19/12/2014 new movies short reviews by Natasha and Alex
LAND OF THE BEARS NEW DVD review (Icon Films) by Alice Slamani
I didn't know what to expect when I watched this documentary. Part of me was expecting a dry documentary which I could multi-task while watching. After the first five minute, I had put down my hand held device, laid back on the couch and it only took me ten minutes to run to the cupboard to grab some snacks. LotB is truly a majestic documentary. It takes you on a journey to parts of the world rarely see with human eyes. The landscape is breathtaking and as you travel through the seasonal life cycle of many bears from hibernation and back again. It was disappointing that this wasn't filmed in High Definition, however that only slightly takes away from the cinematography. I was simply mesmerised by what I saw, a land of contrasts and inhabitance. It really didn't take long before all 4 teens were glued to the tv! You can clearly see the patience and dedication of the crew working on this film working in such a dramatic environment of ice, volcanic lava and mountainous terrain. Overall I highly recommend this documentary to people of all ages. The little ones will fall in love with the cute bears coming out of hibernation and rolling in the snow and adults alike will take joy in experiencing a journey through a land unfamiliar with humans.
STILL ALICE NEW RATE: 9/10 media invite - Icon Films review by Julie Dargan
The story follows the life of Alice Howland (played superbly by Julianne Moore). Alice has just turned 50 (like myself) who is happily married with three grown children. Her world is turned upside down when she receives the devastating news that she has Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease. I absolutely adored this movie from the production to the direction, the acting and the realism of the characters. Alec Badwin plays the husband. I loved the way he was portrayed as the devoted husband yet selfish in wanting to maintain his own career, not giving up even one year of his life to spend time with his wife while she was still cognitive. Another theme in the movie I could not let go by was seeing what a wonderful materialistic life she had with their gorgeous home, holiday house by the sea, 3 healthy children with thriving careers, yet the husband was unable to take time off due to financial woes. Alice’s mind is crumbling, yet practicalities must come first. Yet what are all these things to her now?
Julianne Moore s brilliant in her portrayal of a once renowned linguist professor who is struggling to stay connected to who she once was. I found this movie frightening and heartbreaking . I could not stop pondering over her life on my train trip home. Thank you for such a wonderful insight to a disease that is certainly affecting more and more of us to help us better understand those with the disease and the loved ones trying to cope with it all.
My rating 9/10
THE EQUALIZER NEW screener review by Chandra Madanagopal website
The Equalizer Brought to you by Columbia pictures (Sony), Escape Artists and Village Roadshow has Denzel Washington as McCall as a Home Mart employee who has a mysterious past and skills that he uses to help people around him in need. The man on fire is back with a terrific performance that comes to him with ease. The surprise element of the film comes in the form of Chloe Grace Moretz Carrie who gives an equally brilliant performance as the big fish himself. Look out for the special features section that advertises Home Mart in a very entertaining way it can and also has Chloe and the main crew spreading the awareness about an organization called “The Children of The Night”, that helps people, especially girls from very difficult situations. The movie unfolds in its own pace leading us into lives of various characters (kudos to the director for some wonderful characterization), which explains why the director opted to let the audience to imagine McCall’s mysterious past instead of stretching the movie even further. The action sequences are well edited to keep the viewers glued in just as they are watching the lead actors perform. The Equalizer is a great weekend watch if you are after a good action thriller and love watching Denzel Washington on screen.
NASHVILLE (ROADSHOW ENTERTAINMENT) NEW RATE: 6/10 screener review by Julie Dargan website
Nasville is, understandably, set in Nashville and is a great show for any country and western music lovers. Even if you are not a Country and Western Music lover your will enjoy being exposed to a whole new world as displayed in this series. The music in the show is fantastic and exposed me to some music I would not normally listen to but found myself enjoying. At times I found the plot a little slow but then I realised that it is a country lifestyle, and not your pulse setting show like Scandal. Nashville is something for your to sit back, relax, "chill out honey” as they would say in Tennessee!
Light and entertaining. My score 6/10
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES NEW RATE: 8/10
perfect camera and special effects, very good actors' work. If you expect too much you will be disappointed (the movie is way too much childish this time indeed), but if you expect to see an average movie you will be pleasantly surprised the battle scenes are very well done especially the white council battle with Sauron) . It is better not to have any expectations and just enjoy the movie. From what I remember from the books I believe this is the last part of Hobbit that comes before the Lord Of The Rings. It was the first time my dad and my mum ever watched any of these kind of movies. My mum really liked it and my dad was trying to impersonate orcs army on the way back home. The movie is fun to watch for adults and for the kids. For this kind of movies (battles/heroes etc) it is made perfectly as always (Peter Jackson, thank you!)
Tauriel: [weeps for Kili] If this is love, I don't want it. Take it away, please! Why does it hurt so much? Thranduil: [sadly] Because it was real.
Old Bilbo: No, thank you! We don't want any more visitors, well-wishers, or distant relations! Gandalf: What about old friends? [a pleased Bilbo goes to greet Gandalf]
Galadriel: [banishes Sauron] You have no place here! You are nameless! Go back to the shadow from whence you came!
Dwalin: You sit here, in these vast halls, with a crown upon your head and yet you are lesser now than you have ever been.
TOP GEAR: THE PERFECT ROAD TRIP 1&2 NEW TV SHOW website RATE: 10/10
review by Kent Slaughter According to Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson, The Perfect Road Trip is one… without James May! Include some Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Jaguars to give you five star viewing material. Actually I think James May was busy filming one of his other series, Man Lab, Toy Stories or a wine series. Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond keep up the banter in this mini-series, crossing Europe in fine automobiles. A rating of five stars would be certain from almost any male, but I stand behind that rating as a figure of how much I enjoyed watching it, and that anyone else might. Top Gear has a magical formula of three boys and their toys and their jokes that works so well in any format.
Part one is set in France, on “perfect roads” in “perfect weather” with “perfect cars” in “perfect scenery.” Actually in France, which may seem surprising if you consider the hosts’ attitudes. Enjoy watching and hearing some of the finest cars of the modern era, and some not so modern. As always there is information to keep your head stimulated and raw power to impress any car enthusiast. The clips teach you some things about driving cars that you might not ever drive, unless you are James Bond.
The weather changes and Hammond decides they need to play in the mud, WRC style… After basic modification, some open-top (yes, in the rain) rally stages begin. The first part of the series ends in an unfortunate encounter with none but the French Police, unhappy with their speeding, of all things!
Starting Part two in Italy, Clarkson and Hammond travel from Venice through Tuscany and Rome and down the coast. They drive more dream cars including Mercedes, Porsches, McLarens and Lamborghinis. These cars are pushed to the limits on some of the most beautiful race tracks in the most beautiful parts of Italy.
The Stig makes some unforgettable appearances, including driving an underpowered car with Hammond and Clarkson trying to pass him. Unfortunately this episode ends with the same kind of police encounter as the first, but after a possible language problem, the two men find themselves in worse trouble still.
The Perfect Road Trip is what dreams are made of. The cars and the scenery are impressive which leads me to rate it so highly. The only part worth changing is the ending.
THE REAL HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION NEW TV SHOW (BBC) website RATE: 9/10
review by Julie Dargan
This movie opened my eyes up to the mystery of Time Travel. My 11 year old son is fascinated by the proposition of Time Travel to the point that it absolutely does exist but only a few have the access to do it.
I was not expecting to like this movie, I more wanted to watch it with my son as more a movie for him to watch. Well was I wrong. The two of us were instantly enthralled. The movie opened up so many interesting possibilities that these movies and shows have for us. I was particularly intrigued with the true story behind people who knew Lee Harvey Oswald many years before we all came to know him in the once well watched Quantam Leap.
I always love watching old footage and how we have moved in the times when it comes to visual photography yet many story lines stay the same. From what if we could go back in time or at present time come someone coming back from the future to warn us to aliens coming to earth this box set has it all.
So many of these movies and shows have me wanting to go now watch. I never followed Dr Who but will be certainly following it now.
Short episodes make it great to sit down and watch one segment each week with all the family, or perhaps enjoy on a cold, wet Sunday afternoon. Either way it will certainly entertain the whole family. For us it generated much discussion after each segment.
It’s a date’ season two is a very engrossing series whose ever changing cast reads like a ‘who’s who’ of Australian TV. Rove MacManus, Shaun Micallef, Deborah Mailman and Jimoin are just a few of the big name cast members.
And then there is the cringeworthy subject matter - dating. Anyone who dates has horror stories that they generally keep to themselves or only share with trusted friends. This series lets everyone in on all the hilarity of disasters and successes that evolve as people attempt to find partners. Many truths are uncovered along with a lot of wit and gags.
