Movies out Today: 21 August 2015

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Uncle

This week is all about 60’s spies (with Superman!), teenage literary drama and some predictable cheese (any of the last three movies will fit that description, so that’s handy).

  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin.  Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology.  The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. might be lacking in the plot department, but some neat tricks from Guy Ritchie and the entertaining dynamic between the three leads will keep you lightly entertained for long enough, although the lacklustre finale might let you down. It’s no Kingsman, but it’s decent enough to get 3/5 Stars from Kervyn.

  • Paper Towns

Adapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS), PAPER TOWNS is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears – leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship – and true love.

John Green is fast becoming to teenage coming-of-age dramas what Nicholas Sparks is to formulaic romance movies. Paper Towns is more enjoyable, more realistic and less heavy handed than The Fault in Our Stars, but it’s still a teenage coming-of-age drama, albeit a charming and sympathetic one.

  • Boychoir

From acclaimed director François Girard (The Red Violin) comes the inspirational story of a rebellious kid with a remarkable gift who is challenged by a demanding teacher to make the most unlikely of dreams come true. A stellar ensemble – including two-time Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman, Oscar-winner Kathy Bates, two-time Emmy winner Eddie Izzard, three-time Oscar-nominee Debra Winger, Josh Lucas (A Beautiful Mind) and Kevin McHale (Glee) – headline a cast that also introduces an exciting group of newcomers as the young singers who battle each other as they take their boychoir to the competitive heights.

Boychoir performs admirably as a heart-warming crowd-pleaser, just don’t expect any surprises. It’s pompous, formulaic and predictable to a fault, but still good enough for 52% on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Where Hope Grows

Calvin Campbell is a former professional baseball player sent to an early retirement due to his panic attacks at the plate. Even though he had all the talent for the big leagues, he struggles with the curveballs life has thrown him. Today, he mindlessly sleepwalks through his days and the challenge of raising his teenage daughter. His life is in a slow downward spiral when it is suddenly awakened and invigorated by the most unlikely person – Produce, a young-man with Down syndrome who works at the local grocery store. Calvin slowly loses the chip on his shoulder as he begins to experience the world through Produce’s eyes. Faith, work, purpose and most importantly family, blossom into Calvin’s life as their friendship develops. The unlikely pair becomes intertwined giving Calvin’s life new meaning and purpose, but unfortunately leads to tragedy due to single decision echoed from Calvin’s past.

Like most faith-based films, Where Hope Grows is full of cheesy sentiment and strong, obvious “message” that overshadows pretty much anything else. For your average cynic it’s unlikely to inspire, but as far as the genre goes it’s probably a nice movie. Probably.

  • Glory Game – The Joost van der Westhuizen Story

South African rugby hero Joost van der Westhuizen was diagnosed with motor neuron disease, a crippling illness that attacks the central nervous system—causing disability and death. But, where others might struggle to accept their lot, Joost has tackled it with dignity and humour. In his battle against the disease, he fought for his life, and for the future of his fellow sufferers, and rediscovered his humanity. More than a team player, Joost has become Man of the Match. This is his story.

Huh, so this is a thing that happened. I did not know that they made a movie about Joost van der Westhuizen. Despite how awfully cheesy the trailer looks, hopefully Glory Game will be good for shining a spotlight on a serious and deadly disease and raising some awareness about motor neuron disease.

Last Updated: August 21, 2015

Tracy Benson

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

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