This week's Cinema reviews!

WESTERN STARS (PG)

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 10:02 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 1:24 pm
Western Stars.

Bruce Springsteen, affectionately nicknamed The Boss, recently turned 70 but he's refusing, politely, to slow down as he canters through a creatively rich period of a musical career stretching back to the mid-1960s.

The 13 tracks of his 19th studio album, Western Stars, provide a contemplative, flowing narrative for this concert film co-directed by Springsteen and long-time friend Thom Zimny, which was shot in the heat of summer in a 19th century barn on the musician's 378-acre horse farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey.

Each song is introduced by a tone poem penned by Springsteen, which burrows into the deeper meaning of the lyrics and their emotional resonance.

Acoustics in the barn are breathtaking as nine cameras capture unguarded moments between musicians, unspoken understanding registered with a nod or shared glance as a chorus soars to the wooden rafters.

"You walk on through the dark because that's where the next morning is," counsels Springsteen during one segment. In Western Stars, we mosey alongside him in exultation.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (PG)

Creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky. The theme tune to Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan's computer-animated comedy based on Charles Addams's newspaper cartoon strips and the 1960s TV series promises plenty of tricks and treats in time for Halloween.

Unfortunately, Matt Lieberman's script is musty and soulless, like the majority of the doom-laden characters, exhumed from the same plot of earth as the Hotel Transylvania franchise, which has already notched up three instalments with a fourth in production.

The Addams Family repeatedly fails to sink its fangs into the deliciously dark and disturbing tone of the source material, softening sharp edges to ensure young children aren't cowering with fear in the dark.

Vocal performances from Charlize Theron and Oscar Isaac as morbid sweethearts Morticia and Gomez are lifeless and a supporting cast of gifted comic actors are woefully short-changed by a script that peddles sentimentality instead of spite.