CINEMA

This week's movie releases

Giant bugs attempt to invade Earth in teen-aimed sci-fi actioner Ender's Game, while The Cabin in the Woods bends genres

Madrid -
Harrison Ford in a scene from Ender's Game
Harrison Ford in a scene from Ender's Game

Giant bugs attempt to invade Earth in teen-aimed sci-fi actioner Ender's Game. Only the military skill of ace commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley, sporting an impressive Maori-style facial tattoo) is able to prevent a takeover. Knowing it's just a matter of time before another attack, the International Military entrusts Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) to train new potential saviors, eventually singling out young Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield of Martin Scorsese's Hugo). The film, directed by South African Gavin Hood (Tsotsi), is based on the first book of the Ender's series by Orson Scott Card, whose right-of-center views have overshadowed the film's marketing.

The Cabin in the Woods, produced and co-written by Buffy creator Josh Whedon, was released in the US and UK well over a year ago and the least you've learnt or remembered about its plot since then, the better. Purporting to turn the slasher genre on its head, it begins as five youngsters (Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz and Jesse Williams) go driving off to spend a weekend in a remote forest retreat, only, naturally, for bad things to start happening. These seem to have something to do with the labors of a couple of white-shirted operatives (Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) in a smart control center. But wait, we've already said too much. Or have we? This genre-bender twists events so beyond your expectations, you wonder how they got away with it.

Fake family

On more familiar territory, action comedy We're the Millers stars Jennifer Aniston as a stripper roped into posing as a soccer mom by smalltime pot dealer Jason Sudeikis. Sudeikis, you see, has been robbed, leaving him in debt to his supplier and the only way to wipe the slate clean is to procure a fake wife and kids, disguise himself as the head of an all-American family, and head down Mexico way to collect a marijuana shipment.

A strong candidate for nonsensical title of the year, The Last Exorcism Part II continues where the first found-footage shocker left off, with the exorcised young woman from part one getting repossessed, though this time without any of the mockumentary-style wobbly camerawork.

Spanish-Argentinean thriller Séptimo stars Ricardo Darín as a divorced dad who every day races his kids down from their mom Belén Rueda's seventh-floor apartment - he takes the elevator, they take the stairs. But one day, he emerges to find them gone and soon receives the terrifying news that they have been kidnapped.

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