Box­ing Day a knock­out for film fans

Some of the year’s most ex­cit­ing films open on Mon­day. Maria Lewis rates what many movie buffs are hail­ing as Aus­tralian cinema’s best Box­ing Day roll­out in years.

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - COVER STORY - (M) (M) (PG) (M)

Set in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, a fa­ther (Matt Da­mon) moves his young fam­ily to the coun­try­side to ren­o­vate and re-open a strug­gling zoo. Also stars Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Thomashaden Church and Elle Fan­ning. They say: This up­lift­ing tale has heart, hu­man­ity and a warmly em­pa­thetic cen­tral per­for­mance from­da­mon. We­say: The feel­good movie of the hol­i­day sea­son. Di­rec­tor Cameron Crowe ( Jerry Maguire) is overly sen­ti­men­tal at times but for the most part this is a sooth­ing dram­edy. Run­ning time 124 min­utes. Aus­tralia Fair, Coolan­gatta, Har­bour Town, Nerang, Pa­cific Fair, Tweed, Robina. Al­bert (Jeremy Irvine) en­lists to serve in World War I af­ter his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Al­bert’s hope­ful jour­ney takes him out of Eng­land and across Europe as the war rages. Also stars Tom Hid­dle­ston, Emily Wat­son, David Thewlis and Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch. They say: At­mo­spheric, highly cin­e­matic melo­drama. We­say: Di­rec­tor Steven Spiel­berg’s other – and in­fe­rior – Box­ing­day movie plays like Sav­ing Pri­vate Se­abis­cuit. Run­ning time 118 min­utes. Aus­tralia Fair, Coolan­gatta, Har­bour Town, Nerang, Pa­cific Fair, Tweed, Robina. When a group of hard-work­ing guys find out they’ve fallen vic­tim to a wealthy busi­ness­man’s Ponzi scheme, they con­spire to rob his high-rise res­i­dence with the help of sea­soned crim Ed­die Mur­phy. Also stars Ben Stiller, Casey Af­fleck, Matthew Brod­er­ick and Tea Leoni. They say: Bril­liantly ex­e­cuted with hi­lar­i­ous ideas, Tower Heist is a sparkling, fun and orig­i­nal crime ca­per. We­say: Di­rec­tor Brett Rat­ner is back to his glee­ful, Rush Hour best with this unashamed pop­corn com­edy. Lead­ing the first-class cast, Mur­phy re­turns to the fine, fast-talk­ing form au­di­ences once loved him for – be­fore he made all those other aw­ful movies, that is. (Re­view, Page 11.) Run­ning time 104 min­utes. Aus­tralia Fair, Coolan­gatta, Har­bour Town, Nerang, Pa­cific Fair, Tweed, Robina. A look at the life of former Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Mar­garet Thatcher (Meryl Streep), The Iron Lady fo­cuses on the price she paid for power. The stel­lar cast in­cludes Jim Broad­bent, An­thony Head and Richard E. Grant. (Re­port, Page 11.) They say: Streep is noth­ing short of as­ton­ish­ing as Thatcher in this even-handed po­lit­i­cal drama from Mamma Mia di­rec­tor Phyl­l­ida Lloyd. We­say: This pow­er­ful biopic plays like a Shake­spearean drama but would be noth­ing with­out Streep’s flaw­less turn. Run­ning time 105 min­utes. Aus­tralia Fair, Har­bour Town, Coolan­gatta, Pa­cific Fair, Tweed, Robina, The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast. Reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell) and Cap­tain Had­dock (Andy Serkis) set off on a trea­sure hunt for a sunken ship com­manded by Had­dock’s an­ces­tor. Also stars Daniel Craig, Si­mon Pegg and­nick Frost. (Re­port, Page 9.) They say: As­ton­ish­ing is the only word for the mo­tion cap­ture-de­liv­ered world of this splen­did ad­ven­ture film. We­say: Un­doubt­edly the best block­buster of the year. Fea­tur­ing a snappy script, gor­geous an­i­ma­tion, jaw-drop­ping 3D and unimag­in­able ac­tion se­quences, Tintin is a fast-paced ac­tion/ad­ven­ture you will want to see more than once. You can un­der­stand why it took two masters – Steven Spiel­berg and Peter Jack­son – to bring Herge’s tale to the big screen. Run­ning time for 107min­utes. The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast, Aus­tralia Fair, Coolan­gatta, Har­bour Town, Pa­cific Fair, Tweed, Robina.

War Horse Mum­ble’s son, Erik, is strug­gling to re­alise his tal­ents in the em­peror pen­guin world. Mean­while, Mum­ble and his fam­ily and friends dis­cover a new threat their home – one that will re­quire ev­ery­one to work to­gether to save them. Stars the voices of Eli­jah Wood, Robin Wil­liams and Pink. They say: The an­i­ma­tion is as eye-pop­ping as ever, but Happy Feet 2’ s nar­ra­tive is too nois­ily in­co­her­ent to re­cap­ture the Os­car-win­ning charm of its pre­de­ces­sor. We­say: This se­quel will thrill the kid­dies, to be sure, but af­ter the com­plete and sat­is­fy­ing first jour­ney, we re­ally didn’t need to take an­other trip to Antarc­tica. Run­ning time for 104min­utes. Aus­tralia Fair, Tweed, Har­bour Town, The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast, Pa­cific Fair, Coolan­gatta, Robina. Glenn Close plays a wo­man pass­ing as a man in or­der to work and sur­vive in 19th cen­tury Ire­land. Some 30 years af­ter don­ning­men’s cloth­ing, she finds her­self trapped in a prison of her own mak­ing. Also stars Mi­awasikowska, Aaron John­son and Jonathan Rhys Mey­ers. They say: The ex­tra­or­di­nary and haunt­ing pres­ence of Close is what re­mains with us af­ter this poignant drama. We­say: Close is amaz­ing, but Al­bert Nobbs’ strength is its fine en­sem­ble cast, which in­cludes great per­for­mances from two of cinema’s most-promis­ing young up-and-com­ers – John­son and Aussie ac­tress Wasikowska. (Re­port, Page 11.) Run­ning time 113 min­utes. The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast.

Happy Feet 2

The pen­guins are back in

Jeremy Irvine stars in

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