Movie boffin: what to see at the cinema

By admin
12 July 2013

We take a look at what's new at cinemas this week.

Hi-Yo, Silver! Away! The Lone Ranger (10-12PG V), one of the most enduring masked heroes – he started life on American radio in 1933 – rides again with the release of this big-budget adventure from director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the team behind Pirates of the Caribbean. Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts his adventures with John Reid (Armie Hammer of Mirror Mirror) and how Reid became the Lone Ranger who brings justice to the Wild West.

The film received mostly terrible reviews. It got only 26 per cent on reviews aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes and the consensus was that “Hammer and Depp make for an appealing pair of leads, but they’re not enough to make up for The Lone Ranger’s bland script, bloated length and blaring action overkill”.

On the other hand Empire magazine’s Angie Errigo gave the film four stars and described it as “real storytelling [that’s] well thought-out and beautifully, at times insanely, executed, with excitement, laughs and fun to make you feel seven years old again”.

The Big Wedding (13 LNS) is a comedy with a large, starry cast. Diane Keaton (Something’s Gotta Give) and Robert De Niro play a divorced pair forced to play a happy couple for the sake of their adopted Colombian son, Alejandro (Ben Barnes of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian), after his biological mother (Patricia Rae), a devout Catholic, decides to attend his wedding. The film also stars Amanda Seyfried as Alejandro’s fiancée, Katherine Heigl and Topher Grace as his siblings, Susan Sarandon as his father’s girlfriend and Robin Williams as the priest who’s to marry them.

The film received almost universal disdain. Rotten Tomatoes gave it only seven per cent; the consensus was that the “all-star cast [are] stranded in a contrived, strained plot that features broad stabs at humour but few laughs”. Bruce Bennett of The Spectrum newspaper scathingly described the film as “sinking to new levels of horrid”.

For those looking for something more serious there’s Disconnect (16 DLNS), a drama that explores the effect of modern technology on our lives and relationships through various characters, including a hard-working lawyer (Jason Bateman of Horrible Bosses) who can’t find the time to communicate with his family and a couple (Alexander Skarsgård of True Blood and Paula Patton of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) who are drawn into a dangerous situation when their secrets are exposed online.

The film received mostly positive reviews – Rotten Tomatoes gave it an aggregate of 66 per cent. The consensus was that although “it’s [sometimes] didactic and melodramatic, Disconnect’s strong cast helps make it a timely, effective exploration of modern society’s technological overload”.

Five years after their two TV series, AF and Mullets – South African versions of the American comedy stunt show Jackass – aired on DStv channel MK, a group of local stuntmen are back with their first film, Bustin’ Chops: The Movie (16 LV). Stuntman Eugene Koekemoer comes up with the idea of performing the biggest stunt South Africa has ever seen and showing it to American director Steven Spielberg. The film hasn’t been reviewed yet.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (“run, Milkha, run”) is a biopic about Indian Olympic athlete Milkha Singh, nicknamed the Flying Sikh, who overcame the massacre of his family, civil war during the India-Pakistan partition and homelessness to become one of the country’s most iconic athletes.

Most critics praised the film. Subhash K Jha of Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) gave it five stars, describing it as “a near-flawless homage to the spirit of India’s greatest runner.” He was also impressed with the way the story is “nimbly woven into a pastiche of drama, emotion, humour and pathos”. Robert Abele of the LA Times called it “a stirring, beautifully shot bio”.

-Sandra Visser

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