Film Review: Disclosure Writer/Director: Michael Bentham Producer: Donna Lyon Cast: Mark Leonard Winter, Geraldine Hakewill, Tom Wren, Matilda Ridgway Running Time: 84 minutes Trigger Warning: The film contains references about rape and has sexual scenes
Disclosure is an Australian Psychological drama which portrays the destruction of a friendship of two families when the four-year-old daughter of the Bowmans makes allegations against son of the Chalmers.
The film begins with the Bowmans in a moment of intimacy which they record and soon cuts to scenes of calm, happy and carefree country township with children playing, parents walking children to school, a fire warning sign which is in the green portraying a sense of safety and showing a mother with children walking past a sign of Joel Chalmers running as the local member of parliament. You get a sense that this is a wholesome family orientated country town.
You soon hear screams, and the daughter yells out “Stop” whilst staying at the Chalmers house. Six weeks pass and the Chalmers visit the Bowmans with the intent of getting their sons name off the allegations which are not yet public, this was an open disclosure by the Bowmans of the incident that was privately made to the Chalmers. The Bowmans appear to just want the son of the Chalmers to get help and for them to acknowledge that their may be an issue with their son’s behaviour, however the Chalmers are in denial and defensive, so the situation soon deteriorates, and cracks start to open up between the two families.
The actors portrayed their roles well and you can clearly see and feel their concern, anguish, deceit, and manipulation. With one side trying to get the truth and support their daughter whilst the other family will do anything to protect their careers and to a lesser extent their child. You get to see how each of them see the truth through their individual lenses and experiences. The imagery is well framed and the nearly the entire film is based at the Bowmans property. The scenes support the story well as well as giving an insight into the personalities of each character. You get to glimpse a little bit of the past of both Emily and Bek through their dialog which helps build a picture of what makes them today and their behaviours.
Overall, this is a well written and produced film that highlights how generational trauma, aspirational behaviour and denial can twist the truth without concern for the wellbeing of others.
RIDE THE EAGLE NEW website review by Marygrace Charlton
A mildly entertaining comedy/drama with a lighthearted approach by the film makers, to a case of family dysfunction and the myriad emotions that ensue.
Leif the lead character is played by Jake Johnson (also the co-writer). He is the 34 year old son to Honey (Susan Sarandon). Jake is an American actor, comedian, and writer best known for his role as Nick Miller in the Fox sitcom New Girl, for which he was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television.
Abandoned at age 12 when Honey decides to join a new age cult and ditches her maternal responsibilities, Leif doesn’t really know his mother nor has any intention of reconnecting after his mistreatment.
Many years later he learns of his estranged mother’s death. Honey, in a last effort at apology, seeking forgiveness and conveying her underlying love (excuse the pun) of her son, leaves a conditional inheritance.
Definitely thought provoking at times and will resonate and appeal to audiences who have faced similar circumstances. However the movie lacks authentic comedy and substance in my opinion..
For me, the best aspect of this movie is the film location and scenery which is set in the Yosemite, Mariposa country, CA.
Scheduled for release September 9, it certainly won’t be a box office hit but worth a view.
The Resort is definitely one of those flicks for those trending for atypical 'jump-scare' scenes - the movie has plenty of it!
Though it is almost a clićhe for horror movie makers to induce scary scenes and eerie background music, and not to mention that most of it happens at night, the makers of this movie did include scenes which were different from the norm - the use of abnormal patterns found in nature (such as a flock of birds turning their direction of flight path mid-air).
We see a group of friends who have decided on a vacation in Hawaii. Lex, who is a well-read youth with a fascination with urban legends and paranormal phenomena, insists on them visiting and observing a dilapidated resort, seemingly left abandoned for some years now. Only that, it is not exactly abandoned, and sheer suspense ensues.
The Resort delivers its own version of promise to the horror buffs, with the highlight being experienced in the last ten minutes of the movie.
With overseas travel currently on hold, we must not underestimate the power of films being able to transport us to another place and I was pleased to have the chance to preview the film MISS – a French/Belgium co-production directed by Ruben Alves. Following a successful Australian premiere at the Alliance French Festival earlier this year, new screenings are now being planned for across Australia. The film takes us on the journey of a young man Alex and his quest to fulfil a child-hood dream of becoming Miss France. While his dream may seem a little mad to some - with the obvious hurdle of him being a man, Alex won’t let that hold him back and does everything he can to succeed.
The film opens with Alex as a child at school, where he first announces his desire to someday become Miss France and is met with ridicule from his class mates. A jump in time - we next see Alex in his early 20s having lost direction in his life after a family tragedy. He now works as a cleaner at a boxing studio, and lives at a boarding house with a colourful group of outcasts. A chance encounter with a childhood friend, who has since become a boxing champion, awakens Alex into believing that perhaps his own dreams are possible.
