There are four new releases scheduled for Australian cinemas tomorrow - The Change-Up, Zookeeper, 13 Assassins and Submarine. One of these films I have seen, one I have been anticipating for a long time, and missed at MIFF, and two I could not care less about. Still, there is a chance (a slim one) that I'll see The Change-Up.
The Change-Up - Growing up together, Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and Dave (Jason Bateman) were inseparable best friends, but as the years have passed they've slowly drifted apart. While Dave is an overworked lawyer, husband and father of three, Mitch has remained a single, quasi-employed man-chold who has never met a responsibility he liked. Following a drunken night out together, Mitch and Dave's worlds are turned upside down when they wake up in each other's bodies and proceed to to freak out. While Reynolds and Bateman have the chance to play against type here, the film seems to be crude and formulaic and a waste of their talents. Olivia Wilde co-stars.
Zookeeper - In Zookeeper, the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo love their kindhearted caretaker, Griffin (Kevin James). Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides the only way to get a girl in his life is to leave the zoo and find a more glamorous job. The animals, in a panic, decide to break their time-honored code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: they can talk! To keep Griffin from leaving, they decide to teach him the rules of courtship - animal style. I know this is aimed at the little ones, but this looks to be unbearable. Has Kevin James ever been involved in anything remotely good? Rosario Dawson, Donnie Wahlberg and Ken Jeong also lend their talents to the film.
Submarine - This quirky British indie comedy/drama is the directorial debut from Richard Ayoade (best known as Moss in The IT Crowd). Fifteen-year-old Oliver Tate has two big ambitions: to save his parent's marriage via a carefully plotted intervention and to lose his virginity before his next birthday. Worried that his mom is having an affair with New Age weirdo, Graham, Oliver monitors his parents' sex life. Meanwhile, Oliver attempts to woo his classmate, Jordana, a self-professed pyromaniac who supervises his journal writing - especially the bits about her. There seems to be a lot going on in Ayoade's film, even from the very little I have read about it, but I am certainly looking forward to it.
13 Assassins - Cult director Takeshi Miike (Audition) delivers a bravado period action film set at the end of Japan's feudal era in which a group of unemployed samurai are enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a war-torn future. The first half of the film introduces the thirteen warriors and establishes the context, before tracking their journey through the mountains to the town they have chosen to fortify and stage the attack. Equipped with camouflaged fortifications, the stronghold is prepared to blockade the approaching party. But instead of the 70 guards they were expecting, they soon realise they are outnumbered 200 to just 13. The ensuing battle sequence (which is about 45 minutes long) is nothing short of unfathomable. An extremely intense, relentless, bloody assault on the senses, but highly recommended.
Weekly Recommendation: Definitely check out both 13 Assassins and Submarine. Avoid the other two altogether.