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Film Guide - March 15, 2013

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TO GT2

NEW RELEASES:

100M Leeuloop: An Afrikaans “mockumentary” about either the Afrikaans music industry or Afrikaans pop stars or fans of either ... take your pick. HH TS

Hyde Park on Hudson: It’s a mixed bag of not dealing with behaviour which today is still present, but much more harshly viewed. Some sparkling acting by Bill Murray, Laura Linney and excellent ensemble cast in what could have played in the Lincoln genre but chose frothy romantic drama to look at some aspects of Franklin D Roosevelt’s life. *** DdB

People Like Us: Chris Pine, Michelle Pfeiffer and Elizabeth Banks in a drama about family. Very melodramatic and over the the top. *** TS

Red Dawn: The Koreans invade America and Chris Hemsworthy and Josh Hutcherson don’t ask why, they just fight back because that’s the American way which must be protected. HH WP

Warm Bodies: Funny, sweet zombie romantic story which concentrates on what makes us human, and not the sfx. *** TS

ON CIRCUIT:

6 Bullets: The ageing Jean Claude Van Damme returns with impressive kicks in a story about saving a little girl from the jaws of a human trafficking syndicate. You have seen this story somewhere, just not this way. *** MV

10 Years: Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson and more familiar faces in a forgettable film about friends attending a high school reunion. ** HH

A Good Day To Die Hard: A senile John McClane bravely returns to action in Russia without his walking stick. Great action scenes framed by a non-existent plot. ** MV

Anna Karenina: Style triumphs over substance in the Joe Wright-directed period drama featuring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Matthew Macfadyen and a host of stars. *** TS

Argo: Understated, well-characterised thriller set in 1979 Iran. Director Ben Affleck keeps the tension high and the action engrossing without beating you over the head with a message. **** TS

Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino’s beautifully shot but controversial film about a slave-turned-bounty hunter who is in search of his wife. Starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L Jackson. *** HH

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola: Funny local rom-com with original dialogue, great cinematography and a little bit of everything to keep most everyone amused. **** TS

Flight: Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle star in this film about a pilot who gets a rude awakening about sobriety and accountability. **** HH

Guilt Trip: Sweet and funny movie in which Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen are a mom-and-son team who go on a road trip together. *** HH

Hansel and Gretel: Witchhunters: Boring wanna-be steampunk version of what happened after the Grimm fairytale kids killed the witch. Ho-hum dialogue, uneven pacing and no jokes. ** TS

Klein Karoo: Rom-com set in Oudtshoorn, which may follow a clichéd formula, but does give some idiosyncratic characters who will amuse greatly. *** TS

Les Miserables: Tom Hooper directs a stellar cast in the West End musical, except this looks like the real deal with gorgeous outdoor sets, lavish costumes and extreme detail. **** TS

Life of Pi: Ang Lee creates a gorgeously rendered 3D world on the high seas as a young boy struggles to survive in the company of only a Bengal tiger. **** TS

Lincoln: Talk-heavy biopic by Steven Spielberg about the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life. Daniel Day-Lewis disappears into the role for an uncanny, Oscar-nominated performance alongside a stellar cast. *** TS

Mama: drawing heavily on producer Guillermo del Toro’s touch with the fantastical, this is a scary horror, even if the storyline is predictable. *** TS

Oz the Great and Powerful: A children’s morality tale pushing the idea that if you just believe, you can achieve. Beautiful, bright scenery, but very simplistic. *** TS

Quartet: First-time director Dustin Hoffman takes a gentle look at ageing, but with Maggie Smith leading the charge, it’s always one to cherish. Add to that the setting – a retirement home for musicians which presents all kinds of explosions. **** DdB

Searching for Sugarman: Narratively satisfying, Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul’s canny documentary tells the tale of the search for Detroit-born Mexican musician Sixto Diaz Rodriguez. **** WP

Sleeper’s Wake: A plodding plot and repetitive dialogue do not an adult thriller make. ** TS

Snitch: Dwayne Johnson and his muscles return to the big screen to play a dad who does anything to save his falsely accused and incarcerated son. A so-so effort that you will not remember next month. ** MV

The Impossible: An impressive story about a family beating the odds after a terrifying natural disaster. The story is a little too perfect but it still works. *** MV

The Intouchables: A feel-good movie about a distinctly feel-bad subject, quadriplegia. *** WP

The Last Stand: Arnie is back, a little bit older and he knows it and shows it. Helped by Luis Guzman and Johnny Knoxville, he still stands in the way of the bad guys though. *** TS

The Sessions: Tender story that proves it is possible to make a grown-up film about sex in Hollywood. **** WP

Verraaiers: Local war drama that is surprisingly PC in presentation, considering it is about a nasty, gritty kind of time. A strong cast, directed by Paul Eilers, tell a story about traitors during the Anglo Boer war. *** TS

Wreck-It Ralph: Stepping into the world of video arcade games, Disney manages to create a sophisticated story about humanity, using cgi characters. **** TS

Zero Dark Thirty: Kathryn Bigelow directs Jessica Chastain in a suspenseful drama about the capture of Osama bin Laden, in a film which unwittingly (or not) supports the idea that torturing prisoners is ok. **** TS


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