Coming to cinemas this week are Wes Anderson's delightful new film, Moonrise Kingdom, the sequel to one of the worst films I have ever seen, The Expendables 2 and the hit of the 2012 Spanish Film Festival, Chinese Take-Away. Pixar's Finding Nemo also returns to screens in 3D.
Moonrise Kingdom - Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two twelve-year-olds (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman also star. Of course, this is a must-see for any Wes Anderson fans but I think he might even win over some new ones too. His attention-to-detail is as acute as ever, and this offers up consistent laughs while retaining plenty of heart. One of Anderson's best films. Can't wait to watch it again.
The Expendables 2 - The Expendables are back and this time it's personal... Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren),Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) -- with newest members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) aboard -- are reunited when Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job. The task looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old-school mercenaries. But when things go wrong and one of their own is viciously killed, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them. I hated The Expendables. This is not directed by Stallone, but its oddly positive reviews are not enough to convince me to see this.
Finding Nemo 3D - Follows the comedic and momentous journey of an overly protective clownfish named Marlin and his son Nemo who become separated in the Great Barrier Reef when Nemo is unexpectedly taken far from his ocean home and dumped into a fish tank in a dentist's office. Buoyed by the companionship of Dory, a friendly-but-forgetful Pacific regal blue tang, Marlin embarks on a dangerous trek and finds himself the unlikely hero of an epic effort to rescue his son - who hatches a few daring plans of his own to return safely home. Everyone knows Finding Nemo. Well now one can watch it in 3D.
Chinese Take-Away - Darin stars as Roberto, an embittered and lonely man who runs a hardware store and lives a life of solitary and methodic routine with his memories and his simple pleasures. His relatively dull but comfortable and content Buenos Aires existence is turned upside down when he feels compelled to help a hapless Chinese man named Jun (Ignacio Huang), who is unable to speak a word of Spanish. He reluctantly takes him in as a lodger while he helps him search for his uncle. Chinese Take Away is charming and pleasantly amusing, making the most of the beguiling and ultimately heart-warming friendship that develops between Ricardo and Jun. It deals with existential themes; cross-culture relations, the belief in the extraordinary and the unexpected, and how a life that exists without surprises and a bit of chaos can never be one truly lived. An order of Chinese Take-Away is a smart order.
Weekly Recommendation: Moonrise Kingdom. Chinese Take-Away is also a charming human drama. There are also advanced sessions of Monsieur Lazhar at Palace Cinemas. It has a release scheduled next week, but it is a must-see.