movies: new releases with Sam Cleveland.........................
OLD DOGS, NEW TRICKS
Alex Cross (M)
US comic Tyler Perry, an unknown in Australia, inherits the role of criminal psychologist Alex Cross from Morgan Freeman ( Kiss the Girls, Along Came a
Spider). This reboot pits a younger version of the character against a psychotic mob hitman.
They say: Critics were brutal and audiences stayed away in droves, tainting Alex Cross a failure. Wesay: Directed by Rob Cohen ( The Fast and the
Furious, Stealth), Perry makes for a largely uncharismatic leading man and the grimy, sadistic script seems hopelessly outdated. A dud. Running time 101 minutes. Harbour Town, Pacific Fair, Australia Fair, Robina, Coolangatta, Tweed.
Searching For Sugar Man (M)
Director Malik Bendjelloul’s documentary debut follows South African fans as they try to track down a forgotten US singer, Rodriguez. The gifted, Mexicanborn, singer-songwriter played a handful of small clubs in his home town of Detroit in the 1970s, released two albums and then disappeared for good. Or did he? (Report, Page 11.) They say: Rodriguez was unaware his debut record, Cold Fact, was a monster seller in South Africa almost a decade after it surfaced – and was part of the soundtrack for the anti-apartheid movement. Also features Eva Rodriguez, Clarence Avant, Stephen Segerman.
Wesay: A superb doco about life’s second chances. A must-see for those who bought Cold Fact, saw Rodriguez play 2007’s Byron Bluesfest or plans to see him when he tours Australia next year. Running time 86 minutes. Pacific Fair.
Seven Psychopaths (MA)
A huge indie cast (Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits and Australia’s Abbie Cornish) share screen time in this gleefully demented crime comedy centring on the theft of a crime boss’s beloved pet shih tzu.
They say: In-the-know reviewers say the film, directed by Martin McDonagh ( In Bruges), hits a fine balance of black comedy, unpredictable thrills and postmodern savvy. (Report, Page 12.)
Wesay: The trailers don’t really give away what the movie’s about because the movie’s got a lot more on its mind than can be summed up in two minutes. Strongly recommended for literate audiences. Running time 106 minutes. Harbour Town, Pacific Fair, Australia Fair, Robina, Coolangatta, Nerang, Tweed City.
The Sessions (MA)
Indie favourite John Hawkes ( Eastbound & Down, Winter’s Bone) stars as a 38-year-old poet determined to lose his virginity after living his life within an iron lung. Helen Hunt and William H. Macy co-star as the enablers – his therapist and his priest.
They say: A minor masterpiece apparently, with critics backflipping for the film’s tender handling of the real-life subject matter and lightly comic touches. (Review, Page 10.)
Wesay: With great performances put towards a well-judged exploration of some fairly unique themes, this is a surprise package from director Ben Lewin ( Paperback Romance) from start to finish. Running time 98 minutes. The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Pacific Fair.
You Will Be My Son (M)
Set in the picturesque vineyards of Saint-Emilion, this forceful family drama pits a master vintner against a son without passion for his father’s craft. The appearance of a successor from outside the family thickens the plot.
They say: English-language critics have been impressed by the French film’s fresh insight into father/son dynamics and textured snapshot of a world-renowned industry.
Wesay: It’s a simple formula: strong drama and terrific performances playing out against gorgeous countryside always makes a winning film. Running time 97 minutes. Cinemax Kingscliff.
Tyler Perry inherits the role of criminal psychologist Alex Cross from Morgan Freeman in the reboot