Movies out today: Monsters, maniacs and mad, bad men

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Just three new releases hit South African cinemas today, and they’re all of the escapist sort…

Godzilla:
Screening in 2D, 3D, and 3D IMAX is this American reboot of the Godzilla film franchise. The King of Monsters pops up to deal with the life-threatening results of our scientific meddling. The pesky humans trying to avoid carnage, meanwhile, include Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins and Bryan Cranston. Not your usual brawny, braindead cast for this kind of thing.

The new Godzilla is apparently far removed from that rubbish 1998 Roland Emmerich effort. It’s a tad heavy on the uninteresting humans, and takes its time getting to the monster carnage, but it’s massively (har!) gratifying nonetheless, returning the franchise to its roots. This is according to Kervyn in his review. Internationally, critics have quibbled about some poor writing but appreciated the blockbuster’s unusually measured approach and sombre, cautionary tone. The film is currently sitting with a very healthy aggregated Rotten Tomatoes review score of 85% Fresh.

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The Last Days on Mars:
Horror meets sci-fi in this tale of an eight-man crew running experiments at a research base on Mars. Just short of completing their mission, they discover possible proof of life on the planet, but in seeking to confirm it, they expose themselves to a deadly biological agent. Starring Liev Schreiber and Elias Koteas.

Apparently The Last Days on Mars is well-acted, but its thought-provoking aspects are quickly cast aside in favour of B-grade monster movie formula. The whole project ends up being stranded in that No Man’s Land between engagingly “real” survival thriller and schlock silliness.

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Filth:
For lovers of offbeat British cinema there’s this crime comedy-drama based on Irvine (Trainspotting) Welsh’s novel of the same name. James McAvoy stars as a hard-living Edinburgh police detective and all-round nasty piece of work, who starts to lose his grip on reality while heading up a high profile murder investigation. Also with Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell and Jim Broadbent.

Filth is apparently messed up, frequently disgusting and unapologetically shameless – very much in the Trainspotting vein. As Nick in his review says, it will have you laughing and gasping in equal measure. It’s very flawed, but is held together by McAvoy’s surprisingly convincing performance – the best of his career to date.

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Last Updated: May 16, 2014

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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