The Runaways

The Runaways
Attitude goes a long way. That statement actually ends up explaining the short-lived successes of all-girl rock outfit The Runaways as well as that of the titular film. Both had the capacity for greatness but fell short – and if it wasn't for the image and posturing, both would likely be just as forgettable. Instead, the new film from writer/director Floria Sigismondi (who previously worked in and around the music video scene) is stylish, fast and disposable with enough smeared lipstick and running eyeliner to make your typical pop starlet blush.

At the centre of what is essentially a sexed up teen rock-drama are Kristen Stewart, who most teens will recognize for her lead role in the Twilight films, and Dakota Fanning, the doe-eyed blonde child star of just about every horror-thriller in want of a doe-eyed blonde child star.

Fanning finally ditches her precocious and plucky ways with a darker role that may well alter her image permanently. Likewise Stewart portrays rock legend Joan Jett with edge and vitriol as she powers into the spotlight as songwriter and guitarist of The Runaways – a manufactured rock outfit with some actual chops. Fanning falls into the line-up after eccentric slime ball manager Kim Fowley (a wonderfully hammy and flamboyant Michael Shannon) takes a shine to her and puts her vocals to the test.

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A l'aventure

A l'aventure
À l'aventure, the latest erotic film from France's most lurid enfant terrible Jean-Claude Brisseau, is yet another film meant to be divisive and which I find myself on the fence about. The director's obsessions are still there: the gothic interiors and fascination with architecture, the concept of freedom from one's own self and, of course, the image, sound, and process of the female orgasm. Philosophy and psychoanalysis have their place here, rolling off the tongues of a young man and an older taxi driver, but they're riding shotgun; the female of the species is far more deadly than the male.

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Dinoshark

Dinoshark
Why does it feel like this review should be written in capital letters? Perhaps this is just the influence of the DVD tagline, which screams at high volume: FROZEN FOR 150 MILLION YEARS… NOW HE’S HUNGRY!

Following closely on the heels/fins/tentacles of recent schlock cult hit “Sharktopus” is “Dinoshark”, which basically sees legendary B-movie mogul Roger Corman serving up more of the same, with yet another beach resort being terrorised by an unlikely though hungry aquatic fiend. The film certainly has a suitable helmer in Kevin O’Neill, a man who previously swam similar waters with “Dinocroc”, as well as working on visual effects for the likes of the “Piranha” remake and the “Feast” series. Somewhat unusually for this kind of direct to DVD, made for cable foolishness, the film actually has a pretty decent cast, with a handful of semi-recognisable faces, including headline stars Eric Balfour (“Skyline”) and Iva Hasperger (“Exorcism”). The film hits region 2 DVD shortly via Anchor Bay in an extras-free, bones edition, not that it particularly matters.

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School for Scoundels

School for Scoundels
School for Scoundrels feels like a wasted opportunity. This is a case of a motion picture failing to unlock the promise of a ripe potential. As black comedies go, this one is too tepid to hit any mark by which a movie is deemed successful. The darkness isn't the problem. If anything, the movie isn't dark enough. Director Todd Phillips lacks the strength of conviction to take the production down a path that veers too far away from the mainstream crowd-pleasing road. Plus, the one-upsmanship forming the backbone of the story isn't all that clever and the jokes lack punch. Taken in concert, these things result in a forgettable motion picture.

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Jurassic Park III

Jurassic Park III
Relatively speaking, Jurassic Park III is a disappointment of behemoth proportions. With Steven Spielberg gone from the director's chair (replaced by Jumanji's Joe Johnston), the Jurassic Park saga has sunk down to its B-grade monster movie roots. The concept of a human character has been replaced by a cardboard cut-out, each of which serves one of two purposes: to run away from the dinosaurs or to be eaten by them. The "synthespians" of Final Fantasy would have been perfectly at home in Jurassic Park III. There's no need whatsoever for human actors.

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Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich
These days, critics (and non-critics, for that matter) are fond of complaining about how multiplexes are populated by cookie-cutter motion pictures that follow safe, formula-derived patterns designed to please audiences who want a different version of a story they have already seen dozens of times. And, while there's some truth to the maxim that "there's nothing new under the sun," Being John Malkovich tries hard to be the exception. Admittedly, the themes addressed by the movie - those of identity, celebrity, and manipulation - are familiar, but the manner in which director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman address them is fresh and inventive. I'm not arrogant enough to claim that nothing like Being John Malkovich has ever previously been committed to celluloid, but, if it has been, I haven't seen it.

