Short film reviews: January 2011

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THE KING’S SPEECH (12A)

WHEN King George V (Michael Gambon) dies in 1936, eldest son Edward (Guy Pearce) ascends to the throne, but his reign is shrouded in scandal.

Edward abdicates, forcing youngest son Albert (Colin Firth, below) into the spotlight. However, he suffers from a crippling stammer, which renders him unable to deliver public addresses.

With war imminent and the country looking to its King for leadership, Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) approaches unconventional Australian-born speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), and persuades him to help her husband overcome his fears.

THE GREEN HORNET (12A)

MEDIA magnate James Reid (Tom Wilkinson) dies from an allergic reaction to a bee sting, leaving his empire to his wastrel son, Britt (Seth Rogen), a mainstay of the city’s hedonistic party scene.

The son forges an unlikely friendship with his father’s driver, Kato (Jay Chou), and together they fight crime on the city streets. In his guise as The Green Hornet, Britt strikes fear into the heart of the underworld controlled by Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz). Unfortunately, Britt underestimates the determination of Chudnofsky, who intends to swat the masked heroes and seize back control of Los Angeles.

MEET THE PARENTS: LITTLE FOCKERS (12A)

HAPLESS male nurse Gaylord “Greg” Focker (Ben Stiller) is blissfully in love with his wife Pam (Teri Polo) and his twins, Samantha and Henry.

The feisty daughter is giving her father the silent treatment while the boy is becoming fussy about his food. It’s hassle that Greg could do without as he considers a lucrative job offer from pretty drugs rep Andi Garcia (Jessica Albal.

Meanwhile, Pam’s father, retired CIA operative Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), continues to view Greg with suspicion and isn’t sure that his son-in-law is made of the right material to lead the Byrne clan.

127 HOURS (15)

ARON Ralston (James Franco) is an avid mountain climber who made headlines in the summer of 2003 when he became trapped in the Blue John Canyon in Utah, his arm pinned against the wall of the canyon by a heavy boulder.

After five days alone and his strength evaporating in the sweltering heat, Ralston elected to amputate his trapped arm with a pen knife in the hope he could run for help before losing too much blood.

Director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who both won Academy Awards for Slumdog Millionaire, reunite for this electrifying adaptation of Ralston’s memoir, Between A Rock And A Hard Place.

GULLIVER’S TRAVELS (PG)

LEMUEL Gulliver (Jack Black) works in the post room of a New York newspaper, where he pines for travel editor Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet) from afar.

In order to impress the object of his affections, Gulliver blags a travel assignment to the Bermuda Triangle.

Heading out to sea on his boat, Gulliver is swept into a massive, swirling column of water and when he regains consciousness, he discovers that he is a giant in the land of Lilliput.

Feared at first, Gulliver ingratiates himself to King Theodore (Billy Connolly), Queen Isabelle (Catherine Tate) and their daughter Princess Mary (Emily