Movie boffin: what to see at the cinema

By admin
07 June 2013

Two big-budget sci-fi movies open this week. The first is Star Trek into Darknes followed by After Earth

Two big-budget sci-fi movies open this week. The first is Star Trek into Darkness (PGV), the highly anticipated sequel to director JJ Abrams’ inventive 2009 reboot of the iconic franchise.

When the crew of the spaceship Enterprise is called back to Earth, they find someone within their own organisation has blown up their fleet of ships, leaving humanity in crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a manhunt to a war-torn planet.

The film was praised by most critics and received a score of 87 per cent on reviews aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. Even though it’s “not as fresh as its predecessor” the movie was described as “visually spectacular and suitably action-packed; a rock-solid instalment in the venerable sci-fi franchise”.

After Earth (10-12PGV) on the other hand, received a drubbing from critics. The film seems to be another flop from director M Night Shyamalan, whose career started so promisingly with The Sixth Sense (1999) and Unbreakable (2000), but whose more recent efforts such as The Happening (2008) and The Last Airbender (2010) were largely seen as failures.

A thousand years after humans were forced to leave Earth, respected general Cypher Raige (Will Smith) and his wayward teenage son, Kitai (Jaden Smith), crash-land on the now hostile planet. With Cypher critically injured, it’s up to Kitai to cross dangerous terrain to retrieve their rescue beacon. The film received only 11 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes and was described as a “dull, ploddingly paced exercise in sentimental sci-fi”.

A Haunted House (16BDLNPS) is another spoof starring Marlon Wayans who along with his brothers previously parodied the Scream films with their Scary Movie series. This time the target is the Paranormal Activity movies: Malcolm (Wayans) and Kisha (Essence Atkins) move into their dream home but soon realise they’re living with a demonic presence. When the demon possesses Kisha, Malcolm calls on everyone from an exorcist to ghostbusters for help. Empire magazine awarded the film one star and summed it up with one word: “dreadful”.

Veteran actors Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin star in the crime comedy Stand Up Guys (16L), in which they play three criminals who reunite for the customary “one last job”. But one of them is hiding a dangerous secret. Most critics were dismissive of the film and it received only 38 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, where it was criticised for its perfunctory script, messy direction and for wasting such a talented cast.

The French comedy Un Plan Parfait (“A Perfect Plan”) or Fly Me to the Moon (10-12LPG) stars German actress Diane Kruger (National Treasure) and comedian Dany Boon, who’s a big star in France. Isabelle (Kruger) wants to marry her dentist boyfriend (Robert Plagnol) but her family suffers from a curse – their first marriage is always disastrous. To circumvent this, Isabelle decides to marry and divorce a random stranger before she and the dentist can walk down the aisle and sets her sights on an eccentric travel-guide writer (Boon). The Hollywood Reporter magazine, which doesn’t award a star rating, said the film is uneven, the plot is unconvincing and the stars lack chemistry.

Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 (age restriction not available) is a Bollywood action comedy set in Britain and is the sequel to a 2011 film which was a big hit in India. Movietarot.com’s reviewer gave the film 72 per cent and said it had “some good moments that tickle the viewer’s funny bone”.

-Sandra Visser

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