Cops hunt down vil­lains in post-war LA. A great deal of money has been spent mak­ing this film look like one of those pe­riod plays what Ernie used to write for More­cambe and Wise. A shame­less trans­po­si­tion of from Chicago to Los An­ge­les, the film is laden

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - LISTINGS - TB DC TB DC DC DC TB TB TB TB DC

DJANGO UN­CHAINED Di­rected by Quentin Tarantino. Star­ring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Sa­muel L Jack­son, Don John­son It’s two years be­fore the Amer­i­can Civil War and Django (a car­nal, smoul­der­ing Foxx) and an im­pos­si­bly lo­qua­cious Ger­man part­ner (Waltz) head off to Candy­land to free Django’s wife from the evil clutches of Leonardo DiCaprio. Un­chained bor­rows from the spaghetti west­ern and the rape-re­venge fan­tasy to avert any need for the im­pend­ing split in the Union. Sly ref­er­ences to Gone with the Wind and The Dukes of Haz­zard dec­i­mate the white­washed de­pic­tions of plan­ta­tion life of­fered up since the ad­vent of mov­ing pic­tures. Tarantino goes big and bold. 18 cert, gen re­lease, 165 min NEW RE­LEASE FIRE IN THE BLOOD Club, IFI, Dublin, 84 min See re­view, page 13 FLIGHT Di­rected by Robert Ze­meckis. Star­ring Den­zel Washington, Don Chea­dle, Melissa Leo, Kelly Reilly, John Good­man, Bruce Green­wood The first 30 min­utes of Flight fea­ture one of the most thrilling and dis­turb­ing avi­a­tion catas­tro­phes ever com­mit­ted to cel­lu­loid. Hav­ing flung us to earth in such spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion, Ze­meckis then set­tles down to an ac­cept­able, some­what flabby, oc­ca­sion­ally im­plau­si­ble tale of al­co­holism and re­demp­tion. Washington is su­perb as the pi­lot with a taste for booze. But the strange, im­bal­anced struc­ture dis­con­certs through­out. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 138 min FOR ELLEN Di­rected by So Yong Kim. Star­ring Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Shaylena Mandigo Me­an­der­ing in­die drama from the un­ex­cited di­rec­tor of Tree­less Moun­tain. In Five Easy Pieces, Jack Ni­chol­son’s char­ac­ter was rest­less and ni­hilis­tic. But this dis­af­fected drama and its ne’er-do-well pro­tag­o­nist are too psy­chi­cally adrift for the viewer to get in­volved in any mean­ing­ful way. It’s al­most as though we’re work­ing to­ward an in­verted, non-hu­mor­ous ri­poste to John Good­man’s line in The Big Le­bowski: Say what you like about ni­hilism, at least it’s an ethos. Club, IFI, Dublin, 94 min GANG­STER SQUAD Di­rected by Ruben Fleis­cher. Star­ring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Sean Penn

