Published Mar 01, 2013March is pretty much a transition month. CMW and SXSW are still a few weeks away, and we're all ready for summer (or at least spring), but mother nature's still not really sure what she's doing yet. One thing you can depend on is our reviews of the newest films to hit cinemas this week. Below are some of our film highlights. When you're done checking those out, make sure you head over to our Recently Reviewed section to look at the full listings.
To start things off, we've got Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Slayer (pictured). The film tells the story of Jack (Nicholas Hoult), who must save Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) from giants at the top of the beanstalk. But is this one a must-see or a total skip? Read our review and find out.
Stoker, our highest rated film in this week's roundup by a long shot, is Chan-wook Park's English-language debut. It tells the increasingly layered coming-of-age story of India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) after the death of her father, and the subsequent sexual competition with her mother over her dad's younger brother Charlie (Matthew Goode). Stoker delivers pornographic cinematography, a mysterious, possibly supernatural element, and Freudian elements, making for an intriguing piece of cinema.
Next up is Charlie Zone, a Michael Melski crime thriller that plays with shades of grey in a world of crime rather than relying on a simplistic breakdown of black and white, right and wrong decisions and situations. Avery (Glen Gould), a former pro boxer turned underground fighter, is recruited to rescue a runaway junkie, and along the way, shows us a softer side of the criminal element, even in extremely violent situations.
Dror Moreh's documentary, The Gatekeepers, centres on the Israeli secretive security service, Shin Bet, and spotlights six former heads of the agency. The films sheds light on bombings and terrorists targets, and gives an account of Israel after the Six-Day War, commenting on where it's headed based on its current position.
California Solo by Marshall Lewy explores the world of ex-Britpop guitarist, semi-alcoholic and loner Lachlan MacAldonich (Robert Carlyle) who has taken up residence in Cali working on a farm and at the local farmers market. After a DUI and past drug conviction threaten his status in the U.S., our reviewer writes that "he dives into a downward spiral of introspection and self-loathing, tenuously reaching back into the past he left behind to avoid being shipped back to the UK." But is it a compelling film? Read our review to find out.
Lastly, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore deliver another Hangover-esque film about a missing friend after a night of partying in their new release 21 and Over. Here, we get the standard roles of college dropout Miller (Miles Teller), the uptight "grown-up" figure Casey (Skylar Austin), and passed-out pre-med student Jeff (Justin Chong), who has a med school interview in the morning. The two must find Jeff's house so he can make it to his interview the next day and, expectedly, hi-jinx ensue.
To read the full reviews of these picks and more, check out the Recently Reviewed section at Exclaim.ca.