Movies out today: Reprobates all around

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Three new movies hit South African cinemas today, and they all centre on rather unsavoury, self-absorbed characters.

The Wolf of Wall Street:
The latest from filmmaking legend Martin Scorsese is this black comedy based on real life events – which were turned into a memoir of the same name. Leonardo DiCaprio is Jordan Belfort, a fast-rising, highly charismatic stockbroker who indulges in a highly extravagant lifestyle and investment fraud in the late 1980s. Also starring Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey.

The three-hour Wolf of Wall Street has been accumulating multiple accolades since its release last month. This said, the film is proving divisive, with some calling it one of Scorsese’s best and others his hands-down worst. Supporters have praised it for its fast-paced, engaging wit and bravery in refusing to hold back. Critics have complained that the whole affair is superficial, excessive and repetitive. Still, that hasn’t stopped The Wolf of Wall Street from earning a 76% Fresh rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

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Don Jon:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes, directs and stars in this romantic comedy drama about a “gym-bro” player from New York, who pulls plenty of women, but still prefers the satisfaction he gets from pornography. He is forced to face his behaviour though when he starts a relationship with Scarlett Johansson. Also with Julianne Moore.

Don Jon has enjoyed critical acclaim, racking up a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 81% Fresh. Although it gets sappier towards the end, it is nonetheless vibrant, entertaining and raunchy, with outstanding performances.

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Serial Teachers:
Screening in limited release is this French language comedy about a school on the brink of closure. As a last bid effort to raise grades, the desperate principal puts a band of rebels, rejects and reprobates in the classroom in the hope that they can connect with the kids. Based on the popular Les Profs comic series.

Serial Teachers is evidently silly, madcap and as two dimensional as its source material. Nonetheless, thanks to its substantial budget, it at least looks very polished.

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Last Updated: January 10, 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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