Movie boffin: what’s on at the cinema

By admin
03 May 2013

The big release this week is the first big blockbuster of the year, Iron Man 3, which is based on the Marvel comic book. See what else is on at the cinema.

The big release this week is the first big blockbuster of the year, Iron Man 3, which is based on the Marvel comic book. Following the events of The Avengers, genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr) has returned to his life of luxury with his girlfriend, Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). But a series of attacks from a terrorist called the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) threatens everything he holds dear. Most critics were very impressed with the film – it received 77 per cent on reviews aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes – and praised its impressive action sequences, wit and Downey’s charismatic performance.

A spin-off of Knocked up (2007), This Is 40 is directed by Judd Apatow and follows the lives of Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd), a married couple who are both about to turn 40 and are experiencing a mid-life crisis. If you enjoy Apatow’s brand of humour, which is based on frank, painfully honest explorations of awkward everyday situations, you’ll enjoy this. This Is 40 received mixed reviews and got 52 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus was that although the movie is funny and perceptive, it was also self-indulgent and meandered pointlessly for long stretches.

Lien se Lankstaanskoene is an Afrikaans coming-of-age drama based on the acclaimed book by Derick van der Walt. Teenager Lien’s (Carmen Pretorius) world is shattered when her father is arrested for fraud, her mother (Franci Swanepoel) turns to the bottle and they go from an affluent life to poverty. Lien struggles as head of the family, but when she befriends two beggars (Elise Cawood and Fiks Mahola) they show her that she still has much to be thankful for. Laetitia Pople of Die Burger gave it four stars, praising the film for not shying away from reality and the director for showing restraint instead of going the melodramatic route.

A timely film about a subject that has many people hot under the collar, Promised Land stars Matt Damon as a natural gas company salesman who arrives in a small town that’s been hit hard by the economic downturn. He hopes the locals will accept his offer to buy drilling rights to their properties, but what seems like an easy job is complicated by a respected local school teacher (Hal Holbrook) who objects to the fracking and other locals who start a campaign against it. The film received mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it received 51 per cent, and the consensus was that although the film is well-intentioned and earnest with a likeable cast, the characters are over-simplified and the plot is contrived.

SANDRA VISSER

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