IN&OUTTONIGHT 36 Thursday, 12 November 2009 London Lite I f nothing else, at least you know where you stand with a Roland Emmerich movie -- on the precipice of a wormhole into another galaxyinStargate,orsnowed into the new York Public Library in the Day After tomorrow. So as you nestle into 2012 -- a disastapocolypsci-fi movie based on the Mayan calendars ropey prediction for 21 December, 2012 -- you know its going to be big (Emmerich admits 2012 is his largest-scale script and that he used 500,000 tons of steel to build the stage rigs alone); its going to be bombastic (with a budget of $200m the special effects team werent taking any tips from the Mighty Booshs DiY scrapbook); its going to be about as scientifi- cally accurate as a toddlers theory on where babies come from, and its going to be seri- ously bloody long. John Cusack is Jackson Curtis, the everyman character, a work- aholic writer moonlighting as a limo driver whose wife has taken their two kids and left him for a plastic surgeon. he hauls the nippers off camping one week- end, only to stumble upon a US army military airfield in Yellowstone national Park and a loopy conspiracy theorist, embodied in a crazy-eyed Woody harrelson, broadcasting his end- of-the-world theories from a caravan in the woods. Meanwhile, over in plotline number two, Chiwetel Ejiofor is a scientist desperate to convince Danny glovers US president that the world is on an egg timer and that he needs to a) let everyone know and b) concoct a plan to get everyone out. the only prob- lem is, where do you put the whole world when the whole world ends? And when you realise that you cant save everyone, do you bother letting the people youre leaving behind know whats around the corner? naturally, Emmerich focuses less on the moral quandary posed here and more on making sure that when the Sistine Chapel falls, it cracks right down the middle of the fingers of god and Adam, and that it looks damn expensive. Sorry, damn realistic. And boy does this movie -- a futuristic noahs Ark fable, if you will -- look expensive. its moderately stressful disas- ter porn that shuns originality and embraces predictability. But, hey, it could have been worse. Emmerich might have written the Jackson Curtis role for Curtis fiddy Cent Jackson. Come to think of it, a disas- tapocolypsci-fihiphopcomedy? now thats original. REVIEWSCINEMA 2012 Cert 12A, 158 mins HHIII Endoftheworld isnigh-onawful Swanks pilotbiopic failstosoar AmeliA eArhArts life was, you imagine, anything but dull. the first woman to fly across the Atlantic would, youd think, have plenty of great dinner party banter. But a combination of hilary swank (a great actress in too blandly chirpy a role), richard Gere and ewan mcGregor (two of the dullest people alive) makes this biopic drag like an unsatisfactory tailwind. Directed by mira Nair (Vanity Fair), Amelia features glossy thirties wardrobe and make-up -- neer a freckles out of place on swanks dappled cheeks -- and focuses on the glamorous days of earharts career, when she was supping with eleanor roosevelt and charming the simpering men around her, rather than the mystery surrounding her eventual disappearance on her 1937 attempt to fly round the waistband of the world. Chocolate box-pretty but bland as Dairy milk. M DE L Cainepunishesmercilessly Harry Brown Cert18,103minsHHHHI Alsoshowing... dfhkgUre et: velit iril ute modipis eugaitRe High-flyer: Amelia Earhart (Swank) Amelia Cert PG, 111 mins HHIII REVIEW BY MARTHA DE LACEY iF you cant beat em, beat em up is michael Caines modus operandi as harry Brown, an ex-marine and lonely widower living on a rough elephant & Castle council estate. he turns vigilante on a gang of thuggish hoodies who murder his dearest friend, len, in their grubby underpass hangout. the action is, you can imagine, more Dirty harry than harry Potter, though len is played by David Bradley -- Filch the caretaker at hogwarts. But the knives, guns and syringes full of potions would make even Professor snape shudder. Director Daniel Barber crafts an impressively poetic view of broken Britain, one that juxtaposes the frantic aggression of youth crime with the slow, measured pace of those thought too old to fight back. the opening scenes -- handycam footage from the back of a BmX featuring kids tearing around the estate loaded up on drugs, randomly shooting at babies -- recall Justices harrowing music video for their aptly named track, stress. Contrasting scenes of harry and len playing chess in their dusty local have a quietness that you know cant last, especially not when the bored yobs start posting burning dog excrement through lens letterbox. emily mortimer and Charlie Creed-miles play moral cop and bored cop, respectively, two symbols of flaccid authority who seem merely tools for the ever-excellent Caine to use as props in his film. this is a touching, powerful movie that, instead of just being a crime drama, is a character study about one man reclaiming his patch. A word of warning, though. Anyone considering seeing this should youtube the Justice video first. if that unnerves you, stick to harry Potter. M DE L Vigilante: Harry (Caine) Thats all folks: John Cusack and Lily Morgan foR those of you with an unquenchable passion for both car racing and Aussie actor Eric Bana (at least three of you, right?), his home-made and often funny documentary, Love The Beast (Cert 15, 88 mins, HHIII), about a 25-year obsession for his ford gt falcon Coup ought to tickle something, even if it does feature Jeremy Clarkson. ondi timoners internet documentary, We Live In Public (Cert 15, 89 mins, HHHII), tracks bonkers nineties dotcom pioneer and experimental artist Josh harris and is all together more frightening. Even if it doesnt feature Jeremy Clarkson. Paul giamatti plays a neurotic fictional version of himself in Cold Souls (Cert 12A, 101 mins, HHHII), Sophie Barthess self- indulgent but thoughtful existential comedy about a soul-swapping service that tips its hat to David o Russells i huckabees and everything by Charlie Kaufman, but without quite as much style or colour. And Ang Lees Taking Woodstock (Cert 15, 120 mins, HHHII) is a gentle but bursting-with-colour dramatisation of the memoirs of Elliot tiber, the man who agreed to hold the 1969 music festival on a dairy farm in his hamlet, White Lake, after Woodstock withdrew the licence. fewer cowboys, more naked hippies. M DE L Spirited: Katheryn Winnick in Cold Souls 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.html52.html53.html54.html55.html56.html57.html58.html59.html