In Review: In theatres now
Directed by: Kevin Greutert
Starring: Costas Mandylor, Tobin Bell and Athena Karkanis
Release date: Oct. 23, 2009
Another Halloween invariably means another Saw movie. This year, fans of the series will be pleasantly surprised with the sixth installment of the gory, gruesome and thrilling series.
After being let down with the fifth installment last year, fans can expect actor Costas Mandylor at his finest.
He delivers a fresh portrayal of Mark Hoffman, who has now become the leading man in the jigsaw crimes. Constantly counting the minutes in order to escape capture, Hoffman tries to fool his coworkers while carrying out the crimes of the late Jigsaw (Tobin Bell).
Fast-paced, stomach turning and bloody is exactly what fans tend to expect, and it’s exactly what they get. Instead of ruthless killing, Saw VI follows a plot line which makes the film that much more enjoyable.
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone
Release date: Oct. 2, 2009
3.5 / 4
Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland, released in early October, is a hilarious take on the zombie-apocalypse horror genre, much like Edgar Wright’s Shawn of the Dead that was released in 2004.
Fleischer takes on a Judd Apatow-like comedy style, so if you were a fan of Superbad, Knocked Up or Adventureland you’re bound to appreciate this film.
However, with over-the-top, gruesome zombie violence, it may not be a film you want to see with if you have a weak stomach.
Zombieland offers some highly entertaining and memorable scenes that mimic and satirize the traditional post-apocalyptic film, while concentrating on the small misadventures of the characters who still find ways to enjoy their lives among blood-thirsty zombies.
Overall, with surprising appearances from famous actors (including Woody Harrelson as a leading role), hilarious plot twists, endearing characters and a uniquely simple structure, Zombieland is a definite laugh-out-loud crowd pleaser that leaves its audience buzzing.
Where the Wild Things Are
Directed by: Spike Jonze
Starring: Max Records and Pepita Emmerichs
Release Date: Oct. 16, 2009
One of the most anticipated movies of the year, Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are proves to be an extremely emotional, yet bewildering film.
It is visually stunning – set in vast landscapes of forest and desert, and the wild things themselves do justice to the book’s illustrations by Maurice Sendak. 12-year-old Max Records does a surprisingly solid job of carrying the film as the only major character not wearing a 150-pound costume.
Furthermore, the soundtrack featuring Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is generally awesome and adds to the overall whimsy sound that should accompany any children’s film.
That said, the biggest problem with Jonze’s latest effort is its label as a kid flick. The film is a lot more sinister and depressing than the picture book, with prominent themes of bullying, disobedience and eventually betrayal.
Nonetheless, this film is a must-see for a bit of an older audience. Just so long as the audience has a Kleenex handy to wipe away tears.
Director: Jane Campion
Starring: Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox
Release date: Oct. 15, 2009
Jane Campion’s latest film Bright Star, which tells the story of the final years of poet John Keats’ life, is certainly worth the critical acclaim and Oscar buzz the UK-Australia-France co-production has received.
The film focuses on the love story between the two central characters Keats (Ben Whishaw) and Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) – a passionate and pure relationship that inspired some of Keats’ most well known poetry.
Though both a period piece and a romance, Bright Star has the ability to resonate with any audience. Regardless of the film’s genre and nineteenth-century setting, it tells an incredible story that deals with timeless themes, such as the desire to experience success and acclaim to issues of wealth and classism.
Rounded off with incredible performances, especially from Cornish, it’s enough to make even a cynic fall in love with Keats’ words and this incredible film.