JFF2018: SUMMER BLOOMS NEW 四月の永い夢 website review by Jeanette Russell
This film is moving and picturesque. I enjoyed the story written by Ryutaro Nakagawa. She tells the tale of a women who seems a little lost after the loss of her partner 3 years earlier. Aki Asukura plays Hatsumi who may not be living to her fullest potential. She is sad and by all accounts still grieving after the death of her partner. Hatsumi has given up her teaching role, As the plot unfolds it appears that Hatsumi has some resolving to do in her life. In the film we meet an ex student of Hatsumi's who is now in trouble. Hatsumi becomes more engaged in life as she assists her former student who is struggling with some issues, and needs support and guidance. There is also a man who is interested in Hatsumi, and pursues her. She needs to tie up some lose ends, and Hatsumi seeks to sort out what looks like some guilty feelings, she has, with her ex's family. An interesting story, heartfelt, and colourful visual stimulation is emcompassed in the scenery. I feel this picture from the Japanese film festival is worth a look. Thank you for the opportunity to watch and review " Summer Blooms".
MORTAL ENGINES NEW website review by Bryanna Reynolds
REVIEW: Mortal Engines By Bryanna Reynolds
In this out of this world blockbuster starring Robert Sheehan, Hera Hilmar and Australia’s own Hugo Weaving, the audience are taken through the battle to defeat “London” a city on wheels. Mortal Engines has you on the edge of your seat and inspired by the second it begins, to immerse yourself in the creative world created throughout the film. The all star cast are a match made in heaven and the chemistry between Robert and Hera playing two outcasts on the run to fight evil is perfection. It also makes for some of the cutest on screen romance I have seen in a while. The best part about the film is that they truly capture the spirit of fighting evil and overcoming any situation in life’s journey. The life that Hera’s character (Hester) had challenges and we learn how she became to be the strong independent female we see on screen. It is truly inspirational. Throughout the film the soundtrack is amazing and it continuously suits the atmosphere of the chase and cliff hangers throughout the film. The sound effects are also out of this world, see it to believe it. While the film is about defeating an evil city on wheels it is just as much about learning about oneself and the limits we do and don't have. There is so much to learn from this film about life and philosophy. I would recommend this film to anyone who is familiar with futuristic films and anything that makes you use your imagination. It is the perfect escape from reality and your everyday life, to be immersed in a time and place where anything was possible and evil was to be eradicated at all costs by using good old fashioned teamwork.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON NEW website review by Oksana Newton
How to train your dragon. Hidden world. Starts on cinemas in January 3rd. That’s just ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. It was the most amazing experience I ever had , so as my little pumpkin who is 7 y.o. . Great quality of movie, fantastic settings, lots of humorous episodes. Kids were laughing with joy. It not just kids movie, it is a master piece. The whole story starts in Vikings land where gragons and people living together. Where fathers story about safe and happy place are becoming reality for not only little boy in the future, but all Vikings. All story shows and teaches children how to be a real friend and how sometimes you have to sacrifice everything for the person you love or treasure. For example how Hiccap and all his friends left home to be able to protect dragons from getting killed or kidnapped. How following yours dreams and yours heart can change everything around you. How real love and respect can be a great gift in life. If you would like to know if Vikings found a Hidden place where dragons can be safe and protect from bad guys? Well. Let its stay as sicret. Just watch movie and enjoy. Just can tell you that movie anded in the most beautiful way. I just want to say that it’s was soooooo coooooool.
No one can deny that making movies is hard, especially the massively budgeted, arguably overhyped affairs of today's superhero films. It’s no surprise that DC film executives have been making mistakes, attempting to build a behemoth of critically acclaimed films; while respecting the source material and preventing any potential continuity errors in an expansive world of fantastical people undergoing extraordinary feats. That they have been trying to do this while catching up to the unstoppable juggernaut that is Marvel is nothing short of insanity. A fact that seems to have finally been realized if the new Aquaman film is any basis to go on. This movie is a breath of fresh air for the DCEU, a revival long overdue and much needed to keep the franchise alive. Gone are the Washed and dreary colours and themes of Man of steel and Wonder woman. Audiences can wave goodbye to the constant “Easter eggs” and references if not outright appearances of unrelated characters to accelerate the cinematic universe along, as seen in Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad and of course Justice League. In their place is a bright, colourful film that aside from a single line of dialogue referencing the previous film, stands on its own two feet. This isn’t to say that the film as some light and fluffy comedy, on the contrary, Aquaman deals with some dark themes and stands as more of a political drama/action flick than anything else. Following the bastard child of not only two totally different socioeconomic classes but also nationality, race, and even species. The film refuses to shy away from the extreme discrimination and alienation that would occur and does occur to a lesser extent in many biracial families. It explores the pain felt by children caused by the loss of a parent and the different ways that children grow up coping with it. While not quite similar enough to be called a satire, Aquaman does offer an interesting take on the effects of having bigots in power and effects that their prejudices can have on all those they lead. It may seem like a stretch to equate the dynastic monarchy of the fictional Atlantis with modern democracy but it doesn’t take a long search to see the inherent flaws with both systems and ways in which both deal with despotic rulers. Given that much of the source material Aquaman is based off was written long before our current political climate became what it is today only so much can be credited to the writers, however the universal truths of people and our reactions to power remain eternally relevant. For every bit of realism imparted by the themes and messages of the movie, however, there are a handful of ridiculous moments ripped straight from the comic source material. While not a pure adaption by any means, the writers pick and choose aspects and sections of dozens of storylines to build their own Frankenstein creation. The film never loses sight of the fact that it is a comic book movie. It doesn’t give the slightest thought towards the audience’s suspension of disbelief and instead focuses on making the story as entertaining as possible, sense be damned. A bold and brilliant take on a genre bloated with generic black leather and predictable stories staring what boils down the same archetype with a different power or quirk. Instead, Aquaman embraces the absurdity of its source and proudly displays the garish colours and outlandish outfits that made their comic book characters stand out. Comic book characters do ridiculous things all the time, mainly so the writers can show off their creations; whether it be leaping off buildings, discovering new powers as the plot demands or duelling a giant monster with their bare hands, none of these things is the slightest bit out of place in a comic and it makes sense that they should be shown in all their true glory in a film adaption. Animated adaptations have known this for years and have been beloved by fans because of it. None of this would work of course were it not for the actors being able to bring the ridiculousness to life in a convincing way. In this field, Lead actor Jason Momoa stands head and shoulders above his peers. Bringing Arthur Curry/Aquaman to life with such passion and joy that I now cannot imagine it being done any other way. Momoa makes the role his own, whether he is being snarky and infantile, or bold and aggressive. His range is tested as he has to portray not only a broken-hearted man unable to face his own family but also the light-hearted man-child seeing the fun in everything. He gives the character depth and layers that many would not expect from a character whom many sum up as “the guy who talks to fish”. But even though he probably could, Momoa doesn’t take all the spotlight, sharing it with him are Amber heard (Mera), Willem Dafoe (Vulko) and Patrick Wilson (Orm/Ocean Master). All of whom do a fine job in their respective roles. Heards’ love interest was enjoyable and played off Momoa well. Their chemistry was rushed and didn’t quite click, but each was enjoyable in their own right. Volko and Orm both feel like they could probably have been played by many other people just as well, but neither detracted from the film. A side effect of delving into the train wreck of emotions that the writers have turned their leads into does mean that unfortunately, Aquaman does have a bad case of Weakvillanitis. But there is enough going on that it is a forgivable case. There is a LOT going on in this movie, from the CGI bonanza to the constantly shifting emotions, Hilarious one-liners and moments of true introspection. Aquaman defies common film genres and seems to stand as its own entity, which it nearly is. Aquaman stands in a small and high standing company as a true adaption, the likes of which have not been seen since Watchmen or Spawn. Will this movie win an Oscar? Absolutely not. Is an enjoyable watch? Absolutely yes. Aquaman is a fantastically fun romp that highlights both the seriousness of some comics and the absurd fun of them all. While not a perfect film, it does a really good job of bringing the comics to life and is two and a half hours well spent. I highly recommend it to both comic fans, and people who are looking for something fun this summer.
This documentary film is based on true life events.
War survivors/ heroes tell their extraordinary story of the actual life events.
“To be inside of the fastest aircraft at that time was and still is, a great privilege.”
The aircraft played a huge roll in the war and its victory.
To fight Germans, England had to come up with something drastically better than Germans aircrafts to survive, and so they did.
English aircraft engineers was given a very big task to create ,the faster and the greatest aircraft ever, which would carry 8 Machine guns.
Everyone has a story of survival, which is absolutely extradentary, all survivors remember it so well.
Those aircrafts machines are in the England museum displayed as national treasure.
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTTS NEW website review by Susan Reynolds
“Mary Queen of Scots” Drama/History Director: Josie Rourke Written by: Beau Willimon
Review: Susan Reynolds 10/10
Even a strong woman wearing a jeweled crown cannot be complacent about her position in the Elizabethan era. Men of the cloth, those with title and their minions at court scuffled, connived, colluded and murdered to gain control, power, position, authority and riches. The master manipulators behind the two women were often driving the conflicts in the court and beyond and controlled much of the outcomes.
The film depicted the main Royal figures in an era which was in the wake of the notorious Henry VIII. History has informs us of Henrys dispensing of wives on the chopping block, these had been brutal times. The supreme power of the monarch during Elizabeth’s reign had never been so much in question. This was due to the fact that there was a woman at the helm. (Margot Robbie) in one scene in the movie suggested she felt to be queen she had become more a man. Elizabeth I, was the daughter of Henry VIII and the wife Anne Boleyn. Henry had disgraced her name to conspire to bring about her murderous end. The volatile divide between the Catholics and Protestants was a fertile ground for civil war in Scotland. The English court helped proliferate chaos and division; the stuff suitable fodder for a Shakespearean drama.
This film was exemplary in highlighting the angst felt by both royal women in a world where men believed in their dominance. Men constantly tried to enforce their will and their self-proclaimed superiority over women. Mary and Elizabeth were united in their struggle in trying to oppose the demands of men. But they were also divided in their struggle for power and authority as monarchs. Each woman feeling as they were the legitimate and rightful heir to the throne of a united England and Scotland.
The film was glamourized one might say, but justifiably so to appeal to mass audiences. No one wants to see the grubby stinking conditions people really lived in; Elizabeth for example thought to bathe only four times a year. However graphic, vile and violent elements were displayed in the film. These factors aren’t out of place for depicting the times and the true existence of human evils. This is evident in the murder of Mary’s Italian-born courtier and confidant David Rizzio (played by Ismael Cruz Cordova).
Both Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots were known to be tolerant of different faiths and were seen in the film as inherently kind and righteous. Mary was consumed by passion for Lord Darnley and it was really her undoing and a fatal mistake. Darnley betrayed Mary and was self-seeking in his ambition for power husband to a Queen. Like our modern day paparazzi a vehicle for proliferating gossip, rabble-rousers and slanderers like John Knox (David Tennant) spread unease and insurrection amongst the subjects. There’s a sense in the film that this slandering of Mary had a lot to do with her downfall as well as her bad judgment at times particularly in the choosing of Darnley.
The fictional yet poignant scene in the film where Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots met showcased the acting excellence of Saoirse Ronan (Mary Queen of Scots) in a conversation with Elizabeth (Margot Robbie). Mary had what Elizabeth didn’t, a son to be eventual heir to the throne of England and Scotland. This was my absolute favourite scene in the film and the acting was brilliant.
Costumes were superbly crafted and the colours beautiful. Tremendous thought had gone into detail for instance Mary’s almost electric blue gown and in a following scene young son James is seen in a similar coloured outfit. I really enjoyed were the cleverly engineered visual elements in the film. Elizabeth visited the stable and petted the young foal suckling on its mother and then contemplated her own fantasy of a pregnancy. Swiftly Elizabeth dismissed the idea by readjusting her dress that she had bunched up to momentarily suggesting a swollen tummy in silhouette.
In another example masterfully sequenced we had Mary lying in her bloodied sheets having just given birth contrasted to a scene where Elizabeth was twirling paper into artworks, contrasting the preoccupations and focuses the two woman had. These cleverly engineered comparisons and highlights were wonderful. I also enjoyed the scene of sheer curtains when Mary Queen of Scots tried amongst the gauze and light and airy atmosphere to find Elizabeth. This constructed game play heightened the elements of anticipation and intrigue. The Queens go head to head here Margot Robbie proved she is an equally formidable force as both an actor and a Queen as Saorise.
Stand out performances were many. *Saorise Ronan as Mary was masterful in her accents, transitioning from a Scottish accent to speaking in French. *David Tenant rhetoric and rabble rousing the crowds to revolt and depose Mary Queen of Scott’s proves his Shakespearean greatness commanding every scene with a dramatic resounding Scottish brogue. His belligerent grandstanding with the crowds authentically presented a passionate temperament we readily recognize as the trademark of this brilliant actor. *Jack Lowden as the annoyingly drunk and handsome Lord Darnley (Mary’s husband) has electrifying scenes with Saorise Ronan where we admire, detest then feel a strange unwarranted sympathy for him and his ill-fated choices.
Wow - that's a masterpiece! "My name is Polly. Which way do you want me?"
Yorgos Lanthimos'women shape up so beautifully for us. It is of course not only the director's hard work but his actresses: Emma Stone rocks the stage and owns every episode, every small scene in the film. Honestly I was attending the movie with a heavy thought: "gosh, this is just another 18th century picture about the queen... not again!" I did not honestly check the director. I was not disappointed to say the least - I admired every even smallest picture drawn in the film. If you learn to be a cinema-phil and you learn everything about cinematography this film should be on your top list. It will be a classical film. It is a classical film in its best evocation. I do not know anything how Oscars got rewarded but I know one thing - his is an Oscar winner for me by many parameters taken in. It contains everything the good movie should have. I miss such movies.
It is 18th century and Her Majesty Queen Anna is living not the best times of her life. Neglecting English political tendencies with France at that time and blood, wealth and sweat sucking war with French she is very ill. Her legs show it up - they are swollen and covered with the wounds that do not heal. She is also depressed . She lost 17 babies. She gossips about people who surround her and talks little to them to change her opinion on them - she is negative to the level of being poisonous. She has the best and very close friend Sarah. Sarah helps the queen with everything: be it war discussions or just a common everyday talk . Sarah is smart. Her way of communicating with the queen is honest, straight forward and she is not seeking any advantages from this friendship. She enjoys being with her friend no matter how bad and unpredictable the queen can behave. Sarah talks to the lords and war veterans on queen's behalf, she looks after her queen in every little aspect of Her Majesty's life. She has a much closer business with the queen than one can even imagine but this is a secret between them two. It is obviously love in its highest expression from Sarah's side.
