Movies out today!

It's public holiday, Heritage Day tomorrow in South Africa (Thursday), so several films are releasing in cinemas today as opposed to Friday. I've also taken Friday off, so I've doubled up on blog updates today to compensate - there's this post and the my review of Up below to keep readers amused for the next few days. So pace yourselves!

Anyway, in terms of my movie picks for the weekend, first place goes to The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, the third film adaptation of the novel by Morton Freedgood. The big selling point of this action thriller is that it pits 2 of Hollywood's biggest leading men, Denzel Washington and John Travolta against one another. Oh, and the film is directed by Man on Fire and Enemy of the State's Tony Scott, a master of frenetic, twisty action movies.

The film centres on a decidedly ordinary New York City subway dispatcher (Washington) who enters into a dangerous mind game with a criminal mastermind (Travolta) who takes a train hostage. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is 52% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes so apparently it will work for some viewers and not for others.

It was inevitable in the age of Pop Idols, So You Think You Can Dance, America/Britain/SA's Got Talent, High School Musical, as well as endless Hollywood remakes, that the ultimate "young talent" movie would receive a revival for the 21st Century. So, yes, Fame is back - and once again the film tracks the fortunes of several ultra-ambitious teenage performers, and their teachers, during a year at New York's prestigious High School for the Performing Arts.

I enjoyed the original Fame as a snapshot of the Arts in the early 80s but I honestly couldn't really care about this film. However, I know hundreds of thousands of people - including my mother and sister - lap up this enticing, high energy (and high ego) blend of singing, dancing and hot young bodies. I'm expecting Fame to go straight to the #1 spot at the US box office this weekend when the film opens there. As a result of this 3 day wait till release, reviews for the film aren't yet collated on Rotten Tomatoes, but they will be appearing here shortly.

In terms of other movies releasing this weekend in South Africa:

What's Your Raashee? - Bollywood romantic comedy about a young man (Harman Baweja) who dreams of marrying for love. He has 10 days to find his dream woman - and so save his family from ruin - so he embarks on an ambitious scheme of dating 1 woman from every raashee (zodiac sign) in that time. Priyanka Chopra plays all 12 potential love interests. Oh, and the film is almost 4 hours long!

Earth - Feature length documentary from the BBC Natural History Unit. The film focuses on 3 very different animal families - polar bears, African elephants and humpback whales - during their seasons-affected struggle for survival. 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Pedro - Inspiring biopic about Pedro Zamora, a Cuban-American open about his homosexuality and HIV+ status, who became a celebrity AIDS activist when he appeared on an early season of the hit reality TV series, The Real World. Written by Milk's Academy Award winning scriptwriter, Dustin Lance Black.

Imagine That - Yet another mindless family comedy starring Eddie Murphy as a successful executive and overworked dad who finds his career entering a nosedive. Much to his surprise the solution to improving his fortunes lies in his daughter's imaginary world. 37% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Have a good public holiday and weekend everyone... I'm sure many of you, like me, are desperately in need of the break!


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