I found this movie attention grabbing, due to the amount of information one is continually receiving in relation to the personal story of Molly, American gambling laws and the confronting issues associated with all the types of mostly wealthy card players involved at Molly's game table. Another level of interest is added towards the end with the push of local crime syndicates. Molly was a good athelete in younger years but an accident had her looking for a career in other places. By chance, she linked up with a proponent of the game table, and eventually collects enough information to run her own. The producer spends time during this period to ensure you understand how women were treated at this time, and this leads Molly to take hold of her destiny, which she does successfully while walking a very tight legal line. In the background running parrallel to Molly's life, her two brothers are competing at high level, fully pushed by their father. Molly's relationship with father is examined and conciled at the end of the story when she re-enters the sporting arena having fought court battles with the tax and crime offices of America. You really must keep up with the jargon of each character type, plus pay full attention to the constant narration in this production. A lot of information to asorb in quite a long film but it remains interesting to the end. Really interesting story of Molly Bloom, a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker , very well produced, stars from Leonardo DiCaprio to Ben Affleck. Worth seeing.
THE POST NEW website RATE: 7/10 review by Yulua Assatryan
Improbable history of Catherine Graham, first female publisher of the Washington Post newspaper, and editor Ben Bradley. They enter a race with New York Times for the right to shed light on state the secrets disappearing more than 30 years. Journalists should overcome the disagreements and to risk career and freedom that the world has learned the truth. Events of this film of the director Steven Spielberg are developed around serious scandal which center have handed over dear newspapers New York Times and Washington Post. When having received on hands the materials baring all that lie which was hidden by the U.S. Government behind numerous secrets more than 30 years both news editions have risked all for the sake of the most important in the profession — fight for the truth and justice. In this case, concentrating attention around Catherine Graham and Ben Bradley who began the main symbols of that fight which took place to be in real life. Steven Spielberg shows skill with impressive tranquility. He twists a thriller spiral by means of dialogues, he with it is helped by the star performers showing tension powerful internally literally several gestures. "the favourite of America" Tom Hanks and the invariable nominee of each Oscar Meryl Streep became the main "deadly weapon" of a picture certainly. Both actors have perfectly played roles, but their role doesn't want to call the best in career of each of actors and even noticeable at all. Watching this movie is a must
This story is situated in Calais on the French Coast, involving a wealthy French industrialist family and it’s indifference to the environment around it. Turmoil within the family exists because of failings in direct communication between partners, ex-partners and children. Different working worlds between parents are impacted by modern communications technology as well. This was not an easy film to follow as the flow I thought was interupted often by competing stories. A sons rebellion to the strict family work in one instance and his care for the workers, a father daughter relationship which had not developed, a company accident and it's indifference to the injured, an ex wifes death, a daughters attempted suicide, racial issues both with the servants to the family and with those in the broader community, and to top it of a fathers wish to just have a happy end! His wishes appear to have been over looked. Yes this is a complex production and you do require to pay attention! My final thoughts follow the reading of complex sci- fi's; where at the start, so many things happen, that you do not fully appreciate the place of all and remember the detail of the characters until you are well into the book. This film to me was a bit like that. The happy end is humorous. If you are into difficult novels this complexity is for you.
FILM STARS DON'T DIE IN LIVERPOOL NEW website review by Nina Tunaley
A movie full of drama, love and life decisions. The director takes you on a trip full of flash backs, but done in such a way that you will not have any problems following the story line. The actors chosen for this production take hold of your attention, to the extent that you feel that you are there with them. An ageing successful actress from the USA, meets with a budding young actor in England. The story develops around the actress’s history, past, present and a future which is cut short due to a previously poor health decision. It covers some periods which are in the USA where you are introduced to part of her family and time in Liverpool with his family. Her dying wish draws you into the Shakespeare Theatre. A really nice production which holds you like a good book.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama. Rating: M. Running time: 140 minutes Starring: Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson, Evan Jones, Dawn Olivieri, Mo McRae, Max Holloway
An inarguable homage to the all-time greats of the heist movie genre, Den of Thieves serves up a fun (albeit dark) action-packed crime noir reminiscent of ‘Heat’ (1995) and ‘The Usual Suspects’ (1995)… on paper at least. In execution it unfortunately falls a bit flat, suffering from unrelenting clichés, poorly constructed and half-baked characters, and an unnecessarily abstract narrative of story arcs that are pointless at the best of times and dissonant at the worst. Small mercies of high-octane action and gunfights, and beautifully directed cinematography do their utmost to redeem the blockbuster heist-thriller that Den of Thieves so desperately wanted to be, but at 2-hours and 20-minutes, it spreads its wings too far and misses the mark.
Written and directed by Christian Gudegast (co-writer of ‘London Has Fallen’ (2016)) in his premiere directorial role, Den of Thieves centers around two teams of opposing renegades in a classic cops and robber, guards and thieves scenario. On one side you’ve got Gerard Butler as Nick ‘Big Nick’ Flanagan, leading his unit of loosely-moralled law enforcement. On the other, you’ve got Pablo Schreiber as Merrimen and his elite heist crew of ex-marines and ex-convicts. Tensions are high, both leaders become enthralled with playing mind-games with one another, and in the end $120 million in cash lays on the line.
Both Butler and Schreiber do an exemplary job in their respected performances, with Butler delivering a much more emotionally complex character than to be expected from the long-time typecast masculine aggressor we’ve come to expect from him; not to say he isn’t still that character, it’s just complemented with some emotional diversity often unseen. The remaining cast of contingents do a fine job too, but they’re essentially replaceable – for the most part they are underdeveloped, half-baked henchmen-types. Even the second-tier characters that get proportionally more screen time than their co-members (e.g., O'Shea Jackson Jr and Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, both apart of Merrimen’s ensemble) have such clique dialogue and shallow character that they bring little but muscle and plot-devices to the table.
The heist itself is fairly well thought out and exciting in execution but getting there is a journey and a half. What could have been a fast-moving adrenaline filled 90-minute action exhibition is turned into a stunted event riddled with unnecessary filler that primarily adds little to the narrative. As a result, it was hard to maintain that sense of unnerving tension you come to expect from the genre. Every time the movie started to gain momentum it’d throw in a story arc or two that more-often-than-not lead nowhere and achieved nothing. There was enough exposition thrown around in the dialogue that it’s hard to imagine a couple extra lines here and there would have been worse than adding an extra 10-minute scene with little resolve. It took me out of the narrative and left me caring less and less about the overall plot as time went on.
A few redeeming aspects of the film included the action and cinematic direction. Movements were swift and natural, sound design was gratifying and visceral, and the cinematography was incredibly well shot. To reiterate, the performances of Butler and Schreiber were on-point, and the heist itself was more than satisfactory (once we finally got there). I do think there is a solid heist thriller in there somewhere, it’s just hidden amongst the 2.5-hour mélange of missteps.
Den of Thieves tries so hard to be the Heat of the modern era but unfortunately falls short in execution. Gripping action aside, the characters and plot are so inconsistent and gratuitous that the movie fails to keep consonance, nor sufficient momentum building to the climactic faceoff between the obverse duo and their replaceable contingents. The film’s redeeming qualities are lost amidst the poorly contrived narrative and execution, leaving you blasé to the small mercies that would otherwise be commendable. That being said, if you enjoy a bit of mindless action this may be right up your alley; just as long as your attention span can handle it).
Den of Thieves will be released in cinemas Australia-wide on February 1, 2018.
The film shows extraordinary characters with the superb acting, mesmerising story line and filming and camera to die for. Reynolds Woodcock is a stunning artist in the world of fashion a man who lives his art work as his only form of existence and expression. Fashion becomes his wife over the years until he meets Alma, the muse of his inspiration and a love of his life in human, female form, the woman who will turn his world and his house hold upside down, challenge him, love him deeply in return and runs the world around him by her own rules. At the start of the film the household is so cold there are no additional movements made by its members, the rules are never broken, the models tried to seduce the master of he house but they failed so many times: they change one another like marching soldiers sent to the war and killed by its cruelty without returning back home. The new woman, the new model breathes in the warmth and life into the coldness of the house environment. The woman will speak her truth out and would bring fire, intimacy, truth, desire and new fresh wave into the frozen kingdom of the fashion palace. The couple would clash, they would fight but the core designed by god , not by them will remain and will attract them back together again and again. The film is simply a symphony of the most amazing inspiration and art based relationship that will always float alive after any storm in the world: I laughed and I was on the edge of my seat for the duration of the entire film, I absolutely loved it. The actors' performance is immaculate, the emotions are so fine you will feel the grace touching your inner soul's corners, you will tremble in your seat, that is guaranteed. While Daniel Day-Lewis (.Reynolds Woodcock) is a mystery for us Vicky Krieps as Alma deliveres that long waited Berman's performance that I love so much. Her light, remarkably embracing, strange, inner, provocative Mona Lisa La Gioconda's smile gives out everything and nothing. The film is worth seeing just for that one glance of the actress indeed! It is the film when the silence talks and the loudness becomes the music for your ears. There is one more but not less fascinating character, Woodcock's sister, who is a housekeeper, Reynold's mother and his protector at the same tie How the chemistry in the house develops is another sensational part of the film with the third bright character added. It is a beautiful masterpiece worth you attention this season.
ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD NEW website RATE: 10/10
"If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars"
This film will be not exactly what you expect it to be. It is nothing close to a detective story, it will be not the film you see in the trailer although the story line will be exactly as the sources tell you. For the whole film you will be hold suspended, you will be glued to your cinema chair without knowing what will happen next. We perhaps will never understand why the richest man is not be able to afford the ransom and still he is spending millions of dollars on a new and rare painting. The acting is superb. The film is about family values, about how we treat the close ones, each other and how life can be so unpredictable and challenge us. We understand the nature of the rich and how their fortune was made (their character) through the film t the very end of it. The atmosphere created is dead cold and while the mother is doing everything for the ransom for her kidnapped son to be paid, the grand father of the kidnapped plays his own game aiming to win by any cost. It is the film to watch and enjoy for many reasons: you will reflect so much and associate with your own family. The story will make you think about your own choices: what money actually make you, us? Are they simply the energy something dirty or just the paper that doe snot worth anything compared to life love and relationship? Why do we always have to put them in picture and why do they play such a vital role in our moral-less, a-moral socium? You will see what money actually makes us, what we become if we do not count them. Watching and comparing worth your time at the cinema every second of this film. Perhaps you will understand that money do not mean anything and they still do. No more to say see for yourself how it all plays out.
IN BETWEEN (BAR BAHAR) NEW website review by Irina Ivanova
In Between is a modern-day drama showing the drastic gap between the reality and ingrained traditions of Muslim world. It is a debut feature from Maysaloun Hamoud, who observes the hardships of contemporary nonconformity and battleship against social hypocrisies.
The fate brings together three very different young Arab women living under one roof in an apartment in Tel Aviv. Their lives are a constant fight against traditionalistic prejudices of the Arabic-Israeli society.
Laila (Mouna Hawa) is a budding lawyer who is open-minded and Europeanized. Her self-confidence and unbendable temperament shine in the best feministic manner. Still she is just a loving woman, ready to give all her heart to the deserving man. That’s where she meets the choice to stay free or be tamed and enclosed into the cage of an ‘appropriate’ behavior.
Salma (Sana Jammalieh) is another story. She is an inspiring DJ, working long shifts at kitchens and pubs to earn her independent living. Her tattoos and facial piercing are only the tips of the iceberg for her parents fiercely denying Salma’s non-traditional sexual orientation. The girl is forced to hide away and run to a more liberal country, leaving someone dear behind.
There is also Nour (Shaden Kanboura), who is a true Muslim, faithful and holy, studying hard to get a prestigious profession. She is about to get into an arranged marriage, and truly believes that love is not a necessary component to a happy relationship – what is much more important is ‘to get along’. To the much of a horror and grief, Nour will find out that there are some nasty demons hiding behind her husband-to-be faked demeanour.
Set in the raging run of endless parties with drugs and booze, the three heroines are caught, as it suggests the title of the movie, in between liberty and suppression. Seemingly so dissimilar from each other on the outside, the women are connected by the same motif to live their lives freely and be whoever they want to be.
review by Susie Cashmere
DIRECTED BY: Maysaloun Hamoud GENRE: Drama (subtitles) RUNNING TIME: 1 hour, 43 ins CAST: Mouna Hawa Shaden Kanboura Sana Jammelieh Riyad Siman Mahmoud Shalaby
This fabulous movie is an emotional view for the audience as we watch three female flat mates in Tel Aviv fight the imposing constraints of their Muslim faith A directorial debut for Hamoud, it is truly inspiring.
As the title suggests, these women are caught between freedom and repression, religion and secularism, and the past and the future.
Theirs is a world of partying, drugs, alcohol and generally acting as most of the youth of today. Their lifestyles are in stark contrast to what their parents know and want for them. Thus, a difficult life to live openly.
Laila, (Mouna Hawa), is a chain smoking, leather jacket wearing party girl who can drink anyone under the table. Salma ( Sana Jammelieh), who lives with Laila, is gay and an aspiring DJ. A lifestyle she needs to keep secret from any of her strict family members. Then we meet Nour (Shaden Kanboura). She moves in with the girls as a flatmate and being an ultraconservative and devout Muslim, struggles with the girls lifestyles. Nour’s fiancé Wissan (Henry Andrawes) worries about Nour’s flatmates influence over her and is eager to bring the marriage forward to remove his bride from such “corruption”.
All three women have different goals and ambitions, but scratch the surface and the problems they all incur are not so different after all.
laila is in a whirlwind relationship with Ziad (Mahmood Shalabi) who embraces her spirit, but is very critical of her when around his family members. Hypocrisy at it’s best, and extremely difficult for her to deal with.
Salma may have found true love with a female trainee doctor, but of course the relationship has to be kept secret. It’s extremely emotional and frustrating for the viewer who just wants love to be love.
As for Nour, she begins to realise that becoming the wife of a sanctimonious man, who is a pillar of society with the respect of many, might not be the life she really wants after all.
It’s a kind of Muslim “Sex in the city”, but with a fair bit more feistiness!
The director, Maysaloun Hamoud, has paid a price for this masterful movie. She has been criticised for using Israel’s state funds. She has had death threats and Fatwas and been accused of corrupting Muslim women by Muslim fundamentalists.
I loved the movie. I loved the way it dealt with the lives of people in cultures many of us don’t understand. The characters are brilliant and I admire Hamoud for the beautiful direction of the movie and not being afraid to tackle real life issues.
It’s no wonder IN BETWEEN was up for so many award at the Cannes Film Festival, including Maysaloun Hamoud receiving the “Women in Motion Young Talents” award.
In figuring out where the name of the film derived from, the director takes you on a history tour set in the 1920 period, when some had returned from war to settle in the outback. The story becomes a tale of how the local aboriginals were treated under Anglican standards and morals; and their individual responses to achieve some measure of respect. This becomes evident at the end of the story when a young aboriginal boy, having observed the elders, provides the expected response to the ‘white boss’. The local policeman, played by a seasoned Australian actor, really brought the film to life, as this is a typically slow moving story, matching the speed and mood of the outback. The name of this film is gained from the policeman’s thoughts, after having tracked a suspect to an area he had not seen before, but upon the return to town realised its potential. Threads of Anglican beliefs slowly grow through this story resulting in the beginings of the church in this region of Australia. A very historical production bringing subject matter not often discussed in Australia to light in a very absorbing story. Your attention does not stray due to both subject matter and marvellous scenery.
MARY AND THE WITCH'S FLOWER NEW website review by Nina Tunaley
MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER ***
English writer Mary Stewart wrote a novel titled ‘The little Broomstick’ in which there was strong magic and dream themes. This production borrows heavily from this story. At first you think you are going to be treated to a typical Japanese sci-fi style animation, but this film has an interesting blend of very English scenery and English characters with the ‘anime’ style of large eyes. Magical creatures abound in typical supernatural backgrounds and the heroine is led to a cute magical broomstick by a mysterious cat. Children would love this film. The story evolves around a magical school, one quite different to Hogwarts; and its owners attempts to develop magic which is able to control all. The missing ingredient of course, is the phosphorescent wild berry (witch’s Flower) that blooms just once every seven years, and is found, along with the little broomstick, by the heroine following the mysterious cat. The adventure starts from here when the magic broom takes the heroine to the magical school. The production has a couple of spots where I thought it tended to lull, but the ending pulled the start of the story together well with more character enhancement that was not clear at the beginning. The flow of the animation is smooth and lack of background detail is left for the viewer to imagine – a bit like the early Doctor Who productions. This does not hurt the production at all.
review by Max Lyons
Film Review: 'Mary and the Witch's Flower' メアリと魔女の花 (Meari to Majo no Hana) by Maxwell Lyons
Production: Studio Ponoc. Producer: Yoshiaki Nishimura. Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Screenplay: Riko Sakaguchi & Yonebayashi, based on the book “The Little Broomstick” by Mary Stewart. Music: Takatsugu Muramatsu.
