(M) This enjoyable Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart CIA action comedy is not entirely predictable and the refusal to overplay the buddy-film cliches is satisfying. The size difference between Hart and ex-wrestler Johnson is well used and the chemistry between the two actors is sparkling. Indeed, they are funnier than the film itself, though it’s funny enough. And we gain an insight into the sensitivity of Johnson; he is a good comic actor. A fine film to watch if you feel like taking an easy break from the real world.
Maggie’s Plan (M) A delightful contemporary comedy about the problems facing an independent 30something New York woman who can’t sustain relationships but who yearns to be a mother. Writer-director Rebecca Miller and a superb cast headed by the divine Greta Gerwig alongside Julianne Moore and Ethan Hawke ensure that this smart, witty comedy is based firmly in reality — and all the better for it.
The BFG (PG) Steven Spielberg’s The BFG is a marvellous, mood-lifting, wordmangling adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1982 children’s novel. Much of the marvellousness comes from the Big Friendly Giant of the title: the superb English stage and screen actor Mark Rylance. The script, which is the final work of Melissa Mathison ( ET: The ExtraTerrestrial), who died in November last year, was approved by the Dahl estate. There’s a lot to laugh about, with Mathison making spiffing use of Dahl’s squiggly language and his fondness for onomatopoeia. High-level motion-capture technology means Rylance becomes the giant and he invests the character with intelligence, love and a little fragility. His quirky monologues are delivered with the grace, warmth and acuity of an actor who was the first artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. This is a perfect film for the school holidays, for kids and adults.
Singin’ in the Rain In the 1952 MGM musical Singin’ in the Rain, Cosmo (Donald O’Connor) says with a heaving sigh: “Lina ... she can’t act, she can’t sing and she can’t dance. The triple threat.” But, boy, can she screech. In the Gene Kelly movie, Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) is a first magnitude star of the silent movie era whose career looks set to flame out with the advent of the talkie. Here, the Godface In this election year, Matriark Theatre and 107 Projects present this play about political corruption, backstabbing and betrayal. The citizens of Godface will vote to elect a new Prime God. Combining puppetry and physical comedy, Godface is a theatrical and animalistic political critique. Directed by Scott Parker. 107 Projects. 107 Redfern Street, Redfern. Today, 2pm and 7pm. Tickets: $25-$30. Bookings online. Ends tomorrow.