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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Super Quick Roundup for July 2013

Paying writing work kind of got in the way of regular updates for all movies this past month so here are very, very quick reviews of all the films I have not yet covered that were released in SA cinemas this month.

Despicable Me 2: Not despicable at all actually. The plot ain't great and it lags in the middle but it's genuinely cute without being overly cutesy and, thanks to an increase in Minion activity, is much, much funnier than the first film. (7/10)

Killer Joe: Now this one kind of is despicable. It has a grotesque final scene whose sexual politics I am really not happy about so I can't exactly give this a hearty recommendation but it's still brilliantly if bleakly written, sharply directed by the legendary William Friedkin and has a bunch of great performances, most especially by a stellar Matthew McConaughy in the title role. It's great but it's awful. Check it out at your own peril. (?/10)

The Big Wedding: A so-so family dramedy with a terrific, star-studded cast and a number of chuckles along the way but it's way too ordinary to leave a mark or to bother with at cinemas. (5/10)

Disconnect:  Like all dramas made up of separate but barely interlocking plotlines, Disconnect is a bit of a mixed bag but this film about the way the internet can shatter lives and relationships as easily as it can connect people rages between good and very, very good and, once again, it has a top notch cast and plenty to say. It could certainly have done with a bit of humour, though. (7/10)

World War Z: I appreciate that this is a zombie film that actually plays out on a world stage but the location hopping is the only truly standout thing about this otherwise decidedly generic and largely charmless zombie flick. (5/10)

The Company You Keep: It's intentions are clearly in the right place and it's discussions about terrorism and revolution are both interesting and admirably complex but as a thriller or as a drama - it's not quite clear what the film actually wants to be - it's something of a stodgy, often uninvolving affair and, though the supporting cast are pretty uniformly great, Shia Labeouf is totally miscast as tough, down-trodden journalist. (5/10)

I Give It a Year: A very pleasant surprise, this one. Its romantic aspects do admittedly play out like fifth-rate Woody Allen and, despite it's attempts to update the romcom formula for a world where half of all marriages end in divorce, it's still pretty formulaic stuff. It is, however, hilariously funny and, considering how rare that is for mainstream romantic comedies these days, I found it easy to overlook its many dramatic flaws and embrace is as easily one of the year's best and funniest comedies. A must especially if you like your humour dry, sardonic and very, very British. (7/10). 

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