SHORT­CUTS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMOVIES -

In­sid­i­ous: Chap­ter 2: Three years af­ter In­sid­i­ous in­tro­duced movie-go­ers to the Lam­bert fam­ily and its trou­bling con­nec­tion to the spirit world, the stars and film-mak­ers have re­united for another in­stal­ment. The se­quel picks up where the first story ended, but it has enough scares, laughs and a story of its own to stand alone. ★★★ The Bling Ring: A mod­ern-day cau­tion­ary tale about youth run amok. Based on the story of a group of Los An­ge­les teenagers who cased, then robbed the homes of Paris Hil­ton, Lind­say Lo­han and other celebri­ties, it taps into the same fears and voyeuris­tic horror that have char­ac­terised teen prob­lem movies through­out the decades. ★★★

NEW RE­LEASES

Cap­tain Phillips: A taut, finely crafted, su­perbly acted mar­itime thriller tells the true story of Cap­tain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hi­jack­ing by So­mali pi­rates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first Amer­i­can cargo ship to be hi­jacked in 200 years. ★★★★★

ON CIR­CUIT

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 rom­com 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 bump­ing into ex-boyfriends. There’s so much wrong with this film, it’s all the more sur­pris­ing when things go right. ★★★ 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. ★★ 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. ★★ 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. ★★★ 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. ★★

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