All aboard the Ark in search of a new Earth

All aboard the Ark in search of a new Earth

Battle for Terra (cert. PG) has taken a long time to get here, having had its first outing in 2007 at the Toronto Film Festival; an earlier seven-minute short dates from 2003. Now this animated film, aimed at children, comes piggybacking on the phenomenal success of Avatar. Made independently, it certainly cost a lot less. […]

DVD Review

DVD Review

Darwin: The Voyage that shook the world Cert G/52 mins This documentary film mixes period recreations with contributions from both sides of the creation v evolution debate to make it a powerful and gripping film. Produced by Creation Ministries, the film has already been shown in churches up and down the country, and was the […]

Can rugby really unite the world in union

Can rugby really unite the world in union

Invictus (dir. Clint Eastwood, cert. 12A) tells the story of South Africa’s victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, a coup for Nelson Mandela in his attempt to create a post-apartheid rainbow nation. Morgan Freeman, recovered from his 2008 car accident, plays Mandela, and a bulked-up Matt Damon plays François Pienaar, the captain of the […]

CD of the Week

Ashley Cleveland: God Don’t Never Change (E1 Entertainment) Given the soulfulness of her vocals, Cleveland was born to make this definitive white-girl-does-gospel album. A backing singer on some 300 releases, the gritty voice that makes Ashley Cleveland in demand for session work is both a blessing a curse for her solo work. Its strength is […]

Film of the week

Film of the week

What do you fancy? Romantic comedy or the growing genre of post-apocalypse? Two of the latter sort of movies are around. Both have a man crossing a post-disaster America. If he’s got his son with him it’s The Road (cert. 15), based on Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize novel. If he’s on his own, it’s The […]

Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

In Where the Wild Things Are Spike Jonze takes the “much-loved” children’s book by Maurice Sendak and expands it to feature length. I confess to being underwhelmed by the original book, despite its awards and a lot of people analysing its thin plot. Bad boy gets sent to bed, in his imagination escapes to a […]

Nowhere Boy

Nowhere Boy (cert. 15, released Boxing Day) takes us into John Lennon’s teenage years, and to his relationships with his mother Julia (Anne-Marie Duff) who abandoned him and his Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas) who raised him. Both Duff and Thomas were nominated for the British Independent Film Award for best supporting actress; Anne-Marie Duff […]

The Kronos Quartet / Floodplain

San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet have grown their huge reputation largely by pushing the boundaries of what you can do with two violins, a viola and a cello. This disc continues that tradition, mixing a few challenging tracks in among the distinctive radio-friendly three-minute pieces (Tashweesh and Ya Habibi Ta’ala). The sumptuously packaged collection is based […]