Movies out today: Vampires, Nazis and Anchormen for V-Day

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It’s Valentine’s Day today and your choice of new movies for backseat cinema cuddles this weekend is surprisingly vast. From inane comedy to historical drama, take your pick.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues:
It’s been a decade since the world first met Will Ferrell’s idiot 70s TV anchor Ron Burgundy in the comedy that went on to achieve cult status. The full cast of the original is back for the sequel, in which Ron’s arrogance and jealousy have drastic consequences for his personal life. Joining Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate this time are the likes of James Marsden, Kristen Wiig and Harrison Ford, while audiences should also look out for Jim Carrey, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and more.

Considering how “pointless” comedy sequels normally fare with critics, Anchorman 2 is something of an exception… apparently. 74% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, the film is the eccentric, hit-and-miss nonsense you would expect. It’s too long and its not as quotable as its predecessor, but it still manages some genuine laughs, and the entire cast – old and new – brings their comedic A-game.

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The Monuments Men:
The Monuments Men is the latest all-star effort from director-star George Clooney. Based on the true story and book, this war drama centres on a group of museum directors, curators and art historians who form an unusual Allied infantry unit during World War II. Their mission? To rescue artwork stolen by the Nazis before it is lost and/or destroyed during the retreat. With Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.

With its fascinating untold true story and great cast, The Monuments Men sounds like a winner on paper. According to reviewers though, the film is pretty disappointing: dull and meandering. If you like old school, sincere and unsubtle tales of heroism, you should still appreciate it though.

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Her:
The latest from writer-director Spike (Being John Malkovich) Jonze is this offbeat romance with sci-fi leanings. Set in the near future, a heartbroken man (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with the female voice of an advanced AI-driven operating system (Scarlett Johansson). Rooney Mara, Amy Adams and Olivia Wilde are some of the real women in our despondent hero’s life.

Currently in the running for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, Her has been racking up the awards and nominations. It’s evidently smart, funny and emotionally powerful, offering a wonderfully perceptive look at the state of relationships in our contemporary society.

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Vampire Academy:
It’s Harry Potter meets Mean Girls mixed with Twilight. The hit young adult novel series get a big screen adaptation. Mixing adventure, romance and the supernatural, Vampire Academy centres on a half-human-half-vampire Rose (Zoey Deutch), who must act as a bodyguard for her best friend, good vampire Lissa (Lucy Fry) while the teenagers attend an exclusive boarding school. Recognisable names in the cast include Gabriel Byrne, Joely Richardson and Olga Kurylenko.

Although Vampire Academy didn’t screen for critics before opening, word of mouth has bumped up the box office internationally. Critics have complained that the film is toothless. Supporters have called it a fast paced, flippant, guilty pleasure.

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Pad Na Jou Hart:
Perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day is this local romantic comedy drama. A straightlaced young man (Ivan Botha) has five days to road trip to his father’s funeral if he is to take over the family business. For whatever reason, he is forced to share a lift with a free-spirited young woman (Donnalee Roberts). Colourful characters are met on the cross-country trip, and, rather unsurprisingly, romantic complications arise.

Also with Marius Weyers and Franci Swanepoel. In Afrikaans with English subtitles.

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Last Updated: February 14, 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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