Tim Burton's Corpse Bride **** - It's frustrating to try and review this. I want to give it *****, because it's a brave project and, in its own way, a remarkable achievement. But I feel I ought to give it ***, because the story is weak: love triangles can never be resolved both happily and satisfactorily, and Corpse Bride ducks out. Neither the story nor the songs are as effective as Burton's earlier Nightmare Before Christmas, but the romance is sweeter and the animation inspired. If, in five or ten years time, Burton makes another animation combining the best elements of both films, then it will certainly be brilliant.
Mystic River *** - Clint Eastwood directs this rather depressing tale of three friends torn apart in childhood by terrible circumstances, then thrown back together as adults under equally appalling conditions. It's well made and brilliantly acted, but it is never clear what the overall message of the film is and offers no hope of redemption for its ultimately tragic hero.
Ghost In The Shell *** - An animé that pushes all the proper Japanimation buttons - cyborgs, violence, hi-tech futurescapes. The animation is, occasionally, stunning, but the plot, which draws obvious parallels with The Matrix, is too confusing and lacking in heart to be truly memorable.