Movies out today: Animated adventure, crime and comedy

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It’s the start of a three-day weekend in South Africa, and at the movies it seems to be almost entirely about lighthearted laughs and glossy big name blockbuster entertainment for kids and adults alike.

Epic:
Screening in 3D and 2D is this CGI-animated comedy adventure for the whole family. Teenage human (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) becomes embroiled in a battle between the Leafmen, the forest’s protectors – headed by the likes of Colin Farrell and Josh Hutcherson’s warriors – and the pestilence-spreading mandrake (Christoph Waltz) and his henchmen. Based loosely on the story by William “Rise of the Guardians” Joyce.

You can read my full review of Epic here, but in short, the movie is visually stunning, with incredibly well choreographed action scenes, but it’s neutered by its attempt to be too many things for too many audiences. Internationally, the film has an aggregated review score of 62% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising the polished visuals while berating the flat storyline.

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Broken City:
Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe star in this crime thriller about a disgraced cop-turned private detective (Wahlberg) who finds himself owing a debt to the corrupt mayor (Crowe), and vows to take him down. Also with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jeffrey Wright.

Read  Movies out today: 21 September 2018

Broken City has a strong cast – who certainly don’t phone it in – but its pretty standard genre fare, that becomes increasingly convoluted as the not-unpredictable twists are piled on.

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Gambit:
Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz and Alan Rickman star in this comedy remake of the 1966 Oscar nominee. An art curator enlists the help of a unpredictable rodeo girl to con his abusive boss into buying a fake painting. Written by the Coen Brothers surprisingly.

Gambit is apparently enjoyable, but the laughs are cheap and dated. You can’t help but feel the talent involved was seriously wasted on this all-round lacklustre effort. This is a sentiment shared by Kervyn in his review over at TheMovies.co.za.

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I’m So Excited!:
Screening in limited release is the latest foreign language effort from acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. The writer-director makes a 180 degree turn from his last film, the dark identity horror The Skin I Live In with this relationship-complications comedy set almost entirely on an airplane that’s in the process of experiencing technical difficulties.

According to reviewers I’m so Excited! has a strongly retro vibe – it’s cheesy, broad and energetic, much like those old comedies from the 80s.

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Last Updated: June 14, 2013

Noelle Adams

Sometime Tomb Raider. Full-time Pop Culture fanatic and Geekaissance Woman. Most often spotted outputting Pop Culture opinion pieces, writing fanfic and original genre fare, cosplaying and bringing the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu smackdown. Editor of the Comics and Toys section.

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