Inside I'm Dancing (15)<br/>Shark Tale (U)<br/>Boo, Zino and the Snurks (U)<br/>White Chicks (12A)<br/>Chinese Odyssey 2002 (nc)<br/>Fat Slags (15)<br/>The Big Kahuna (15)<br/>Billabong Odyssey (PG)

Three cheers for the two chairs - and two fingers if you don't agree
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The Independent Culture

It's a truism that the quickest way to win an acting award is to play someone with a disability, but that shouldn't put Bafta voters off nominating James McAvoy for his wired, caustic performance in Inside I'm Dancing (15). He plays Rory, who has muscular dystrophy. He can hardly move any part of his body except his mouth and two fingers of one hand, which is appropriate considering that he's a mouthy troublemaker who sticks two fingers up at the world. Relocated to a dull Dublin nursing home, he meets Michael (Steven Robertson), a shy, clever young man with cerebral palsy, and he galvanises his new friend to move out of the institution and into a flat of his own - and maybe even into the affections of his carer, Romola Garai.

It's a truism that the quickest way to win an acting award is to play someone with a disability, but that shouldn't put Bafta voters off nominating James McAvoy for his wired, caustic performance in Inside I'm Dancing (15). He plays Rory, who has muscular dystrophy. He can hardly move any part of his body except his mouth and two fingers of one hand, which is appropriate considering that he's a mouthy troublemaker who sticks two fingers up at the world. Relocated to a dull Dublin nursing home, he meets Michael (Steven Robertson), a shy, clever young man with cerebral palsy, and he galvanises his new friend to move out of the institution and into a flat of his own - and maybe even into the affections of his carer, Romola Garai.

Damien O'Donnell (East is East) has fashioned a pacy, life-affirming film that will be admired by those who see it, but which might not be seen by many. Refusing to be sentimental or patronising, Inside I'm Dancing falls down the gap between populist mawkishness and painful realism.

Computer-animated cartoons have been better than any other kind of Hollywood movie in recent years, which is why Shark Tale (U), pleasant as it is, seems so underwhelming. It's the story of a fast-talking fish, voiced by Will Smith, who gets on the wrong side of the ocean's own Mafia codfather, a shark voiced by Robert De Niro. The rest of the vocal cast is just as prestigious. Jack Black, Renée Zellweger, Martin Scorsese and Angelina Jolie are all on board, which is lucky, because the film's one and only idea is to make the piscine characters resemble their voice actors. Visually, there's nothing in Shark Tale's marine setting to take the breath away as Finding Nemo did. And the level of wit is indicated by the product placement puns: instead of Burger King we get Fish King.

The surprise of the week is that Shark Tale is beaten for verve and flair by Boo, Zino and the Snurks (U), Europe's first computer-animated feature film.

Made in Germany, but voiced in English, it's an action-packed children's fantasy about a gang of foot-high, Hobbity adventurers who are teleported from their bucolic shire to a grimy Earth city where toddlers and sewer rats are deadly dangers.

White Chicks (12A) is the second unofficial remake of Some Like it Hot this year. First there was Connie and Carla, in which two women disguised themselves as drag queens. Now there's a film in which two black FBI agents (Shawn and Marlon Wayans) have to stake out an upper-crust Hamptons hotel in the guise of air-headed heiresses.

It's weirdly apolitical: you'd think a film called White Chicks would have some opinions on race and gender. But as a slapstick comedy it's so lively and well constructed that you can forgive the cross-dressed Wayans brothers for looking less like Caucasian females than waxwork dummies of Peter Stringfellow.

The Wayans are responsible for the Scary Movie franchise. If they did a similar parody of Crouching Tiger/hero-type martial-arts epics then it would be a lot like Chinese Odyssey 2002 (nc), a zany, frenetic comedy produced by Wong Kar Wai. It's funny at times, and it's often as sumptuous to look at as the films it pastiches, but over all it's proof that some jokes just don't travel.

Staying with comedy, very broadly speaking, Fat Slags (15) is a jaw-droppingly misjudged live-action movie of the Viz comic strip. It's officially one of the worst films ever made.

Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito star in The Big Kahuna (15), a snappy chamber piece about three salesmen who teeter on the verge of an existential crisis as they prepare their pitch in a hotel's hospitality suite.

DeVito gives the most human performance of his career, but anyone who's seen Glengarry Glen Ross or The Business of Strangers will feel they're being sold second-hand goods.

Billabong Odyssey (PG) is a documentary about a posse of dudes and dudettes on a mission to find, and surf, the biggest wave in the world. There's nothing in it to match its awesome opening shot, which shows a mountain of water rearing up and looming over a surfer like Godzilla on the march.

n.barber@independent.co.uk

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