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Film Guide - August 17, 2012

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TO SW GuideAbraham

Stephen Vaughan

Bully: Documentary about the most common form of verbal and non-verbal violence experienced by young people. (Not reviewed)

Eye of the Storm: It’s almost annoying when you have such dynamic actors (Charlotte Rampling, Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis) based on the book of a Nobel prize winner (Patrick White) and it doesn’t fly. Sadly, director Fred Schapisi (Cry In the Dark) goes into melodramatic mode and loses the substance. ** DdB

Step Up: Revolution: The dance franchise hits us once again. This time it’s all about flash mobs. Expect elaborate dance moves set to a chest-thumping soundtrack. *** TG

The Expendables: The team of special soldiers returns for another paying mission that gets botched when one of them is killed. Driven by revenge Ross and gang go after their comrade’s killers. If you love mindless action then this is for you. ** MV

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter 3D: A visually stimulating re-imagining of 1800s America where Abe Lincoln hunts vampires and is chummy with Harriet Tubman. **** HH

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: Seven British retirees discover a newfound lust for life when they retire to India. Beautiful character study, even if the plot is a bit clichéd. *** TS

Brave 3D: Disney/Pixar’s first heroine is a fiery redhead who uses magic to change her mother and then, bearly a moment later, regrets it. *** HH

Chernobyl Diaries: Interesting premise and authentic sets, but short on suspense or originality. *** HR

Darling Companions: Don’t let the title, the director or cast persuade you to trot off to this one. But if you’re of the baby boomer generation, dealing with ageing in all its many nuances and facets, you might just get what the Kasdan couple (Lawrence and his wife Meg) are talking about. *** DdB

Girl In Progress: Well meaning but clichéd coming-of-age story starring Eva Mendes. HH AP

Haywire: MMA champ Gina Carano gets to beat up a lot of screen stars in a convoluted Steven Soderbergh action movie. *** TS

In the Land of Blood and Honey: Based on the horrific Bosnian War, the story follows a Serb soldier who falls for a captured Bosnian woman he knew before the war. Their relationship clouds their judgement on who they are in the conflict. Angelina Jolie did a great job at not taking the subject lightly, so brace yourself. **** MV

Magic Mike: Channing Tatum heads a cast of six packs and tight buns in a film about male strippers. *** TS

Marley: A surprisingly revealing documentary about the music and man behind the legend of Bob Marley. *** HH

Ice Age: The prehistoric crew is back for a side-splitting adventure of fun, humour and heartfelt messages that make for winning family entertainment. **** TG

Madagascar 3: Europe’s most wanted: Bright, highly detailed with a gorgeous set piece which sees the Bronx zoo escapees join the circus. *** TS

Mad Buddies: Leon Schuster teams up with Kenneth Nkosi for a slapstick road trip movie. Crass humour and poo jokes abound. *** if you’re a six-year-old boy; H if you’re not. TS

Safe: Jason Statham kicks butt and takes names with a super smart Chinese girl by his side. *** HH

Shame: Michael Fassbender plays an emotionally vacant sex addict. ** HH

Snow White And The Huntsman: A beautifully lensed retelling of the favourite fairy tale goes for a dark edge. *** TS

That’s My Boy: When he’s in primary school, a boy (Adam Sandler) has sex with his maths teacher and becomes a celeb after she becomes pregnant, goes to jail and leaves him with custody of the kid. This doesn’t end well. HH TG

The Amazing Spider-Man: You’ve seen this story before but you have never seen it told this way. Director Marc Webb chooses character development over meaningless CGI. Superb acting helps too. ****H MV

The Dark Knight Rises: Intelligent, morals-questioning epic third and final installment in the Chris Nolan-directed film franchise starring Christian Bale. *** HH

The Dictator: Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest character is a witty one-liner despot who is part Gadaffi, part Hussein and all sorts of crazy.

*** HH

The Romantics: Anna Paquin, Josh Duhamel, Elijah Wood, Katie Holmes and Candice Bergen in a posh wedding romcom. (Not reviewed)

The Rum Diary: Johnny Depp brings to life the novel of legendary journalist Hunter S Thompson’s pre-gonzo days. *** TG

Think Like a Man: It’s battle of the sexes in this ‘how to get a man’ flick. Enjoyable if you take it for what it is. *** KM

Untamed: Nollywood film delving into same sex marriages and other sticky issues in Africa. (Not reviewed)

Vincent Wants to Sea: Deftly building on some quirky scenes, director Ralf Huettner manages to get beyond the clichés of the beginning sequences to tell a believable and charming story about not always being able to save everyone. *** WP

Westlife – the Concert: The last concert Westlife ever gave, recorded for posterity... and to make some more money off the fans.

(Not reviewed)

What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Expecting more from this movie, based on the fact that it has a stellar cast and is a New York Times best-seller, will see you labour through unrealistic, almost farcical plots.

** DT

Where Do We Go From Here?: Nadine Labaki (Caramel) has a strong individual voice as both filmmaker and star. She tells of the dismantling of male power but tackles the heartache with too much laughter which doesn’t always gel. *** DdB

Younge Goethe in Love: German director Philipp Stölzl’s film falls gently between the stools of high-brow camp and genuine seduction by its many period charms, fine actors and lovely landscapes. The highbrow pedigree is mostly window dressing for a commercial period romance about Germany’s literary giant. ****R


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