WESTERN STARS (PG, 82 mins) Four stars

Time waits for no man except for Bruce Springsteen.

The New Jersey-born rocker, affectionately nicknamed The Boss, recently turned 70 but he's refusing - politely - to slow down as he canters through a creatively rich period of his musical career, which stretches back to the mid-1960s.

In 2016, he bared his soul and exorcised demons in the autobiography Born To Run.

The best-selling hardback sowed the seeds of a concert residency in New York entitled Springsteen On Broadway.

The two-hour show without intermission was booked for an eight-week run at the 975-seat Walter Kerr Theatre.

Critics swooned and ticket scalpers profited handsomely as the limited engagement extended three times to 236 sold-out performances - a Herculean effort recognised with a special honour at the 2018 Tony Awards.

In June this year, Springsteen released his 19th studio album Western Stars, a tribute to the rugged landscape of Southern California and the music of Burt Bacharach and Jimmy Webb, written in the voice of a world-weary Western movie star reminiscing in his twilight years.

The LP's 13 tracks 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.

Sweat glistens on Springsteen's arms as he plays the album in its entirety, accompanied by a 30-piece orchestra under the musical direction of Rob Mathes.

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

"The older you get, the heavier that baggage becomes that you haven't sorted through," he solemnly philosophises.

Melodic meditations on the fragility of human relationships ("You don't know how to hold onto love but you know how to hold onto hurt") are enriched with impeccably photographed images of Springsteen in Joshua Tree National Park or old Super 8 footage including home movie from the 1950s and an extended clip of Springsteen and wife Patti Scialfa's 1988 honeymoon.

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

The 10th track, Stones, unites Springsteen and wife Scialfa at the same microphone in close-up, beautifully validating The Boss's assertion that, "we're always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces and something whole emerges."

What emerges from Springsteen and Zimny's film is a politically conscious and unabashedly romantic showman, who continues to take each day as it comes.

"You walk on through the dark because that's where the next morning is," he counsels.

In Western Stars, we mosey alongside him in exultation.

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE (15, 128 mins) Three stars

Set 27 years after the cataclysmic events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, when Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and son John (Edward Furlong) erased Skynet from our future timeline, the bombastic sixth chapter in the ageing franchise enjoys a welcome software upgrade in the shadow of the MeToo movement.

Scriptwriters David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray hardwire a belated sequel to the second chapter with a trio of strong-willed and gutsy female characters, who are mistresses of their own rubble-strewn destiny.

These flawed, self-sacrificing heroines are the heart and soul of director Tim Miller's entertaining gallop down memory lane, which melds precious metals from previous instalments with a touching mother-daughter relationship against a backdrop of large-scale destruction and slam-bang digital effects.

The long-awaited on-screen reunion of Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger is withheld until the muscular second hour, delivering a surprisingly touching pay-off amidst the usual blitzkrieg of earth-shaking pyrotechnics and hand-to-metal combat.

Nuance has never been in the series' armoury and with James Cameron reinstated as producer, Terminator: Dark Fate gleefully wages war on land, underwater and in the clouds, including a dizzying set piece orchestrated inside the cargo bay of the US Air Force's largest transport aircraft.

Mankind's unlikely saviour is kind-hearted and unassuming Daniella Ramos (Natalia Reyes), who works on the assembly line of Arius Motors in Mexico City alongside her lazybones brother (Diego Boneta).

She is, unknowingly, the touchpaper of a powerful resistance, which will rise out of the smouldering ashes of mankind's downfall and retaliate against the machines.

Daniella is targeted for extermination by Legion, an artificial intelligence created in the future for the purposes of cyberwarfare.

Legion dispatches a liquid metal Terminator, the Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), to kill Dani.

An augmented human soldier named Grace (Mackenzie Davis), who can unleash short bursts of bone-shattering power, materialises on the factory floor in the nick of time to protect Dani, setting in motion a thrilling demolition derby that proves the Terminator films are frequently at their best on four wheels.

Grizzled, gun-toting Sarah Connor (Hamilton), who has dedicated her life to eliminating the mechanised monstrosities, enters the fray and pledges to protect Dani.

"Why do you care what happens to her?" asks Graces.

"Because I was her," growls Sarah, "and it sucks."

Terminator: Dark Fate trades unabashedly on nostalgia, largely ignoring the disappointing third to fifth films to reboot the time-travelling battle royale between woman and machine.

Action sequences are orchestrated with gung-ho abandon by Miller, who entrusts a handful of droll one-liners to his Austrian leading man in the soothing lulls between each digitally augmented storm.

"I'll be back," quips Hamilton's raspy-voiced avenging angel, stealing her co-star's catchphrase as an alternate unknown future rolls towards us.

Buckle up.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (PG, 87 mins) Two stars

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 succession of half-hearted one-liners miss their target like when the couple uncorks a barrel in the "whine cellar" and savours some vintage wails and moans.

The design of the film's chief antagonist - a snarling bully with bouffant blonde hair, prone to xenophobic and divisive tirades on social media - bears no resemblance to anyone living, embalmed or reanimated. Clearly.

Gomez Addams (Isaac) marries sweetheart Morticia (Theron) in front of dearly beloathed family and friends including Grandma (Bette Midler) and Cousin Itt (Snoop Dogg).

The ceremony is interrupted by pitchfork-wielding villagers and the newlyweds flee on the back of Gomez's brother Fester (Nick Kroll) in search of a sanctuary that "no one in their right mind would be caught dead in".

An abandoned insane asylum in New Jersey, shrouded by swirling mists from nearby marshland, becomes the Addams' family home and the couple raises a ghoulish daughter Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) and explosives-obsessed son Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard).

Interior design doyenne Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) chooses a plot of land down in the valley to build the picture-perfect community of Assimilation as a backdrop to her new reality TV series.

She drains the marshland during her makeover, revealing the eyesore of the ramshackle Addams estate on the hill.

Margaux stages a forceful intervention to compel Gomez, Morticia et al to embrace pastel shades or suffer her wrath.

Meanwhile, Wednesday forges an unlikely friendship with Margaux's neglected daughter Parker (Elsie Fisher) and Pugsley practises swordplay for the forthcoming mazurka ceremony that marks his transition from boy to man.

The Addams Family dilutes the macabre and moribund pungency of the cartoon strips, delivering heavy-handed sermons about individuality and tolerance in an era of angry mob rule.

A supporting cast of gifted comic actors are woefully short-changed by a script that peddles sentimentality instead of spite.

Booming belly laughs are depressingly scarce, except for an amusing Frankensteinian interlude with dead frogs in a school science laboratory.

Like the amphibian specimens, Vernon and Tiernan's picture briefly jolts to life.