I love excellent movies - you walk out of the theater knowing that you do not have to think what rate you should give this movie. It is unratable in some way... as everything is simple when it is genius... or was it wrong way round: "all genius is simple"
It might be simple and calm like an ocean before the grand storm but there is so much we did not understand, so many messages still got hidden from us the movie has to be watched not once but many times. It reminded me the Trakovski movies when in the first interaction with the movie you get the first level of it, and then: there are so many levels... each time you watch Tarkovski movies again and again you get to the new magical level revealed to you ...
So all genius is not simple... ?
I have to confess I tried to prepare myself to this picture by watching countless number of reviews, interviews, reading the stories about and heard so many "yes"-es and "no"-s that I really did not know what to expect... The movie WAS unexpectable.
If one asked me to describe the movie in one word I would say: " IT IS A MIRROR" the movie of many mirrors and one humongous mirror. The mirrors many people will find themselves in, the largest one is the one Russia as a country is reflected in. The central and the most crucial point of the movie (after which you do not know what to expect - either the main hero will win his battle or he will loose everything): it is the episode when the main hero's wife, Lilia (Elena Lyadova) looks in the mirror: almost destroyed but still alive, like Russian itself... Everything falls apart after this small but very strong and significant episode... The loss is unavoidable now...
There are so many underground waters in this movie: I will give only one example. The purest white and golden church is built on the place where many crimes took place - it is a Golgotha of the the society's consciousness: the place where friends got betrayed, parents abandoned their children, dead sins took place, cruelties and violence occurred and adultery thoughts got born... But who destroys and build this pure gem? Antihero? Is he a really antihero? he cares for his family , donates large sums of money to the church and he is elected to the government that will look after its citizens' wealth an peace. is he really a bad boy? Is he a real antihero? And look at the hero itself: is he that positive as the natural winner should be? He drinks, he beats his wife, he neglects his child and he can not care less for church and his soul... It is complicated but it is real: there is no good, no bad it is - it is all as it is: grey world... no one is God-like on the face of Earth... but is there truth? May be there is truth - in God only? Leviathan is a Biblical creature. It is a sea monster. In many reviews I saw they compare Leviathan with the state, the image of evil power. This is not the exact truth. The creature is shown in the movie many times: swimming free before the horrible death /murderer of Lilia, then you see the monster's (whale's) empty skeleton on the beach. It is dry and the bones are white as the sun burnt them... It is dead as the truth.... His remainings is a symbol of TRUTH. The truth is emptied out like a cup that was full of fragrant wine before and that was left in the desert neglected... "Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before his thrashing. Nothing on earth is his equal—a creature without fear. He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud." He is called the "wriggling serpent" who will be killed at the end of time.... Leviathan is also a gatekeeper to hell. One of the significant details in the movie is SOCIETY, but not an overall as we understand it but the communities that support each other and that can not exist without each other: the main hero and the cops plus the main hero's lawyer and his wife on one side and the major of the town an d"his" community"" judge, head of the police, his criminal friends, priest and the prosecutor. There are many other less significant "connections" and "communities" in the movie that can be observed separately.
But let's get back from the Bible to the movie. It s pointless to mention actors' great performance and director's master brush... ANDREI, AUSTRALIAN RUSSIANS LOVE YOU!
One and IMHO quite significant note: lots in translation: Russian slang, some expressions that are hard to translate and that were translated literally. But I believe it would be hard to do a precise translation to such picture: there are also modern expressions that only people who lived in Russia in 90-s would understand... The 5% of the subtitles are lost but overall the translation is quite good.
There are also some funny moments... with the ex-Russian leaders portraits... and many more... and yes, when some one says to you this is an anti-Putin movies do not believe them - IT IS NOT! This is a movie about the system and how it worked and probably still works or does not work... but it is definitely not an anti-Putin movie!
If you hear a comment that the movie is nothing but a set of beautiful nature pictures with a nonsense in between - do not believe this story teller either: the envy talks when they say this... the movie makes perfect sense and is watched in one breath... The nature scenes are natural - there are no insignificant comments, all the words, each and every small detail and small episode has it's own power and carries the immense weight, it is all shown at the right and precise time and the required moment...
But it is definitely a very powerful film, the one to watch not once but several times so all the mysteries get revealed to you, the hidden messages and the truth - it will finally get surfaced from the depths of the ocean...
ALLIANCE FRANCIASE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2015 - THE CONNECTION NEW LA FRENCH RATE: 9/10 website This movie is based on a true story. It takes a different focus from the American movie “The French Connection” with the emphasis on the French point of view.
