High School Musical 3: Senior Year(11 mins, U)
The High School Musical phenomenon began with a Disney Channel TV movie in 2006. It was a massive hit. Suddenly, the shops were flooded with merchandise, and the film's leading teen, Zac Efron, became a new poster boy. A sequel followed in 2007, and now the franchise has graduated to cinemas for part three – surely the first time a television film has spawned a big-screen threequel. The secret of its stratospheric success seems to be that it's as much of a cartoon fairy tale as anything else Disney has ever produced. This high school is a place with no swearing, no violence, no academic work, no drink or drugs, and no sex or kissing. Three other things 'HSM3' doesn't have, though, are jokes, a plot, and memorable songs: every number sounds like a New Kids on the Block album track.
Chocolate (88 mins, 18)
'Chocolate' is the latest Thai martial arts extravaganza from Prachya Pinkaew, the director of 'Ong-Bak'. He's hopeless when it comes to talky scenes, but once the fists and feet start flying you'll either be cheering or wincing with vicarious pain for the rest of the film. Its unlikely action heroine is a slight young woman, JeeJa Yanin. Her gymnastic fights have all the inventiveness, athleticism, grace and timing of a Fred & Ginger dance routine, with the bonus that you get to see bad guys being kicked in the face. The finale, which flits along the ledges of a multi-storey building, could be one of the best screen punch-ups ever made.
A Bloody Aria (115 mins, 18)
A lecherous music professor is giving a pretty student a lift in his new Mercedes when he insists they stop off at a remote beauty spot. A simpleton with a baseball bat wanders up, which appears to signal a yokels-vs-townies torture-fest, but this crisply shot Korean genre-bender isn't quite so straightforward. There's blood aplenty, but you can never be quite sure which character is going to spill it next.
Nicholas BarberReuse content