Three new movies open in South Africa today, with one of the new releases being one of the most highly anticipated blockbusters of 2013. I think you can guess which of the following it is…
Man of Steel:
Screening in 2D and CONVERTED 3D is this reboot of the Superman film franchise. Directed by Zack Snyder and overseen by the Dark Knight’s Christopher Nolan, Man of Steel updates the origin story of DC Comics’ Superman for the 21st Century. Ashamed of and alienated by his freakish abilities, young Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) searches for answers as to his extraterrestrial beginnings. He’s forced to step into the spotlight when his adoptive world is threatened by General Zod (Michael Shannon), a militant survivor from his home world of Krypton. Also with Amy Adams as reporter Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Superman’s biological father, and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as his adoptive parents.
You can read my full Man of Steel review here, but in short, while the film is technically flawless and well cast I found it, well, too superficial and devoid of charm. For rival opinions, check out Kervyn and Lourens’s reviews, where they had their issues too but otherwise enjoyed it thoroughly. Internationally critics have been similarly split. While some have been swayed by the dazzling, energetic and upbeat spectacle, others have found it monotonous, overblown and tonally imbalanced. Currently a divisive 56% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
White House Down:
One “terrorists take over the US president’s residence” film not enough for you? Following less than 3 months after Olympus Has Fallen, here’s Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx doing much the same thing – as a rejected Secret Service applicant and the President respectively. Also with Maggie Gyllenhaal. From director Roland (Independence Day, 2012) Emmerich.
According to international critics, White House Down is completely and consciously silly, embracing every cliche and ignoring any semblance of realism. Great camaraderie between the film’s leads though. For the record, our very own Kervyn found it more dumb than dumb fun.
Song for Marion:
For people craving a break from explosions and mass destruction, there’s this bittersweet comedy drama from the UK, screening in limited release. Terrance Stamp plays a grumpy husband who agrees to the final wish of his terminally ill wife (Vanessa Redgrave) to replace her in the local seniors’ choir. Also with Gemma Arterton as the choir mistress and Christopher Eccleston.
Nominated for 3 accolades at the British Independent Film Awards, Song for Marion, AKA Unfinished Song, is evidently elevated by the sincere work of its talented cast. It is predictable and unsubtle in its attempts to squeeze out an emotional response, however.
Last Updated: June 28, 2013