One day a new servant arrives to the estate. She charms with her way of shooting doves and chasing the male aristocrats. She is the one to talk about. The estate gossips. What happens next - the director will show you... and you will be shocked and shocked again and again and again.
The picture is amazingly effective. When I say effective I mean a lot. Every small detail is thought through about: be it the queen's bedroom decoration or the jar she vomits into. It is the history the director shows to us in the most profound way. These details buy me as most spoiled movie lover. I wow-ed almost every episode and its set up and staging done with the perfection of the master's brush.
Lanthimos has his priorities though. First he shows us the actors that he introduced to the 18th century environment so they feel comfortable in it... Then he decides to work on the audience and let us into his world. Some pictures of the common day to day life shown shock us to the very core. Example: the servants sleep on the floor back to back. Nevertheless it feels normal as we know they worked so hard they did not care where and how they sleep. The story goes deeper and deeper into the character analysis with each scene enveloping and opening out in front of us. It is the film about someone who is nothing becoming someone who is everything. We heard many stories like this before. But this is not your ordinary "win the queen's heart " story. It is all about charming that feels so cool and so in place and so grounded without any "high life" ambitious crap. Queen is shown as an ordinary person, a woman with her every day needs so are the other people in her circle. There is no much drama in the dramatic scenes. It blends beautifully with the good and healthy humor. The people are killed softly as life cost at that time is low and also because death is a part of life. This is what we are shown on the screen.
Each character has something so unique I will have hard time describing them all unless you watch the film and see the actors with your own eyes. Because of the simple way this film shows the "big girls" you feel part of the movie staging, part of the decoration, you feel sitting in one of queen's rooms and observing the disasters. It is a masterfully captured action for me with lots of hidden symbolism in each scene. the action develops so naturally the appearance of the new young servant in the queen's bed is unavoidable but so organically and skillfully done! The film does not fell pathetic but it is soft and so ordinary about the extraordinary events.
The camera deserves the highest appraisal on its own (fish-eye). I still (being not an expert of course) can not understand how it was filmed so we see the whole room wall to wall on one small screen in one go. The way it is filmed also reminds of the theater more than a movie - you see everything that happens around you in the room of a largest scale.
The soundtrack is one separate thing to chat about and admire. The way it blends into the episode after the episode will fascinate you... It predicts but not overwhelms the passing episode. Again: it has to be experienced at the cinema rather than written about.
The trio of women in power is the apotheosis of the film of course. While Colman and Weisz play the independent and rather emotionally upset women , Stone creates the image of cheap (penniless) , young and power hungry woman. The simplicity of the story adds to the Emma's image of her character: she is boring, not elegant, peasant-like, predictable and very plain in her desires (Stone plays immaculately well) . Emma's character is rater more predictable than the colorful performance of Colman and Weisz . Colman ever uncertain mood changes can only be controlled by Weisz' strong hand. Weisz is elegant and so much believable. Weisz performs on the peak of her talent. Her role is hard: she has to show the strong woman (betrayed by the queen) at the time when men and ther wealth defined the weak female figure.
It will be one of my best movie in the passing year. I love Lobster, I love The Killing Of A Sacred Dear. I love The Favourite.
The film is a masterpiece on its own only when you take in consideration the craft of selecting the actresses for the major cast.
What excites me in such movies: how they film so many epoche dressed women in one go only for a short period of time, glimpses are shown. For me as the person setting and staging up the fashion shoots it is amazing! Thumbs up! It is also a biggest appraisal for the director who decided to test himself filming with such lush outfits. It is a hard work but so pleasant for the eyes indeed.
One thing you need to remember watching this film: Lanthimos is The King Of Absurd - that's why I love him. Be prepared to the best absurds in cinematography.
I want to write more and more about this fabulous film but again: it is better to see it once at least for yourself and I will be seeing it one more time!
AN ETERNITY GATE NEW website RATE:
30 MINUTES OF DANGER NEW website review by Max Lyons
30 Minutes of Danger is a short virtual reality (VR) film, written and directed by Grant Scicluna, adapted from Jack Heath’s novel 300 Minutes of Danger. As a VR film, you are put into the first-person perspective of protagonist Nassim, who awakens in a haze, confused and disoriented; like a patient emerging from anaesthesia. A mysterious figure focusses into form, a woman (the Technician), frantic and aggressive. You’ve been poisoned, and she demands the return of her ‘Bloodstone’ in exchange for the antidote. Will you survive this heart-pumping game of cat and mouse before suffering a mortal fate? Only time will tell. Note: This review will focus on the film as viewed on a VR headset – the intended medium – though it should be noted that a non-VR (i.e., standard 16:9 aspect ratio) version is available. Before deconstructing the film itself, the technical aspects of its screening should be discussed. 30 Minutes of Danger is viewed on a Samsung Gear VR, a hybrid headset that utilises the display and graphical processes of compatible mobile devices to act as a virtual medium. This was adequate for the film’s screening, though there were still noticeable graphical limitations in terms of display quality and refresh rate, aspects essential to the immersivity of VR experiences – a dedicated VR headset like an ‘Oculus Rift’ would have been more apt. On that note, however, the first-person perspective enabled through the implementation of VR (graphical limitations aside) made for a sufficiently immersive experience, heightened further by the tension felt throughout the emotionally evocative narrative. This immersivity was also complemented by various post-production graphical overlays and visual effects (really selling the post-anesthetised condition of the protagonist), and several verbal prompts from film characters to react to (as if you yourself are the protagonist) – it should be distinguished though that these “interactions” don’t constitute an interactive experience (a descriptor used in several advertisements); there is no feedback response of any sort, thereby making it as interactive as Dora the Explorer asking where her map is. Onto the film itself, performances by the cast of four were highly commendable, with veteran Maude Davey (Offspring) showcasing her prowess as the unhinged Technician, her erratic disposition and capricious mannerisms tantamount to the tensious exuberance (if only a little overembellished at times). Nicki Bacon (as protagonist Nassim), though given minimal facetime, plays a respectable counter given his amateur background and is quite well-spoken. Though brief, he does share some screen time in the occasional third-person perspective shot; well performed but not sufficient enough to gauge his expressive capabilities as an actor. Also noteworthy was the all-too-brief role of Shareena Clanton (Wentworth) as a police officer; very respectable, albeit relatively short. Author Jack Heath also makes a cameo in the production. Shot in a fully furnished house, the accompanying set design was constructed with meticulous detail taking full advantage of the 360° perspective permitted by VR. The film takes place over several rooms throughout the house, each personalised with items such as family photos, personal trinkets, appropriate household items, and miscellaneous items conveying a sense of general inhabitants. This fleshed out environment (inclusive of working clocks that track the film’s timeline) added an extra layer to the immersivity by way of establishing a personal connection between characters and their surroundings. The shoot location also allowed for a lot of natural light to be used while filming, a problem often encountered in VR works given the limitations it puts on the use of specific equipment, such as microphone booms, lighting setups, and camera rigs. The most evident shortcoming of the film was the lack of narrative depth in terms of both character portrayal and development, and plot progression. Dawned in mystery, the story relied heavily on its thriller nature, complementing the overall tension felt throughout. However, by doing so it failed to elaborate on the narrative’s secrecies – character motives were unclear, their personalities seemed shallow and under-developed, and social milieu was shrouded from interpretation. It felt more like an abridged cut of a longer film; a depiction of major plot points used to garner audience intrigue albeit at the omission of finer narrative elements. A disappointing oversight to an otherwise entertaining story. Overall, 30 Minutes of Danger was an enjoyable experience. Performances were commendable, the set design was thorough and well executed, and the implementation of VR paired with the high-tension storyline made for a satisfying immersivity. Though runtime and financial limitations may have hindered the scope of the film, it was the narrative shortcomings that ultimately derogated its reception. The amalgamation of VR and traditional media is still very much in its infancy, however, further universal adaption and societal integration can only happen through the continued widespread exposure of the consolidated medium. 30 Minutes of Danger and projects alike serve this purpose well. Though not perfect, they introduce people to the experience of virtualised environments and thereby the possibilities of VR implementation in multidisciplinary settings. To that end, I can only recommend 30 Minutes of Danger*. *Recommendation applicable to VR ver. ONLY – not standard ver.
Running time: 114 Minutes. Film Review: By Maxwell M. Lyons
Bumblebee is the sixth and latest instalment in the Transformers live-action film franchise, acting as a prequel to the original Transformers (2007) movie. Whilst Michael Bay directed the former five (5) releases, Bumblebee gets a fresh start with Travis Knight taking the reins, stripping away much of the Bay-isms that have cluttered the series for the previous decade, instead opting for a more narrative-focussed approach — wait, no gratuitous explosions? Stay with me, I promise it’s a worthwhile trade-off.
Set in the 80s, the film tells the story of its titular character Bumblebee (briefly voiced by Dylan O'Brien), an Autobot from the war-torn planet Cybertron. On the brink of extinction at the hands of the Decepticons, he escapes to Earth to seek refuge until he can regroup with his brothers-in-arms. Damaged on arrival, Bumblebee lies dormant in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town until unknowingly revived by Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), your stereotypical young-adult outcast trying to find her place in the world. Before long the Decepticons also resurface, threatening not only Bumblebee but Earth itself. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because it’s essentially the plot of the original Transformers (2007), but this is where the comparisons end.
Though not the most original narrative, it takes a much more humanistic approach. Charlie is written with more depth than any former protagonist of the series (as is Bumblebee for that matter), and the bond established between young human and ‘bot is refreshingly heartfelt, taking the audience of an emotional journey from start to finish. Sure, the script isn’t perfect – most other characters are fairly one-dimensional, the story is less than unpredictable, and it still commits various sins alike its elder siblings – but it’s so much more than an incomprehensible barrage of jump-cuts and explosions.
Steinfeld’s sincere performance grounds the movie, establishing a truly genuine bond with her robot counterpart. Though comedy may not be her strong suit (not all the jokes land), her emotional range more than makes up for it, even if her character is written with a few too many moody teenager tropes. Co-star John Cena also puts on a respectable performance as antagonist Agent Burns, a Sector 7 soldier out to capture Bumblebee (hesitantly) alongside the Decepticons (who deceive him). Lastly, there’s Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Charlie’s friend Memo, whom whilst portrayed admirably by the young actor, is ultimately little more than a tacked-on love interest along for the ride.
Bumblebee had its work cut out for it; it’s the sixth film in a long-running (often butt of a joke) franchise and acts as a prequel to the original movie. Surprisingly, however, it managed to be the breath of fresh air the series needed, bringing the franchise back to basics in its character-driven storytelling and (relatively) simplistic directorial approach. It may not be the adrenalin-fuelled explosion-riddled orgy we’ve come to expect (for better or worse… much, much worse…), but what it lacks in blood-pumping action it more than makes up for in narrative intricacy and emotional evocation. Bumblebee is the best live-action Transformers movie since the original 2007 film and I highly recommend it. All I can say is it was nice to enjoy a Transformers movie once more.
will be released in cinemas Australia-wide on December 20, 2018.
CAPERNAUM (CHAOS) NEW Capharnaüm (original title) website RATE: 10.10
It is the film about the boy who survived all the hardship life through at him and sued his parents. If you think you can watch this film and walk away half way through if you feel you do not like it you will be wrong. I bet you will be glued o your chair till the last film titles.
The film poster portrays two very poor children. You can tell they were starving .They bravely keeping u in the streets of Syrian Beirut. They barely survive. But will YOU survive watching this heart breaking story for two hours? You will be first shocked then you will be all in tears. The director actually had so much guts to tell us this... but more to that - the main actor is will be the Oscar winner. This is for sure. Sometimes I felt he was there in reality not acting so good he is. He is only 14 years old and he acts better than some mature actors.
He plays t he role of the boy whose documents are lost. He does not know how old is he as his parents could not afford to buy him a birth certificate for $100$.
Zain neglecting his young age behaves like an adult. He is even more adult than his parents who never worked, who never search for work and who do not know that selling their daughter to the shop owner to be his wife at the age of 11 when her husband would be 30 years older than her is totally wrong and dangerous.
Zain works, he looks after his brothers and sisters and the family has many. He tells his 11 year old sister: "do not tell that you already have your period to our parents. They will sell you". He dreams to go to school and study. But he hates the world. He gave all his heart to the world but the world treats him worse than a rat. His hatred has the reason. His family is poor. He has to work to survive and to feed his family. He eats a little. He also get a 5 years So why does he sue his parents? he sues them for giving him LIFE.
The film opens with the listening of the case at the court. It shows the end of the film practically at the beginning and the audience is shocked. We do not know what is going on. The story then starts where it should but the events that took place before the court shock us even more. We will understand how Zain got to jail and why h sues his parents.
Zain runs away from home when he finds out that sister will be "gifted" as a commodity o the shop owner. Zain is looking for a job at the local Entertainment Centre. He meets with Rahil there. Rahil is an immigrant. She is illegal immigrant in Lebanon in the country just to feed his only baby whom she hides in the trolley while she works. Tahl decides to take of Zain. In return Zain should take care of her baby at home while she works. One day the police arrests Rahil and she does not return home.
There is no one fake acting scene in the film. The no plays so well! If he made a simple mistake the film would not worth a penny. The film survives with Zain played brilliantly well! We do not have tears anymore but the director is not trying to make us cry. We understand Zain suffers but we do not have tears in our eyes. Zain is not a boy , he is a fully developed adult in his actions. We feel it with every next step he takes. He does not weep, he does not cry, he does not feel sorry got himself, he takes actions. He is cruel to the people as people are cruel to him. He is the child that never had his childhood.
The picture was filmed over five years. In three years of film preparation the director talked to the kids who experienced lack of love from their parents, lack of care, lack of education. She visited the outskirts of Beirut where such cases are not a surprise and she also visited lots of jails for children. On her way back from a party at night she saw she saw a woman at the traffic lights begging for food, the young woman was holding a two years old baby in her hands. The kid wanted to sleep but she still was doing her business. The idea for the film came out spontaneously and on her return back home the director wrote a story about the boy who sues his parents for mistreats. It is about the child whose parents did not think much while they were "making" babies and gave his a nightmare of a childhood and a horrible life. Such parents do not have souls. They missed them on their way somewhere. It is hard to imagine but there are such cases apparently.
Her film is a weapon for the children against such parents.
Is the film going to be a winner for you? You decide! I made up my mind.
The former Prime Minister of Italy, the Minister of Economy and Finance, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Italy, the Member of the European Parliament, the owner of the famous "Milan" football club, the most successful real estate agent and finally the knight of the Order of Father Pius IX, the TV channe;s owner and "big boy" and multi-billionaire Silvio Berlusconi is shown in all his flourishing beauty during the three years of his life. he is the resident whose lifetime turned into an object of national and international adoration and hate.