Jean Dujardin plays a relentlessly dedicated magistrate, Pierre Michel, as is set in Marseille, 1975. Gaetan Zampa (Gilles Lellouche) plays the mafia boss.
The movie shows how a ruthless international drug syndicate was stopped in its tracks.
I loved watching this movie from the director’s perspective. Directed by Cédric Jimenez, you can see the authenticity of one who grew up in Marseille during this turbulent time.
To see Marsaille during the 1970’s, the fashion, the bars, the lifestyle. A time of no mobile phones, the mafia control, the music..oh the music. I loved the sound track for this movie. The movie simply flowed. Not just the storyline, but the screen presence, the actors, the breath taking scenery, the haunting music, the tragic tale of lives lost.
A must see. Although rather long, just over 2 hours, it is well worth it. My score 9/10
For fans of the type of epic mob movies Martin Scorsese used to make, with plenty of action and a killer soundtrack, this exciting chapter in the story of organised crime is not to be missed.
ALLIANCE FRANCIASE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2015 - THE NEW GIRLFRIEND NEW UNE NOUVELLE AMIE RATE: 6/10 website
I suppose that will be a movie to disturb you if you are not open-minded enough to comprehend what is going on on the screen. You might even be shocked, confused, revolted, but you will not remain emotionally ignorant to the people trying to find their true identity though unusual things, people who are trying to overcome grief in the strangest form of expressing it into this physical world. I gave this movie 7 out of 10. I guess Alex did not see the point of showing something like this at all so he stopped at 5.
My strong point is love have so many faces and masks only people who are falling in it can say if it was genuine or not... We are not here to judge if we d not those who ARE falling in that particular LOVE. The movie might not be a genius picture but it certainly is interesting to follow this deep psychological drama: add to this a splendid performance of Romain Durisas David (a man) and Virginia )a woman) and how he brilliantly and easily transforms himself from one to another character... 10 points only for this!
PROJECT ALMANAC NEW RATE: 7/10
This is not your ordinary time travelling movie: it is a time travelling with the twist and with a strong message behind it WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE IN YOUR PAST IF YOU COULD TIMETRAVEL? It is very interesting to watch as the plot is dynamic and has unexpected turns and surprises. I also believe that the movie will be perfect for the teenagers. There are some inconsistencies though: 1. the guys who can now time travel are interested in lottery winning, pud parties, nice gadgets, in Ferrari and in popular rock concerts? is it a joke? where did you see nerds like this? they are into high level engineering and they are at college? hm.... at least the smart guys in my class were after books and new research projects... not girls, fake values and cars... 2. the time travelling sometimes looks messy ideas-wise (the camera is amazing BTW: floating objects is very hard to film!!!) . when I say ideas-wise I mean sometimes they remember what happened in the time between "past location" and "now" sometimes they do not, sometimes reality changes, sometimes not... people disappear... why? 3. the idea of butterfly effect is not new. it is shown from another perspective though multiple traveling, but how would it e possible at the end when they destroy the source for two video cameras with the footage appeared at the same place and time... it is a bit messy IMHO... or probably I did not comprehend the ending quite right. 4. building a time machine with the draft design??? doubting such thing... 5. stories that we want to believe - fail, fail, fail... did not believe much... more like a fairy tale a smart teenager would not buy... I'd rather believe in Harry Potter... although I must say: there is no magic in this movie - time travelling is so well engineered and technical it is almost real. 6. are they travelling time or space too as I believe they also travel from city to city...? 7. sometimes the first version meets the second version of them sometimes not (what?) example: periodic table of elements at school - exam that one of the guys keeps failing... 8. would you rather save your dad than kiss the bimbo girl????
The camera. Dizzy... Interesting but very dizzy... Got tired... yes.
"The show was amazing, funny, exciting. The sets were incredible and clever. The cast were awesome..."
Treasure Island was an amazing, highly entertaining experience. Watching it on the cinema screen one had the sensation that I was in the front row of the Olivier Theatre. The set construction was incredible. The costumes were superb. The adaptation from book to stage was an incredible achievement. Treasure Island was a fantastic journey with thrills, excitement and a wonderful mix of humour which would entertain audiences of all ages.
PART OF JIFF NEW An Incredible Journey Beckons… 2015 HOLOCAUST FILM SERIES ANNOUNCED
In recognition of an overwhelmingly positive response to its inaugural season, the HOLOCAUST FILM SERIES, presented by JIFF, returns to Melbourne and Sydney from 12 to 25 March.
