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Recent Movie Roundup
Written by Danj

The Green Hornet kicked off the year with some amusing fun action starring Seth Rogen. It's an interesting twist on the superhero paradigm, and Rogen fits his character pretty well. I think it really didn't need to be in 3D though - live action material never seems to fare particularly well with 3D and The Green Hornet is no exception.

The following week gave us the brilliant Black Swan. Many of you may have heard the buzz on the Internet about how this movie has lesbian scenes involving Natalie Portman. I guarantee you that if you go into the film thinking that, it will blow your mind, because that's really only a small part of the overall picture. (Just to clarify - I'm not saying the movie is awesome because it has lesbians, I'm saying it's awesome despite the fact it has lesbians. So even if that sort of thing is "not your bag, baby", this one is a must-see).

I don't think it's a spoiler to say that Black Swan is about Swan Lake, but you shouldn't assume that if you don't know anything about Swan Lake or ballet that you won't get the film. I went into it not having a clue about either of those things, but you learn enough during the movie to get a handle on what it's all about, and it never seems incomprehensible. I do suspect that people who are fans of Swan Lake may get more out of it. The really wonderful thing about this film is not only is it about Swan Lake, in many ways it is itself Swan Lake (again, even if you know nothing about Swan Lake you may well learn enough during the course of the film to recognise this by the end).

As a complete contrast to Black Swan, there was also Morning Glory, about a cantankerous old news anchor dragged by the balls contract into morning television by an energetic up-and-coming producer. Harrison Ford definitely has the right amount of gravitas as Mike Pomeroy and Rachel McAdams does a decent job as Becky Fuller the producer. The story isn't terribly original (it sticks pretty Black Swan is about Swan Lake, but not knowing about Swan Lake or ballet doesn't mean you won't get itclose to the formula for these kinds of things) but the movie is none the worse for that.

Next there's DIsney's Tangled, their new take on the Rapunzel story and also their 50th animated feature film. Despite red flags being raised that this might be yet another Disney rehash (and we all know how those turn out) this actually turned out fairly well. Although the horse kind of upstaged the other characters a bit...

This week there were a couple of notable entries. Firstly there was Just Go With It. It has Adam Sandler, so if you don't like Adam Sandler I honestly can't say that this film is likely to change your mind. However, it is pretty good and there were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, though once again the outcome was fairly obvious.

Then there was the animated feature Gnomeo & Juliet. This movie presents an entertaining reimagining of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, starring garden gnomes in the adjoining gardens of Miss Montague and Mr Capulet. There are plenty of nods to the original source but unsurprisingly for an animated feature the ending is somewhat happier than Shakespeare's version. Definitely worth checking out.

This year there are also two potentially interesting films coming out on the 14th itself - Paul, a Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Seth Rogen collaboration, and No Strings Attached, a movie with Natalie Portman (again) and Ashton Kutcher about "friends with benefits".

For those of you who live in the UK, I can't recommend enough the Cineworld Unlimited Card. At just £13.50 a month it's a no-brainer if you see 2 or more movies a month, now that adult ticket prices are up around £8.20 each. There are a couple of limitations on it - you have to buy tickets in person, you can't buy them online or on the phone, and once you've bought a ticket, you can't buy another ticket until the first film is over. But within these limitations it's still possible to pack in double or even triple bills quite easily.


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