Bratz in movies and rats in kitchens

2008-10-02 08:05

THIS week sees six films opening on the local circuit - Ratatouille (CineCentre and Ster Kinekor); Are We Done Yet (Ster Kinekor); Disturbia and Bratz: The Movie (CineCentre) and Darling and Half Nelson (Nu Metro)

• Half Nelson is directed by Ryan Fleck and won a Best Actor Oscar nomination for its star, Ryan Gosling. Shareeka Epps and Jeff Lima also star. The plot concerns an inner-city high school teacher with a drug habit (Gosling) who is befriended by a pupil who discovers his secret. It promises to be an intelligent, well-told film.

• Bratz: The Movie is based on the dolls - the ugly sub-Barbie genre. It follows the adventures of four clothes-obsessed teenage girls who go to high school as friends, only to become members of different cliques. But ultimately, it's all about the fashion and is aimed squarely at the sub-teen market. Sean McNamara directs and Nathalia Ramos, Janel Parrish, Logan Browning and Skyler Shaye star.

• Are We Done Yet? Is directed by Steve Carr, a sequel to last year's Are We There Yet and stars Ice Cube and Nia Long. Newlyweds Nick and Suzanne decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for her two children. But their idea of a dream home runs into problems with the builder from hell.

• Darling is a Swedish film, written and directed by Johan Kling and starring Michelle Meadows, Michael Segerstrom and Richard Ulfsater. There is not a lot of information available, but the story concerns the coming of age of a young girl in an upmarket suburb of Stockholm. It won the Nordic Film Prize for Best Film. Subtitled.

• D. J. Caruso directs the horror thriller Disturbia, which obviously draws on Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window for its plot. A teenager is gated at home for hitting his teacher, and becomes convinced that his neighbour is a serial killer. Some reviewers overseas liked it; some thought it was dire. Starring Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, Carrie-Anne Moss and David Morse.

• Ratatouille has been very well received everywhere. An animated film from the Pixar stable, it concerns the adventures of a country-living French rat who heads off to Paris as he loves cooking and wants to be a chef. But most top restaurants don't want a rat in the kitchen, so he has to go to extraordinary lengths to fulfil his dreams. Brad Bird directs and voices include Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Lou Romano, Brian Dennehy and Peter O'Toole.

- Arts Editor.

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