The series has realistic settings, as though filmed live, combined with a refreshingly contemporary Australian feel.
This is a very pleasant piece of light entertainment.
THE PIANO NEW BLU-RAY DIGITALLY REMASTERED website
review by Kerry Parker
The Piano is a well made movie that depicts the strong affinity and need to play the piano. Only a musician who has the same deep-seated desire understands this need. She did not just crave to have her piano back, but needed to express herself on it~ it was an extension of herself. (I really relate to that!) A truly amazing film that is well written and has incredible scenery. Captivating and inspiring.
Honey I was going to this movie with great expectations hoping to find a real Dicken's classical flavor movie and I found it: sensational actors' performance (I believe that the main cast all deserve cinematography awards for their rich performances), divine nature sceneries captured magically on camera, sublime light and colors reminding us of Turner's master-paintbrush - the movie is a real work of art... The movie also gave us a glimpse of reality of Mr Turner's times: the society especially artists' society and the people who surrounded Turner including his art buyers and his family. The plot precisely described the artist's complicated character, it pictured his strange personality and seemingly un-logical behavior and unpredictable actions.
Poison Mr Turner's nature turned out to be pretty revolting. We say if you are a genius in something it is not mean you will have excuses to be a real bastard in life: leave his first wife with children without any support, have double life under different names and in some situations to behave like a total ass... sorry... That part was a bit too much for both of us... There was also one more note: the movie is a bit slow with lots of unneeded scenes: I noticed lots of the people who sat next to me fell asleep during the screening which was a real shame for such movie but it actually told me something... The movie was lacking ideas, ideas, ideas...
An overall impression: a life of a genius played by anther genius!
Film Crash, directed and written by Paul Haggis in 2004, won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Original Screen Play and Best Film Editing. Additionally, the cast won the Screen Actor's Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a cast in a Motion Picture. The plot was inspired by a real life incident in which Paul's car was hijacked outside of the video store on Wilshire Boulevard in 1991. Basically the movie is about a racial and social tension in Los Angeles. it also shows a different facets of human nature, such as a racist policeman, skillfully played by Matt Dillon, at the same time is a very devoted and caring son of the terminally ill father and in extreme circumstances he is risking his life to save the woman from the racked car, which he previously humiliated, indecently molested, pretending to perform body search. Sandra Bullock plays the role of a district attorney wife, an arrogant and pampered woman, who openly demonstrating her anger and distrust towards blacks and other color immigrants. only, when she falls down the stairs, injuring herself and the person, who came to her salvation was their housekeeper( South American migrant), treated unfairly badly, Jean realizes how wrong she was. This accident made her kinder, better person. There are a few other lines and characters in the movie, but without going into detailed description of all of them I'd like to say, that film won't leave anybody indifferent, it touches deeply and make you think about complexity of human nature and relationship. My rating will be 8/10
" I can see the words hanging in front of me and I can't reach them."
Hard hitting, heart breaking and honest.
The power of 'Still Alice' is haunting. Tender by design, poignant in spirit and reachable.
As we travel through what appears to be minutes in this amazing story line, months and perhaps years seem to pass in this dramatic depiction of Alice, suffering from Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Her busy and substantial life crumbles around her taking only her ideas of self worth and lifetime academic achievements.
Julianne Moore's portrayal of Alice is so honest and clean, it is hard to walk away believing she is anyone other than Alice. Alec Baldwin's character, Dr John Howland (Alice's husband) is a little light in substance. Further development into his journey through the demise of Alice, may have been key in appealing to a wider audience. You do see him break, see him suffer and his love and patience is evident. But personally, I know more substance, turmoil and chaos of emotions go with his depicted role as spouse. Although his performance was creditable, I found empathising with his character not as easy as it should be.
Under no circumstances will I vouch for the acting talents of Kristen Stewart, however she was perfectly cast for the role of Alice's youngest daughter, Lydia. Moody, irresponsible, arty and an unemployed hard done by actress. Kristen Scott's character takes on the role of carer for Alice in the final stages. Kate Bosworth was hard to recognise and almost seemed superfluous.
I write this as someone who has recently lost a parent to Alzheimer's. It touched home for me. It touched home for my husband. It helped bring comfort and validation, as a witness. This movie is for everyone struggling to understand, seek support or with their lives affected by Alzheimer's, In one part, Julianne Moore, as Alice, wishes she had cancer, a visible illness. "People wear ribbons for cancer". I truly believe this film might help to unravel some of the confusion, guilt and perhaps stigma associated with EOA. In the end Alice was just that, Still Alice.
I have been given the dubious challenge of writing a review for the movie BURIED. This movie is set entirely in a wooden coffin. If you expect to see the light of day you are in for a big disappointment. The entire movie is set in the box. For a full 90 minutes I could barely breath myself the setting was so realistic I felt I was in the coffin also.
You have to see the movie to the full duration. I am still trying to catch my breath as I relay the final minutes of the movie in my head now. Fantastic acting from Ryan Reynolds, who is the only actor in the movie. The inaptness and sarcasm of the American emergency departments he tried to call I wonder is a true reflection of what really happens if we called with amazing stories.
The cinema photography was superb, especially the snake scene and resulting liquor chasing the fire.
I am still taking deep breaths and feeling thankful for being alive after watching this movie so I suppose it was a success in having me immersed in the movie. Make sure you watch it with friends to be able to discuss the movie when you are finished. The ending is stunningly surreal.
My score was 6/10 (sorry just too claustrophobic for me, perhaps some outside scenes to ease the pain!)
this movie is amazing - and what a great Christmas present from Russell Crowe to all Australians to watch on this coming Boxing Day! I knew it would be a master piece of a movie but it exceeded all my expectations: Russell's performance is absolutely spectacular! I believe he is one of the best actors of this century... His voice is so very powerful although soft and convincing... There were few remarks about the war that really hit the audience but the movie is not about the war: not is more about the people who were part of this war on all sides, about their families, about love and care, and care and love... The movie was made as a tribute to all the families that suffered because of the WWI , about the missing and nameless people... The movie is also a first attempt of Russell as a director and the work is done perfectly! The movie contains some absolutely stunning elements of human psychic powers and super natural abilities that makes it so attractive from that side too: Connor's (Russell) dreams and his ability to find the "hidden" are incredible! There is one line from an old letter found that inspired the whole film: "One old chap managed to get here from Australia, looking for his son's grave"... yes, people, they change history.
I must admit, I was a tad excited when asked to review the new Wiggles DVD, Emma’’s Bowtiful Day. As a mother of teens, the Wiggles were an enormous part of our family life. It was the first ‘kids music’ that was listenable by parents. Perhaps it was my year 9 crush on the Cockroaches, perhaps it was the upbeat tunes, but really it was the brightness, like-ability and the sing’a’longs that captured my family. There have been quite a few Wiggle changes over the years, we have all read the drama. Deep down I was hoping that the charisma and unity of the group continued and engaged the kids in the tunes. I was wrong. I challenged my test audience, using myself, my teens and an assortment of little people previously enchanted by the Wiggles. All had the same response. Just bleh. The younger kids walked out and were not captured by the enormous screen, the older kids ignored it and the teens had a laugh at how pitiful it all really was. Although quite a few of the oldies are performed on the DVD, this Wiggles edition is lacking substance. The videography is disappointing, the scenery dreary and Emma looks like she is really needing a latte. It really does come across as a home video with a very low production budget. Perhaps the younger kids won’t notice? But they did. Using three words to describe Emma’s Bowtiful Day? Wiggly Wiggly Retirement Pic 1. Ella (2) taking some time to enjoy her Wiggles Experience Pic 2. Ella (2) deciding she’d rather be outside to play
SHAUN THE SHEEP: SHEET THRILL NEW website review by Alice Slamani
If you are new to kids cartoons and are trying to avoid Peppa Pig, Big Ted's Adventures or even Play School, try Shaun Sheep! From the creators of Wallace and Gromitt, Shaun the Sheep brings all the silly naughty humour to claymation. I found myself mesmerised by the screen trying to understand the elaborate details and technical skills needed to not only create a joyful piece of television but to enchant the audience also. With witty sounds as conversation, very little is needed to convey the simple fun in this DVD and television series. It was simple and easy to enjoy, zero stress factor. Even with it's shenanigans, there is not a hint of aggression popping off the screen and into the room with the kids. It's exactly what a mum needs to get a good rest on the couch while the little'uns watch.
