Five new films open in South Africa today, offering a full spectrum of genre fare to choose from.
The new release pick of the week is this real-life racing story. Set in the 1970s, Rush centres on the professional Formula One rivalries of playboy driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and the cool, clinical Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Also with Olivia Wilde. Directed by Ron Howard.
You can read my full review here but in short Rush is worth a viewing whether you like motor racing or not (personally I don’t). The film is far from subtle, but it’s always compelling and refreshingly character-driven. Internationally, critics have praised the film for its acting, emphasis on the human element of the sport and its well-shot racing scenes. 88% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
Screening in converted 3D is this supernatural Dark Horse comic adaptation. Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges are dead lawmen recruited by the Rest In Peace Department to protect the living from vengeful spirits.
Action comedy R.I.P.D. wasn’t screened for American critics before release and has been panned – with some reviewers going so far as to call it a Men in Black rip-off and the worst comic adaptation since Jonah Hex. Oh dear. As Kervyn states, not even Bridges can save it despite being by far the best thing in the film. Then again, perhaps we shouldn’t have expected much from a movie that uses the “hero hit by car” gag three times in a single trailer. 13% Fresh.
Halle Berry plays a 911 Call Centre operator in this thriller. She has to remotely help Abigail Breslin, who has been kidnapped by a serial killer. Also with Morris Chestnut.
According to critics, The Call is a masterful and involving exercise in tension… for the most part. It spectacularly succumbs into stupidity in its final third though once Berry’s character ventures out of the control room to play hero.
Nothing for Mahala:
This South African comedy-drama stars Thapelo Mokoena as a fast-living property agent who finds himself in debt and serving 200 hours of community service at an old age home. Cantankerous pensioner Marius Weyers may be the solution to the young man’s financial woes but for that relationship to work, attitudes and life priorities need to change. Also with Jamie Barlett.
Screening in limited release is this drama thriller starring Richard Gere as a morally dubious business magnate who squirms his way out of manslaughter and fraud charges. This indie effort also stars Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth and Brit Marling.
Arbitrage has won its fair share of critical acclaim, particularly for Gere’s “career best performance.” It’s apparently a smart and stylish character study that keeps you guessing.
Last Updated: October 4, 2013