Movies out today: Here come the crowd pleasers

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It’s all about comedies for the masses today at South African cinemas, with 2 of the 4 new releases being glossy, light-hearted efforts from big Hollywood  studios.

Screening in 3D and 2D is this third film in DreamWorks Animation’s “neurotic zoo animals escape” series. This time the gang from New York’s Central Park Zoo (including Ben Stiller’s lion, Chris Rock’s zebra, David Schwimmer’s giraffe and Jada Pinkett Smith’s hippo) are hiding out in a travelling circus while being chased across Europe by Frances McDormand’s Animal Control officer.

Personally I’ve always found the star-studded Madagascar comedies a bit too hyper and juvenile for my liking. After all, I this is a pretty good assessment of the type of person who finds Madagascar funny. This said, Europe’s Most Wanted is sitting with an solid aggregated Rotten Tomatoes review score of 76%. Like its franchise predecessors, the film apparently once again offers a fast-paced, silly, sensory overload that you’ll either love or hate. However, some reviewers are calling it the most enjoyable (for adults) of the trilogy.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting:
In the mould of He’s Just Not That Into You  and Think Like A Man, this all-star ensemble comedy is based on a best-selling self-help book. Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Dennis Quaid and Chris Rock are just some of the famous faces playing characters shell-shocked by the realities of pregnancy and parenthood.

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Given the avalanche of unfunny cliches in the trailer I’ll be avoiding What to Expect… like the plague. Evidently the film isn’t New Year’s Eve awful thanks to its likeable cast and characters. However, it plays out like a big screen sitcom, coming across as safe, unoriginal and unambitious.

Catch .44:
What’s this? A Bruce Willis actioner I’ve never even heard of? Released back in December in the US, this indie crime flick (with western overtones) sees three friends (Deborah Ann Woll, Nikki Reed, Malin Åkerman) biting off more than they can chew when their employer, a reclusive crime boss (Willis), gets them to intercept a drug deal. Forest Whitaker and Brad Dourif also star.

That’s a pretty good cast for an unknown movie! There’s no average review score for Catch .44 on Rotten Tomatoes, but online comments suggest this character driven Pulp Fiction wannabe is forced and messy.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro:
Showing in limited release at select Ster Kinekor Nouveu cinemas is this award-winning French language drama. A soon-to-retire trade unionist (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) and his loving wife (Ariane Ascaride) are traumatically robbed, only to have their conscience pricked when they track down their assailant, and realise justice isn’t so black and white.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro probably won’t tempt anyone but lovers of European cinema, but they’ll be treated to a thought-provoking and heart-warming examination of what it is to be a truly “good” person. 100% Fresh.

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Last Updated: June 15, 2012

  • matthurstrsa

    I thought Dictator was also releasing?

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