the au­di­ence. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 130 min MD RED ROAD ★★★★ Di­rected by An­drea Arnold. Star­ring Kate Dickie A prize-win­ner at Cannes, Arnold’s re­mark­able first fea­ture film stars Dickie as a lonely CCTV op­er­a­tor in Glas­gow who takes great risks in fol­low­ing a vi­o­lent ex-con­vict. There are shades of Michael Haneke’s best work about this of­ten un­bear­ably grip­ping psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller. 18 cert, Queen’s, Belfast, 114 min MD THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ES­CAPE CLAUSE ★ Di­rected by Michael Lem­beck. Star­ring Tim Allen, Martin Short, El­iz­a­beth Mitchell, Judge Rein­hold, Wendy Crew­son, Ann-Margret, Alan Arkin, Peter Boyle, Spencer Bres­lin Jack Frost, played by the never par­tic­u­larly wel­come Short, at­tempts to re­place Allen’s Santa as the fig­ure­head of Christ­mas in this truly wretched third episode of an al­ready unlovely fran­chise. The film’s low­est point comes when we are asked to feel dis­gust as an as­cen­dant Jack turns the North Pole into a com­mer­cially driven theme park. I’m sorry? This in a film from Walt Dis­ney? “This junk is not what Christ­mas is all about,” Allen fumes. Hear, hear! G cert, gen re­lease, 98 min DC NEW RE­LEASE SHORT­BUS ★★★ Club, IFI, Dublin, 102 min See re­view, page 7 STARTER FOR 10 ★★★ Di­rected by Tom Vaughan. Star­ring James McAvoy, Alice Eve, Re­becca Hall, Catherine Tate, Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, Mark Gatiss En­ter­tain­ing, if light­weight Bri­tish com­edy fol­low­ing McAvoy’s cal­low stu­dent as he copes with 1980s univer­sity life while pre­par­ing for an ap­pear­ance on Univer­sity Chal­lenge. Eve is the glam­orous posh girl, Hall the less friv­o­lous fem­i­nist. The out­come of the ro­man­tic plot­line is never much in doubt, but McAvoy’s ad­ven­tures in so­cial em­bar­rass­ment re­main divert­ing. The film also prof­its from a de­cent score and a sin­is­ter per­for­mance from Gatiss as Bam­ber Gas­coigne. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 96 min DC STEP UP ★ Di­rected by Anne Fletcher. Star­ring Chan­ning Ta­tum, Jenna De­wan, Rachel Grif­fiths Duane Alder re­cy­cles his Save the Last Dance screen­play, in­fus­ing it with el­e­ments from Fame and 42nd Street, for a cliché-strewn ro­mance be­tween a bour­geois dance stu­dent (De­wan) and the poor boy (Ta­tum) who be­comes her part­ner on and off the floor. PG cert, gen re­lease, 103 min MD NEW RE­LEASE STRANGER THAN FICTION ★★★★ 12A cert, gen re­lease, 113 min See re­view, page 7 TENA­CIOUS D IN THE PICK OF DES­TINY ★★ Di­rected by Liam Lynch. Star­ring Jack Black, Kyle Gass Tena­cious D, the comic rock band com­pris­ing Jack Black and that other guy, set out to re­trieve a pos­sessed gui­tar pick in their first, only fit­fully amus­ing big-screen es­capade. The guys are quite pleas­ant to be around, but their comic shtick is stretched per­ilously thin over the film’s rel­a­tively mod­est length. There are, sadly, only so many jokes that can be had at the ex­pense of an art form al­ready so self-par­o­dic as heavy metal. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 93 min DC THE TIGER’S TAIL ★★★★ Di­rected by John Boor­man. Star­ring Bren­dan Glee­son, Kim Cat­trall, Sinead Cu­sack, Ciaran Hinds, Sean McGin­ley Boor­man’s ro­bust film does not pre­tend to be sub­tle as it tar­gets the malaises of Celtic Tiger Ire­land – cor­rup­tion, grid­lock, con­spic­u­ous con­sump­tion, the chaos of the A&E sys­tem – fil­tered through the story of a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man (Glee­son) alarmed to dis­cover that he’s got a dou­ble. 15A cert, Em­pire Movieplex, Clare; Savoy, Ball­brig­gan, Dublin, 106 min MD Cin­ema re­views by Don­ald Clarke and Michael Dwyer

Man of metal: Jack Black in Tena­cious D in The Pick of Des­tiny

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