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The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

TS Spivet - posterDirector: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Writer: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Guillaume Laurant, Reif Larson (novel)

Cast: Kyle Catlett, Helena Bonham Carter, Callum Keith Rennie, Niamh Wilson, Jakob Davies, Judy Davis

Cert: 12

Running time: 105mins

Year: 2013

 

The lowdown: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet returns to English language movies 17 years after his unhappy experience on Alien: Resurrection sent him back to France and into the arms of Amelie. The cumbersomely titled The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet feels like Amelie for kids, with a similarly quirky lead and visual spark. But, while charming, this is missing the edge of Jeunet’s most successful films. Often beautiful, particularly in the crisply shot 3D, T.S. Spivet is like a handsomely crafted automobile… that never shifts out of 2nd gear.

"The Selected works of T.S.Spivet" © Photo: Jan Thijs 2012"The Selected Works of T.S.Spivet"   Day 41 Photo: Jan Thijs 2012

T...

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We Are What We Are (2013)

We Are What We Are - posterDirector: Jim Mickle

Writers: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici, Jorge Michel Grau (original version only)

Cast: Bill Sage, Julia Garner, Ambyr Childers, Michael Parks, Rory Gore, Kelly McGillis

Cert: 15

Running time: 105mins

Year: 2013

 

The lowdown: Dinner is reheated in this American remake of the excellent 2010 Mexican original. Stakeland director Jim Mickle keeps the premise of a cannibal family fighting to stay together in the modern world, but the terrifying sprawl of Mexico City is here replaced with a backwater town, losing the original’s satirical bite. The cast are uniformly good, the photography strikingly handsome, but the omnipresent rain seems to have seeped into the script itself, leaving everything a little soggy.

We Are What Are - Sage, Childers, Garner, dinnerWe Are What We Are - Garner, Childers, window

The full verdict: Full marks to writer/director Jim Mickle an...

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Free Birds

Free Birds - quad posterDirector: Jimmy Hayward

Writers: Jimmy Hayward, Scott Mosier (screenplay). David I. Stern, John J. Strauss (story)

Cast: Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, George Takei

Cert: U

Running Time: 91 mins

Year: 2013

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The lowdown: Reel FX Creative Studios force feeds you its first animated feature. Reggie and Jake are time travelling turkeys attempting to change the Thanksgiving menu for good. Despite the vocal talents of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and the delightful Amy Poehler, this awful offering deserves a thorough roasting.

FREE BIRDSFREE BIRDS

The full verdict: Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday. Traditions such as the President pardoning one turkey each year are largely unknown outside the U...

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Despicable Me 2

DM2-QuadDirectors: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Steve Coogan, Benjamin Bratt, Ken Jeong, Russell Brand

Cert: U

Running time: 98 mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Steve Carell’s reformed supervillain returns with minions and triumvirate of cute moppets in tow for a riotous sequel to the surprise 2010 hit.  What plot there is revolves around Gru’s investigation into the theft of an experimental serum that transforms animals (and people, and minions) into ravenous, psychotic (purple-furred) beasties.  But, as with producer Chris Meladandri’s Ice Age series, the story is a mere launch pad for inventive comic skits guaranteed to tickle your inner minion...

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