Mel Gibson stares in this movie which had me feeling rather let down. Either his acting is not up to scratch or I never really saw him for the mediocre actor that he appeared in this movie. There was some great acting in parts from other actors but not enough to rave over.
The plot was rather poor and one incident of when the girl gets killed while stepping out of a car was so far fetched I stopped trying to give the movie some justice. A lot of shooting and killing all for vengeance but for a complete waste of time I felt. I like a good murder thriller, but this movie had too many holes and poor acting for my liking.
The movie was rather long winded and by the end I wanted them all to be shot dead to get rid of their smug faces, so I suppose the movie worked its charm a little for me.
One to watch if you are home on a Sunday afternoon looking for something to pass the time.
Directed by Steven Quale, of Final Destination 5 fame comes new movie “ Into The Storm“, a thriller that aims to capitalize on our fears of such unforgiveable forces of mother nature particularly Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Written by John Swetnam (who remarkably also wrote another Friday release, Step Up All) the movie is about a single day, in the town of Silverton. The entire town is at the mercy of the unpredictable and deadly cyclones. Following footage from storm trackers with so-called “found-footage” cinema buffs have come to expect after The Blair Witch Project - Into the storm starts with a mighty tornardo and follows the lives of documentary maker Pete Moore (Matt Walsh), who's bent on capturing spectacular storm footage even if it means risking the lives of his crew. Needless to say, this is not a film where characters matter yet among the storm chaser crew of "heroes" are the teen brothers who add the comic-relief to the film starring Kyle Davis and Jon Reep, in the repective roles. Their characters certainly make the movie more bare able. Of course like any storm movie add the cliché female meteorologist (Sarah Wayne Callies) who bores us with a speech on how a rise in extreme weather events can be blamed on global warming blah blah blah.
I cannot help by draw similarities to the original TWISTER movie (by Jan de Bont) and my opinion is this movie was so poorly made (lower budget less stars) than its predecessor, it left me feel far more aggravated than entertained however, to the film's credit, some of the disaster sequences are genuinely frightening with a palpable violence. These scenes are brief and not enough to compensate for everything else wrong with the movie but certainly worthy of a mention. Personally the visual effects aren't textured enough so the storms look better suited for made-for-TV spectacle than that on the big screen. Likewise, the performances of the cast seem better suited to an episode of Neighbours or Home and Away.
I really wanted to enjoy this movie, but I did find myself looking at my watch more often than I should if captivated by a film, certainly a disappointment after having seen the trailer. 3/10
WHEN THE QUEEN CAME TO TOWN NEW website RATE: 5/10
this movie could be a perfect documentary if it was only done right .It could also be amazing as it is if not for this "childish feeling" in some movie episodes which was IMHO a bit inappropriate... It sounded more like a movie for the older women who did not grow up from their childhood dreams of being princesses. The film would be perfect to watch for anyone interested in Queen's life tip to the Commonwealth countries. It sounded like an event of the century but was diminished by some childish remarks.... The movie showed to us that the rile of the Queen of England is like anyone's job: it has its responsibilities and duties and it has its rewards too. I liked to see Her Majesty so elegant though so natural with her smile and so down to earth. Queen's tour to Australia was a significant event for everyone. I like to see people at that era: so innocent and so simple... Although I still believe the way the movie is done it would attract only people who experienced live Queen's visit to down under as well as their children and grandchildren. The others will hardly find the movie valuable. But only if it was done better. My preference would be for example to see Queen's day to day life: what she gas for breakfast and how her afternoon tea is shaped and served, what are her worries during the day and whom does she visits... Past is interesting but the present is more fascinating indeed.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT NEW RATE: 8/10 review by Victoria Serdyuk website
The Butterfly Effect is a mind blowing movie that will leave you on the edge of your seat. This is an amazing movie that really shows you how everything you do really does change your whole life. It's dramatic, with characters that you will feel for and connect with. But it is one of those that is hard to understand in the first fifteen minutes though. I was kind of lost. Thinking to myself, "why are we seeing this first?" Then it all started to make sense to me as the movie played out. The screenplay was great. Actors do a great job too. I recommend watching this movie without any distractions - it's very detailed and if you miss something then you are lost!
Snowpiecer was both a wondrous movie that I thoroughly enjoyed despite its many misgivings. Snowpiercer is based on a 1982 graphic novel, Le Transperceneige.
Throughout the movie I switched from themes such as a Modern Noah’s Ark (but on wheels), to Wizard of Oz (was there really a big mastermind behind the illusion), with a touch of Hunger Games weirdness to Mad Max blood thirsty scenes. Putting all that aside, there were many twists in the story line which had me engrossed but many questions also.
The story line is about the lower class over taking the upper class. Just what the lower class actually did confused me. They certainly never seemed to work so why they were even on the train eludes me. I found it best not to ask too many questions, but simply sit back and watch and enjoy. And that I did.
Years ago I enjoyed The Secret Life of Us enormously, so I was very pleased to find a series that has a similar feel, while still being all new. Wonderland features four couples living in Sydney and is a humorous and fast paced feast of the joys and problems of being 30 something couples.
The program showcases a diversity of characters and situations but with a poignant touch that makes it easier to relate to what you are seeing. Australian egalitarianism is reflected in the social interactions between a range of educations, professions and trades.
Graced Barnes is played by Brooke Satchwell, and I particularly enjoyed this character as she struggles with problems typical of this era. The dilemma of not knowing what you want when there is choice, and yet thinking you know what you want after you lose your choices. The fears that paralyse us in our western striving to ‘have it all’ are well depicted.
For lovers of Australian TV and comedy drama this show is well worth looking at. I recommend catching up with season 1 before indulging in season 2.
Thank you for exposing me to movies I would not choose to see, but just goes to show how wrong we can be.
I absolutely loved this movie. I admit I did not think I would enjoy it at all. Being 49 years of age I did not think I would find anything about it enjoyable. I watched it with my 13 year old son thinking I would be doing other things while the movie was playing but was most pleasantly surprised of how entertaining it was. The two of us were laughing most to the movie, he enjoying the crude innuendos more than me I admit but there was plenty in the movie to entertain me.
I loved that the movie was made by English so had the English humour in it as well as an English perspective of Australia and what we have to offer. It was a welcome change from the usual ways Australia maximises its Australiana jokes and how we think the outside world views us.
Delivery of comedy is what makes this such a great movie. Being a traveller in my youth brought back many memories and has me wanting to get back on the road again!
A movie to watch when you want to be entertained, and not having to be deep and meaningful. A great way to spend an evening with my teenage son.
Score 9/10 for giving me an evening of good laughs
Nathan Phillips stares in this, what turned out to be, a very thought provoking movie. In the beginning I was confused but that was for a short time only. Nathan plays a character named James who, in the final 10 years of his life, does a major turn around in how he perceives life, what matters and what was fruitless. The movie had me thinking what would I do if faced with a similar dilemma, that being that I only had 10 more hours to live.
James was able to face all his demons and knew exactly where he wanted to me in the final minute. I was cheering quietly for him in the end as he became a most likeable character. It had me wondering, if the cataclysmic event has not occurred would he have ever changed his ways. Most people in the movie ran away from facing their demons, fearing death but made me wonder at to what type of life were they actually leading anyway?
A movie that needs your full attention and one that will reward you if you do.
Starring Guy Pierce who is sensational in this movie. His character reminded me of a dumb Rambo style. Just when you thought he would save the day and do some slick manoeuvres he does some down right stupid things. But this is what makes the movie so good. It is reality as life would be. Guy plays Rey who has nothing to lose when he chases 3 men who steal his car. He teams up with Robert Pattinson (who plays a brilliant role also) who is a brother of one of the three men that was left for dead in a botched robbery.
The movie is set 10 years after a world event (which we are not told about) leaving life in a lawless state. At one point I thought the movie would be just another Mad Max movie but this movie has some very dark and apocalyptic themes with a dash of cathartic moments.
At one point I was thinking why is the movie moving so slowly, but I realised that this is exactly how the movie should be moving. In this post apocalyptic era, time has no meaning as there seemed to be little to live for. We find out that Rey gave up on life 10 years prior when he committed a murder that he was never charged with. That seemed to be the time he gave up on society and living.
But something has him chasing that car. Be sure to watch the movie to the end to find out just what the car was worth all the killing for. Would we do the same thing? Who know show any of us would be living in a world so remote from the life most of us are fortunate to live.
Loved that most of the scenes were in the middle of ugly, unforgiving Australian desert. This made me wonder was it meant to be post a nuclear destruction or just not set in the usual Red Centre, or luscious landscapes we are used to seeing in Aussies. This would have detracted from the macabre storyline and allowed me to immerse myself into believing the reality of the movie.
