Movies releasing in South Africa today: Disgraced gods & disowned billionaires

In terms of notable new releases hitting South African cinemas today there are 2 to consider.

Arthur is a remake of the classic 1981 comedy starring Dudley Moore. Russell Brand appears as the title character, an irresponsible playboy who has never had to grow up. In fact, he is still cared for by his childhood nanny (Helen Mirren). Problems arise though when Arthur is forced by his mother (Geraldine James) to enter an arranged marriage with aggressive heiress Jennifer Garner or be denied his own billion dollar inheritance. Does Arthur have the courage to stay true to his heart if it means poverty? Will he finally stand up for himself and grow up?

I was looking forward to this one until I watched the trailer - where Brand's Arthur appeared to be more juvenile and borderline retarded than likeably mischievous. And, alas, the film's man-child focus apparently gets tired very quickly. Arthur is just 28% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Some critics are calling the film crude, charm-free and pointless, while others insist it's sweet, pleasantly amiable and buoyed by Brand and Mirren's rapport.


Thor is the first big superhero movie of 2011. Based on Marvel Comics' most mythological of heroes, Thor sees the arrogant god of thunder (Chris Hemsworth) stripped of his powers and cast down to Earth from Asgard by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Found by skeptical scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Thor struggles to adjust to life among mortals. But when Asgard and Earth are threatened by a dangerous enemy, Thor must act like a hero whether he has his godlike abilities or not.

Thor is screening in both 2D and 3D. The film only opens in North America next Friday, and is currently 93% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. According to reviewers, director Kenneth Branagh and his cast have managed to strike the sweet spot: Thor feels epic, action-packed and fun while surprisingly refusing to smother events with cheese. Watch the trailer and read my initial thoughts on the movie here. Expect my film review to be up within the hour.

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