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The Un­toucha- clunky B-movie clichés: guns with in­ex­haustible mag­a­zines, coats that don’t crease, cops’ wives who feel wid­owed by their hus­bands’ work. For­get it, Jake. It really ain’t Chi­na­town. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 112 min A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD Di­rected by John Moore. Star­ring Bruce Wil­lis, Jai Court­ney, Se­bas­tian Koch, Yuliya Sni­gir, Radi­voje Bukvic, Cole Hauser Wil­lis stomps vi­o­lently around Moscow in the lat­est un­der­whelm­ing ad­di­tion to the weary ac­tion fran­chise. To call the film per­func­tory would be to in­sult prop­erly per­func­tory events, such as that visit to your least favourite un­cle or the mes­sage you wrote on the leav­ing card for Mar­jory from ac­counts. The lo­ca­tions are well used; one or two sharp quips hit home. It doesn’t over­stay its wel­come. But enough al­ready. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 97 min NEW RE­LEASE THE HARDY BUCKS MOVIE 16 cert, gen re­lease, 89 min See re­view, page 13 HITCH­COCK Di­rected by Sacha Ger­vasi. Star­ring An­thony Hop­kins, He­len Mir­ren, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Toni Col­lette, Jes­sica Biel, Danny Hus­ton Hitch­cock lands in cinemas with the dull thud of a corpse mi­nus the Bernard Her­mann ac­com­pa­ni­ment. A daft tale of mys­tery and peep­holes fash­ioned around the pro­duc­tion of Psy­cho, this slight, friv­o­lous drama goes through the mo­tions with all the en­thu­si­asm of a late fran­chise prequel. Ger­vasi, the di­rec­tor of the sub­lime Anvil: The Story of Anvil, knows well to pep­per the pro­ceed­ings with Hitch­cock­ian cuts and chi­canery. But oc­ca­sional flair and an A-list cast are sim­ply not enough to carry this er­ratic ori­gins story. Hop­kins is so en­tombed in pros­thetic jowls that there might be any num­ber of peo­ple un­der there. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 98 min THE HOB­BIT: AN UN­EX­PECTED JOUR­NEY Di­rected by Peter Jack­son. Star­ring Martin Free­man, Andy Serkis, Ian McKellen The first sec­tion in Jack­son’s lu­di­crously overextended three­part adap­ta­tion of a neat, per­fectly formed chil­dren’s book of­fers un­happy in­sights as to what’s gone wrong with the movie in­dus­try. Fea­tur­ing buck­ets of ex­tra­ne­ous chat­ter and too much prepara­tory fuss­ing, the movie barely finds time to set the characters loose on their quest. The story fi­nally takes off when Serkis ar­rives as Gol­lum, but, by then, the movie is be­yond sav­ing. Avail­able in dis­tract­ing 48 frames-per­sec­ond 3D in some un­lucky venues. 12A cert, lim re­lease, 166 min I GIVE IT A YEAR Di­rected by Dan Mazer. Star­ring Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris, Simon Baker, Stephen Mer­chant, Min­nie Driver, Ja­son Fle­myng, Olivia Col­man Fol­low­ing a per­func­tory mon­tage in­volv­ing cute meet­ings and cuter pro­pos­als, Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall launch them­selves into an orgy of bick­er­ing, sneer­ing, scowl­ing and low be­hav­iour. Fea­tur­ing all the usual Work­ing Ti­tle tropes (it even be­gins with an aw­ful best-man speech), Mazer’s film is far too sour to work as a main­stream rom­com. But ev­ery­thing is point­ing in that di­rec­tion. Maybe we’re all too in thrall to genre. Who knows? It still doesn’t make any sense. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 97 min THE IM­POS­SI­BLE/ LO IM­POSI­BLE Di­rected by Ser­gio G Sánchez. Star­ring Naomi Watts, Ewan McGre­gor The tragic In­dian Ocean earth­quake of 2004 is trans­lated into a crass mar­riage of white man’s bur­den and “hol­i­days from hell” in this sur­pris­ingly in­com­pe­tent drama from the di­rec­tor of The Or­phan­age. Os­car-nom­i­nated Watts and new­comer Hol­land put in solid per­for­mances as a Span­ish (played as Bri­tish) mother and son caught up in the chaos of a tsunami. They are but small pos­i­tives in a grander mess. 12A cert, lim re­lease, 113 min Di­rected by David Gelb Jiro Ono, the owner and head sushi chef of Sukiyabashi Jiro, is con­sid­ered to be the great­est

JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI sushi shokunin in the world. Book­ings at his tiny Tokyo restau­rant have to be made year in ad­vance – it’s the only eatery un­der a rail­way arch to have gar­nered three Miche­lin stars. This fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary por­trait of the man and his food traces the out­line of a po­ten­tially Shake­spearean dilemma, then gives in to the rhyth­mic sound of chop­ping fish. PG cert, Light House, Dublin, 81 min LES MISÉRABLES Star­ring Hugh Jack­man, Rus­sell Crowe, Anne Hath­away, Amanda Seyfried Spir­ited adap­ta­tion of the hit 1980s mu­si­cal high­lights both the virtues and the de­mer­its of the source ma­te­rial. Hooper’s much-touted Big Idea was to have the ac­tors sing live on set. The gam­ble has, for the most part, paid off. Jack­man is solid as the ex-con­vict pur­sued through 19th-cen­tury France by Crowe’s melod­i­cally un­cer­tain cop. Hath­away chews her part into pieces. Seyfried can do noth­ing with the weedy Cosette. Un­for­tu­nately, it loses steam in the sec­ond act. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 158 min LIFE OF PI Di­rected by Ang Lee. Star­ring Su­raj Sharma, Ir­rfan Khan Against the odds, Lee man­ages to make some­thing gen­uinely mag­i­cal of Yann Martel’s al­le­gor­i­cal novel con­cern­ing a young man trapped in a lifeboat with a Ben­gal tiger. The “spir­i­tual” sub­texts are a bit cosy and un­threat­en­ing, But Lee, as ever, in­vests the tale with real emo­tional punch. The com­put­er­gen­er­ated im­agery strays into the fan­tas­tic for a pur­pose and,

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