The Ides of March (15 – Dir: George Clooney – Stars: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour-Hoffman)
Governor Morris (Clooney) is up for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
His campaign fixer Stephen Meyers (Gosling) believes in the integrity of his man. Then a casual affair with a campaign intern leads Meyers to discover a damning secret which will bring Morris crashing down. His choice: dump his principles in the political sewer, or retain his self-respect.
Given the elevated subject, the Ides of March is an understated political thriller in the mould of Michael Clayton. It feels strangely bland given what we know goes on for real in American politics, and the Caesarian reference doesn’t work.
The Three Musketeers (12 - Dir: Paul Anderson – Stars: Mathew Macfadyen, Ray Stephenson, Luke Evans, Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich)
Can another Three Musketeers give us something new?
Resident Evil’s Anderson throws the kitchen sink at this one and just about manages it. He wisely keeps a lid on the over-the-top fencing to just one skirmish when our heroes finish off a couple of hundred royal guards. For the rest it’s packed with good CGI, the sets and costumes are excellent, the acting is good save a couple of wooden, unfortunately central, performances, and the introduction of England’s new air ship war machine adds fun.
Anderson claims 3D gets the best out of his action sequences. You decide if you are equipped, I’m not.
The Change-Up (15 – Dir: David Dobkin – Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman)
I opted for the ‘ruder version,’ and for once a film plug lived up to billing.
Dave (Bateman) is a successful lawyer, happily married with a young family. Mitch (Reynolds) is jobless, wifeless and childless, and thus has enviable but not stress-free access to a string of young ladies.
On a drinks binge one night they are caught short, and flippantly wish for a life swap while urinating into a fountain. Lightning flashes overhead, and the wish comes true, and they soon discover how horribly unsuited they are to each other’s lives.
Bateman and Reynolds handle the about-face brilliantly, and amongst the crudity it’s funny.