It’s a four-day Easter long weekend in South Africa starting from tomorrow. As a result, all the new movie releases are hitting cinemas from today, and there are six of them – ranging from action-packed escapism to feel-good fare and horror.
The Legend of Hercules:
Screening in 2D and actually-shot-for-3D is this (supposedly) mythological fantasy adventure centred on Greek hero Hercules. Beefcake Kellan Lutz plays the demigod, who here must excel in the gladiator arena, lead a rebellion and accept his divine heritage if he is to marry his true love and defeat his tyrannical stepfather (Scott Adkins). Renny Harlin directs.
The Legend of Hercules has been panned by critics for largely ignoring its mythological source material in favour of the utterly generic. It’s indifferently executed, tedious and cheap-looking to boot. A dire 3% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
This “dirty cop” flick sounds B-grade in concept, but has some A-grade talent involved behind the camera – namely the director of End of Watch. An elite team of DEA agents steals and hides $10 million from a drug cartel bust. Only the money vanishes and they start dying one by one. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars, with Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Terrence Howard, Josh Holloway and Joe Manganiello.
It took a while to be released but Sabotage is one of the first post-political Arnie films. Apparently it’s surprisingly dark, abrasive and horror movie-violent. Not enough action to please the thrill junkies, but it’s serious and character strong. 22% Fresh.
Sounding a helluva lot like Rosemary’s Baby is this horror film in the found footage style. Newlyweds (Allison Miller and Zach Gilford) find themselves unexpectedly pregnant, but instead of joy, fear builds as they begin to suspect the involvement of a Satanic cult.
For the most part, Devil’s Due has been dismissed as incredibly derivative. It’s competent, but flat and emotionally disengaged.
Son of God:
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum – this is the Easter weekend after all -there’s this family-friendly take on the life of of Jesus Christ (played by Diogo Morgado). This Biblical epic is actually a combination of unaired footage and scenes cut from the 10-hour The Bible miniseries screened in 2013.
Son of God has been very well received by Christian viewers. Film critics on the other hand have called it heavy-handed, bland and decidedly uncinematic.
Filling your local content quotient for the weekend is this romantic comedy in English and Afrikaans, starring Nico Panagio and Casey B Dolan. He’s Afrikaans, she’s Jewish, and in the emotional, incident-filled lead-up to their wedding, it falls to their best man (Louw Venter) to hold it together for the first time in his life if his best friends are going to make it up the aisle. Also with Casper De Vries.
Also of a feel-good nature is this true story of unlikely Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts, played here by James Corden. A shy, bullied salesman by day, an amateur opera singer by night, Paul overcomes his personal problems and doubts to win the hearts of millions. Also with Julie Walters and Colm Meaney.
One Chance is apparently as formulaic as it sounds. Combining drama and comedy, it’s still a sweet, crowd-pleasing underdog tale though.
Last Updated: April 17, 2014
April 17, 2014 at 10:21
Unfortunately, this week just got the better of me and I was unable to finish my Sabotage review in time, however I feel compelled to offer a bit of warning to anybody that might have plans to see it.
I can honestly say that – based on the level of talent in front of and behind the camera – Sabotage is my biggest disappointment of 2014 thus far. Writerdirector David Ayer provides a couple cool action beats, but its unnecessarily gruesome, has one of the dumbest plots I’ve seen in ages, and features a completely repugnant group of characters. Every single one of them are unlikeable douches who you just can’t wait to see die.