Loved the sound track in this movie. My score 7/10
Bess Denyar, an upper middle class doctor, having discovered she is adopted and comes from a family of drag racers in the outer suburbs, continues to deal with the adoption bombshell and its consequences. Caught in the middle of two tribes, it's Bess who must keep juggling the fallout - on her adoptive and overbearing mother, Margaret, her loving but slightly spoiled husband, Danny, her twins, Oscar and Edwina, not to mention the Wheelers, her newly found - and delightfully Bogan - family.
The DVD pack comes with two DVDs with the usual features such as director’s commentary, behind the scenes, and all. But what makes this pack special is the series itself. Upper Middle Bogan Season 2 is one of the best comedy series I have ever watched over the years. This could well compete with any of the international comedy series on the list. I wonder why any of the commercial TVs haven’t noticed the potential of the series, perhaps the raising popularity of the “so called realty shows” have overshadowed the real essence of a very good Australian flavored comedy sitcom.
Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope had done a terrific job by creating/writing this fantastic television series. They have done a huge favor to the Australian community by showing us the authentic Australian wit and humor, which can be said “Proudly Australian”. Each episode starts out very interestingly and the proceedings of how the drama unfolds have been cleverly knitted well enough that, it keeps the audience glued to the characters involved.
I would not be surprised even if one sits to watch the whole series at one go without a break. It could be well worth for a weekend watch or even watched over and over again for that matter. I wish the creators could come up with more series like this, on a commercial platform.
TOKYO REFUGEES - JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL 2014 website RATE: 8.5/10
It is so pleasant to see nice and glamorous people who succeed in every step they make in life making the Hollywood happy ending so natural and so impossible not to take place... It takes lots of guts to show the poor, the lowest of the lowest in our society: homeless, unemployed, people who live only today (they do not have any past nor they have tomorrow, forget about the future) , they live by this and only this day that is passing by: having something to eat in order not to die and finding a shelter above their heads are the only two things they seek today. Osamu, one of the young ex- and expelled students follows the Tokyo's dirtiest places like a ghost in town lighted by the night neon advertising: at one stage of his life he finds himself with no name and no past... and there is the very bottom - there is no way to fall even lower... his good heart and his good nature - are the only things that make these days warm... but only till he finds something that reflects on his life so strongly he has to change his road, remember and forgive something unforgivable... Done so naturally and so truthfully there is not even one bit you would change in this movie... The part with the comment of one of the actors is very important and it sounds very powerful: the poor are there in the society to serve their purpose - they are needed by those who run this world... how? - please watch this movie for your self to search and to find an answer...
As usual the director Kiyoshi Sasabe is on the top of everything: the camera, the actors, the plot and the music - it all makes this movie a real and unforgettable journey of ours and Kiyoshi's another masterpiece...
THREE SISTERS (六月燈の三姉妹) - JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL 2014 Rokugatsudô no sanshimai website RATE: 10/10 For those of you who appreciate a good quality cinematography this is a movie not to be missed. What added to our impression from this gem of Japanese cinematography was not only the movie itself but the Q&A session with the special guests: director Kiyoshi Sasabe and actor Seishiro Nishida. Not only the director managed to find a fine and graceful balance between the drama and the comedy and beautifully combine both without exaggeration the crew also managed to film such amazing movie in 14 days only! The camera work is very strong, the music highlights the feelings and the actors so well performed that you could not find any fake moment - all smoothly come to a logical end - yummy cakes eating! (just joking!,,) Three sisters and their parents (or "half" parents) all have complicated relationship: one is dating a married man, the other is long time divorced and is not looking for a man due to a painful separation, the other couple is living French life style and the last is in the middle of a divorce... There are many moments to reflect, these moments can be funny, strange or dramatic but they are all inside of us as we can all go back in memories ... The movie also shows a small town life and local businesses run by families who struggle for survival in southern Kyushu’s Kagoshima. But no mater how life can be tough there are sweet sensational minutes in it: with a new ice-cream on offer and a town festival... There is also your family that is always there for you... The movie is warm and so well done I caught myself saying: "this is incredible how they have done it so well, so strong and in such a light way..!" To add to that we have noticed how modest the Japanese guests were: both Kiyoshi Sasabe and Seishiro Nishida, relaxed but not to the point of letting you down, funny but in a very smart and intelligent way and very modest as only the real talents can be... Very grateful and thank you so much for showing us the real Japanese culture... One last note: this movie does not have any fighting scenes apart from the one when father;s black karate belt is mentioned when he "greets" his son-in-law by the welcoming "hand-shake"...
SAMURAI OF THE DEAD - JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL 2014 website RATE: 2/10
NM and Alex review: You watch some movies and you suddenly realise that it was so good that everything you rated before at a highest mark would automatically become one level down... but some movies have an opposite effect - you watch them and you understand that all the movies you considered too bad in the past suddenly look not that poor... We really appreciated the efforts but the best part of this movie was an excellent comedian actor Yuki Himura... but I guess that some the directors just did not get out of their childhood... We were close to get upset about Japanese cinematography in general ... till we saw Three Sisters - a real master piece movie... Elmira Navid's review: I went into this movie with an open mind not knowing what to expect as I have never seen a movie like this before. After five minutes of watching I realised that this is far from what I expected. The whole concept of zombie Samurai's just doesn't work. It also did not have a story which you would realize a conclusion. It was painful to watch and I must say I was happy when it ended. It was probably the worst made film I have ever seen and I've seen some shockers. I usually love zombie films and TV shows but definitely not this one. A few funny moments but not enough to save this movie. Maybe if I was ten years old I would appreciate it.
Maybe it was not a good choice of the movie. The other movies that you're publishing the reviews sound to be a movie with stories behind them which they try to pass a point the viewer.. but honestly about this movie I could not even consider it as a movie.. 70 mins. . Was a waste of time. This was absolutely the biggest mistake to be the first movie in the festival... It was a big disappointment because I never expected this from Japanese.
I'd say there were Japanese people who were laughing lots. It is a bit of cultural differences too. Us as people who we live here and we have been watching quality movies made in the US , etc would loose at this as crap. But it was shown in Japan it might have been a different story... Comic has a different meanings in each land
Something remarkable is happening in the Australian film and television production scene. I can feel it, not just working amongst it, but writing about it. Even just watching it. Having just had the pleasure of reporting on the DVD release of Wentworth, a heavyhitting drama, I now get the exciting opportunity to talk to actress Annie Maynard about the new ABC comedy, Upper Middle Bogan, and one thing remains consistent; the sheer quality of the performers. Maynard, as well as much of the rest of her cast mates, are not the old names we've seen popping up again and again, but represent a new, fresh breed of Australian talent. Someone upstairs has opened the doors, and those who are stepping through them are truly unique and offer performances which will lift the Australian industry to new heights.
Upper Middle Bogan has just run it's second season on the ABC, a network long known by those who would seek out quality Australian work to be the hub of it. Created by Robin Butler and Wayne Hope, and costarring Patrick Brammall, Robyn Malcolm and Robyn Nevin, it tells a simple clash of culture and Post Code story, but with a cast like this and given the ABC's finesse with bringing spirit to the life of their shows, it proves to be one well worth turning in for.
Upper Middle Bogan I only had to chat briefly to Annie to feel secured, yet again, in my belief that things are changing for the better here in our little but complex industry; her earthy energy, instant connectedness and sweet temperament in what must be a taxing publicity schedule assure me that the future of the great and broad work is in good hands. I've seen it for myself, again and again, there are traits which one can spot amongst talented and skillful actors, and as mentioned, Annie Maynard, without selfannouncement or presence, displays them all, effortlessly and sincerely.
Hi Annie, how are you feeling?
– Pretty good, I just ate some almond chocolate, so I'm feeling great. How are you?
I'm good, thank you. So, Upper Middle Bogan is the name of your new show, can you tell us about it?
– Yeah, sure, basically, the premise is that my character, Bess Denyar, has lived in quite a privileged, conservative family, and she finds out, in her late thirties, that she is actually adopted, and so she goes to meet this other family, her biological family who are quite different, different circumstances, and laughter ensues.
Yes, that's right, Robin Nevin plays my mother, and she's very prim and proper, staunch, conservative, whereas on the other side, my biological family, bring a very different energy, so Beth is just in the middle, trying to bring balance and find a way to merge the two, so they can all get along.
From a working perspective, the ABC Network has to be one of the most coveted working grounds for pretty much any actor, could you tell us about your journey to getting there?
