Movies releasing in South Africa today

Between South Africa's two big cinema chains, Nu Metro and Ster Kinekor, local moviegoers have a grand total of ten new films to choose from this weekend. Still though, despite such a glut of new releases, I can only single out one that caught my attention - making it my movie pick of the week.

Before we get to that though, here's a rundown of all the other movies debuting on the big screen this week.

Goal! 3: Taking on the World: I honestly didn't even know there was a Goal! 1 and 2. Anyway, this sports drama continues the tale of Mexican footballer Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker) as he strives for glory. This time he has to overcome personal demons and play against his best friends at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The Mighty Macs: Get your "inspiring real life sports drama" fix with this tale of a wannabe female basketball star who accepts a coaching job at Pennsylvania's Immaculata University in the early 1970s. Watchmen and Sin City's Carla Gugino stars.

The Way Home: And here's another inspirational true story given the big screen drama treatment. Dean Cain stars as a father whose toddler goes missing in a small rural community. During the search, the town's inhabitants find their faith tested and lives changed forever.

Oh My God: Feature length documentary that asks the question "What is God?" and seeks an answer through interviews with assorted people, including spiritual leaders, celebrities (including David Copperfield, Ringo Starr and Hugh Jackman) and, of course, the man on the street. 21% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Letters to God: Wow, it's certainly a religion-heavy week at the movies. This Christian drama centres on a eight year old cancer sufferer who literally mails his prayers to God. This act touches the heart of an alcoholic postman and other troubled members of the boy's community, affecting their lives. 17% Fresh.

Mama, I Want to Sing: Continuing what is apparently unofficial, schmaltzy Oprah week at the movies, there's this real life tale of a preacher's daughter who rises to secular R&B stardom after being discovered by James Brown. Starring Ciara and based on an off-Broadway Gospel musical.

Hello Goodbye: French language fish-out-of-water comedy about a successful middle-aged couple who decide to re-embrace their Jewish roots and relocate from France to Israel. Unsurprisingly the reality they find is quite different from their expectations. Starring Fanny Ardant and Gérard Depardieu.

Khatta Meetha: Hindi comedy-musical about a frustrated road construction contractor who not only has to contend with Indian political corruption but also the fact that the new municipal commissioner is his furious ex-girlfriend. Starring Akshay Kumar and Trisha Krishnan.

London Assurance: Limited screenings of the highly acclaimed theatrical production when it was performed (and filmed) in London at the Royal National Theatre in June. This take on the influential comedy of manners stars Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw.

That then leaves Knight and Day as the most high profile of the new releases, and my pick of the weekend. Starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Knight and Day doesn't have that dissimilar a premise to the recent Katherine Heigl-Ashton Kutcher starrer Killers. In both action-comedies, an unaware woman gets caught up with an elite secret agent in a deadly fight for survival.

Although Knight and Day performed very poorly at the American box office when it was released in late June, that's not really an accurate indicator of the film's overall quality - especially since it's all the rage these days to laugh at every one of Scientologist Cruise's movie misfires. For the record, Knight and Day is 55% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. In other words, the film has been dividing critics and audiences alike. Judging by the reviews, the film is formulaic and superficial but its stars are having such fun that the audience is swept along with the stylish ridiculousness. Cruise is especially entertaining, having rediscovered his sense of humour while making Tropic Thunder, and in Knight and Day he takes great delight in poking fun at his well-established action hero persona.

Finally, if you're a movie lover in Durban for the next week and a bit, you can catch one of the dozens of films screening as part of the 31st Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), which takes place at venues around the city. Visit the site and check out the movie line-up. Plus, you can even let my Monday blog post guide your viewing decisions.


Dante said…
Saw the trailer for Knight and Day it looked really cool. Though the plot seems similiar to Killers. Not sure who knocked off who. Still, TC doing his action and comedy in the same movie? I am sold!
Brandon said…
I like how he has his finger on the trigger of the gun that's not even pointed at anything. One of the first things you learn when training to use a gun is to keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire. As a gun owner I take offense to this Hollywood nonsense!
Pfangirl said…
Dante, if and when you see it, please let me know what you thought of it?

Hey Brandon, Hollywood and guns are a notoriously dangerous/irresponsible combination. Thanks for commenting - I don't think I would have noticed that.

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