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Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke re­view cur­rent cin­ema re­leases

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM LISTINGS -

ALEX CROSS 15A cert, gen re­lease, 101 min Not pre­viewed for crit­ics AMOUR ★★★★★ Di­rected by Michael Haneke. Star­ring Jean-Louis Trintig­nant, Em­manuelle Riva, Is­abelle Hup­pert Haneke makes it clear where we’re all headed from the open­ing shot of the least eva­sive, but most mov­ing, film of his ca­reer. Po­lice break into an ele­gant Paris apart­ment to find an el­derly woman ly­ing dead upon her bed. It’s ar­guably one of Amour’s cheerier tableaux. We flash­back through the woman’s de­cline and her hus­band’s ef­forts to cope. Slowly and qui­etly, Haneke’s 11th fea­ture equals and sur­passes all the emo­tional jolts once sup­plied by the ex­plod­ing pig’s head of Benny’s Video. 12A cert, Light House, Dublin; Model, Sligo, 127 min TB ARGO ★★★★ Di­rected by Ben Af­fleck. Star­ring Ben Af­fleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Good­man Get ready for war room ac­tion, ac­tion, ac­tion as Af­fleck’s third fea­ture as di­rec­tor trans­forms a pre­pos­ter­ous-sound­ing 1979 CIA op­er­a­tion into a ro­bust thriller. Can Agent Men­dez (Af­fleck), aided by fun sup­port­ing play­ers Cranston, Good­man and Arkin, res­cue six US Em­bassy work­ers stranded in rev­o­lu­tion­ary Iran? The Ay­a­tol­lah Khome­ini’s troops have rarely looked as en­ter­tain­ing and na­cho-friendly as they do here. But Argo’s mo­men­tum and mus­cu­lar­ity is hard to re­sist. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 120 min TB NEW RE­LEASE BA­BETTE’S FEAST/BABETTES GÆSTEBUD ★★ Club, IFI, Dublin, 103 min See re­view, page 13 CE­LESTE AND JESSE FOR­EVER

★★★ Di­rected by Lee Toland. Star­ring Rashida Jones, Andy Sam­berg, Chris Messina, Ari Graynor, Eric Chris­tian Olsen, Will McCor­mack Amus­ing, prob­lem­atic com­edy con­cern­ing a cou­ple of LA trendies who just can’t seem to break up. What makes the pic­ture fly is the de­li­cious chem­istry be­tween the two leads. Jones con­veys a stroppy sense of self-right­eous­ness that crum­bles nicely when, by chance rather than de­sign, Sam­berg hap­pens upon some over­due re­spon­si­bil­ity. The pic­ture is too much in love with its own cool, but it just about mud­dles through. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 92 min DC DEATH OF A SU­PER­HERO