Starring: [JAP] Hana Sugisaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Hikari Mitsushima, Eri Watanabe, Shinobu Ootake, Fumiyo Kohinata, Jirou Satou, Yuuki Amami; [ENG] Ruby Barnhill, Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Teresa Gallagher, Morwenna Banks, Lynda Baron, Jim Broadbent, Ewen Bremner, Kate Winslet
Over the last 30 years Studio Ghibli has made a name for itself worldwide as Japan’s most renowned animation studio, with such classics as Spirited Away (2001), My Neighbour Totoro (1988), and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). But is it time for a new studio to take the reigns? Could another studio even come close to the iconic works of Ghibli? They may have a long road ahead of them, but Studio Ponoc are certainly on the right path with their debut anime movie Mary and the Witch’s Flower.
Directed by Ghibli-veteran Hiromasa Yonebayashi—director of Arrietty (2010) and When Marnie Was There (2014)—Mary and the Witch’s Flower tells the story of Mary, a young red-headed girl spending the summer at her great aunt’s house in the countryside. One day after stumbling upon a strange flower in the woods, Mary finds herself transported to a magical world above the clouds where she is mistaken for a new student at Endor College – a school of magic. But it doesn’t take long for Mary to realise that things aren’t as ‘magical’ as they seem. Strange experiments are taking place behind closed doors, and great danger awaits Mary and her family and friends, and the flower is the key to all of it.
Overall, I thought Mary and the Witch’s Flower was an entertaining watch, but it most certainly had its fair share of flaws. Let’s start with what I liked. The visuals! Damn were they breath-taking. From characters and creatures to architecture and scenery, it was stunning, and brought the movie to life in all scenes regardless of tone. The hand-drawn animation style is a true artform in itself, and with a plethora of current and former Ghibli employees assisting Studio Ponoc on the movie it is no surprise it lived up the immaculate animation standards of its pseudo-parent studio. Accompanying this was a rather beautiful score that carried the emotion of each scene well and emphasised key tonal points throughout the film. And to top it off, I felt Mary was quite a loveable and endearing character.
But let’s talk about the movie’s flaws. Firstly, pacing – it felt rushed. After some brief character introductions in the opening scenes, the movie jumped right into the deep end. It felt like more of a two-and-a-half act structure, with the ‘midpoint’ of the story being compressed so as to get to the climax faster. This ultimately affected one of the most crucial elements of the movie – character personality and relationship development. I’ll be honest, character development was lacking on all fronts. The only person who felt like they had a personality was Mary, but even she fell short when it came to any meaningful character growth. It all felt very clique, with each character seemingly only being there for the sake of playing their part to progress the narrative – the good guys were good, the bad guys were bad, side characters were singular attributes personified, and the power of ‘ex-machina’ was strong. Consequently, the relationships between the characters felt shallow, and lacked any meaningful depth to them to make me care for them. A perfect example of this is the relationships between the two lead characters, Mary and Peter. The two really only had one somewhat meaningful interaction at the beginning of the movie before things started to go down, so the friendship between them didn’t feel strong or genuine enough to warrant Mary’s actions in the film’s climax. There’s a reason I didn’t mention Peter above. He may be a main character, but he doesn’t do a whole lot and is basically just a ‘damoiseau in distress’ for a generic hostage rescue situation. The same can be said for the movie’s antagonists, Madame Mumblechook and Doctor Dee. Sure, the movie shows you WHEN they turned from loving sincere people to merciless facades of their former selves, but it doesn’t explain WHY this character transition occurred – they are bad for the sake of being bad.
Nonetheless, despite these weakness, would I recommend see it? It may not live up to the coveted works of Ghibli director and co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, but Mary and the Witch’s Flower is certainly an impressive first step in the right direction to establishing Studio Ponoc as one of the big-name animation studios in Japan, and even worldwide. It may not break any new ground, but it certainly offers a playful and light-hearted, albeit mediocre watch. I’d recommend Mary and the Witch’s Flower to children and families, anime lovers, and the average Ghibli fan*.
*For you diehard Ghibli fan, best to avoid this one. It’s everything you want to love about a Ghibli film, just not as good.
PITCH PERFECT 3 NEW website review by Susie Cashmere
Running Time 1 Hour, 34 mins
Director: Trish Sie
Cast: Anna Kendrick Rebel Wilson Elizabeth Banks Ruby Rose Hailey Steinfield
I am a “Pitch Perfect” fan, absolutely loving the first and second movie made. Although I enjoyed the third movie, I wasn’t as impressed as with the first two. Just not quite as fabulous!
In this third movie, we find the girls have graduated from college and are all in the “real” world stuck in dead end jobs, thoroughly unhappy and disillusioned with life. The high of winning the World Championships has settled and the “Bellas” are quite depressed realising that there are not too many jobs that pay well just because you can sing!
Simply put, our favourite singers Beca (Anna Kendrick) Chloe (Brittany Snow) Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) Aubrey (Anna Camp) Emily ( Hailee Steinfeld) and Lee (Hanna Mae Lee) are bored and are itching to get back into singing.
Aubrey (Anna Camp) rounds up the “Bellas” and devises a plan to get out of the daily grind and back into singing. She uses her dad’s military connections to book the “Bellas” in on a U.S.O tour.
Joining this tour are two more groups which is where the rivalry comes in, but, in my opinion, ever so slightly. I feel there needed to be more competition and rivalry amongst the singers.
One of the groups is a bunch of handsome boys, a country act called “Saddle Up” and the other group is an all female band called “Calamity” led by the gorgeous Ruby Rose. Ruby Rose could have been in the movie a whole lot more as her presence on screen is enough to make even the toughest of all critics go week at the knees!!
DJ Khalid arrives and now the competition starts as he is looking for a headline act for his concert. DJ Khalid “spoofs” his own character very well and is terrific on screen.
A text book subplot involves Fat Amy's dad played by the fabulous John Lithgow, trying to re kindle his relationship with his estranged daughter as he realises Amy is about to come into a fortune and he wants to get his greedy hands on it. Of course she realises his motives and the plot fizzles out quite quickly
Elisabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins return as the pompous Capella commentators trying to turn the whole affair into a documentary. To me, they were a little irritating to say the least.
On the whole I enjoyed the film. the characters were fabulous, the story was just lacking a little substance and it could have definitely had more singing in it.
Worth a watch for sure and on the whole I give “Pitch Perfect 3” a $7 out of $10 on the “Cashy scale.
Reviewed by Susie Cashmere
THE NUT JOB: NUTTY BY NATURE website review by Bryanna Reynolds
REVIEW: The Nut Job - Nutty By Nature By Bryanna Reynolds
This laugh out loud comedy, features some legendary voices of Hollywood including Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Katherine Heigl and the one and only Jackie Chan. I personally couldn't come up with a better assortment of character voices if i tried. Each and every one of them brings an element of themselves to the cute little animals they all portray.
When the local mayor decides to build an amusement park in their local park all the furry creatures and critters come together and rebel against the demolition of their park.
Along the lines of other popular children's films there is also the lovable tough cute character and in Nutty By Nature he comes in the form of an adorable looking rat with marvelously adorable eyes which come with a strong personality and perfected voice. Who may you ask could pull of a character such as this, well it is the legendary Jackie Chan and of course the character is a master of kung-fu. It is a cute but lovable addition which again adds to the fabulous narrative of the film.
One of my favourite things about the film is how they capture the spirit of friendship through comedy and standing up for your rights even if you are a team of furry animals. It is as much inspirational as it is comedic.
While the film is about saving the park it is a journey of friendship and working cooperatively together which is an excellent example to be setting for young children and families. There is definitely an underlying theme over arching the comedy and philosophies of life.
I would recommend this film to anyone who is familiar with Ice age the franchise as it draws upon the same fun, yet lovable characters which are easy to relate to. I definitely think this film could turn into a sure success, just like that of Ice Age and even Madagascar.
The best thing about this film is that it is family friendly and suitable for all ages. I can't wait to see what the third installation of the film will have on offer. It seems to just get better and better.
