Movies releasing for the Easter long weekend: a little something for every geek and freak

It's a 4-day weekend in South Africa for Easter and as a result, this week's new movie releases are out today.

Theatre lovers and opera freaks will no doubt want to check out the London Royal Opera House's filmed production of Carmen in 3D. For everyone else there's:

Sucker Punch: After a superb, mindblowingly cool first trailer, and the fact that the movie comes from Watchmen and 300 director Zack Snyder, action fantasy Sucker Punch rocketed to the top of my "must-watch in 2011" list. Emily Browning stars as a traumatised young woman who is institutionalised by her step-father, and, while waiting to be lobotomised, retreats into a fantasy world that promises escape if she completes several tasks. So there are chain-gun wielding giant samurai, steampunk WWI soldiers, dragons, robots guards etc etc.

Now I suppose my enthusiasm for Sucker Punch should be severely reined in, given the tepid response from overseas audiences and even weaker reviews - Sucker Punch is just 22% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently the film is amazing looking, but suffers from a complete lack of character and plot. Oh, and it's depressing and distasteful to boot. Still though, I'm a believer that Snyder is a love-him-or-hate-him filmmaker who makes flawed but entertaining, interesting and ambitious movies. So I'm still looking forward to Sucker Punch.

Mars Needs Moms: Screening in 3D is this CGI sci-fi adventure from Disney and the Robert Zemeckis studio that gave audiences other motion-capture animation films The Polar Express, Monster House, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol. In Mars Needs Moms, Seth Green is the model, if not the voice of 9 year old Milo, whose mother (Joan Cusack) is abducted by Martians to raise their young. Dan Fogler is the goofy spaceman who helps Milo rescue his mother.

Mars Needs Moms is one of the biggest bombs in Disney history, pleasing neither critics or audiences - and failing to make back a quarter of its $150 million budget. While viewers were put off by the odd concept and creepily real "uncanny valley" animation, reviewers responded negatively, calling the film unappealing and incoherent despite good performances from the cast. 35% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Superhelde: From the makers of Bakgat! comes this South African Afrikaans language comedy - with English subtitles - about 2 geeky buddies (Ivan Botha and Neil Sharim) who resolve to save their favourite hangout spot, comic store Dimensie Komieks from a greedy property developer (Dirk Stoltz) and his idiot son (Andrew Thompson). Cue various silly attempts at fund raising, and other comical shenanigans, to save the shop.

If you were hoping for a South Africa Scott Pilgrim or Kick-Ass, well, I think you'll be disappointed. Superhelde looks more Fanboys than anything else. You can watch the trailer here. Frankly it looks like a lot of lost potential - the usual juvenile derivative rubbish when the film could have had something interesting to say about the need for heroes in a country ravaged by crime and disinterest. Missed opportunity, guys.


Stix said…
Ek stem 100% saam oor Superhelde. Die idee het so baoe potential maar hulle gebruik dit nie. Ek wonder wanner gaan Suid-Afrika 'n fliek produce wat nie kak is nie, for lack of a better word.

Dig die blog.
MJenks said…
I saw Sucker Punch. I liked it. But then, I didn't go to see character development or deeply involved plots. I went to see girls kicking ass in fantasy scenes.

It was, essentially, a live action anime. Which, being a fan of anime, I enjoyed.

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