The Dukes of Hazzard (12A)
Between 1979 and 1985, The Dukes Of Hazzard were the kings of Saturday tea-time television. Every week the "two good ol' boys" roared around Hicksville, Georgia, in a turbo-charged stock car with a Confederate flag emblazoned on the roof, outrunning Boss Hog and Sheriff Roscoe P Coltrane, with the aid of their uncle Jesse and their barely dressed cousin Daisy. The bad news is that the inevitable film version has rolled up. The worse news is that it's scripted by the same writer as the Starsky a nd Hutch film - presumably a specialist in adapting television shows about a blond guy, a brunette guy and a car with an iconic Seventies paint job - and he's followed the same rule of thumb: forget about developing a proper screenplay, just turn out a production-line episode of a TV series that was already retrogressive 25 years ago, and then toss in a few mentions of sex and drugs. No one has souped up the film with any of the extra realism, depth, subversion or budget that you might expect. And even the cast is distinctly televisual, with two of its stars, Johnny Knoxville and Jessica Simpson, being better known for their MTV programmes than for anything on the big screen.
The Cave (12A)
If The Cave had come out a year from now, you'd think it was a Hollywood remake of The Descent. It's an almost identical story of explorers who drop into an uncharted cave system, and are mistaken for a fast-food delivery by the albino troglodytes that have been evolving down there. The differences are that the actors have whiter teeth than the ones in The Descent, and more money has been spent on effects and scuba scenes. But The Cave is a hair-raising horror romp in its own right. If only someone hadn't had the numbskulled idea of chopping out the gore and swearing to get it a 12A certificate.
The Mighty Celt (12A)
Tyrone McKenna is a Belfast schoolboy who works part-time for a greyhound trainer. Ken Stott is his grudgingly paternal employer, but he's also an IRA hardliner with guns stashed in the potting shed. Robert Carlyle is a paramilitary who's turned his back on violence. Gillian Anderson is McKenna's single mother and Carlyle's ex. And Celt is a greyhound that the boy is training. Mix those combustible elements together and you should get an explosive story. But, in the case of The Mighty Celt, you don't. Having introduced its characters and their conflicts, the film goes out of its way to avoid doing anything exciting with them. It's a respectable, well-acted production, with some pleasant urban and rural scenery, and with fiddles and mandolins all over the soundtrack. But it's as thrilling as a dachshund race.
The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lavagirl in 3D (U)
Max spends so much of his time dreaming about superheroes that two of them appear in his classroom one day and rocket him away to the world he's conjured up. Written, directed, shot and edited in Texas by Robert Rodriguez, and inspired by his young son's fantasies, The Adventures... has the sincerity and imagination that would never have made it into a major studio film. But it's also messily structured, and too similar to Rodriguez's last two Spy Kids films. And while the 3D treatment may add another dimension, it takes away most of the colour.
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (PG)
It's usually groups of boys who appear in films about that one summer in their teens "when everything changed... forever", but it's the girls' turn in The Sisterhood, a junior chick flick in which four inseparable 16-year-olds separate for a month. One jets off to Santorini to meet her big fat Greek family. One is a half-Puerto Rican who goes to stay with her dad and his new Wasp fiancée. One goes to a football training camp where her eye is on the coach more than it's on the ball. And one is a sarcastic goth who reluctantly acquires an assistant when she's making a documentary. The title refers to a shared pair of jeans, which each of the girls keeps for a week before posting it on to one of the others. Co-written by Delia Ephron, and based on Ann Brashares' novel (no doubt an Oprah favourite), The Sisterhood is saturated with crises, crushes, wish-fulfilment and female-bonding, but in a much less patronising and false way than I'd feared. Anyone in the target demographic will do a lot of sniffling during the film, and a lot of hugging her friends afterwards.Reuse content