Alex is supported by the inhabitants of the boarding home, who act as his extended chosen family. It is with their support that he is able to launch his transformation on his journey to being crowned Miss France. The transformation feels somewhat of a modern Cinderella story, where cast in the role of fairy god-mother is an aging transvestite sex worker who coaches Alex on his walk.
I must commend the casting of Alex who is played by model Alexandre Wetter. This film is Alexandre’s first major role, who has previously had success as a model with his gender fluid androgynous appearance. Alexandre delivers a very tender and authentic performance as Alex.
The film doesn’t focus on transgender identity, rather the power of the story is in the relatable journey of chasing your dreams, being true as a person, and that families are more than just biological bonds. Having previously been involved with pageantry and also being a part of the LGBT community, I felt like this was always going to a film that I would connect with easily. Though really – the simplicity of pursuing your dreams despite the odds is a theme that will connect with a wide audience. Miss is a wonderful feel good movie with plenty of charm and light moments of humour.
4 out of 5 stars.
review by Olga Tolkatcheva
'Miss' is a film that sparks a conversation about femininity and gender norms. Written and directed by French director Ruben Alves, this film was an acting debut of Alexandre Wetter, an androgynous model equally convincing as male or female. He is organic in the role of Alex, a lost and an insecure young man.
After a childhood tragedy that took away his parents, Alex lives in a haze of detachment, aloof and without ambition, working as a cleaner in a boxing club. A chance encounter with a classmate, who became a boxer champion, resurrects Alex's childhood dream of winning the title of Miss France. Absurd you might think, that boys don't compete in girl's beauty pageants and certainly not winning them. However, blessed with gentle good looks and armed with the help of his friends, Alex sets off to attempt this impossible task in this glamorous and entertaining story.
Most of the comedic relief comes from flamboyant Lola, a transvestite with a heart. Lola is a kooky old landlady, who is posing as Alex's late mother. Coincidentally, her radical views on feminism come into direct conflict with the notions of the Pageant director. A battle of words that ensues is the funniest moment in the movie.
The same comedic characters are multi-dimensional and have tragic sides. The characters are believable and relatable, and we learn to sympathize and like them. It is all done in the best traditions of timeless French movies, and Ruben Alves undoubtedly deserves praise.
Part comedy, part coming of age story, 'Miss' has a deeper edge and explores ideas of self-worth, self-acceptance, and the freedom of expression. We are witnesses to Alex's personal growth. He came to the beauty pageant to achieve a childhood dream, but in reality this undertaking allowed him to develop his life skills, create friendships, and ultimately find himself. Probably the most poignant message of this movie comes in the words of an eccentric landlady: "Never let anyone determine your value". This message is equally important for us all and unites all viewers.
This film is part of the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2021 in Australia.
The Polish mystical drama MOSQUITO STATE is directed by Philip Jan Rymsha (Filip Jan Rymsza). Cast includes: Bo Knapp, Charlotte Vega, Jack Kesey and others. This is a rather crazy experiment of the Polish director, Philip Jan Rymsha: a mix of "American Psychopath" by Mary Harron and "The Fly" by David Kronenberg. "Mosquito State" is a kind of film that is hard to forget... although you want to turn your eyes away from the screen quite often. The experience of immersion in Rymsha's work can be best described by scratching a mosquito bite for a bit more than an hour and a half.
In the best traditions of Kronenberg's body-horror, Rymsha uses a recognisable forms to play around with the content, the content that reflects the state of the global economic crisis: crazy to a state of complete and irreversible mental illness. The result is an ominous and laconic antipode of the “Lowering Game”: it's hypnotic, but disgusting, frightening, with the brushes of laughable spectacle, revealed through metaphors, vivid visual images and minimalism of an enclosed space.
The events require an understanding of the historical context (and the director himself is not going to provide it to you, you yourself must know, otherwise the meaning of the rest of the film will simply slip away from you). August 2007, America is on the verge of a financial catastrophe comparable only to the Great Depression, although it does not yet understand what is coming... Together with a brazenly buzzing, funny animated mosquito, we get to the holiday of rich financiers and hear the buzzing of aristocratic mouths with the edge of our ear - one boasts such a curiosity as a new iPhone, the other talks about the chances of young Senator Barack Obama.
