Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

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Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

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Article excerpt

Byline: by Charlotte O'Sullivan

MUSCLE SHOALS Cert PG, 108 mins IN the Sixties, a recording studio in Alabama became part of R&B folklore. Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, The Rolling Stones: they all found something unique in Muscle Shoals. The studio's founder, Rick Hall, bubbles over with gruesome stories. Sledge's testimony is full of surprises. The anecdotes work without the music, but if you like the music... it's a stairway to heaven.

CLOSED CIRCUIT Cert 15, 90 mins THE subject matter -- the right to keep secrets -- is interesting enough but this London-set political thriller is a damp squib. A bombing kills more than 100 people in Borough Market and the trial of the supposed-terrorist-ringleader strikes barrister Martin (Eric Bana) as being fishy. He's arrogant but brilliant. "There's nothing to see," complains his colleague. Says Martin, grimly, "There's nothing to look at, which is different." Also annoying is Rebecca Hall, as Claudia, the bomber's advocate. Martin and Claudia once had an affair. We so don't care.

JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA Cert 15, 90 mins JOHNNY Knoxville, playing oldtimer Irving Zisman, left, goes on a road trip with an eightyear-old boy. Much of the comedy is tedious yet the highlights are funny (an obscene beauty pageant act and an Oscar-nominated actress, buried under oldwoman make-up, letting rip).

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 Cert U, 90 mins FANS of the original 2009 kids' cartoon will know to expect psychedelic colours and off-the-wall gags about food. Goofy inventor Flint (voiced by Bill Hader) and his sweetheart, Sam (Anna Faris), are back, along with a Steve Jobs-type baddie and feral "foodimals" but brains and heart are missing from the plot. Early on, a geek wins a prize for creating a car that "runs on cute" (inside the petrol cap, there's a fluffy, adorable critter). This film runs on cute, too. The result? A trip to nowhere.

A MAGNIFICENT HAUNTING Cert 15, 105 mins TURKISH-born Italian director Ferzan Ozpetek wants to be the new Pedro Almodovar. In his kooky story Pietro (Elio Germano; lovely), a lonely, gay wannabe actor, moves into a haunted mansion in Rome. …

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