Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Film Bites: Orlando Bloom cuts loose

Orlando Bloom stars in The Three Musketeers. Photo / Supplied
Orlando Bloom stars in The Three Musketeers. Photo / Supplied

He was snubbed for the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, but it seems Orlando Bloom's swashbuckling days aren't over just yet.

The Lord of the Rings star makes full use of his sword-wielding abilities in The Three Musketeers, a modern take on Alexandre Dumas' classic 1844 novel that hits New Zealand theatres this weekend.

Bloom stars alongside Milla Jovovich, Matthew Macfadyen, and Christoph Waltz in the film - the 20th version of the book to hit the big screen, but the first to appear in 3D.

Director Paul WS Anderson says he's stayed true to Dumas' novel.

"It's a cracking story and the themes of the book are also the themes of the movie, which are friendship, loyalty, love and camaraderie," he says.

But early reviews of the film haven't been kind.

"It wields a disappointingly blunt sword, said The Hollywood Reporter.

Dan Jolin from film bible Empire also called it "stupid" but also said it was "never boring" and provided plenty of guilty pleasures.

He also loved Bloom's "ludicrous" hair style and predicted there would almost certainly be a sequel.

So don't let go of that sword just yet, Orlando.

Check out the trailer for The Three Musketeers:

If you're after some serious, mind-altering entertainment this weekend, Werner Herzog has just the thing for beard stroking documentary fans.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams is the German director's latest, offering viewers a once-in-a-lifetime peek into the Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc in Southern France.

Stop, come back - these aren't any old caves. Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc contains 30,000 year-old paintings that have been preserved immaculately and could be closed to the public forever.

First found in 1994, Cave of Forgotten Dreams gives Herzog exclusive access to film the caves, so there's plenty of material for him to pontificate in that thick accent of his about how the drawings got there, the message behind them, and, you know, the meaning of life.

With an 86 per cent approval rating on Metacritic, Cave of Forgotten Dreams has received near universal praise, with the New York Daily News saying it "blows you away with its beauty".

Herald reviewer Peter Calder called it "enthralling" and "dazzling" in a four-and-a-half star review. Read it here.

Check out the trailer for Cave of Forgotten Dreams:

It's a big week for docos with Tabloid getting a cinematic release after recently featuring at the New Zealand International Film Festival.

It recounts the fantastical exploits of former beauty queen Joyce McKinney, one of the first tabloid queens who made headlines for all kinds of dodgy shenanigans - including magic underwear, celestial sex and - yep - a cloning laboratory in South Korea.

But her most memorable exploit was tracking down a lover to a Mormon missionary camp and kidnapping him.

As the voiceover in the film's trailer describes it: "Kinky sex, religion, a beauty queen, mormon missionaries, kidnap at gunpoint - there was something in that story for everyone. It was the perfect tabloid story."

If only she'd shaved her head and attacked a car with an umbrella, it would be complete.

Check out the trailer for Tabloid:

Lastly, Monte Carlo stars Justin Bieber's girlfriend Selena Gomez as an American tourist who gets mistaken for a British heiress while on a trip to Paris with her friends.

There, she mistakenly "gets wrapped up in a whirlwind of paparazzi, couture gowns and storybook romances".

Ugh. Unless you're 12, avoid at all costs. Check out the terrible reviews here.

Check out the trailer for Monte Carlo:

- Herald online

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