Movies out today: Blondes, buffoons and monarchy wreckers

It’s a good few weeks to be a film-lover in South Africa, thanks to the release of 2 highly anticipated blockbusters. Next Friday marks the release of sci-fi thriller Prometheus (deep breaths, Kervyn!) and today it’s the turn of 2012’s apparently darkest fairy tale adaptation, which has been blowing people away since the debut of its first trailer

 

Snow White and the Huntsman:
The Brothers Grimm fairy tale gets the “Christopher Nolan” treatment in this sober fantasy action-adventure. Charlize Theron’s sorceress queen plans to murder the greatest threat to her plans for world domination, namely her stepdaughter Snow White (Kristen Stewart). Except the gruff huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) sides with the princess, training her in warfare so that they can take back the kingdom.

First time director. “Gritty” fairy tale reimagining. Bella. Nobody was really expecting Snow White and the Huntsman to be any good. But evidently it delivers. Drawing comparisons to Guillermo del Toro’s striking fantasy creations, the film is currently sitting with an aggregated Rotten Tomatoes rating of 58% Fresh. Beautiful and surprisingly ambitious, but too slow, dour and one-note in terms of performances for some.

Gone:
Amanda Seyfried stars in this thriller about a young woman who will go to any lengths to rescue her sister from the same serial killer who kidnapped her years previously. This after the police refuse to believe her claims that a crime has taken place. Jennifer Carpenter and Wes Bentley co-star.

Gone released overseas during the January – February cinematic dumping season, which is never a good sign of a film’s quality. Reviewers have labelled Gone a decidedly silly, unthrilling thriller, despite Seyfried’s admirable commitment.

The Three Stooges:
The Farrelly Brothers drop the sex and gross-out humour for this surprisingly clean and respectful 21st Century tribute to the iconic slapstick trio. In this three-part comedy, Larry (Sean Hayes), Curly (Will Sasso) and Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) must save the nun-run orphanage where they grew up. Leon Schuster lovers should lap this up… if they’re aware of it.

You’ve got to enjoy lowbrow humour to really get a kick out of The Three Stooges, but if you’re into physical gags it’s apparently worth a watch… even if the same schtick for 90 minutes does grow tiresome. Features award-worthy impersonations by the leads.

W.E.:
Screening in limited release at Ster Kinekor cinemas is this true life romantic drama with Madonna as director, writer, producer and songwriter. Abbie Cornish plays a young New Yorker trawling through history for a greater understanding of the relationship between divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and abdicated British king Edward VIII (James D’Arcy).

By all accounts, W.E. isn’t very good: tonally inconsistent and more focused on style and lingering shots of haute couture fashion and expensive nicknacks than any real substance. Still, I’d take the critics’ panning of the film with a pinch of salt – Madge is a popular media punching bag by default.

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