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Now Showing This Week (30/09/10)

New cinema releases this week... Despicable Me, Ramona and Beezus, Why Did I Get Married Too?, Long Street and The Other Man.

Despicable Me Movie PosterDESPICABLE ME (2010)
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Director: Pierre Coffin
Starring: Steve Carrell, Russell Brand, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi
Age Restriction: PG

Gru, an evil inventor and mastermind is determined to become the world's greatest villain, but when 3 orphaned girls get put in his care, being really evil gets tricky. This is a delightful family animated feature backed by a solid voice cast and animated with real panache. The movie takes a little while to warm up and even catches you by surprise at some heartwarming moments. Light, fun and just up your alley if you enjoyed Meet the Robinsons and Flushed Away.

Ramona and Beezus Movie PosterRAMONA AND BEEZUS (2009)
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Director: Elizabeth Allen
Starring: Joey King, Selena Gomez, John Corbett
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Age Restriction: PG

The misadventures of young, imaginative Ramona come to life in this charming adaptation of the popular children's series. While a little wordy in places, this fun family adventure has the performances and story to entertain, making it a well-balanced feel good movie with a couple of chuckles.

Why Did I Get Married Too? Movie PosterWHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO? (2010)
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Director: Tyler Perry
Starring: Janet Jackson, Malik Yoba, Tyler Perry
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Age Restriction: 16V

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? follows four "happily married" couples on their annual vacation in the Bahamas as an ex-husband arrives on scene to win back his remarried wife. While fans of Why Did I Get Married? and Tyler Perry will enjoy aspects of this sequel, its bizarre genre-breaking and ethics make the whole story seem unreal... stupid even.

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Director: Revel Fox
Starring: Sannie Fox, Roberta Fox, David Butler
Genre: Drama, Music
Age Restriction: 16DLS

Keeping it in the family takes on a whole new paradigm in Revel Fox's (The Flyer) latest film, in which he casts his daughter, Sannie and his wife, Roberta as the principal characters. This poetic, mother-daughter relationship drama is infused with the culture of Cape Town, from Long Street's ethos to the rich musical heritage of Mama Africa. It's a South African portrait drama about a young girl struggling to reconnect with her mother after a stint in rehab, so expect something along the lines of Shirley Adams.

The Other Man Movie PosterTHE OTHER MAN (2008)
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Director: Robert Eyre
Starring: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Antonnio Banderas
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Age Restriction: 16L

This lack-lustre love triangle "thriller" has an incredibly talented cast and director in Robert Eyre, but still manages to fumble its way to an unsatisfactory conclusion as a husband (Neeson) seeks out the man (Banderas) his wife (Linney) is having an affair with. Some beautiful on-location scenes in Milan and London help minimise the damage, but this choppy and poorly directed drama just got away from us all.

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New Rental Releases This Week (27/09/10)

Iron Man 2 Movie PosterIRON MAN 2 (2010)
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Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Age Restriction: PG13V

Iron Man 2 is the sequel to the hugely successful and surprising Iron Man, a superhero story from unlikely superheroes Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. The follow-up features a wider array of great actors, a more complex twist of story lines setting up for a trilogy and a good dose of comedy under the direction of Favreau. It's entertaining, ballsy, funny and racks up some serious action with Rourke making a worthy adversary to Iron Man as the character takes a more inward journey akin to Spider-Man 2. It's loads of fun and packs a punch, but could have made more of the final showdown. Full Movie Review...

The Last Station Movie PosterTHE LAST STATION (2009)
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Director: Michael Hoffman
Starring: Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance
Age Restriction: 16NS

This strictly art house biographical drama roots itself in the last chapter of legendary Russian author, Leo Tolstoy. The history, setting and build-up to his famous departure are portrayed with great passion by a seasoned ensemble. It's an earthy depiction of Tolstoy, his family and the legacy of his writing against the big picture of Russian philosophy, literature and the people. The performances go a long way to improving the overall entertainment value of a fairly plain and niche biography drama. Full Review...

Green Zone Movie PosterGREEN ZONE (2010)
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Director: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Matt Damon, Brendan Gleeson, Greg Kinnear
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller, War
Age Restriction: 16LV

Green Zone comes to screen courtesy of the Bourne director/actor formula of Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass. It's a competent Iraq war actioner in the tradition of Body of Lies, Traitor and The Kingdom with a similar echo from the Bourne series. It's entertaining for its accomplished ensemble, quick pacing, gritty realism and riveting war story, but isn't distinguishable enough to stand-out from other titles within the genre. Full Review...

Marmaduke Movie PosterMARMADUKE (2010)
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Director: Tom Dey
Starring: Owen Wilson (voice), George Lopez (voice), William H. Macey
Genre: Comedy, Family
Age Restriction: PG

Marmaduke is a live-action talking pet movie. Disney made it possible for us to believe dogs could talk with Goofy and the phenomenon has literally grown a tail and floppy ears with a string of talking animal movies. It seems that all you have to do is carry a story... any story with pets and the rest doesn't matter. The comedy is flat, the characters are stale, the formula is overly familiar to unwelcome and Marmaduke doesn't make a worthy adaptation to film. It's admirable to see how much hard work goes into giving these pets voice in terms of the training and film-making process, but it just doesn't have enough charm or comedy to compete with real heartwarming dog stories like Hachiko and Marley & Me.

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Trivia: This actress was born in Italy and raised in a Mormon family of seven!

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