by Matthew Freemantle and Garth Breytenbach
Alpha Dog Nick Cassavetes was the director responsible for the smart, snappy crime thriller Narc a few years ago, the success of which had Hollywood's top producers queuing up to sponsor his next picture. Perhaps a little tipsy on the freedom he was afforded, or maybe out to prove that Narc was not fluke, Cassavetes chose to retell the true story of a group of Californian teenagers who kidnap the younger brother of a gang rival and, courtesy of a string of moronic decisions, find themselves trying to cover up a murder. Emile Hirsch plays the lead delinquent and Justin Timberlake the role of his right hand man. Bizarrely, Timberlake is less than appalling, but sadly neither he, nor the outstanding Ben Foster as a rival gangster, can save Alpha Dog. It wants to be so much more, but sadly, this dog is a mongrel.

The month of the Three-peat June sees three beloved franchises return to the screen, but early reviews recommend caution. Some punters from across the pond are calling Shrek the Third unnecessary and indulgent, Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is being panned as overly-stylised and patience-testing and while Ocean's 13 is yet to be released in the US, it's fair to say the film has some work to do to wash out the bitter aftertaste of a below par sophomore.
We're still going to watch them all anyway though, aren't we?

Brendan Jack tells us what to see, what to avoid and why
See These:
  • Glengary Glen Ross - The cast, the clever swearing
  • Withnail and I - The fear
  • This is Spinal Tap - Definitive mockumentary
  • Crazy Monkey: Straight Outta Benoni - Intellectual tour-de-force
  • The Dreamers - Bernardo Bertolucci, man.

  • Avoid These:
  • Baby Geniuses - Genius talking babies who speak like adults.
  • Baby Geniuses 2 - See above.
  • End of Days - Huge budget spent on so little.
  • Lake Placid - The crocodile.
  • Anaconda - J-Lo, the anaconda. Enough said.