Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Releases (18/10/12)

In cinemas this week: Savages, To Rome With Love, Paranormal Activity and Safety Not Guaranteed.

Savages - Laguna Beach entrepreneurs Ben (Johnson), a peaceful and charitable Buddhist, and his closest friend Chon (Kitsch), a former Navy SEAL and ex-mercenary, run a lucrative, homegrown industry-raising some of the best marijuana ever developed. They also share a one-of-a-kind love with the extraordinary beauty Ophelia (Lively). Life is idyllic in their Southern California town until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands that the trio partners with them. When the merciless head of the BC, Elena (Hayek), and her brutal enforcer, Lado (Del Toro), underestimate the unbreakable bond among these three friends, Ben and Chon - with the reluctant, slippery assistance of a dirty DEA agent (Travolta) - wage a seemingly unwinnable war against the cartel.

To Rome With Love - a kaleidoscopic comedy movie set in one of the world's most enchanting cities. The film brings us into contact with a well-known American architect reliving his youth; an average middle-class Roman who suddenly finds himself Rome's biggest celebrity; a young provincial couple drawn into separate romantic encounters; and an American opera director endeavoring to put a singing mortician on stage. Woody Allen, now in his 70's, is back with another film. I believe it lacks the charm and magic of last year's Midnight and Paris, and squanders its talented cast. Reports have been mixed.

Paranormal Activity 4 - The fourth installment in the popular horror franchise. I expect this is just for fans only, and very much like the previous films. Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Paranormal Activity 3 and Catfish). 

Safety Not Guaranteed - When an unusual classified ad inspires three cynical Seattle magazine employees to look for the story behind it, they discover a mysterious eccentric named Kenneth, a likable but paranoid supermarket clerk, who believes he's solved the riddle of time travel and intends to depart again soon. Together, they embark on a hilarious, smart, and unexpectedly heartfelt journey that reveals how far believing can take you. Closing Night selection at the Sydney Film Festival, I walked out of this one puzzled by its widespread praise.

Weekly Recommendation: Having seen two of these films - Savages and Safety Not Guaranteed - I am not comfortable recommending either. I am one of the five people worldwide who didn't like SNG, however. No one asked for Paranormal Activity 4, and have you seen the trailer for To Rome With Love? This week is the dud before the awesome. Next week Argo, The Intouchables, Frankenweenie and Dredd are all released, so I'd hold onto your cash and wait for them. Argo is also screening this week - at 4.00pm Saturday 20th Oct. at Palace Norton Street for Movie Club Members.

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