Movies out today: It's a week for families behaving badly

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Six films open in South Africa today, with two of the week’s biggest releases centred on dysfunctional, destructive families.

The Family:
Luc Besson directs this dark action comedy about a New York mobster (Robert De Niro) who finds himself living in the French countryside due to his latest Witness Protection Programme placement. Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron and John D’Leo are his wife and kids. Tommy Lee Jones is the FBI agent who has to keep this disgruntled criminal family out of trouble.

The Family is buoyed by its excellent cast, but is apparently a strange and disjointed movie experience on the whole. If you enjoyed the likes of Kick-Ass and RED though, there may be something in this R-rated flick for you. 33% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

family

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa:
The Jackass gang go the Borat route with this comedy that mixes a loose plot with an assortment of stunts and pranks unleashed on the unsuspecting public. In the film an octogenarian (Johnny Knoxville in heavy make-up) embarks on a cross-country road trip with his young grandson.

Bad Grandpa certainly won’t be for everyone, but if you enjoy lowbrow humour, the film evidently delivers. This type of movie is often inconsistently funny and Bad Grandpa is no different. It hits the mark enough though, even if the laughs are unapologetically cheap in nature. 63% Fresh.

CT  CTH JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA

Closed Circuit:
A British political thriller with Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall playing ex-lovers and lawyers called upon to defend a terror attack suspect during a high profile trial. However, the more they dig, the more it looks like a Secret Service cover-up is at work. Also with Ciarán Hinds and Jim Broadbent.

Closed Circuit may look great on paper but it’s apparently drab, full of plot holes and increasingly far-fetched. Slickly made and acted at least.

closedcircuit

Austenland:
Keri Russell stars in this chick-lit novel adaptation about an American woman with a Pride & Prejudice obsession. She travels to a Jane Austen-themed resort in UK to hunt for her own Mr Darcy. Also with Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Seymour.

Sadly, Austenland doesn’t explore its interesting LARP premise. Evidently it prefers to wallow in slapstick and completely unrealistic romantic comedy cliches.

austenland

Killing Season:
Also known as Shrapnel, this action thriller sees John Travolta’s former Serbian solider seek out Robert De Niro’s American operative while the latter is vacationing in the Appalachian Mountains. Cue a revenge-driven game of cat-and-mouse.

Despite being a first-time pairing for Travolta and De Niro, Killing Season is apparently a dud. It’s glum, dull and pretty pointless.

killing

Salinger:
Screening in limited release is this feature-length documentary about the reclusive novelist, most famous for writing one of the great 20th Century American classics The Catcher in the Rye. Kept secret for five years, the project includes interviews with assorted prize-winning authors and actors.

Salinger has had a very mixed reception. While some have found the film intriguing, accessible and incredibly well researched, others have complained that it’s too repetitive, pretentious and missing too much expected content.

JD Salinger reading Catcher in the Rye in 1952

Last Updated: November 1, 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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