Bohemian Rhapsody Club were lucky enough to see ‘Darkest Hour’ in cinemas ahead of its Australian release.
From the moment we entered the cinema, there was an air of excitement for this new biopic drama featuring Winston Churchill. Churchill is brought to life in a see before your very eyes by the extraordinary Gary Oldman, whom you may remember from the highly acclaimed Harry Potter film franchise as Sirius Black.
At the beginning of the film we had a lovely man speak to the cinema of people about the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust where he explained a wonderful opportunity for Australian citizens in the form of a scholarship. The trust was established in 1965 to honour the memory of Sir Winston Churchill and allow an Australian to travel internationally to investigate an area of interest to them.
We then watched a short documentary on some of the previous winners of the fellowship and it was truly remarkable to see what they had achieved, all thanks to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. The fellowship begins accepting applications on February 1st, 2018.
Then it was time for the film to begin. In this epic war drama we see the turbulent times Winston Churchill encountered whilst Prime Minister during the early days of World War II. The audience are taken along with Winston Churchill and all the decisions he must make in his newly appointed position.
The film stars a stellar cast consisting of Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas & Ben Mendelsohn to name a few. The cast worked swimmingly together and only further complimented the on screen portrayal of Winston Churchill to a climatic standard. The casting has to be seen to be believed.
Throughout the drama there were outrageous moments of comedy as well and I think this fell greatly upon the expertise of Gary Oldman’s portrayal. What I liked most about the narrative as a whole, was that there were moments of extreme intensity that would then translate into Winston Churchill being a person that anyone watching the film could identify with. Gary Oldman simply brought Winston Churchill to life in a way that made you feel like you were present in that day and era and could feel the struggles they were encountering at war.
While the film is set in the early days of World War II it would be easy for anyone to watch the film and understand the journey and expectations thrust upon Churchill at this very momentous time in society.
I would recommend this film to anyone who loves a good war drama. The casting is fabulous and the film as a whole keeps you thoroughly engaged throughout. I have high hopes that Gary Oldman will certainly bring about a slew of awards for this particular performance and the cast and crew of Darkest Hour as a whole shall be honoured.
JFF: 2017: SATOSHI - A MOVE FOR TOMORROW website review by Nina Tunaley
I had no expectations when I saw this film. First I was not aware that it was a biography. As soon as the film began I was facinated with the game being played. This turns out to be the game of Shogi, which in Japan, has a similar status to the world of international chess. The film provides the viewer with glimpses of the Japanese style of living which is dispersed within the main story of the Shogi competion and the life of Satoshi Murayama and his Shogi competitors. Biographies have not normally been my thing as far as films go, but I found myself drawn into this story.The impact of club and family interactions, expectations of all classes of competitors, and the major illness of the main character really does create drama for this biography.The manner in which this film is assembled and presented does maintain your interest for the whole time. Towards the end of the story, after a competion match, Satoshi Murayama invites the reigning champion (Habu) to dinner. It is what is said between them at this point that leaves me totally undecided about wether the final game was won or lost by Satoshi Murayama . You really need to decide for yourself. The manner of high level competion dress is almost Samuri Style and just this alone is an intriging insite into Japanese respect and culture. A very interesting story and well produced.
This film was sold foremost as a comedy film and I was ready to relax and laugh. Yes ,the start of the story began with interest due to the strange quirks of all the characters you are quickly introduced to. Funny characters in comic situations with great French scenery in the background, but one soon develops a sense of foreboding as the comedy switches to a black role involving murder, cannibalism, and a dark child. However, the characters tend to slowly lack interest because you become acclimatised to them quickly over the length of this film. The comedy was more intense only in the beginning of the film but after a while it does get a little bit boring in my opinion. The scenes of the cannibalism I believe, would not be good for young children, as this side of the story is definitely more adult territory. I struggle to understand the full intent of this story, as the logic of investigation does not flow through to what I thought was a clear result. The three individuals captured and destined become dinner, upon rescue; appeared not to inform the investigators of what had occurred. This was a strange end to the production!
WONDER WHEEL BEST FILM OF THE MONTH website RATE: 10/10 review by Nina Tunaley
It's a beautiful movie and a very good production. This story is set in an interesting slice of american time involving the poor and gangster types in a period I felt, that was just before the depression era. The use of Coney island fair ground as a backdrop provided some insight into the lives of carnies and added plenty of colour to what is a quiet story telling technique. An interesting blend of narration was used to set the scene from one of the more prominent players. A lot of emotions and psycology in the relationships of the main actors : due to a love triangle which seems to be simple but unusual. Relations within the featured family varying constantly due the wife"s problem son and the father"s gangster involved but acquainted with wealth daughter ... but that's life and you watch with interest. Enjoyable.
review by Natasha Marchev
It is Woody Allen at his best. the amazing soundtrack, the story line, the emotions - it is all so regonsisable and so adorable you can feel Woody in every line, in every move on the screen, The Wonder Wheel goes around so does the life of ordinary people - it is like an amusement park, their lives, but after a full turn nothing seems to get changed, it is all the same: just the lived through experience remains. The action takes pace in 50-s on the Coney Island. The story is told from the lifeguard's perspective as he is one of the major players in this great and film made with the hand of a great master. the actors' performances are naturally wonderful, flawless. Leaving all the other wonders of this film aside whit really fascinated me about his particular picture was the light and the softness of it reflected in the actors' eyes. I have no idea how Woody achieved it but I have to admit I was hypnotized, I have never seen anything like it before.
Woody was always y best and he will remain for the sake of me loving geniuses and of course their art works.
RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL: ANNA KARENINA THE STORY OF VRONSKY OPENING NIGHT website review by Dina Gavrilova
Russian Ressurection Film Festival Opening night
Every Russian knows that 31 December should be spent in a bathhouse and every Russian in Melbourne knows that Russian Ressurection Film Festival Opening night is a ‘must attending’ event which bring all community together. The program of the festival is always fulfilled and satisfies different tastes, offering new movies along with prominent ones which admirers could watch on a big screen and others get the opportunity to join in Russian attitude matrix.
This year the Festival started with the movie ‘Anna Karenina. Vronsky’s Story’ which was launched by the director himself. As a matter of course, a queue of reporters lined up to Mr. Shakhnazarov but he generously devoted time to everyone.
It is pretty hard to define what is more important for the opening night: movie, guest star or afterparty. The latter, however, deserves to be mentioned by itself. It is a common place that very often film festivals as well as other national events could be entertaining only for a particular culture. Luckily, this doesn’t apply to Russian Film Festival as it shows off all the best national traits inviting everyone to participate. Renowned Russian hospitality meets irresistible merriment displaying pure quintessence of Russian spirit: vodka, potato salad sandwiches and tiny pancakes for an aperitif, national dances and songs as the main course and ‘party like a Russian’ with VulgarGrad band up until the end of the night.
So, if you have any interest in observing and entwining with Russian culture in Melbourne, there is no better place as Russian Ressurection Opening night. Make sure you won’t miss it out next year!
The Room is a well known 'so bad it's good' film . This film is a film about filming the film The Room. It is an extraordinary story of the extraordinary man who film the worst movie of all times.
I did not expect too much from the movie so to my excitement is exceed all possible expectations. It was fantastic: fun fun fun to watch, endless fun to watch: sensational actors, James and Dave Franco in this movie are super super super amazing!!! One of the best actors' performances I have seen in the last year. Both characters are incredible and lovable. Is it an Oscar - one for sure!
The look of the original The Room was recreated to the smallest detail, to t he tiniest mimical gesture, to the smallest body movement.
I am only afraid of one this: the film will not find a good and appreciative audience no matter how well done it is. It is very special to me due to the level of the fine work and craftsmanship put into it. It is not for the people who like the lazy-made movies with the cheap cast and primitive plot. It is more for the people who adore the good cinematography and acknowledge the good actors' performance.
100% this is the film not to missed by or readers!
BIG IN JAPAN website RATE: 7/10 The film is a documentary about "ordinary" people becoming famous through social media, it is about the guy who decided to go on a very unusual mission: to become famous on purpose, it is about how to do and how not to do it, it is about two sides of the coin of being famous and much more. It is the most unusual experiments ever taken, it is funny You will have a good time watching it no matter how weird it will seem at the beginning . It elaborates how fame is addictive and why. there are three very bright examples the film is focusing on: - Rick “Ladybeard” Magarey, a cross-dressing heavy metal singer from Adelaide, - veteran American fighter Bob Sapp, “The Beast” , and - Canadian pop wannabe Kelsey Parnigoni
It has a very interesting ending with a shade of good philosophy on the world of celebrities and what they are missing from the life of an ordinary people.
