SHORT­CUTS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMOVIES -

NEW RE­LEASES

The Ad­ven­tures of Tin Tin: Bel­gian car­toon artist Hergé was thrilled at the prospect of hav­ing his most fa­mous cre­ation, Tintin, brought to life by Steven Spiel­berg. Sadly, Hergé isn’t around to see The Ad­ven­tures of Tintin, Spiel­berg’s crisp, richly ren­dered an­i­mated adap­ta­tion, which could be counted as both a suc­cess and a fail­ure. Spiel­berg has brought Tintin to the big screen all right, but not quite to life.the film’s mo­tion-cap­ture tech­nol­ogy, while im­pres­sive, is too silk­ily seam­less, mak­ing all the hec­tic ac­tion on-screen seem oddly cold and dis­tant. On the sur­face the film is unim­peach­able, but the sur­face is where it stays. That’s why, when all the chases, fights, stunts and stand-offs are over, it’s ul­ti­mately no great shakes. The Ides of March: The film is based on Beau Wil­limon’s 2008 play Far­ragut North but Ge­orge Clooney – who di­rects and stars in this snappy, well­crafted but ul­ti­mately empty adap­ta­tion – changed the ti­tle, pre­sum­ably in def­er­ence to view­ers who may not be fa­mil­iar with Washington’s Metro sys­tem.the new ti­tle also tele­graphs that some­one in this story of US re­alpoli­tik at its most cut-throat will get it in the end. Will it be Stephen My­ers (Ryan Gosling), the gifted, ci­pher-like me­dia con­sul­tant work­ing for Demo­cratic gov­er­nor Mike Mor­ris? Will it be Paul (Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man), Steve’s boss and sea­soned po­lit­i­cal hack who, with his pro­tégé, is try­ing to clinch the Ohio pri­mary for Mor­ris? Duffy (Paul Gia­matti), the crafty op­er­a­tive work­ing for Mor­ris’s op­po­nent? Or will it be Mor­ris, por­trayed by Clooney as a hand­some, charis­matic cam­paigner, who be­gins his stump speech with the stir­ring words, “I am not a Chris­tian. I am not an athe­ist… My re­li­gion is writ­ten on a piece of pa­per called the con­sti­tu­tion.” Clooney does a good job open­ing up the ideas Wil­limon ex­plored on­stage, but the re­sult is still a pes­simistic truth so uni­ver­sally ac­knowl­edged it doesn’t bear re­peat­ing, how­ever stylishly. Hoofmeisie: An Afrikaans-lan­guage com­edy about a group of pri­mary school girls and their par­ents vy­ing for the girls to be­come head girl of Laer­skool Stumbo Pops. Not re­viewed Don 2: Hav­ing con­quered the Asian un­der­world, Don has his sights set on Euro­pean dom­i­na­tion. In his way are the bosses of the ex­ist­ing Euro­pean un­der­world and all law en­force­ment agen­cies. Not re­viewed

ON CIR­CUIT

Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chip­wrecked: The third film about the an­i­mated chipmunks sees the lit­tle crit­ters go on a cruise and get ship­wrecked with the Chipettes. Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble – Ghost Pro­to­col: This film is a fun re­boot of the ac­tion ad­ven­ture se­ries, fea­tur­ing nifty gad­gets, ex­otic lo­ca­tions and im­pos­si­ble stunts, cour­tesy of a re­laxed Tom Cruise in great form. Arthur Christ­mas 3D: It’s a de­light­fully warm and fuzzy Christ­mas tale for a con­tem­po­rary au­di­ence that fills them in most imag­i­na­tively about the way Santa copes, yet never los­ing sight of the Christ­mas spirit. Brighton Rock: This adap­ta­tion of Gra­ham Greene’s novel trans­plants the ac­tion to the 1960s, but still em­pha­sises the story of a man who tried to do things his way. Beau­ti­ful char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion and act­ing. Don’t be Afraid of the Dark: A scary film where the scares peter out far too quickly. This Guillermo del Toro­pro­duced film plays out like a dry run of Pan’s Labyrinth. Drive: Men­ace-laden and moody, this is an art-house ac­tion flick about a stunt driver who moon­lights as a get­away car driver. It’s steeped in neon-drenched 1980s ac­tion flicks and al­ter­nates be­tween hyp­notic slow takes and hy­per-ki­netic vi­o­lence. Not for the faint-hearted. New Year’s Eve: If you’ve seen Valen­tine’s Day, then there is no need to see this of­fer­ing from Gary Mar­shall. Yet the blooper reel is hi­lar­i­ous and bet­ter than the film. Puss in Boots 3D: The fea­ture-length an­i­mated spin-off – a star turn for the Shrek sup­port­ing char­ac­ter voiced by An­to­nio Ban­deras – is al­most shock­ingly good. And not just be­cause many will ap­proach it with low­ered ex­pec­ta­tions. Af­ter ap­pear­ances in the last three Shrek out­ings, who would have thought that Puss would land on his feet when thrown into a movie of his own? It turns out he does, mainly be­cause the movie tosses him in a com­pletely new di­rec­tion, and about as far away from the ear­lier films as pos­si­ble.

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