– ABC, over the years, has done some really ground breaking, top quality Australian drama and comedy. For me it was pretty standard, I had two auditions. Robin and Wayne had written the part of Bess and cast Patty (Patrick Brammall plays Danny Bright), so they were really looking for good on screen chemistry and I'd worked with them before, we'd become friends, so they decided to try me. Patty, he really hits the mark every time, he's right on it. I get to have a lot of fun, working with him.
Great, do we have a season three to look forward to?
– ABC will be announcing that next year, so we're hoping at the moment. Us too, great, thank you, Annie, for your time, very much appreciated. Thank you, bye!
I want to talk about hiccups before I start praising this film... there are a couple of weak points in this movie: the decision of Rebecca and her daughter going to Africa is taken too quick and it sounds a bit fake suddenly her daughter who was always against such trips that were dangerous for Rebecca's life, stressful for her family and friends, suddenly her daughter and her husband are all supporting Rebecca and pushing her to go (this is Africa people - it is dangerous everywhere!)... this part of the movie sounds a bit made up and out of the main plot mood... add to this that the trip is actually a culmination of the whole movie - and its turning point of the movie... You can not afford to spoil it! May be we, Russians are too tough but we noticed that some simple life situations are made as real tragedies that Rebecca relives again and again... May be it was also a bit slow (but this is not the major) but something was missing in this movie too - in Rebecca's emotional tragedy...
Now praising... Some of this movie thoughts reflect on the yesterday's trilogy about the life of samurais (the movies are out of comparison of course but we were surprised by a coincidence) - about how your life is important. Is your life more or less important than others? Does it worth risking it for the sake of your ego or anything else on this matter? Do you really do it for your close ones and for your family and for the other people on the planet? Your life is as important as the lives of others. If you die your family will still continue living but the impact on their lives with your death might be unbearable and absolutely unpredictable. With your death and with the stress you put your family in uncertainty of the situation the lives of your close ones can get changed too in the most dramatic way. Please remember: they need you alive the same way you wish happiness for their lives... It might not worth to risk your life only because of your close ones no matter what the reason of risking is...
The politics related thoughts are also very strong in this movie. The corporations make an agreement with African kings bribing them in order to use the African land's natural resources. None of the money made from this natural resources disuse go back to the country to support its infrastructure and to support education and medicine. more to that the same corporations supply the nation with weapons supporting both sides of civil wars and sometimes creating these wars as it is beneficial that these regions are considered unstable so no one wants to go there... The money made on this unfair trade go to the corporations' pockets and to the pockets of the government that supports its peoples' hidden or open slavery.
As to Afghanistan and Kabul there is no words to describe what is going on there. Rebecca's personal experience is heartbreaking as she suddenly and unwillingly becomes a reason of a suicide bombing at the market, the explosion that takes lives of innocent kids and people.... and there is more to say... but you would need to see the movie to decide for yourself: why she is there and if she will ever going to understand what is more important for her...
Adding to this: actors' amazing work... but overall the movie is far less from 10 stars... We gave it 8 only because of Juliette's work... She is always a winner in any movie she takes on.
This movie is a blockbuster and I am talking only about the audience reaction which was very natural and quite responsive. If you like movies about samurais with lots of fightings, rivers of blood, very bad people, good people and those who doubt you found your very best movie. The movie is epic and it is very Japanese - it is something young audience will die for. The movie has lots of good philosophy in dialogues and monologues: to kill or not to kill to bring peace - the ever question the heroes face in the battle. There is also one more thought that touched us: we fight for someone else's lives when we go to war or we can even risk our lives to save the others. There is one thing to remember that your own life is also important one, no less no more important but just as important as others. I must add from myself and Alex that if these movies (trilogy) had a bit more of such deep thoughts and a slightly better actors' performances (sometimes they overdo the acting or that might be just a feature of Eastern type of cinematography) the movie would be classical. It was also very pleasant to see full house for all screenings and to meet very charming Keishi Otomo, the trilogy director. I am looking forward reviewing the other festival movies.
tickets sold out for this special guest event screening Rurouni Kenshin trilogy. I just uploaded some photos from Q/A movie director Keishi Otomo and the cinema filling up again very fast before the third movie End Of The Legend started...
THE IMITATION GAME - BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL 2014 RATE: 10/10 website
British Film Festival this year had so many excellent movies to choose from... The Imitation Game was one of the movies we wanted to see and were not disappointed - not a minute of it... The interest was raised first of all because of the subject: de-coding, coding secret messages, mathematics and secondly because of the brilliant actors involved in it, All good movies have lots of layers inside the main story: they are the ones that encourage you to think and to enjoy the real art such movies have lots of under-lines and between the lines text, something that is not pronounced and not even felt at the first time you watch it but you suddenly have an urge to watch such movies many times to capture those moments when nothing was said and nothing was done: and they are the strongest that turn an ordinary movie into multi-layered one piece of art. Such movies are like best visual art master pieces - you come back to the museum because you get mesmerised by the energy the genius of director and all the actors brought into its creation. I know that lots of the movies from BFF were already bought and they will be screening so we will enjoy them later this month or this year but I really want this particular movie to be screened nationally in cinemas. Apart from the brilliant performance of major actors (our favourute of all times: Benedict Cumberbatch (OSCAR - yes!!! and so magnificently performed I could see my friends-mathematicians in his character's manners as if I was back in Moscow at the Maths Department at Uni), beautiful Keira Knightley (one more Oscar please!) and iron-cold-eyes - Matthew Goode also so strongly played) there are a couple of things to mention
The movie is about an extraordinary human being cryptographer and mathematician Alan Turing who was (killed? drugged? chemically castrated?) later in his life by the government officials for his sexual preferences - the story of real disgrace and shame of the person who was able to save 14 million lives during the WWII by cracking the Nazi's famous Emigma code. Alan Turing role was so brilliantly performed by Benedict we literally were believing he was the reincarnated Alan (do they really have the same blood line???).
Yes, many of us were bullied when we were kids... The movie will relate to those of you who were and despite that we grew strong, original, with great imagination and with ideas no one have...
Alan Turing and him alone was the one who shaped our modern world with computers as he was the originator of the first one in history of mankind. The genius of this man does not have any boundaries. The life of a genius is usually not easy, as they stand out from the common society: they are not loved for their arrogance or for their own mind set, for their isolation and for thinking differently; the life of a genius is hard. People do not love them but people use their inventions. Apart from Alan there are so many unknown heroes that never heard and probably will never hear about... They are the ones whose personal files and personal history gets destroyed by the powerful people of this world.
This is the movie about WWII, but there are no physical fights: there are no guns, no war plains, no military ships, no there bombs, nations, people killed etc... There is no blood so to speak. The movie is all about mind games and fighting minds. Such unusual fights are no less interesting to watch, on the contrary - they are breathtaking fights.
The movie has everything ad even more the most spoiled cinema-lover would search for including music, costume designs, camera ad director's work,..
QUOTES: Alan Turing Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.
IRON IVAN - RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2014 RATE: 10/10 website
this fantastic movie is not only about the strongest man on Earth but also about his strong spirit of this man. I was especially interested in watching this movie as Ivan Poddubnyy was and still is my dad's role model in life. In Russian families the child is raised by developing his strong spirit (as a rule - with the help of his/her father) and by enriching his/her soul (usually assisted and guided by his/her mother) The movie is created is a very unique way: the episodes of Ivan's life are shown in not chronological way highlighting more his character development drawing the audience attention to the facts and their history: from a child, Ivan who ran in tears to his dad sobbing and complaining about the neighbour boys who were trying to offend and fight him.. finishing with a mautre man with strong knowledge when Ivan travels back to the Russian shores from America. The movie shows Ivan's famous fights in States, France and Russia. We do not care how close to the truth the movie story was. Famous heroes usually have legends growing around them like trees in the forest on a sunny day... It does not matter if the Ivan's biography was changed a bit , it was more important that the movie was perfectly done and it triggered lots of emotions inside all of us watching it - the theater burst into applause after the movie was over...
great film very well done together with the brilliant actors' and director's work!
THE SIXTIES (TV SERIES ON DVD) RATE: 10/10 website
review by Julie Dargan I have been given the most wonderful opportunity to review The Sixties DVD Set.
This is a remarkable look at history in a very engaging production. Real (and rare) footage is used from the 60’s and given in a storyline that goes deeper than similar attempts to let us see how the 60’s shaped not only America but the rest of the world.
