Movies released today, South Africa

It's a bit of a dud weekend at local cinemas, considering it's a 3-day weekend. There are only 3 new releases and none have really piqued my interest.

My pick of the week therefore is the only new movie I would even consider paying to see at the cinema, and that's The Blind Side. The only thing remotely interesting about this crowd pleasing sports/family drama is that it won Sandra Bullock a best Actress Academy Award just a few weeks ago. Otherwise, the film looks like pleasant, if utterly conventional, stuff.

Based on a true story, The Blind Story centres on homeless black teenager, Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) who is taken in by a wealthy white suburban family, headed by feisty matriarch Leigh Anne Tuohy (Bullock). With the Tuohys' love and support, Michael - an athletically gifted gentle giant - finds his self-worth and becomes a much sought after football player.

The Blind Side is 70% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, having been elevated to such a high rating by near universal praise for Bullock's performance, and the fact that the film remains inspiring and emotionally involving despite the usual Hollywood gloss.


For anyone in the market for a family comedy this weekend, there's Tooth Fairy, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. It's your bog standard "asshole becomes good guy" tale, with Johnson playing a ice hockey player known for his brutality on the ice, and arrogance off it. As punishment for his behaviour he is transformed into a winged tooth fairy for 2 weeks, and in keeping secrets and interacting with children this tough guy has to learn to change his life around.

Tooth Fairy has a surprisingly good cast considering that it's clearly lowbrow entertainment for undemanding kids and adults. Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal and Seth MacFarlane round out the cast. Still though, the film's cast is not enough to save Tooth Fairy from a dire 15% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently it's mediocre at best and a tedious cliche at worst, although that's hardly surprising.


I didn't even like the first Saw movie, but evidently a helluva lot of other people did because we're now on Saw VI, entry number 6 in this trend-setting torture porn film series. They've been pumping these things out annually since 2004.

Sadistic villain Jigsaw has been alive and dead and alive again, and passed his baton onto so many different people now I've lots track of what's going on. Not that I think most horror fans care. They're in the cinema to experience what the Saw franchise is famous for: strangers trapped in complicated subterranean dungeons, and forced to do unspeakable things to themselves and others in order to survive. It's all about torment and degradation with a hefty dollop of bloody bodily mutilation.

For the record, Saw VI is 42% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently it is a bit better than some of the more recent entries in the series, having been elevated by a tighter, more intelligent script. However, seeing as I'm 5 films behind, and in no mood to play catch-up, I'm certainly not going to be watching Saw VI anytime soon.

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