Film Guide - July 18, 2014

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TO SW GuidePlanet Supplied Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (3D)

NEW RELEASES

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

Deliver Us from Evil: An effective if imperfect meeting of the detective film and the exorcism-based fright flick. *** HR

Henry IV (Part II): The Royal Shakespeare Company production, recorded in Stratford on Avon. Antony Sher returns as Falstaff, joined by Jasper Britton as Henry IV and Alex Hassel as Prince Hal. (Not reviewed)

Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman: Shia Le Beouf relishes the role, but his efforts can’t overcome the shallow script or overstuffed direction. HH HR

Life of a King: Cuba Gooding Jr’s performance elevates this dramatic retelling of the unlikely true story of Eugene Brown and his one-man mission to give inner-city Washington DC kids a future. *** WP

ON CIRCUIT

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

About Last Night: A rom-com remake based on a play by David Mamet revolving around two best friends and their quest for love, sex and friendship. *** AK

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

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

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (3D): An unexpectedly good sequel, where renegade ape Koba sets off a war with the surviving humans of a deadly virus. Only his noble leader and friend Caesar can stop it…but he might be too late. Fast-paced, fascinating, beautifully shot and an adventurous rollercoaster ride. *** DT

Earth to Echo: Strongly echoing its Amblin Entertainment inspiration, this is kind of Chronicle meets Mac and Me. Only going to work if you haven’t seen ET. *** HR

Fading Gigolo: John Turturro ably directs a stellar cast in a story which may stray into brash territory but makes excellent use of the good chemistry between its two leads. **** LN

Grand Budapest Hotel: A whimsical, if somewhat absurdist slice-of-life tale set against the backdrop of the pre-World War II era, with stellar performances by Ralph Fiennes and equally impressive cameo roles, including Tilda Swinton and Adrien Brody. **** LdM

Hateship, Loveship: Kirsten Wiig’s vibrant performance saves this drama, which could have been very predictable without it. *** WP

Haute Cuisine: Beautifully filmed dramady about the woman who became chef to Francois Mitterand. Will be an easy sell to food lovers. *** HR

House of Magic (3D): Animated 3d adventure from the Belgian crew that created Fly Me to the Moon, about a kitten who 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

Locke: Tom Hardy is compelling despite the film’s one location. **** WP

Maleficent: Angelina Jolie brings to life one of Disney’s scariest villains in this riff off Sleeping Beauty, but this is family fare where the menace lies more in the visuals than the intent of any character. *** TS

One Chance: An inspirational true story that transcends its formulaic telling with humour, heart and a pair of strong lead performances. *** HR

Sunlight Jr: Not exactly uplifting, but the grim storyline of this sensitively observed humanist drama is offset beautifully by strong performances from Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon *** HR

The Fault in Our Stars: Wise and funny without being exploitative, this one does right by its well-received source material. **** HR

The Invisible Woman: This is Ralph Fiennes’ second movie and he both tells the story and plays Charles Dickens as he reveals the love affair of his life to a much younger woman. Unfolding at a measured pace and with a gentility that captures the times, not the emotional turbulence, it is for those who love books. **** DdB

The Other Woman: Settling for cheap laughs, director Nick Cassavetes does not make use of the talented trio of leads. ** AP

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

X-Men: Days of Future Past: Time travel and a full roster of X-Men and then some makes for a convoluted but fun movie. *** TS

CRITICS:

AK: Attiyah Khan

AP: Associated Press

DT: Debashine Thangevelo

HR: Hollywood Reporter

LDM: Lara de Matos

LN: Latoya Newman

TS: Theresa Smith

WP: Washington Post


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