I Don't Know How She Does It - Movie Poster

I Don't Know How She Does It

0.5 Courtney Slevison

A comedy centered on the life of Kate Reddy, a working mother trying desperately to juggle marriage, children, and a high-stress job.

This film aims to reflect on the trials of being a working mother in today's post-feminist society. What it does instead is present a hideously outdated view of the clichéd gender roles and insult the intelligence of anyone with two brain cells to rub together, especially working mothers themselves. This is a tedious, unfunny, and poorly made film. The dialogue is so cringe-worthy, and the overall tone so depressing, that it will leave you wondering not how they do it... but why.


In Time - Movie Poster

In Time

3.5 Courtney Slevison

In a future where people stop aging at 25, and time is literally money, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth.

This is a slick, futuristic action-thriller with one of the most original and refreshing movie premises in the sci-fi genre to date. Visually, the film is awesome; the stylised landscape and clothing help to tell the story of a strange world, each scene worthy of a portrait. Thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking, "In Time" is only slightly hindered by performances of the two leads, but thankfully it's what goes on around them that steals the show. Definitely one worth making the time to see.


Footloose - Movie Poster

Footloose

3.5 Courtney Slevison

City kid Ren McCormack moves to a small town where rock 'n' roll and dancing have been banned, but his rebellious spirit shakes the town up and he sets out to have the rules abolished.

This remake of the classic is bound to have its sceptics, both those who are fans of the original, as well as those who had no interest in it the first time around. All cynicism will be pushed aside however, as this film is simply too fun to not enjoy. The two young leads carry the movie with an authenticity that lifts it from the cheesy mess it could have been, and the impressive choreography gives "Footloose" an exuberance that will have you dancing in the aisles.


Abduction - Movie Poster

Abduction

1.0 Courtney Slevison

A young man sets out to uncover the truth after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website.

This movie feels like nothing more than an extended show reel for the young male lead, dreamed up by studio execs to make an easy buck. The space around the teen heartthrob is filled with an established and highly-regarded supporting cast, who have nothing to work with in a film that has been clumsily put together without even attempting to be clever, entertaining or exciting; all things a good spy flick should be. Underwhelming and completely devoid of any originality or inspiration, "Abduction" is a waste of time.


Fright Night - Movie Poster

Fright Night

2.0 Courtney Slevison

A teenager suspects that his new neighbour is a vampire.

The 'teenage vampire flick' has become a cinema epidemic, and "Fright Night" wastes no time in slotting itself right into the sexy/comedy/horror genre. Neither funny nor scary enough to hold its own, this latest addition feels like a clumsy mash-up of movies we have all seen before and is therefore predictable, soulless and unengaging. For some, it may be an enjoyable enough way to spend a couple of hours, but ultimately this one is frightfully forgettable.


Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Movie Poster

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

3.0 Courtney Slevison

The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and learn its secrets.

This film is made for fans of the franchise, and for that purpose it's a great movie. Of course, others may be dismayed by the predictable storyline and cheesy dialogue. The special effects are outstanding, especially in 3D, and the epic action sequences will conjure enough excitement to satisfy the wide-eyed little kid in all of us. "Transformers 3" ultimately works because it's able to keep the story grounded enough in reality to make you think that it could almost be real… almost.


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Movie Poster

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

1.5 Courtney Slevison

Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth.

This installment of the "Pirates" franchise is quite simply a waste of time. Despite a lengthy running time, nothing new or fresh is introduced, nor are existing relationships or characters developed. Everyone's favourite pirate, Jack Sparrow, becomes a parody of his former self as he delivers one cheesy one-liner after another. The film simply goes through the motions without anywhere near the excitement or enchantment of its predecessors. Unfortunately, the amazing set design and dazzling CGI effects are the only saving grace of this sinking ship.


Scream 4 - Movie Poster

Scream 4

3.0 Courtney Slevison

Ten years have passed, and massacre survivor Sidney Prescott has returned to her hometown.

This instalment of the popular horror franchise reinvents the slasher genre for a savvy new audience. From the hilarious and scream-inducing opening sequence, it's clear that while the film doesn't take itself too seriously, you will definitely be in for a scare. While some of the plot twists are quite predictable, there's some fantastic dialogue and great performances from the predominantly young cast. "Scream 4" plays with the traditional horror formula, letting you believe you know what's coming next, before shocking you with a plot twist that will leave you screaming for more.


Limitless - Movie Poster

Limitless

3.5 Courtney Slevison

A writer discovers a top-secret drug that allows him to use 100% of his mind.

