Reaching for the sky

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The title, Planes (Cert U), makes no attempt to disguise that this is a spin-off from Disney-Pixar’s Cars and signals it has little ambition to be original.

We are again in a world without humans whose characteristics belong to machines.

Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook) is a crop-duster who dreams of becoming a racer and qualifying for a place on the Wings Around the Globe rally despite his humble engine and fear of heights.

Coached by veteran war plane Skipper (Stacy Keach) with the loyal encouragement of mechanic Dottie (Teri Hatcher) and fuel truck Chug (Brad Garrett) he manages to defy the odds and finds himself lining up alongside elite racing planes including reigning champion Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith), stiff upperlip Brit Bulldog (John Cleese), and Indian competitor Ishani (Priyanka Chopra) and flighty French-Canadian Rochelle (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).

Now how you divide aircraft on gender lines is not a question it would occur to an under seven to ask and this is a film squarely aimed at that age group with little to appeal to adults, though it is harmless enough.

As a film which recounts a political scandal in Sweden in the 1970s when members of the establishment were linked with prostitution, Call Girl (Cert 18) makes us think of our own Profumo scandal.

But the film proceeds to focus on how two 14-year-old girls were drawn into the prostitution ring.

Director Mikael Marcimain was second unit director on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and it shows, not only in the depiction of humdrum surveillance and meetings in smokey rooms but in its look of Seventies brown decor and fashion.

Though the film begins confusingly with time shifts and secretive encounters with various men who all look the same with large glasses and Seventies haircuts Call Girl ultimately becomes quite gripping as we work out who is who.

Iris (Sofia Karemyr) and her friend Sonja (Josefin Asplund) are rebellious kids in care whose sense of adventure leads them into the clutches of Dagmar Glans (Pernilla August).

Dogged cop John Sandberg (Simon J Berger) wages a one-man campaign to see justice served but you fear his efforts are doomed.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s documentary, Blackfish (Cert 15) tells the story of a killer whale, Tilikum, who has been involved in the deaths of three people.

Along the way the director-producer presents shocking footage and interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the sea-park industry.

To this end she challenges SeaWorld’s claims whales in captivity live longer and that the death of a keeper which opens the film was caused by human error.