London Lite Thursday, 22 October 2009 31 Babyspellstrouble I EXPECTED more from the makers of terrifying Wolf Creek. The first half of this Australian thriller is basically a docu-drama about IVF treatment. And though theres no shortage of suspense, the farcical violence destroys the tension thats been built up. Rob (Rob Taylor) and Jess (Lisa Chappell) have tried for a baby for three years until a one-night stand with local weirdo Evan (Sam Parsonson), does the trick. Except Evan is set on proving his paternity. The government could use Coffin Rock to warn teens against one- night stands with psychos, but other than that its pretty unnecessary. LP Coffin Rock Cert 15, 89 mins REVIEWSCINEMA The hard sell: Jeremy Piven Slicksalesmenare floggingbadjokes Scary: some of the child actors in Johnny Mad Dog are ex-soldiers Shockingviolence inarmyofchildren THIS brutal film about civil war in an African country punches you right between the eyes. An army of child soldiers -- played by Liberian youngsters, some actual ex-fighters -- invade an unnamed city to depose a tinpot dictator. They wear fairy wings and wedding dresses and have names like Johnny Mad Dog (Christophe Minie) and No Good Advice (probably not after the Girls Aloud song). High on coke, they spray bullets into anyone who gets in their way. A son is forced to murder his father. A middle-aged woman is raped. The violence is so horrifying it hurts to look. Jean-Stephane Sauvaires debut film has a terrifying ring of truth to it: genuine war photos shown in the end credits could be stills from the film. If you can stay with it -- youll need to hold your nerve -- it will really stay with you. AMBER COWAN The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard. Cert 15, 90 mins Johnny Mad Dog Cert 15, 98 mins The Cove Cert 12A, 90 mins at REVIEWS in Fox an old desire, and enlisting the help of dozy opossum Kylie (Wally Wolodarsky, very good), he decides to embark on one last job. Of course, this is a dumb decision -- one that becomes even dumber when he takes along his athletic nephew Kristofferson (Eric Anderson) without telling his son Ash (Jason Schwartzman), a kid whos desperate to prove to his father that hes as charismatic and devil-may-care as the old man. (Obviously, hes not -- hes a wet flannel). Although Foxs forays into the farms are initially fruitful, the farmers waste no time in exacting revenge, and Fox, his family and all the other woodland animals are at first forced into hiding. Then, when the farmers get really nasty, the wild creatures find that theres only one course of action -- bloody confronta- tion with their human enemies. There is much that is fine here. The stop-motion animation, shrouded in gorgeously warm autumnal hues, is expressive, witty and the height of retro-cool. Mr Fox, for example, in his three-piece suit, could have wafted in straight from the fashion pages of Esquire. There are some good lines, too. When Mrs Fox confronts her husband to demand an explanation for why he lied to her about having gone back to his old, nefarious ways, Fox replies simply and without fear of contradiction: Because Im a wild animal. The supporting cast, including Jarvis Cocker as a dim troubadour, is excellent, especially Michael Gambon as the evil farmer Bean with a performance that more or less steals the film. Unfortunately, there are also many niggles. The film is clearly set in England but all the animals have American accents. And Anderson doesnt really take the climactic action sequences too seriously. Instead, hes overly interested in the father-son dynamic, which is a shame because were not -- Ash is a little whinger who needs to pull himself together. Finally, good luck to all parents who, while negotiating Andersons circumspect attitude to swearing in a kids film (all expletives are replaced by just one word, cuss), find themselves trying to explain what a cluster-cuss is. Rather you than me. Animal magic: Mr Fox (voiced by George Clooney) THOSE enlightened souls who watch the TV series Entourage will be aware of Jeremy Pivens fantastically rude and arrogant Hollywood agent, Ari Gold. Here, in his first leading role since the show made him a star, Piven plays a fantastically rude and arrogant car sales- man, Don Ready. There is, however, a difference. Entourages script is slick and funny, while The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard. has the kind of messy, scattergun script that marked the likes of Police Academy 5 and 6, whereby for every half- decent sight gag, you have to sit through a hundred terrible one-liners and puns. So, this tale of a mercenary band of travelling car salesmen pitching up to save a troubled dealership in onamissionforthedolphins Temecula, California is very occasionally amusing but when the funniest scene in the movie features a cameo from Will Ferrell, you know the pickings are slim. You also wonder whether Piven is a one-trick pony. Bring on season six of Entourage. PC IF YOURE the kind of person who has dolphins on your duvet cover, youll be weeping for a week at this documentary exposing Japans slaughter of the marine mammals. Richard OBarry, who trained the dolphins in Flipper, became aware of how unhappy his charges were when one committed suicide (yes, really) in his arms. I never planned on being an activist but now any time a dolphin is in trouble, I get a phone call, OBarry explains, making him the obvious choice to highlight the goings-on in the Japanese town of Taiji. The sensitive creatures are sold to dolphinariums for 90,000 apiece. And while the lives they face there are grim, The Coves focus is on those that arent sold on and are instead ferried into a hidden bay that no ones allowed anywhere near. OBarry teams up with first-time director Louie Psihoyos, a couple of freedivers, a man who makes fake rocks they can hide cameras in and, er, Heroes star Hayden Panettiere who sits on a surfboard until shes chased off by aggressive local fishermen, to reveal the location of most of Japans annual 23,000 dolphin slaughters. The breadth of this film spreads beyond an Oceans Eleven- style mission to obtain footage from the cove. It also exposes the futility of the Japan-dominated International Whaling Commission (dolphins are small whales) and the fact that the dolphin meat thats sold on to schools contains dangerously high levels of mercury. However, its the footage they capture in the bay that will keep you awake at night and have you reaching into your pocket the next time youre asked to donate to the WWF. LAUREN PAXMAN Sneaky: one of the crew hides a camera in a fake rock to film at the cove 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.html