War-time art hunt

2014-02-14 00:00

OPENING at cinemas in KwaZulu-Natal this weekend is The Monuments Men, a film directed by and starring George Clooney.

Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, this action drama focuses on an unlikely World War 2 platoon, tasked by President Franklin D. Roosevelt with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners.

With the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these men —  seven museum directors, curators and art historians — possibly hope to succeed?

But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1 000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend humankind’s greatest achievements.

The film also stars Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.

Comedy fans will enjoy Anchorman 2, which follows San Diego’s top-rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell).

With the seventies behind him, he returns to the news desk alongside his co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner).

Together, the team set out to stay classy as they move east and take New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.

Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson star in the Oscar-nominated Her, which is set in Los Angeles in the near future and follows Theodore, a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people.

Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right.

Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha”, a bright, female voice that is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.

The film is being screened at Cinema Nouveau Gateway.

Also new to cinemas is Vampire Academy, which revolves around Rose Hathaway, a Dhampir, half-vampire and half-human, who is training to be a guardian at St Vladimir’s Academy, along with many others like her.

Bollywood fans should catch Gunday, which tells the story of two characters during one of the most turbulent times in the history of Kolkata, (then Calcutta), from 1971 to 1988.

Bikram and Bala rise from small-time wagon breakers and coal thieves to become the most powerful black-market Mafia men. As their notoriety spreads into the stuff of legends, the people start calling the two carefree rebels Gunday.

The film stars Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra

There is also a new South African movie on circuit: Pad Na Jou Hart, starring Ivan Botha, Donnalee Roberts and Marius Weyers.

The film tells the story of Basson van Rensburg, who has five days to make it to his father’s funeral in Cape Town, but needs to complete certain tasks on this trip before he can call the family company his own.

His only chance to make it on time is to get a lift with the beautiful, free-spirited bohemian girl, Amory.

As they journey across the breathtaking landscape of South Africa, they meet wonderful characters that allow for hilarious moments and life-changing experiences.

Their trip takes a sudden turn when a dark figure with his own agenda catches up to them on his motorbike. Basson and Amory are faced with disappointment and heartache.

• arts@witness.co.za

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