You can definitely tell it’s the winter school holidays now that two movies aimed at the younger, CGI loving crowd are going head to head at the box office this weekend. Here’s what’s opening on circuit to keep the kids out of trouble.
This film tells the tale of a young girl, the Queen of England and a benevolent giant known as the BFG, who set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world.
Innocent and whimsical, The BFG is not your usual children’s movie. It’s dreamy and filled with a sense of wonder instead of being frantic, action packed and fast paced. It still has some colourful exciting moments though, and despite some minor let-downs in the scripting and pacing departments, The BFG is full of heart.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows
Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael return to theaters this summer to battle bigger, badder villains, alongside April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), and a newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). After supervillain Shredder (Brian Tee) escapes custody, he joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) and two dimwitted henchmen, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (WWE Superstar Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly), to unleash a diabolical plan to take over the world. As the Turtles prepare to take on Shredder and his new crew, they find themselves facing an even greater evil with similar intentions: the notorious Krang.
It seems like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows is a surprising improvement over the initial 2014 reboot, which wasn’t that well-loved to start with. While it’s still brash, loud and childish, with cheesy dialogue and a ludicrous plot, this time it hits much closer to the original cartoon. We shouldn’t expect a TMNT movie geared solely towards under-twelves to be high-brow, so as far as plain, simple fun goes, Out of the Shadows will probably keep you (and the kids) mindlessly entertained.
Fathers and Daughters
After a mental breakdown, an award-winning writer (Russell Crowe) copes with being a widower and a father while, 27 years later, his grown daughter (Amanda Seyfried) struggles to forge connections of her own.
Heavy handed and maudlin, the cast of Fathers and Daughters have to fight against a tide of melodrama and too many subplots that drown the narrative. Even though they put in a valiant effort, it’s mostly wasted by the messy emotional blackmail of the script. Safe to say, Fathers and Daughters won’t be winning any awards any time soon.
The Endless River
A young waitress welcomes her husband home to the small South African town of Riviersonderend (Endless River) after his four-year jail sentence. At first it appears their plans for a new life together are finally being realized. But when the family of a foreigner living on a nearby farm is brutally murdered, the young woman and the grieving widower begin gravitating towards each other. Trapped in a cycle of violence and bloodshed, the two form an unlikely bond seeking to transcend their mutual anger, pain and loneliness.
Unfortunately there’s not a lot of information out about The Endless River, which was shown at the Durban International Film Festival earlier this month. However, the few reviews I can find have been full of praise for this local drama. Powerful and raw, The Endless River is beautifully filmed with excellent cinematography and skilled actors, even if it leans heavily on heated political plots.
A gifted high school football player must learn to boldly embrace his talent and his faith as he battles racial tensions on and off the field in WOODLAWN, a moving and inspirational new film based on the true story of how love and unity overcame hate and division in early 1970s Birmingham, Alabama.
It’s always interesting to see a faith based film that scores comparatively well, they’re usually not highly rated and best left to the most devout. Rather, it seems the advantage that Woodlawn has is the combination of evangelical zeal and classic underdog sports tale. It’s like Remember the Titans, just with more preaching. A lot more preaching. I wouldn’t recommend it to your average non-church-goer, but for fans of the genre it should be just fine.
Last Updated: July 1, 2016