Movies out Today: 22 April 2016

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Juxtaposing a sequel that adds nothing of value with a different sequel that somehow surpasses the original, here’s what’s opening on cinema this week.

  • The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Freya the Ice Queen (Emily Blunt) brings her sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron) back to life, and the powerful evil siblings plan to conquer the Enchanted Forest. Only the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and his secret lover Sara (Jessica Chastain) can stop them in this sequel continuing the inventive twist on the Snow White fable.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a movie as meh as The Hunstman: Winter’s War. On paper it made a lot of improvements on its predecessor, Snow White and the Huntsman, but as Kervyn pointed out, it’s not like the first one was particularly successful or memorable enough to warrant a sequel, so why did they bother? All they did is make a painfully average, bland and boring and blah pre/sequel type thing that offers basically nothing in the way of entertainment or excitement. Kervyn gave it a score as middle-of-the-road as the film itself, 2.5/5 stars.

Book now at Nu Metro or Ster Kinekor

  • Barbershop 3

It’s been more than 10 years since our last appointment at Calvin’s Barbershop. Calvin and his longtime crew, including Eddie, are still there, but the shop has undergone some major changes. Most noticeably, our once male-dominated sanctuary is now co-ed. The ladies bring their own flavor, drama and gossip to the shop challenging the fellas at every turn. Despite the good times and camaraderie within the shop, the surrounding community has taken a turn for the worse, forcing Calvin and our crew to come together to not only save the shop, but their neighborhood.

I was really surprised to hear that they made a Barbershop 3, apparently I missed when Barbershop 2 was a thing, but even more surprising is just how highly recommended The Next Cut is. Unlike My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 or Zoolander 2, it’s one of those incredibly rare belated sequels that not only lives up to the standards set by its predecessors, but actually surpasses them. Scoring 93% on Rotten Tomatoes (over the original Barbershop’s 82%) Barbershop 3: The Next Cut is ambitious, thought-provoking, genuine and most importantly, funny.

Book now at Nu Metro or Ster Kinekor

  • Demolition

Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal), a successful investment banker, struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father in law, Phil (Chris Cooper), to pull it together, Davis continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’ letters catch the attention of customer service rep, Karen Mareno (Naomi Watts) and amidst emotional and financial burdens of her own, the two form an unlikely connection. With the help of Karen and her son, Chris (Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.

Demolition might be a quirky and offbeat look into the different ways people deal with sorrow and loss, but it falls short of being profound and meaningful. Instead, it ends up getting bogged down by clichés and a disjointed, confusing story. The under-used cast and their stellar performances are the only thing to redeem this movie, with special praise going to Jake Gyllenhaal, enough to get 52% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Book now at Nu Metro or Ster Kinekor

  • Irrational Man

When a burned-out, brilliant professor – one who believes in lessons from life rather than textbooks – takes a job at a small college, everyone there is abuzz. He becomes involved with a teacher as well as a precocious student, but it takes a dramatic, existential act to turn his life around and make him see the world through a much rosier and more positive perspective.

A running theme of all the reviews that I’ve read is that Irrational Man is not Woody Allen’s best work. That’s pretty much all anyone has to say about it. It’s definitively a Woody Allen film, cynical and existential at the same time as being blithely humorous. If you’re a big fan of his work, you’ll probably like Irrational Man well enough, but if you aren’t then there’s really no point, the 44% on Rotten Tomatoes won’t change your mind.

Book now at Nu Metro or Ster Kinekor

  • Verskietende Ster

The story of musical prodigy Phillip Schuman, who had the weight of the real world threatening to shadow the light of his genius.

The latest film by Darrel James Roodt, Verskietende Ster is about the conflict between a 15 year old piano prodigy and his grieving father that forbids him from playing. Now, if there’s one sure-fire way of getting kids to do something, it’s to ban them from it, so I can see how this story will end up going!

Book now at Nu Metro or Ster Kinekor

Last Updated: April 22, 2016

Tracy Benson

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

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