From the opening credits, which take you zooming through the streets of New York, you know you are in for a ride. This fast-paced action thriller takes you into the colour-saturated, visually intense universe of the lead character. The relationships between the characters aren't particularly well-developed but all roles are performed well. The film doesn't delve into the moral implications of the effects of the drug but it's an entertaining trip, appealing to our deepest desires of wealth, intelligence, power and the ability to do whatever we want.


Going the Distance - Movie Poster

Going the Distance

2.5 Courtney Slevison

A look at the trials and tribulations of a long-distance relationship.

"Going the Distance" is a pretty stock-standard romantic comedy. However, having a couple on either sides of the country attemps a twist that simply doesn't work. The pace feels rushed and you never quite feel the chemistry that is meant to be keeping the couple together despite the odds. The leads put in a likeable effort, but the movie as a whole ends up feeling a bit strained, and some moments are just plain awkward. If you go the distance with this film, unfortunately you will be disappointed.


Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Movie Poster

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

3.5 Courtney Slevison

Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart.

This is a film like no other you've seen before, and Scott Pilgrim is an equally unique hero. Highly imaginative and often hilarious, this quirky film feels a lot like watching a video game in live-action. Blending fantasy and reality seamlessly with candy-coloured visuals, the film's only pitfall is that by the time the climactic fight scene is reached, it feels a little repetitive. With so many crazy and offbeat characters crammed in, you will definitely want to live and play in Scott Pilgrim's world.


Sex and the City 2 - Movie Poster

Sex and the City 2

3.0 Courtney Slevison

Two years have passed since Carrie Bradshaw finally bagged John "Mr. Big" Preston, the man she was always meant to be with...

"Sex and the City 2" delivers on its mantra, ensuring that fun, fashion and frivolity are the order of the day. However, some of the best scenes come when the glitzy curtain is drawn back and the struggles of making a marriage and family work are exposed. As a whole, this movie is exactly what you should expect: the script isn't all that great, but as a visual feast it works a treat. So kick back with a Cosmopolitan and catch up with some old 'friends'.


Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant - Movie Poster

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

2.0 Courtney Slevison

A teenage boy unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires.

This film has all the right ingredients but never quite lives up to its initial promise. There is great potential in the colourful and quirky characters, but due to a slow and drawn-out plot, they never really get fleshed out. Lying somewhere between comedy and pre-teen horror, there just aren't enough laughs or scares to succeed in either genre. As the title clearly suggests, this film is designed to be the first of a franchise, but for a film about vampires and circus freaks, it just doesn't have enough bite to keep you hooked.


Dear John - Movie Poster

Dear John

2.5 Courtney Slevison

A romantic drama about John, a soldier on leave who falls for Savannah, a conservative college student.

We are in very familiar territory with "Dear John", a sappy clichè -ridden tale of young love. This film struggles to elicit an emotional response due to its clumsy dialogue and bland montages spanning John and Savannah's years apart. The rare moments of honest human connection take place between John and his autistic father, yet the tenderness shared between the two is somehow missing between the young lovers. Dear John? Return to sender.


Valentine's Day - Movie Poster

Valentine's Day

3.0 Courtney Slevison

Couples and singles break-up and make-up based on the expectations of Valentine's Day.

"Valentine's Day" is cute, undemanding fluff, offering nothing original or unique to the rom-com genre. Boasting an impressive ensemble cast of Hollywood stars, the film feels a bit crowded with everyone scrambling for screen time, ultimately leaving you with only an unsatisfying snippet of each storyline. Like the sickly sweet candy shared on the day of love, the initial cheap thrill wears off, leaving you wanting something a bit more substantial. However a few funny moments and the odd 'warm fuzzy' make this an enjoyable enough date movie.


The Princess and the Frog - Movie Poster

The Princess and the Frog

2.5 Courtney Slevison

A fairy tale set in Jazz Age-era New Orleans, the film centers on a young girl named Princess Tiana and her fateful kiss with a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again.

"The Princess and the Frog" is a charming and vibrant film that is sure to satisfy its little fans, but unlikely to find itself labeled a classic. Beautifully drawn and steeped in the effervescent glow of New Orleans, it almost rises to the occasion, but somehow manages to fall short in both magic and authenticity. The scattered bursts of jazz music strive to bring the movie to life, but the feature songs are forgettable, unfortunately like much of the film itself.


The Final Destination - Movie Poster

The Final Destination

1.0 Courtney Slevison

After a teen's premonition of a deadly race-car crash helps saves the lives of his peers, Death sets out to collect those who evaded their end.

