What’s opening with Sam Cleveland
The Croods (PG)
A family of cavemen (cavepeople?) trek across prehistoric earth in search of shelter, fire etc in this animated romp voiced by Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone. (Report, Page 12.) They say: Director Chris Sanders ( How to Train
Your Dragon)’ s latest has earned very solid early reviews, particularly for an animated film, ahead of a global release next weekend.
Wesay: The fresh caveman setting, some clever gags and the sweetly drawn characters (it’s a sappy tale of family, after all) add up to a lively package for kids and adults alike. What Creationists will make of it is anyone’s guess. Running time 92 minutes. Screens at Pacific Fair, Australia Fair, Robina, Coolangatta, Harbour Town, Nerang, Tweed City, Harbour Town, Yatala Drive-in.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (M)
with Sam Cleveland Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Bruce Willis report for duty in this high-tech military fantasy based on the ’80s toy line. This time around Cobra, having taken control of the US government, moves to annihilate the Joes. They say: Early reviews almost unanimously peg the film, directed by Jon M.
Chu ( Step Up 2 the Streets), as a snappy step up from the 2009 franchise founder. Wesay: The first one was loads of fun and the follow-up is a similar serve of hard rock popcorn nonsense. Go, skip the 3D, have fun. (Report, Page 11.) Running time 94 minutes. Screens at Pacific Fair, Australia Fair, Robina, Coolangatta, Harbour Town, Yatale Drive-in, Nerang, Tweed City.
The Host (M)
Twilight author Stephenie Meyer’s sci-fi tale grafts a teen love story to the
Bodysnatchers formula. Saoirse Ronan ( Atonement) plays a young girl struggling to connect with her boyfriend from within a ‘‘snatched’’ body.
They say: The eerie quiet on the review front is a bad sign for a project of this prominence. (Report, Page 10.)
Wesay: With cerebral Kiwi director Andrew Niccol in the mix, it’s tough to completely write the film off despite its baffling trailer and overcooked concept. Running time 125 minutes. Screens at Robina, Pacific Fair, Australia Fair, Coolangatta, Harbour Town, Yatale Drive-in, Nerang, Tweed City.
Return to Nim’s Island (G)
Bindi Irwin makes her big-screen debut in this modestly budgeted follow-up to the 2008 hit, taking over the nature girl title role from US kid actress Abigail Breslin. The eco-themed family pic was shot at Magnetic Island and on the Gold Coast at Village Roadshow Studios. (Report, Page 8.)
They say: Directed by Brendan Maher (Australian TV), early reviews registered pleasant surprise at this amiable film’s heart and moral.
Wesay: If your kids love animals or nature, move quick because Nim’s 2 will put in a short spell at cinemas before it finds its audience on DVD. Running time 90 minutes. Screens at Robina, Australia Fair, Pacific Fair, Coolangatta, Harbour Town, Nerang, Tweed City.
Hyde Park on the Hudson (M)
This light historical romp depicts the first meeting, on the eve of World War II, between US President Franklin Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and King George VI. (Report, Page 12.)
They say: International critics came away disappointed, particularly given the solid cast and novel trans-Atlantic milieu.
Wesay: Murray’s fun in the lead, but the overall package from director Roger Michell ( Notting Hill) is so harmless as to be disposable. Running time 95 minutes. Screens at the Arts Centre Gold Coast, Harbour Town, Coolangatta, Pacific Fair.
Rust and Bone (MA)
Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard stars in this French drama as a wheelchairbound whale trainer who strikes up a potent relationship with a roughneck single father.
They say: A tightly observed, near-pitiless character study from Jacques Audiard, the director of A Prophet, with a superb central performance from Cotillard.
Wesay: Sometimes harsh but always alive, Rust and Bone is a rewarding film for admirers of cutting edge European drama. Running time 122 minutes. Screens at The Arts Centre Gold Coast.
Adventures in Zambezia (G)
A gutsy little falcon leaves his home in the desert to for adventure in the bird city of Zambezia in this mid-budget kid cartoon voiced by Abigail Breslin, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy.
They say: Early reviews have largely wrapped the film up as a sprightly kidpleaser without much juice for adults.
Wesay: See Oz The Great and Powerful and The Croods first. Directed by Wayne Thornley (debut). Running time 84 minutes. Screens at Harbour Town, Robina, Australia Fair, Pacific Fair, Coolangatta, Nerang.
Escape From Planet Earth (PG)
Scorch Supernova, a gung-ho alien space hero voice by Brendan Fraser, finds himself trapped on Earth with his milquetoast brother his only hope of rescue in this colourful kid cartoon.
They say: Not-great overseas box office and not-really-great-at-all reviews. Wesay: We saw kooky CG aliens in Monsters Vs Aliens and fish-out-of-water spaceman in Toy Story, which leaves Escape From Planet Earth all out of cards. Directed by Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen (debut). Running time 89 minutes. Screens at Harbour Town, Robina, Australia Fair, Pacific Fair, Coolangatta, Nerang, Tweed City.