At a social event, we meet the main character, the introverted, incredibly wealthy programmer Richard Boca (Bo Knapp). To everyone's surprise, the silent Richard leaves the party in the company of a beautiful girl Lina (Charlotte Vega). They arrive at his penthouse of the size of an entire hotel. However, Richard does not succumb to the sexual energy pouring from Lina, he is more interested in a female mosquito, hidden in the collar of his shirt. After being bitten in the neck, Richard's physical body begins to change in an eerie way, turning the rest of the film into an extended version of Peter Parker's nightmare (after meeting a radioactive spider), and Boca's apartment turns into the abode of a horde of mosquitoes that require control.
In this somnambulistic film. It partially feels way too serious, and at the same time, from the phantasmagoric nature of what is happening, a barely hidden smile appears... But what exactly do you see while watching this film? It's a creepy horror or is it a satire on the financial ecosystem? It solely depends on your perception and your knowledge. In a sense, Rymsha's film goes beyond its historical context: it has an element of fantasy where a new virus emerges, carried by Nile mosquitoes. The main character is trapped in his luxurious loft alone for the entire movie, locked down inside his terrible state of psychological breakdown together with an uncountable number of mosquitoes and futile attempts to streamline the chaos in his head and in the world around him. What is this if not a picture of 2020?
For Philip Jan Rymsha, this is the second directing project after the 2007 debut film... but such a long lasting gap was not created because the director had been preparing "Mosquito State" for 13 years, he was simply busy with the legacy of Orson Welles. First, under his leadership, the last film of the legendary director was restored - "The Other Side of the Wind", and at the same time Jan produced a documentary about Wells "They Will Love Me After I Die", the form of the "Hopper / Wells" documentary.
The "Mosquitoes State" stands out for its amazing camera work, and there are no complaints about it. The director tries to avoid primitive camera moves in every possible way, as well as ordinary angles and any standard narrative. We are shown the strangest story in the most strange way, and even a mosquito waltz in the night against the background of a blood-red glow over the NY Central Park, in addition to a certain aesthetic pleasure, even more convinced that this is not a director's sick fantasy. This is an allegory of the collective mind clouding humanity under the influence of an intoxicating sense of its own superiority wrongly defined by money, power and social status. These can "cover" a person's eyes so much that he simply will not notice how the world is slowly but surely eating itself alive...
Come Play is the film equivalent to ordering a steak and being given a cheese souffle. It’s not what you ordered, it doesn’t suit your needs, some people will find it physically unpalatable, but for all that, it’s not objectively bad. Many films can be broken into three parts, Come play is impossible to watch without making the delineation. While there are certain subjects that are relevant to all three, such as the films copious use of jump scares and the performances of each specific actor. Each act of this movie separates itself so completely from the other two that to lump them all together would not just be a disservice; it would be downright deceptive.
The first act of Come Play is a family drama, based on the very real and often misunderstood struggles that autistic children and their families face. A dangerous topic for most film makers given the sensitivity of the subject, but whether through personal experience or extensive research it is abundantly clear that writer and director Jacob Chase knows his stuff. The fears shown by the films protagonists are those commonly felt by parents around the world. Their struggles will resonate with anyone who has been in their situation. The therapy and coping mechanisms are textbook and their effectiveness is realistic. The performance by Azhy Robertson captures the mannerisms often exhibited by children on the spectrum without exaggerating them or making a spectacle out of them. If nothing else, the introduction to this film is one of the best representations of autism to grace to the silver screen.
Most of which is easy to forget when the movie transitions away from a family drama and begins leaning into the horror elements. At which point the wheels don’t so much fall off, as they do manually eject themselves into orbit. All plot progression grinds to a halt for the majority of this film. Unnecessary and irrelevant exposition fills time and aside from the occasional jump scare, and the brief bit of admittedly creative horror imagery, nothing happens. Those playing horror trope bingo will likely find themselves unable to keep up with the sheer number of squares per minute in need of filling. Robertson’s realistic performance is largely rendered unwatchable as his fellow child actors struggle to express anything close to the nuance and emotion the script seems to be requiring of them. Characters are both unrivalled geniuses, making huge leaps of logic and pulling from vast knowledge bases most mere mortals can only aspire to; or appear to be suffering from severe mental disabilities and in dire need of carers. Often simultaneously. There is an argument to be made that the films inexplicable, inconsistent rules would be enough to drive anyone into the realm of the idiot savant, but given the technical achievements, it seems unfair to grant the makers so much slack.
All of which would be enough to bury most films and relegate them to the piles of forgotten and failed horror. Had the final act not thrown the second over its shoulder and preceded to carry it while ignoring its existence entirely. Kicking back into gear, the plot escalation, instantly, without rhyme or reason. Ignoring the child actors completely and focussing on the cinematic horror. The films makes heavy use of Chekov’s gun throughout the film, but the final ten minutes are a masterclass in payoff. Going down the list and providing closure for nearly everything said or done in the previous hour. Even more egregious, is how Come play ends this sudden thrill ride with an emotional gut punch that while perfectly executed, feels entirely unearned. To make the audience cry about characters that were putting them to sleep 10mins prior is a remarkable skill, but not one that should be encouraged.
