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Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Movies Release Roundup 25 March 2011

I have already covered most of the big releases for this week but there are still two more to take a quick look at. 

Paradise Stop is a fairly unspectacular South African film that tries to mix quirky comedy, romance and crime drama into one complete package. It doesn't really succeed, to be honest, but it's still a perfectly OK bit of local entertainment that stuck me as being somewhat amateurish but kind of charming for that. The premise itself is quite fun in that two close friends are on other ends of the law - much to the total ignorance of at least one of them but it's more diverting than truly engaging. Still, director Jann Turner is clearly one of South Africa's more promising filmmakers and, if nothing else, it's admirable to see her come up with a film that is quintessentially South African but without needing to hit us over the head with the typical cliches or overexposed subject matters. It ain't great but as far as fun, frothy local confections go, it ain't half bad either. (6/10)

I Am Number Four, on the other hand, is just not good enough, no matter which way you consider it. A story about alien teenagers trying to have a normal life, while trying to avoid the notice of their enemies is obviously not a new idea and it has already been mined far better in the TV show Roswell. And that there are obvious similarities to Buffy, Smallville and any teenage super hero story, kind of goes without saying. What's really strange is that it's written by people who are possibly best known for their work on Smallville and, more worryingly, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Yet it never even reaches the meager levels of Smallville, let alone Buffy. It's a post-Twilight paranormal teen melodrama and it's every bit as bad as you expect. It's drearily written, ploddingly directed, woodenly acted and absolutely no fun whatsoever. Of course, none of this is exactly surprising when you consider that all the film's advertising makes it abundantly clear that it is "from producer Michale Bay". (3/10)

Best film of the week: Never Let Me Go. By a bajillion miles.
Worst film of the week: I Am Number Four. By a fair amount. Which is really saying something considering the caliber of the movies released this week that weren't Never Let Me Go.    

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