Movies out Today: 26 February 2016

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The last of the Academy Awards Best Picture nominees to grace South African cinemas opens this week, and it comes highly recommended by Craig. The same can’t be said about the rest of this week’s releases unfortunately, but they can’t all be winners.

  • Room

Both highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, ROOM is a unique and touching exploration of the boundless love between a mother and her child. After 5-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his Ma (Brie Larson) escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world. As he experiences all the joy, excitement, and fear that this new adventure brings, he holds tight to the one thing that matters most of all–his special bond with his loving and devoted Ma.

Sincere and emotional, with a tightly focused script and stellar directing, Room is definitely deserving of its Best Picture nomination, and Brie Larson even more so for her performance. It’s not an easy story to tell, it’s definitely not a happy one, but it’s handled with elegance and well-paced enough that you’re never overwhelmed. Craig gives it high praise with 4.5/5 stars.

  • Gods of Egypt

In this spectacular action-adventure inspired by the classic mythology of Egypt, the survival of mankind hangs in the balance as an unexpected mortal hero Bek (Brenton Thwaites) undertakes a thrilling journey to save the world and rescue his true love. In order to succeed, he must enlist the help of the powerful god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in an unlikely alliance against Set (Gerard Butler), the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. As their breath-taking battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens, both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the epic final confrontation.

Oh man, one look at Gods of Egypt and I had flashbacks to Clash of the Titans. A big budget, totally over-the-top fantasy ‘epic’ based on foreign mythology with some big names and some so-so CGI and some inexplicable British accents and even after watching a few different trailers you’re not entirely sure of the story or even if it has one. Wow, this is an oddly specific genre we’re starting to see. In any case Gods of Egypt isn’t even doing as well as Clash of the Titans, it’s more on the level of, like, Seventh Son. Which is to say it’s really crap. Like, 17% on Rotten Tomatoes crap.

  • Grimsby

Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen), a sweet but dimwitted English football hooligan, reunites with his long-lost brother Sebastian (Mark Strong), a deadly MI6 agent, to prevent a massive global terror attack and prove that behind every great spy is an embarrassing sibling.

Grimsby is incredibly vulgar and seriously pushes the limit of bad taste humour but, unlike (shudder) Fifty Shades of Black, the humour is so much better, in both quality and quantity. Even though there’s a paper-thin plot and Nobby (heh) is definitely not Cohen’s most well-put-together or memorable characters, according to critics Grimsby is still unashamedly funny and totally outrageous, earning 56% on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Solace

An FBI agent and a reclusive psychic team up in an effort to hunt down a serial killer in this supernatural thriller. As the case progresses, the psychic becomes more important to the case than he knows.

Solace is a ghost of a movie. I couldn’t find any official website, there’s no trailer but the international one with Spanish subtitles and title cards, and a fair amount of Google search results are for Quantum of Solace instead. What little information I could find point to Solace being tedious, uninspired and unoriginal, almost bordering on ridiculous in just how painfully mediocre it is.

Read  Movies out Today: 01 December 2017
[Not-So-Fun Fact: Solace‘s script actually began life as a sequel to Se7en with Morgan Freeman’s character having developed psychic abilities for some reason. It sounded bad back then, and it looks even worse now that they somehow convinced Anthony Hopkins to do it]
  • The Boy

Greta (Lauren Cohan) is a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village, only to discover that the family’s 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that the parents care for just like a real boy, as a way to cope with the death of their actual son 20 years prior. After violating a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring Greta’s worst nightmare to life, leading her to believe that the doll is actually alive.

The Boy has an intensely creepy premise and works surprisingly well, even if it is let down by a slow descent into the usual horror-movie tropes. It’s entertaining if you’re into these kinds of movies, with enough suspense and atmosphere to keep you interested. For everyone else, it’s got 32% on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Die Ontwaking

A gruesome and action packed crime-thriller, DIE ONTWAKING explores the psyche and motivations of a serial killer, Abel, owner of a small gallery specializing in African Masks and Art, who is also currently curating a collection of tattoo’s belonging to beautiful female victims. Ella Nesser is the attractive, but inexperienced murder detective in charge of the case, her main task is to track down the serial killer who has been praying on the city’s young women.

Die Ontwaking has a very The Bone Collector vibe about it, and of course it doesn’t help that Jeffrey Deaver also wrote a book called The Skin Collector which had basically the same premise. I’m sure that as an action packed crime thriller, Die Ontwaking will make a nice change of pace from our usual local movies, I just hope that it’s not as obviously derived from other movies as its main antagonist is from other characters. Oh well, at least it looks more believable than Solace.

Last Updated: February 26, 2016

Tracy Benson

All about movies, board games, cider, sci-fi, fantasy and geek culture.

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