It's the weekend! What are you going to see at the movies?
We've been spoiled by great films all year and this first week of November is no different with a cornucopia of cinematic excitement headed towards US shores.
'Last Vegas' - Out 1st Nov.
Arguably the most entertaining release of the week will be Jon Turteltaub's new comedy, Last Vegas. The movie has assembled a sterling cast of older actors, including Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline. To call the movie the grandpa's version of The Hangover would not be giving the film credit for its compelling premise which makes for a hugely watchable film with a driving force of solid acting talent.
The Last Vegas Gang!
Douglas's Billy announces his engagement to a woman half his age and the four friends decide to head to Las Vegas for a party trip to remember. They hit the Strip in what they hope is a wild weekend but they soon discover that things have changed a lot since 1959. Nevertheless, the guys show that they won't be outdone by the new generation of Vegas party animals - with hilarious results.
The movie's looking slightly on the squishy side on Rotten Tomatoes currently, with a rating of 43% owing to its apparently tendency to slip into cliché territory without delivering anything terribly new.
Whilst we're used to similar 'Bro' movies taking the concept of debauchery to the very edge, Last Vegas it seems doesn't go far enough. "I steeled myself for the moment when these four would fall into what-happens-in-Vegas ''high jinks,'' but fortunately, they don't," said EW's Owen Gleiberman.
However, instead of 'gross-out- or 'cringe' moments defining the movie, as we've become accustomed to with the recent wave of Hangover-style comedies, the movie's true value is in its themes of friendship. In an interview, Kline explained: "All four of the characters come away at the end having come into some sort of reckoning with reality, with who they really are and how important their friendship is."
Douglas adds, "The bond that they have is their 59 year friendship and you always trust your oldest friends and I guess Las Vegas in terms of its image - anything goes - seems like an open arena to allow people to express themselves."
Enders Game - Out 1st Nov.
One for the alien fans now: new movie Ender's Game is based on the 1985 military sci-fi novel written by American author Orson Scott Card. Set 70 years after the invasion of an alien race known as the Formics, the movie sees Asa Butterfield plays Ender Wiggin who is recruited by the International Fleet to join the Battle School in outer space due to his skill for logic and strategy. Read our review of Ender's Game here.
Ender is unaware of how much hope is being put on him to be Earth's saviour and his ability to make the right difficult decision leaves him with a sense of bitter self-loathing.
Having received mixed reviews, Ender's Game is currently at a middling 63% on Rotten Tomatoes with the Wall St Journal slamming Gavin Hood's movie for having "zero drama, zero suspense, zero humor, zero charm and zero appeal." That said, other's identify with this rousing action movie and sticks faithfully to the original novel.
'Dallas Buyers Club' - Out 1st Nov.
This indie has been receiving an awful lot of attention recently after actor Matthew McConaughey won the best actor's gong at last week's Hollywood Film Awards. McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, an AIDS victim who is given just a month to live. He begins to research ways that he could be treated and goes into business smuggling alternative treatments from Mexico and setting up the 'Dallas Buyers Club.'
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee ('The Young Victoria'), the movie has received tons of enthusiastic reviews and stands at a healthy 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. Also starring Jared Leto as the transgender Rayon and Jennifer Garner as Dr. Eve Saks: looks like this movie's going to be one of the year's less fanfared gems.
'Free Birds' - Out 1st Nov.
Got kids? Want something truly light-hearted this weekend? New, animated, Thanksgiving-themes film Free Birds is the kids' choice this weekend. The premise may seem slightly macabre - Reggie is a turkey paranoid that he and his friends are being fattened up - but proves to be a funny and action-packed plight of festive birds.
Reggie (Owen Wilson) is rescued by the US president and relocated to a luxurious new home but is soon catapulted on a death-defying mission to save his kind from the Thanksgiving dinner table. The Jimmy Hayward-directed movie employs a star-studded cast, including Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler, Keith David, Dan Fogler and George Takei.