Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Film Bites: Here come the swords and sandals (+trailers)

Mickey Rourke stars in Immortals. Photo / Supplied
Mickey Rourke stars in Immortals. Photo / Supplied

Fans of 300 and Spartacus will find plenty to love in this week's bloodthirsty new movie Immortals, hitting cinemas this weekend.

The film stars Mickey Rourke as King Hyperion, who is raging across Greece with his Heraklion army wreaking havoc in search of something called the long lost Bow of Epirus.

"The Herculean King Hyperion has declared war on all of humanity," someone announces in the trailer, so you know what you're in for.

If Rourke in fullon warlord mode isn't enough to entice you out to the cinemas this weekend, Immortals also stars Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, John Hurt and Kellan Lutz, and many reviewers have been taken by the film's cinematography, art direction and - of course - ultra-violence.

"Dashing across the screen in all its bloody, gilded glory, the awesome and beautiful Immortals marks an all-win scenario, said Slant Magazine reviewer R Kurt Osenlund.

Empire magazine's Helen O'Hara said Immortals had "more than enough blood, guts and glamour to satisfy" and said Cavill showed he's more than up to the part as Superman.

But Washington Post reviewer Mark Jenkins said the movie's "self-importance is further inflated by the usual pseudo-Wagnerian score".

He gave it one-and-a-half stars out of four.

Check out the trailer for Immortals:

On a completely different note is Submarine, a film finally getting a full cinematic release after appearing at the New Zealand International Film Festival earlier this year.

Directed by The IT Crowd funnyman Richard Ayoade, Submarine is a quirky tale about a 15-year-old British teen who has two ambitions in life: to save his parents' marriage and to lose his virginity before his birthday.

"The excruciating and the hilarious mingle nearly to perfection in this marvelously visualised and deeply felt British film," said New York Post reviewer Kyle Smith.

It has a 76 per cent rating on review aggregate site Metacritic.

Check out the trailer for Submarine:

Here's a movie all New Zealanders should see at least once.
When A City Falls is a 105-minute documentary detailing the impact this year's devastating earthquake had on Christchurch.

Directed by Gerard Smyth, it's a film that's less about the carnage caused by the February 22 quake and more about the response and community spirit that followed in its aftermath.

"Whether it be the dry, laconic humour used in coping with the aftermath or witnessing small acts of kindness, there is a great deal of optimism evident," said Flicks.co.nz reviewer Andreas Heinemann.

Check out the trailer for When a City Falls:

Rachel Weisz gets her serious face on again for her portrayal of American policewoman Kathryn Bolkovac in The Whistleblower.

It's based on the true story of Bolkovac, an American policewoman who stumbled onto US involvement in Bosnian child sex slavery and human trafficking.

It sounds like tough work and reviewers have used words like "grisly", "choppy" and "vague" to describe the film.

With just a 59 per cent rating on Metacritic, it might be worth waiting for The Whistleblower to come out on DVD.

Other movies out this week include Bollywood comedy Desi Boys, Asian war drama Legendary Amazons and Kiwi rest home comedy Rest for the Wicked.

- Herald online

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