Sunday Showdown: Cheznews Weekly Favourites

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Hey! Everybody,

Don’t know about you guys but am beginning to look forward to Sundays, well, let’s get to it, shall we:‎

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The Gift is the slow-paced but compelling directorial debut of Joel Edgerton, who also wrote and stars in the film. 

The thriller follows ‎Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) a young married couple, they relocate to Simon’s hometown to start afresh after a miscarriage.‎ Life is going just as planned ‎until a chance encounter with an acquaintance from Simon’s high school sends their world into a distressing tailspin. ‎

Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo (Joel Edgerton) at first, bu‎t Gordo apparently does, and begins to invade their quiet existence with a series of gifts. He imposes his presence on their lives through presents; this quickly develops from uncomfortable to dangerous.‎

This seemingly coincidental series of encounters continues, and a horrifying secret from their past is uncovered after nearly 20 years. 

This is Jason Bateman first venture outside  the usual comedic roles that have made him famous, he plays Simon, a man who must protect the life that he has carefully built for his family. Jason manages to maintain his dry wit and yet here, there is something darker and more sinister, lurking.‎

‎While Rebecca Hall as Robyn, comes of as inexperienced, tentative and naive, but she soon shows us her steely resolve. She has the inept ability to portray a series of emotions from suspicion, betrayal and anger without words, a stern jaw or a piercing look is all it takes. She is never a victim, despite finding herself caught between two men and a devious secret, but takes control in her role as detective. 

The obsessive Gordo (Joel Edgerton) is suitably awkward and menacing. Yet, like all the characters in this film, he is not so straightforward. Edgerton does well to make Gordo somewhat sympathetic with his nervous energy, rather than a straightforward villain. ‎

The 108 minutes allotted this story seems like the audience have all the time in the world to get to know the characters and make up their mind and judge them, but the pace quickens almost too quickly. This unexpected fast pace might leave the audience in the dark even as the credits roll.‎

This movie will be available to the public on 7th August.‎

VERDICT: 8/10‎

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National Lampoon’s Vacation ‎sometimes referred to as Vacation,‎  was debuted in ‎1983‎, 32 years ago ‎and since then there have been three sequels, a Cousin Eddie TV-movie spinoff and even a few TV commercials that included the characters and while there were some highlights, none could quite capture the inspired lunacy of the original John Hughes-written/Harold Ramis-directed film.

But! The Griswolds came quite close, changing the focus from Clark (Chevy Chase) to his son, Rusty (now played by Ed Helms), and his family. Those first four movies happened in the new Vacation and the first movie’s events in particular are referenced multiple times.‎

The story line is simple enough, as Rusty realizes how bored his wife played by Debbie (Christina Applegate) and sons James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins) have gotten bored with spending the annual vacation in the same cabin. Looking back on his own youth, Rusty decides he and the family should drive to Walley World in California, just like he once did with his sister and parents. And then, predictably history begins to repeat itself as the holiday turns into one catastrophe after another…‎

Simply put Vacation is uncomplicated, unflinchingly dirty answer to escaping the tensions and harshness of the day with the dark, air conditioned atmosphere the cinema offers‎ without having to suffer through yet another superhero movie as long as you bear in mind; this is a sequel and not a reboot, you should do fine.

VERDICT: critics deemed it “a family movie you’d never dare bring your family to,” but it makes me a good laugh 

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The Seventh Dwarf is an animated musical fairy tale (produced in Germany and dubbed in English for its U.S. release). It’s an obvious mix up of elements from Sleeping Beauty and ‎Snow White.‎‎
T‎he plot is built around Bobo, the youngest dwarf of the Seven, who mistakenly pricks the fingers of Princess Rose (Sleeping Beauty) – on her birthday – with a needle cursed ‎by the evil witch Dellamorta, sending her into a deep, frozen slumber. As only true love’s kiss can break a spell, Bobo and friends embark on a treacherous journey to find Rose’s true love, Jack — why he isn’t at his beloved party, escapes me.

There are few violent scenes between the bad guys and the good guys: Both a dragon and ice monsters try to injure the dwarfs and Jack, and witch Dellamorta freezes characters — a not so subtle rip-of from ‎the likes of ‘Shrek’, ‘How To Train Your Dragon,’ and ‘Frozen.’

‎Luckily, as with all fairy tales, everything ends in a happily ever after.

VERDICT: your kids can learn first hand‎ the value of teamwork, bravery, and true friendship. Plus the 87 minutes allocated to it ensures time for homework.

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Smosh: The Movie is directed by Alex Winter and written by Eric Falconer and centers around two buddies, Ian and Anthony‎.

An embarrassing video surfaces online just days before their high school reunion, so ofcourse the pair go inside YouTube to try and rewrite history. 

Smosh: The Movie revolves around Ian and Anthony’s adventures through the YouTube portal as try race to delete the embarrassing video of Anthony before his high school crush, Anna, sees it. They run into one YouTube celebrity after another on their quest to rewrite history before their high school reunion. ‎

The 1hr 22mins clip is rated PG13 for ‎crude language and sexual humor, some drug content and violence.‎

VERDICT: well, it’s a comedy, so you’re guaranteed alot of laughs if nothing else.

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Pixels tells the story of Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler) and his childhood buddies, who join forces to battle against the ‎intergalactic aliens who misinterpret vid‎eo-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them‎.

Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), now a home theater installer,‎ and a team of old-school arcaders‎ ‎, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage, are summoned by the President of the United States (Kevin James) to save the earth from the alien attack disguised as giant versions of 80s video game characters.

‘Home Alone’ director, Chris Columbus expertly applied special effects to liven up the proceedings. So, we have a gargantuan Pac-Man chomping his way through New York City, and while a menacing Donkey Kong hurls barrel after barrel at Sandler and his crew, as they fight back using the skills they acquired in those video game arcades as teenagers.
 
The lovely Michelle Monaghan joins in the fight as Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens and a love interest for Sandler.

Unfortunately, for Sandler this barely redeems him ‎in the sight of fans and critics as one called it “an improvement on most of Sandler’s recent comedies”. 

The ‎poor production quality didn’t do much to endear viewers to the movie. Several sequences are crammed with designs that are not aesthetic or eye catching. The 3D effects too do not elevate the viewing experience.‎

VERDICT: low quality, sloppy and garish.‎

About The Author

A graduate of UNN, from the dept of Foreign languages and literary studies. Chioma is passionate about ensuring that you get the latest information on events going on in the world, as they occur, uncut.

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