September 12, 2008

Film Reviews ; the Movies

The Women

12A, 114 mins


The Boy In The

Striped Pyjamas

12A, 94 mins


Pineapple Express

15, 111 mins


A REMAKE of the 1939 George Cukor classic, The Women, which chronicles sisterly rivalry in Manhattan society, features an all- star cast.

Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Bette Midler are just a few of the big names in the new movie.

It tells the story of Mary Haines (Ryan) a successful, fashion designer with a handsome husband called Stephen, a 12-year-old daughter Molly (India Ennenga) and a group of loyal friends, including magazine editor Sylvie Fowler (Bening), mother hen Edie Cohen (Messing) and author Alex Fisher (Jada Pinkett Smith), who believes in always telling the truth.

When the friends discover Stephen is having an affair with gold- digging salesgirl Crystal (Eva Mendes), they rally round their friend.

Mary follows the advice of her mother Catherine (Candice Bergen) and doesn't confront Stephen.

Meanwhile, Sylvie finds her allegiances torn when she tries to lure gossip columnist Bailey Smith (Carrie Fisher) to the magazine - all Sylvie has to do is dish the dirt about Mary and Stephen for a salacious expose on failing Wall Street marriages.

Directed by Diane English, you could put The Women in the Sex And The City bracket - after all it's about the lives of a group of girlfriends in Manhattan. But sadly, there's no sex or risque remarks. And Carrie, Samantha et al would be disappointed to know that men are nowhere to be seen in this film, even though male characters have a huge impact on the drama.

A movie to take the girls to see - but not a patch on Sex And The City.

Now for something completely different.

Based on the novel by John Boyne, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas relives the horrors of World War II from the perspective of an eight- year-old German tyke, who is unaware of the vital role played by his Nazi officer father in the unfolding tragedy.

Bruno (Asa Butterfield) arrives home from school to discover that his commandant father (David Thewlis) has been promoted and the entire family must relocate far away from the city and their friends.

Bruno is lonely after the move but one day he enters the woods and stumbles upon what appears to be a farm, and a young boy in striped pyjamas called Shmuel (Jack Scanlon).

Separated by a barbed-wire fence, the two boys become friends, until Bruno learns the truth: that Shmuel is a Jewand the farm is actually a concentration camp under the control of his father.

At first, Bruno shuns Shmuel, but he cannot hide his true feelings and offers to help the Jewish boy locate his missing father.

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas refracts the unimaginable suffering and tragedy of the Holocaust through the prism of one family's experiences.

The subject matter is incredibly bleak and the final act of the film sets in motion a chain of events that must, inevitably, culminate in tragedy.

But despite the traumatic subject matter, this is a very touching film about friendship.

Last on this week's list is Pineapple Express - the follow-up to Superbad and another celebration of the underdog.

Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) pays a visit to his dealer, Saul (James Franco), who offers him a rare and potent strain of marijuana called Pineapple Express.

While under the influence of the drug, Dale witnesses drug lord Ted Jones (Gary Cole) murdering a rival, abetted by dirty cop Carol (Rosie Perez).

Ted and Carol see Dale flee the scene and they give chase.

Dale seeks sanctuary in Saul's apartment but quickly realises that a roach full of Pineapple Express, left behind at the roadside, will lead Ted and Carol straight to them. So the unlikely pals hit the road.

With frenetic car chases and witty one-liners, it's definitely worth a trip to the cinema.

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