Magic, Hoffman and horror

2014-10-24 00:00

COLIN Firth stars alongside Emma Stone and Marcia Gay Harden in Woody Allen’s latest release Magic in the Moonlight.

The film, being screened at Cinema Nouveau Gateway in Umhlanga, tells the tale of Englishman Stanley Crawford, a celebrated magician persuaded by his friend Howard to unmask a possible swindler.

Stanley initially dismisses young clairvoyant Sophie Baker as insignificant until she accomplishes numerous feats of mind-reading and other supernatural acts, leaving him dumbfounded.

Also new to cinemas is A Most Wanted Man, one of the last projects filmed by the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Set in present-day Hamburg, the film tells the story of a tortured and near-dead half-Chechen/half-Russian man on the run. He arrives in the city’s Islamic community desperate for help and to recover his late Russian father’s ill-gotten fortune. Nothing about him seems to add up: is he a victim, thief or, worse still, an extremist intent on destruction?

Drawn into this web of intrigue is a British banker and a young lawyer. All the while, they are being watched by the chief of a covert German spy unit fighting to put together the pieces as the clock ticks.

Paul Walker stars in Brick Mansions, a futuristic thriller set in Detroit where abandoned brick apartment buildings house dangerous criminals. He plays undercover cop Damien Collier who has to help Lino (David Belle), an ex-con, when drug kingpin, Tremaine (RZA), kidnaps Lino’s girlfriend. Together they must stop a plot to devastate the entire city.

Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner star in The Immigrant, which can be seen at Cinema Nouveau.

Set in 1921, it tells the story Ewa Cybulska and her sister Magda who sail to New York from their native Poland in search of the American dream. When they reach Ellis Island, however, doctors discover Magda is ill and the two women are separated.

Ewa is released on to the mean streets of Manhattan. Alone, with nowhere to turn, she quickly falls prey to Bruno, a charming, but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution.

Then one day, Ewa encounters Bruno’s cousin, the debonair magician Orlando who quickly becomes her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself.

For those who prefer their movies scary, there is the horror film Annabelle, a prequel to one of the biggest horror hits of the last year The Conjuring. It centres on young couple John and Mia (Ward Horton and Annabelle Wallis), who are expecting their first child. The pair suffer terrifying demonic hauntings after John gives Mia a painted, pig-tailed doll Annabelle.

Kate Beckinsale stars alongside Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley in the thriller Eliza Graves loosely based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.

It centres on the beautiful title character Eliza working in a 19th-century insane asylum.

One day, she notices one of the doctors with whom she works has gone missing and learns he has been taken by the inmates. She suspects it will not be long before the inmates take over the asylum, including herself, altogether.

Bollywood fans can enjoy two new films: Happy New Year in which a team of losers win the love of millions in their quest to pull off the biggest diamond heist yet; and theTamil action thriller Kaththi starring Vijay.


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