Three films open in South Africa today, and two of the three are sequels/prequels set in academic environments. Time to head back to school at the cinema…
Screening in 2D and 3D is this first animated comedy prequel from Pixar and Disney. Set before the events of 2001’s Monsters, Inc, Monsters University depicts the meeting of diminutive Mike (Billy Crystal) and brawny Sulley (John Goodman) as they compete at a prestigious scaring college. Also with the voices of Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren and Nathan Fillion among others.
Monsters University is evidently loads of colourful, clever fun even if it’s not particularly ambitious – preferring to coast along on the appeal of its wonderfully realised characters. It’s no classic but it’s quality, non-insulting family entertainment nonetheless. Currently 83% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
Spud 2: The Madness Continues:
The original Spud film, based on John van de Ruit’s hit autobiographical novel, was a massive success for a South African film. The sequel was pretty much inevitable as a result. Troye Sivan is back as the title character in this bitter-sweet coming-of-age tale, set at an exclusive boarding school. Also with John Cleese and a host of local acting talent.
With a shifted focus on pranks and high school misadventures, Spud 2 apparently prioritises laughs over heartfelt drama. It’s watchable lightweight entertainment though, and if you enjoyed the first one, you should have the same response towards the sequel.
To The Wonder:
Limited to the art house circuit is this romantic drama from acclaimed writer-director Terrence Malick. Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem star in this tale of men and women caught in a crisis of relationship, belonging and faith.
Malick is definitely an acquired taste as a filmmaker. “Pretentious” and “self-indulgently artistic” are words that most often comes to mind. To The Wonder is apparently no different: beautifully shot but narratively vague and fragmented.
Last Updated: June 21, 2013