BEE MOVIE (PG) (All major cinemas)

JERRY Seinfeld tends to leave the showbusiness world baffled by his stubborn refusal to play by the accepted rules.

Here is a star who made his name in stand-up comedy, created a TV series about himself that had no story or character arcs but ran for nine years, acclaimed as the greatest of all time – and then he drops off Planet Hollywood almost without trace.

So there are no lame rom com attempts to graduate to big screen success, no feeble efforts to follow up his glory days with an inferior TV comedy – he hasn’t even showed an interest in hosting a chat show!

Just who does this guy think he is!

Well, he happens to be one of the richest celebrities in the world, who can do whatever he likes, whenever he likes. And – now that he’s a family man – that happens to be an animated comedy about bees.

OK, so the film is garnering the most lacklustre reviews of Seinfeld’s career but he’s hardly likely to care a jot about that – especially when armies of families have been flocking to US multiplexes to check out his (albeit voice only) comeback.

He provides the vocals for the lead character of Barry B Benson, our stripey hero who is determined to buzz off and see the world before conforming to a life of industriousness in the hive.

During his adventure, he is saved from the swat by a young woman (Renee Zellweger), prompting the first human-bee romantic relationship in the history of movies.

Seinfeld also produced and co-wrote with some of his old TV show buddies (with the regrettable exception of Larry David) and the accepted wisdom seems to be that while the finished result is amicable, likeable and watchable, it is not quite up to the great man’s high standards.


ENCHANTED (U) (All major cinemas)

DISNEY’S recent animation efforts (outside Pixar’s classics, of course) have been rancid beyond belief so when this picture opens with a deeply traditional 2D cartoon, you could be forgiven for fearing the worst.

Stick with it and you are going to be treated to the most irrresistably charming piece of work to come out of the Mouse Kingdom since the first Pirates of the Caribbean picture.

The central gimmick here is taking the staple diet of Disney fairy tales – sweetly innocent princess, dashingly heroic prince, wicked queen – and tossing them all into the real world of New York before watching cultures clash to compelling effect.

It could have been a disaster but for once, the studio has assembled just the right talents to pull it off, ranging from Tarzan director Kevin Lima to main star Amy Adams whose performance here is so utterly exceptional it is even being spoken of in Oscar nomination terms!



ALTHOUGH Zach Helm was responsible for writing the weird and wonderful Stranger Than Fiction, his directorial debut is a little sickly sweet to achieve that movie’s cult status.

Dustin Hoffman plays a wonderfully optimistic 243 year old owner of a magical toy shop who is genuinely looking forward to the next adventure that awaits him – dying!

Before he heads off into the great unknown, he is keen for his only staff member, Natalie Portman, to take over running the emporium but she has significant confidence issues.


WE OWN THE NIGHT (15) (All major cinemas)

ECHOES of The Departed resonate through this crime drama which pits the kinetic acting skills of Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg against each other.

Phoenix is the boss of a club owned by the Russian mafia in Brooklyn who has a background that would get him killed if it was revealed: dad Robert Duvall and brother Wahlberg are both cops.

But when his family becomes the target of the underworld where he has made his home, Phoenix is forced to decide exactly where his loyalties lie.