Welcome back to another episode of cheznews’ Sunday showdown. Buckle in and take a trip through the movie world with us:
Stumbled across this Blumhouse Productions — the low-budget movie company responsible for Insidious and The Purge — ‘The Lazarus Effect’.
A 86 minutes resurrection horror film that follows a group of researchers on the brink of creating the ultimate serum that conquers death and give people “the second chance they deserve,” according to the project’s leaders Frank (Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Wilde).
They carry out a successful trial on a dead dog, but the team’s research is thwarted when a generic “evil corporation” led by a slimy man, Sam Wise, took over (Sam suspiciously disappears for the rest of the movie). Left with no other options, the researchers decide to duplicate the experiment, but an unfortunate incident leads them to inject a human subject, Wilde. As these things go, the results are less than desirable.
The movie is directed by David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi) and stars Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Evan Peters, Donald Glover and Sarah Bolger. It debuted on cinemas 27 February, 2015.
VERDICT: It can serve as a scare on a good date night but has nothing new to offer as horror films go.
‘Straight Outta Compton’ opens with words from Dr. Dre’s prologue to the N.W.A. album of the same name: “You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge.”
Set in the mid-1980s, in California, five young men translates their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, the entertaining biopic gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation.
The N.W.A. biopic broke records with its $56.1 million haul at the weekend box office, exceeding the expectations set by Universal. The hip-hop epic, feature tracks of the rise and rift of rap group N.W.A., had the biggest August opening ever for an R-rated film, ahead of American Pie 2’s $45.1 million start in 2001.
A Dr. Dre and Ice Cube production, starring Corey Hawkins and O’Shea Jackson Jr. as their counterparts, Compton was enthusiastically received by critics and even more so by audiences.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. centers on CIA agent Solo (Henry Cavill, “Man of Steel”) and KGB agent Kuryakin, set in the year 1963. Solo is a former art thief recruited into the spy world (to work behind the Iron Curtain for the CIA) for some unknown reason.
Forced to put aside past rivalry and hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology.
Their only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, Gabriella who they must keep and away from rogue villains while they retrieve her missing dad. She is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.
VERDICT: Critics have dubbed this “a special brand of bad” slow, lethargic, and “utterly lacking in charm.”
‘The Perfect Guy’ is a suspense filled drama directed by David M. Rosenthal and is set to drop 11 September, 2015.
The movie opens with Leah Vaughn (Sanaa Lathan) who appears to have the ideal life. She enjoys a challenging, fast-paced career as a lobbyist, and has a longterm boyfriend; Dave (Morris Chestnut) who loves her. Yet, at 36, she feels there is something missing and she’s ready to move her life to the next phase. Marriage and a family seem a logical and welcome step. Except, Dave is not so sure or ready and this leads to a painful goodbye.
Viola! Carter Duncan (Michael Ealy) walks in, a charming, good looking stranger whose path keeps crossing with Leah’s. He has all the makings of a perfect man; caring and attentive and considerate of Leah, her family and friends, their relationship develops rapidly. All is well or is it?
Carter’s protective nature soon borders on sinister. Leah has to end this new relationship and when she does, her lover becomes her ultimate enemy. It will take every bit of cunning to escape and outwit him.
The cast are made of Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy, Morris Chestnut, Kathryn Morris, Charles Dutton, Tess Harper, Rutina Wesley.
VERDICT: Each scene will have you begging for more, right up to the credits.
‘A Brilliant Young Mind’ is a moving story about an awkward, young genius.
Young Nathan (Asa Butterfield) prefers to hide in the safety of his own private world but finds his place in the world when he attends a prestigious international math competition.
Nathan struggles to connect with people, often pushing away those who love him, including his mother Julie (Sally Hawkins), due to inability to understand love or affection, Nathan finds the comfort and security he needs in numbers and mathematics.Coached by his unconventional and anarchic teacher, Mr. Humphreys (Rafe Spall), Nathan’s talents wins him a place in the big times; competing on the British team at the highly revered International Mathematics Olympiad. Being part of a team and one which has a real chance of winning seems like it could change Nathan’s life forever. But when the team goes to train in Taiwan, Nathan is faced with a multitude of unexpected challenges, not least the new and unfamiliar feelings he begins to experience for one of the Chinese competitors, the beautiful Zhang Mei (Jo Yang).
Directed by Morgan Matthews and written by James Graham, this touching drama will be available in U.S cinemas 11 September.
VERDICT: The usual ‘Boy meets girl’ story but with a delicious twist.
‘UNDERDOGS,’ an animated comedy with a little bit of magic and a whole lot of heart. Disney presents the story of a shy, talented, young hero, Jake whose town is threatened by his long-time rival and town bully, Flash; who returns home to avenge an old grudge.
Jake’s passion for foosball player is rivaled only by his love for Laura. With her encouragement, he defeats Flash in a foosball game, but the world as they know it is threatened when Flash becomes the world’s best soccer player and returns years later to turn their village into a new sports stadium. He starts to destroy everything and kidnaps Laura in the process. Just when it looks like all hope is lost, the toy players from Jake’s foosball table are magically brought to life, he recruits them to help him enter into the biggest underdog match ever, they embark on a wild adventure to save the town and win back the love of his life.
Opens in theatres come 31 December, 2015.
VERDICT: A magical way to bond with your kids for 1hr 30mins.
That’s all folks, thanks for being a part of this week’s showdown. See you next Sunday, same time only on Cheznews.