Well, of the week’s five new releases it’s really obvious who the box office champion is going to be…
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire:
Screening solely in 2D (hooray!) and 2D IMAX, is this sci-fi actioner sequel. Based on the bestselling novel, Catching Fire continues the story of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a young woman who finds herself the unwilling symbol of rebellion in a Dystopian future. Not only must she fight for her life in an all-new special anniversary Hunger Games, but she has loved ones and love interests Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth to keep out of harm’s way. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright and Amanda Plummer join returnees like Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci and Lenny Kravitz.
Kervyn’s review pretty much sums up my response to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It’s an incredibly faithful, consistently engaging adaptation (despite a 2 hours 26 minute running time), that takes full advantage of its bigger budget to create a dazzling world, just as Lawrence and co. bring emotional kick to proceedings. Internationally the film is currently sitting with an aggregated review score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s being heralded as a sequel done right: a movie that improves on its predecessor in every department.
Justin and the Knights of Valour:
Screening in 2D and 3D is this animated film from a Spanish animation studio. Mixing fantasy and adventure, the family-friendly flick sees a young man defy his father’s wishes and embark on a quest to become a knight. With the voices of Freddie Highmore, Antonio Banderas, Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong and more.
Looking very much like a How to Train Your Dragon / Brave knock-off, Justin and the Knights of Valour is apparently just for the Under 10 set. Clunkily plotted, it never manages to find any magic.
Also known as Girl Most Likely, this indie comedy sees Kristen Wiig play the title character, a failed playwright who ends up living back home with her gambling-addicted, former go-go dancer mother (Annette Bening). Also with Matt Dillon and Natasha Lyonne.
Imogene is apparently a bit of a dud, coming across like a contrived, dull sitcom despite its eccentric characters and set-up.
This romantic comedy stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a woman who finds herself torn between love and loyalty when she discovers the man she is dating (James Gandolfini) is the ex-husband of her new friend (Catherine Keener). Also with Toni Collette.
Very much a movie for grown-ups, indie effort Enough Said is evidently a delight – touching, authentic and genuinely funny.
Screening in limited release is this film festival flick – yes, another one this week. Adrien Brody is a substitute teacher who lives in a permanent state of apathy but is forced to consider his life when he is posted at a failing high school. Marcia Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston, Lucy Liu and James Caan all form part of the ensemble cast.
From the director of American History X, Detachment is relentlessly unhappy and runs on righteous anger. It’s never dull but is likely to be a bit too pretentiously miserable and free of resolutions for some.
Last Updated: November 22, 2013