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Reviews

Film round-up November 08

ChocolateAvoiding verbal cliché and religious labels, the comedy Ghost Town (cert 12a; 102 mins) is a gentle Ricky Gervais vehicle about a selfish man who is, quite literally, born again - thanks to near death experiences and an earthbound New York ghost played by Greg Kinnear.

The big budget action conspiracy thriller Eagle Eye (cert 12a; 117 mins) has Shia LaBoeuf and Michelle Monaghan given running mobile phone survival instructions. Robot takeover ideas come from 2001 and The Terminator, but the mayhem's the thing.

The Thai action film Chocolate (DVD, cert 18; 88 mins) casts the rising starlet JeeJa Yanin (pictured) as an agile autistic girl delivering stunts which have to be seen to be believed.

In South Korea's brilliant but bleak psychological thriller A Bloody Aria (uncertificated; 115 mins) a lecturer with less than honourable intentions drives a girl student into the middle of nowhere in his Mercedes only to encounter a gang of youthful thugs.

More disturbing still is the 26-year-old The Animals Film (DVD, cert 15) presented in both the original 1982 cut (130 mins) and an updated (120 mins) one, the former including scenes excised from Channel 4 transmission. Articulating humanity's horrific and hidden exploitative relationship with animals, it's both a ticking bomb and a documentary film form landmark.

A lighter but poignant documentary, Young@Heart (cert PG tbc; 108 mins) captures singing rehearsals of the eponymous senior citizens group covering The Clash, Sonic Youth and Jimi Hendrix numbers for an upcoming gig, some of them dying en route from age related illnesses.

Continuing the trend of documentaries on heavy metal bands, Heavy Load (cert 12a; 91 mins) are a band of care home residents and support workers - and the instigators of the Stay Up Late campaign to allow residents to go to pubs etc. without having to go home before other punters because of support worker job demands. Compelling, but not quite to the same degree as Heavy Metal In Iraq.

Jeremy Clarke