What’s opening . . .
Absolute Deception (M)
Australian-Canadian co-production, filmed on the Gold Coast last year. When a widowed reporter (Canadian actress Emmanuelle Vaugier) recruits a federal agent (Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr) to investigate her late husband’s secrets, the two become the target of unknown attackers. Also stars Evert McQueen. (Report, Page 9.) They say: Released on DVD in the US, Absolute Deception divided critical opinion. Some labelled the screenplay more telemovie than big-screen; others praised director Brian Trenchard-Smith’s ability to create some truly suspenseful sequences. Wesay: An entertaining B-movie that earns a plus for solid performances by stars Gooding Jr and Vaugier. Locals will enjoy playing spot the location – and spot the friendly neighborhood extra. The producers and Trenchard-Smith (who helms another Gold Coast-shot drama, John Cusack’s Hard Drive) deserve support for their confidence in the local film industry. Running time 92 mins. Screens exclusively at Nerang.
Ashton Kutcher does his biopic best to play Apple guru Steve Jobs in this by-the-number recounting of the personal computing maverick’s numerous rises and falls. (Report, Page 13.) They say: Director Joshua Michael Stern’s ( Swing Vote) bland, workmanlike biography gets the job done with a minimum of style or flair, according to most US critics. Wesay: Kutcher’s a nice guy but it’s hard to take him seriously as a dramatic lead. Apple’s legacy of excitement and design innovation is underserviced by this thoroughly ‘OK’ effort. Running time 127 mins. Nerang, Harbour Town, Robina, Pacific Fair, Australia Fair, Coolangatta, Kingscliff.
Red 2 (M)
Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren are back in action as a crew of retired spies still able to murder and torture with as much gusto as their younger peers. Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones join the sequel, directed by Dean Parisot ( Galaxy Quest). They say: US box office was tepid and reviews were poor – ‘‘dumb’’, ‘‘over-the-top’’, ‘‘unimaginative’’. Wesay: An underachieving big-screen fantasy for seniors that works sporadically but gives its supremely talented cast too little to do. (Report, Page 13.) Running time 116 mins. Harbour Town, Nerang, Robina, Pacific Fair, Australia Fair, Coolangatta. Romantic drama written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore ( Cinema Paradiso). Geoffrey Rush stars as an eccentric art auctioneer obsessed with a young heiress (Sylvia Hoeks, pictured, above) who wants to sell an art and antiques collection. They say: Great film, a great cast (including Jim Sturgess and Donald Sutherland) and a great score by Ennio Morricone make this dramatic mystery one of the best offers this week. Wesay: Won six David di Donatello Awards (Italy’s Oscars) including for best film and best director. (Report, Page 10.) Running time 124 mins. Harbour Town, Robina, Pacific Fair, Australia Fair, Coolangatta, The Arts Centre Gold Coast.
Korean director Park Chan-wook’s English-language debut stars Aussie Mia Wasikowska as teenager India Stoker, whose mysterious Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) moves in with her and her mother (Nicole Kidman) after her father suddenly dies. They say: This drama/horror/thriller boasts a standout performance from Wasikowska. Wesay: Strong cast includes Jacki Weaver. (Report, Page 9.) Running time 99 mins. The Arts Centre Gold Coast.
You’re Next (MA15+)
The Davidsons come under attack from a group of sadistic murderers during a family reunion getaway. The masked, axewielding killers descend on their trapped victims, unaware that one of the guests (Australia’s Sharni Vinson) has a secret talent for fighting back. Also stars Barbara Crampton, Amy Seimetz. They say: Reviews were kind, noting the thriller was the object of a bidding war back in 2011 before it was shelved again after a run of film festival screenings. Wesay: Cheap thrills and good fun, You’re Next will prove a hit with its target audience – young horror lovers. (Report, Page 12.) Running time 96 mins. Screens at Harbour Town, Pacific Fair.