Movie boffin: what’s happening on the silver screen

By admin
06 September 2013

See what’s happening on the silver screen

Little ones should enjoy Dreamworks’ latest animated movie, Turbo (PG), the biggest mainstream release this week. An average garden snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds of Green Lantern) dreams of escaping his humdrum existence when thanks to a freak accident he’s able to go as fast as a car. Could he possibly win the big Indy 500 car race?

The movie received mostly average reviews according to reviews aggregate sites Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, which gave it 63 and 59 per cent respectively. Rotten Tomatoes’ consensus was that “it’s nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colourful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undemanding family-friendly fare”.

We’re the Millers (16 DLS) is a comedy starring Jason Sudeikis of sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live as a pot dealer who comes up with a plan to smuggle dagga from Mexico to the US: create a fake family who are on vacation in their motor home. So he hires a stripper (Jennifer Aniston) to play his wife, a homeless girl (Emma Roberts of Scream 4) and a dim-witted teen neighbour (Will Poulter of The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader) to be his children. But of course it’s not long before things start to go pear-shaped.

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film 47 per cent, calling it a “blandly offensive (or perhaps merely offensively bland) [film that] squanders its potential – and its cast – with an uneven, lazily assembled comedy”. British film magazines Empire and Total Film were more forgiving, both giving the movie three stars. The latter’s Paul Bradshaw wrote, “It’s predictable, politically incorrect and too long – but a handful of really big chuckles excuse most of the cop-outs. There’s a much edgier film in here somewhere, but this one will definitely do.”

In Afrikaans comedy Bakgat! 3 (10-12PG LNS) Wimpie (Ivan Botha, Pieter in 7de Laan) and Katrien (Cherie van der Merwe-Coetzee) are now engaged and depart for London with high expectations so he can play club rugby. But they’re soon disillusioned by their teeny-tiny flat and Wimpie’s English team-mates give him a hard time. His nemesis, Werner (Altus Theart of Getroud met Rugby), is also in the English capital but instead of continuing their feud they decide to start a Proudly South African team, although winning the league seems impossible.

Die Burger’s Laetitia Pople gave the film two stars, writing that she expected more, “It’s essentially the same plot as Bakgat! and Bakgat! 2, only now the scenery includes Big Ben.” Pople also found the jokes weak and the story too reminiscent of Hollywood romcoms.

Vigilante teen crime fighters Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Anna Karenina) and Hit Girl (Hugo’s Chloë Grace Moretz) are back in Kick-Ass 2 (16LV), the follow-up to the 2010 film which created controversy over its extreme violence and 11-year-old Hit Girl’s swearing. The pair’s heroic antics have inspired a group who call themselves Justice Forever who are led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) to join them in fighting crime. Meanwhile Kick-Ass’ old enemy Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse of Role Models) reinvents himself as a supervillain.

The film received mostly negative reviews: Rotten Tomatoes gave it only 28 per cent. Robert Roten of the website Laramie Movie Scope said, “Like many sequels, Kick-Ass 2 falls short of the original. It fails to achieve that delicate balance, achieved so well in the original film, of comedy and violence.” Empire and Total Film’s reviewers were more positive – both gave it three stars. The former’s Owen Williams wrote it’s “a more modest success than the first Kick-Ass, but [it] still has its share of over-the-top action, and the sweary laughs are just about intact”.

For those looking for something less mainstream there’s The English Teacher (16 L), a comedy drama centred on a 40-something unmarried English teacher, Linda Sinclair (Crazy Stupid Love’s Julianne Moore), whose closest relationships are with her favourite authors. When a former learner (Michael Angarano of The Forbidden Kingdom) returns to town after failing to make it as a playwright in New York Linda is so impressed by his work she decides to go out on a limb and get her school to stage the play.

The film received mostly mixed or negative reviews according to Metacritic, which gave it 42 per cent. Leah Rozen of TheWrap.com described it as “an ingratiating little comedy that aims to please and succeeds at its modest goal” but Stephen Whitty of The Newark Star-Ledger online newspaper criticised it for not doing “enough with its cast or its idea; it’s an underachiever that simply doesn’t try hard enough”.

Shuddh Desi Romance, which translates as “pure Indian romance”, (age restriction to be announced) is a Bollywood romantic comedy about three young people (Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor) whose lives criss-cross as they ignore society’s rules and decide to follow their hearts.

Mohar Basu of koimoi.com gave the film three-and-a-half stars, describing it as “a welcome change for cynics who find typical romances unreal” and praising “the blossoming chemistry of its lead actors”.

-Sandra Visser

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