I loved the expression: "enjoy the luxury of being ordinary"
The group of teenagers got initiated in a traditional way in on of South African tribes. The boys turn into men through a special ceremony and rituals step by step in duration of days while the very well kept secrets between some of the boys got revealed. The movie focuses on homosexuality and forbidden pleasure and love. I was fascinated by the film as it shows quite an unusual subject from a very interesting perspective, it is also filmed in a very unusual way. The characters are very intense and strong, the acting is fascinating as the story itself. It looks more like a documentary and it is hard to imagine that this is the art filming not the real life. The film is naturally an romantically sensual as well as gorgeously filmed. I would expect a stronger ending that would make the movie very unique despite its dark finale. It is a unique experience anhyway neglecting some small hiccups.
One of the most beautiful Australian movies which was presented at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Cinematography, performance and composition are excellent. It's a drama with a loss, sorrow, love and with a lot of colors, rich colors in surroundings, nature, costumes, animation which make the performance so attractive. There are three main characters connected with not simple relationship. The boy (Fin) lives in the world of dreams and we can watch a combination of life scenes and fantasy. This is a film I found drawn into the longer it went. It has a “what is really behind all this” component. Serious attachment issues are investigated at all levels, which occur as the result of an incident earlier in the life of the featured family. The story is held together through the hobby of the youngest family member -butterfly collecting. Butterfly’s further connect the story through costuming that belongs to a neighbor, who was previously a performer now running a flower shop in the area. Student/teacher and father /son relationships are constantly tested but the results are not fully revealed until the underlying background to the family becomes known. The topic of this film on the surface appears heavy, but it is dealt with in a manner that truly makes this film enjoyable to watch.
The idea of the film is fantastic, though delivered not in the way I would expect it to be. I had better expectation for this film. The central role is not Matt though nut unknown Vietnamese actress Hong Chau who practically steals all the scenes from Matt. The film is missing something that only the director can tell you about. It is not there so to speak no matter how the subject of discussion is. My final verdict: it is easily miss-able but if I was you I would go and watch for the sake of good actors only. You will enjoy it!
I would probably say more if I had anything on my mind for this movie. I' d better leave the discussion open.
The time and place is Hiroshima during the WWII. There is a poor family whose tragic life is shown in a very poetic way. The family is ordinary in its look but extraordinary if you consider the experiences they go through and how they are received. It is not the film about the war, it is more about the peace (and being disturbed peace) and the people wanting that peaceful life , wanting it in silence and tolerance to the circumstances and the pain of inability to change the situation. the film is very touching and please be prepared to drop many tears before the closing titles appear. It is also one of the most beautiful animes I have seen this year. It is also a very gentle film about our imagination.
It is an exquisite masterpiece to see not only the story-line-wise but on more other levels.
It is a very sweet and charming film. There are beautiful characters / personalities shown, the film reminded me of y own teenage daughter in so many ways. The major character is so in love with her mother, her small city Sacramento and her friends, she is so in love and she so hates her mother, her city and everyone around her. Greta Gerwing has written the story, created and directed the film about her own teenage life , about herself, the film is autobiographical to its inner core. Even if you do not know that it was Greta's film (which I did not when I watched it) you will still fell it from every movement, from every phrase pronounced from the screen. Greta was always my favorite actress , and now she is turning into a fascinating film director. The film is amazing to watch and reflect as it is about everything: family, sexuality, school, house and friendship of the young growing fast teenage girl that wants to learn so much about herself ad her place in this world. The film is a natural blend of comedy and drama like life itself. I found the story interesting, the characters well shaped and the film overall - well, my rate tells it all. thank you Greta and we are waiting for one more masterpiece please
GERMAN CINEMA MELBOURNE 2017: DESTINY website review by Dina Gavrilova
German Cinema Melbourne
Destiny by Fritz Lang
Silent monochrome movie at the era of Marvel Studios. Sounds ridiculous, isn’t it? And yet it is fascinating though! The movie which been produced nearly 100 years ago still captivates attention and amazes with the incredibility of happening even more than superheroes. All the special effects, technology etc. can’t possibly outweigh the genius of the plot.
Originally released in 1921 ‘Destiny’ has an extended title in German which could be translated into English as ‘Weary Death: A German Folk Story in Six Verses’. This is a story about a woman whose fiancée has been taken by Death and her selfless attempts to bring him back to life. She’s been granted three opportunities (which took place in alternative realities: China, Persia and Venice) to save three lives in order to get her lover back. But, unfortunately, Death is inevitable. The movie is a masterpiece of German Expressionism and been restored in 2016.
Resembling the Arabian Nights fairy tales, ‘Destiny’ astounds by the combination of simplicity and complexity. Innocent and pure Love against implacable and frightening Death with the predictable result but glimpse of hope. And everlasting background sense of mystical ecstasy which is impossible to put finger on. This movie leaves one with the feeling that there is much more in it than could be rationally comprehended even after nearly 100 years gone.
JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL 2017: THE TOKYO NIGHT SKY website review by Dina Gavrilova
Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue (2017) Yozora wa itsudemo saikô mitsudo no aoiro da (original title)
The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade
How many variations of the ‘two weird persons meet each other’ scenario are renowned? Probably, the most memorable is ‘The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain’ (2001) so far. However, it is impossible to get bored of watching them over and over again because each one has its own features.
The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade is a contemporary Japanese version. Mika, a nurse and a girls’ bar employee, who prefers the solitude and Shinji, a construction worker who is blind in one eye and extremely talkative out of anxiety, accidentally meet and keep bumping into each other in the crowded Tokyo. Both are feeling lonely, isolated and anonymous in the huge city they seem disconnected even from each other. Wounded by deaths of their friends and relatives they do their best to get over and become closer.
Being based on the poetry book of young poetess Tahi Saihate, the movie keeps the sense of delicacy and gentleness. Among busy, tumultuous and preparing for Olympics Tokyo two clumsy souls full of fear, doubts and mistrust approach each other on tippy toes.
At the same time questions which been outlined in this movie are much wider than just a love story. For instance, to what extend a big city suppresses and changes personality? Or how young people in 21st century cope and deal with difficult situations and disasters like earthquakes or suicide of someone close? The answers are not obvious and might surprise sometimes…
JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL 2017: LOVE AND OTHER CULTS website review by Dina Gavrilova
Kemonomichi (original title)
Love and Other Cults
Japanese Film Festival brought myriads of love stories this year, one of which is movie ‘Love and Other Cults’. But it is not a sentimental one… so, put away your handkerchiefs and tears of tenderness, this is strictly 18+.
Based on a true story (65% as the director assured) this movie depicts a young girl Ai who by the will of fate been brought up in a cult commune (instead of extremely religious mother who actually unable to pick the religion and by the end of the film she joined 13th). But the cult’s dispersal put an end to a relatively quiet and careless life for Ai. Craving for love she desperately tries to find a place to belong joining gangs, foster family and finally ends up working in sex industry. The only person who understands and loves her throughout this ‘journey’ is a loner Ryota.
This independent movie shows the other side of the coin which rarely seen from overseas: life as such in Japanese rural areas. What options do teenagers have in their lives and what choices do they make…? What cults and subcultures do exist nowadays…? It is a thought-provoking movie to watch but personally I wouldn’t call this experience ‘pleasant’. It was a bit of humor, a bit of violence and a tiny bit of love.
GERMAN CINEMA MELBOURNE 2017: FRITZ LANG 2016 NEW website review by Dina Gavrilova
20th century was fulfilled with myriads of peculiar movements in arts and German Expressionism was one of the most fascinating things. Already at the dusk of it, Fritz Lang filmed ‘M – A city looks for a murder’ which became classics of world cinematography and anticipated a lot in film noir. Delving in the vaults and attics of human souls 1920s movies pull to the surface everything that usually hides in the corners: anxiety, fears and other obnoxious emotions. But where all this comes from? What type of person could possibly create this sort of movie? Is it a requirement for a director to have personal ‘noir’ traits or deep secrets in order to create such a product?