The scandalous glory of the renowned statesman has repeatedly became the subject of firing discussion in both the Italian and the global press. Silvio was accused in money laundering and fraud, tight connection with the Sicilian mafia and under age minors. His orgies were subject of discussions in the newspapers and press; he was also well known for tax crimes and other state (an d unpunished, below the law ) offenses.
Of course, the film directors and producers could not help it but be interested in such an extraordinary character in all aspects of his life... but until recently it was impossible to tell the story of Berlusconi truthfully enough - the connections and his influence were so great no one could possibly dream of a full-length feature film based on the biography of this full of lust lover of money and women.
Currently, the eighty-two-year-old "adventurist" is fully retired and therefore Paolo Sorrentino, author of the Oscar award "Great Beauty" film pictured Loro in his three years (from 2006 to 2009) of life.
The production was released in two parts for the Italian box office, while it was a combined version presented for 156 minute for the international release. The name of the film has a double meaning: on one hand, its literal translation is “THEY,” on the other hand, it phonetically sounds like “gold.”
The events take off when the owner of an escort agency from Taranto, Sergio Morra and his wife Tamara go to Rome in attempt to reach the powerful HIM. Sergio meets with Kira, one of HIS favorites. Kira helps Sergio to meet an influential politician. At that time Silvio is experiencing not the best times and not the best relationship with his second wife Veronica. More to this his political party just lost to the center-left coalition in elections.
I adore Sorentinno's films, his team works like a finely tuned clock. The story is excellent, the dialogues are extra-class, the world of luxury is depictured in perfection: it is full of temptation and the dominating felling of permissiveness. Berlusconi's Universe is really shown with the well colored brush strike. This is the world where girls, sex and money are not the excess or a rare reward for efforts, but they are only some symbolic constant of life, where a kiss is an aperitif, where the royal luxury of the sexual orgies and the silence of extasy are only a common aftertaste from the everyday life, the world where showing off your wealth are just the attributes that go together with success on the global scale.
The camera flies over the sea surface, looks into the eyes of people under drugs and blurs the background in some very emotional moments. There is a mysterious smile of Berlusconi in all its beauty, the real smile of a movie star, it shines in convincing sincerity of his intentions one moment and it revolts us the next.
The ambivalence of interpretations and metaphors, the ambiguity of the central character, the opposition of the terrible on business, but ultimately not the monster after all Silvio and the demonic, mercantile Sergio Morra are all used by the director to serve a common purpose: he is not only revealing the image of the odious ruler in the face of Sorrentino , but he also paints a collective portrait of people of the Berlusconi era with all possible grotesque.
We suddenly realise that these people are the result of the environment in which they live, Their morals are low , they have no principals in life and their actions are the direct result of what is happening in their minds and hearts. We say we draw our own life with our own thoughts. There is no one responsible for your life but YOU.
In this sense, the blatant allusions to Fellini's "Sweet Life" or solemn minor and sad, melancholic notes, to which the director more and more often draws closer to the final, are not surprising at all.
Entangled in the networks of solipsism and hedonism, these people forget who they are, they forget about purity and God, , they are the characters of the voluminous story the director tells us. It is a story of power and love, friendship and betrayal, commitment of nasty acts which take place not because they want to commit them but because they do not know how to live differently. This is the way of no life rater than life. Hating themselves they hate the whole world around them and they damn the world around them and they damn themselves.
The director takes the above and quotes Victor Hugo, claiming that "a demanding conscience turns into illness", and "unreasonable loyalty to beliefs leads down like a staircase to the cellar."
These postulates are the bible for people like Berlusconi.
But where will this lead all of us?
Is life really granted to us only in order to burn it at endless parties, indulging in sweet bliss, changing consciousness, and smugly grinning around? Paolo Sorrentino has enough experience and talent in order, without asking these trite questions directly, to arouse interest in the viewer. What is your answer? Are we here to relax and live like lazy consumers or are we here to create? What brings us more pleasure? What makes us stay up all night and fall in love with ourselves for example writing poetry?
After all, in the end we understand that Loro is not the film about Silvio Berlusconi.
This is a story about us.
This is a sad tale of the sweet charms of youth and the ugliness of old age, of foolish desire, putting masks of clowns, murderers, obscurantists, foremen and sufferers over and over again to meet someone's expectations.In the end, it is a sacred story of loneliness and of transcendental fears of the meaninglessness of life and the inevitability of death.
And this story is brilliant!
EIGHTH GRADE NEW website review by Roslynne Garwood-Webb
Eighth Grade , written and directed by Bo Burnham, is a trail blazing explorative film following the life of Kayla ( Elsie Fisher) and her single father Mark ( Josh Hamilton). With many cringe worthy moments that will have you uncomfortably wriggling in your seat and shaking your head in frustration, Burnham has created a very relatable, open and honest film that in a sensitive and poignant way, explores the challenges of early adolescence in Gen Z middle school in America. This film would be a great film to watch with children heading into secondary school as it gives very opportune conversation starters for those difficult discussions teenagers need to have with their loved ones . A thoroughly enjoyable film . 3 out of 5 starsa
Thank you for the opportunity to review the film Colette. I found it to be interesting, and informative as it was based on fact. Colette it seemed was a strong women with talent. Through the movie she matures develops and personally grows, Willy is a parisian, and quite the charmer. He and Colette marry. Willy is a writer who becomes stuck. Then he notices Coletes raw and natural aptitude as a writer. Next he cashes in on his wife's story telling gifts to gain momentum and popularity by calling her work his own. The series Claudine is born, about many of Colette's own childhood adventures. Over time after launching many novels under her husbands name Colette wishes to be a writer recognized for her own work. Its an engaging tale, with a curious plot, and a true to life account which I found to be well worth watching. Colette is played by Keira Knightley and Dominic West plays Willy her husband. Wash Westmoreland directs this film.
JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL 2018: CALL BOY NEW website RATE: 6/10
Ryo studies at Uni and works as a bar tender when he meets the woman who will change his destiny forever. Ryo's opinion on women is "boring" but it takes him to know one and many to understand what women want and to fall in love with all of them. Shizuka Mido, the owner of the call boys business that serves very rich clients assists him in this discovery. AsRyo starts to work for her he finds out that love has so many different forms there is o definition to the word. As you describe it it vanishes, slips through your fingers. It is something that we humans will never comprehend. Ryp shies from his deep feelings at the start but as he grows emotionally so do his lost aspect of a good lover grows. Ryo's challenge is to be desirable by many women and he achieves it. Women are tender, they will never forgive you the lies or fake emotions. Ryo starts to predict women's desires : to be heard, to be understood, to be childish, to play a mother or a sister. As he accepts their roles in his own life he understands what his real purpose in this world is. His ultimate love and desire though is Shizuka Mido but she is unreachable for him... Would he succeed? The film is sexual, nostalgically romantic, capricious in its extremes, highly sensitive and I recommend watching it with your partner and lover or both :) just kidding! YOu also should not be taken too much by the story and make t=it too romantic as the director laughs and you should laugh too... There are some very witty episodes. The actor was amazing but not very convincing to my own taste of men.
ELLIOT THE LITTLEST REINDEER NEW website RATE: 5/10
I would not really judge this film and leave it for the little kids to see and make up their mind... but I have to I guess... It is a Canadian miracle for 1 and a half hours and it is all about the nature vs. technology. From this anime we suddenly find out that Canada also celebrates Christmas no wonder the film is about North Dakota farmers who owns a contact zoo that he inherited. If he did not we I guess would not see this film! Hi business is running down but he has a buyer ! The buyer looks lie Lady Gaga. No matter what she does in North Dakota but she is not singing and this is a real pity! She is not vegetarian either however we do not expect it from Lady Gaga. Elliot looks very happy as only happy )no idea what this animal was honestly!) anyway horses, deer or asses can be! Oh may be he is pony! We also find out that ponies have dream - or may be this is what the film director thinks ho ponies should be... Everyone laughs at the pony. He is bullied. We also find out later than Santa lives in the land that looks like Mordor... I was getting frightened or may be falling slowly asleep... Santa is missing one deer in his carriage. Elliot and his friend who looks like a smoking dope goat-lady need to be in the competition to get to the Santa's deer herds. Really (and honestly) in no circumstances in the world I would allow my kids to watch this... but here we go, the tale continues... In many tales the good defeats the evil. Добро побеждает Зло, а инногда и Козло. So should be in this tale! What surprised me that Santa deer use marijuana cookies to fly. The cookies are though delivered to them by elves. I did not really ever liked any trading - forget it takes place in Santa's world. So here we go!
Elliot The Littlest Reindeer (G) – 90 minutes – by Alex First
Elliot (the voice of Josh Hutcherson) is a miniature horse with a great big dream.
Ever since the petting zoo where he lives became an official North Pole reindeer training camp, his job wrangling the zoo’s goat population with his great uncle Peanut Butter (Jeff Dunham) has seemed kind of … lame.
What Elliot really wants is excitement. Thrills. Glory! That’s right, Elliot wants to work for the Big Man himself. Elliot wants to be a reindeer.
So, when Blitzen announces his retirement on December 21st and Santa schedules a three-day emergency try-out, Elliot sees his chance.
He summons all his courage and against his best friend, Hazel (Samantha Bee) the goat’s advice, Elliot stages an impromptu try-out of his own for head coach Walter (Rob Tinkler).
While that doesn’t go exactly according to plan, before this is over Elliot is in for one big adventure.
For writer and director Jennifer Westcott, the idea to feature a miniature horse sprung from an impromptu outing with her family to a miniature horse auction in Fort Worth, Texas.
I wish I could say the result was magical, but in all good conscious I can’t.
A heavy handed, subversive animated Christmas feature, even the animation in this one leaves a lot to be desired.
The filmmakers have taken a sledge hammer approach to the material.
Save for the hero, most of the secondary characters are disreputable, dishonest and/or surly.
In other words, the tone of the picture suffers from a lack of likability.
Even the language spoken was often simply gruff.
And I didn’t much like the representation of Santa, either.
There is manufactured tension from the get go.
Mind you, I appreciated the opening scene when a reporter quizzes Father Christmas about the fact that the house of Claus appears to be one reindeer short.
Pity that clever humour wasn’t more apparent thereafter.
I referenced the animation a moment ago. It appeared far less sophisticated than what the likes of Disney produces. Perhaps that is okay on TV, but not on the big screen.
I am afraid overall then there are no ho, ho, hos for what purports to be festive fare.
Rated G, Elliot The Littlest Reindeer scores a 5 out of 10.
PEPPERMINT NEW FILM TO PAY ATTENTION TO website RATE: 7/10
The theme of revenge in movies is ever so popular and gets the highest rates from the audience through out the years. If the revenge film is also a blockbuster you got a double prize. When I say blockbuster you will think: oh god, not again! They are so got out of fashion... You (and I ) would watch it though for different reasons: 1/ the story line is fresh and engaging. 2. the pace is fabulous 3. the directing of action scenes if phenomenal and look organic 4. the main hero is the one you would fall in love with. There is nothing else. You will either like it very much or dislike it to the core of it.
Have they achieved it in Peppermint?
Peppermint is a classical in its genre of revenge pictures. The character of Jennifer Garner experiences the murdering of her daughter and her husband by the gangsters. The system does not punish them as the system is bribed. The main hero is a simple girl working at the bank. She would not even imagine her life would turn out this way. She disappears from life for 5 years to train herself to become the "terminator". Her purpose is to destroy the local criminal Diego Garcia who executed the murdering of her lose ones. She perfectly knows how to fight, box and shoot. The story might seem a bit boring for you now a its cliche is so very much obvious. There are evil and bad people, corrupt and slow policemen and the best hero in the word that does not drawn, does not drawn and does not have allergies from the bullets. There should also be lots of blood, meat and broken bones.
The hero's "apartment" is not glamorous: it is a mini bus with lots of ammunition, guns, alcohol for wounds disinfection - not impressive and unbelievable as it is located right in the area for the homeless people where she is loved as an angel and a savior. The actress herself is though superb! Garner is not on your star list I bet but she is perfect in this film indeed! She is so believable ... our Stanislavski would WOW her and graduate her wit top mark. She is simply sensational! She is a revenger, she is in great shape and she knows how to fight herself without any helpers. She looks perfect as a mother and as a wife too at the start of the film.
The film has a good pace and you will not feel one minute where you would need to yawn. There is lots of killing going on so be prepared and do not shut your eyes. They are cruel but watchable.
The editing of the action scenes is amazing. It shows slow motion and fast motion and it looks so great on the screen. The action is tactical and the hero is full on into it: she uses masking, knives, grenades, kastets, she chooses the coverage, hiding, all sorts of guns and revolvers etc etc. She looked like a professionally trainer killer who does not give up.
The final looked a bit pale to me though. There was not enough drama in it however it was good enough.
If you have time during your holidays - watch it 100% you will enjoy it. Especially if you are a fan of this genre.
review by Alex First at MAPT published with the permission of the author
Peppermint (MA) – 102 minutes – by Alex First
A by the numbers crime actioner with a female vigilante seeking revenge at its heart, I counted one surprise in the entire film. In Peppermint, the criminal justice system fails Riley North (Jennifer Garner). She and her husband Chris (Jeff Hephner), who owns and operates a garage, have a 10-year-old daughter, Carly (Cailey Fleming). While they may be struggling to make ends meet their lives are filled with laughter and love. A shady friend presents Chris with an opportunity to grab some quick cash, which he at first takes up, but then at the last minute backs out. Too late, because his brief flirtation with the criminal underworld leads to a deadly retaliation. While out celebrating Carly’s birthday, she and her father are viciously gunned down and killed in a gangland-style drive-by shooting, in which Riley is critically injured. Upon waking from a coma, Riley is ready to identify the shooters and clings to the belief that justice will be served. Regardless of her eyewitness testimony, the drug cartel’s influence is far-reaching within a corrupt system with deep pockets and an extensive web of conspirators. With so many on the take, justice never stood a chance. Something inside Riley snaps as she watches the killers go free. She goes into hiding and spends the next five years preparing to extract revenge. This is one woman armed to the nines against the world kind of stuff.
Somehow, although frequently wounded, she inevitably manages to get up and get on with the business of killing the bad guys, often handfuls at a time.
Credibility? Forget it – you won’t find that here.
Jennifer Garner certainly muscled up for the role and does what is expected of her.
Linda Hamilton did that all those years ago (1984 in fact) in Terminator, but that was a vastly superior product.
Ditch thoughts of subtlety or nuance. They simply don’t rate a mention in a film such as this … and arguably nor should they.
Still, a few more twists wouldn’t have gone astray. The writer of the piece is Chad St. John, one of those credited for a similarly underwhelming action thriller in London Has Fallen.
The director is Piere Morrel, who also seems to specialise in this sort of fare. He made Taken in 2008, From Paris with Love in 2010 and The Gunman in 2015.
If not for Garner and strong production values (the film looks good), I dare say Peppermint would be a straight to DVD or Blue Ray release.
