Movies releasing today: triple the seriousness

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Three new movies open in South African cinemas today, and they’re all of the pretty serious kind.

Wrath of the Titans:
Screening in CONVERTED 3D is the sequel to 2010’s Clash of the Titans remake – which I had such high hopes for before it was evidently mangled during and after production. Anyway, here we are back in Ancient Greece 10 years after the events of the first film, and once again demi-god Perseus (Sam Worthington) – who is now a single father – is roped into the Civil War between the Olympian gods, as well as their conflict with their predecessors, the monstrous Titans. Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Danny Huston and Bill Nighy play gods, while Rosamund Pike is the warrior woman love interest.

Here at The Movies we gave mythological action adventure Wrath of the Titans just 2 and a half stars out of 5, calling it rushed and bitty. Overseas, meanwhile, the film is currently sitting with an aggregated review score of 40% on Rotten Tomatoes. Consensus is that the film is a step up from its predecessor, but still comes across like a soullessly made sequel more intent on making cash than crafting a worthwhile, charm-filled story. Cool action scenes though.

Good Deeds:
Tyler Perry is back, writing, directing, producing and starring in this tale of a successful man of privilege who seems to lead the perfect life. Except he’s lost track of his own happiness in the process of trying to please everyone else. This all changes when he meets struggling single mother Thandie Newton, who shakes up his existence. Also starring Gabrielle Union.

Despite featuring a pretty impressive cast, this romantic drama comedy has been described as a cheesy melodrama. Not unwatchable but really heavy-handed with its “personal redemption through kindness” message.

Margaret:
Showing in limited release on the Art Film Circuit is this indie drama about a high school student (Anna Paquin) who causes a fatal bus accident, and then struggles with her guilt afterwards… particularly when the bus driver asks her to cover up the truth. Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo and Matthew Broderick also star.

Margaret has been waiting for a cinema release since 2007 due to behind-the-scenes legal wrangles. Normally that’s not a good sign for a movie but apparently the end result here is worth it. The film is complex (or messy!), ambitious and, most importantly, a powerful showcase of Paquin’s talent. Just be warned: Margaret has a butt-numbing 150-minute running time.

Last Updated: March 30, 2012

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