Those terrific folks at Pixar, and Pete Docter in particular, have done it again with this wonderfully inventive comedy adventure that sees the inner emotions (Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness) of a little girl trying to cope with her family’s move to a new neighbourhood. Once again, the studio has delivered a script that will appeal to the whole family. And some older members of the family might notice a similarity with cartoon strip The Numskulls that appeared in the Beano and Dandy.
The potty-mouthed bear (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is back and causing chaos after the legal system decides that Ted and wife Tami-Lyn’s plan for making a baby is probably not a good idea. Loyal sidekick Mark Wahlberg is ready and willing to help, but lawyer Amanda Seyfried is driven to find comfort in the occasional exotic cigarette after taking the case. It doesn’t quite hit the spot like the first film, but a sweary beary is still very funny.
Reese Witherspoon plays a police officer escorting the wife of a drug dealer (Sofia Vergara) across Texas and trying to evade crooked cops and criminals along the way. It’s your standard buddy chase movie, but with girls. The two leads are always worth watching, but they’re let down by a derivative script and it soon becomes a case of “move along please, nothing original to see here”.
While it doesn’t always follow that accomplishments as a child actor will lead to stardom as an adult, few who saw Abigail Breslin’s turn in Little Miss Sunshine would be surprised that she has now grown into a serious actress of note. As is proved with this horror thriller in which Abigail plays a girl (the Maggie of the title) who succumbs to a disease that turns sufferers into walking dead. But if Ms Breslin’s performance comes as no surprise, that of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the doting dad who sticks by her does. All grizzled face and scruffy beard, Arnie is the epitome of grim determination and tortured parent.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars here as boxer Billy Hope, who has fought his way to the top from tough beginnings. But one moment of madness and Billy is back where he started, trying to rebuild his reputation and his career. It won’t win any belts for originality, but Gyllenhaal’s visceral performance insures it remains very watchable.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download
ALSO RELEASED THIS WEEK
ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS★★★ This 1964 sci-fi drama (that’s better than the title suggests) gets a dual format release. And Adam “Batman” West is in it.
MR CALZAGHE★★★ A fascinating profile of Welsh-Italian boxer Joe Calzaghe.
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