Nevertheless, I dare say there will still be an audience of 18 to 25-year-olds who may appreciate the material more than I did.
Rated MA, Peppermint scores a 5½ out of 10.
MORTAL ENGINES NEW website review by Byanna Reynolds
AT ETERNITY GATE NEW website RATE
KUSAMA: INFINITY NEW FILM TO PAY ATTENTION TO website RATE: 10/10 Documentary Kusama Infinity focuses on the creative word of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. She is world famous for her soft sculptures, highly artistic performances and installations with the slight and beautiful flavour of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, pop art and abstract impressionism.
Kusama is the most sold artist in the word at the moment. She went through many hardships in life before she showed all of us her beautiful inner world. Her journey of creation has marked 60 years already. Her famous installations and infinite mirror worlds and rooms were visited by millions of people through out the world .
The artist herself is the main exploration point of the film. After one of her paintings was sold at the Christie's auction in 2008 for more than 5 mln dollars It was a record breaking among all women artists in the XXI century. If have any relations to the art this is a must see documentary.
Pick Of The Litter is the heart warming story to be enjoyed not only the dog lovers but by many. Is focuses n birth, raising up at the foster families and training of the best guide dogs for people with special needs. The documentary is done so well it was hard for me to imagine how they followed the puppies for such a long period of time. I also understand it is a hard work to film such movie. One will learn what the foster families go through , how they are selected, meaning you will learn a lot more than your eye can capture when you see a simple guide god in the street . It takes so much effort from the dog and from the trainers to raise the dog that will be suitable for certain needs. I can also see the children will enjoy it and will learn how to be kind and caring for their own pets. To say the puppies are cute is to say nothing - this has to be seen. I also thought I;d be crying for the duration of the whole film but I did not ... There are many puppies you will observe from the "P" litter but only a few will make it to the real guide dogs for the blind. I is also very rewarding to observe the relationship between the families and the dogs. It is more touching though to watch the dogs being taken by the people who really need them, to watch how their lives being improved by having the kindest family member and friend. It is a strong message in the film too: even if you are not in the pick litter you are still there to bring joy to many people who will be with you! No matter who you are : a human or any other creature!
Shoplifters 7/10 Japanese subtitled in English Drama
Shoplifters title is derived from the habits condoned in an unconventional Japanese family of six. Father figure teaches the younger ones criminal ways and is happy about it. He says the items in the store are nobody’s until they are sold. Grandma has someone else’s older daughter living with her from a family which is paying her money because they took away her husband. Grandma is the matriarch and looks out for the youngsters. School doesn’t seem to be on the agenda for the young ones and the adult members of the family seem to eek out a living any way they can.
The younger children’s names are Shota and Tanabe. They were basically kidnapped because the mother figure couldn’t have children. Shota is prepubescent boy and the other a preschool age young girl Lui otherwise known as real name of Juri they were the shoplifters. Shota’s story isn’t very clear but seems like it was a straight out abduction on the part of the mother Tanabe Yuko. Juri it could be interpreted was rescued not abducted as she was saved from very abusive parents.
Tanabe’s partner is Enoki Shota. Yurok is the adopted older daughter they all live in super crowded conditions with little choices of food. It seems gluten cake is popular and there’s always a pot boiling. Despite the odd connection between the people in the family they care for each other look out for one another and are for a while very happy. What breaks the continuum is that Grandma does one day die in her sleep but they can’t call the authorities because they aren’t all living legally. There is also some other scenario which resulted years before whereby Tanabe’s first husband died; Tanabe and Enoki killed him in apparently we learn in self defence.
Circumstances change again when Shota injures himself fleeing the immediate scene in order to not be apprehended for shoplifting. He Breaks his leg and the family is caught up with by police and welfare. Juri is taken back to her abusive mother and father and Shota is sent back to his parents. This temporary but once strongly bonded family falls apart. Tanabe Yuko goes to jail to save her partner Enoki Shota from doing any time, she takes all the burden and bares the charges herself. The principal figures in the story from troubled pasts are caring and the story questions what can make us happy. Sometimes in families the real parents or loved ones and situations are less than desirable and in a conversation Grandma has at one point she talks about best to choose your loved ones.
The presentation of the film is somewhat slow in parts however I very much enjoyed the look into Japanese life. The living conditions were poor but the inhabitants were in a strange way for a period of time ...happy.
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME NEW website review by Susan Reyolds
Can you Ever Forgive Me. Drama 9/10 Review by Susan Reynolds
Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) had once been a successful writer of biographies subjects such as Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, makeup and entrepreneurial guru Estée Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. This movie touches upon what can happen to people in desperation and what they seize on as an opportunity when they have to survive.
Lee’s agent explained to her that she wasn’t marketable, Lee was disillusioned with falling out of fashion and found a lucrative way to see her out of debt by forging famous letters. Collectors paid big money for these souvenirs which Lee painstaking detailed with humorous content creating them with authentic exactitude on various typewriters. Lee refined her sales pitch approach firstly to selling the letters to book sellers and eventually to collectors with more high brow wealthy clients.
Lee was down to earth, didn’t do people well and had more of a loving relationship with her cat than with many people. That’s until she met up with Jack Hock (Richard E Grant) who was propping up the same bar as her,she’d met Jack many years before at a party. Jack Hock became a partner in the scam but eventually something had to give as the FBI closes in on the crimes.
Can you Ever Forgive Me was an entertaining film. The acting very high standard with standout performances from the lead actors along with Anna (Dolly Wells) who plays a bookshop owner whom Lee befriends.
For me this film was the winner for the movie of the month. It's Tarkovsky's atmospheric mood has done its perfect job! I was captivated neglecting the drama on the screen. It is a Polish romantic drama. It is creator by the famous Ida - by Pawel Pawlikowski and it probably be the best film I saw in the last year. There are political barriers that divide the lovers, there are strict rules what to do and what not to do, It is a deep dive into the post war years with all their dark beauty. It is artistic and full of beautiful music. The film is watched in one breath. The young musician Wictor collects the folk music and travels around the country side of partilly destroyed Poland after WWII. He falls in love with his student Zula. She touchingly performs the Russian song "Сердце, тебе не хочется покоя", her voice is rare and strong. She also has that inner charm of Slavic girls. She falls in love with him too. However this love would have way too many turns and twists , political boarders, marriages to save each other so the story will not leave you indifferent.
Tomazs Kot and JOanna Kulig are the main actors and their performances are flawless. Their chemistry is so strong too. the owlrd of Warsawa, Berlin, Paris and Moscow disappear when these two are together - there are no boarders anymore. The story is intimate and very narrow. The music range is built from Polish folk, Russian songs to French chanson and many many more including even American jazz which creates the environment and adds to the whole picture with all its striking but fine beauty. The music adds but never dominates the mood created by the actors.
The film is black and white. It helps us to feel in the golden era of the best films. There is one remarkable episode in the film that I will remember forever: through the dust of time and snowflakes the icon is seen on the walls of the half destroyed church. It fascinates then the eyes of history observe you... The face appears several times during the movie.
So my rate is definite and the winner is picked up!
The story envails around Famous film director Mr. Hasan , who has been black listed in the film industry. Trying not to take it seriously he continues to leave his usual schedule.
Unfortunately some of his colleagues/ friends film directors have been killed in a very similar way by having their head cut off.
Hasan, than starts question himself why the killer hasn’t come for him?
Been left all alone in the film making industry, Hasan feels the anger from the fans.
Been detained by police as a suspect for killing his opposing director, Hasan Was cleared of any wrong doing after his favourite actress Shiva, who was like a daughter to him also found dead.
Dealing with the loss, he also has to face an accusation from unknown actress “Anna” who has loaded videos of Hasan in anger and threatening to kill all. On the edge of a break down, Hasan is determined to clear his name, by asking his best friend to stage his kidnapping, he than himself faces a murderer “Pig” Who has murdered his best friend, just before the killer “Pig” executes Hasan, his mother comes to the rescue and puts an end to the horrific killings.
Please follow the ads to see film screened in Melbourne soon.
JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL: SUMMER BLOOMS NEW website review by Jeannettt Russia
JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL: SUKITA: THE SHOOT MUST GO ON NEW website review by Roslynne Garwood-Webb
Sukita The Shoot Must Go On
This beautiful documentary tells the story of Masayoshi Sukita, World famous photographer, renown for capturing some of the worlds most intriguing portraits of well known musical artists such as T Rex, Marc Bolan and David Bowie. Having his first camera gifted to him by his parents as a teenager, now at the age of 79 years Sukita remains to be one of the most requested photographers in the world. Join Sukita as he visits a David Bowie/Sukita Exhibit in Italy where you can see a small collection of the portraits that the late David Bowie allowed Sukita to capture in his early music career.
This film is a beautiful testament to one of the worlds most humble and gifted photographers of our time, reminding us that photographs will remain to be one of the most precious gifts we can have of life's singular definitive moments.
“From the moment that I was given life in this world, to today, I’ve lived with the flow of time and ever since that day when my mother bought me my first camera in high school I have known another type of time. An eternal time. That itself I think, reflects the power of photography. Within my few remaining days, months or years, I continue to be intent on capturing as much of that eternal time as I can” Masayoshi Sukita
When Creed came along and revitalised the Rocky franchise, I was stoked and more than happy to sing its praises.
That was three years ago.
Now the sequel, which I am sorry to say lacks punch (pun fully intended).
Creed II starts with the central character, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) fighting for the light heavyweight title of the world. No fanfare. Straight into it.
In Russia, the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), one of Rocky Balboa’s conquests, Viktor (Florian Munteanu) is a massive brute of a fighter.
Ivan Drago was the one who killed Adonis Creed’s father, Apollo, in the ring.
Now Ivan with his son in tow are cruisin’ for a brusin’. Ivan wants his Viktor to have a shot at Adonis Creed’s crown, so baits him.
Before this is over, the pair will have met not once, but twice and Adonis Creed and Rocky have some prickly moments.
Meanwhile, Adonis is ready to move his relationship with his girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson) to another level.
Creed II has a drawn out, predictable, dour storyline.
For the most part, the protagonist, Adonis Creed, is a sad sack.
What was most disappointing is that in large measure the film well and truly signaled its … you got it … punches.
It moved at an almost glacial pace, especially early on.
I also got the feeling that the writers all but ran out of ideas, so simply replicated what had gone before.
Sylvester Stallone again plays the worldly wise trainer and he has a significant role that he performs well.
I also liked Creed’s girlfriend
The sound track was also among the better components of the picture. It worked well with the visuals.
Still, you would have to question the future of the franchise after what I just saw.
Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), who directed the first film, hands over the reins to Steven Caple Jr. (The Land). I dare say that was a mistake, although Coogler is credited as an executive director on Creed II.
Mind you, the fault also clearly lay in the screenplay by Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone from a story by Sascha Penn and Cheo Hodari Coker (again, different writers from Creed).
Rated M, this follow up scores a 5½ to 6 out of 10.
review by Thi Hungh
This movie is great for the hyped up teenager who only cares for the punches thrown. The story line itself was inconsistent and messy. Rocky didn’t do much and was just an added laid back character to promote it.
The main characters Young Creed and Rocky didn’t have you glued to the screen. The opposition on the other hand was ok.
Would I recommend it? For teenage boys, yeah. For others, if you haven’t got much to do. 3/5
The major of small provincial French town in trying to convince the citizens of the his town to participate in the nude collective photo that American photographer takes. However he underestimates his town. They would not want to be filmed no matter what. It is an adventure but obviously it is not for them. France as all the world is in crisis. The farmers suffer from the crisis too,the meat and the crop they produce is bought out for very small amount of money which is not even enough for them to live on. The film is light, very easy to watch, t contains a good and healthy humor we wait always in anticipation from the French comedies. However it was a bit long for my taste, it did not have enough convincing romance and it lacked a bit of a strong core story around what the whole movie would be built beautifully. However the actors are quite strong, some of the movie parts are quite funny and farm life is shown in all its dirty reality. I would say: watch it only if you adore French comedies in general as it will be a good gem for your collection but be open minded if you attend the film just out of curiosity.
With overtures of Calendar Girls (2003) and The Full Monty (1997), Normandy Nude is a manufactured French comedy underpinned by elements of drama. The charming town of Mêle-sur-Sarthe, Normandy, is in crisis. Dairy and livestock prices have plummeted due to a flood of imports and farmers are threatened with foreclosure. Mayor Georges Balbuzard (François Cluzet – The Intouchables) does his best to fight and raise awareness of their plight, but the situation isn’t deemed newsworthy for national media. Things seem hopeless until the day famous American photographer Newman (Toby Jones) passes through the village, inadvertently discovering the perfect backdrop for his next shoot. Newman does what American Spencer Tunick has become famous for in real life – shooting ordinary folk in the raw. Balbuzard sees a rare opportunity and sets about convincing the townsfolk to participate. Not all are enthusiastic and some are defiantly resistant. The dramatic arc is difficult to maintain when, in spite of several sub plots and brush fires, the only real interest is the taking of a nude still of men and women of all shapes and sizes.
And my recollection is that the tension was more readily maintained in the two films I referenced earlier.
This has flat patches and much of it felt contrived. In other words, I could tell the actors were acting.
Further, I didn’t build the affinity with the principal characters that I wanted to. I didn’t care enough about the outcome.
Also, because ordinary people taking their clothes off in public has been done before, the shock value wasn’t really there.
Visually though there is much to like. It must be said – and I am talking about the landscape here – Normandy Nude is extremely picturesque.
However, pretty pictures alone aren’t enough to keep the plot ticking over.
It seemed like a long sit.
Still, I dare say the feel good factor may hold just enough appeal for an older audience.
She is sexual and she is sarcastic. She is Jennifer Lopez and her fans adore her. In the film the actress foes through different situations in life and she takes the twists and turns in her life rather ironically Forty years old Maya that Jennifer plays dreams about changes in her life. The story line is very simple: she is a career oriented gorgeous and business-minded woman. She is there to prove that talent and personal qualities are much better than any University diploma in the world. The comedy goes hand to hand with a personal drama on all levels: at work and at home. Maya has never graduated from any prestige University . She is just so keen to work and apply her skills to develop and turn into gold anything she touches. She is simply the best. But she dos not have to convince herself or her friends in it, her boss has to trust her. One of her friend's son creates a facebook page for Maya where he "exaggerate" Maya's talents. He advertises Maya adding a little bit of creativity to her career and her education. Just because of this simple lie Maya is taken to the biggest company. This is just Maya's chance to show that her words are truthful . It is Maya's second chance to become what she wants to be. My best part of course was Jennifer's business costumes that I loved a lot. I see the film will have some success because of the famous singer but I do not see anything bigger than that to be honest.
review by Alex First at MAPT published with the permission of the author
Second Act (M) – 104 minutes – by Alex First
A heavily manipulated tear jerker chick flick, Second Act is a good-looking picture that sets out to tick the boxes and does so.