Exactly this issue ‘Fritz Lang’ movie which was presented on German Film Festival’s opening night examines with the passion. It is a story about creative process: where the famous director found the idea and inspiration, how he traced and mapped it from one point to the next one and what sort of torture accompanied to this. Relating to the ‘fiction’ category, the movie is complimented with the clips from thriller ‘M’ enhancing the effect. Whereas monochrome establishes the aura of the era. Composed altogether it gropes and scrapes something ‘dark’ deep inside which pins one to a spot until the end of the screening.
Finally exhaling at the end of the movie, spectators leave the cinema with the eternal question in their minds: what is the correlation between genius and villainy? Do they accompany each other? Do they spawn or vice versa perish one another? So many spears have been broken in this discussion and still no clear answer. Hopefully, after this movie everyone can clarify their own point of view.
GERMAN CINEMA MELBOURNE 2017: A GERMAN LIFE EIN DEUTSCHES LEBEN/A GERMAN LIFE website review by Dina Gavrilova
A German Life
20th century… A hundred years like never before… Started with industrialization and ended with the internet… Encompassed a number of civil wars, revolutions and two World Wars which determined the new world order. People survived through totalitarian regimes and observed fall of the Berlin wall. Could anyone imagine to eyewitness all this? Nearly unimaginable… However, one woman did - Brunhilde Pomsel. Being born in 1911, she lived for 106 years a few of which worked as a secretary to Joseph Goebbels. Possessing such an epic name this woman gone through hard circumstances and at the end of her life gave a 30-hour interview out of which directors Christian Kroenes, Olaf S. Mueller, Roland Schrotthofer and Florian Weigensamer made a documentary. In Melbourne ‘A German Life’ was presented as the part of German Film Festival.
The personal story of a woman who grew up in a strict German family with strong sense of duty enlightens underlying reasons of choices which had been made. Shoot as a talk in front of the camera intermitted by propaganda films, it represents Brunhilde’s perspective reminding of the consequences at the same time. But even close-up doesn’t allow a spectator to immerse into her inner world, just a few emotions been projected. So, only her words we can rely on… And they are quite unexpected sometimes… However, directors do not judge the woman. So shouldn’t the audience as who can tell how we would behave in this circumstances. Everyone wants to think of themselves as a hero but very often people forget what it takes just to admit that you are not. And yes, at the times of tough choices ignorance is bliss if the aim is to keep sanity. It doesn’t do any favor to anyone but person survives. However, to live on with this choice and to cope with the knowledge is a different thing.
The newest movie directed by Greg McLean Jungle is a story of three young men who search for adventure of their lifetime hiking in the Amazon rainforest. They are led through the wild nature by a seemingly experienced guide, but his explosive temper and mysterious behaviour create turmoil among the hikers.
Some things, like proper footwear and food supply, were seriously misjudged for their trip, therefore soon enough travellers’ feet went all sore with flaking skin. Friends become extremely hungry, and since they carried only small amounts of food, they had to hunt and eat wild animals which looked quite revolting.
Out of the three young men, the main character Yossi gets it the worst being lost in the jungle for almost three weeks, without food or water, not to mention the hiking equipment and weapon. His adventures go from bad to worse.
After a big fight between the guide and one of the young men, the four travellers separated in half. So, Yossi and his friend Kevin chose to raft by the river. The other two went to the target point by feet. The raft got into severe drifts and Yossi dropped into water, which speedy stream took him a few kilometres away. It was a mere luck that he did not drown or got his head smashed of the rocks piercing through the river’s waters here and there. His surviving skills strengthened immensely. In a couple of weeks of wandering he was already fearlessly killing a giant snake. That’s the law of the jungle: ‘Eat or be eaten’. At some point, exhausted Yossi lost control of things and vultures, feeling his weakness, surrounded him. Though it wasn’t his end yet, so their hopes for food were greatly underestimated.
Yossi is played by Daniel Radcliffe who was a perfect match for a role like this, looking and behaving rather boyish, but with great inner strength. The other actors had essentially smaller parts in the film, two of them already disappearing after the first third. Their adventures were not included in the storyline, and the reason to it was only clear in the end.
The movie develops slowly in the beginning and even looks like something with a potential to become a comedy. However, gradually the tension builds up and the plot develops into a full-on thrilling adventure. It is not a hiking Bible, though certainly gives an idea of what to expect in the wild. It is a story of the great will to live, mobilising all instincts towards surviving in extreme circumstances.
RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2017: ATTRACTION website review by Irina Ivanova
The approaching to the Earth of a gigantic eye-shaped alien spaceship, detected in the meteor shower by Russian military authorities, makes humans to question their future in the galaxy. Assuming an alien attack, the troops shoot down the UFO, and it crash-lands in the Moscow’s residential area, smashing a few high-rise multi-apartment buildings and killing dozens of citizens. The communication with the aliens is entrusted to the Colonel Lebedev (Oleg Menshikov), who is cautious not to risk the peace between humans and other galactic species. His rebellious daughter, on the other hand, is seeking revenge for her friend, accidently killed by the massive space object.
The director of the feature is Fyodor Bondarchuk, famous for his acclaimed film The 9th Company, which became the most profitable Russian movie at the box office of 2005, winning 7 film awards out of 8 nominations. Bondarchuk is known to be a public supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This fact clearly seeps through the movie’s patriotic political and social subtext, showing the frantic tenacity in protecting the motherland from alien incomers.
The highlight of the movie is a hardly believable love story between Yulia (Irina Starshenbaum) – the daughter of Colonel Lebedev – and Hijken (Rinal Mukhametov) – one of the humanoid aliens (! – yes, they appeared to be very much like humans, and even speak Russian fluently). Yulia prefers the alien to her boyfriend Artyom (Alexander Petrov) who becomes furious and collects the crowd to exile the uninvited guests.
Inheriting best traditions of the most popular American sci-fi movies, Attraction boasts with world-class visual effects and wonders of pyrotechnics. Even though the plot is a recognizable mix of every alien-themed movie existent, the national touch is very unique. Spiced with passionate performances of the young actors and the unfailing craftsmanship of cinematographic veterans, the movie is a great bubble-gum entertainment filled with humour, action and, of course, romance, which ticks all the boxes of a successful blockbuster.
RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2017: ANNA KARENINA website review by Irina Ivanova
Anna Karenina: Vronsky’s story
The classic drama by Leo Tolstoy gets yet another interpretation, now from the viewpoint of Count Vronsky, Karenina’s lover. The main plot is the usual: Anna’s dilemma of choosing between life with her beloved, sacrificing the relationship with her son, or staying in the hateful marriage abiding by the rules of social discretion. The centre figure of this film is Alexei Vronsky, depicted as Anna’s devoted lover, a man of an honourable, multifaceted character, not the cunning seducer that is inherent to his traditional role.
The film is directed by prominent Russian filmmaker Karen Shakhnazarov, and is just fresh on the screens. It combines the publicistic story "During the Japanese War" and the literary cycle "Stories about the Japanese War" by Vikenty Veresaev. It takes place at the war hospital in a remote Manchurian village. Brought together by chance after thirty years of Karenina’s tragic death, Count Vronsky and Anna’s son, Sergei Karenin, share stories of their feelings towards Anna. Vronsky describes the events leading to her desperation, and explains to her distressed son, who sees the situation from a perspective of an abandoned child, what made Anna cross the line.
The main characters are played by Elizaveta Boyarskaya as Anna Karenina, Maksim Matveyev as Vronsky, Kirill Grebenshchikov as Sergey Karenin, and Vitaliy Kishchenko as Karenin. They are all very experienced and in-demand actors. However, though the cast was strong, their performance seemed a bit awkward in the beginning. I guess it was hard for the new generation of actors to submerge into realities of life a century before they were born. On the other hand, maybe it was difficult for me to perceive these contemporary actors as noblemen of another epoch. I’d say some performances could have been better…
Anyway, surely the movie will attract many viewers for the drama and raw emotions of the plot, famous Russian director and cast, the beauty of costumes and decorations, and impressive battle scenes. It was one of the most anticipated movies in Russia this year.
This is a very simple but wise movie with calm and hopeful aftertaste. Patriarchal town in the middle of nowhere… Simple people, simple life… today is the same as yesterday and day before… And out of the sudden 90-year-old man realizes that he’s getting older… Oh, well…
For legendary Harry Dean Stanton, it was one of the last appearances on the screen. And the brilliant one, should be mentioned. His character is ‘no-nonsense’ man who loathes small talk and goes straight to the point looks absolutely natural and effortless. Some hidden wisdom lurks into his eyes, so when he says ‘I know the truth and the truth matters’ you just believe he does. And no matter how tough and how old man is, it is still scary to face the death.
