Epic tale of courage

2014-04-04 00:00

TWO big-budget blockbusters, Noah and Divergent, are set to open in cinemas this weekend.

Darrek Aronofsky’s Biblical epic Noah, which stars Oscar-winner Russell Crowe in the title role, is inspired by the epic story of courage and sacrifice undertaken by Noah and his family to build an Ark to save animals threatened by a great flood.

The cast includes Jennifer Connelly, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone and Nick Nolte.

Divergent, meanwhile, is an action-adventure film set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. Each group or faction provides something essential to society. Shailene Woodley plays Tris Prior, who is born into one of the five factions but is warned that she will never fit into any one group.

When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents, she must learn to trust the mysterious Four, played by Theo James, to find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it’s too late.

The film is based on the best-selling novel by Veronica Roth.

Another must-see movie is the dramatic thriller Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woodey Harrelson and Zoe Saldana.

Bale plays Russell Baze, who takes the law into his own hands when his younger brother, Rodney, disappears and the police don’t act fast enough.

Also new to cinemas is Europa Report, an unusual blend of documentary, alternative history and science-fiction thriller. The film follows a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, to investigate the possible existence of alien life within our solar system.

When probes suggest that a ocean could exist underneath Europa’s icy surface and may contain single-celled life, Europa Ventures, a private space-exploration company, sends six astronauts to confirm the data. When a technical failure leads to loss of communication with Earth and the death of a crew member, the surviving astronauts make a discovery more profound than they imagined.

The thriller Hours, which stars the late Paul Walker as Nolan Hayes, tells the story of a man who arrives at a New Orleans hospital with his pregnant wife, Abigail (Genesis Rodriguez), who has gone into early labour.

What should be one of the happiest days of Nolan’s life quickly spirals out of control when the birth goes tragically wrong and Hurricane Katrina ravages the hospital, forcing an evacuation.

Also opening this week is Old Boy, which tells the story of an advertising executive who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is released inexplicably, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his punishment, only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.

The film stars Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Brolin and Samuel L. Jackson.

The South African film Four Corners is showing in Durban. The film reveals how four lives will change forever as the destinies of a reformed prison general, a local cop, a charismatic gang leader and a surgeon back from London intersect with a young boy’s coming of age in the sub-culture of the youth gangs of South Africa’s Cape Flats.

Bollywood fans can ennjoy some quirky comedy with the release of Maan Karate, in which the hero, played by Siva Karthikeyan, never faces up to his problems, but runs for cover instead.

For the more romantic there is Main Tera Hero, in which the hero travels from the mountainous Ooty to the college campus of Bangalore, and then to a beautiful mansion in Thailand. This film is a remake of the Telugu film Kandireega, and stars Varun Dhawan, Ileana DCruz, Nargis Fakhri, Arunoday Singh, Anupam Kher, Evelyn Sharma, Saurabh Shukla and Rajpal Yadav.

• arts@witness.co.za

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