As Maya Vargas (Jennifer Lopez) celebrates her 43rd birthday, she has one wish – a promotion.
After 15 years at Value Shop supermarket, the past six as assistant manager, she’s ready to run the big box store in Queens.
Her resumé doesn’t scream upper management, but her track record sure does.
She’s an innovator who listens to customers, knows what they need and finds a way to deliver.
But Value Shop hires “the right man for the job” – a man with an MBA.
Maya’s boyfriend Trey (Milo Ventimiglia) and best friend Joan (Leah Remini) try to boost her spirits, but Maya is frustrated as once again street smarts don’t equal book smarts.
Maya’s prospects brighten when, out of the blue, she lands an interview at the elite Manhattan consumer products firm, Franklin & Clarke.
CEO Anderson Clark (Treat Williams) wants to meet her and invites his daughter Zoe (Vanessa Hudgens), a rising star at the company, to check out Maya, too.
Clark is impressed, but Maya is being deceptive and is at constant risk of being found out.
However, that is not the only surprise in store.
Second Act was written by Justin Zackman (The Bucket List) and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.
The concept started incubating with Zackham and Goldsmith-Thomas over six years ago.
Goldsmith-Thomas had this idea about reinvention, why so many people are stuck in lives they don’t want, dreaming of lives they do, only to realise they had the power all along to change.
This is a movie done by the numbers, so to speak.
Large portions of it are predictable and far-fetched and yet it milks an emotional response at certain tipping points.
J-Lo, around whom the movie is centred, unsurprisingly dominates proceedings, but it is her character’s BFF who is given many of the best lines.
And it is Maya’s forever tolerant boyfriend who not only puts up with her incessant frustration, but is always nice.
So many of the characters in Second Act are, in fact, nice and always supportive of Maya’s needs, whereas their own back stories are hardly mentioned.
Yes, it is all about her.
Let’s be honest. The cameras clearly love J-Lo. She always looks immaculate. They accentuate her curves.
It is almost as if the direction by Peter Segal was aimed at creating envy and adoration among viewers.
Call this for what it is – lightweight, popcorn fare with no afterlife. It is one to see and then immediately forget.
Rising Star Charlie Plummer is the first of many joys in British Directors Andrews Haighs latest masterpiece Lean on Pete. Adapted from 2010 Novel by Willy Vlautin, Lean on Pete is a beautiful curated story of 15 year old Charley Thompson (Plummer) who has an unstable home life due to moving towns frequently with his single father Ray. Giving up his hopes of playing high school football Charley becomes a loner and keeps to himself. By chance one day he meets Del, a horse trainer who offers him a few dollars to help with the horses while he changes a blown out tyre on his truck. Charley finds himself immediately drawn to the horse and a beautiful friendship between horse and boy begins. With the horse “Lean on Pete” nearing the end of his racing career and with Del talking of sending the horse on to 'Mexico', Charley and the horse take off on an adventure looking for somewhere to call home. Confiding in the horse, Charley finds himself forming a bond like any other that he had yet found. This film is as much about self discovery as it is about overcoming hardship and it delivers many beautiful and poignant human interactions.
Also starring Travis Fimmel ( as Ray), Chloe Sevigny ( as Bonnie) and Steve Buscemi ( as Del) this is a delightful cast who stunningly bring to life an array of diverse characters.
Lean on Pete offers a beautiful glimpse of humanity and serves as a great adaption to the acclaimed novel. A must see for all film lovers. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Just as the opening monologue of the new Robin Hood film asks the viewer to “forget what you think you know” – let me ask the same of you now and forget the other reviews you may have read. This latest version on the classic tale is currently being panned by critics, and seems likely to divide audiences. I’m certainly grateful I hadn’t read a single review or even watched the trailer prior to heading to the cinema. I went in with zero expectations and absolutely loved it - as did my friend who joined me. I’ve seen previous versions of Robin Hood, and thoroughly enjoyed this reimagining and the changes made to the classic story on which it’s based. The film is non-stop action packed, with stunning visuals appealing to all senses At first some of the wardrobe choices felt out of place for the time period of the story – however I ended up falling in love with the modern and edgy styling. The historical inaccuracies did not get in the way of my enjoyment of this film, however those who go in hoping for a more classic version of the story could leave disappointed. I will warn you to be prepared for plenty of violence and blood – this is not a family movie and I’ll admit there were one or two times I looked away. Robin of Loxley – ‘The Hood’ is played by the likeable and youthful Taron Egerton. The stellar cast also includes Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan, Ben Mendelsohn and newcomer Eve Hewson.
The films about singer MIA is not your ordinary documentary. It will not be the one you would expect about e pop singer. The film rather shows what influences the personality growth. The film also touches the singer's background. The background might shock you: Maya was born in Sri-Lanka in the family of the terrorist group called Tamil. She immigrated to London when she was 9 years old. Her musical career though raises questions: here she is with Elastica, here she is with Justine Frischmann , here she is singing with Paper Planes which a blonde guy the whole world finds about under the name of Diplo.... there is a young and smiling Spike Jones who films Maya on BBC. There are lots of small fragments of films from here and there, some of them are even filmed by Maya long time ago. Maya wanted to become a documentary film maker herself. You will feel a bit out of place after watching all of this: some of the footage is very private then you can see the singer is trying to get attention asking the viewers : "when are YOU gong to listen to me?" "Do I need to move to bungalo and starve myself so you listen to me and take me seriously?" "No one wants to hear about the war horrors from the pop star" etc etc. The film was made by her old friend Steve Loveridge ( as Stephen Loveridge) who had to watch more than 700 of footage to make this documentary. In reality film shows only 10% of what the singer wanted to show to the world. I can see the film will be very exciting to watch for Maya's fans but honestly it was not my best cup of tea however I really enjoyed watching some parts of the movie.
In 2006, Bernie Shakeshaft founded the “Backtrack Youth” program and has been delivering the life changing outcomes for the abused boys, who are in trouble with law, since then. The documentary “Backtrack boys” is the film the follows the real boys’ lives in central Australia, over the course of 2 years to show the changes in the boys’ mentality to pursue the better life and break the family cycle of alcohol and abuse. This incredible program includes the main principle of showing to the boys that there is a good side in them and making them believe they are not on the bottom of the society. Through teaching the boys how to train the homeless and abandoned dogs to get your own ways in a gentle and kind way rather than a violent one, the seeds planted in their mind that start growing into something bigger like more positive and responsible behaviour. By changing the beliefs of the young boys, the community life benefits from it too. The program proves the crimes dropped by 50% by simply providing the boys with the supportive and non-judgemental environment. Prepare for tears. Even though such great program and big support of volunteers, the three principles fail too often: 1.Keep the boys alive (too often they commit a suicide or be killed) 2.Keep them away from prison (a little thing might damage the whole life by putting a person into prison) 3.Help them chase their dreams and hopes. But as Bernie said: “We just have to keep trying harder”.
THE GRINCH website review and photos: Bryanna Reynolds
REVIEW: The Grinch By Bryanna Reynolds
In this laugh out loud film featuring your favourite who from Whoville, it’s the one and only Grinch! The audience are taken on a journey through the highs and lows of the Christmas period. This film is perfect for the entire family! The kids will be giggling away and the parents will be laughing at the remake of this popular character and story. If you love anything related to christmas, joy and friendship then look no further. The cute animation of ‘The Grinch’ will take you back in time to the good old days of animated film but it will also take you on a journey combining top of the range graphics. The best part about the film is that you can feel the Grinch’s heart growing brighter and bigger throughout the film. Being a massive fan of feel good films, this is definitely one of my favourites this year. I can’t wait to see if there is a Grinch 2!
review: Olga Kirk
The Grinch. Directors Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier (Kevin Smith’s producer in his feature-length directing debut) clearly set out to make a child-friendly movie. While succeeding on that front, they’ve also created a safe and sweet film that seems more concerned with pushing its message — that Christmas is about being with loved ones, not material gifts — than it is to adding anything new to a well-known story. The emotions are there, and the computer-animated characters feel right — the Whos, those button-nosed potato people who inhabit the town of Whoville, are adorable, with young heroine Cindy Lou Who (voiced by Cameron Seeley), the most endearing of them all. To set up Cindy Lou’s confrontation with the Grinch (disguised as Santa Claus) on Christmas Eve, the film cleverly has her devising a plan to talk to St. Nick about a very special request: She doesn’t want a toy, or a pony, or anything like that, but rather an acknowledgment of how hard her overburdened mom (Rashida Jones) works. A simple letter won’t do, so Cindy Lou needs to look Santa in the eye. Benedict Cumberbatch does a decent job voicing the Grinch, who lives on a mountain high above the gingerbread-pretty town of Whovillle, where festive goodwill is spreading like an epidemic. Like that other noted Christmas-hater, Scrooge, there’s an explanation for his shriveled heart that’s rooted in the Grinch’s backstory: he grew up unloved in an orphanage where Christmas came not even once a year.
To destroy the fun for everyone else, this year the Grinch is impersonating Santa to steal the town’s presents. At the same time, cute-as-a-button poppet Cindy Lou cracks a plan to trap Santa as he comes down the chimney to be doubly sure her Christmas wishes come true. The Grinch is impossibly cute, visually rich and boasts enough festive fun to satisfy young viewers.
I USED TO BE NORMAL website review by Susan Reynolds
“I Used to be Normal” Madman Films Documentary 7.5/10
Directed by Jessica Leski
Review by Susan Reynolds
This documentary candidly presented us with a look into the subject of fandom with a non-judgmental approach. We look at several fans lives and their intense obsession at times with boy bands. Produced by Jessica Leski over several years it visits and revisits some of the girls at a later date. The participants were aged between 16 and 64 Elif was the first of the girls we were introduced to; she’s from in Long Island USA, the youngest in the film at 16. Her parents are Turkish and not entirely accepting of the cultural differences in the US let alone their daughter’s intense adoration of “One Direction.”
Australian Brand Strategist Dana professed her love of “Take That” and specifically Gary Barlow. Dana knew all their songs and was ready to step in if needed be as she explained in all seriousness. Then there was the Australian television producer Susan 64 who explored with us her own long fan association with the “Beatles” and contained flash backs of the Beatles when they visited Australia in the 60’s. Finally there was San Francisco based journalist Sadia whose background is Pakistani. Sadia is a fan of Backstreet Boys and equally as avid a fan of her favourite.
It’s a candid look at the subject of fandom and specifically the whole phenomenon of boy bands. Dana gave us a breakdown of the formula used by marketing professionals to create these boy bands and puts the successes down to their well-selected personality types and physical appearance along with obviously their musical abilities. She did this with brilliant insight, whiteboard marker in hand she delivering an informative expose.
Several of the girls mentiI Used to Be Noraloned they’d hid their fan worship as the years went on. There’s a fear of being judged as uncool by their peers particularly as it transcended the bands immediate popularity. In her early youth Elif had developed a growing dream to be a musician until the reality of life stepped in to burst the bubble. Dana discovered the real reason for her her intense adoration of Gary Barlow and revealed why. Dana also had a great genuine appreciation of the music produced by the band. Susan had a lifelong love of the Beatles from her youth and explained they’d been there through the ups and downs of her life. Recently she has been involving herself in a project which has kept her connection to the Beatles very much alive. Sadia, a writer, puts her success in her career down to her very early involvement in writing about the Backstreet Boys. She’d started a Fan club documenting their concerts, events and news in great detail.
I was particularly moved by Dana’s account of her mother not allowing her to see Take That as a young teen. I really felt her anguish as I shared that feeling as a youngster wanting to go to concerts. Watching Dana eventually 15 years later attending a concert with her idol was intense. Dana’s description was interesting, how she felt; the sheer disbelief, that Gary Barlow was really there. Stepping out from her magazines as a living breathing human being.
The movie is as much about the psychology of the fan phenomenon, as it is about the diversity in the effect music and fandom can have on us as individuals. The driving forces that propelled these girls to idolise these boys is relevant and a very real aspect of some young people’s lives. It’s as much about the sense of belonging, a desire to be loved, the appreciation of the poetry of musical lyrics, music in general, identity and above all the fun that follows the concert going. I enjoyed the film and was lucky to have taken my 20 year old daughter who actually saw herself in the crowd of a One Direction concert near the end of the film.
My daughter and I have attended concerts I enjoy music and I could relate very much to the film. As we travel through life our perspective can change but for some of us our futures can be shaped by the times we’ve spent as a fan.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD FILM TO PAY ATTENTION TO website RATE 10/10
No matter how hard Lord Voldemort tries he will never get the number one place in the title after "Harry Potter and... " Grindelwald though does it easily and effortlessly. Love Truth and Freedom - there are three beautiful features of happy life. It works till a snake puts it as a flag for its evil purposes in the battle for something that is already there. Grindelwalk is not only excellent in magic. he is an amazing flag holder. He shows to the innocent observer the horrible future and he tells everyone that he can save and defend them from horrors. His methods though look very similar to the ones in history that we remember : fascism and nazism are the form of that ideology that we are familiar with . His "flag" separates people on "ours" and "not ours". The freedom then is not the acts that do not damage the others but just the act, any act, the act of "ours" of course. The act includes killing and murdering. There is no evil any more as we used to see it in fairy tales. The evil is now a wolf in the sheep skin. Lord Voldemort rests in peace. There is something more complicated that appeared: it has seductive voice, cool look and sweet talk. There is no gear and violence anymore. We get tricked very easily with the sweet talkers. We have no idea about their intentions But there is no purity . It is just another form of evil. It is a highly manipulative evil. The evil is now understanding, it listens to you, it shows that it cares. It shows to you that you are sympathetic to him. You feel that you are in love till the veil leaves your eyes and you finally see the truth. Such evil is more dangerous as it does not break you but it sucks the energy from you slowly but surely. It targets the vulnerable. When it gets your trust he starts to act and sucks from you what is useful for him. He is strategically smarter and he is more reserved. The time is all his and he will get what the others could not get. He will never create scandals - he will "seed" them. He will never kill himself, he would send someone else to kill on his behalf. His hands are always clean and he is innocent in front of his followers. He is not far from Voldemort, he is the same and he acts with his big hand the same way. You will only notice his actions when suddenly the friends around you vanish, are killed or simply accused of something they have never done. When Valmemort had only two or three followers the army of followers of Grindelwald is enormous. His antagonists should not seek glory, They should just fight with that Don Quixote's attitude for the sake of being fair. They should be small, ordinary, modest but powerful heroes. The fight should also be interesting and spicy. The spice is delivered by the Ministry Of Magic. Johnny Depp is trying hard: he is immaculate in his role. It is not a role but a weight of responsibility more like. There are no masks - just an ash making cold fire in his eyes! Do you think it is impossible? You might be very wrong! But who else can rock the good movie but the curvy sexy blonde? and she is there ! Next one is the position of the professor of defense from the dark forces. This position is cursed from a long time ago since we know Harry Potter ( "Harry Potter!!!!!" ) and everyone knows that. Newt and Jacob duet also rocks the story. Anyway enough spoilers for you... There are so many characters, so many turns and twists of the plot, so much action, so much darkness (and no light), such a gorgeous computer graphics, such awarding themes touched (guilt, love, loneliness in Paris streets etc etc), you will be spoiled indeed,.. Please do not forget to add to this soup some fantastic beasts (they come from all over the world: Scotland, Japan, China and France with the main beast named Grindelwald of course but ther eis such beast that Newt would not love - the latter beast, Johnny Depp BTW also proves that the beasts are there and they are humans ) appearing form every possible street corner and the movie is sculptured. One thing you must be sure about: you will survive this movie and will be waiting for the next one like I do... You will not imagine your life with out the characters anymore...
review by Alex First
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (M) – 134 minutes – by Alex First
If Harry Potter is not your thing then Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald won’t be for you either. Quite frankly for much of the time you won’t understand what is going on and why.
