Movie boffin: what’s on at the cinema

By admin
26 July 2013

Stay out of the cold this weekend and visit the cinema for these latest releases.

The most popular X-Men character returns in another solo outing, but unlike X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), which was set before the X-Men movie trilogy (2000-2006) and told Logan’s (Hugh Jackman) origin story, The Wolverine (10-12PG LV) is set in the present. The film is based on the acclaimed series of comics created by Frank Miller (who also wrote Sin City and 300) in which Wolvie finds himself in Japan and out of his depth in a culture he doesn’t understand. When he’s offered the chance to give up his super healing ability and become a normal man, he must confront his own demons.

The film received mostly positive reviews – it scored 67 per cent on reviews aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes where it was noted that “although its final act succumbs to the usual cartoonish antics, The Wolverine is one superhero movie that manages to stay true to the comics while keeping casual viewers entertained”. Critic Jeffrey K Lyles gave the film 8,5 out of 10, summing it up with the following, “One of the best entries in the X-Men franchise and comes close to being one of the best comic book movies if it weren’t for a disappointing final act.”

Ryan Gosling reteams with his Blue Valentine (2010) director, Derek Cianfrance, for The Place beyond the Pines (16 DLV),a drama that explores the consequences of a stunt motorcyclist’s (Gosling) decision to rob banks to support the child he recently found out he has an old flame (Eva Mendes). Soon a dedicated cop (Bradley Cooper) is on his trail and the two men become locked on a collision course that will have a devastating effect on their families.

The film was highly praised and received 82 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. John Hanlon, who writes for the Big Hollywood page on Breitbart.com, described it as “an ambitious, thought-provoking film with a beautiful score and some of the biggest narrative twists of the year”, while Empire magazine’s Olly Richards gave it four stars and wrote, “In trying to tell an enormous amount of story it can spread itself too thin and leave some strands feeling unfinished, but when it’s at its best, this is beautiful and bold film-making.”

Craig Robinson, who’s shone in supporting roles in comedies such as Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) and TV show The Office, finally gets the lead role in Peeples (10-12 PG LS), in which he plays a regular guy who struggles to fit in when he attends an affluent family’s annual reunion to ask for their daughter’s (Kerry Washington of The Fixer) hand in marriage.

The film received mostly mixed or negative reviews: reviews site Metacritic gave it 52 per cent, while on Rotten Tomatoes it got only 35 per cent and was described as “a warm, amiable farce that offers a few chuckles but mostly falls back on predictable plotting and an overwrought message”. Noted US film critic Leonard Maltin did note that “Robinson and Washington make a likable couple, and it’s nice to see her playing comedy for a change”.

Scary Movie 5 (13 LSV) is the latest instalment in the franchise that just won’t die. Started by the Wayans brothers as a spoof of the Scream films, it’s now been taken over by David Zucker, who seems to have lost his touch after making some of the best parodies of the ’80s such as Airplane! (1980) and The Naked Gun (1988).

The plot doesn’t really matter – it’s just a basis for a string of jokes about pop culture and horror films, such as Mama, Paranormal Activity and The Evil Dead, although pot shots are also taken at other well-known films such as Black Swan and Inception.

The film scored the lowest of any of the series – Rotten Tomatoes gave it four per cent, describing it as “juvenile [with] stale pop culture gags that generate few laughs”, and Metacritic scored it 11 per cent, indicating “overwhelming dislike”. Total Film magazine’s Neil Smith gave it one star, calling it a “laughter vacuum”. Only for viewers who want to see celebs such as Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen and Ashley Tisdale make fools of themselves.

-Sandra Visser

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