Movie shorts: May 19

2013-05-19 10:00

STOKER

A delightfully diabolical piece of work. It’s a finely tuned thriller about a strange girl who has just lost her father, only to find her uncle stepping up to take his place. Nicole Kidman is perfect as the barely sane mother, Mia Wasikowski gives another emotionally rich performance and Matthew Goode is anything but a benevolent relative as happy-go-lucky uncle Charlie. 7/10

SAFE HAVEN

This Nicholas Sparks tale is hazardous to your health if you have an overdeveloped gag reflex. Of the eight films based on his books, only The Notebook hit the right romantic chord. The rest are coated in more sugar than a sweetie-deprived toddler let loose at a birthday party. Julianne Hough is a battered woman on the run. Josh Duhamel is the widower who falls for her. 4/10

BLITZ PATROLLIE

Most of the brains trust of the South African comedy club are in this wannabe buddy cop flick. It suffers from being short on story and ends up being a series of skits threaded together. Fans of Kau, Rasdien, Kibuuka, Forrest and Lediga probably will go anyway. This is The Pure Monate Show, but longer. 5/10

IRON MAN 3

Robert Downey Jr and his crew outdo themselves with this better-than-the-original sequel. Iron Man must face The Mandarin and a blast from his past who have joined forces to terrify America. Tons of fun and very witty too. 8/10

THIS IS 40

Judd Apatow, who became the first citizen of American comedy with The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, is back with two of that movie’s cast members, Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd, who are facing 40 ungracefully. Really funny, real and smart, this is adult fare thanks to Apatow’s rudeness, but then the subject matter is adult too. Strictly for over 40s or those getting there. 7/10

TRANCE

Director Danny Boyle returns to his creepy, black comedy roots in the hypnotic Trance. James McAvoy is an art auctioneer who’s the insider on a heist to steal a priceless Goya, but after a bump on the head he can’t remember where he put it. Enter Rosario Dawson, the hypnotist who’ll prise it out of his mind. 7/10

OBLIVION

Tom Cruise is the last person on Earth, or is he? Jack’s mission is to monitor the extraction of the last of Earth’s resources for humankind, who have evacuated to another planet, but Jack has dreams about a woman and a place he can’t know. When he finds the woman alive, he begins to question what he thinks he knows and what reality tells him. This is a modern classic for sci-fi fans. 7/10

LITTLE ONE

Director Darrell Roodt’s latest tackles a big South African story – child rape. A child is left for dead in the bush, and the woman who finds her takes on little one’s salvation. But the script is weak and it loses focus, so falls well short of being the definitive take on this disgusting South African pastime. 5/10

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

One hundred minutes of brain freeze is the only promise you will get from this toy-store-to-big-screen sequel. Channing Tatum rippled his muscles through the first film five years ago. This time, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson takes over the role as the leader of the G.I. division who must, of course, save the world from Cobra Commander. 5/10

OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

Olympus Has Fallen is best described as Die Hard on steroids. It’s an action flick of pure muscle that makes for great watching while you’re in the zone, but is instantly forgotten when the credits roll and the popcorn’s finished. 7/10

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