In the end, Come play is best described as Lights out meets the Babadook. A technically on point, visually gripping film that bookends nearly an hour of unimaginable boredom with incredibly moving storytelling and an honestly remarkable script. It’s a noteworthy first act, a garbage fire second, and an oscar worthy third. Make of that what you will. Come play is not what anyone wanted, or what audiences look for in a film, but objectively held it own regardless.
We are thrust once again onto the front of valuing lives, with The Ice Road leading the way through the second-half of 2021 - a period where individualistic existence is paramount.
Here is a flick embodying a laborious rescue mission in the frozen norths of Canada, where an underground mine has collapsed due to an explosion, trapping several dozen miners within. And several truckers are assigned to haul drilling units to that rough terrain, taking on a long and winding Ice Road. Needless to say, the challenges faced were equally paramount.
One can easily enjoy the character-builds by the stellar cast of those truckers - Liam Neeson and Laurence Fishburne. Both of these giants do seem to set a pace of life of rural North America and Canada, including what it means to be a trucker.
The Ice Road is a movie to be reckoned with, having struck thoughts and emotions that have long since been buried within us, much alike those miners.
It is well known that art reflects life reflects art. So it has always been, and so it is with James Gun’s The Suicide Squad. The parallels should not be underestimated, as an incredible talent, known for their skill finds themselves losing their place and being cast out for morally grey actions, only to be given a second chance by an underdog and proving themselves to be the hero needed to save the day. James Guns forceful departure from the MCU and subsequent arrival into the DCEU side of things is a nauced topic, but it can truly only be seen as a net gain for the latter and a regrettable loss for the former. Much like the antiheroes and side villains in its cast, The Suicide Squad goes above and beyond to prove itself and its excellence.
The film is an incredible blending of genres and tones. Switching seamlessly from the ultra-violent gore that the subject manner implies, to the laugh out loud comedy, Gun is known for. The film tackles serious topic and is unafraid dip its toes in dicey waters, but delivers its sermon with such irreverence and flippancy that it is almost impossible to not forgive its messaging. The characters are incredibly well written, their problems and emotional baggage are realistic and present, without being overdone. It is not an easy thing to create an emotional attachment with a character that you are pretty sure is going to die in the space an hour or less. That Gun is bale to do so, repeatedly, with varies types of characters is a testament to his skill. Following the school of show don’t tell, the audience is given just enough to extrapolate and build up the story in their mind, combining the incredible work by the cast and crew in order to extend this movie far beyond its runtime.
It’s not all feeling and hidden tears, The Suicide Squad is without a doubt a dark comedy. The characters banter with the best of them. Their comedic timing is on point and as much as it can without undercutting the emotional messages, this film packed itself to the gills with jokes upon jokes. As if that wasn’t an impressive enough display, Gun seems intent on showing off and filling the film with character death so numerous and needlessly brutal as to make J.R.R.Martin blush. To gruesomely kill off a character in some overly violent and overtly dehumanising way is not an achievement, to do so to an established character after building rapport and making your audience like them, and to do in such a way as to make the audience laugh about it? There is a point being made here. Regardless of any subtextual meanings and behind the scenes drama though, it is undeniable that we the audience are the beneficiaries of the struggle.
Those unfortunate enough to have seen the first Suicide Squad will notice quite a few recurring characters and cast members. This time given the chance to shine and truly show their worth. Working with the new cast to build out this films impressive line-up. Every single actors brings their A-game to this production. From the breakout role of Daniela Melchior, as the loveable Rat catcher 2, to the unsurprisingly adept performances of Idris Elba and Margot Robbie as Bloodsprt and Harley Quin. Even Sylvester Stallone makes the most out of his material and turns the objectively terrifying King Shark into a lovable murder-pet that must be kept safe at all costs. Every single person working on this film knew exactly what they were doing and they did it well.
