Film

Review: The Spiderwick Chronicles

By Gerald Aaron, March 20, 2008

  (PG)

Young Jared (Freddie Highmore) hates it when his about-to-be-divorced mother Helen (Mary Louise-Parker) takes him, his twin brother Simon (also Highmore), and older sister Mallory (Sarah Bolger) to live in the dilapidated, Addams Family-style mansion which once belonged to their great, great uncle Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn).

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Review: Lars And The Real Girl

By Gerald Aaron, March 20, 2008

 (15) 

Given its offbeat premise — shy, delusional, small-town bachelor Lars (Ryan Gosling) buys a life-size, anatomically correct woman on the internet and proceeds to pass “her” off as his wheelchair-bound girlfriend Bianca — Lars and the Real Girl could easily emerged simply as a lascivious sex movie.

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Review: Dr Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who

By Gerald Aaron, March 20, 2008

 (U)

Splendid, state-of-the-art animation allied to an appropriate cast and an infectious sense of fun are the keynotes of this charming cartoon version of Dr Seuss’s celebrated story.

Horton, the eponymous elephant, hears a cry for help coming from a speck of floating dust. Unknown to him, the mote contains the entire microscopic city of Who-ville and its tiny inhabitants. Horton goes on to prove himself a hero by saving Who-ville from destruction by disbelievers.

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Review: Meet the Spartans

By Gerald Aaron, March 20, 2008

 (12A)

No joke is too crude, too lewd or too simple-minded in co-writer-directors Jason Friedberg’s and Aaron Seltzer’s anything-goes — and I do mean anything, good, bad and just plain silly — spoof of last year’s sword-and-sandals actioner 300. I admit, with considerable embarrassment, I laughed quite often. But then, how could anyone completely hate a movie in which a Simon Cowell lookalike is pitched into the Pit of Death?

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Shoah film not racist, says writer

By Michal Levertov, March 19, 2008

The man who inspired the Oscar-winning Austrian film The Counterfeiters has denied accusations from the Israeli media that the movie was “antisemitic”. The Counterfeiters, based on the autobiographical book of Holocaust survivor Adolf Burger, tells the story of Jews forced by the Nazis to forge British and American banknotes. However, some leading Israeli film critics have condemned the film as prejudiced.

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The Chassid who got too close to Natalie Portman

By Daniella Peled, March 19, 2008

Most aspiring actors would jump at the chance of starring as Natalie Portman’s husband in a Hollywood movie.

But one young amateur —a Chassidic kitchen-cabinet salesman from Brooklyn — has stepped down from just that role after an outraged response from his community.

Abe Karpen, 25, was to partner Israel-born Ms Portman in one of 12 five-minute romantic vignettes in New York, I Love You, currently shooting in the city.

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Review: The Orphanage

By Gerald Aaron, March 14, 2008

 (15)

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Through a Lebanese lens

By Nick Johnstone, March 13, 2008

In 2006, after Hizbollah provoked Israel into conflict in Lebanon, director Philippe Aractingi shot Under The Bombs, a part-documentary, part-fictionalised road movie set in the midst of the chaos.

Three days into the second Israel-Lebanon war in 2006, an idea came to 43-year-old French-Lebanese Christian film-maker Philippe Aractingi. He would head out to the war zone with a small camera crew and two actors, and direct a film that was part documentary, part fiction — a slice of cinema verité.

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