Starting from tomorrow it’s the 4-day Easter Long Weekend in South Africa. That means the week’s new releases are out in cinemas from today. Of these new movies, there’s nothing really for parents with young children, but teens and adults should find something to their fancy.
American Pie: American Reunion:
Nostalgia is a strange but powerful thing. It keeps bringing us movie sequels we never expected… Like this fourth theatrical release American Pie comedy. The class of 99 is back for more raunchy, gross-out and frequently embarrassing shenanigans as the gang treks home for their high school reunion. With Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott and many more, along with Jim’s Dad (Eugene Levy) and Stifler’s Mom (Jennifer Coolidge), of course.
At the time of writing this, American Reunion was sitting with an aggregated Rotten Tomatoes rating of 60% Fresh. The film has split critics – some of whom are calling it the funniest of the series (or at least on par with the original), and others dismissing it as a limp and lazy rehash of the same old franchise gags.
Angus Buchan’s Ordinary People:
Seeing as it’s Easter, if you’re looking for movie entertainment with spiritual flavour, this local true-life drama may be right up your alley. The film looks at 3 self-destructive men (Jaco Muller, Anton Dekker, Lucky Koza) whose lives are changed by the preachings of the Faith Like Potatoes farmer-turned-evangelist, at his Mighty Men conference.
Don’t expect the “uplifting” Ordinary People to be subtle. The only review I’ve been able to find for the film has dismissed it as ham-fisted and obvious all around… the kind of faith-centric straight-to-DVD movie you’ll find at CUM bookstores.
Until Avatar surpassed it, writer-director James Cameron’s earlier epic was the highest grossing film of all time. Well, that romantic historical disaster flick is back in cinemas as of today. This time though it’s in converted 3D, and this time it’s coinciding with the centenary of the Titanic’s sinking. For those oddly ignorant about the film, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star as star-crossed lovers Jack and Rose, who have the terrible luck of meeting during the RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage.
When Titanic came out in 1997, haters cackled gleefully at the thought of the most expensive film of all time being a massive turkey. They were wrong of course. Apart from the film’s box office success, it also went on to win a record-equalling 11 Academy Awards (along with a fair share of eye-rolling scorn).
Screening in limited release is this highly acclaimed psychological thriller – a regular on the film festival circuit – about a devoted family man (Michael Shannon) who is compelled to build a storm shelter after a series of apocalyptic visions. There’s a big question though: Is this foresight a gift, or a sign that our hero is succumbing to the same paranoid schizophrenia that had his mother institutionalised?
Take Shelter is an incredibly strong 92% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently the film oozes ominous atmosphere, features amazing performances and refreshingly keeps the “horror” subtle but powerful. Having watched this wonderfully enigmatic trailer, Take Shelter is my personal Movie Pick of the Week.
The Hunger Games:
This highly anticipated sci-fi actioner – based on the bestseller by Suzanne Collins – only officially releases in South Africa on 13 April, but this coming public holiday Easter Monday, Nu Metro and Ster Kinekor are running all-day pre-release screenings of the film – set in a despotic future America where teens are selected by lottery to fight to the death on TV. Now’s your chance to catch 2012’s first mega blockbuster (which is critically acclaimed to boot!) before the rest of the country.