Swanky Robots and Swanky Actresses: Movies releasing today

My apologies for the lack of updates this week. I've been burnt out mentally and emotionally. Delivering creativity on demand, to deadline 8am-5pm every work day, and then doing much the same while blogging and cartooning in the evenings and on weekends, will do that you. More distressingly, I'm now looking at an empty calendar with nothing to work towards or look forward to. No holidays. No big social events. And seeing as I'm someone who functions best with life targets and goals, I've felt like I've been stuck in a ravine of a life rut this week, exhausted and unmotivated. Not exactly how I want to stay in the months leading up to my 30th birthday.

Anyway, for those of you seeking some cinematic soothing this weekend, your 2 biggie options - which incidentally have both been out since Wednesday for some reason - are as follows:

1) Transformers: Dark of the Moon - The third live-action Transformers movie is here, apparently with the goal of redeeming the franchise after the truly awful, eye and brain-bleeding sequel Revenge of the Fallen (My review here). Now admittedly I was never a fan of the original toy line or animated series (I did enjoy Beast Wars though), so I haven't spent a lot of time tracking the new movie in the lead up to its arrival on our screens.

I can tell you though that most of the human cast (*yawn* in a movie about giant robots) returns, with Shia LaBeouf back as Autobot ally Sam Witwicky, now a university graduate trying to find his place in the world. Megan Fox is gone, replaced by the more pouty, less sweaty Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey and Frances McDormand all pop up in supporting roles. As for the plot, well it seems to have something to do with how the Space Race first brought humans into contact with the Cybertronians, and how the robotic aliens have impacted on our history for far longer than we think. Well, at least that's what can be gleaned from the surprisingly non-giveaway "Is this really a Transformers movie?" teaser trailer.

Dark Side of the Moon is screening in 2D and 3D (and IMAX as well if there was still that option in South Africa, hmph). The film is currently sitting with a 36% Fresh rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, which puts it way above Revenge of the Fallen, but below Transformers 1 in terms of critical reception. This said, there are those reviewers calling the 2 and a half hour Dark Side of the Moon the best of the trilogy, and apparently the film offers the best use of 3D of any blockbuster this year so far. This said, if you've always hated the Transformers series for its cardboard characters, goofiness and overbearing visual noise, apparently Dark Side will not convert you to fandom.


2) The Resident - For some reason every so often Hilary Swank ignores her 2-times Oscar winner credentials and slums it with some B-grade horror-thriller. Remember The Reaping? Anyway, this time Swank plays a recently single doctor who feels watched all the time in her new Brooklyn apartment. So it's Sliver then, with Jeffrey Dean Morgan providing the pervert voyeur threat. Out of interest, the film comes from classic horror studio Hammer and co-stars Hammer's own iconic Dracula, now 89 year old Christopher Lee.

The Resident is 39% Fresh. It has been described as a fairly generic woman-in-peril thriller that is short of scares and credible character motivations. The film's cast has been described as "sturdy" though. Apparently the actors provide work that, in terms of quality, is well above the project they're appearing in.

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