Crush your enemies, hear the lamentation of their women; here are the movies opening today

You're pretty spoiled for choice at South African cinemas this weekend, with 6 new movies to choose from. Before profiling my top 2 picks of the new releases though, here's a rundown of the rest:

Disney classic The Lion King (92% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) returns to the big screen in 3D - as well as Zulu at selected cinemas. There's Mandy Moore romcom Love Wedding Marriage (0% Fresh, ow!) and horror master John Carpenter's latest, The Ward (31% Fresh), set in a haunted psychiatric hospital. Finally there's father-son drama A Better Life (86% Fresh), about Mexican illegal immigrants and the lure of gangsterism in Los Angeles.

That then leaves Conan the Barbarian - screening in both 2D and converted 3D - as my first Movie of the Week. Although featuring the same name as the 1982 Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer, the new Conan film is (apparently) more faithful to the pulp literary creation of Robert E Howard. Jason Momoa is the brutal Hyborian Age warrior who seeks revenge after Stephen (Avatar) Lang's warlord kills his father and decimates his village. You can read my initial thoughts on the new Conan, and watch the trailer, here.

Alas, as excited as I am to watch a new Conan film, reviews from critics and friends alike have not been kind. The film is currently 24% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently Momoa is a great Conan but under the direction of Marcus (I just film horror remakes) Nispel, the movie is VERY violent, very messy and very superficial. So, yeah, despite being the most high profile of the new releases, you may want to save Conan the Barbarian for a Half Price Movie Night.

Crazy, Stupid, Love is your other biggie of the new releases. This romantic comedy comes with an all-star cast, including Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon. Recently cheated on by his wife (Moore), Carell plays a family man who seeks advice from Gosling's playboy about "manning up." Meanwhile Gosling has a thing or two to learn from Carell about real love when the ladies' man falls for law student Stone. Watch the surprisingly entertaining trailer for the film here.

Crazy, Stupid, Love is a very solid 76% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently the film is smart and sweet, and unlike most adult-orientated romcoms these days doesn't have to wallow in smut or cynicism for a laugh. The taut dialogue and the talented cast are enough to elevate this genre entry above its fellows, although there are enough flaws to keep Crazy, Stupid, Love lodged in the "Good But Not Great" category.


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