Movies out today: the death of Nicholas Cage’s career

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While we all wait for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies to open next week, this is what’s on offer to tide you over. Spoilers: it’s not much!

Left Behind

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In the blink of an eye, the biblical Rapture strikes the world. Millions of people disappear without a trace. All that remains are their clothes and belongings, and in an instant, terror and chaos spread around the world. The vanishings cause unmanned vehicles to crash and burn. Planes fall from the sky. Emergency forces everywhere are devastated. Gridlock, riots and looting overrun the cities. There is no one to help or provide answers. In a moment, the entire planet is plunged into darkness.

Oh dear. Nicholas Cage, where did you go wrong? I remember when you were in good movies. And then, you were in not-so-good-but-still-entertaining movies. Then came the bad movies and wow, Left Behind is right at the bottom of that pile. Gathering a whole measly 2% on Rotten Tomatoes, Left Behind is, according to critics, literally the worst movie of 2014, and a shoo-in to win every award at the next Razzies.

My Old Lady

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Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) is a down-on-his-luck New Yorker who inherits a Parisian apartment from his estranged father. But when he arrives in France to sell the vast domicile, he’s shocked to discover a live-in tenant who is not prepared to budge. His apartment is a viager – an ancient French real estate system with complex rules pertaining to its resale – and the feisty Englishwoman Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith), who has lived in the apartment with her daughter Chloé (Kristin Scott Thomas) for many years, can by contract collect monthly payments from Mathias until her death.

While My Old Lady is brilliantly acted, especially with the magnificent Maggie Smith, the story turns out to be a jarring mix of comedy, sentimentality and heavy emotional baggage that ends up being much darker than what is hinted at in the beginning. Scoring a decent 59% on Rotten Tomatoes, My Old Lady is both mature and firmly predicable.

Penguins of Madagascar

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If you balked at the price of Imax tickets, or haven’t had a chance to see it yet, Penguins of Madagascar has now been released on to regular cinema, in both 2D and 3D. In case you missed the low down last week, here’s a copy/paste:

A spin-off from the highly successful Madagascar films, Penguins of Madagascar is here to show us that super spy teams aren’t born… they’re hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then…you know), together they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.

Penguins of Madagascar isn’t terrible, but it is definitely aimed at the kids. It’s frantically fast paced with non-stop gags and humour, but only mildly entertaining to adults. Still, with 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, it beats the pants off of our other new releases this week!

Last Updated: December 5, 2014

Tracy Benson

All about movies, board games, cider, sci-fi, fantasy and geek culture.

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