On the other hand, the multitudes of Potter fans will surely welcome J.K. Rowling’s revisit.
At the end of the first film, with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America).
But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald has now escaped custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings.
In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists Scamander, his former student, who – reluctantly at first – agrees to help.
Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest of friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
Two years ago, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them transported us back to the landscape that made Harry Potter such a mega hit.
Set in America in the mid-1920s, the film enticed fans with just a few fleeting allusions to the Harry Potter stories.
There was a brief mention that Magizoologist Scamander was kicked out of Hogwarts.
His only defender had been a certain Professor Dumbledore … and the powerful Dark wizard Grindelwald, after wreaking havoc in Europe, had vanished.
As the story continues in the second adventure, those threads become even more intertwined.
To put this into context, within the Fantastic Beasts franchise screenwriter and producer J.K. Rowling is telling a story that is only hinted at in the Harry Potter books.
She is charting the rise of Grindelwald, who profoundly threatened both the wizarding and non-wizarding worlds, and his antagonist, Dumbledore, who, of course, is a key figure in the Potter stories.
The director is again David Yates, who helms his sixth wizarding world adventure (he did the final four Harry Potter films as well as the first two Fantastic Beasts movies … and is slated to direct the last three).
Rejoining Redmayne as the original quartet are Katherine Waterston as Tina, Dan Fogler as Jacob, and Alison Sudol as Queenie.
I was intrigued initially, but my interest waned the longer the film went on.
Plenty of the special effects were impressive – visually it is quite striking – but in the end even they became repetitive and excessive.
This to me is about the filmmakers, and possibly the studio, looking for more and more … and even more.
I remain a big fan of Eddie Redmayne in the lead role. Admittedly, he plays a quirky and endearing character, but he does so mighty well.
And Jude Law, who doesn’t occupy all that much screen time, also makes his presence felt.
I thought chemistry between the pair was strong.
As for the villain of the piece, a blonde Johnny Depp plays pure evil. With the demise of his Pirates of the Caribbean involvement, he has clearly found a new franchise to sink his teeth into.
Honestly, though, by the time Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald had drawn to a close I was well and truly over it … and we are only two fifths of the way through the series.
Agnes is finally free... Let's re-phrase Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina first sentence: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." and say instead: " all happy families are all unhappy in its own way.. It is an average American family picture and the wife's name is Agnes. Agnes' husbands name is Louie. They have two sons and one of them already works in his father's autorepairs shop. Their second son wants to continue his study and go o college. Agnes is a housewife. The family is attending services at the catholic church once a week. One day Agnes gets a present: a box with puzzle inside. made out of 1000 pieces . Agnes suddenly discovers for herself that she is able to put together this puzzle in a very short frame of time. It is a wonderful but absolutely useless skill. There is a contest held in USA where the family lives and if you win you can travel abroad for the national competition. The money are paid as a prize. There is a man present who appears from no where. He is into puzzles too and he participates as a single abut he is looking for a partner in the contest. His name is Robert. They talk and they get puzzles in place together and they talk again and again. Robert tells Agnes the meaning of a puzzle in her life. It is cute. It is about chaos and order in or world. Puzzle is an allegory. His eyes are seductive and his eyelash are big. Agnes' husband snores by the way... It is impossible of course for the normal woman. What is the result: yes you are right, she misses church services... However we expect something from Agnes but it does not come that easily. Agnes tells her husband that she is having an affair. The film is watchable, it is not superb but it is rather good. There was no one "missing" episode, the plot is impeccable. Th characters do develop gradually but surely and truly. It is rare, it is natural and it is so very real. However the audience might be tricked and its expectations might not be met. I can see though that many wold not fully understand it. Why? Many would expect the film to be concentrated on the puzzle game and its beauty however the puzzle is just a beautiful metaphor. It goes on the second plane of the movie. Another "puzzle" are the characters in the film. Agnes and Robert are immigrants, Agnes come from Hungary and Robert is Indian. Agnes' husband is American. One of Agnes' boys dates the girl who is vegan. We expect a war here but it never takes place. It is peaceful. The film is finely drawn, its deep psychology puzzles us. There are no black and white colors in the film. There are no positive and negative characters. There are no grey colors either. If you expect judgement it will not take place. The film leave the level when life is judge as it is a pointless business. Life is there to be lives truly and the characters do that. So the final scenes are organic and we trust that the action took place s is in the exact fashion as the director has shown it to us. It is complex but it is wholesome. The top of this cake is strong acting and it will not disappoint. You will love it.
This s a very touching documentary about human rights. love , forgiveness, a story about people ordinary and extra ordinary. the idea of the director was to show as many stories as possible. Those stories are wonderful, They are not there to prove or disapprove something. They are just there. They are some funny some sad, some intriguing and some are simply fabulous. I loved the music soundtrack selected and put together by Mark D'Angelo, the gentleman of Baklot Studios we are so fortunate o know personally. It was challenging for some people as it was their first time on camera and I know from the experience it is very hard. What these people celebrate with the ball? their sexuality? No I guess, it is mainly life and its uniqueness as well as their incredible identities and personalities. My elder relative back in Russia once said: "How I hate old people" - and she was laughing at herself. I am thinking: what is there to dislike: they are there o learn from and their there to listen their stories.
I am not a great fan of horrors but the documentary about the horror film.. hm... interesting... The Monster Squad film of 1987 is in focus. We meet with the actors, the film director and the fans I do not have many comments on this one although is was informative, very entertaining to watch . What touched me the most: the director complaining silently about his movie not recognised at its time. I would be proud on the contrary as it only showed that he was ahead of his time and that he was thinking differently. We should all agree too as there are some genius works of art that are neglected by the general public because they were not marketed properly.
THE CHILDREN ACT FILM TO PAY ATTENTION TO website RATE: 10/10
Emma Thompson shines in the film The Children Act. It will be one of the best films I watched this year.
'You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.' said Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in his novel the "Le Petit Prince" - this is one of the main thoughts of the film which has basically two story lines: one of My yLady and the 18 year old child and the other one of My Lady and her husband... but let's put it all in order as judge is coming.
Judge Fiona May (Emma Thompson) is always preoccupied with work , having late hours and neglects her family. Her husband Jack calls her attention but all his efforts are in vain , she simply ignores him. He is devastated by her silence. However Fiona's work demands her full attention: the hospital asks for Siamese twins separation permission,. My Lady Mrs May understands that this process may incur the death of one of the siblings and refuses the surgery. She is publicaly called a murderer but she got used to it: she does it every day: he comes up with the solution for the cases in question.
She is an iron lady. She however almost gives it up when her husband finally tired of her negligence on all family levels announces that he will be having an affair. Jack brutally reminds Fiona that they did not have sex for the last 11 months and he is entitled for physical closeness. He states he he does not have a wife by God's Laws anymore. Fiona sounds cold in her replies to her husband but she is boiling inside. She is not ready for such change and her husband decision. Jack however packs his bags and leave their flat in London.
Fiona feels broken and her mind is everywhere but not with her work responsibilities at all. Fiona however collects her broken pieces and takes part in her colleagues organised concert where she plays a piano and accompanies her friend-singer. They rehears and get ready to the performance.
But there is something else in Fiona's life that is possibly changing her life forever. Adam is 17 years old. He is played by Finn Whitehead whose eyes and performance can take you on a separate journey of its own. Adam is is hospital with the terminal diagnosis of leukemia . The doctors are insisting on the blood transfusion. Adam;s family nevertheless does not allow this act to take place. They belong to jehovah's witnesses religion where blood transfusion is considered as a sin. But even if the parents could be convinced the boy himself is totally against it.
Fiona's actions are mostly strange but very rapid: she attends the hospital to met with Adam personally. Her intention is to question the lad what makes him take such a crucial decision. He chooses death after all. She would never imagine what this short encounter could lead her... Th main and most important part of the film starts here at this same point. It is a major life turn for Fiona an everyone around her. Not doe me to disclose it, the film will get more and more exciting with each page ... Hr emotional state of mind will be challenging and she will never define from now on what is right and what is wrong...
We though will follow Fiona step by step without judging her...
Fiona;s dresses are made to love by any fashion expert. The story will unfold slowly with all ts beauty.... Emma is fabulous to say the least. She opens up and nails her character like the highest level actress with all her devotion and talent.
The film is about simple things indeed but they are told in the most amazing way... We are busy, we do not have our kids around, we live and we forget to live, The film is about family and what we cherish about each other. The film is about dreams and wheat we do with them. the film is about the unfulfilled desires and how we relate to them. The film is not simple and it is a great to watch not once perhaps.
review: Alex First
The Children Act (M) – 105 minutes – by Alex First
A moving and beautifully realised story of love and loss, it concerns a highly intelligent couple that has hit a fork in the road ... and a 17 year old Jehova’s Witness boy with leukemia.
Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) is an eminent High Court judge in London presiding with wisdom and compassion over ethically complex cases of family law.
She works tirelessly, leaving no room for her husband.
Her whole life revolves around making just and sound decisions at work.
However, her fastidiousness and renown have come at a heavy cost to her personal life and the intrusion of her workload has pushed her marriage to American professor Jack (Stanley Tucci) to tipping point.
Jack misses their companionship.
In a moment of personal crisis, Maye is asked to rule on the case of Adam (Fionn Whitehead), a brilliant lad who is refusing on religious grounds the blood transfusion that will save his life.
Adam is nearly eighteen but still legally a child.
Some years ago writer Ian McEwan found himself at dinner with a handful of judges who were talking shop.
He took note of what was being said and paid attention to the complex ethical questions.
A specific case involving Jehovah’s Witnesses followed three years later.
A further five years on and McEwan’s novel “The Children Act” was published. That was September 2014.
The novel’s title recalls the UK’s Children Act of 1989, which revolutionised the law relating to children by putting the welfare of the child above all else.
Some months before the novel was published McEwan was discussing it with director and long-time friend Richard Eyre.
They had previously worked together on The Imitation Game and The Ploughman's Lunch.
Emma Thompson brings all the prowess that has made her the great actor that she is to her role.
She feels deeply, but much of her character is internalised.
Stanley Tucci has a tenacious charm in his representation of her husband.
Fionn Whitehead channels wonderment and possibility into the youngster with such promise for his life ahead.
His character’s head is filled with unanswered questions.
As screenwriter, Ian McEwan has done a fine job translating his book to the screen, which Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal) has sensitively realised.
The film features several memorable and highly charged scenes, which draw you in and hold you tight.
The production values are sensational. It is a beautiful looking picture.
The ending isn’t as easy to work out as most of the film. It requires some unpicking, but that didn’t unduly concern me.
In summary then, The Children Act is not only thoughtful, but thought-provoking.
Rated M, it scores an 8 out of 10.
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU website review : Susan Reynolds
Sorry to Bother You Comedy/Sci-Fi Director Boots Riley 4/10
Review by Susan Reynolds
LaKeith Stanfield: Cassius Green. Tessa Thompson: Detroit. Armie Hammer: Steve Lift. Terry Crews: Sergio Green. Steven Yeun: Squeeze. Omari Hardwick: Mr. Blank. Jermaine Fowler: Salvador. Danny Glover: Langston.
Outlandish, out of left field, going to great lengths to prove a point, there are various ways to categorise this film. One thing for sure it is unique in its presentation as a mash up of genres: comedy, sci-fi and with social conscience. It’s about the oppression of workers and the existence of big business corruption.
Whilst a number of people in the cinema seemed to be laughing I really didn’t find much of it particularly funny. The scenarios are quirky, Cassius’s love interest Tessa with the twirling billboard in itself slightly nuts in its presentation but then I variations on these jobs really do exist. The acting was very good which made for good viewing on that score.
I was very entertained by the beginning as a Cassius Green began his employment as a call centre telemarketing, he gets physically transported to face his client. The whole visual aspect of that concept really appealed to me. I think a lot more could have been made of the visually creative side of the film.
I get the social conscience endeavours of the story poor guy makes good earns big money but he’s embroiled in a situation where he’s sold his soul. It’s just the hammering in of the ideas which wore me down and made me restless. The sci-fi element is only in your face at the end of the film. Whilst a revolting thought in its proposition for a super race being the answer to the worlds labor problems I wonder what the writer was smoking as he penned the unconventional ideas which emerged.
It may be a film you enjoy i have never come away with confusion about a film, all I know is I wished it had finished earlier. It did make me realise there are people terribly full of angst about society and it’s values prompted to to dream up a film like this. All I can say is I hope desperately that mankind never uses technology to go to such unethical creepy lengths as you will discover in the latter part.
Courtesy of Sue
RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2018 OPENING NIGHT THE COACH website review: Olga Tolkatcheva
Russian Resurrection movie festival
The Russian Resurrection movie festival is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year. Melbourne’s opening night on the 9th of November at ACMI was a fitting ceremony, full of fabulous entertainment and a joyful after-party. We are privileged in Australia to be able to participate in such multi-cultural events.
This highly anticipated festival is an annual tradition where Australian audiences can see the best of modern Russian films, sometimes ahead of its homeland release. This year the festival features 16 films, diverse in themes and genres, however, all are united in rich traditions of Russian cinematography.
The opening night movie “Coach” is a thrilling sports drama and was made just before the World Cup in Russia. This movie is very enjoyable for both sports fans and soccer novices and has had huge popularity back home.
“The Last Warrior” is another big box office success. This light-hearted fantasy is based on Russian fairy-tales and is equally entertaining for the whole family.
“Sobibor” is another compelling movie worth your attention. It is a Holocaust story, telling the dramatic events of the only successful mass breakout from a Nazi concentration camp.
The festival also has a retrospective of old favourites. Classic movies from the 50s, 60s, and 70s are well worth seeing.
