Oh yes, you can definitely tell it’s holiday time now. There are a lot more movies opening today than usual, and even though it’s a pretty mixed bag, I’m sure there’s something for everyone.
A United Kingdom
Age Restriction: 10-12PG V
A UNITED KINGDOM is based on extraordinary true events. In 1947, Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana, met Ruth Williams, a London office worker. They were a perfect match, yet their proposed marriage was challenged not only by their families but by the British and South African governments. The latter had recently introduced the policy of apartheid and found the notion of a biracial couple ruling a neighbouring country intolerable. South Africa threatened the British: either thwart the couple or be denied access to South African uranium and gold and face the risk of South Africa invading Botswana.
Even though A United Kingdom is a story with a lot of heart, it’s more of a political movie than a human one. Nevertheless, the acting is excellent with special stand-out performances from some local talent, including Terry Pheto and Vusi Kunene. And, as an important part of history from Southern Africa, it’s a story worth being told.
Age Restriction: 13 V
Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), the famous symbologist, follows a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.
If you experience some major déjà vu during Inferno, it’s because you’ve seen this exact movie before. Following the precise (and now rather hum-drum) formula of the previous two entries in the franchise, Inferno brings nothing new to the table, and actually leaves out a fair amount. Two majorly important and rather shocking plot twists from the books are completely disregarded in favour of playing it safe. And that’s all Inferno is, a safe, risk-free and inoffensive movie. Which basically means… meh.
The Edge of Seventeen
Age Restriction: 13
Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all.
The Edge of Seventeen is along the same lines as Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club – a coming of age drama that is going to be an instant classic. Edgy, funny, and heartbreakingly accurate, The Edge of Seventeen is wise beyond its years, with a stellar performance from Hailee Steinfeld to match.
Age Restriction: 7–9PG V
From Summit Entertainment. On a tiny exotic island, an outgoing parrot and his quirky animal companions befriend a marooned Robinson Crusoe. When their harmonious lives are disrupted by two savage cats, they discover the true power of friendship against all odds.
Released as The Wild Life in other regions, this, um, “loosely based” adaptation of the classic Robinson Crusoe story is told from the perspective of the animals, which should be a novel twist. Unfortunately, everything else about it is clichéd, garish, and pretty awful. Only the youngest and least discerning kids will enjoy the loud noises and basic jokes, but whichever parent draws the short straw is going to have a bad time.
Age Restriction: 13
When senior investment banker Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn) is passed over for a promotion at her firm, she fights for the opportunity to take a start-up public, hoping this promising IPO will secure her a place at the firm’s highest level. But when an employee at the start-up raises questions about a possible crack in the company’s walls, Naomi must decide whether to investigate rumors that may compromise the deal, or push forward with the confidence her superiors expect.
An expertly crafted cloak-and-dagger noir-like financial thriller that happens to be written and directed by women, and have a cast mainly comprising of women? Sounds too good to be true, Hollywood. Who let this one slip through your old boys club? Oh, and it’s getting really good reviews? Someone pinch me, I must be dreaming. Oh wait, it’s not mainstream at all, and is only out on indie circuits. Well, it’s better than nothing I suppose.
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Age Restriction: 10-12 PG
Lucinda “Luce” Price is a strong-willed seventeen-year-old living a seemingly ordinary life until she is accused of a crime she didn’t commit. Sent off to the imposing Sword & Cross reform school, Luce finds herself being courted by two mysterious students to whom she feels oddly connected. Isolated and haunted by strange visions, Luce begins to unravel the secrets of her past and discovers the two men are fallen angels, who she learns have loved her for centuries. Luce must choose where her feelings lie, pitting Heaven against Hell in an epic battle over true love.
In case you’ve ever wondered what happens when Young Adult genre writers get bored of vampires and werewolves, we get… angels. This has resulted in Fallen, a typical YA adaptation of a YA novel. There’s a totally plain and completely not-special-in-any-way teenage girl that suddenly has amazing things happen to her and finds out she’s super important, and she falls in love with a mythical creature. But there’s a catch, their relationship is doomed, something something plot something something drama and love probably conquers all. I’m sure that fans of the book (which I’ve never even heard of, thank goodness) will like totally freak out over it, OMG. Good for them.
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