Watching this mini series made me realise just how important the media is during disasters etc. To be able to see the footage as the events truly happened allows for history to not be forgotten and to be remembered as it REALLY was. If we are always allowed to see unedited footage the truth should always prevail and that is what I truly enjoyed about this DVD set that I was sitting back in time and seeing the 60’s as if I was truly in the moment.
My children enjoyed watching the series with me also as it opened up their eyes to topics such as The Vietnam War, The World on the Brink of Nuclear War, Assassination of President Kennedy and Dr Martin Luther King JR’s Road to Freedom.
Fantastic footage all the way and little snippets that I enjoyed included when the Beatles first arrived in America they had to introduce their names to the press as the press and started a new way of dialogue of Pop Bands with the press, as well as the introduction to America of other English bands of very early footage of The Stones, The Beach Boys and Bob Dylan and how they shaped American music into a new direction.
Of course the 60’s collection would not be complete without the Fall of Nixon, The Space Race, Sex drugs and Rock ’n Roll, as well as the introduction of colour TV! And lastly there is the debate on Equal Opportunity where I felt many of the attitudes towards women and minorities does not seem to have changed much from the 60’s.
It was the “little bits of history” that I enjoyed watching with astonishment. One being the never ending smoking that went on while on camera, the simplicity of being on camera was refreshing in many ways, obvious cut footage was shown to allow us behind the scenes even further and how much more relaxed the interviews were in the 60’s and not staged and contrived as they are today.
I will be buying the Box Set as a Christmas gift to my teenage nephew as it is something all youth of today should be watching and the directors have made sure that that narration is easy to watch, informative and very engaging.
this movie is about chess game. this movie IS a chess game. you can only win by a crazy move. you can only win when you play free of any models, if you are not scared to do something your opponent is not expecting of you...
it is a movie about labels and labeling people. it reminded us the movie "Hunt" when people got changed their opinion about the person because someone tells you something is wrong about this or that person, how we tend to change our understanding of the world around us just following someone's gossip and without having our own opinion...
it is the movie about courage, power and leading people. it is a chess game, it is complicated but when you win you become a kind of the chess board, the kind of your own world.
THE EDITOR - MONSTER FEST MELBOURNE 2014 RATE: N/A website
review by Jess Dey /Mud Vonkip Monster Fest last Friday Opening Night. Review by Mud Vonkip / Skullwindows Photography (very grateful Jess!) "The Opening Night of Monster Fest at Cinema Nova was a ghoulish delight. 'The Editor' film ( by Matthew Kennedy and Adam Brooks) was a hit. Fans of the Canadian directors Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy previous movies, 'Fathers Day' and 'Manborg', were far from disappointed with their newest film. A playful mix of guts and gore peppered with absurdest comedy, 'The Editor' tells a tale of a film editor with wooden fingers who gets caught up in a string of gruesome murders.
The after party at Yah Yah's was packed with horror fans and patrons of the film festival, who had the chance to buy merchandise and mingle with the directors of 'The Editor' movie. A highlight of the evening was the titillating burlesque performance by Lola Ramone in a skeletal ensemble, dancing with bones glowing in the black-light. All in all a great event - can't wait for next year!"
Hello there dear friends. Can I say that? I feel like we know each other now. Or maybe you just know I shouldn't be allowed near drama movies. I dunno, does that count? It should count. Either way I had the pleasure of watching Starry Eyes a short while ago and apparently I have to tell you about it. Why? I don't know. You could probably get more information from our future overlords Skynet. Sorry, Google, I meant Google. I don't know how I forgot that. Starry Eyes is more of a psychological horror film. Which is to say. It's about someone going crazy so you don't have to.* As opposed to the other kind of psychological horror film, which is about driving you crazy as much as possible. Preferably involving screams. From you. Thankfully this film is the former and not the latter as psych horror is a little overdone and more than a little predictable.
This is an indie film. I think. It involved Kickstarter, which means it go funded by random people on the internet, or at least partially so. I'm sure it's completely coincidental that the film also stars actors playing as actors trying to become actors. Actorception!
Yeah... it's more of a horror film for actors I think. Since it's all about the BIG BAD's. Which is to say powerful people abusing scrawny little weaklings. Or in this case, weakling. There's some demons involved I think, and it mostly doesn't make sense for a while, but don't worry, they totally set it up for a sequel and should totally do one because the ending premise was way better than the beginning one.
You're probably more likely to connect with this film if you're in the film industry. If you're not, a lot of it might seem a little foreign or just awkward. If you are in the film industry, you'll either enjoy it or hate it. Depending on how much you know about screenwriting, because knowing how film storylines work basically ruins film forever. Someone needs to do something about Chekhov's Gun. Seriously. That thing just blows holes in everything. It's about time someone took it away from him. (Those who didn't get that terrible joke, look up Chekhov's Gun. So I don't have to explain it.)
In short. There's blood, there's boobs, there's bad guy's chanting things, and there's film students getting stabbed... Oops. Spoilers. My bad. Told you I'm terrible at this!
This film's kinda cute for a horror film, but will probably be fun for people who like film festivals.
Later's chaps, chappers and chappettes!
*Please be aware that one of the things the main actress depicts in the film, compulsive hair pulling, is known as Trichotillomania. The issue is treated seriously in the film as it is a real thing in a real life and causes real problems for real people.
La ritournelle un film de Marc Fitoussi (English translation: refrain) by its original title / Paris Follies /(English translation: Pris madness) Folies Bergère movie ( by Marc Fitoussi starring well know and very charming French actors Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Pierre Darroussin) is presented to you by Palace Cinemas Melbourne. It is always a matter of choices in life... but are they right or wrong - it is only for you to decide... sometimes seemingly "wrong" choices can take you to the right roads... or as they say, the wrong bus can take you to the right station.. who knows... ?
Can two days in Paris change the life of aging Brigitte who decided to go on a short flirt ride with a younger man and ran away from home lying to her husband about her doctor's appointment? Was she happily married or did her life on a farm become too boring and her husband's plans seem too routineus to make her stay? Would she understand where the love of her life is? What makes us cry should not destroy us and she cries...
But the most important question would be: will YOU forgive her actions?
My favorite part: Brigitte's son acrobat performance
Well... it's that time of year again. Some silly person asked me to watch a movie and review it. Again. Really, haven't you all figured out I'm useless at this thing? Ahhh well. What can you do?
Ladies and gentlemen. A Thousand Times Goodnight... has Jaime Lannister AND Juliette Binoche. Squeee. Sorry. Wait. It's not Jaime Lannister? Right. Sorry. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Either way he's very attractive and broods like Viggo Mortensen. Which should be enough for all the ladies out there. In fact. This whole movie is really one for the ladies. It's one of those ones that gets all bitter about life and just straight up sucker punches you in the feels. Then it hits you again. Then when you've keeled over it kicks you while you're down and invites it's beefed up cousins to help.
It should have a disclaimer. DRAMA: Warning. We'll try to make you cry. Like. A lot. And here's the thing. They'll *try*. They'll try really hard. They failed with me. But that was mostly because I'm a cold hearted bastard. Blame on the education system. All that time analysing Lord of the Flies just straight up sucks the life outta you.
Oh right. You want to know what kind of film it is? It's a war drama. Told from the perspective of a photo journalist and having a startling amount of truth to what it tries to tell. It also has the refinement of a large hammer. And likes to swing said hammer around. It's well shot, the actors do good work with their roles and Juliette is absolutely brilliant in her depiction of a woman who suffers a little too much from the horrors of life/war/arsehole writers. Which is good, because she's about the only character in the movie apart from her family.
And once again, I'll point out that the film manages to remain fairly true to life, using real stock footage from warzones and telling a story that remains authentic to its locations. Unfortunately, that is also the downfall of the movie. If you're there just to entertain, then we would have no problems. I go to the cinema expecting to spent a pleasant chunk of time in someone elses fiction, and they get to pay all the people who worked on the film. Since thousands of people can work on a film over the course of the years it's in production, this works out well for all the underpaid and overreaching starving artists out there... Or just gives them more funds for weed. It really depends on the industry. Either way, films = employment. Which is a thumbs up in my book, no matter how trashy the film.
Where that relationship breaks down is when the movie tries to say something. Yeah. Still a plus because employment. But now you're stating your case and making a point about something you've seen and wish to present to me to show me a different perspective of the world I may not understand. You are now in the realm of showing truth. With a given value of truth. As a result, I fully expect you have a fully formed point. Or you're wasting my time. It is pointless to simply say, 'This is how it is.' and fail to even begin a discussion. The table exists. So why should I be told the table exists. I know the table exists. What's your point?