So, simple joys and simple sorrows of life without embellishment… Light jokes of witty men… Exactly what one needs to relax…
A QUEST TO HEAL - BEYOND THE PHYSICAL website review by Bryanna Reynolds
REVIEW: A Quest To Heal Beyond The Physical By Bryanna Reynolds
In this documentary film ‘A Quest To Heal - Beyond The Physical’, the audience is taken on a journey of learning and discovery associated with alternative healing.
The documentary tells the story of three patients who travel to a little village in Brazil where a spiritual healer by the name Joao de Faria De Texeira performs his healings.
The documentary is narrated and filmed by film maker Michelle Mahrer. This provides a viewpoint for people to take a side throughout the documentary.
Michelle Mahrer follows the journey of spiritual healing, guiding and opening oneself to new pathways of healing.
What I found most amazing was the behind the scenes look of a spiritual centre where one is free to open themselves up to the hope and faith that there could be a cure either long term or short to provide temporary or long lasting help.
The topic of spiritual healing I personally feel has to be seen to be believed. And while I still don't know exactly where I stand on the effectiveness in comparison to modern western medicine this was a breathtaking documentary so beautifully told.
If you are are wondering if this film is for you I would recommend seeing it if you are curious. You don't need to be for or against the practice of spiritual healing but just open to hearing people's experiences.
The documentary opened up my mind and I am thankful for that. I think it is helpful to watch the documentary with an open mind and simply listen to the stories of the three participants experiencing the spiritual healing.
I look forward to seeing what film maker Michelle Mahrer will produce next. Make sure you see the documentary ‘A Quest To Heal Beyond The Physical’.
WOW! This is quite a deep psychological journey. A kindness itself is shown in one very good looking angel-like woman who is a school teacher. Her real snake-spider-like manipulative personality gets revealed as we continue to watch the film story developing in front of our eyes. It is very hard for the honest person to recognise a snake in some one else. We usually act according t our own character and our own believes. When we trust someone in authority or friendship we usually believe that the person will be acting as us: honestly and openly. We do not know better. The snake-spider-like personalities though act according to their own belief system. The are dishonest so they see and expect lies and dishonesty in others - they also act accordingly. The vicious circle never ends till the snake faces the truth and genuine unconditional love - there is no escape for the snake in this condition then. It either has to die or to change. Lies are hard to follow as the lair forgets what he lied about. Lies are there to be invented and the inventions gets forgotten. While the Truth is always there and there is nothing to invent - it is there just to be opened and discovered It is easy to do it if you know what you are after. It is easy to live in truth too. Snake and spider personalities are hard to live with - they live with constant pain - they always have to think about their new "inventions" They have lonely miserable lives, mainly they never never ever find partners for themselves as they start with lies not with Truth. What was started with the false intention can never gets completed with the truth in mind. It will always be a lie. How to change: meditate, open up yourself, re-discover your true love and unconditional giving being, forgive and make your life not heave and full of "inventions" but light and enjoyable full of love and compassion. Discovering the truth is for the hard working though. If you are a lazy soul you will not have a chance - your karmic circles will bring you back and back again till you understand how to live, for many many lives may be thousands but you will learn eventually. Only after that you will discover freedom and joy. Only when the karma is broken. You can do it any minute of your life because there is no past nor there is a future - do it now and you will see a new world. Manipulative character is the one based on lies lies and lies only. If you are on your way to enlightment on the way to your power of knowledge stay way from such people who manipulate your life in their own advantage - they can damage (not destroy but damage you) .You will just waste your time on them. They need to learn on their own. As I mentioned before with some people you can give the everything: the ski , the flag and even the torch to lighten their path they will still continue to lie, leach, suck your blood and manipulate you. You have to close the door for them to understand - they have to seek other doors and continue to learn! Adding to that more: to discover your truth you need to risk your life, to study continuosly, to work on thyself, not to be lazy, it is not an easy road as you have to step over your EGO, which is sometimes bigger than YOU. You need courage on your way too. Lies do not need and courage. I see many cowards lie to me non stop. they are cowards after all as they do not want to see the best inside of themselves, they are afraid of their own light. The Lair will tell you a lot about where he traveled, how much money he has, how much his shoes are, how many houses he had, how many people or women love him, he will keep talking about his "false" self , his lies will never stop. The truth does not need to talk nor it needs to prove its existence. It is silent when you discover it finally. Lies are dead toys to play with, they are heavy too as the liar has only so many cards to play with although the truth does not have boundaries. You can spend the entire life with the truth. There is one more thing to discover when you say: "she has left me she has abandoned me" You will never find yourself a spouse if you keep seeing that the fault is within the others. You are the only one who creates your own journey and until you change the right person will never appear in front of your eyes. You will always be on the search... always... you will search Yourself though...
Something that stands out for the great applause no matter what: soundtrack! Not to mention the splendid actors' performance, good well developed plot with no downfalls, very easy and entertaining to watch. The story line is unpredictable and twisted and you will never find out what happen till the very end. The complex story line is a collective adventure of all its members. We eagerly wait till the very end but you never know with the French romantic comedies how it will finish: happy ending or sentimental regret. I am adding there the charms of the whole actors' crew. There are not that many films that I saw recently with François Damiens who is simply amazing in this film. I also have not seen Cécile De France for long time and she is a terrific form and she matured so much during the last 10 years. She is adorable and fantastic in each and every line she says. If you are after a good and light entertainment - this is one relaxing and very sensual film to watch!
GERMAN CINEMA MELBOURNE 2017: FRITZ LANG 2016 website RATE: 9/10
It is a deep and very intelligently filmed movie. The picture portrays a famous silent film maker Fritz Lang who is looking for inspiration for his first film. His new film is about a serial killer. Alongside Lang goes through his own life drama, while he remembers his past and his possible involvement into the crime too. It is questioning Lang's murder of his own wife who caught him up with a lover. Lang's own psychological drama interlaces with the criminal and the journey that the director makes to find out more and more about his major character. As the history tells Lang was never accused or charged for his deed. The film is blend in with Lang's original films. The movie is made black and white which adds t the drama as well as takes us to the 30-s , the time of Lang's genius. This film is a terrific masterpiece about Fritz that deserves to be mentioned next to the Fritz Lang's old films.
The film is not my cup of tea, it is not even the one I would watch at the movies but I gave it 10/10 for several reasons:
1. super sensational actors' perfromance 2. very well written script and immaculate director's work 3. excellent entertainment for this genre of movies
It is unexpected, it seems dangerous but funny at the same time. It seems real and amazingly well made up at the same time - it is a farce on the edge of the real events and the childish imagination of one of the major characters.
It is one home alone picture but not quiet : it is smartly done with twists and turns at the every corner of the movie path - we better watch out! If my kids were still small I would go and watch this film with them again just for the sake of good and healthy laughs.
LOUIS THEROUX: DARK STATES - HEROIN TOWN website RATE: 8/10
Famous American journalist and filmmaker Louis Theroux is after the biggest disease of all ties and nations: drugs showing the effect and the horrific life of its victims, their "happy moments" that are actually very scary to watch and their downfalls.,the ordinary lives of these "extra ordinary" people. The movie reveals the numbers, the queue to the rehabs, the recoveries, the slavery, the weak moments and the strong people who were able to leave their habits behind and start fresh new lives.
The film also contains the exclusive footage , behind the scenes and interviews with the daring author. Not only that , Louis shows the roots of the addiction pointing fingers at the conventional medicine and its inability to cure and give proper advises.
I love Luois' stories for their ingenuity and certain warmth, his humor and his openness to the subject. He is a true follower of Michael Moore style but with less "poisonous" approach to the topic.
It is a terrific movie to watch on any Australian holiday: it is witty, it is about Australians, it is about musicians, it is about summer time of course. The film has a terrific crew, it is light ad very entertaining to watch in a company of good positive thinking friends with good attitude towards life. The movie is good enough for any generation: there is something young people would love, there is something that would interest the older generation. It has a terrific view on the entire Australian nation: native australians and english population and it has funny moments in both sides to laugh about. Nothing goes uncovered in this film: nationalism, class division, immigrants, love and sex, Australian culture and beautiful history and country traditions. If you ever been to Aus country and traveled in car listening to the local radios you will not stop laughing at Magda Szubanski's character! The film contains many mini-story lines that are built around one core story: love of two people that meet summer after summer at the same camp ground. We watch the relationship between two young people grow and develop and get stronger.
