Movie shorts: August 11

2013-08-11 14:00

Bite-sized reviews of the movies on circuit.

»?Now You See Me

The sleight-of-hand trick in this flick is great entertainment. Four magicians/illusionists are brought together to form an awesome foursome called The Four Horsemen. What is their big illusion? What is the rabbit in their collective hat? Well, that’s the fun of it. We follow an FBI agent on a magic carpet ride to find out how the four robbed a bank in France live from the stage of a Las Vegas casino. Jesse Eisenberg heads up the Horsemen and Mark Ruffalo is the cop. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, old muckers from the recent Batman films, also star, as does Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher.

»?Pacific Rim

Godzilla and the Transformers meet while spectacularly reducing the world’s most famous seaside cities to rubble and dust. Only under the guidance of director Guillermo del Toro does what could have been a crass sci-fi mashup become a nuanced piece of film making about the last stand of humankind. Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi star in this worthy blockbuster.

»?The Wolverine

Hugh Jackman reprises his role as warrior beast Wolverine in his second dedicated movie. Spliced with Japanese myth and the Western tradition of the gunslinger dispensing justice, this is good fun for X-Men fans. It’s also a precursor to next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.

»?World War Z

This zombie film hit the top of the top 10 last week and it deserves to. With Brad Pitt headlining, and a local angle in the form of Fana Mokoena, it’s a shoo-in for a Friday night. It is also a more cerebral option than most zombie films. It blends elements of the thriller and action film with the more obvious horror.

»?The Lone Ranger

Not even Johnny Depp can save this film from being slightly parochial in the 21st century. But it has nostalgic value for those with an inner cowboy. There are also a couple of seriously cool train-top chases that start and finish it. 7/10


A seemingly disconnected ensemble cast make and break connections – both online and off. It is gripping with interesting points to make about the duality of our new reality in cyberspace and real life. 8/10

»?Big Wedding

Robert de Niro is the patriarch of an unusual family who come together for a wedding. Diane Keaton is his ex-wife, Susan Sarandon is his current wife and it all goes horribly wrong when he gets into bed with the wrong wife. 6/10

»?Despicable Me 2

Gru is out of the villain business. But when El Macho – the biggest, baddest, most macho villain of them all – returns, Gru is called on to save the world. 7/10

»?Song for Marion

Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp give exceptional performances in this delightful little film about a dying woman’s wish to sing in a choir competition. 7/10

»?White House Down

Oh dear, Channing Tatum with his

shirt torn off just isn’t a good enough reason to see this also-ran Olympus Has Fallen. 5/10

»?Man of Steel

The most godlike (and oldest) of the comic book heroes has been due for a successful reboot, and this is it. With just the right blend of innovation and imitation, Henry Cavill dons the red-and-blue suit and makes it supercool. 8/10

»?After Earth

This derivative sci-fi flick might have Will Smith’s name on it, but it doesn’t deliver Mr Box Office’s usual blockbuster fare. It’s clear that this is purely a vehicle for his son Jaden. 4/10

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