The accountant

Ben Affleck AccountantHow dangerous can a number crunching professional be?

One might say very (especially if the subject matter is money) or not depending on what the issue at hand is? So, maybe the correct question should be how deadly can an accountant be?

In the case of Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) the answer is an emphatic VERY. This is especially an unwelcome and unexpected discovery those who cross his path invoke, and by then it’s a bit late to treat him with courtesy.

Christian, who grew up with a severe form of autism, is a brilliant accountant, whose clientele is more on the darker side. We are talking here of drug lords, gangsters, those who try to clean their monies from questionable businesses, and the most dangerous criminal organisations.

His life goes into overdrive when he takes on one particular case that looks like a legitimate client, and in his unusual way discovers discrepancies amounting to some $60 million. Without much notice, he seems to have triggered a chain of deaths that those responsible for will stop at nothing to keep what he has discovered disclosed.

Before he knows it, his services are terminated, and he gets blamed for causing the co-owner of the company to take his life because of what has discovered. Unbeknown to those who hired him is that his condition pushes him over the edge if he doesn’t complete what he stared. He has to complete his mission, and he pushes for this bodies start falling from all sides.

Furthermore, his dealings have long attracted the interest of the Treasury Department's Crime Enforcement Division that is run by Ray King (J.K Simmons). Ray gets Dana Cunnings (Anna Kendrick), who has a chequered past, to follow the case, if she wants to remain with the agency and avoid jail time.

As the body count go up, the mouse will become the cat, and nothing will stop this chain reaction from screeching to a halt, unless what has to be done is done. The flick is nicely paced, captivating, remarkably cast, and once the action kicks off, there will be nothing that will take away your interest on it.

Cast: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons and Jon Bernthal. Directed by .... The Accountant opens at theatres on 28th October.  Preview by Mandla Motau

Jack Reacher: Never go back

Jack Reacher 16 Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) is back in town, and as usual trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes.

The remarkable character based on the book by Lee Child, heads back to his hometown hoping to hook up with a Major Turner (Cobie Smulders) he has been communicating with for some time on “Jack Reacher: Never go back”. However, when he lands in her office, he finds that she has been arrested for conspiracy.

Like the trained machine that we know, his mind goes into overdrive as he tries to figure out what is going on. Before he knows it, he is actually being accused of a murder that is related to the major’s incarceration.

What is going on here? Well, it doesn’t take long for him to see that there is a major conspiracy going on here and he is right in the middle of it. You know, were billions are concerned, people are willing do a lot of things, including killing those in standing in their way.

Interestingly, as he goes about figuring what is going on, a street savvy 15-year-old (Danika Yarosh) is thrown into the mix. Could she be his daughter, as she previously claimed she is?

Usually a one man mission, he finds himself stuck with two ladies that he seems to care about, as some trained assassins are after his head. As the body count pile up, this of course means that he has to consider two more people while he tries to save his head, and oust the very people who want to take him out.

You know this is going to be difficult, especially when dealing with a rebellious young lady, who from time to time attracts the very people who want to kill them through some stupid mistakes. At the same time, he has to keep the major, who is now under his protection, safe.

“Never go back” is one of those movies that will keep you on the edge of the seat, and is a kick-ass outing. Smart, fast paced, action packed, sometimes comical, really exciting, with a tight written script, it will drag you along its charged journey as you try to figure who is who in the zoo, while showing a lot of heart.

Cast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Aldis Hodge, Robert Knepper. Directed byEdward Zwick. Jack Recher opens at theatres on 21st October. Review by Mandla Motau

Trolls

Trolls 16Where does happiness come from? What takes one to be happy?

For the miserable Bergens, they believe they have to eat the forever joyful Trolls to be happy. Such has been their tradition every once a year.

On one particular time, the trolls manage an escape and leave the dreaded community is a state of despair for decades. How else are they gonna be happy if they can’t eat trolls?

The one nasty official blamed for the escape is banished from the castle into a life of misery by herself. Of course the trolls continue of their life of happiness, and everyday pure joy.

However, it is too much happiness that exposes the trolls responsible for their forever doomed life. The Kings daughter (voiced by Zoeey Deschanel), ignores warnings by the overly cautious Branch (Justin Timberlake), throws a party that exposes their new home, and before they know it, they are captured.

How is this gonna play out, as the …, finally believe their tradition that gives them a chance at happiness is again at hand?  

“Trolls” is a feel good movie that will get the whole family going. It is full of spirit, has heart, and will teach those who are unhappy unless someone is unhappy a thing or two about joy. 

Also, be ready to be mesmerised by the trolls as they jam to some of the biggest songs on radio in the last few years. As you immerse yourself in their happiness, ready yourself to bounce a number of mainstream pop hits.  

