Film

A Secret

By Gerald Aaron, May 8, 2008

(PG)

Philippe Grimbert’s well-received 2004 autobiographical novel Secret centred on a Parisian Jewish family suffering unspeakable strain during the Second World War German occupation of France.

Now the novel has been sensitively adapted for the screen by director Claude Miller (with Natalie Carter) and transformed into compelling, beautifully played drama.

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I Served The King Of England

By Gerald Aaron, May 8, 2008

(15) A refreshing cynicism pervades Czech director Jiri Menzel’s satirical black comedy. It is an approach that even succeeds in making palatable his diminutive hero Dite’s marriage to a Nazi sympathiser after having to prove his suitability to wed by conveniently discovering his own German background, and then having her gaze at a portrait of Hitler during their wedding night.

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What Happens in Vegas

By Gerald Aaron, May 8, 2008

(12A)

What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, as the saying goes. Not for Jack (Ashton Kutcher) and Joy (Cameron Diaz) in this entertaining screwball comedy, cunningly created with younger multiplex filmgoers in mind.

The couple — he’s a slacker, she’s “awfully hostile for a girl named Joy”, as someone remarks sagely — meet in the Nevada gambling capital where Joy is drowning her sorrows having been dumped by her boyfriend. They drink to excess, marry in haste and then win a fortune.

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Cashback

By Gerald Aaron, May 8, 2008

(15)

Writer-director Sean Ellis has very enjoyably expanded his prize-winning short film into an offbeat fantasy-comedy feature.

Art student Ben Willis (Sean Biggerstaff) is so distraught when his girlfriend leaves him that he falls victim to chronic insomnia. Resolving to make use of his extra eight hours of wakefulness, he goes to work the night shift at Sainsbury’s.

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Speed Racer

By Gerald Aaron, May 8, 2008

(PG)

Youngsters inured to video games and television cartoon idiocies should enjoy the visceral impact of this simplistic and painfully noisy, excessively-flashy orgy of special effects.

Racing driver Emile Hirsch battles to win an all-out race to redeem his family’s honour and avenge his brother’s death.

The frequently incomprehensible plot is simply a peg for ostentatious movie magic created at the behest of writer-director-producers Wachowski Brothers (the pair behind the Matrix trilogy).

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Iron Man

By Gerald Aaron, May 8, 2008

(12A)

Producer Avi Arad, who successfully helped spawn superhero hits like Spider-Man, X Men and The Fantastic Four, succeeds again as yet another character from the seemingly endless library of Marvel Comics soars into the sky.

The screenplay keeps up with current affairs by having playboy arms billionaire Tony Stark (played with relish by Robert Downey Jr) devising the prototype of his invincible armoured suit while held captive by terrorists in Afghanistan.

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Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead

By Gerald Aaron, May 1, 2008

(15)

British filmmaker Stuart Urban’s deeply affecting documentary, which seeks to uncover the truth about his father Garri’s past, often seems too incredible to be real.

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Deception

By Gerald Aaron, April 27, 2008

(15)

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Stop-Loss

By Gerald Aaron, April 27, 2008

(15) Co-writer/director Kimberley Peirce’s drama follows decorated US sergeant Brandon King’s (Ryan Phillippe) return to small-town Texas home after combat service in Iraq. King looks forward to returning to civilian life, only to be trapped by the US Army’s stop-loss policy which allows the US government to continue to call soldiers back for further tours of duty. King justifiably reacts adversely against recall, bringing him into conflict with his authority-accepting friend, Steve (Channing Tatum).

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The Eye

By Gerald Aaron, April 27, 2008

(15)

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