DADDY’S HOME 2 DIRECTOR: Sean Anders WRITERS: Sean Anders, Brian Burns CAST: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow GENRE: Comedy/Family RUNNING TIME: 1 Hr 40 Mins
Just as we saw a fantastic sequel to “Bad Moms” in “A Bad Mom’s Christmas, we can now watch an equally fabulous sequel to “"”Daddys Home” in “Daddys Home 2” I’m just going to lay it down before I go on. Will Ferrell makes me laugh, and in this hilarious movie, playing the nerdy dad Brad, he did not fail me.
Will Ferrell is a funny guy, just as Mark Wahlberg is a funny guy, playing the other dad in the movie, Dusty. Totally different characters, equally funny with unique antics and personalities.
So, this time, the “co parenting” dads, Brad and Dusty, find themselves and their families debating on where to spend Christmas this year. Then when both Brad and Dusty’s own dads arrive for Christmas, a unanimous decision (actually made by Dust’ dad) is made to all spend Christmas day together at a completely separate location.
Not a huge Mel Gibson fan, I struggle to fault him in the brilliant, ex Astronaut, hard talking, non tactile, “take no prisoners” character of Kurt, Dusty’s dad. He’s a handsome man, a lady’s man, who prefers the female attention to that of his own son. Mel Gibson nails this character to a tee!
On the other hand we have Don, Brad’s dad played by the fabulous John Lithgow. He is perfect as the loving, caring, “over sharing” knitted jumper wearing all round nice guy. Polar opposites. So the fun begins.
The strain on Brad and Dusty’s “co dad”arrangement starts to show as true feelings and emotions come to the fore. The criticism and constant judgement on the parenting skills of our loveable dads becomes too much.
It’s a great movie, with Will Ferrell’s “in your face” humour hitting us hard just as the subtleness of Mark Wahlberg’s.
Let’s begin by getting the obvious out of the way. Justice league in neither as good as Wonder Woman, nor as bad as BatmanVSuperman. What it is, is half a rushed movie, chopped up to look like a full film. Imagine watching lord of the rings, but only the scenes with Frodo and Sam. It would still be a OK movie, but it would never come close to what it could have been. In the same way, Justice League was not a bad film, it did however leave me wondering just what was left on the cutting room floor to fit the WarnerBrothers 120 minute limit.
The story flows cleanly, albeit in somewhat strange directions at times. The characters all get decent time to tell their stories; no mean feat considering the number of leads, most with no real histories. The visual are mixed, switching from beautiful scenes of pure Snyder vison, to scenes of unfinished CGI and sloppy backdrops. The music was something of a letdown, with a few notable exceptions, most of the scores and songs used were uninspiring and became background noise.
The real star of the show is the characters. Just as well in a movie, existing solely to bring unknown characters to the foreground. Gal Gadot’s Wonder woman has more than proven herself to be a fan favourite character and the writers have allowed her to remain unchanged. Her strength and passion drawing the others in and acting a sentinel for the heroes. Ben Affleck’s Batman has traded in his previous fury and grit, as seen in BvS and instead become the wise determined father of the group. His dry wit and charisma shining through, to make him into the backbone the JL needs. Ray Fisher’s Cyborg fell somewhat under the radar, not because his character wasn’t important, but more because it was important for his character. The hidden powerhouse of the group, noticeably sensitive and wounded, seeking refuge amongst peers. Jason Momoa’s Aquaman was a standout, at times, funny, sensitive, aggressive and possessive. Momoas acting chops are undeniable at this point and his skills are on full display here. Ezra Miller’s Flash surprised me, not only with how comic faithful it was, but also with just how damn funny he was. Absolutely the comic relief, the flash injects the levity the movie needs, when it needs it and keep it from descending into the morose as many DCEU films have done before.
Justice league is a character movie about heroes coming together and becoming a team, in that respect, the movie is an undeniable triumph. The actions scenes are haphazard at best while the tone, music and the pacing were noticeably underpar. For all its flaws though, justice league remains an enjoyable watch, with engaging characters in an enticing story, brilliantly acted and with an unmistakable superhero flare. I don’t doubt that reviews for justice league will be brutal and unforgiving, pointing out the films problems and pretending its charm doesn’t exist. Don’t be fooled, this is a fantastic movie, hiding beneath the veneer of bureaucratic Hollywood politics. When the uncut version of this movie drops, it will likely get the respect it deserves. In the mean time, justice league remains, if not the movie the DCEU deserves, most certainly the one it needs right now.
Wonder is a heartwarming and emotional drama. It's about a 10 year's old boy, Auggie, whose face is shocking at first site but his soul is beautiful. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson are very caring parents who help him to go over his hard time at school. A very social production delivered through the eyes of young people and their parents. It touches on stages of early life changes and the contrasts of appearance issues with conflicts of what is important during these changes. The manner in which these subjects are brought to a conclusion is quite polished. The story line is simple but entertaining with a small part of the Christmas feel thrown in. Given the subject matter dealt with in this production it is an easy film to view, and does have a feel good component to it. It teaches children kindness, love, friendship, patience. Good production, good actors.
THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS website review by Nina Tunaley
A Christmas Carol…after Charles Dickens. Brilliant, delightful, magic film! It’s not only entertaining. You could see England of 1840s, life of different kinds of people, family life of Charles Dickens, his creative and imaginative hard work. Dan Stevens plays Dickens so emotionally showing bright character of the writer, his childhood, his father's failure, his career and, of course, Christmas holiday. All cast is excellent: Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce, Justin Edwards, Morfydd Clark, Donald Sumpter, Miles Jupp, Simon Callow, Miriam Margolyes, Ian McNeice, Bill Paterson. The intertwining autobiography of the author and the story he created, makes this production particularily interesting. This film will bring the spirit of Christmas and must be seen by all families and children to feel the magic holiday.
“School life” is a documentary about John and Amanda Leyden’s lives as teachers at Headford School in Ireland. Located in picturesque country side 75 km north-west of Dublin, the Headford School, with its 18th century architecture style, is the only primary-age boarding school in the country. The school’s goals are to instil in its students a robust self-confidence while stimulating them to express their individuality along with teaching them the duties and obligations to a wider community. The cameras follow this, no doubt, the most eccentric and truly devoted to their students’ educators. Weather it is during the class or while the kids are outside climbing the trees and building up the fortresses, the schools’ values are presented with a clear and strong voice: A happy child first, then learning. Ms Leyden, a literature teacher, is also involved in directing a Shakespeare’s play. Mr Leyden, apart from teaching math and Latin, leads rock band practice. Through paying attention to the students’ feelings and emotions, needs and abilities, the teachers become second parents and seem to know each child's idiosyncrasies and find triggers for openness and joy. It really takes a true, big-hearted Teacher to say the following: “If I become irritable with kids or can’t communicate with them, I would be out straight away; I would be no good to them and would be wasting their time”. This documentary is highly relevant to anyone involved in education, teachers and parents.
CONOR MCGREGOR NOTORIOUS website review by Susan Reynolds
Conor Mc Gregor Notorious Conor Mc Gregor's life was a financial struggle living on benefits at his mother's house. Young Boys from his town he explains learned football and to fight. The latter he discovered he excelled at and he became fight obsessed. From humble beginnings there's a meteoric rise which transitions well in the film. We perceive a somewhat laddish man but grounded in his personal relationships and with close family ties. The film is a self indulgent but so what...he's really worked for the success and shows he wants to enjoy the fruits of his labour. Some people have a vision of their success this is true of him.He display true grit in his planned pursuit. His girlfriend also has had unwavering belief in him.
Expect some confronting fight scenes with blood. I am not a keen fight fan but I left the film with admiration for him and his dogged determination to succeed. He is raucous and dramatic but this is a public persona. He also portrays someone grounded and appreciative of his relationships. He's cracking at a fast pace at this huge career and he's is not wasting a second of it. He's a showman right down to his growling, muscle flexing pre fight Oscar winning ...."I'm a fighter" role play. His body is a honed fighting machine and the scenes portray the extremes he goes to achieve this. His ambition is to be the best across various fighting weight categories. I do not doubt that psychology comes into play in this sport and he knows how to work the publicity machine and the aspects of attaining a psychological advantage to win.