Movie boffin: what’s happening at the cinema

By admin
19 July 2013

Take a look what's on at cinemas this week.

It’s time for another zombie apocalypse with World War Z (13V), but thanks to its big budget the action isn’t restricted to the usual few survivors in a small town, but sets out to show what a worldwide assault by the undead could look like. Brad Pitt stars as a UN worker who tries to keep his family safe following a global outbreak of a zombie plague while he also searches for a cure.

The film received mostly positive reviews. Reviews aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes gave it 67 per cent and the consensus was that although “it’s uneven and diverges from the source book, World War Z still brings smart, fast-moving thrills and a solid performance from Pitt to the zombie genre”. Critic Eric D Snider, who has his own site, summed it up with, “If you have a thirst for zombie movies, this one will quench it but won’t deliver anything you haven’t seen before.”

Fans of Wedding Crashers (2005) can look forward to Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn teaming up again in The Internship (13L). They play two middle-aged watch salesmen who are at a loss when they lose their jobs. They then talk their way into a coveted internship at Google and must compete with a group of tech-savvy geniuses half their age to prove they’re not yet over-the-hill.

The film received mostly negative reviews and scored only 36 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes where the consensus was that “The Internship weighs down Vaughn and Wilson’s comic charisma with a formulaic script and padded running time that leans heavily on its stars’ easy-going interplay”. Total Film magazine’s Ken McIntyre was more positive, giving it three stars and writing that “despite the exaggerated cluelessness of its leads, there’s a sobering truthfulness to the film which undercuts the obvious comedy”.

Following Lions for Lambs (2007), Robert Redford directs and stars in another political thriller, The Company You Keep (13L). The veteran actor plays a former member of a revolutionary militant group who, after years of hiding, has to go on the run after a journalist (Shia LaBeouf of Transformers) exposes his identity.

The film received mixed reviews: it scored 57 per cent on reviews aggregate site Metacritic and 56 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, where it was called “a frustratingly slow-burning thriller”. Total Film’s Kate Stables gave it three stars, describing it as “well-crafted, well-intentioned and well, just a tad dull”.

There’s finally a new romcom for diehard fans of the genre. I Give It a Year (16 LNS) stars Rafe Spall (Life of Pi) and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) as Josh and Nat, a British couple who marry after knowing each other only a few months and soon discover that getting to know each other after you’re married isn’t such a great idea. When Josh’s ex-girlfriend (Anna Faris of The House Bunny) walks back into his life and Nat begins working for a suave American client (Simon Baker of The Mentalist) they wonder: is it true that if you get through the first year the rest is easy?

The movie received mixed reviews. Metacritic gave it 56 per cent, while Total Film and Empire magazines both awarded it three stars. Empire’s Olly Richards summed it up with, “The jokes are strong and delivered by a very talented cast, but the heart isn’t there. It’s easy to laugh, but hard to care.”

This year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film finally makes it to SA screens. Directed by revered Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, known for his hard-hitting, disturbing work such as The White Ribbon (2009) and Funny Games (1997), Amour (13) tells the story of Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva, who at 85 became the oldest Best Actress Oscar nominee for this role), married French music teachers in their eighties who face their greatest challenge when Anne begins to display symptoms of dementia.

The film received almost universal acclaim: it scored 94 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, and Total Film and Empire both gave it five stars. Rotten Tomatoes praised the “towering performances and an unflinching script” and called it “an honest, heart-wrenching depiction of deep love and responsibility”. Empire’s David Hughes wrote, “Haneke’s Palme D’Or winner [at the Cannes Film Festival] is uncomfortable, uncompromising, unflinching . . . and utterly unmissable. Old age may not be a reality you wish to confront, but you must see this film.”

D-Day (age restriction not available yet) is a Hindi crime thriller about an Indian Armed Forces officer (Arjun Rampal), an explosives expert (Huma Qureshi) and a petty thief (Akash Dhaiya) from the streets of Mumbai who are recruited to infiltrate Pakistan, find an agent (Irfan Khan) sent there nine years ago and help him carry out the mission to bring back the most wanted man in India.

Taran Ardash of gave the film four stars, calling it a “well-made, high-octane thriller with an astounding finale”.

-Sandra Visser

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