Voiced by Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Timberlake, Christine Baranski, Gwen Stefani. Directed by Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn. “Trolls” opens at theatres on 21 October

Ms Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Ms Peregrine picTrust celebrated director Tim Burton to bring an imaginary world to the big screen in the most spectacular way possible. 

With Samuel L. Jackson (playing Barron) again playing a villain, in tow, the moviemaker has taken the classic Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children into that dream space in which imagination is the order of the day. The film is based on Ransom Riggs’s bestselling novel of the same name.

The flick follows misfit teenager Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), whose life is turned upside down after his grandfather Abraham (Terence Stamp), who is known for telling stories that are more like figments of his imagination and said to be schizophrenic, is murdered. Following the last whispers of his grandfather, Jake then travels to Wales to try to make sense of his grandfather’s last messages and figure out what led to his death.

Traveling with his not so thrilled dad (Chris O’Dowd), at the behest of his therapist Dr Golan (Allison Janney) following the events, Jake has a map that leads him to a ruined old house on the tiny island of Cairnholm. This is the orphanage that his now late grandpa attended as a child, fleeing from Poland and the advance of the Nazis.

Before he knows it, a time-loop transports Jake back to a fateful day in 1943 and lands him outside a home that is populated by strange children known as “peculiars”. The peculiars are kept safe by their astute, fearless and pipe-smoking protector Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), who can transform herself into a peregrine falcon.

The peculiar children have superpowers that range from invisibility to the gift of encouraging rapid growth in some amazing root vegetables. Emma (Ella Purnell), whom Jake falls for, is lighter than air, wearing heavy metal platform boots to prevent her simply floating away. There is also a young girl who can demolish chicken using the mouth cunningly hidden in the back of her head, and extraordinary powers.

With time continuously reset to maintain the status quo, and the kids remaining young in perpetuity, they all have to avoid the attack of the bomb dropping Germans to preserve the home, and also deal with the nasty Barron, who is hunting the orphans, and seems to be immune to their powers, but Miss Peregrine’s.

How long can they avoid falling prey to him and his giant monsters? One thing leads to another, and boom, this lot are thrown into the real world, and the human race is under attack, as the movie moves into overdrive.

What needs to be done to save the situation, and preserve the present and life as we know it? Review by Mandla Motau

Girl on the train

girl on the train movie movie picHow broken does one have to be to be constantly checking their ex on social media and continue calling them on their phone two years on?

On the face of it, Rachel (Emily Blunt - pictured) is an alcoholic who gets drunk into a stupor, and have no memory of what happened after hitting the bottle, looks like one such hopeless case. As we get introduced to her character on the thriller “Girl on the train” that is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins, she seems to be finding it difficult to move on with her life. In fact, making her moving forward journey even more difficult is that her train commute to her job passes her former house and he has to witness her former (Justin Theroux), who seem to understand and defend her stalking habits on them, with her current wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and baby daily.

As days and months pass, she takes interest in a couple – Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan (Halley Bennett) - that lives next to her ex. Watching them daily creates that “happy and perfect couple” notion in her, and sees what her marriage should have been in them.

But, like we all know, what we see isn’t always the case as far as so called ‘ideal relationships’ are concerned. One day her perfect couple dream gets shattered when she sees Megan kiss a stranger on her terrace. How could she do that to her man, and her (Rachel) emotional involvement?

Shattered and infuriated, she wakes up at her house with a crazy hangover, bruised with blood all around her. What happened, and why is she in this state?

Knowing that something is really wrong, she is shattered when she sees that Megan has disappeared. Do all her bruises have anything to do with this? Alas, Megan is later found dead, triggering the need to consider what real happened.

As the book is written, one gets introduced to the other characters in the movie. One gets to realise what was not going ok in Scott and Megan’s relationship. We also get introduced to this man she saw with Megan on the balcony, and he turns out to be her therapist Dr. Kamal Abdic (as Édgar Ramírez), whom she suspects could be somehow involved in her murder.

Also, Anna gets introduced into the picture, as Rachel starts suspecting she might have something to do with Megan’s death. But, who will believe her story about this, as she has done things that make her look like the suspect, including a suspected kidnapping of her baby, and of course her known drinking problem.

As she gets flashbacks, Rachel starts suspecting the whole world about Megan’s death. But, as she can’t even rely on her unreliable memory, what is true and what is fiction?

A reminder of Gone girl, this suspenseful drama that is also narrated by the three main women in it will get many to really think hard about what they consider to be fact, and force many to really evaluate what they value, and invest their emotions in. It will get you glued to the screen as you try to figure who is who in the zoo, what is fact, and what is fiction.

As events take their course, she might just figure out who she really is, what she is capable off, and have her world turned upside down as everything comes together. By Mandla Motau