Midweek movie review round-up

Jason Biggs as lovable Jim Levenstein in American Pie: Reunion.
Jason Biggs as lovable Jim Levenstein in American Pie: Reunion.
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A round-up of the latest film releases to help you decide what to watch at the cinema, plus you can view the latest trailers.

AMERICAN PIE: REUNION (15)

There is a moment in what is hopefully the final slice of the American Pie series when lovable Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs) loses his patience with sex-obsessed man-child Stifler (Seann William Scott) and laments: “You’re so trapped in the past. When are you going to realise things will never be the way they used to be?”

Yes, just when you thought they’d grown old gracefully Jim and his wife Michelle head back to East Great Falls to attend their 13 year high school reunion in the company of Oz, who is now a minor television star, house husband Kevin and eternal wanderer Finch. Meanwhile, Stifler is up to his puerile tricks.

The arrival of Heather and her cardiologist beau piques Oz’s jealousy and Kevin is nervous to see old flame Vicky again. Elsewhere, Finch is drawn to Michelle’s band camp friend Selena. Oh dear.

Rating: Together again - why? 4/10

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE LATEST TRAILERS

THE LUCKY ONE (12A)

Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) is ambushed by the enemy in Iraq and several of his men are wounded or killed in the subsequent fire fight.

Escaping he glimpses a photograph of a beautiful woman in the rubble, tracking her down when he gets home and agrees to help her work in a family-run kennel with her and her feisty grandmother.

Without explaining why he’s there, their bond deepens – much to the chagrin of her jealous ex-husband, Keith (Jay R Ferguson).

Rating: Hunky guy, ho hum. 5/10

SAFE (15)

Disgraced former NYPD officer Luke Wright (Jason Statham) lives on the streets after being betrayed by dirty cops in his precinct.

During a failed suicide attempt he encounters maths genius Mei (Catherine Chan), who is being used as a counting machine to keep track of the Triads’ assets.

When the Russian mob snatches Mei in order to steal the Triads’ dirty secrets, Luke intervenes, all guns blazing. Little does he realize what other secrets she holds.

Rating: Another Statham shoot ‘em up. 5/10

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 3D (U)

More than 20 years after this became the first animated feature to contest the Oscar for Best Picture, Disney’s “tale as old as time” returns in a new 3D print. Spirited Belle swaps places with her inventor father as prisoner of the accursed Beast and falls for her hirsute host. Musclebound rival suitor Gaston leads the torch-wielding villagers against the Beast but the rabble meets its match in the enchanted servants led by tightly wound pendulum clock Cogsworth and flirtatious candlestick Lumiere.

Rating: A welcome return visit. 10/10

SILENT HOUSE (15)

Chris Kentis and Laura Lau co-direct this English language remake of the South American psychological thriller La Casa Muda by Gustavo Hernandez, based on a true story that took place in a small village in Uruguay.

The film purports to be shot in a single uninterrupted take to heighten the illusion of real terror in real time.

Sarah and her father John agree to renovate a cottage she hasn’t seen for years but as darkness falls they discover the secrets of the old house.

Rating: Latest in a familiar genre. 6/10

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (12A)

A must for all fans of Marvel comics. When a dangerous new enemy threatens the safety of mankind, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D, scours the globe in search of the ultimate team of superheroes recruiting Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to save the day.

Rating: A Marvel-ous comic treat. 7/10

SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN (12A)

Dr Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is asked to strengthen Anglo-Arab relations by helping realise the impossible dream of Sheikh Muhammad (Amr Waked) and introduce British salmon to the Middle East. When the PM’s press secretary catches wind of the plans, she sees past the impracticalities and focuses on the feel-good aspect of the story to distract attention from the recent bombing of an Afghan mosque. When Alfred meets the Sheikh, he is won over by the statesman’s passion.

Rating: Better than it sounds. 7/10