Movies releasing today: drugged up writers and love struck circus vets

There are 4 notable new releases hitting South African cinemas today, but I'm only going to focus on my top 2 picks of the weekend.

Out of interest though, in addition to my picks there's also Single White Female-esque thriller The Roommate (a pitiful 4% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes)and Aussie adventure novel adaptation Tomorrow When the War Began, which sounds eerily similar to Red Dawn, and is 61% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

But moving on to my choices:

1) Limitless: "How many of us ever know what it is to become the perfect version of ourselves?" Based on 2001 novel The Dark Fields, this techno-thriller centres on a scruffy, unmotivated writer (Bradley Cooper) gifted with a experimental drug that unlocks his full mental potential. Money, sex, power and massive success are suddenly his, but the ability comes with some rather nasty side effects - from blackouts to Robert De Niro's unwanted attention. And then there's the big question: what happens when the drug runs out?

Limitless has a fantastic concept, coming across as a superhero tale without the spandex. The film is currently a solid 69% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Evidently Limitless mostly delivers on its potential, offering an intelligent, exhilarating and well executed tale that only later suffers from logic gaps and predictability.


2) Water for Elephants: This historical romantic drama is based on Sara Gruen's bestselling, highly acclaimed novel (which, interestingly enough, started as a NaNoWriMo project). Robert Pattinson stars as a gifted veterinary student, who, during the Great Depression, joins a third rate travelling circus after a tragedy. There he is assigning with caring for all the animals - including temperamental elephant Rosie - and falls for equestrian star Reese Witherspoon, the wife of charismatic but abusive trainer Christoph Waltz.

Water for Elephants only releases in the United States next Friday (22 April) so there is currently no critical consensus on the film. This said, early word online has been good, and this one could easily be another The Notebook. Haters of syrupy tearjerkers beware! Of course, the film's most demanding critics are likely to be the book's many, many fans.

Comments

Being Brazen said…
i actually did a water for elephants review (well, kinda) on my blog recently: http://www.beingbrazen.com/2011/04/movie-thoughts-water-for-elephants.html

:)

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