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Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMOVIES -

NEW RE­LEASES

Thor: The Dark World 3D: The Mar­vel su­per­hero drama lurches from Wag­ne­r­ian sturm und drang to flippant self-par­ody in a dis­con­cert­ing style. Alan Tay­lor makes a valiant at­tempt to bal­ance the ac­tion set pieces with hu­mour and depth of char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion. He is helped by Tom Hid­dle­ston’s sleekly malev­o­lent per­for­mance as Loki, a more en­gag­ing and com­plex fig­ure than Chris Hemsworth’s mono­syl­labic Thor. ★★★ The But­ler: For­est Whi­taker plays Ce­cil Gaines, who was born a share­crop­per’s son in Ge­or­gia, goes to Wash­ing­ton in the 1950s and serves eight US pres­i­dents as a White House but­ler. But, build­ing a heroic film around Gaines re­quires Her­culean effort, which direc­tor Lee Daniels doesn’t quite man­age. ★★★ Bag­gage Claim: This breezy, cheesy, un­even ro­man­tic com­edy stars Paula Pat­ton as a flight at­ten­dant who’s des­per­ate to get mar­ried. To se­cure a ring, she goes through hu­mil­i­a­tion, pain and il­le­gal­ity to bump into exboyfriends. There’s so much wrong with this film that it’s all the more sur­pris­ing when things go right. It does pro­vide its mod­est, some­times out­right hi­lar­i­ous, plea­sures. ★★★

ON CIR­CUIT

Austen­land: Keri Rus­sell’s neck does most of the heavy lift­ing in Austen­land, and if you pay at­ten­tion to its many un­du­la­tions, you might just make it through this em­bar­rass­ingly ju­ve­nile com­edy with­out groan­ing aloud. ★★ Jack­ass Presents: Bad Grandpa: If you liked the Jack­ass tele­vi­sion se­ries and its movie spin-offs, you’ll prob­a­bly love this. Star­ring Johnny Knoxville, Bad Grandpa is a loose se­quence of hid­den-cam­era pranks cen­tered on the an­tics of an oc­to­ge­nar­ian. ★★★ Salinger (Doc­u­men­tary): Direc­tor Shane Salerno has an ad­mit­tedly tricky ob­sta­cle in mak­ing this doc­u­men­tary about the in­tensely pri­vate au­thor JD Salinger. While Salerno tries to get creative with so­lu­tions for the lack of vis­ual stim­uli, most at­tempts fail. ★★ The Fam­ily: There’s not much to laugh about in Luc Bes­son’s dark com­edy, a plod­ding film which fol­lows a for­mer mob boss who winds up in France in a wit­ness pro­tec­tion pro­gramme with his wife and kids. ★★ Closed Cir­cuit: At­tor­ney Martin Rose (Eric Bana) and ad­vo­cate Clau­dia Sim­mons-Howe (Re­becca Hall) set about de­fend­ing the man ac­cused of bomb­ing a Lon­don shop­ping area. But, Clau­dia can’t share her ev­i­dence with Martin, so the two are forced into a game of cat-and-mouse. ★★ Killing Sea­son: This film is not en­tirely worth­less, but it’s not good. As a genre film, it’s too am­bi­tious; as an art film, it’s too ob­vi­ous. It deals with geno­cide, the eth­i­cal com­pro­mises which are made in com­bat, and the lin­ger­ing ef­fects of wartime de­ci­sions . ★★ Rid­dick: Cheesy, silly and of­ten vi­o­lent, this sci-fi ac­tion movie with Vin Diesel repris­ing his role as the tit­u­lar an­ti­hero is also a lot of fun. ★★★ About Time: Richard Cur­tis mixes fa­mil­iar boy-meets-girl in­gre­di­ents with time-trav­el­ling magic re­al­ism in this en­joy­able movie. ★★★ Bat­tle of the Year 3D: Josh Hol­loway stars as a down-on-his-luck coach hired to train a team of dancers for an in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, but with TV pro­grammes like So You Think You Can Dance and Strictly Come Danc­ing, why would you pay to watch what you can get at home for free? ★ Grav­ity: This 3D sci-fi ac­tion ad­ven­ture about two as­tro­nauts not only de­liv­ers on its prom­ise of a wildly en­ter­tain­ing space ad­ven­ture, it also be­comes a ground­break­ing ad­di­tion to a genre al­ready de­fined by films like 2001: A Space Odyssey. ★★★★★ Jobs: At the risk of damn­ing with faint praise, it should be noted that Ash­ton Kutcher is not a dis­as­ter in Jobs, the biopic of Ap­ple co-founder Steve Jobs. But, the film is so thick with Jobs’s ca­reer high­lights and low­lights that there’s lit­tle room for in­sights into what made this pri­vate man tick ★★★ Diana: This biopic is not aw­ful enough to be an en­joy­ably kitsch train wreck – it’s too con­ven­tional and rev­er­en­tial to give the late princess the full dra­matic de­con­struc­tion her iconic sta­tus de­mands. ★★ The Purge: Set in 2022 dur­ing an an­nual 12-hour event known as Purge Night, the movie fol­lows the ef­forts of a fam­ily to fight off killers. ★★★ Ar­bi­trage: This is a silky, so­phis­ti­cated Wall Street thriller that finds Richard Gere wear­ing his age and emo­tional wis­dom with warmth. ★★★★

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