Only three new movies hit South African cinemas today, clearly giving the following pick of the week space to flex its box office muscles.
Thor: The Dark World:
Screening in 2D, converted 3D – and opening as the country’s first ever 3D IMAX movie at Durban’s Gateway cinema complex – is this Marvel superhero sequel. This time, Asgardian hero Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must contend with a threat that predates Creation and poses a risk to all Nine Realms. This forces him into an uneasy alliance with his trickster adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Christopher Eccleston is the Dark Elf Big Bad while returning cast members include Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Jaimie Alexander, Kat Dennings and Rene Russo.
According to Kervyn, Thor: The Dark World is flawed fun, helped by its healthy sense of humour but hindered by its pacing. Internationally the film is currently sitting with an aggregated review score of 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus seems to be that the Thor follow-up is far from flawless (it lacks a distinct personality and is burdened with “samey-ness” instead), but if you enjoyed the first you’ll find a satisfying romp with higher stakes.
This glossy historical drama is loosely based on the true story of a black man (Forest Whitaker) who served as a White House butler for six different Presidents, starting with Eisenhower (Robin Williams) in the 1950s and running through to Reagan (Alan Rickman) in the 80s. The all-star cast includes Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding, Jr., James Marsden, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, Jane Fonda and many more.
From director Lee (Precious, Monster’s Ball) Daniels, The Butler has been a box office smash, earning thematic comparisons to Forrest Gump for its exploration of a highly tumultuous, socially conscious period in American history. Like Forrest Gump, some critics have complained that the film is manipulative and contrived. The majority though have called it heartfelt, riveting and exceptionally well-acted.
Based on the novel of the same name, this romantic comedy sees flight attendant Paula Patton on a mission to find her Mr Right before his sister’s wedding in a month. Djimon Hounsou and Taye Diggs are just two of the prospective love interests.
If you can get past the film’s central concept that a woman needs a man to consider her life a success, you’ll evidently find Baggage Claim to be a paint-by-numbers, ultra-safe romcom.
Last Updated: November 8, 2013