This year is also significant for “Lenfilm” studios, celebrating its 100 year anniversary. The festival is showcasing the definitive films in the history of this St Petersburg’s movie production studio (previously Leningrad). Digitally remastered “The Cranes are Flying” is an internationally acclaimed masterpiece of Russian cinema, having received a Palme d’Or at Cannes (1958) among its many awards. Another movie with a string of international awards, “Hamlet” (1964), is considered to be the best cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare, helped by the amazing translation by Boris Pasternak, and featuring the stars of Russian cinema.
The opening night had many memorable moments. Opening speeches were by Nicholas Maksymow, the Festival Director, and Irina Anufrievna, Treasurer of Russian Ethnic Representative Council. There was a glimpse into Russian culture with ‘Carousel’ singing group serenading the audience with traditional folk songs, and “Cocoschnik in Australia” with the enthusiast leader Tamara Barrass showcasing the national richly decorated festive costumes and traditional rituals of welcoming the guests. Mishka The Bear was also there to entertain the guests.
The after-party was sponsored by White Birch Vodka serving unlimited drinks. There was great entertainment with Russian and International music provided by band ‘KGB’ and singer Ana Staisy. Russian Folk Ensemble “Rusichi” presented traditional dance with great flair. By the end of the night the dance floor was rocking and everybody had a wonderful time.
RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2018 THE LAST WARRIOR website review: Olga Tolkatcheva
The Last Warrior
This movie is a light-hearted fantasy feature, equally entertaining for both adults and kids. You don’t really need to know Russian fairy-tales and folklore characters – the scenario is pretty simple.
Modern day young man Ivan, who proclaimed himself a ‘wizard’ and cynically exploits the people’s beliefs in the unexplained and mysterious, is magically transported into the land of Belogorie, where the fairy tales and magic really exist. He is proclaimed to be the last warrior, bogatir, and the only hope of forces of good to overpower the forces of evil. Belogorie is in trouble: the beautiful sorceress Varvara wants to rule this land. She is powerful and cunning and turns to stone all magical creatures and anybody who could stop her.
Unlikely allies: evil Koschei The Undead and witch Baba Yaga, normally folkloric ‘bad guys’, join forces with Ivan in the quest to find The Magic Sword and defeat the sorceress.
Comedy is richly woven into the storyline – we get plenty of funny moments as technology-dependent Ivan has to navigate through the fantasy land of magic and to deal with the unusual inhabitants. Actor Viktor Khorinyak is perfect as goofy, but charismatic Ivan with the easy-going attitude.
The main character name was chosen for a reason: Ivan The Fool features in many traditional Slavic fairy-tales, called this mainly for his unwillingness to profit personally from the situations or to choose the easier path. He is a reluctant hero, winning more through luck, than calculated action.
The movie is shot beautifully on exotic locations with plenty of special CG effects, sword fights, and action.
'The Last warrior' was made with collaboration with The Walt Disney Company and in 2017 was a huge box office success in Russia.
RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2018 NIGHT SHIFT website review: Olga Kirk
Producers: Emin Agalarov, Marius Weisberg Actors:Vladimir Yaglych Pavel Derevyanko Ksenia Teplova Natalia Bardo Sergey Glushko Igor Zhizhikin Valentina Mazunina Elena Valyushkina Emin Agalarov Natalia Bochkareva Anna Mikhailovskaya Igor Ugarov
Hunky Max, a hard worker, and an exemplary family man worked for a long time at the plant, but at one point he was unemployed because of the bankruptcy of the factory. In the end, in order to feed the family, Max, a very fit guy, on the advice of his former classmate, decides to go into stripping. He lies to his lovely wife and daughter that he has taken on night shift welding work that brings in considerably more than his old factory job. This leads to many ridiculous situations. Max's hopeless, sex-obsessed best friend Sergei, his new beautiful girlfriend and her perverted mother and we have a recipe for delightful debauchery. Filming took place in St. Petersburg. One of the great opportunities to see the views and atmosphere of a big Russian city. This is a raunchy, beautifully crafted comedy that is hilarious and really funny. In addition to a great acting from famous actors, we must pay tribute to the choice of the soundtracks. It seems simple and even stereotyped music, but nevertheless well chosen. For myself, I noticed that in the film, in fact, there is not a single real negative character, and this is not often seen in films. In conclusion if you like non deep meaningful stories, if you like to laugh, to enjoy a little bit for family happiness, then this film is for you. Thanks to the creators of this movie. Also happy that there is no vulgar humor. I will be glad to watch this film more than once.
RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2018 I'M LOOSING WEIGHT website review: Olga Kirk
I’m losing weight
Film Director: Alexey Nuzhny Actors: Alexandra Bortich Irina Gorbacheva Sergey Shnurov Evgeniy Kulik Roman Kurtsyn Aleksandr Ptashenchuk Elena Valyushkina Valeria Dergileva
In the centre of the plot is a young girl Anya (Alexandra Bortich), who is very fond of food. And also in love with her boyfriend Zenya (Roman Kurtsyn), a handsome, bodybuilder and athlete. Zhenya doesn’t like the way Anna’s appearance begins to change because of her love for junk food. The recovered bride is not needed by such an athlete, and therefore the boy decides to leave the girl, who does not want to follow her appearance and diet at all. Anya just does not give up, she sets a clear goal for herself - to get rid of weight as soon as possible. In the company of her best friend (Irina Gorbacheva) and the boy who is also fat but obsessed with a healthy lifestyle, Kolya (Evgeniy Kulik) goes on a fun adventure to save her love.
The cast of the film will be primarily interested in the participation of musician Sergei Shnurov, as well as all fans of the actress Alexandra Bortich, who was not scared and heroically put on 20 kg for the film, then lost weight in a month and a half and returned to her original size. The film is very saturated with Russian reality (in a good way), special thanks goes to the director Alexei Nuzhny. This is not a comedy, this is rather a positive melodrama. A beautiful easy to watch film, vital, funny and sad, it can be safely saved in the playlist to watch at home, especially for the younger generation. It’s may also motivate some girls to get into shape. The soundtrack is perfectly matched with the film. Resentment - this is still the harmful thing that caused the inner alarm of Anna. It is necessary to love yourself, but also educate too. “Time to grow up”, “loose weight not for summer but for yourself”, “love yourself the way you are”- these are the main messages to take from the film.
RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2018 SELFIE website review: Nadia Pleshkova
When we post our selfies on social media, are they really expressing the true nature of ourselves or are they of much better versions of us? And what if, one day, somebody else decides to become us and to steal our identity based on these images. The psychological thriller “Selfie” is about a famous TV host/writer Vladimir Bogdanov whose life has turned upside down with the intrusion of a doppelgänger. Is he about to lose everything? What choices and conclusions is the original Bogdanov going to make? What life values are going to dominate those decisions? A 140 minutes long movie has its culmination only towards the end. The film’s unexpected twist ending and a great cast of Konstantin Khabenskiy, Fydor Bondarchuk and Anna Michalkova are worth watching.
RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL 2018 PAGANS website review: Nadia Pleshkova
A term Paganism covers a great number of spiritual and religious beliefs. Thus the movie “PAGANS” portrays one Russian family, co-existing under the same roof, where every member lives and breathes their own faith, completely different from others. The movie explores the insides of the difficulties of everyday life and the tangled relationships between all the members of the family. Each character is presented as complex and fascinating one. This emotional drama presents the possibility of showing the compassion and sympathy towards each other, although these feelings surface mostly under the tragic circumstances. The film makes it even sadder because it came out as a tribute to its play writer and poet Anna Yablonskya, tragically killed in the bomb attack in Moscow’s Domodedovo airport in 2011, where Anna arrived to receive an award for her own play “Pagans”. This play is one of a dozen written by Anna and has been considered the best play of the Lyubimovka young play festival. Overall it is a warm-hearted movie.
BFF2018: WHERE HANDS TOUCH wwbsite review by Alex First at MAPT published with the permission of the author
Where Hands Touch
Deeply distressing comes this story shedding light on how Germans treated half castes during WWII.
The Nazis contempt for Jews is well known and again in this film there are some shocking scenes revolving around their abuse.
Still, the central focus is on a bi-racial teen and her increasing victimisation.
It is 1944. In the Rhineland, Lenya (Amandla Stenberg – The Hunger Games), the teenage daughter of a white German mother and a black father, is coming of age.
Her mother (played by Abbie Cornish) – who also has a younger son who is white –has done her best to protect Lenya, but the racist credo of National Socialism has rendered her a pariah for the colour of her skin.
Yet she has caught the eye of Lutz (George MacKay), a member of the Hitler Youth, who dreams of serving his country proudly on the front line.
Lutz’s father (a role filled by Christopher Eccleston), a senior officer who fought in the previous World War, does what he can to protect his son, but certainly doesn’t countenance fraternising with somebody of her pedigree.
And his credo of seeing out the war by whatever means possible will have dire consequences.
Amandla Stenberg does a fine job channeling Lenya through a combination of intellect, vulnerability and resourcefulness.
Throughout the question being asked is whether Lenya’s fate is sealed or is there a way out?
After all her dark skin is what draws unwanted attention to her time and again.
Her forbidden relationship with Lutz is what drives the movie.
It is evident as events unfold that his initial idealism is soon doused by the horrors of what he sees and what is expected of him.
His relationship with his father is sorely tested throughout.
He, though, is not the only one trying to flex his muscles with his parent, for Lenya too defies her mother ... as teenagers do.
My concern is that Where Hands Touch lacked the naturalism of the best Holocaust movies, the likes of Schindler’s List, The Pianist and The Boy in Striped Pyjamas.
This appeared a lot more staged, which is a pity because as strong as its impact was, it could have been much stronger still.
Still, Where Hands Touch scores a 7 out of 10.
It is playing as part of the British Film Festival.
BFF2018: VITA AND VIRGINIA website review by Alex First at MAPT published with the permission of the author
Vita and Virigina
Two supreme performances and sumptuous surrounds distinguish an artistic tale of the complicated relationship between authors Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West.
Australian Elizabeth Debicki is given the role of her life as the pained and brilliant Woolf, while Gemma Arterton shines as the gregarious but flighty Sackville-West.
The pair is uncompromising in their insistence to live, love and create to the fullest.
The year is 1922 and though happily married to a diplomat, Sackville-West is as notorious for her dalliances with women and subversive attitudes to gender as she is famous for her aristocratic pedigree and written success.
Woolf is a celebrated if not populist writer, publisher and a member of the Bloomsbury Group, already revolutionising literature.
This loose collective of friends and relatives – writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists – was closely associated with Cambridge University for the men and King's College London for the women, and they lived, worked or studied together near Bloomsbury in London.
Though reluctant at first to fall prey to Sackville-West’s lesbian advances, after the latter’s persistence Woolf falls under her spell, but Sackville-West has nothing if not a roving eye.
Let’s just say that the concerns of their husbands, families and mutual friends were understandable and Woolf and Sackville-West’s relationship was bound to be tumultuous.
But this tumult also fueled creativity, which Woolf eventually channeled into one of her greatest works, Orlando.
Vita and Virginia is based upon Sackville-West and Woolf’s personal correspondence and is co-scripted by Dame Eileen Atkins (Tea with the Dames) from her stage play.
Chanya Button’s (Burn Burn Burn) direction is slow and persistent as she builds a picture of the environment in which the pair forged a lifelong bond.
The joie de vivre that Arterton infuses into her role is a delight to witness, as is the nuance that Debicki brings to a more complex persona.
The film’s sensuality is one of its features, along with the period detail.
While its lack of pace will trouble some, it is a film that others will find illuminating.
Vita and Virginia scores a 7 out of 10.
It is playing as part of the British Film Festival.
MIFF: THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS website review by Alex First at MAPT published with the permission of the author
Three Identical Strangers (PG) – 97 minutes – by Alex First
Human guinea pigs.
At age six months, three identical male siblings who have no idea they are brothers are adopted out to three different families by a now defunct Jewish adoption agency.
The reason they are separated has to do with a bizarre nature versus nurture scientific experiment, the results of which are never published.
That, in a nutshell, is what confronts you in Three Identical Strangers.
The trio – Edward Galland, David Kellman and Robert Shafran – was born to a single mother on 12th July, 1961.
It is only by a quirk of fate that one brother gets to know that he has one identical twin, let alone another.
That happens when, at age 19, he goes to college and he is warmly greeted by fellow students who think they know him.
I am loathe to say any more about that in order to preserve the integrity of the documentary.
The trio seems genuinely delighted to have found one another and become inseparable … partying hard and going on to set up a thriving business together.
Life appears rosy, only dig a little deeper and it is far from it.
Their adoptive parents are none too happy they have been misled by the adoption agency, which never revealed the children were separated.
Further, the secretive nature of the science project remained a mystery.
Only later in the documentary are the psychological effects of the separation revealed and they are deeply disturbing.
Put simply, the highly regarded and credentialed psychiatrist who led the study was literally playing with people’s lives, something he was never seemingly held to account for.
For all of their similarities, there are also differences between the three siblings. One is more gregarious, another more reserved and so on.
Their adoptive parents came from difference socio-economic backgrounds and had different styles of parenting.
The work is that of BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Tim Wardle, who has created a fascinating and frightening piece, which unfolds through a series of reveals.
Three Identical Strangers includes interviews with two of the siblings and their adoptive parents, relations and friends and an investigative journalist.
You are left with an understanding of the impact that the gross abuse of power had on those who were unfortunately caught up in the web.
And I am here to tell you the subterfuge continues to this day.
To find out how, you will need to see Three Identical Strangers.
Rated PG, it scores an 8 out of 10.
JEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2018: INTERPRETER website review by Alex First at MAPT published with the permission of the author
BFF18: MY GENERATION website review by Alex First at MAPT published with the permission of the author
Wonderful historic vision of swinging 60s, great music and some commentary from several household names, but not much insight I am afraid.
That is what happens when Michael Caine invites you to into the world of his youth, into the cultural revolution.
The winds of change were certainly blowing, but My Generation is more of a patchwork quilt than a cohesive, incisive documentary – a bit of a blancmange I am afraid.
I walked out not knowing anything I didn’t know before … and I found that disappointing.
It is based upon personal accounts and archival footage featuring the pop culture explosion.
While it preaches about the transformation of society at the time, I was left thinking “so what” and “what did it all mean or amount to?”
Sure, rebellion against elitism and highbrow society may have served a purpose, but if so what?
The vision was sourced from more than 1,600 hours of footage and more than 50 interviews, 17 of which appear in the finished product.
They include The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Mary Quant, Twiggy and David Hockney.
And, not surprising we see and hear plenty from Michael Caine, both as he was during the ‘60s and today.
David Batty directs the piece in three chapters.
I found it a stretch at 85 minutes.
