The day after Valentine’s Day it’s almost all about ass-kicking (of the fictional and factual kind) at South African cinemas.
A Good Day to Die Hard:
You can’t keep a good action hero down. So here’s another – the fifth – instalment in the Die Hard film series. This time tough former cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) jets off to Russia to get his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), out of prison. Together, the 2 McClanes must stop a terrorist plot involving nuclear weapons. From, uh, the director of Behind Enemy Lines and Max Payne.
At the time of writing this, A Good Day to Die Hard had an aggregated review score of 13% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Ow. Evidently it’s the worst of the Die Hards by far – loud, paint-by-numbers and not nearly as fun as it should be.
Zero Dark Thirty:
Nominated for 5 Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Actress), Zero Dark Thirty is the latest drama from Oscar-winning Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow. Based on recent real-life events – and, controversially, supposed classified information – Zero Dark Thirty sees Jessica Chastain play a CIA agent leading the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, post 9/11. Also with Joel Edgerton and Mark Strong.
Criticised for its depiction of torture as an intelligence-gathering technique, Zero Dark Thirty has nonetheless won over critics with its engrossing, intimate examination of the War on Terror. This said, the film is apparently more interesting than enjoyable. Don’t go into this one expecting a series of gung-ho special ops missions. Plus, be aware it’s 160 minutes long. 93% Fresh.
On the opposite end of the entertainment spectrum is this British comedy-drama. Directed by Dustin Hoffman of all people, Quartet centres on the former members of an operatic quartet, who now all live in the same retirement home. They’re forced to deal with old rivalries and romantic feelings when they reunite for a show. Based on the play of the same name, and starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Michael Gambon.
Given its top-notch cast, Quartet is sure to appeal to fans of the tonally similar The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Apparently it’s sweet, witty and charming… and completely predictable. An impossible to dislike 79% Fresh. Expect a majority of silver and white-haired cinema-goers at this one.