Movies out today: Unleash your inner animal

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From wolves to thoroughbreds, monkeys to Julia Roberts, it’s a very critter-centric weekend at the movies – with the following new releases hitting cinemas…

The Grey:
My pick of the week is this survival thriller from the creative team responsible for 2010’s A-Team movie. After a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, Liam Neeson attempts to lead the small band of surviving oil rig workers back to civilisation, while battling the merciless elements, terrain and a pack of starving wolves. Watch the trailer here.The Grey released in the US back in January, so the question is whether the 3 month wait was worth it for South African audiences? Well, given the film’s strong 78% Fresh rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, I think we can tentatively say “yes”. Beware though! Those in the market for mindless wolf-punching action will be confronted by a surprisingly philosophical tale and a poetic ending you may not like.

Mirror Mirror:
The first of 2 Snow White movies out the gates in 2012 – as well as the first fairy tale flick of The Great 2012-2013 Deluge – comes from visionary director Tarsem (Immortals) Singh. In this lighthearted fantasy comedy, Lily Collins is the title character who falls in with a band of bandit dwarves when her stepmother, the Queen (Julia Roberts) – who is financially leeching the kingdom – seeks to eliminate her lovely young rival. Watch the trailer here.

With a stunning, artificial aesthetic and strained goofiness, Mirror Mirror probably won’t be to everyone’s taste. This featherlight adaptation apparently has its moments, and the dwarves are great, but overall it’s inconsistently amusing and attempts nothing new with the well-known tale.

One Life:
Nature documentary lovers will no doubt be excited about this feature length film from the BBC. Narrated by Daniel Craig, the film repackages footage from the hit 2009 TV series Life, in much the same way The Blue Planet was re-edited as Deep Blue, and Plane Earth became Earth. One Life specifically looks at species’ survival mechanisms in the natural world, and how we’re all interconnected.

One Life is pretty much guaranteed to dazzle audiences with its spectacular footage of rarely (or never before) seen animal behaviour. Ideal for the whole family.

The Cup:
From the director of Free Willy comes this inspirational real life sports drama from Down Under.

Based on the non-fiction book of the same name, The Cup sees jockey Damien Oliver (played by Stephen Curry) overcome personal tragedy to win the 2002 Melbourne Cup. Brendan Gleeson co-stars as a famous Irish horse trainer who encourages Oliver not to give up..

Showing in limited release at Ster Kinekor Nouveau, The Cup sounds like a cliched crowd-pleaser wannabe, and evidently it is.

Last Updated: April 20, 2012

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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