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.
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