Reel magic: American Sniper, Mortdecai, The Book of Life

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Reel magic: American Sniper, Mortdecai, The Book of Life

American Sniper is currently nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Cooper and Best Picture.

By Adam Zacharias (senior Reporter)

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Published: Thu 22 Jan 2015, 10:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:31 PM

American Sniper

American Sniper

Clint Eastwood’s latest film, a biopic on the life of a top U.S. military marksman, opened to an astounding weekend haul of $90.2 million in the States – higher than Avatar, Skyfall and any of the Hobbit movies.

American Sniper

Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle (upon whose memoir the movie is based), a U.S. Navy Seal who is sent to Iraq to put his incredible sniper skills to the test. While his jaw-dropping precision earns him huge respect, it also makes him a premium target for enemy forces.

Kyle also struggles to leave behind the horrors of war upon returning home to his family in Texas.

American Sniper is currently nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Cooper and Best Picture. Critics have been positive about the tale, although not overly rapturous.

“The film is, simply, a tragedy in which American certainty comes to grief against the rocks of the real world, and it views its central figure as a decent man doing indecent things for what he keeps telling himself is a greater good,” said Ty Burr of The Boston Globe.

“Less a war movie than a western – the story of a lone gunslinger facing down his nemesis in a dusty, lawless place – it is blunt and effective, though also troubling,” said A.O. Scott of The New York Times.

American Sniper currently has a 73% rating on rottentomatoes.com and a 7.7/10 rating on imdb.com. 

Mortdecai

Mortdecai

Thirty years after his death, British novelist Kryil Bonfiglioli sees his debonair arts dealer Charlie Mortdecai get the big screen treatment.Mortdecai

Johnny Depp takes on the title role, with a glittering support cast including Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor, as the roguish Mortdecai hops across the planet to hunt down a stolen painting.

Meanwhile, everyone from British Intelligence to the Russian Mafia tries to hunt him down.

Reviews are yet to surface for the action-comedy film, directed by David Koepp (Premium Rush), with Depp in need of a box office hit after a string of flops including Transcendence and The Lone Ranger.

Mortdecai currently has no rating on rottentomatoes.com or imdb.com.

The Book of Life

The Book of Life

The Book of Life

This offbeat animated adventure has drawn widespread praise for its inventive visual style and eccentric sense of fun.

The story follows young dreamer Manolo (Diego Luna) as he traverses three mystical worlds on a madcap adventure. Voice work is also provided by the likes of Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Christina Applegate and Ice Cube.

“Overflowing with hyperactive charm and a spectacular sea of colours, it showcases some of the most breathtaking animation we’ve seen this decade,” said Marc Snetiker of Entertainment Weekly.

“The dizzying, intricate imagery is so beautiful, and the Latin-inspired songs catchy enough that the overall effect is often enchanting,” said Claudia Puig of USA Today. 

The Book of Life currently has an 82% rating on rottentomatoes.com and a 7.4/10 rating on imdb.com.



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