Movies out today: Zombies, rebels, presidents and idiots

Five new movies open in South Africa today. Whether you're in the mood for offbeat comedy, escapist action, slapstick nonsense, a touch of horror or more highbrow fare, today you've got it. 

Warm Bodies:
Based on the novel of the same name, Warm Bodies brings together zombie horror and teen romance for a unique spin on the Romeo & Juliet story. Undead R (Nicholas Hoult) finds something in him awakened when he meets feisty human survivor Julie (Teresa Palmer). Also with Rob Corddry and John Malkovich

You can read my full review at TheMovies.co.za here but in short, Warm Bodies pulls off a combination of disparate genres that on paper sounds impossible. The film is slight, but charming and enjoyable. Internationally, Warm Bodies is 78% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.


Red Dawn:
The hit teen-centric actioner from the 1980s gets the remake treatment. When North Korea invades the United States, a  group of high schoolers flees into the woods and becomes resistance fighters. With Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Isabel Lucas, Adrianne Palicki and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Shot in 2009, Red Dawn's release was delayed by MGM's financial difficulties. Sadly the wait wasn't worth it. The film is apparently poorly scripted and acted; not even some decent action scenes can redeem it. A rubbish 12% Fresh.


100 Meter Leeuloop:
This local Afrikaans-language comedy from Robbie Wessels adopts a mockumentary format. Five contestants are chosen for a bizarre competition in which they must sing, dance, run and do the "leeuloop" all at the same time. Also with Emo Adams, Annette Engelbrecht, Hamilton Wessels and Hanna Grobler.

Who knows how good 100 Meter Leeuloop is? Online word of mouth is pretty much nonexistent for it, but I'd expect plenty of silliness for undemanding South African cinemagoers of all ages.



People Like Us:
Movie fans in the mood for a low-key domestic drama should consider this tale of a self-absorbed corporate (Chris Pine) who discovers after his father's death that he has a half-sister (Elizabeth Banks) and nephew. Slowly he worms his way into their lives. Also with Olivia Wilde, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jon Favreau.

Some have dismissed People Like Us as a big screen soap opera. Others have praised the film for its performances and refreshing adult approach to depicting complicated family relationships. 56% Fresh.


Hyde Park on Hudson:

Screening on the Art House circuit is this comedy drama based on historical events. On the eve of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) hosts King George VI (Samuel West) at his country estate. Laura Linney is the president's distant cousin/confidante/mistress, Margaret Suckley.

Evidently you'll be watching Hyde Park on Hudson for one reason only, and that's Murray's charismatic, convincing performance. The rest of the film is just too light and trivial. 37% Fresh.


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