In this case. The table. Or the truth they uncover, is in the horrors of war photojournalism, and the politics and family issues that come with that. They are all interesting and fill out much of the film. The tensions in the family and the character's relationship with her daughters make for some really wonderful and heartbreaking moments. These, as all good writers do, build to the end. Unfortunately, the end simply chooses to trail off the page and no actually go anywhere. It's thoroughly anticlimactic and essentially causes the rest of the film to feel like a waste of time. Which just makes it more depressing, because it was doing so well up till the last five minutes.
Have you ever heard of Katharsis? Yes. The greek word meaning 'purification'. That one. Good on you for knowing! Well. It's an ancient theatrical device. And by ancient I mean thousands of years. It is literally older than most of our civilisations. Point to the Greeks for being awesome. The device comes from a tradition in Greek tragedy that essentially was about a sudden change in emotion that would result in the feeling of renewal and restoration. A 'purging' of the pent up emotion, if you will, that washed it all clean. This is pertinent in storytelling because if well executed can allow a finale to take on the aspects of the sublime. It can be damn near religious in experience. Katharsis, or as it's more commonly used, Catharsis, has been forgotten a bit in western cinema (You'll be happy to know it's still very much in employment by the Japanese. Who probably have another origin and word for it), being replaced by more post-modern concepts and ambiguous endings, or just neat tie togethers that properly finish a story and have the 'happy ending'.
Unfortunately for you, 1000 Time Good Night is an artsy movie that puts on a few airs and is too good for the likes of the Greeks. So it's ending sucks. Sorry. I know you guys worked really hard on that. And I know that really ties together the beginning but you're mistaking a literary ending with a filmic ending. That ending would have been perfect in a novel. Because the author can describe all the emotions and just straight up manipulate the readers. In cinema that kind of thing doesn't work as well. It was too ambiguous. That all said. 1000 Good Nights is an excellent film, and if you're the kind that likes gritty realistic films that deal with tough subjects, you'll enjoy this one. Just a fair warning to the rest of you. Approach with caution and don't watch for the ending. It goes five minutes too long. Seriously. Just straight up cut it when she's in the airport. You'll feel better.
My rating on a scale of disappointed to squealing over technical details is mildly apologetic.
YOLKI 3 - RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2014 RATE: 10/10 website
Yolki 3 is one more beautiful movie ( by Тимур Бекмамбетов with a bunch of great russian actors you all love already: Иван Ургант , Сергей Светлаков Анна Чиповская , Константин Хабенский (voice only) and many many more ) from Russian Resurrection Film Festival 2014 - it is a joyful new year comedy that will cheer you up for the rest of the day and will lift up your mood for sure - we could not stop laughing (example: bumerang bobra)...
I heard recently from some source that you can start watching Yolki 3 / Ёлки 3 without even watching Yolki 2 and 1 starting from any part of Yolki 3 (even from the middle) - you still will be entertained to the max! giving it 10 out of 10 on a scale of good russian comedies of all times!
One warning: some "russian flavor" humor might be lost in translation into english but the overall "s novym godom" / "happy new year" impression will remain for any language speaker...
The movie is dynamic; it has many "smaller" but not less amazing stories developed in parallel to the main story line: a male dog Pirate who was found in the streets and is obviously not of a very prestige breed is loosing the love of his life - a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Yoko, a girl with gorgeous red fur whose owners decide to take her from Moscow to London to Yoko's important and also high breed "groom" despite their daughter's protests. The mess Pirate creates in his genuine intention to get his love back is beyond any human comprehension: people loose business partners, London Heathrow airport stops its work, facebook is overloaded with the messages to support Pirate with the Boomerang Of Kindness campaign and everything seems pretty unclear and dark until the right decisions are made and everything fits in place... Will the Boomerang Of Kindness come back to the people who through it , will it come back with the kindness as they prayed for it or should everything just remain in mess as it should be before the New Year?... I was personally very glad that Ivan Urgant (who played Boris) and Sergey Svetlakov (who played Zhenya) came back from the psychiatric ward as they are so needed on TV ... I also was happy that people who were supposed to serve the army got deported to the far north where there were no girls anymore and the only thing they could live was their mother-land... that the white Mercedes was found in the place where it belongs to - the sale display, and Gosha Kicenko came home to his wife back from the fishing trip with the fish but not with his girlfriend.
Yes, we all became a little bit more russian after this movie...
Was only sorry about one thing: that the movie ENDED!! eagerly waiting for Yolki 4 and 5...
Be prepared for a wild ride! The talented cast of the eight part BBC miniseries, Honourable Woman” deliver a very credible performance that is supported by photography and soundtrack that are of an exceptional standard. From the very beginning you are consumed with intrigue and suspense that is immersed in evocative music and photograph that Hitchcock would have approved. All performances were standout but for me I was most impressed by Maggie Gyllenhaal the lead character who plays an Anglo-Israeli businesswoman, Nessa Stein, Baroness Stein of Tilbury, and Stephen Rea as Sir Hugh Hayden-Hoyle, the outgoing head of MI6's Middle East division.
You quickly become seduced by the story that unfolds to be a number of story lines that at times compete for your attention similar to a Bach fugue. The main plot revolve around an orphaned brother and sister who run a multimillion dollar business, their interactions with their extended family, a missing child, the involvement of MI6 and the peace process in the middle east and how event of the past and the secrets they keep impact on the present and on future. These story lines with their twist and turns lead you to a false sense of security as they appear to resolve themselves but only to create further discordance and increased intrigue and tension like a great orchestral work. Every time you think that you know what is going to happen you are shocked.
I give it 4 1/2 Stars, Well done BBC. I am recommending this excellent series to my friends and I will catch it again. I suggest that you do too! But be prepared to be challenged and rewarded. One can watch this series on their own but I suggest that you share the experience by viewing it with those who you think you know well and then engaging in discussions afterwards over a glass of wine. You will be able to talk about the story line in each episode but why not explore the morals, ideals and the Makavelian pursuits of each of the characters and possibly reflect on your own.
TESTAMENT OF YOUTH - BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL 2014 - NOMINATED THE BEST MOVIE OF THE MONTH RATE: 10/10 website
Testament of Youth is a brilliant artistic winner-movie to top up your "best classics shelf" home collection by James Kent (starring a bunch of actors to die for including sensational Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington ) - one of the best parts and official selection for the opening night at British Film Festival Australia 2014 Melbourne
attention to smallest details like a folded corner of a letter with a written poem in it, a close up of a tea cup, the road in woods that does not have an end, crystal chandeliers that sound like the sand wind inside your emptied soul... no words - brilliant , brilliant, brilliant... add to this stunning acting of the whole crew of actors ... the movie is too fine to be described by words - it should be watched and lived though like your and not anyone else's life...
the war-peace-family-love themes are powerful in their seemingly opposite but logical unit, turning love into struggle and torture in the war conditions, peace - into illusion wanted by all the sides fighting for "nothing" like any war, and finally war itself into not a real ultimate life test but one stupid act of humanity (or more like inhumanity) that many young ones get trapped into following their fake ego and non existing honor identity. Vera 's final words say it all...
quotes: “How fortunate we were who still had hope I did not then realise; I could not know how soon the time would come when we should have no more hope, and yet be unable to die”
“If this word should turn out to be a 'Te moriturum saluto,' perhaps it will brighten the dark moments a little to think how you have meant to someone more than anything ever has or ever will. What you have striven for will not end in nothing, all that you have done and been will not be wasted, for it will be a part of me as long as I live, and I shall remember, always.”
“There seemed to be nothing left in the world, for I felt that Roland had taken with him all my future and Edward all my past.”
“Could I write an autobiographical novel, I wonder? Can one make a book out of the very essence of one's self? Perhaps so, if one was left with one's gift stripped bare of all that made it worth having, and nothing else was left...”
“Perhaps ... To R.A.L.
Perhaps some day the sun will shine again, And I shall see that still the skies are blue, And feel one more I do not live in vain, Although bereft of you.
Perhaps the golden meadows at my feet, Will make the sunny hours of spring seem gay, And I shall find the white May-blossoms sweet, Though You have passed away.
Perhaps the summer woods will shimmer bright, And crimson roses once again be fair, And autumn harvest fields a rich delight, Although You are not there.
But though kind Time may many joys renew, There is one greatest joy I shall not know Again, because my heart for loss of You Was broken, long ago.”
THE FAREWELL PARTY - JEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2014 RATE: 6/10 website
some story tellers are like this: they tell you a sad and dramatic story but in such a good , loving, tender and funny way you will not believe it was about death... or is only our image of death that is dark? life is beautiful but when the physical or emotional suffering is unbearable there might something that can make the process of falling into another world very simple... the movie is about living and being happy and bringing happiness and ease to our close ones, when the pain is something you do not want to live with... the movie is a victory of spirit and a party next to the bed of a relative passing away with dignity and joy...
I am very pleased to let everyone know that the tickets are JIFF are hard to buy now - the cinemas are full and the sessions are sold out... please be quick making your mind as there are way too many of them at the festival which are good to choose from...
VASILISA - RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2014 RATE: 6/10 website
when you are spoiled with world best (including Russian) cinematography you can judge the movie from this experience simply rating it having best in mind... there are lots of inconsistencies that "young eye" would not noticed... there are some that can be forgiven for the sake of the story, the actors, even the lush landscapes and decorations: when many of such important movie aspects get missed or neglected the overall impression goes to average... but we did not want to be too harsh on this particular movie although expecting too much did not help us... it is 6 out of 10 from us and our friends who watched it with us... adding some honey though as there are many well hidden messages in this movie. one was very strong: whom are we fighting for and what do we defend when we go to war? our slavery? our people in power who punish us?.. no not that.. we go to protect our brothers and sister, simple people like us who live next door ad their children... also publishing some photos from the opening night of the festival...
the story is bewitching, tantalising, sensual, dramatic and psychological at the same time but not totally believable with many "fairy tale" moments, or can I say: "the dreams of a young man" that hardly we trusted... Our rates were different: 6 for Alex and 8 for myself as I personally adore Emmanuelle Béart n matter what she does on the stage...
HONEYMOON - MONSTER FESTIVAL 2014 RATE: N/A website
sorry, it was not my day today at the Monster Festival media preview. I generally hate thrillers - my life was scary enough already to see something like this on the screen, so it is very hard for me to rate this movie. You also would need to compare it to something from the same genre. I do not know much about thrillers and it was very hard to compare this movie to nothing. For me it was more like someone's sick fantasy about all disgusting insects they could find to film, blood, zombies, drawn people, night sleep walking and unpredictable behavior. Despite a good actors' work and smooth performance the story line was unimpressive... But I could see teenagers liking it to the most... It is from the range of the movies similar to paranormal activities, when you are more scared of the unknown and unseen rater than something visual. I am scared and I hate these things... I think people who really want to attract something like this in their lives will adore the movie but please forgive me I am not with them....
אנשים כתומים - Orange People ( directed by חנה אזולאי הספרי - העמוד הרשמי - Hanna Azoulay Hasfari ) movie from The Jewish International Film Festival 2014. it is not a movie - it is more like a dream , a poetic and colorful poem about the life of one Moroccan family . the movie is not about the gift the grandmother has (she is a prophet) and not about her intention to pass it on to her daughter or to her granddaughter, it is more about the complicated relationship within the family: two sisters, mother and daughter(s), wife and husband etc. In my opinion some main characters are a bit undeveloped but the scenery is vivid, the people are bewitching, the landscapes are vibrant and so bright colored it brings pleasure to your eyes and soul to watch... Think about this: cooking orange colored couscous with gold... How would it taste - you need to go watch and taste...
STILL ALICE RATE: 8/10 (combining 5 from Natasha and 10 from Alex) website media preview: kind courtesy of Icon Films Distribution
Still Alice is not your ordinary movie about dying, it is more about will power, courage and life force. It is not thriller as it is scary to watch - it is psychological thriller of a very courageous woman - Alice. Alice is successful, intelligent and beautiful woman, a professor at one of the most prestigious Universities in States. She is happily married with children and her husband is loving and caring. She knows about linguistics and words more than anyone else on this planet. But the words start to betray her disappearing from her world. She can not understand what is going on with her physical body when she sees a neurologist and his diagnosis is cruel. Alice is 50 and she is preparing to the worst in her future and it comes... It is heart breaking to see the person's brain fading out.. Although I found Julianne Moore's performance incredible, I still thought that the story like was a bit weak compared to real life stories (I can be a living example of witnessing more strength and more power from our family member dying in front of our eyes). Alex did not agree with me as he saw the story line was shown in a softer version with a purpose: not discouraging people to still watch the drama... IMDB comments: "if you have lived with the loneliness and the torture of watching someone you love lose his or her mind [or for this matter his or her body dying in front of your eyes] this movie may just give you the strength to go on." but as I mentioned: it was too mild compared to a real life... I believe that the director's purpose was not to show the hero but an ordinary woman who found so much braveness inside herself that she even wanted t end her life... Alex found the movie incredibly good and daring, not for the wide accepting audience though as people prefer to stay away from such fears...
SHTISEL - JEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL RATE: 9/10 webaite
Shtisel movie is based on new and very popular Israeli TV drama series. What we discovered for ourselves watching this movie that we also liked very much... When you go into a different religion id it not like a different country - it is more like a different planet - some traditions and culture aspects we can accept, some we fall in love with, some reject, some of them do surprise us and some make us sad... I read somewhere that " The unique appeal of “Shtisel” is as much about what it is not as it is about what it is..." It is about love, family relationship: husbands and wives, arranged marriages, old people, young people, funny situations and much more... they appeal as they remind us about ourselves and our own lives... You basically reflect on every comment, every dialogue and every dream the characters go through... It is a story of a Haredi family living in Jerusalem’s ultra-religious Mea Shearim neighborhood. The story is as religious as it gets: to the extend that you can not say hello to a woman on the street that you like forget about telling her that you love her... The emotions are opened, the difficulties the families see are all in front of our eyes. There is nothing different on our planets - people are the same everywhere... The movie is witty and tender, it is made as if you step into someone's life or onto someone's heart - you feel every move of the main characters and "why" question is not asked... YOu will ask me: is it a soap opera? No and no again! For us the religion and customs are good if they make your life happier , but if you suffer from them - what is the point of being religious?
Acting is superb and I only regret that we watched only two episodes as the movie seemed unfinished and the next episode will be waited in hunger...
THE MULE RATE: N/A media preview - kind courtesy of eOne website
as an Oxford dictionary says: "the offspring of a donkey and a horse (strictly, a male donkey and a female horse), typically sterile and used as a beast of burden..." the wikipeadia adds some of the drug-trafficking slang: "In the case of transporting illegal drugs, the term drug mule applies... This is often done using a mule's gastrointestinal tract or other body cavities as containers" I never heard this terminology before so that was a bit of education for me too (as well perhaps to many of our readers).
I do not know what to say... so I will tell the truth... The actors' work in this movie was astonishing but the story... oh... my heart is heavy to discuss this to be honest...
as to the story line itself I have to be a bit skeptical... first of all the subject is drug-trafficking, the main character - or Australian Matrix Neo (beautifully played by talented Angus Sampson) is shown as a real hero and as a winner in the situation where he was caught up, captured for drug trafficking inside his intestines and kept for 12 full days observed... gosh... a hero in what?.. keeping the sh*t inside of him?.. the Australian federal police of that time the story takes place (1983) is shown as a bunch off cretins, criminals and (softly said) cruel people...actually why softly - fascists, who are acting basically against the law; the lawyers' side is represented by a blond bimbo girl who is trying to save the world... what?? are you for real??? do we need to laugh and where?... to be honest I was very very upset to see all of this... or if it was the aim of the film - yes, they achieved the purpose....!
to be honest i was disgusted by watching the movie: vomits everywhere, farts and emptied intestines did not attract me at all... I felt literally sick leaving the cinemas... I really did not see the purpose of showing this movie.. .So: it was shown: all of these wrong things done by many... is it some sort of an art form? give me someone to discuss this movie with please - I want more people to see it and send me their opinions as I might be lost in the world where something close to the toilet should look and be funny... but may I am not the audience for this film and I am tending to like good French English and Italian comedies... Please forgive me...
It looked like the camera man was working brilliantly including the whole crew, the actors (repeat again)... But what was the purpose? I am still lost... What do we need to know? and to learn?. and why?...that there are more idiots in the world that we already know about?...and there are more people doing unlawful things than we already saw in before life?... I am sorry...
Good acting / comparisons: Reminders: Ewen Leslie (Paris) - one of the federal police "professionals" aka Hitler Hugo Weaving (Croft) another federal police "future generals" - aka Matrix Mr Anderson John Noble (Pat) - reminded me of one of the football club's veterans - no names as I am very bad with names one human nature humiliating movie... Dear Angus, you are smart and talented enough - please next time show us something we can evolve with, grow spiritually and become better souls... I always thought it was the real purpose of ART (cinematography included) ... Thank you!