Movies out today & Friday: Giants, Thieves and Chimps

With the public holiday tomorrow, most of this week's new movies are actually releasing today. Check out the following in local cinemas from today and/or Friday.

Jack the Giant Slayer:
Screening in shot-for-3D and 2D is this epic fantasy adventure from Bryan (X-Men) Singer. Mixing the Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant Killer fairy tales, the film centres on farmboy Jack (Nicholas Hoult), who must lead a band of soldiers in rescuing the princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) from the land of the giants in the clouds. Also with Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane and Ewan McGregor. Trailer Tuesday profile here.

Word on Jack the Giant Slayer is mixed. Some are calling it refreshingly straightforward fun with strong performances. Others have complained that it's technically strong but soulless. And finally there's the camp that says this one is purely for the Under 10s and kids at heart. TheMovies.co.za's Kervyn seemed to belong to that final group, if his review is to be believed Given the highly divergent opinions, Jack is likely a film you need to watch for yourself. 51% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.


Identity Thief:
Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy star in this comedy about a mild-mannered everyman who discovers that he's been the victim of credit card fraud and impersonation by a Florida conwoman. He sets out to clear his name by confronting her himself. From the director of Horrible Bosses.

Identity Thief has been one of the biggest hits at the US box office so far this year. However, critics haven't been especially kind. The sloppy film apparently isn't as amusing as its 2 committed leads. If you enjoy energetic comedies with lots of car crashes you may find something here though. 23% Fresh.


Chimpanzee:
In the mood for a feature length nature documentary? Check out this Disneynature film, narrated by Tim Allen, about orphaned chimpanzee Oscar and the unprecedented bond he forms with the alpha male of his community.

Ideal family viewing, Chimpanzee is an touching treat for animal lovers. However, it does tend to humanise its simian leads a bit too much and probably would have benefited from toning down its spell-everything-out voice-over. 74% Fresh.


One in the Chamber:
Screening in select cinemas is this B-grade crime actioner that went straight to DVD overseas. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Dolph Lundgren (you don't get more B-grade than that!) play an assassin and hitman who get caught up in a massive Russian gang war.

By the sound of it, you can file One in the Chamber under "Alright; Does Its Job." According to IMDB users, the film is one of the better films of its budget type; slick and competently made. Lundgren impresses especially with his relaxed presence. 

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