But despite the austere title of this film series, the journey that we invite audiences to embark upon is not grim, but one of courage, fascination and admiration for the people who have lived through some of modern history’s most challenging events. For it is only by facing the past and learning from their experiences, that we can continue to develop and appreciate the gift of life, whilst striving to banish the racial prejudice that still continues to motivate so many crimes.
The 2015 HOLOCAUST FILM SERIES is therefore proud to present 35 utterly compelling feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world, all of which will be screening for the very first time in Australia, with no guarantee of repeat viewings beyond this film series. The eclectic range of stories showcased will enthrall, inform and give pause for reflection.
And although one might think that the cinematic potential of the Holocaust has been exhausted over the last seventy years, nothing could be further from the truth. Tales of incredible human resilience and lasting impact, continue to emerge and through this event we are honoured to showcase a relatively small, but vital selection of stories and incidents that illuminate a period of history that brought forth the very best and worst of mankind, with repercussions that still echo.
Highlights of the 2015 HOLOCAUST FILM SERIES include:
Forbidden Films GERMANY / 2014 / DOCUMENTARY / 94 MIN 1,200 feature films were made in Germany’s Third Reich. According to experts, some 100 of these were blatant propaganda. More than 40 remain – nearly seventy years after the end of the Nazi regime – under lock and key. This is their story.
Farewell Herr Schwartz GERMANY, ISRAEL / 2013 / DOCUMENTARY / 96 MIN Michla and her brother Feiv’ke were inseparable before the Holocaust. Upon learning of Feiv’ke’s death, Michla moves, in grief, to the new state of Israel. The filmmaker, Michla’s granddaughter, investigates what really happened to her grandmother’s beloved brother. *Winner Best Documentary – Haifa IFF.
To Life FRANCE / 2013 / FEATURE /104 min To Life is French director Jean-Jacques Zilbermann’s polished follow-up feature film to his documentary Irene and Her Sisters. Zilbermann relates the story of three young Jewish women who were deported to Auschwitz and finally reconnect with each other fifteen years later, during a warm summer in Berck plage.
Secrets of War NETHERLANDS / 2014 / FEATURE / 95 MIN In 1943, two young best friends in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands find their bond put to the supreme test in this bittersweet ode to innocence lost.
Lessons of Survival: Conversations with Simon Wiesenthal BELGIUM / 2014 / DOCUMENTARY / 57 MIN This documentary depicts a series of intimate and friendly conversations with legendary Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who shares his insights into the psychology, philosophy and sociology of the Holocaust. Finnish director Inna Rogatchi will be in attendance 11-17 March
Radical Evil GERMANY, AUSTRIA / 2014 / DOCUMENTARY / 92 MIN Oscar-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters) directs Radical Evil, a documentary asking why ordinary people become mass murderers
Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent USA / 2014 / DOCUMENTARY / 50 MIN The film traces the life of Joachim Prinz, an outspoken rabbi who lived through the Nazi regime to become a significant American civil rights activist. My Mother and Other Catastrophes – A live play reading AUSTRALIA / 2015 / PLAY READING / 80 min A darkly comic story of four generations of Melbourne Jewish women, the matriarch of whom - Gitl Silverstein - is 116 years old, a survivor and dominating scold, undiminished by suffering and hopeless dysfunctional progeny. Directed by AFI award winning filmmaker Rivka Hartman. *Melbourne Only
Weapons of the spirit: New 25th Anniversary Edition USA, France/1985/2015/ DOCUMENTARY/ 90 min During World War II, in and around one village in Nazi-occupied France, 5,000 Jews were sheltered by 5,000 Christians. This story of a huge collaborative effort to save innocent lives is inspiring and uplifting, celebrating the goodness of the human spirit in the darkest of times.
A Blind Hero - The Love of Otto Weidt Germany / 2014 / FEATURE/ 90 min This film tells of the “unsung Schindler” Otto Weidt, a factory owner who hid his mostly Jewish and blind employees from the Nazis. A fervent anti-Nazist, Weidt used his cunning to save dozens of Jewish souls and protect the life of his Jewish love.
Sounds from the Fog GERMANY / 2013 / DOCUMENTARY / 94 MIN Part detective story, part historical enquiry, Sounds From The Fog is about a filmmaker who discovers that his 90 year-old uncle, a German entertainer was imprisoned in the Nazi camps for 8 years because he was gay.
Brundibar Revisited GERMANY, CZECH REPUBLIC / 2014 / DOCUMENTARY / 90 MIN The members of a Berlin youth theatre group are confronted by history when they recreate an opera first performed in Theresienstadt. Taken on a trip back in time, the young Berliners question their attitudes towards their country’s troubled past.