From the gorgeous cinematography, to the flawless editing, perfectly selected music, even the set design and costumes are so unbelievably on point. This is an incredible film. It’s a hilarious, emotional rollercoaster, with enough gore to fill a mortuary. This could very well be James Guns Magnum Opus, and it worth watching for anyone old enough to be allowed into the cinema.
comedy Director: Emma Seligman Cast: Rachel Sennott, Danny Deferrari, Fred Melamed, Polly Draper, Molly Gordon
After casual sex with her "sponsoring" sugar daddy, Max (Danny Deferrari), young student Danielle (Rachel Sennott) rushes to Shiva - a funeral, that gathered all the cream of the local Jewish community. But looks like this time the constant questioning coming from her parents' friends about romantic partners, work, college and future plans is the least on her mind and of her problems. Danielle's ex-girlfriend, adored by all, Maya (Molly Gordon), suddenly appears at the commemoration, but (surprise-surprise!) there is Max himself there with (second surprise!) a baby and an offensively successful and beautiful wife, the existence of which Danielle did not even know. During the commemoration, she will have to maneuver between curious neighbors, the ex (Maya), for whom she seems to still have feelings, and her deceiving lover, Max while doing everything possible not to go crazy here and now. It is uncomfortable to say the least, nut more precise: it is "claustrophobic", Danielle is short of fresh air in that environment, her "plans" and seemingly :making sense" and (hm...) "income" world suddenly falls apart...
As well as a decent number of directorial debuts by American directors of the past ten years, this full feature film grew out of the short film of the same name, and this, of course, is quit significant: at the worst moments it starts to feel that the director repeats herself over and over again, forcing Danielle to live another hectic conversation just in order to stretch the time a little longer. It is a perfect example of how a young filmmaker can returns to her original art work and develops a story that is obviously close to her heart to fill up the full feature film. Seligman's debut is not just a repetition of the material covered; it is her homework on mistakes; it is also stronger development of her directorial and screenwriting skills. Therefore, the best compliment to a young director would be: her 80-minute film resembles a short film only in that it flies by as imperceptibly as its eight-minute original. Well done! I felt so much for this girl. It almost felt like she reminded me of my own first love and my first disappointment: rules breaking and world breaking!
Emma Seligman's debut is a thoroughly Jewish, uncomfortable comedy on the verge of an airtight thriller and painful horror, which equally successfully grabs the audience's attention and makes you step away from the screen, relax and exhale after this torture of all tortures finishes. This is the main success and loss of the film: some of you will be fascinated by this farce, cramped and annoying atmosphere, the others simply will not be able to withstand the endless bullying of the main character, who did not deserve it.
The film is certainly not a statement about the toxic religious society that smiles hypocritically in your eyes, but enjoys criticizing you behind your back simply because you don't fit in and are trying to find your way. No, this is rather a "representation": both bisexual Jewish women with sugar-daddies, and naive, insecure and confused twenty-year-old girls who seem to have cut off the umbilical cord and become independent from their parents, but still need someone who will reach out their hand at the right time and help them just to be. This is probably why the film is definitely not a local Jewish comedy, but rather as a universal and close to many story of growing up, which after 80 mocking minutes gave the viewer one of the most optimistic and honest finals in the recent years. Again, well done! 8/10
review by Alex First of MAPT
Shiva Baby (M) – 77 minutes – by Alex First
A sexually charged comedy, Shiva Baby is an awkward delight.
Daniella (Rachel Sennott) is a 20-something year old sugar baby, part of a close-knit Jewish community.
Her highly opinionated mother Debbie (Polly Draper) who is constantly bickering with her father, Joel (Fred Melamed), loves her dearly, but is controlling and smothering.
Debbie invites Dani to attend the Shiva Minyan (memorial service) for a member of the community who has passed away.
Dani does so, mind you she struggles not to appear disingenuous because she really doesn’t know who the Shiva Minyan is for.
As soon as Dani arrives, she spots a friend she grew up with, but someone she is desperately trying to avoid.
It soon becomes clear that something went down with that friend, Maya (Molly Gordon), a law student.
Meanwhile, soon thereafter Dani does a double take when she spots the gentleman who she has just “serviced”.
He – Max (Danny Defferari) – is equally taken by surprise.
Both appear to genuinely like one another, but things are about to get decidedly more uncomfortable.
That happens when Dani discovers Max is married to a beautiful, non-Jewish blonde entrepreneur, Kim (Dianna Agron), and the pair has an 18-month-old daughter, both of whom join Max.
Further, the history of Dani’s relationship with Maya is also revealed as the cattiness between that pair continues.
Shiva Baby becomes an hilarious free for all with a crackerjack final act.
The movie works magnificently with Jewish cliches – think stereotypes, food, weight, career and relationships.
Characterisations are deliberately inflated, but relatable and in the main plausible, notwithstanding a few instances where I felt the exaggeration went too far.
Writer and director Emma Seligman has done a fine job capturing the claustrophobic nature of Dani’s increasingly harried mind.
The vast majority of the action takes place at the home where the Shiva Minyan is taking place.
The camera often focuses on Dani’s body language, actions and interactions with lightning impact.
The stringed score by composer Ariel Marx adds to the tension.
