Movie boffin: what’s on at the cinema

By admin
10 May 2013

Fans of Nicholas Sparks rejoice!

Another love story by the author of The Notebook and The Lucky One has been adapted for screen.

Safe Haven (16SV) stars Julianne Hough (Rock of Ages) as a young woman with a shadowy past who shows up in a small town in the US. She begins to fall in love with a kind widower (hunky Josh Duhamel of Transformers) but soon her dark past catches up with her. The film received mostly scathing reviews, with reviews aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes calling it “schmaltzy, predictable and melodramatic” but hopeless romantics should love it.

Comedy drama Admission (13L) stars Tina Fey (30 Rock) as by-the-book university admissions officer Portia Nathan whose life is thrown into chaos when she visits a high school overseen by her former college classmate John Pressman (Paul Rudd of Clueless).

John thinks one of his gifted students, Jeremiah (Nat Wolf), is the son Portia secretly gave up for adoption. As she starts bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting her career at risk, she’s also drawn to the free-spirited John. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film only 43 per cent, concluding the likeable leads are wasted in a contrived story.

The director of the acclaimed Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Niels Arden Oplev, directs the thriller Dead Man Down (16LV) and again teams up with the star of that film, Noomi Rapace. Victor (Colin Farrell) has infiltrated a gang in order to avenge the deaths of his family. When his neighbour Beatrice (Rapace) finds out his secret she blackmails him into carrying out her own act of revenge. Empire magazine awarded it three stars, with critic Kim Newman praising the film for its intricate plot, excellent acting and “terrific burst of action at the climax”.

Local comedy Blitz Patrollie (13DLPV) stars comedians David Kau and Kagiso Lediga as two Joburg cops who accidentally stumble upon a massive drug haul. A series of mishaps ensues as they encounter some of the city’s craftiest crooks while in a race against time to catch the bad guys. Die Burger’s Laetitia Pople gave the film only one star, writing that the pace is far too slow and the comedy falls flat.

Stoker (16V) is an art-house thriller centred on a sheltered young woman, India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska of Alice in Wonderland), whose life is shattered when her beloved father dies in a car crash. Her emotionally unstable mother (Nicole Kidman) invites her father’s mysterious brother, Charlie (Watchmen actor Matthew Goode), to come and stay with them. India begins to suspect Charlie of sinister motives and decides to find out what he’s hiding.

Total Film magazine gave the film four stars and Empire awarded it five, describing it as “an intense mix of horror, thriller and domestic drama”.

It’s the 20th anniversary of masterful director Steven Spielberg’s epic sci-fi adventure Jurassic Park (10-12PG) and to celebrate, the film is being re-released in 3D, so now’s your chance to see the terrifying T-rex and velociraptors up close.

Trishna (16SV) relocates Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles to India. Freida Pinto of Slumdog Millionaire fame plays the titular character, a peasant girl who works at a hotel to support her family after her father is injured in a road accident. She catches the eye of the hotel owner’s son (Riz Ahmed), who wins her heart, but the pressures of class and family threaten to tear them apart. Empire and Total Film both gave the film three stars, with Total Film’s critic writing that it “feels both respectfully faithful and daringly innovative”.

Go Goa Gone (age restriction to be announced), starring Saif Ali Khan, is being promoted as the first Bollywood zombie comedy! A rave party off the coast of Goa goes horrifyingly and hilariously wrong when the island is overrun by the living dead. Abhishek Jain of Has2BFilmy.com gave it 3.5 stars and praised the film’s cool music and dialogue.

-Sandra Visser

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