HOLOCAUST FILM SERIES will screen from 12 to 25 March at: MELBOURNE: Classic Cinemas, Elsternwick SYDNEY:Event Cinemas Bondi TICKETS ON SALE FROM 12 FEBRUARY 2015 Visit the official website at:http://www.jiff.com.au/hfs
Forbidden Films (Germany) Trailer:
ALLIANCE FRANCIASE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2015 - THREE HEARTS NEW website 3 COEURS RATE: 7/10
This movie was featured at the media opening night for AFFFF in Melbourne with full house and so many yummy snacks and delicious beverages... Our opinions were almost opposite: first thing Alex said - the movie plot is primitive and very ordinary considering the love triangle story behind it; he even said it was almost boring and the last 2/3ds of the film he wanted to go to sleep: a younger sister falls in love with the womanizer and their first date does not occur as he simply does not turn up on time missing the date by two hours... The latter frustrates and pushes the young woman who was already in relationship ready to get married to unwanted trip from France to States. Our womanizer with perhaps good intentions trying to follow his heart meets the older sister and they start a romance also breaking her relationship. The faith though brings our wind-headed hero and the younger sister together of course at the ... (what do you think? of course!) her sister's wedding... The shock is unmissable but the relationship between three are out of balance and only drama can save the situation... and it happens... On the contrary I liked the story line although it is a very banal situation it is portrayed quite nicely in the movie. I am adding to this an absolutely undoubtfully brilliant performance by the mother - Catherine Deneuve who always plays with such passion even if her part is episodic - you can not take your eyes off her facial so always deep and meaningful facial expressions - she is amazing! Benoît Poelvoorde plays the main hero, the womanizer. He is targeting vulnerable women almost sniffing their "weaknesses": be that emotional or other types of insecurities. He is a hunter and it brings him almost physical pleasure - it is the emotion that he gets from his main work as a tax payers' auditor too: punishing one and forgiving and helping the others. He is a vampire and his job suits him right. He is a natural destroyer of women's personal lives including his own life too...he is created not for growing the relationship but for taking them apart... but there is one organ in your body that can never lie when it "hears" untruthful stories - it is your heart! It fails you when you need it the most. Benoit's performance is also shining through - it is almost even that this character is way too small for him and it does not give him much room for his talent... but even this character he plays with a great success! Charlotte Gainsbourg - playing the younger sister is so charming as she is always - no matter what she plays - it is always a total triumph! Chiara Mastroianni - I see this actress first time and she is spectacular too! I quite liked the movie.... well... as to Alex - we are all entitled to our own opinions, don't we? So it was 6 for Alex and 8 for me which gave it 7 stars.
PHOTOS FROM AFFFF 2015 MEDIA OPENING NIGHT NEW
WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAY NEW RATE: 6.5/10
It is a very light and enjoyable comedy to watch for the whole family. Best quote: "The truth is, every human being on this planet is ridiculous in their own way. So we shouldn't judge, we shouldn't fight, because in the end... in the end, none of it matters. None of the stuff." Although the movie is quite good there are some shallow moments that did not really work: with the jokes especially. Simply the audience did not laugh at some moments where supposedly they had to. Happy ending also remains uplifting but a bit unbelievable for the whole movie as well as the arguments the couple with three kids always have: kids seemed a bit too good an way very happy for a "dysfunctional family" If the purpose of the movie was for everyone to feel good after that it was reached perfectly. The kids' performance is outstanding (especially the younger one - Jess - she is amazingly charming!) Sometime the kids' performance is much better than their parents'. At one moment of the film the sudden revelation, a sudden thought almost like a butterfly visits you: "in the children's world there is no death, there are heroes, there is truth, but death is something that they almost do not fell if you see it from adults perspective - as if they know that this is only temporarily, as if they know it is not real and it is almost like a game.... The movie has good blend of jokes and tragic events happening when funny does seem painful at moments and when drama turns into a light witticism. Adding to that would be - incredible stories of vikings and spectacular landscapes. Sensational work of all actors, director and the whole crew! Best credits though go to the ostriches that appear at the most unexpected moments with the long necks and rounded eggs... If you are looking to entertain your whole family this summer - this is the movie to watch laugh quote and discuss!
WILD NEW RATE: 9.5/10
“Power Living in the earth-deposits of our history
Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old cure for fever or melancholy a tonic for living on this earth in the winters of this climate.
