If you’re in Durban, you still have 3 more days of movies to catch at the Durban International Film Festival. For the rest of South Africa there are 3 biggies to check out at local cinemas from today, as well as the Nigerian historical musical Inale, screening in limited release. Still it’s obvious what most people will be watching this weekend.
The Dark Knight Rises:
Director Christopher Nolan wraps up his Batman trilogy with this 3 hour comic adaptation set 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight. This time moping billionaire-turned-crime fighter Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) must face the threat of terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy) and cat-burglar-with-a-past Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). Also with Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Marion Cotillard.
The Dark Knight Rises is a mostly satisfying conclusion to Nolan’s saga, even if it doesn’t engross to the same extent as its Joker-driven predecessor (Read the full The Movies.co.za review here). For the record, overseas the film has racked up an impressive aggregated Rotten Tomatoes rating of 86% Fresh. Critics have been wowed by the film’s thoughtfulness and ambition, although detractors have been less impressed by its uneven plot and second-half bloat.
The Cabin in the Woods:
It’s taken over 3 months for this inventive horror film to reach our shores… and it’s screening exclusively at Ster Kinekor cinemas. The Cabin in the Woods is co-scripted by Joss “I can do no wrong by geeks” Whedon and Drew (Cloverfield) Goddard, with the latter handling directing duties as well. The Cabin in the Woods plays with genre conventions as a group of holidaying college students (including Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison and Kristen Connolly) find themselves part of a bizarre behavioral experiment. Or something.
With release delayed for 3 years because of studio bankruptcy, The Cabin in the Woods debuted overseas to outstanding critical response. The film is apparently scary, funny, weird and meta, all at the same time. Translation: I suspect horror movie buffs will get more enjoyment from this one than casual viewers.
For anyone who can’t stomach superheroes and horror films, there’s this drama comedy, starring Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest and Richard Jenkins. Keaton plays a woman struggling with empty nest syndrome, who channels all her love into a stray dog she finds. When her husband (Kline) loses the dog, the couple, their friends and family evaluate their lives while they hunt for the hound. Oh, and there’s a psychic gypsy.
Darling Companion has an impressive veteran cast, and has been written and directed by Lawrence (The Big Chill) Kasdan, a master of quirky relationship-driven tales. This feel-good film is apparently a bit of a dud, however – well-intentioned but meandering, and made grating by the problems of its privileged, self-absorbed characters.