REVIEWSCINEMA 32 Thursday, 24 September 2009 London Lite REVIEWSCINEMA Clever: Darwin (Paul Bettany) and daughter Annie (Martha West) HauntedDarwinis agoodmixofDNA Dyerdisappointment Scary: a robot surrogate Body electric: the dance routines are put together by Madonnas ex-choreographer Whatashamefame Surrogates Cert 12A, 89 mins HHHII Jack Said Cert 18, 101 mins HIIII The Soloist Cert 12A, 116 mins HHIII REVIEW BY PAUL CONNOLLY Seethelatesttrailersonline>> Astriking testament THIS sprawling family saga set against a backdrop of radicalism opens in May 1968 with free-loving students Catherine (Laeticia Casta), Yves (Yannick Renier) and Herve (Yann Tregouet) leading the revolution before leaving uni and setting up a hippy commune outside Paris. But while they live their dreams, their kids grow up to reject them. At least 40 minutes could have been shaved off, but finding a three-hour French drama that grips you throughout is a bit of a revelation. LP Born In 68 Cert 18, 173 mins HHHII Creation Cert PG, 108 mins HHHHI Two friends onsongbut violinhits abum note THIS poorly shot, shoddily acted and astonishingly tension-free gangster film is a low, even for Danny Dyer. Were supposed to be gripped by a plot that gradually reveals why reluctant gangster Jack (Simon Phillips) is so angry with gang bosss daughter Natalie (Ashlie Walker). Meanwhile subplots about fellow gangster Nathan (Dyer) and his sisters relationship with Jack dilute any suspense. Everything is explained too early, leaving no incentive to watch the film to the end. LAUREN PAxmAN W oAH, could this be any more aimed at oscar judges? Robert Downey Jr, who is enjoying a most unlikely renaissance and is now often labelled the finest actor of his generation, plays a jaded journalist, Steve Lopez, who befriends a homeless, violin-playing schizophrenic, Nathaniel Ayers, played by Jamie Foxx. Cue much musing on the power of music and friendship, some beautiful photography and bugger all else. The film is based on Steve Lopezs book -- drawn from his series of Los Angeles Times articles -- about his meetings and subsequent friendship with Ayers, who, Lopez discovers, was once a highly touted musical prodigy who attended Juilliard, the prestigious performing arts conserva- tory in New York. Lopez, commend- ably, strives to encourage Ayers out of his psychological cage, a cage hes built for reasons that never really become very clear. As Lopezs columns gain attention, he insists that Ayers can only play a donated cello at a shelter for the homeless and he more or less forces Ayers off the streets in order to try to help him fulfil his potential. There are many problems with this film but the two central performances are not among them. Downey Jr HoW to film the life of a man as influential and monumental as Charles Darwin? While there may be some dimwits who refuse to accept his findings on evolution, most of us understand that he changed science and our view of the world forever. So this take on Darwins life is a surprising one. However, in choosing to focus on Darwins domestic life, director Jon Amiel has made a surprisingly astute decision. Paul Bettanys Darwin comes across as a conflicted, clever, brave and loving man whose relationship with his Christian wife, Emma, (Jennifer Connelly, once curvy and comely, now with more angles than a dodecahedron) suffered as he became increasingly certain that a superior being had nothing to do with evolution. He was also a man tormented by the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter Annie and its this relationship (Annie, played by Martha West, regularly appears as a ghost) and the effect that her death has upon his marriage that takes up as much of the film as Darwins scientific enquiry. oddly enough this works, as Creation is as much about love, forgiveness and compromise as it is about natural selection -- and its this winning mixture of DNA which is likely to help it survive and prosper at the box office. PC NoTHINg to do with babies, Bruce Williss latest action vehicle is a seriously non-cute peek into what might happen if we allow robots to do everything for us. In Brucies world, humans lie in reclining chairs, pop on silly specs and live their lives through surrogate robo-people. All would be tickety-boo if it werent for a bunch of robo-haters who dont like these machines and instead scamper about wasteland, waving sticks and burning surrogate effigies. FBI man Bruce must investigate a homicide when one anti- robot protester gets hold of a weapon which seems to be killing surrogates as well as their human operators. Daft fun. m DE L Daftrobotssendin Willistohuntakiller IN&OUTTONIGHT index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html