Hitting cinemas Thursday May 17 are The Dictator, the new Sacha Baron Cohen fake-persona-on-film (and I believe he is more offensive than ever), The Woman in Black, a British horror film starring Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame, and Silent Souls, a critically acclaimed Russian drama that I remember screening at last year's Sydney Film Festival.
Summaries courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes.
The Dictator - The heroic story of a North African dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. Stars Sacha Baron Cohen as Admiral General Aladeen, a bizarre dictator of the oil-rich African nation of Waadeya. Alladeen is as egotistical and ruthless as dictators come, executing anyone who disagrees with him using his signature "head chop" signal. Alladeen is summoned by the UN to address their concerns about his nuclear program. Sacha Baron Cohen, to many, is a comic genius. He is certainly a very clever man. Borat was hilarious. Not just effective gross-out humour, but a really interesting social experiment. It was one of the best films released that year. Bruno, to me, was a disaster. I have heard similar things about The Dictator, but it has not been bagged by all. It has a 72% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Check it out, if you dare.
Courtesy of Way to Blue, I have a short introduction clip from General Aladeen, titled G'day Mahal.
The Woman in Black - A young lawyer (Radcliffe) travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorner woman is terrorising the locals. I have heard it has some genuine suspense and effective scares, but I have also heard it has little more than Daniel Radcliffe walking around a haunted house for the duration. Ciaran Hinds (a top character actor) and Janet McTeer (excellent in Albert Nobbs) also star.
Silent Souls - When Miron's beloved wife Tanya passes away, he asks his best friend Aist to help him say goodbye to her according to the rituals of the Merja culture, and ancient Finno-Ugric tribe from Lake Nero, a picturesque region of West-Central Russia. Although the Merja people assimilated into Russians un the 17th Century, their myths and traditions live on in their descendants' modern life. The two men set out on a road trip thousands of miles across the boundless land, with them, two small birds in a cage. Along the way, as is the custom for the Merjans, Miron shares intimate memories of his conjugal life. But as they reach the banks of the sacred lake where they will forever part with body, he realises he wasn't the only one in love with Tanya.
Weekly Recommendation: ...no idea. Each film is very different and has a specific audience. I think The Dictator will do quite well, though from the sounds of things, divide audiences. Surely the films this week are better than last week's releases, so take a chance on The Woman in Black and seek out Silent Souls (it will be playing at Dendy Opera Quays). While you're there, if you see Cafe De Flore listed, check it out too. Alternatively, there is a big film hitting cinemas June 7. You could always check out the new release DVDs (*The Descendants*) and wait for that one.