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Holiday in the Sun

Holiday in the Sun
Madison (Mary-Kate Olsen) and Alex (Ashley Olsen) Stewart are twin sisters from Illinois who are whisked away to Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas by their parents for winter break.

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Intermission

Intermission
Lehiff (Colin Farrell) is a petty criminal always involved in trouble. Lehiff’s nemesis, Garda Detective Jerry Lynch (Colm Meaney) presents himself as a savior who fights the "scumbags" on Dublin’s streets, and enlists the help of Ben Campion (Tomas O'Suilleabhain), an ambitious film-maker and the bane of his "go-softer" boss, who considers Lynch too nasty a subject to be shown on a mainstream “docusoap” series on Irish terrestrial TV.

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Blueberry aka Renegade

Blueberry aka Renegade
In the 1870s, U.S Marshal Mike S. Blueberry tries to stop Wally Blount, the man who killed his girlfriend, from getting to a stockpile of gold hidden in Indian territory. On his way, he meets Prosit, a German villain on a persistent mission to find gold in the Superstition Mountains.

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Jim Norton: Monster Rain

Jim Norton: Monster Rain
Jim Norton performs stand up comedy.

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Steel Magnolias

Steel Magnolias
Annelle Dupuy (Daryl Hannah), a recent beauty school graduate, is hired by Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton) to work in her a home-based beauty salon. M'Lynn Eatenton (Sally Field), a good friend of Truvy's, and her daughter, Shelby (Julia Roberts), arrive at Truvy's to prepare for Shelby's wedding which is taking place later that day. Also arriving at the salon are Ouiser Boudreaux (Shirley MacLaine), a grouchy, two-time widow, and Clairee Belcher (Olympia Dukakis), also a widow, who is cheerful and enjoys taking cracks at Ouiser whenever possible. During an argument with her mother over whether or not she should bear a child, Shelby, who is a diabetic, falls into a state of hypoglycemia, but is quickly resuscitated by her mother and the other women in the salon.

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Back to School

Back to School
Millionaire businessman Thornton Melon is upset when his son Jason announces that he is not sure about going to college. Thornton insists that college is the best thing he never had for himself, and to prove his point, he agrees to enroll in school along with his son. Thornton is a big hit on campus always throwing the biggest parties, knowing all the right people, but is this the way to pass college?

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Last of the Dogmen

Last of the Dogmen
Modern bounty hunter Lewis Gates is hired to track down three dangerous fugitives who have escaped into the Montana wilderness. When the fugitives are found murdered, Gates has a mystery on his hands. Accompanied by anthropologist Lillian Sloane, Gates ventures further into the mountains and discovers an isolated settlement inhabited by a Native American tribe thought to have been wiped out by white settlers a century earlier. The two gradually begin to gain acceptance within the tribe, but when Gates vengeful ex father-in-law, Sheriff Deegan, leads a posse into the mountains, Gates and Sloane must prevent the tribe from being massacred a second time.

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Madly in Love

Madly in Love
Devan, ein in der Schweiz aufgewachsener Tamile, will dem Wunsch seines Vaters, Raja, gerecht werden und eine arrangierte Heirat eingehen. Doch vor der traditionellen Hochzeit verliebt er sich unsterblich in eine Europerin, Leo.

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My Blueberry Nights

My Blueberry Nights
Elizabeths heart is broken. For solace, she drops in late at night a few times at Jeremys diner for blueberry pie a la mode they talk. Once, he watchers her sleep, her head on the counter. Abruptly, she leaves New York City to get away from her pain. She works a couple of jobs in Memphis. There, a heart-broken cop is drinking himself into oblivion, his ex occasionally showing up where he drinks and Lizzy works. Then, shes in Nevada, working at a casino where she uses her savings (she wants a car) to stake Leslie, a busted gambler, in a high rollers game. After, Beth drives Leslie to Vegas where Leslies estranged father lives. Broken relationships. What about Jeremy?

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Naked Fear

Naked Fear
In a small town a number of strippers have been mysteriously disappearing. Diana, a new arrival to town soon finds out why when a mysterious gun man kidnaps her for a terrifying game of hunter and the hunted . Set free naked in the wild she is forced to try and outwit her captor before she becomes his latest victim.

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