Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (PG) Nanny McPhee (U) Sky High (PG) Into the Blue (15) Dreamer (U)

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (PG)

This clever and morbidly funny animated fantasy continues Tim Burton's fascination (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas) with the interplay of the living and the dead. Sallow, diffident youth Victor (Johnny Depp) is about to enter an arranged marriage with the daughter (Emily Watson) of two impoverished aristos when he gets lost in the woods and ends up married to a pale and emaciated girl (Helena Bonham Carter), who would make a lovely partner were it not for the fact that she's, er, a corpse.

She whisks Victor off to her own Land of the Dead, where skeletal party people keep up a carnival swing, in contrast to the grey and gloomy goings-on among the living. The animation, which recalls the pointiness and grotesquerie of Ronald Searle, is wonderful, so too the voicework and the denouement of self-sacrifice emerging from the titular bride's unlikely combination of Miss Havisham and Brian De Palma's Carrie. Think of it, as Tim Burton does, as "just a love story with skeletons".

Nanny McPhee (U)

More Working Title tat. Colin Firth plays the widowed father of seven children who are so unruly that a multitude of governesses have fled in terror. Enter Emma Thompson as the rebarbative Nanny McPhee, bulbous-conked, snaggle-toothed, mono-browed, warts and all, who finally brings the brats to heel with her magic walking-stick, and teaches them civility.

Are we dealing with a parent's fantasy here or a child's? Either way, this compound of Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady has been gussied up with a repulsive multi-hued paint job and a screenplay that see-saws between the arch and the sentimental. By the end, proceedings have slumped into a pie fight, a sure sign of flagging inspiration. Only Imelda Staunton as the ex-army cook raises a smile.

Sky High (PG)

This superhero comedy appears to rip off The Incredibles, yet turns out to be a little gem in its own right. The premise is simple: the children of superheroes have to go to school like everyone else, only at Sky High they are streamed into "heroes" and "sidekicks" rather than jocks and geeks.

Freshman Will (Michael Angarano) has two superhero parents (Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston) to live up to, yet seems to have no magic powers of his own. "All I wanted was for him to save the world - just once," moans Dad. Wittily scripted by Paul Hernandez, it plays as a satire on parental expectations and peer pressure, enlivened by a raft of spiffy sight gags and smart performances, not the least of them Russell's take on the all-conquering superhero as a genial egomaniac. If only Harry Potter were half as droll.

Into the Blue (15)

I never imagined I'd be bored by Jessica Alba in a swimsuit, but Into the Blue brought me close. It's not the underwater adventure of treasure-hunting that palls so much as the cast: could there be a blander hero than Paul Walker? The plot is reduced to the devil (drug dealers) and the deep blue sea (sharks), with the sharks giving better performances.

Dreamer (U)

Kurt Russell plays his second family man of the week, this time as a horse trainer who rescues a thoroughbred from the knacker's yard, and hands on the family business to his daughter (Dakota Fanning). Were it not for Fanning's annoying little miss, this would gather up the crumbs of goodwill from Seabiscuit and make a decent family snack.

Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Arts and Entertainment
Swiss guards stand in the Sistine Chapel, which is to be lit, and protected, by 7,000 LEDs
artSistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer, Lord Alan Sugar, Karren Brady are returning for The Apprentice series 10

TV
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder star in 'Girl, Interrupted'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas Pynchon in 1955, left, and Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of his novel, Inherent Vice

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Nicole Scherzinger will join the cast of Cats

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Fans were left surprised by the death on Sunday night's season 26 premiere

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lady Mary goes hunting with suitor Lord Gillingham

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

    Time to stop running

    At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence