Movies: Y’s Weekly Guide To What’s On
When a manned mission to Mars to collect scientific samples is hit by a storm and goes disastrously wrong, botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead and left behind on the Red Planet by his crew.
Stranded millions of kilometres from home and with any hope of rescue at least several years away, Watney is forced to use every ounce of his ingenuity to survive on meagre supplies while attempting the grow his own food and produce water.
Audiences saw glimpses of Damon in a similar lost in space role earlier this year in Interstellar, but he gets the spotlight in The Martain, and is able to run away with a script that finds the humour in a pretty dire situation.
The Martian plays out like a more accessible and less high concept version of Interstellar and is backed up by impressive visual effects and a strong supporting cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Michael Peña Jeff Daniels and Sean Bean.
With the recent announcement of the discovery of water on Mars and the relatively sound scientific principles that are employed in the film, The Martian is no pie in the sky sci-fi flick and doesn’t feel entirely beyond the realms of possibility, which makes it all the more intriguing to watch.
Telling the original story of one of literature’s best-known characters, this film follows the legendary Peter Pan (Levi Miller), who is plucked from a London orphanage and transported to Neverland to toil in the mines under the watchful eye of pirate leader Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). However, he is rescued by the Indiana Jones-like James Hook (Garrett Hedlund) and soon discovers that his arrival was foretold in an ancient prophecy that he must fulfil. While visually impressive and incredibly colourful, the story is strangely scrambled, making it a confusing update to a classic character.
They were two of London’s most notorious gangsters in the 1960s and Tom Hardy takes on them both, playing the dual roles of Reggie and Ronnie Kray in Brian Helgeland’s crime thriller biopic. Charting the Kray twin’s rise to prominence in the crime underworld of London’s East End, Legend includes the perspective of Frances Shea (Emily Browning), the innocent wife of Reggie. Hardy puts in a great double act performance and the camera tricks that put the Krays in the same scenes are impressive, making it hard to realise they are played by the same actor.
PREVIEW: QUEEN OF THE DESERT
A romantic epic set in the Middle East, documenting the life and travels of Gertrude Bell (played by Nicole Kidman), a fearless and resourceful British explorer, archaeologist, cartographer and political attaché. Along the way, she allows herself to be politely seduced by embassy secretary Henry Cadogan (James Franco) and meets T E Lawrence (the subject of Lawrence of Arabia, played here by Robert Pattinson).
Bollywatch: Singh is Bliing
Despite their outward similarities, Singh is Bliing is apparently not a sequel to 2008’s Singh is Kinng, but the broad action comedy sees Akshay Kumar in a similar role, playing Raftaar Singh, a party boy content with his easy going lifestyle. Given an ultimatum by his parents, Singh heads to Goa to work for a friend of his father’s and eventually becomes the protector of the businessman’s daughter.