Much credit goes to actors Rachel Sennott and Molly Gordon for the work they’ve put into crafting their characters.
Sennott brilliantly captures the embarrassment and fear involved in the predicament Dani – who hasn’t determined what she will make of her life – finds herself in.
Gordon appears to effortlessly turn up the heat at will.
There is also much in the “looks” between Sennott and Danny Deferrari.
Shiva Baby has been designed to put a smile on your dial and it succeeds in doing so.
If this isn’t the most uncomfortable memorial service to which you have been privy, I would have to say your life is a whole lot more “out there” than mine.
It is a story about a girl named Sam, who is a killer, same as her mother. While completing a task, the girl got into an unpleasant situation. She has to correct it and she fights for truth. What can I say about the film? This movie reminded me of "Finished" with Margot Robbie. I even thought that the film was directed by the same director, but it turned out that it was not. which honestly surprised me, because both films are very similar in spirit.
From a visual point of view, it turned out to be a rather bright, neon movie, with well-posed fights and skirmishes. It has a downright action, almost blood-like-Tarantino's films. As for the story itself, I can not really say that there were some super surprises. The main character's story is quite clear and understandable. It was interesting to watch her, she turned out to be not boring and with her own inner drama.
I would like to note that the film has a pretty good cast. Karen Gillan (Sam) is very honest, genuine actress for me, Karen is very similar to Nebula. I saw this actress in the lead role for the first time. She coped with her role so very well. Her character resembled the of Black Mamba from Kill Bill. Nevertheless her character is a killer, she is not a truly evil in nature person; she has a difficult relationship with her mother, which left a life imprint on her.
Lena Headey, Scarlet, plays Sam's mother, She sis not have a lot of screen time, honestly, but in general she fit perfectly well into her character. Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh and Angela Bassett "gang" harmoniously complemented the women's company which felt incredibly well like women's-power.
In general, the film turned out to be more like a clip action movie with an adult rating (violence and blood). Sam "kick" a bunch of villains and at the same time comes out almost "dry out of water". There are lots of staged fight scenes and they are very well made so those who love unreal fights with fake blood will love it. The soundtrack is quite organic and goes well along with what is happening on the screen. The cast is not bad overall. With all the advantages and positive views on the film though, I cannot say that the movie turned out to be outstanding in its genre. It is such a mediocre, walk-through movie, and soon to forget. It seems to be not bad, but not a masterpiece, so in general, you might watch it once and get it out of your mind.
Welcome to Space Jam! The Millennium Game will begin in a few minutes. On the right side of the basketball court is the world famous player, James LeBron, who is the head of the Looney Tunes, multi-legends team led by Bugs Bunny. On the left side are Star Bouncers fully and digitally charged. It's the father against the son. Who will put the winning ball into the basket?
What is it all about This is a sequel to the 25-year-old animated basketball film for children. But this time it is not the world famous Michael Jordan starring, but another superstar of American professional basketball, LeBron James, playing himself. LeBron dreams of a sports career for his son, Dominic, but the boy dreams of playing computer games, and he has his own basketball - the online simulator, Dombol developed by him.
Father and son come to the Warner Bros. studio, where they get acquainted with artificial intelligence, Al Ji Rhythm and the technology created by it - the ability to integrate a computer model of any person into films or games. Al G Rhythm tricks LeBron into the digital world of Warner Bros., where a basketball player meets Bugs Bunny the rabbit and other cartoon characters forced to work for AI. Al Ji, who has enslaved Dominic as well, tells LeBron that he can take his son if he beats him at Dombol. The athlete is recruiting a team of classic Looney Tunes characters: Speedy, Lola, Granny, Duffy Duck, Elmer and other heroes of his youth.
Why do we have to watch this? First of all, this is an educational movie. In addition to providing important insight into LeBron James's athletic performance in the real world, the movie provides an extensive overview of the Warner Bros. cinematic universe. There are the adventures of Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, DC animated series and many other products of the powerful film empire who coexist. For children, this is at least an exciting excursion that will allow them to get acquainted with an important part of the history of cinema. Well, for their parents: it is all about a nostalgic journey with humor and unexpected intersections of characters so familiar from thier childhood. But the film also has its own find: artificial intelligence performed by Don Cheadle (Rhodey from MCU Iron Man), who played an operetta villain reminiscent of Sylvester Stallone's character in Spy Kids 3. And the Al Ji basketball team is played by digitized real champions of the NBA, each of whom has a superpower in the virtual space.