★★★ Di­rected by Ian Fitzgib­bon. Star­ring Andy Serkis, Thomas Brodie-Sang­ster, Ais­ling Lof­tus, Michael McEl­hat­ton, Sharon Hor­gan Im­pres­sive Ir­ish film from the di­rec­tor of A Film with Me in It about a teenager who sub­li­mates thoughts about his ter­mi­nal disease into vi­o­lent comic-book art. The per­for­mances are all top-notch (notably an un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally quiet Serkis as the boy’s psy­chi­a­trist) and the script is sen­si­tive about all is­sues ad­dressed. Un­for­tu­nately, the pic­ture is that just lit­tle bit light on nar­ra­tive. Good work, none­the­less. 15A cert, Light House, Dublin, 96 min DC DOLL­HOUSE ★★★ Di­rected by Kirsten Sheri­dan. Star­ring Seana Ker­slake, Johnny Ward, Kate Stan­ley Bren­nan, Shane Curry, Ciaran Mc­Cabe, Jack Reynor, Conor Neary, Deirdre O’Kane, Peter Gowan Sheri­dan’s third fea­ture be­gins with a group of teenagers break­ing into a house in the view-rich Mil­lion­aires’ Repub­lic of Dalkey. What fol­lows features co­pi­ous amounts of im­pro­vi­sa­tion and no lit­tle self-in­dul­gence. It’s an in­ter­est­ing ex­per­i­ment, but the se­quence of work­shops never quite co­a­lesces into a work­able film. Still, the cast are all first class, and the film buzzes with raw en­ergy. 16 cert, lim re­lease, 99 min DC END OF WATCH ★★★ Di­rected by David Ayer. Star­ring Jake Gyl­len­haal, Michael Peña, Anna Ken­drick, Amer­ica Fer­rera We’re in­tro­duced to an up­stand­ing young LAPD go-get­ter (Gyl­len­haal) and his trusty part­ner (Peña) on their rounds as the former at­tempts to film for a nightschool project. This fram­ing de­vice is quickly dis­carded in favour of high-speed sirens, bro­mance and the duo’s pur­suit of a drugs car­tel. It’s a cheat, though it does cheat in a man­ner that en­hances the film’s en­ter­tain­ment value. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 109 min TB GAM­BIT ★ Di­rected by Michael Hoff­man. Star­ring Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Stan­ley Tucci Wit­less, id­i­otic up­dat­ing of a 1960s swing­ing-Lon­don ca­per farce fea­tur­ing Diaz as a com­edy Texan, Firth as a com­edy English­man and Tucci as a com­edy Ger­man. Some crit­ics, em­brac­ing the im­pend­ing sea­son of good will, have sug­gested that the en­tire project is a sly pas­tiche that ac­tively em­braces anachro­nism. They may well be right. If so, the pic­ture’s stink has a slightly more com­plex fin­ish. But it still stinks. 12A cert, lim re­lease, 90 min DC NEW RE­LEASE GIRL­FRIEND ★★★ Club, Light House, Dublin, 95 min See re­view, page 13 GREAT EX­PEC­TA­TIONS 12A cert, gen re­lease, 128 min Not pre­viewed for crit­ics NEW RE­LEASE THE HOB­BIT ★★ 12A cert, gen re­lease, 166 min See re­view, page 11 HO­TEL TRAN­SYL­VA­NIA ★★ Di­rected by Gen­ndy Tar­takovsky. Voices of Adam San­dler, Selena Gomez, Andy Sam­berg, Kevin James, Jon Lovitz, Steve Buscemi Vam­pires are so over. How else might one ex­plain Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia, in which an over­pro­tec­tive Drac­ula, voiced by Adam San­dler, must ac­cept that daugh­ter Selena Gomez is all growed up? Weary par­ents will sigh and sharpen their stakes, though smaller folks will be per­fectly con­tent with the film’s mon­ster mash of puppy love, silly voices, shoe­horned mu­si­cal num­bers and flat­u­lence gags. So very over. PG cert, gen re­lease, 91 min TB THE HUNT/JAGTEN ★★★★ Di­rected by Thomas Vin­ter­berg. Star­ring Mads Mikkelsen, An­nika Wed­derkopp Su­perbly grip­ping Dan­ish drama from the di­rec­tor of Festen con­cern­ing a kinder­garten teacher who is hounded al­most to mad­ness af­ter be­ing wrongly ac­cused of child mo­lesta­tion. Mikkelsen is su­perb as the tor­tured pro­tag­o­nist pro­pelled through an un­bear­able gaunt­let, and the film has an unstoppable mo­men­tum and fu­ri­ous mo­ral pur­pose. The only flaw is a rather clumsy metaphor that finds the hero tak­ing time out for a stag hunt. Un­miss­able. 15A cert, QFT, Belfast; IFI/IMC Dún Laoghaire/ Light House/Screen, Dublin, 115 min DC MADA­GAS­CAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED ★★★★ Di­rected by Eric Dar­nell, Tom McGrath. Voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Sch­wim­mer, Jada Pin­kett Smith, Sacha Baron Co­hen, Cedric the En­ter­tainer, Jes­sica Chas­tain, Frances McDor­mand Un­like its pre­de­ces­sors, and with a curt­sey be­fore Her­bie and In­spec­tor Clouseau, the third part of the bil­lion-dol­lar fran­chise traces a fran­tic chase across Europe. It’s a good move for the neu­rotic New York zoo an­i­mals. Freed from the nar­ra­tive con­straints of be­ing ship­wrecked and/or cap­tive, the quar­tet tear through the old con­ti­nent with McDor­mand’s de­mented French cap­tain hot on their re­spec­tive tails. G cert, gen re­lease, 93 min TB THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS ★★★ Di­rected by RZA. Star­ring RZA, Rus­sell Crowe, Cung Le, Lucy Liu, Rick Yune, David Bautista, Jamie Chung The in­es­timable rap­per RZA – whose work with Wu Tang Clan is drenched in mar­tial arts – tests our tol­er­a­tion for vi­o­lent camp to break­ing point (and of­ten be­yond) with this over­long, in­dif­fer­ently acted but pass­ably amus­ing trib­ute to clas­sic wuxia and low-rent 1970s kung fu. Crowe is pre­dictably ex­cel­lent as a fat drunk. Lucy Liu is suave. You can barely make out a word of what RZA says. Still, it will do un­til a proper Tarantino pic­ture comes along. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 95 min DC

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