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There are five films hitting cinemas Australia-wide on Thursday March 15. They are 21 Jump Street, The Rum Diary, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Margin Call and The Kid With A Bike.
21 Jump Street - In this action/comedy, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are more than ready to leave their adolescent problems behind. Joining the police force and the secret Jump Street unitm they use their youthful appearances to go undercover in a local high school. As they trade in their guns and badges for backpacks, Schmidt an Jenko risk their lives to investigate a violent and dangerous drug ring. But they find that high school is nothing like they left it just a few years earlier - and neither expects that they will have to confront the terror and anxiety of being a teenager again and all of the issues they thought they had left behind. Strong early reviews claim the film to be funny and Tatum to be a comedic revelation. I'll be there on Thursday night. If you want to check out an extended NSFW trailer for the film, click here.
The Rum Diary - Based on the debut novel by Hunter S. Thompsomn. Tiring of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of later Eisenhower-era America, Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) travels to the pristine island of Peurto Rico to write for a local newspaper, run by downtrodden editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins). Adopting the rum-soaked life of the island, Paul soon becomes obsessed with Chenault (Amber Heard), the wildly attractive Connecticut-born fiance of Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart), one of a growing number of American entrepreneurs who are determined to convert Peurto Rico into a capitalist paradise in service of the wealthy. When Kemp is recruited by Sanderson to write favourably about his latest unsavoury scheme, the journalist is presented with a choice: to use his words for the corrupt businessmen's financial benefit, or use them to take the bastards down. I believe the plot is a mess, but Depp is great as a drunk, and there is enough fun to recommend. I intend to check it out, so expect a review within the next week.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - Nicholas Cage reprises his role as Johnny Blaze. In this gritty new vision for the character, directed by Mark Neveldine/Brian Taylor (Crank), Johnny is still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter - but he may risk everything as he teams up with the leader of a group of rebel monks (Idris Elba) to save a young boy from the devil...and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.
Margin Call - Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, Margin Call is an entangling thriller involving the key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. When an entry-level analyst unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster. Writer/director J.C Chandor's award-winning first feature has been described as 'a bravely authentic portrayal of the financial industry and its denizens as they confront the decisions that shape America's global future'.
The Kid With A Bike - Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, the deeply moving new film by the Dardenne Brothers delves into the emotional life of troubled 11-year-old Cyril (Thomas Doret). When his father (Jeremy Renier) abandons him, Cyril obsessively searches for his bicycle - placing his last bit of hope in this symbol of their relationship. Almost by accident, he becomes the ward of a kind hairdresser (Cecile de France). With his wild, unpredictable behaviour and his disastrous search for father figures, Cyril risks losing her - though she refuses to give up without a fight. The Dardenne Brothers make great films, and should be worth checking out if you can make it out to Dendy Opera Quays.
Weekly Recommendation: Personally, I haven't seen any of these releases yet - but I intend to see 21 Jump Street, The Rum Diary, Margin Call and The Kid With A Bike this week. From U.S reviews, The Rum Diary is barely recommendable, but fans of Hunter S. Thompson will no doubt have a blast. As for the others, I think they are sure to be winners. Yes, even 21 Jump Street.