There are five new releases scheduled around Australia on Thursday 15th September. They include Fright Night, The Smurfs, Johnny English Reborn, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and The Eye of the Storm. This is also my 600th post - what a poor week of releases to honour the achievement.
Fright Night - High school senior Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin) finally has it all - he's running with the popular crowd and dating the hottest girl in school. But trouble arrives when an intriguing stranger Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in next door. He seems like a great guy at first, but there's something not quite right. No one, including Charlie's mother (Toni Collette), seems to notice. After witnessing some very unusual activity, Charlie comes to an unmistakable conclusion; that Jerry is a vampire preying on his neighbourhood. Unable to convince anyone that he's telling the truth, Charlie has to find a way to get rid of the monster himself in this revamp of the comedy-horror classic. David Tennant and Christopher Mintz-Plasse co-star. Interestingly, this has been getting some solid reviews. Farrell's performance has been praised, as well as the film's humour and stylish gore. I'm unsure whether to watch the original first, but I'll check this one out if I have time.
The Smurfs - The Smurfs make their first 3D trip to the big screen in Columbia Pictures'/Sony Pictures Animation's hybrid live-action and animated family comedy. When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the Smurfs out of their village, they're forced through a portal, out of their world and into ours, landing in the middle of New York's central Park - and must find a way back. Neil Patrick Harris is there to assist them. This looks awful.
Johnny English Reborn - Seriously, who thought this was necessary? In the years since MI-7's top soy vanished off the grid, Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) has been honing his unique skills in a remote region of Asia. But when his agency superiors learn of an attempt against the Chinese premier's life, they must hunt down the highly unorthodox agent to unravel a web of conspiracy that runs throughout the KGB, CIA and Even MI-7. It also stars Dominic West and Roasmund Pike. Not enough.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - In 19th-century China, seven year old girls Snow Flower and Lily are matched as laotong - or "old sames" - bound together for eternity. Isolated by their families, they furtively communicate by taking turns writing in a secret language, nu shu, between the folds of a white silk fan. In a parallel story in present day Shanghai, the laotong's descendants, Nina and Sophia, struggle to maintain the intimacy of their own childhood friendship in the face of demanding careers and complicated love lives - turning to understanding their ancestral connection, hidden in the folds of a unique white silk fan. Well, for starters, this is a terrible title, and even writing this synopsis has confused me. It has an 18% RT rating, so I'm going to assume it isn't great.
The Eye of the Storm - This is probably the biggest release of the week, well for Palace Cinemas anyway. Fred Schepisi's adaptation of the Patrick White novel (with White working with Judy Morris on the screenplay) won the critics award for Best Australian Feature at the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival. In the Sydney suburb of Centennial Park, a dying matriarch, Elizabeth Hunter (Charlotte Rampling) is attended to by two nurses, a housekeeper and her two adult children (Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis, who are less than ten years younger than Rampling...hmm). Despite her deteriorating health, Elizabeth continues to wield considerable control over her affairs and those around her. I don't know much about it, other than the fact that it has been well received and that I'm sick of looking at the terrible poster, plastered on the wall at my cinema. I'll give it a look, though, if only for the cast.
Weekly Recommendation: I don't think any of these films are essential views, but I'll check out Fright Night and Eye of the Storm. I'd stick clear of the others. If you haven't seen Senna (likely in its last week), 13 Assassins or Submarine or The Help you will be better served throwing your money there.