Why would you not watch? Let's start with the fact that now there is no space in the "Space Jam". Instead, there is a virtual space of the computer simulator....and simulation is hm... simulation. The product looks secondary, even for LeBron James, this is far from the first film role, and his sports career is long in the past. 25 years ago Michael Jordan was not only much more of a media person, but also h was more relevant as an athlete, and his appearance on the screen became a sensation. At the same time, the sequel is extremely delayed and spends too much time on boring and pretentious conversations. It was the first movie this year I walked out from. Another disappointment was the redesign of the Looney Tunes characters in the spirit of "silicone graphics". Compared to the classic rendering, they do not look so charming (especially for Lola Bunny, who was deprived of all signs of sexuality). However, it can be some kind of "a fig in the pocket" from the creators of the picture, especially since the main villain supplies the heroes with a new look. It turns out that old LeBron is right: it was all much better before, and the new generation is not going there anymore. Not into space, but... into simulation (read: digital).
My overal impression Not really my kind of film. I am not a fan of basktball, nor I am a big fan of fusions that troll your mind into the reality that is never there... This film I would not show to my kids if they were still small and thank god they will not show this to their kids: th film does teach you nothing: no kindness, no creativity , no love, no compassion... just g*e, sorry WB.
Happiness is a business. It is not the business of Jessica Hausners latest film Little Joe however. An arthouse dramatic horror about the viral spread of a malicious flower. Parallels drawn between it and M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film, The Happening should not be ignored as Hausner seems to draw inspiration from that particular train wreck every step of the way. Hiring a talented cast list with gold to their names, presumably luring them in with vague notions of a phycological thriller with a pseudo-scientific antagonist, only to throw a half-baked exposition dump about plants at them and roll the cameras while they are still reeling. It would be unfair to criticise the actors for their incredibly poor performances in this film as it seems unlikely that any actor could have done better.
The film relies heavily on its dialogue, choosing to tell instead of show at every turn and filling nearly every scene with unnecessary exposition. Line deliveries are awkward out of necessity as the unrealistic word choices in every scene make for such janky conversation that any emotional investment is doomed to be out of character. The actors are then forced to rely on a crutch of blank faced wooden acting. Preferring to resemble a set of talking mannequins, rather than have their characters happily pronounce how sad they are that their confused and ostracised, yet still loved co-worker had her dog killed last night. This confusing mess of tones and impossible context means that whenever any of the actors take a risk and attempt to express some kind of feeling, it ends up resembling a middle school performance of Hamlet; They know their lines and emote for all they’re worth, but they don’t seem to understand the text well enough to match the two up properly.
This disconnect is felt throughout every part of this movie, but nowhere is it more apparent than it the film messages and tones. Hausner and cowriter Géraldine Bajard were not trying to be subtle when they put this script together. Little Joe is rife with heavy handed allegory and on the nose (technically) subtext. Ambitious in its goals, the film is not content to merely beat its audience over the head with its message of motherhood and obsession, it instead attempts to use a frame of mental illness and social normality as its bludgeoning weapon of choice. The film is intercut with the main characters numerous visits to her therapist, which would allow for a grounding effect on any hot takes the filmmakers may have had, if only they could get out of their own way. Characters make a mockery of suicide and phycological pain, degrading the validity of their social punching bag by way of their mental health. They end their blatant attacks with self serving cries of “I would be the last one to judge her”, they bookend their defence of one another with public ridicule and the rallying cry of “I’m not like you”. All of which could be forgiven if the film contained a single character to be the voice of reason and not behave in the same way. Barring that, if the film was making some statement on morality, doing anything except reward those who tear down those around them. Instead, it is all to serve an attempted subversion, hinting at an unreliable narrator, which was doomed from the start as any ambiguity was lost in the first five minutes when the film firmly established its own reality. A reality that not only seems to normalise domestic violence, but does so with a setting so full of plot holes and fantastical pseudoscience that it seems to shatter upon even the slightest of inspections. It’s not really a spoiler to say that the film relies of a sentient species of genetically modified orchid that uses a base of viral psychology in order to achieve a form of telepathic hive mind, as its main antagonist. That is the premise upon which this entire story is built. All of which is established verbally, by characters either making unreconcilable leaps of logic, or by simply knowing what the plot demands them to, despite them having no earthly business knowing such things. To list the numerous examples of this film tripping over its own logic, I.e Two characters are infected, yet only one is infected until later when they are infected again; would take longer then the film itself.
To the films credit though, Martin Gschlacht did a wonderful job as director of photography. The Austrian born producer clearly brought his A game for this one. Filling every shot of highly saturated bright pastels. From the lighting, to the set designs, to the costumes, even the makeup; Gschlacht’s work is the one part of this film that all works together perfectly. The visual imagery is strong, and the message clear. Fans of Wes Anderson will notice similar styling and (likely unintentional) homages throughout. In particular the use of aqua pastels in contrast to stark reds is prevalent from start to finish and gets better as the film progresses. Likewise, Anthony Platt’s special effects work, while sparse and incredibly limited, was a pleasant surprise every time it appeared. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Teiji Ito’s sound design, filling the movie with distracting drum motifs, jarring and tonally off soundbites, and an overall compelling argument for a resurgence in silent film.
