Movies out today: Infidelity and action

Four new movies open in South African cinemas today, although it's obvious upfront which of these new releases will end up the big box office winner of the weekend...

The Great Gatsby:
Screening in 2D and 3D is this fifth big screen adaptation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel loathed by high schoolers the world over. Baz (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge) Luhrmann directs Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton in this tragic romantic drama set in New York during the Roaring Twenties.

You can read my full review here, but in short, despite how colourful and kinetic it is, the new Great Gatsby just doesn't seem particularly ambitious artistically. Everything is just so obvious. Internationally, the film has split reviewers, scoring an aggregated Rotten Tomatoes review score of 51% Fresh. Some have called it a soulless spectacle. Others have praised it for capturing the Era's sense of out-of-control excess. Of the cast, Leo has won much critical love.

Bullet to the Head:
This New Orleans-set actioner has Sylvester Stallone playing a veteran hitman, who forms an alliance with a young police officer (Sung Kang). There's corrupt cops, mobsters, blackmail, kidnapping and, of course, murder. Also starring Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater and Jon Seda.

Based on a French graphic novel, Bullet to the Head is all about the trashy B-grade thrills. I mean, just look at that cast. Some have appreciated the film's violent throwback style; others have dismissed it as a mediocre effort cruising on 80s nostalgia. A divisive 47% Fresh.

Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor:
This latest big screen effort from writer-director-producer Tyler Perry sees Jurnee Smollett-Bell play a therapist at a matchmaking company. She falls for one of her dashing clients (Robbie Jones). Thing is, she's already married. Also with Lance Gross, Kim Kardashian and Vanessa L. Williams.

Despite sporting an awful title and a Kardashian in the cast. I have to admit that I thought this romantic thriller looked pretty intriguing in its trailer. I mean I'd actually watch it! Apparently first impressions are misleading though, and this one is a limp, preachy melodrama. 16% Fresh.

This 2011 black comedy finally reaches our shores. Based on real life events, Jack Black plays a man who uses his standing within a small Texan town to get away with the murder of his unpleasant "sugar mommy" Shirley MacLaine. Also with Matthew McConaughey.

Evidently this indie release is a little known gem, scoring a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 90% and several critical accolades. It's funny, loveably eccentric and incredibly well acted, especially by Black.


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