Following on from Inception and The Adjustment Bureau, there is now Source Code, which marries the brain-heist idea to the identity-seeking thriller a la the Bourne franchise, and injects the mix with a big dose of paranoia about the military industrial complex, and lots of running around by a good-looking lead — in this case Jake Gyllenhaal. The second film by director Duncan Jones, who made a spectacular debut with Moon (2009), Source Code requires plenty of work from the audience to fit the jigsaw pieces together.
Just Go With It
Yet another Adam Sandler romantic comedy with lots of jokes and eye candy for the boys. Starring Jennifer Aniston, who despite appearing in a string of reasonably successful movies, remains irredeemably a television actress. The plot of Just Go With It is dumber than most, as are the characters. Sandler is a world-famous plastic surgeon who has convinced his assistant (Aniston) to pretend to be his soon-to-be divorced wife so he can make things work with the new love of his life, played by Brooklyn Decker.
A cute Easter-themed action animation being screened for the Children’s Day national holiday weekend, Hop looks like a whole bunch of Pixar and Dreamwork pictures, with something of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory thrown in for good measure. EB, the Easter Bunny’s teenage son, heads to Hollywood, determined to become a drummer in a rock ’n’ roll band. In LA, he is taken in by Fred, an out-of-work slacker. The Easter Bunny sends his minions to get his son back, while fending off a coup instigated by a chicken. Features a mix of animation and live action, and British comedian Russell Brand as the voice of EB.
Gnomeo and Juliet
It’s hard not to feel embarrassed for the participants of the reworking of Romeo and Juliet played out by garden gnomes. These are James McAvoy and Emily Blunt as the title characters, and a supporting cast that includes Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham, Ozzy Osbourne and a host of other big names in an absurd and largely derivative animation that looks and feels similar to Over the Hedge (2006). Directed by Kelly Asbury, who wrote Beauty and the Beast (1991) and directed Shrek 2 (2004), this is an assured production in every respect, but seems to have very little in the way of original ideas to offer.
Bringing together the creative team of James Wan and Leigh Whannell (Saw, Dead Silence) with executive producer Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Insidious is an effective haunted house film that suffers from an excess of ideas. A family moves into a new house and the son has an accident exploring the attic and falls into a coma. Very strange things start happening, and intervention by a psychic (Lin Shaye) brings demonic spirits out into the open — they were much scarier when hidden behind suggestion and innuendo.
Also released under the title Dogtooth, this film by Greek director Giorgos Lanthimos is not a movie for the faint of heart. It sets up a scene in which three teenage siblings, two girls and a boy, are confined to a country estate where they are taught to fear the outside world. Christina is the only visitor, brought in to slack the sexual urges of the son, but who soon find ways of exchanging sexual favors with the two girls as well. For all the weirdness, Lanthimos has complete command of the visuals and performances, and the film picked up the Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes in 2009.