Based on the worldwide best-selling novel by S.J. Watson, Before I Go to Sleep is the story of Christine (Nicole Kidman) who wakes up every day with no memory as the result of a traumatic accident in her past. One day, terrifying new truths begin to emerge that make her question everything she thinks she knows about her life – as well as everyone in it, including her doctor and her husband.
Despite being melodramatic and rather implausible, Before I Go to Sleep has enough clever twists to keep you entertained. All I know is that it sounds like the thriller version of 50 First Dates, but mercifully containing 100% less Adam Sandler. With 60% on Rotten Tomatoes, you could do worse this weekend. Like with…
Based on the young-adult novel of the same name, The Giver centres on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal (of course it’s not), if colourless (of course it’s dystopian), world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver (Jeff Bridges), who is the sole keeper of all the community’s memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community’s secret past.
With the young-adult-books-turned-movies industry going from strength to strength, The Giver might show that we’ve reached saturation point in the genre. With only 2.5 stars from Kervyn and 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, most of the magic of Lois Lowry’s original book is lost in translation, with focused narrative being left behind in favour of shameless pandering to the perceived target audience, resulting in massive gaps of logic.
College sweethearts Greta (Keira Knightley) and Dave (Adam Levine) are song-writing partners who move to New York after he lands a deal with a major label. When he strays, heartbroken Greta considers moving back home to Britain.Before she leaves, she’s spotted on stage by a down-on-his-luck record producer (Mark Ruffalo) who recognizes her musical talent and opens up an entire world of possibility for both of them.
Despite what sounds like an incredibly saccharine premise, Begin Again is fairing very well with critics. Part comedy, part drama and part musical, it might tend towards the sappy but ultimately doesn’t conform to any tropes, and the music adds enough to the movie to keep it fresh. 82% fresh, to be precise.
Calvary’s Father James is a good priest who is faced with sinister and troubling circumstances brought about by a mysterious member of his parish. Although he continues to comfort his own fragile daughter and reach out to help members of his church with their various scurrilous moral, and sometimes comic, problems, he feels sinister forces closing in, and begins to wonder if he will have the courage to face his own personal Calvary.
Although it doesn’t sound like there’s much comedy in this comedy-drama, and critics admit that the movie is tempered by some dark melancholy, Calvary is currently on 89% on Rotten Tomatoes with some very good reviews. Particularly, Brendan Gleeson’s dominating and maybe even Oscar-worthy performance as Father James.
When two struggling pals (Damon Wayans and Jake Johnson) dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighbourhood sensations. But, when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.
Well, while The Giver might have a bad score but still hold enough appeal for some, I hope that no one goes to watch Let’s Be Cops. It sounds atrocious. Likened to a sketch comedy that was stretched out to two hours, it’s stale, unfunny and most of the jokes are just in bad taste. 20% on Rotten Tomatoes goes to show that this is not the movie to tide you over until 23 Jump Street.
Mr Morgan’s Last Love (Cinema Nouveau)
Matthew Morgan (Michael Caine) is a widowed, world-weary professor living in Paris. The cynical Matthew sees no meaningful future for himself – until he meets Pauline (Clémence Poésy), a free-spirited young dance instructor. The unlikely bond they form ultimately leads them to rediscover the joy that only family and true friendship can offer.
I would expect something starring the great Michael Caine to do better than 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, but sadly Mr Morgan’s Last Love doesn’t manage to go anywhere with its story, instead it is too slow, too dull, and in the end, too disappointing.
Last Updated: September 12, 2014