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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REVIEWS -

BARN­YARD ★ ★ Di­rected by Steve Oedek­erk. Voices of Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Sam El­liott, Danny Glover 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 BLACK CHRIST­MAS ★★ Di­rected by Glen Morgan. Star­ring Katie Cas­sidy, Michelle Tracht­en­berg, Mary El­iz­a­beth Win­stead, Oliver Hud­son, Kris­ten Cloke, An­drea Martin Tol­er­a­ble re­make of the in­flu­en­tial 1974 slasher flick in which a ma­niac chops up the in­hab­i­tants of a soror­ity house on Christ­mas Eve. The new film has a nice line in mor­bid quips and the flash­back se­quences are en­joy­able gar­ish, but the fi­nal may­hem is as mess­ily edited as it is grind­ingly pre­dictable. Black Christ­mas may still, how­ever, be the least ter­ri­ble yule­tide­themed pic­ture cur­rently play­ing in cine­mas. Scary. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 84 min DC

Ex­tremes of wealth and poverty col­lide in Lon­don’s King’s Cross area when a land­scape ar­chi­tect (Law), in­ves­ti­gat­ing bur­glar­ies at his of­fice, is drawn to a wid­owed Bos­nian Mus­lim refugee (Binoche), whose son is one of the thieves. Minghella’s screen­play suf­fers from a few co­in­ci­dences too many, but the film is ab­sorb­ing and well ob­served. 16 cert, Screen, VUE, Lif­fey Val­ley, Dublin 119 min MD CANDY ★★★★ Di­rected by Neil Arm­field. Star­ring Heath Ledger, Ab­bie Cor­nish, Ge­of­frey Rush, Noni Ha­zle­hurst In per­for­mances of touch­ing ten­der­ness and vul­ner­a­bil­ity, Ledger and Cor­nish cap­ture the lov­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween a young Aus­tralian cou­ple and their es­ca­lat­ing des­per­a­tion as their lives re­volve around feed­ing their heroin habit. Club, IFI, 108 min MD 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 BREAK­ING AND EN­TER­ING ★★★ Di­rected by An­thony Minghella. Star­ring Jude Law, Juli­ette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn, Ray Win­stone CASINO ROYALE ★★★★ Di­rected by Martin Camp­bell. Star­ring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench 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

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