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Thursday, December 25, 2014


Friday nights on Studio Universal are dedicated to comedy, presenting the most side-splitting silliness and slapstick Hollywood has to offer. This month’s movies check in on famous faces before they made their names.

Adventureland on January 2 features Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg. Set in 1987, Eisenberg plays James Brennan, who was planning a summer trip to Europe until a collapse in the parental finances nixed it. Instead obliged to get a job at the local theme park, he comes to realise it’s a very different education but a thoroughly rewarding one.

The Battle of Shaker Heights on January 9: Stars Shia LaBeouf as Kelly, a young war re-enactment enthusiast who has shown that he can apply his military knowhow to dealing with the trials of high school. But just as many great conquerors were ultimately undone by hubris, so Kelly risks alienating his friend and mentor with an advance too far.

Gettin’ Square on January 16: Sam Worthington takes one of his first starring roles in. He plays a freshly-released prisoner determined to stay clean but beset by pressures and temptations to go back to a life of crime. Timothy Spall and Lord of the Rings star David Wenham also feature.

Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood on January 23: This may seem an oddly familiar title – that’s because this early effort from the Wayans brothers gleefully mocks every familiar trope from films showing the mean underside of America’s inner cities. How will young Ashtray cope when he finds himself in a ludicrously tough new neighbourhood?

Teaching Mrs Tingle on January 30 qualifies. While Helen Mirren was already a star when she played the eponymous steely teacher, Katie Holmes was a new arrival. She co-stars as the driven student determined that Tingle’s grudge won’t stand in the way of her being valedictorian at the class graduation ceremony.