The Great Gatsby
Perhaps most famous for his OTT adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, Australian director Baz Luhrmann puts his hyper-kinetic spin on The Great American Novel. As seen from the eyes of young Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) it tells the story of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire known for throwing the biggest parties on Long Island. Despite his immense wealth, Gatsby seems to have his sights solely fixed on Daisy Buchanan (Carrie Mulligan), a married woman from his past.
Luhrmann’s film is bigger and louder than anyone could have reasonably expected but a stonking soundtrack and a handful of breakout performances (Elizabeth Debicki, excellent as tomboy Jordan Baker) ensure that this screaming locomotive stays on its tracks.
Now You See Me
Slighted by some as a Christopher Nolan tribute act, this high-stakes thriller is a lot of fun in its own right. Jesse Eisenberg leads a group of Las Vegas illusionists who have been mysteriously assembled for reasons far grander than to entertain gamblers. During one show, they manage to teleport all the money from a French bank into their audience thousands of miles away, sparking off an investigation from the FBI.
Bringing back the Wedding Crashers super team of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, this new comedy sees the pair of them play a pair of recently unemployed middle-aged men who somehow luck into an internship at Google. Naturally, they have no idea about how a computer works, which is where the humour comes from! Wilson and Vaughn are some of the most naturally charming actors working in comedy, so it’s always good to spend an hour or two in their company, right?
The Bling Ring
Based on a true crime story, Sofia Coppola’s latest film sees a group of semi-privileged Los Angeles teenagers who burgled the homes of celebrities, stealing over $3 million in cash and designer goods. Emma Watson continues her foray into non-Potter acting as one of these vacuous girls, succeeding in creating the most unlikeable character in a story full of odious characters. A dark and bitter indictment of our modern celebrity-worshipping culture, this is Coppola’s best film since Lost in Translation.
Before Midnight (New to Rent)
Following on from the indie classics Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, this latest film picks up with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke’s characters already married for nine years. On a lazy summer holiday in Greece we find them strolling across beaches, drinking ouzo and shooting the breeze about life, love, family and the future. If you haven’t seen either of the previous films, do yourself a favour by watching them in order – in our estimation, this is perhaps the finest film trilogy of all time.
Snitch (New to Rent)
Dwayne Johnson plays John, the owner of a successful construction company who puts his career and life on the line when his son is convicted for a drug crime he didn’t commit. Sentenced to a minimum of ten years in prison, the boy is offered a deal by the district’s attorney (Susan Sarandon): inform on a drug dealer in exchange for time off. Knowing the old prison maxim of “snitches get stitches”, The Rock shoulders the responsibility and dives headfirst into the criminal underworld as a mole. Not quite the action-fest one might be expecting from a Dwayne Johnson movie, this film provides a great showcase for his skills as a genuine dramatic actor.
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