Reviews: Whiteout, Sorority Row, Adventureland, Miss March
Sep 11 2009 The Journal
Whiteout (15) (1hr 41mins)
SET on the isolated landmass of Antarctica, this is a routine crime thriller based on the graphic novel written by Greg Rucka.
The inhospitable conditions provide vast scope for action-packed set-pieces as the characters battle against the elements, after an adrenaline-pumping thrill of the opening five minutes.
The linear narrative kicks into first gear – and largely stays there – at the Amundsen-Scott Research Station, where US Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is the law.
When summoned to investigate a sighting of a body in the snow, she finds herself heading up her first homicide case, while UN Special Agent Robert Pryce arrives to join the hunt for a murderer
As the whiteout approaches the base, the characters risk being stranded in Antarctica for another six months.
Luckily, we escape after 101 minutes.
Sorority Row (15) (1hr 41mins)
SISTERS are doin’ it for themselves – covering up murder, that is – in this competent remake of the 1983 slasher The House On Sorority Row.
Cast in the rigid mould of countless other teens-in-peril thrillers, this works so hard to discount one of its characters as the hooded campus killer that we’re certain of their guilt.
While the plot slavishly abides by convention, the script is surprisingly waspish, providing the teenage damsels in distress with catty exchanges.
Jessica (Leah Pipes) calls the shots amongst the girls in a sorority house and they join her in teaching a boy a lesson which involves convincing him he’s killed a girl by slipping her a date-rape drug.
But the prank turns sour and the girl is killed for real.
The girls decide to hide the body then, months later, they receive a chilling picture text, apparently from the victim.
One by one, they are stalked by a killer in a black graduation robe – cue a good variety to the demises.
Adventureland (15) (1hr 06mins)
GROWING pains leave bruises rather than scars in this nostalgic coming-of-age tale set at a Pittsburgh theme park in the summer of 1987.
There are echoes of Juno and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, albeit without such snappy dialogue, as the characters amble along without any sense of urgency as life unfolds around them.
Most of these hormone-addled teenagers accomplish little over the course of the film, but they are a largely likeable bunch.
Jesse Eisenberg is endearing high achiever James Brennan, a college graduate forced to slum it for the summer, taking a job in the local Adventureland theme park, before heading off to university.
There he falls for pot-smoking co-worker Emily Lewin (Kristen Stewart), not knowing she’s embroiled in a secret affair with the married park handyman.
This is a smartly written and well-acted portrait of youth on the cusp of adulthood, underscored with wry humour, as James learns life isn’t fair and nice guys are lucky to finish at all, let alone in first place.
Miss March (15) (1hr 30mins)
THIS bad-taste road movie is a puerile and mind-numbing coming-of-age comedy that proves true love can endure even the lamest of scripts.
High school student Eugene Bell (Zach Cregger) is about to consummate his relationship with his girlfriend when he takes a tumble down stairs and wakes four years later to discover the world has moved on.
He hatches a plan with his best pal to track down Cindi who they’ve spotted in Playboy magazine as the March centrefold.
En route are various scrapes with scantily-clad females.
The film is misconceived, misdirected and misgauged by writers, directors and stars Cregger and Trevor Moore.