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Arts & Culture

On the couch

New TownKillersDirected by: Richard JobsonStarring: Dougray Scott, Alastair Mackenzie, James Anthony PearsonDark, gritty and surprisingly disturbing, New Town Killers is a low budget Edinburgh-based chase movie that exceeds every single expectation one might have about “this sort of thing”.The set up is simple: down on his luck Sean is broke and lives in a lousy part of Edinburgh with his sister. Sis is 12 grand in debt to some seriously dodgy sorts and, desperate to help her out, Sean grasps at an opportunity presented to him by some well-heeled types to make back that exact sum of money.All he has to do is avoid them for 12 hours – like a big, creepy game of hide and seek.But all is not as simple as a fast-paced scamper about town with a bit of parkour thrown in for excitement. To start with, our scrawny hero, Sean, isn’t some buffed-up parkour superhero. He’s clever, but not a genius; lucky but not freakshly. …

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Cast away for the pay

Couples RetreatDIRECTED BY: Peter BillingsleySTARRING: Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, MalinAckerman, Jason BatemanCERT: 15A YOU can hardly begrudge gifted individuals an off day. Or a day when they might feel like just putting the old brain on the back-burner and going through the motions for a pay cheque. Fire away. Knock yourself out. I just don’t want to have to see it.And yet here we are. Couples Retreat is written by and stars Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, two very funny men with a proven record in the fields of both rib-tickling and side-splitting.It also stars the excellent Jason Bateman, and several other very talented people. But it is rubbish, merely another example of the kind of lazy, juvenile nonsense that passes for comedy now – made all the worse because most such movies do not have this kind of talent on board.When infertile married couple Jason and Cynthia (Bateman and Kristen Bell) manage to persuade six of their friends to …

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