Movies out today: It's Spidey time... again

A trio of new movies hit South African cinemas today, although I'm sure the public will only be flocking to one...

The Amazing Spider-Man:
Screening in 2D and shot-for-3D is this fourth film (out during the past decade) based on Marvel's most popular comic character. This franchise reboot goes right back to the beginning, depicting the transformation of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) from high school nonentity to masked superhero. Emma Stone is Gwen Stacy and Rhys Ifans scientist Doc Connors, who has some connection to Peter's long-gone parents. Trailer Tuesday profile here.

Alas, The Amazing Spider-Man apparently isn't all that amazing. With Sam Raimi's trilogy still fresh in many people's minds, the comparisons were inevitable. And Amazing just doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from its predecessors. The gave the film a middling review score of 3 stars out of 5, adding that the project has individual elements that work very well (the casting, the romance), but ultimately suffers from a distinctive "been there done there" feeling. Internationally, the movie has an aggregated Rotten Tomatoes rating of 74% Fresh. According to those critics, Spider-Man is satisfying but safe, clearly laying the groundwork for a batch of sequels.

Time to get your B-grade action thrills... with sci-fi spice. Lockout is written and produced by French filmmaker Luc Besson, most recently responsible for The Transporter series, Taken and Columbiana. In this future-set film, Guy Pearce is Snow, a smart mouth CIA agent incarcerated at a maximum security penitentiary in outer space. When a prison riot puts the president's visiting daughter (Maggie Grace) at risk, Snow is given the chance to earn his freedom if he rescues her.

The gave Lockout 2 stars out of 5. Apparently the film spends more time trying to appear cool than actually delivering an original action movie with kick. Overseas, critics seem to agree. With a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 37% Fresh, Lockout has been labelled a soulless series of cliches. Some have loved the throwback ridiculousness of it though, calling it a guilty pleasure.

Vincent Wants to Sea:
On the art film circuit meanwhile is this German comedy drama about a trio of troubled teens - Vincent (Florian David Fitz), a young man with Tourette's Syndrome; Marie, an anorexic and Alex, an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder sufferer - who flee the clinic where they're being treated, and road-trip across the Alps to fulfill the last wish of Vincent's mother.

It looks cheesy as all hell in the "reveal all" trailer but Vincent Wants to Sea is a multi-award winner in Europe. It even scooped Best Picture and Best Actor at the German Film Awards last year. Apparently the movie is a moving crowd-pleaser that improves as it progresses, although cynics have not been impressed, dismissing it as predictable and unrealistic. 60% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.


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