Grisly, gory death now comes at us in 3D, yet nothing exciting or fresh is added to the genre. The plot is crazy, convoluted and makes little attempt to be original. This completely unnecessary addition to the franchise takes it to ridiculous new lows, such as death by car wash. Yes, really. Let's just hope they mean it when they say 'final'.


Sorority Row - Movie Poster

Sorority Row

2.5 Courtney Slevison

A group of sorority sisters try to cover up the death of their house-sister after a prank gone wrong, only to be stalked by a serial killer.

"Sorority Row" is a typical 80's slasher remake aimed at horny teenagers, promising a few thrills and a few hot girls. The premise evaporates pretty quickly and you won't scream, but rather laugh at the parade of horror clichés and squealing, bra-clad, sorority girls. Definitely not the smartest or scariest horror flick you'll see, but possibly one of the most fun to watch if you don't take it too seriously.


The September Issue - Movie Poster

The September Issue

3.5 Courtney Slevison

A documentary chronicling Vogue Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour's preparations for the highly anticipated 2008 fall-fashion issue.

"The September Issue" is an engrossing look at the world of high fashion, with renowned ice queen Anna Wintour at its centre. As the issue begins to come together five months before its release, what makes this doco so entertaining is observing the inter-office bickering and Wintour's minions quivering under her inscrutable eye. Unexpectedly intriguing, this film is interesting viewing that anyone, despite their level of interest in fashion, can appreciate.


G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Movie Poster

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

1.5 Courtney Slevison

An elite military unit comprised of special operatives known as G.I. Joe, takes on an evil organization led by a notorious arms dealer.

In an already crowded genre, it takes a lot for a sci-fi action flick to stand out. It requires clever script-writing, restraint in the special effects department and quality acting. This film has none of those elements, and is therefore a forgettable, mediocre experience. The dialogue is so bad it's hard to sit through, and is punctuated every 10 minutes by an action sequence so over-produced it seems cartoon-ish. For die-hard actions fans only!


Pardon My French - Movie Poster

Pardon My French

2.5 Courtney Slevison

Novelist Celimene is suffering from a severe case of writers block when she discovers she is being stalked by Anaïs, a strange young woman craving attention.

"Pardon My French" is a simple story of the power that strangers can have on our lives. More a character study than traditional narrative, this film is a snapshot of Celimene's life as she struggles with being stunted both creatively and emotionally. Although the characters are likeable, they remain unengaging and don't hold the viewers intrigue. At times tedious and unfocussed, this quirky film is a pleasant experience, but ultimately forgettable.


The Private Lives of Pippa Lee - Movie Poster

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

4.0 Courtney Slevison

After moving to a retirement village with her much older husband, Pippa Lee finds cause to reflect on her life and finds herself having a "very quiet nervous breakdown".

"Pippa Lee" presents us with the familiar premise of a middle-aged life unravelling in the suburbs, re-worked by a smart and assertive script. This engaging and insightful film centres on the theme of identity as a result of circumstance, with a raw and at times disarming honesty. An excellent ensemble cast makes this story of the human condition a powerful experience.


17 Again - Movie Poster

17 Again

3.5 Courtney Slevison

In 1989, Mike O'Donnell was the star of his high school basketball team. Now 20 years later, with his glory days behind him, a magical encounter gives him the chance to be 17 again.

In a familiar body-swap genre, this movie shines with charm and good-humour. The film is led by the brilliant casting of the main character, with a great supporting cast. While clearly aimed at teenage girls, "17 Again" will reach a broader audience due to its big heart and great comedic moments. The perfect film for undemanding, feel-good fun.


The Uninvited - Movie Poster

The Uninvited

3.0 Courtney Slevison

Anna Rydell returns home to her sister Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardised thanks to her cruel stepmother, aloof father, and the presence of a ghost in their home.

What could have been yet another sub-par thriller with predictable plot twists, manages to transcend the status-quo with excellent performances from the leading actresses. The story isn't particularly inspired or original, but it does have a killer twist that you definitely won't see coming. With stylish visuals and the occasional satisfying jolt of suspense, "The Uninvited" makes for a more than adequate Friday night thrill.


The Unborn - Movie Poster

The Unborn

1.5 Courtney Slevison

A young woman fights the spirit that is slowly taking possession of her.

While this film succeeds in providing some moments of suspense and the odd fright, the shocks are cheap and the story is completely unoriginal. The director has relied on gory effects to scare the punters, instead of good old fashioned story-telling. When there are some true masterpieces in the horror genre, sloppy films like this just seem like a waste of time. See something else.