Film Guide - September 5, 2014

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TO GuideTammy Warner Bros. A scene from Tammy.

As Above So Below: A mind-numbing horror about an archaeologist who follows clues from the legendary Philosopher’s Stone to find the elixir of life deep in the catacombs beneath Paris. ** DT

Boyhood: Richard Linklater takes his time to tell the story of one child’s boyhood. While the technicality of filming is handled on an epic scale, the story, which delves into the human condition, is intimate. **** TS

Into the Storm: A bunch of tornadoes descend on a small town and the residents have to decide to run and hide or study patterns and evade. Impressive graphics, but you’ve seen this before. ** MV

Mom’s Night Out: Faith-based comedy in which a group of stay-at-home moms decide on a girls-only night out. Unfortunately, that means their husbands have to watch the kids for a few hours. ** WP

The Canyons: Far from being the boundary-pushing, sexually explicit sensation the marketing would have you believe, this is a lame and one-dimensional look at peripheral Hollywood types not worth the screen time. * HR

The November Man: A high-action spy thriller which sees Pierce Brosnan back on the big screen with a bang. **** LN

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

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

Big Significant Things: Director Bryan Reisberg takes his time for a slow build up in this psychological character sketch. *** HR

Blended: Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore again display an onscreen connection that lends a grounding warmth to the clunkiest of clunky comedy set-ups – 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, 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, beautifully shot and an adventurous rollercoaster ride. *** DT

Die Spook Van Uniondale: The premise is based on the legendary ghost story from that neck of the woods but then they turned it into a folksy family tale rather than go for the ghoulish nature which would have been an edgier option. ** DdB

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 well worth the ride. **** TS

Hard to Get: Stylishly violent local delight in which a Bonnie and Clyde leave their mark on the Jozi underworld. **** TO

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

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

Lovelace: Amanda Seyfried plays Linda Lovelace, the girl with the golden throat, but it's Sharon Stone and Peter Sarsgaard who steal the show. *** PE

Lucy: Le Femme Nikita meets The Fifth Element, which is cool on the one hand because it’s aaaaalll Luc Besson. But this is just Besson unfocused. There is a good car chase sequence though. *** BG

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 I: 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

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

Omar: Well directed, Oscar-nominated crime drama set in Palestine with uncommon depth and great twists. *** IND

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. HH DT

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

Step Up All In (3D): With the same format but different routines, the latest instalment in this franchise leaves dance fans wanting more. **** MV

Tammy: Melissa McCarthy goes OTT in the title role of this comedy, co-produced and co-written by her. She plays a loser who goes on a road trip with her granny, Pearl (played by Susan Sarandon), and they get into all kinds of misadventures. Sadly, it isn’t as funny as hinted at in the trailer. ** DT

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. HH 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

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. *** LN

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


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