Today I was reading about Marie Curie: she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness her body bombarded for years by the element she had purified It seems she denied to the end the source of the cataracts on her eyes the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil
She died a famous woman denying her wounds denying her wounds came from the same source as her power. ” ― Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a Common Language
It is so easy to write about a light and insignificant movie. It is a lot harder to write about the movie that disturbed you so much, that is complex and that is so multi-dimensional it is almost like the universe on its own. I did not know where to start with and what string to pull to show the movie's beauty and its complexity and its balance at the same time.. so Alex's help was arranged....
The two ways portrayed in this movie so beautifully: the two ways of travelling - the fork on the road and the inner way. Both of them are inter-dependent and connected.
There are always certain key points in your life, that either show or change your life direction. There are certain events that you find "key events" in your life. There are certain signs you meet on your road that remind you of the past; they might change your view of your past: they can make you past shaped in a different, positive way: something that annoyed you in the past may become a key , the most significant part of your past. They can be songs that you heard at a certain time of your life, they might be associations (horses for example that can bring some vivid memories alive). It is almost like Universe is trying to tell you something with signs giving you clues changing and shaping you to the person you are now: But his can happen if you leave your door open and you are ready for this.
Cheryl: What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I'd done something I shouldn't have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I'd done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't do anything differently than I had done? What if I'd actually wanted to fuck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn't have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?
There is always more to life than the eye sees, there will always be more of you, yourself to discover. There is more to your first impression about certain situations on your way: something frightening may turn into a warm and welcoming hug or a phrase pronounced that can change your way of thinking and as a result: your life.
Frank: "You ever think about quitting?" Cheryl Strayed: "Only once about ever two minutes or so." Frank: "Hell, I've quit a bunch of stuff. I quit jobs, quit marriages." Cheryl Strayed: "Do you regret any of them?" Frank: "I didn't have a choice. There's never been a time where there's been a fork in my road."
The movie is so well balanced: there is a drama that is well blended with comedy (feels like life itself) and the jokes are very good tasteful.
"I do not want to be on the cover of your magazine as "hobo of the month"
It is so moving to see the main character developed so gracefully from the start to the end of the movie.the three months of her travelling of more than 1000 miles on the PCT track. It is like the thirty years of her get passed in these days. She turns into almost another person during the trip. Note how the main character get scared of a small caterpillar on her first days of the trip and how at the end of the trip she sleeps without the tent - just in a sleeping bag and she has dozens of frogs jumping on and around her.
The movie reminded us of Tracks with Mia Wasikowska with only one difference: if you do not have your own demons someone else's demons will find you...
The Wild movie is so deep and beautiful I would sign my name under each line of the script! Well done the crew, the original author of the book (based on true events) and the splendid performance of a highly talented actress...
'71 NEW media preview - eOne ANZ RATE: 8/10
My grandmother told me that when her husband being only 23 years old in 1942 was serving in WWII front as a doctor, she asked him: "...you are Jewish, but you defend Russia. How should I pray for you? ... and what God do you, yourself pray when you are in the middle of the battle?" My grandfather replied: "...darling, we pray to all Gods in the world when there are bombs exploding above our heads; we pray for this war to finish and for us to see our families again"
From many stories I heard that was the one I remembered the most.
Most of the wars are the wars of religions; although every soldier inside his heart I bet prays to all Gods to stay alive and to be back with their families. Is it what they defend at the end? their families? or do they fight for someone who gives them orders, sends them to stupid wars, to death and who betrays them the same day?
The pictures are so realistic you can feel blood on your teeth, you can feel pain in your stomach; the director's work is amazing, the actors are outstanding, the camera work is fascinating, the film message is powerful and it applies to any war situation in the world.
It is a real gem to watch and to think on...
WATER DIVINER NEW tickets - kind courtesy of eOne Australian New Zealand
review by Julie Dargan
I went to the movies with my son and we absolutely loved the film.
The Water Diviner is humorous but also portrays the First World War in all its realism. This is of particular importance for my son who is An Xbox addict and I wonder at the amount of guns and shooting they are exposed to but not taking into account what it all means. In this movie my son was able to connect to real people and then see these real people die.
There were many tender moments in the film. A real tear jerker, which both my son and I shed a few tears.
I love the way Natasha is able to source so many wonderful diverse movies and raffle them out at all her monthly meetings. My son and I have found some common ground when we go to the movies together. He is approaching 14 years and we all know finding common ground can be difficult.
LAND OF THE BEARS 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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!)
WATER DIVINER IS NOMINATED THE BEST EVENT OF THE YEAR website RATE: 10/10
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 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
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 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