Movies out today: Superheroes vs. samurai

Four new films open in South Africa today... although it's clear in advance who the big winner at the box office will be. Turns out it's all about who has the biggest adamantium claws. Snikt!

The Wolverine:
Screening in 2D and CONVERTED 3D (in other words, avoid this format if you can), The Wolverine is the second X-Men spin-off to focus on the comic book franchise's most popular character - surly adamantium-clawed loner Logan. Hugh Jackman is back as the title character, this time battling ninjas, Yakuza thugs and his own mortality when he's summoned to Japan.

You can read Kervyn's review at here, and until I can write out my full critique, I will say I totally concur with his thoughts. Mixing pathos, action and even some humour, The Wolverine delivers the entertainment goods. Pity about its overblown ending where character motivations will have you scratching your head. For the record, The Wolverine is currently sitting with an aggregated review score of 72% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes - with international critics commending Jackman's performance and the film's tight, lean, individualistic focus; or alternatively bemoaning that while the film is good, it's sadly far from great.

P.S. Stay in your seats for a mid-credits sequence that will produce the biggest fan squees since Nick Fury popped up to discuss the Avengers Initiative with Tony Stark.

Scary Movie 5:
It's the sequel nobody wanted, but here is the fifth in the Scary Movie franchise. The series has moved further and further away from its horror spoof origins and this time along with Paranormal Activity, Mama, and Black Swan, look out for Fifty Shades of Grey and Tyler Perry's Madea references. Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Dogg and Mike Tyson all appear as themselves.

Unsurprisingly, Scary Movie 5 didn't screen for critics. Unsurprisingly it's been critically slammed, dismissed as the worst of the franchise - juvenile and unfunny, lazily resorting to pop culture name-dropping in an attempt to garner laughs. 4% Fresh.

What's a month without another new Tyler Perry film? Alright, to be fair, Perry only co-produced this comedy about a well-off family vacationing at the Hamptons. Problems arise when the daughter's fish-out-of-water boyfriend crashes the gathering with the intention of proposing. With Craig Robinson and Kerry Washington.

As a farce, Peeples is evidently watchable and likeable enough. However, it's far removed from reality and entirely predictable. 35% Fresh.

The Place Beyond the Pines:
Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper star in this crime drama about a low-level stunt motorcyclist and bank robber who crosses paths with an ambitious cop. Their conflict affects even their children years later. Also with Rose Byrne and Ray Liotta.

The Place Beyond the Pines is a film festival release. In other words, it's a VERY slow, thoughtful, 140-minute  release that "serious" cinephiles will get more from than the average moviegoer. Some may find it self-important; others a powerful examination of issues such as fatherhood and fate. 82% Fresh.


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