More than any auditory or horticulturally based danger though, the true horror of Little Joe lies in its runtime. At 1 hour and 45 minutes long, the movie is about 3 times what it should be. With a plot that would fit into a poem, or perhaps a concise short story, the lengths Hausner has gone to, to stretch her material are astonishing to behold. To say the plot drags would be understatement not seen since brigadier Thomas Brodie described the massacre of his men as “a bit of a sticky situation”. Watching this movie is a bit like trying to sprint a marathon. Within 5 minutes you realise you have made a mistake, within 30 the thought quitting has arisen and by the hour you’re ready to make a deal with Satan if only it would stop. Unlike running a marathon though, completion of this film does not leave one feeling fulfilled, having conquered a challenge, but rather empty, like you have lost precious moments of your life, never to see them again. Little Joe is to be avoided at all costs and added to the Geneva convention as a form of cruel and unusual punishment.
The film Rosa’s Wedding has received various Spanish film awards: Best Comedy, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress In a Leading Role, and a Special Jury Award. It was also chosen to open the Spanish Film Festival in Melbourne.
It is basically a simple feel good comedy with an unusual twist.
Forty-five year old seamstress Rosa realises her life is like a marathon race, as she good heartedly struggles to balance an overloaded job with the demands of her needy adult family, friends and neighbours. Even her boyfriend is too busy with work to listen intently to her or provide much support.
Rosa finally realises she wants to now start prioritising her own needs. She quits her job and moves from Valencia to a small seaside town, where her mother’s old Taylor’s shop is vacant and still owned by her widowed father.
To symbolise this major change in her life, she decides to marry herself, committing to care for, honour and love herself. Sounds a bit like a dose of hard feminist ideology? No, actually Rosa is a loving, sensible person, not given to philosophising or blame. It’s all very positive and amusing.
She invites her immediate family and boyfriend to the small town to attend her wedding. Crucially, she omits to explain the context and nature of the wedding. A situation ripe for lots of misunderstanding and farce.
I enjoyed all the main actors in this, especially those playing Rosa and her two siblings. But there was a point where I thought the farce of misunderstanding between them went on for too long. That’s down to the director/writer no doubt.
But overall it was a warm, amusing, straightforward film. A good family film, especially if you have high school aged children!
Dating Amber is a delightful comedy drama about two closeted gay teenagers Amber (Lola Petticrew) and Eddie (Fionn O’Shea) who start a “relationship” for the duration of their final school year to counteract the unrelenting bullying by their dim-witted classmates. Suspecting that Eddie is also gay and after some coercive persuasion they go “steady” in order to get their obnoxious classmates off their backs.
Set in Kildare in 1995 - the year of a referendum to amend Divorce bill. In those times, it was very tricky for young gay people to live “under cover” - in denial or repression with the feeling that they were not fitting in.
Amber’s strict, widowed mother operates a caravan park where Amber secretly makes money by renting out vacant caravans for her schoolmates to have sex. With this money Amber plans to escape to London, become a punk, and open “an anarchist bookshop – with franchise potential”.
Eddie, a school cadet, aspires to follow his father into the Army. His hopes are that the Army will “disappear” his gay tendencies. Meanwhile he lives in suppressed denial until Amber, who suspects he is gay, knocks him off his bike demanding a date and a “relationship”. It is seemingly a simple solution, but things become rather untidy - often with hilarious results.
When interviewed, Director David Freyne, a native of Kildare, said that Dating Amber largely autobiographical. He felt a sense of catharsis in making this film where he was able to connect with the anguish and insecurity of his college years.
Dating Amber was released in Australia on 8 July 2021. It is well worth seeing.
We have all been there, before the big screen, experiencing life through the eyes of someone who had been tossed with the tragedies of birth or childhood. And then to take on the steps to overcoming their biggest challenge - themselves.
One could cite similar accolades. Rocky. Remember The Titans. And now - Triumph.
What a remarkable piece of facing the odds, you'd be forced to wonder. We see a high school senior (Mike), enthralled with cerebral palsy and unable to control muscles on several limbs, to enroll into pro wrestling. Several scenes do hit the high notes of emotional strands (especially when Mike's own father is apprehensive of his abilities), and it is obvious then that mere mortals are more than flesh and blood.
Triumph is a giant of sports films, and a must-watch for the year.