This is a bit of a dull week in cinemas. There are a lot of movies out today, some very good, some… not so much, but no highly-anticipated blockbusters yet.
Lily Tomlin stars as Elle who has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when Elle’s granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing $600 bucks before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.
Boasting an impressive 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, Grandma is a stellar movie. It’s sharp, funny and memorable, with some heartbreak along the way. Writer/director Paul Weitz has really pulled out all the stops with this one, and critics are lauding it as Lily Tomlin’s best performance to date. Although, it has an audience rating of only 70%, so it might be another one that some of us plebs “just don’t get”.
BROOKLYN tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
Brooklyn is another movie that has critics raving about it this week. Unapologetically old-fashioned but still vibrant, and again with amazingly strong performances, it’s a deceptively complex movie that’s about more than just a love triangle. And, along with its 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, it has an audience rating of 92%, so you know it’s a crowd-pleaser.
Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness) and James Marsden (2 Guns) star in the tense psychological thriller THE LOFT, the story of five guys who conspire to secretly share a penthouse loft in the city–a place where they can indulge in their deepest fantasies. But the fantasy becomes a nightmare when they discover the dead body of an unknown woman in the loft, and they realize one of the group must be involved. Paranoia seizes them as everyone begins to suspect one another. Friendships are tested, loyalties are questioned and marriages crumble as the group is consumed by fear, suspicion and murder in this relentless thriller.
Take a common-as-mud plot and add some horrendously unlikable characters, uneven pacing and unbelievable plot twists, then neglect to add the “erotic” or “thriller” to your erotic thriller, and that’s how you wind up with The Loft. Thanks to the characters that are as sleazy as the storyline, it’s only managed to scrape 11% on Rotten Tomatoes.
In 1967, a young Beijing student, Chen Zhen, is sent to live among the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia. Caught between the advance of civilization from the south and the nomads’ traditional enemies – the marauding wolves – to the north; humans and animals, residents and invaders alike, struggle to find their true place in the world.
Bringing a book to life on screen is always touch-and-go, and Wolf Totem is no exception. The grandiose cinematography is well worth it, especially on IMAX, but the narrative sacrifices are obvious and the story does dissolve into a bit of a melodrama. But it’s not without its tender, heart-warming moments, bringing it to 70% on Rotten Tomatoes.
How to Make Love like an Englishman
By day, Richard Haig is a successful and well-respected English professor at renowned Trinity College in Cambridge. By night, Richard indulges his own romantic fantasies with a steady stream of beautiful undergraduates. But Richard has grown tired of the game and is looking for something more meaningful and lasting. So when Kate, Richard’s tanned, athletic, 25-year-old American girlfriend tells him that she is pregnant, Richard is thrilled. He looks forward to having a family of his own, being a father his children could be proud of, not some sex-fueled bobcat. There is only one problem. Richard’s not in love with Kate. Richard is in love with Kate’s sister, Olivia. He had been in love with her ever since he first saw her.
First off, it took me forever to find any information on this movie because apparently it’s named Some Kind of Beautiful in other regions. And when I did eventually find it, it only has 4% on Rotten Tomatoes which made me feel like I totally wasted my time. But at least now you know you shouldn’t waste your time with it either, because it’s totally crap. Boring, contrived, pointless, hackneyed and witless are all choice words that the critics have dished out.
Blinky Bill is a koala with a big imagination. An adventurer at heart, he dreams of leaving the little town of Green Patch and following in his explorer father’s footsteps. Mr Bill went missing in the Outback sometime ago and Blinky is the only one who believes his father is still alive. When Blinky discovers a mysterious marker that hints at his Dad’s whereabouts, he embarks on a journey that takes him beyond the boundary of Green Patch and into the wild and dangerous Outback.
What can be said about your average kids movie that hasn’t been said before? The usual epithets apply, it’s sweet, charming, colourful, full of heart and high-spirited. The only really defining characteristic of Blinky Bill is that it’s an Australian movie, so I guess that it deviates from the norm in that all those adorable, brightly-animated characters will have an Australian accent. Basically, it’s your stock-standard movie aimed at children, not up there with the likes of Pixar or Dreamworks, but still nice enough with 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Program tells of one of the biggest deceptions in modern history. The incredible true story behind Lance Armstrong – the success, the controversy, and the quest for the truth.
Based on David Walsh’s expose on the cycling legend Lance Armstrong, The Program tells a story we’re all pretty familiar with, so it’s probably not as engaging as it could be seeing as we know how it goes. Nevertheless, it’s a decent, even-handed movie and Ben Foster makes the most of his performance as Armstrong, earning The Program 59% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Last Updated: November 13, 2015