The good news is: if you missed our screening of The Lazarus Effect, now’s your chance to catch it in cinemas! The bad news is: you probably don’t want to…
The Lazarus Effect
From masters of horror Blumhouse Productions- producer of THE PURGE, INSIDIOUS and SINISTER franchises- THE LAZARUS EFFECT follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde,) who’ve achieved the unimaginable- bringing the dead back to life. After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased animal, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world. When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is unexpectedly shut down and their materials confiscated.
Thanks to Times Media Films, a few of our lucky readers from Cape Town and Joburg got to see The Lazarus Effect early. And as we saw earlier, the consensus isn’t very good. Incredibly slow paced but thankfully short, The Lazarus Effect was not terribly impressive as far as horror movies go. Between its heavy reliance on jump scares and the many, many negligible plot points (seriously, the blurb covers about the first two thirds of the movie), it’s passable but it’s definitely not great.
When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.
Geared very much towards the younger generation, Home keeps the pacing quick and gags fly thick and fast, without pause for much depth or feeling. It also borrows heavily from its more successful predecessors, leaving you feeling like it’s all been done before, and been done much better. Home is by far not the worst animated feature, but it definitely isn’t the best.
Written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock, TOP FIVE tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the comedy career-and the past-that he’s left behind.
Somehow striking a balance between vulgar and sweet, edgy and poignant, satire and honesty, Top 5 has generally impressed and surpassed all expectations. Drawing heavily from his own experiences with stand up and show business, Chris Rock is fully back on form, netting himself a decent 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Boy Next Door
Directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious), Jennifer Lopez leads the cast in THE BOY NEXT DOOR, a psychological thriller that explores a forbidden attraction that goes much too far.
Shame, poor J-Lo and her ever-unfulfilled aspiration to be an actress. Unfortunately for her, you can add The Boy Next Door to the same pile as The Wedding Planner, Gigli and Jersey Girl. It’s a very terrible movie, like 11% on Rotten Tomatoes terrible.
Aging 1970s rocker Danny Collins can’t give up his hard-living ways. But when his manager uncovers a 40 year-old undelivered letter written to him by John Lennon, he decides to change course and embarks on a heartfelt journey to rediscover his family, find true love and begin a second act.
I’m struggling to picture Al Pacino as a rock star, but apparently he makes it work. With a decent 69% on Rotten Tomatoes, Danny Collins is a heartfelt and entertaining movie. While it might not break new ground, writer/director Dan Fogelman throws in enough twists to keep you interested.
Tehran-born Bahari, a journalist with Canadian citizenship, returned to Iran in 2009 to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was the challenger to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Mousavi’s supporters protested Ahmadinejad’s victory declaration hours before the polls closed, Bahari endured personal risk by sending footage of the street riots to the BBC. Bahari was arrested by police, who were led by a man identifying himself as “Rosewater,” and tortured and interrogated over the next 118 days. With Bahari’s wife leading an international campaign to have her husband freed, and media outlets keeping the story alive, Iranian authorities released Bahari on bail and the promise he would act as a spy for the government.
Written and directed by Jon Stewart, the recently retired host of The Daily Show, Rosewater is a straightforward and well directed movie. Although Stewart’s biting satirical edge shining nicely through, some critics think it could have been more than it was. But a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes should still do nicely.
Last Updated: March 27, 2015