Christopher Nolan, the director who explored the tortured psyche of Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy and the subconscious mind in Inception, now goes to infinity and beyond with cosmic epic INTERSTELLAR (12: Warner).
Set in a near future when humanity faces global starvation, this ‘race against time’ space odyssey stars Matthew McConaughey as Cooper, a widowed former pilot-turned-farmer struggling to cope with bringing up two kids.
So when he’s given the chance “to save the world” by a group of boffins led by Michael Caine, he jumps at it, much to the distress of daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy).
For this is no ordinary intergalactic mission as it requires Cooper and his team to enter a mysterious wormhole to find a planet for the human race to colonise.
It’s a journey that could take years for the explorers while decades pass on Earth.
Nolan’s most ambitious film to date is no mere disaster flick.
This is thoughtful sci-fi with echoes of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: a Space Odyssey.
He puts the bond between the cosmically estranged Cooper and Murph at the core of his blockbuster, despite the presence of elaborate-looking spaceships, strange planets rife with elemental danger and an omnipresent black hole.
A cast including Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and John Lithgow isn’t bad either, and holding it all together is McConaughey, who proves his best actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club was no fluke.
> A film about the unlikely friendship between a young boy and his curmudgeonly Vietnam War vet neighbour might sound schmaltzy, but ST VINCENT (12: Entertainment In Video) is a keenly observed comedy, with its sentimentality liberally laced with top-drawer laughs.
Vincent (Bill Murray) is at first reluctant to keep an eye on single mother Melissa McCarthy’s lonely 12-year-old son (Jaeden Lieberher), but he quickly grows into his role as a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed mentor.
He takes a shine to the youngster and offers his services as a babysitter, providing valuable life lessons and an introduction to the joys of gambling, fighting and petty theft.
This is Murray’s most satisfyingly comedic role in years, while newcomer Lieberher proves he’s no slouch in the mirth department either, often employing the deadpan expressions so familiar to fans of the main star.
Naomi Watts offers terrific support as Vincent’s “companion”, a pregnant Russian prostitute.
> The comedy isn’t as dark as the original, but HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 (15: Warner) is a workmanlike sequel to the 2011 film.
Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day decide to be their own bosses in a story that sees the trio forced into bankruptcy by greedy businessman Christoph Waltz.
They decide to kidnap his son (Chris Pine) and this offers wide scope for silliness.
The laughs come off the conveyer belt at a steady rate, although they’re of varying quality.
Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Aniston reprise their roles and director/co-writer Sean Anders lets the leading trio pull up the slack with their improvised bickering, occasionally gifting them with a decent gag.