Film Guide - August 22, 2014

Movies & Theatre

Nymphomaniac Vol II: A dark musing on the life of a sex addict as it spirals way out of control. ** PE

Sex Tape: This is a balls-up of a comedy that is window dressed with a titillating title. It follows the nightmarish attempts by a couple to destroy their sex tape, which goes viral. Limp plot with nothing more than a few giggles at the absurdity. ** DT

Share this story
Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy..L to R: Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Drax The Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)..Ph: Film Frame..?Marvel 2014

Sin City: A Dame to Kill for: Eva Green is the killer embodiment of the titular dame in this stylish Frank Miller tale. ** HR

The Hundred Foot Journey: Lasse Hallström directs the always-worth-watching Helen Mirren in a predictable feel-good dramady. *** HR

The Purge: Anarchy: This sequel expands the premise of the first film by taking the action out onto the street, expanding it and introducing race, class and characterisation which do not get explored properly. This is the start of a franchise which is not as smart as it wants to be. ** HR

The Rover: The austere Australian backdrop of The Rover mirrors the desolate plot, where a sphinx-like Eric (Pearce) is merciless in his quest to retrieve his stolen car from a group of criminals. Watchable only for the stellar performances by Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. ** DT

22 Jump Street: Making fun of sequels, buddy cop movies and college fratboy shenanigans, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return for a bromance that is goofy, but funny. **** TS

Adult World: Clichéd in its approach and neither satirical nor comedic as billed, this debut offering from Scott Coffey skirts the issue of the millenial’s desire to be famous for making art versus the desire to make art. ** TS

Alles Wat Mal Is: This one has much going for it, with a super-cool friendship between what would previously have been Madam and Eve and a depleted mom who finds solace in a blog, but the script fails to make that final leap into the new millennium. *** DdB

Bad Neighbours: The well-matched leads (Seth Rogen and Zac Efron) with their bawdy humour earn their 16 DLS rating and the audience’s laughs. *** WP

Behaving Badly: Selena Gomez plays a straight-laced student in this cheerfully vulgar, clumsy screwball comedy. The schizophrenic mess is not quite the sum of its surprising cameo parts. * HR

Belle: Beautiful period drama that delves into the life of a mixed-race woman who grew up in an aristocratic family at a time when slavery was still the bedrock of the British economy. **** TS

Between Friends: Tyler Perry meets The Wild with a generous streak of Generations. * TS

Blended: Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore again display an onscreen connection that lends a grounding warmth to the clunkiest of clunky comedy setups – two single parents on an African holiday as a second date. *** HR

Born to Win: Local film from Frans Cronje, filmed in George, based on the true story of a teacher who works at the Carpe Diem school for the physically disabled. (Not reviewed)

Chef: Jon Favreu directs himself in another version of his Happy character from Iron Man with great food shots, oddball cameo roles and a few sharp lines in this feel-good movie. *** TS

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 3D: An unexpectedly good sequel, in which renegade ape Koba sets off a war with the surviving humans of a deadly virus. Well shot roller-coaster ride. *** DT

Expendables 3: Stallone and the Hollywood's Class of the ‘90s return for more explosions and hand-combats. If you take it as it is, this film will not disappoint. **** MV

Guardians of the Galaxy: Fun, epic ride through outer space with Star-Lord and his misfits because someone has to save the universe. It’s a comic book, but well worth the ride. **** TS

Hercules: Dwayne Johnson rocks the loincloth in Brett Ratner’s take on a graphic novel. With well choreographed action sequences which are surprisingly light on the gore. *** TS

House of Magic 3D: Animated 3d adventure from the Belgian crew that created Fly Me to the Moon, about a kitten that stumbles into a magical house and decides he really wants to live there. (Not reviewed)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 3D: The dragonriders of Berk are back, five years older, but Toothless steals the show. Exquisite flying sequences, meticulously animated with a strong, meaty storyline and interesting characters. **** TS

Jersey Boys: Clint Eastwood directs the bio-pic of Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons. You’ve seen the musical, remember the music, now catch the big screen version. *** IND

Le Weekend: A finely matched Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan explore the wrinkles of marriage with humour and honesty. *** HR

Mr Pip: Haunting, lyrical and brutal reminder of the power of books to inspire, provide solace and also give us a way to cope with reality. **** TS

Nymphomaniac Volume 1: A battered and bleeding nymphomaniac tells her shocking story. Lars von Trier captures her melancholy slide into depravity in an understated story about love, life and morality. *** PE

Plot for Peace: A well-crafted documentary searching for truth around how a French businessman became embroiled in the process of releasing Nelson Mandela from jail. Well-paced, with some inadvertently funny moments. ***** TO

Step Up All In 3D: The latest instalment in this franchise leaves dance fans yearning for more. **** MV

Think Like a Man Too: The popular couples from Think Like A Man return in this sequel, on a slightly different adventure. Marriage, babies and a wedding are on the cards in this entertaining romcom. *** LN

Third Person: Three supposedly intersecting love stories, directed by Paul Haggis, but that’s about all that keeps it together. ** WP

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction: Great action scenes, but the missing cast and weak storyline will leave you yearning for the older films. *** MV

Venus in Fur: Roman Polanski directs Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric in the filmic version of the award winning Broadway play. *** WP

Wish I was Here: While this has all the overly sentimental dialogue, musical crutches and pensive Zach Braff close-ups that annoyed viewers of Garden State, this also touches on timely themes with artistic vulnerability. So ask yourself, do you like the guy’s work or not? *** WP

Share this story