It scores a 5½ to 6 out of 10.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY FILM TO PAY ATTENTION TO website review by Alex First at MAPT published with the permission of the author
Bohemian Rhapsody (M) – 134 minutes – by Alex First
Apart from the exaggerated teeth, which I found off-putting, Bohemian Rhapsody is an absorbing biopic of a man, his music and a far from straight forward life.
That man is of course the ultimate showman in Freddie Mercury, supremely talented, unconventional and a show pony.
He fronted one of the most successful rock bands of all time in Queen and the film’s title is highly appropriate for what I regard as one of the finest pieces of music ever conceived.
Mercury passed away on 24th November, 1991 at the age of 45 from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.
Apart from Queen’s music, with which I am familiar, I didn’t know the story of Mercury or the band, so the movie was quite an insight for me.
It was fascinating, absorbing even and highly entertaining.
The picture starts and ends with Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance.
Live Aid was one of the most important cultural events of the time, bringing together the world’s biggest musical names in a benefit concert on two stages on 13th July, 1985.
The venues were Wembley Stadium in London and the John F Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia.
Organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for those affected by the famine in Ethiopia, the concert was one of the largest satellite link-ups and TV broadcasts of all time.
It was watched by an audience of 1.9 billion in 150 countries.
You get the impression from the movie that in spite of Mercury’s strong self-belief, he was forever trying to prove himself.
His relationship with his fiancé Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) was complicated by his growing awareness of his sexual leaning towards men … and yet, according to this representation, she remained one of the two loves of his life.
Rami Malek (Mr Robot), complete with disastrous buck teeth, impresses with his representation of the troubled singer.
Gwilym Lee (Jamestown) for all the world looks like the group’s actual lead guitarist Brian May.
Much of the story is a classic music industry rags to riches tale, with conflict between band members and those looking to exploit them, overindulgence and a price to pay. The grand scale concert footage is impossible to ignore and leaves a lasting impression.
As for the music, I never grow tired of it.
Directed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) from a script by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) from a story by he and Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon), Bohemian Rhapsody held my interest throughout and scores a 7½ out of 10.
We were lucky to greed main female character Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, Small framed women a very humbled women , spoke in Iranian who come to Australia especially for the movie opening. She received a standing ovation for her work.
She plays in this powerful drama a wife to a very famous writer who is battling a mental illness and is on the edge becoming a scezefrenic. No feelings left for him just old memories. Forced by the doctor to take him home she struggles to come to terms and accept this mentally ill man, whom she wants to divorce but unable to leave him behind. Who talks and visualises his old mates who have passed away long time ago.
At the end of the journey he is not proud of some of his novels and refuses to honour his idolises for the novels ceremonies. He just wants to life his life in peace, or just walk into the ocean and just be there, as that’s where he finds his peace.
Both of the characters counting their blessings and curse for having no children, so they would not have to deal with their family drama. Out of nowhere Taher who is her husband received a call from a daughter of their mutual old friend, with whom they had end the friendship due to love triangle been discovered. Over coffee Taher discovers that this young women is his daughter.
The audience is left guessing if this drama a reality or just a mad mans imagination or just his life events which he had lived through.
A very sad and tragic drama with some twits, and very good humour.
Wildlife Review by Roslynne Garwood-Webb Set in the 1960’s in Great Falls, Montana, this film tells the tale of Jeanette ( Carey Mulligan) and Jerry Brigginson ( Jake Gyllenhaal) and their teenage son Joe (Ed Oxenbould). In a film that is slow to start, Wildlife takes you on a slow paced journey where you witness the unravelling of a marriage and subsequent family through the eyes of 14 year old Joe. Joes father Jerry, loses his job at the local golf course and even though he is asked to go back a short time later, as a matter of pride Jerry refuses the offer and instead leaves the family home to go and fight fires. An act of love it seems to support and provide for his family. In his absence, suffering from the effects of isolation and loneliness, Jeanette unravels in full view of her teenage son, her self determination and self involvement, disrupting the values and expectations of a 1960’s nuclear family. Jeanette gets a job to support herself and Joe and suggests that Joe does the same. Joe finds a job as a photographers assistant, where he works after school, capturing the parts of peoples lives that they want to remember. Difficult to watch in some parts, as it will stir a part in all of us who have witnessed any struggles within family life, In his first film directing role, Paul Dano has succeeded I believe in delivering a film to highlight what he set out to encapsulate and that is that “even when the worst happens, we can still survive, we can still be family, we may never be the same but we still have love”. 2.5 out of 5 stars
review by Alex First at MAPT published with the permission of the author
Wildlife (M) – 105 minutes – by Alex First
Masterfully written, acted, directed, shot and edited, Wildlife is an independent film with real bite.
It is small town America – Montana – in the 1960s. Joe Brinson (Ed Oxenbould) is 14 years of age.
His parents – Jeanette (Carey Mulligan) and Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) – are about to face a major shift in their relationship, only they (and Joe) don’t know it.
You watch and wait for the threads to unravel and that they do, slowly but surely.
All is triggered by a single incident. Pride is dented, self-esteem shattered, marital harmony teeters and a quiet, observant teenager can only watch the carnage.
He would dearly love to collect the pieces and put them together again, but he can’t, so he does the best he can under the circumstances.
With a surfeit of close up cinematography, at times I felt I was reaching into the souls of the characters.
Mulligan wowed me nearly a decade ago in An Education. I thought so highly of it that I considered whatever she did thereafter as a bonus.
Here again is a bravura showing – this time as a woman unable to reconcile what is happening and making some questionable choices.
Gyllenhaal‘s role in largely internalised, although there are a few scenes when he rages. And those hollow eyes!
Oxenbould is wonderfully restrained, at times wide-eyed, but always considered as the youngster who sees all and possesses an intelligence beyond his years.
The rural setting and period detail is beautifully captured by cinematographer Diego Garcia.
The screenplay by Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan – based upon a book of the same name by Richard Ford – and direction by the former shows maturity and great command of the subject.
Dano references his own life in being moved – “spooked, unsettled and excited” – when reading what Ford wrote.
He says there was an extraordinary amount of love in his home growing up, but also “incredible turbulence”. Dano says he was “caught off-guard” that Ford’s words “opened a window to that duality”.
For as long as Dano had wanted to make films, he had been keen to make them about family and so he wrote to Ford and secured the rights to his book.
His first movie in the director’s chair is beautifully nuanced.
Wildlife – a tripartite coming of age story – is a film sure to impress cinephiles and those looking for quality adult entertainment.
In Like Flynn In 1937 , Eroll Flynn wrote a book called Beams End. His book was an account of his coral sea adventures which he took with three friends. In his yacht called Sirroco, he sailed from Sydney to Papua Newguinea. Australian Action Director Russell Mulcahy has produced a rough screen translation of Flynn's Book in his recently released film “In like Flynn”. If you like a film packed with beer swilling, brawling and raucous behaviour, you may well like this one. With a talented cast and more than a handful of great Australian actors Mulcahy has produced a stellar film which will delight many. Thomas Cocqueral (Flynn), Callan Mulvey (Johnson), Costas Mandylor ( Vassilis) and Isabel Lucas (Rose) and David Wenham ( Christian Travers) to name but a few. For the die hard Eroll Flynn fans who know the real history of this colourful lad, you may find the depictions and references a little too fictional, if you are after a fast paced action film however, this one if just for you !
An Interview with God Paul ( Brenton Thwaites) has just returned home from Afghanistan where he was working as a journalist delivering the most successful articles of his career. His return sees him discover a failing marriage and turbulent times, questioning the faith that previously ensured he survived his darkest days. Somehow Paul finds himself scoring an interview with someone who claims they are God (David Strathairn). He has three half an hour interviews with God himself. As a result of these interviews Paul finds himself under the microscope and finds himself evaluating his faith and his future. This film provides enough intrigue to carry you through until the end, wondering what will become of Paul. What it leaves you with however, is many unanswered questions. Questions that Paul asked God, but God never really answered. The film undeniably evokes the questions we all have about religion, and places us in Pauls shoes in regard to what it would be we would ask God if we had the opportunity to sit across from him and ask him any questions we liked. This was an easy to watch enjoyable film, however I feel that the storyline could have benefited from a more detailed account of Pauls life in order to add some more complexity. 2.5 out of 5 stars
Donbass Russian/Ukrainian 7/10 Review by Susan Reynolds
This is an insight into the Russian/Ukrainian conflict and presents war in all its complexities. The movie has pauses which I think perhaps is designed to give time for the viewer to reflect, however a few times it leads to it being drawn out, some places I thought they’re had been a technical glitch in filming. The themes are the futility of war, the mistrust between people, manipulation of situations and the media, cheats, liars and the plight of the innocent. These aren’t topics for a joyous experience; this film is a graphic education about localised war.
When there is conflict nothing is as it should be could be or would ever seem to be. The common people, the poor have live under the violent clashes and bear the brunt of displacement. Citizens sought solidarity with each living under awful conditions hoping to sit out the conflict in make shift buildings. We see the women and children in the damp with poor sanitation and living on meagre food supplies. And they’re waiting for a time when they can have their lives back.
The absurdity of life is magnified but overall it leaves you with a heavy heart. 13 different scenarios are covered; aspects of life condensed and to be reflected upon. i knew little of the subject matter before the film but I do understand the foibles of man and futility of war and how it brings out the worst in people with cruelty and greed the most despicable of human evils.
We have the confronting scene of a man judged and trialed in the streets and beaten to death. He’d been tethered to a pole by authorities and made to wear a sign stating he’s part of the exterminators. Everyday people jeer at him question him and the anxieties of the people peak to despicable levels of violence.
Quickly we switch to being witness to a happy Occasion of a wedding then switch again to the gunfire bombing and killing of people traveling on a highway. Seek this film out of you wish to gain an understanding of the history of this conflict and some idea about the life in this region of the world. It’s is enlightening and essentially this is mankind at its worse and why we should avoid war. History however doesn’t always play out as ideally as anyone would like and the world sadly is not a utopia.
In this thriller dark film starring Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton and Mia Goth to name a few the audience are taken on a journey through suspense and horror reminiscent of the film ‘Black Swan’. This film is not for the faint of heart but if Alfred Hitchcock suspense and thrills is what you enjoy watching then this should be your next film to watch. If you love anything related to dance, horror and witches then look no further. A woman attending a dance academy is engulfed by witchcraft and the supernatural. With all the fantastic dance sequences and choreography the film takes you on a journey like no other. The cast are a match made in suitable heaven, these ladies string the plot line together and their chemistry works well on screen. The best part about the film is that you truly feel every heart wrenching moment. I would warn of the gore and horror though but I do feel like the film has its moments and allows for you to go with the roller coaster of the narrative. Being a massive fan of psychological thriller films and not so much the gore and horror genre this film did surprise me in a positive way as the directorial contribution of the film was simply breathtaking and a marriage of the film as a whole. I would recommend this film to anyone who is familiar with Alfred Hitchcock and the SAW franchise. I think both of these as an example give you an insight into what the film will be like when you are watching it. I look forward to seeing what the cast and creatives of this film get up to next.
Honestly I was a bit disappointed . It was the exact case when you expect the fireworks and get only a small post card for your birthday, The plot was not "flowing" at all and the characters were not as exciting and boring to say the least. The plot was also predictable and the characters were mainly "black" and "white" The goodness did not attract and the evil did not revolt. It was fun but a bit plain for my taste. The animation even for the kids can be deep and amazing to watch. Honestly I do not know how the kids wold take it but as to my kids they were able to differentiate the high quality animes from the medium quality very quickly. From the other side we can say that the story is teaching young generation to something very important. It is not required to be loved by every one. It is fake and impossible. It is only possible with the charms of the evil witch. You just have to be loved by that only one you cherish and understand. The rest is just "passing by"... The adulthood is all about the solutions that make us true to our selves and make "man" and "woman". but not "boy" and "girl". The true love is always an opportunity to grow and develop as a true self. It makes us "us" and "real". It shows us our values and our most beautiful self, creative and sophisticated. As to the sound track it was mind blowing! Amazing voices and the song selection was absolutely stunning! I would give it 10/10 only for the beautiful music. I gave give 6 for the film and 10 for the music alone.The anime can easily be called a musical-anime if there was such a genre inside the anime. Neglecting the "plain story line the film was still very entertaining to watch. I am sure the small kids will love watching it.
review by Alex First at MAPT review is published with the author's permission
Charming (G) – 85 minutes – by Alex First
A cute, far from perfect, but sometimes amusing animated feature, the premise is a delightful twist on a handsome prince planting a kiss on a troubled damsel in distress.
As an infant, Prince Philippe Charming (the voice of Wilmer Valderrama) was maliciously “over-blessed” with “charm” – as a result of a curse – and so through no fault of his own women are drawn to him like a magnet.
Every woman he meets falls head over heels in love with him and to this point the world’s most famous prince has coasted through life as a result.
By now he has racked up three very high-profile fiancés – none of whom he loves –and hundreds of spurned lovers out for his blood.
The only way for the prince to break the curse is to find true love before his 21st birthday, which is but days away … and there are no signs of that.
So, his father, the King (vocalised by Jim Cummings), sends him on a journey of self discovery and manhood, which he himself undertook and his father before him.
Guiding him is a roguish stranger named Lenny (actually a female thief dressed as a male, named Lenore Quinonez). She is voiced by Demi Lovato.
Being born at sea, Lenore is also no “maiden of the land” and therefore the only woman in the world immune to Charming’s magical allure.
Written and directed by Ross Venokur, the idea for the movie came about from reading bedtime stories to his three daughters over the past 14 years.
Those were the stories often involving big name princesses, so it was only a matter of time before they came to the collective realisation that one after another were married to Prince Charming.
So, the questions became how does this guy keep pulling this off and who was his real match in fairytale land?
I really appreciated the storyline that underpinned the movie.
So too painting Snow White (voiced by Avril Lavigne), Cinderella (the voice of Ashley Tisdale) and Sleeping Beauty (vocalised by G.E.M.) as shallow, vacuous and in love with themselves.
Some of the dialogue, the one liners and scenes worked better than others.
Attracting an audience with catchy pop songs is one thing, but honestly this was a tale that could readily have been told without music.
And when you have cartoon characters opening their mouths to warble I thought I was watching amateur hour.
The lip syncing simply didn’t work ... at all.
Nor did freezing the frame when the Prince was thinking or reflecting.
On the plus side, John Cleese voicing the executioner was comic genius.
So, to sum up Charming is uneven, a film with flashes of brilliance and just as many faux pars.
I would never say it was a cake with the cherry on the top of t. It is not funny but at least it is about war... and saving the president of Russia. This kind of movie was supposed to be sophisticated high budget blockbuster from Hollywood about Russian realities..... Ha! Or should I say Ha Ha Ha! No the film is not what you would expect it t be. It is yes, about Russia, it is sooooooo about Russia you can not get anything more about Russia than this Russian film! It is Russian it smells with unnatura (sorry artificial) love and sado. I would tell this to you if I was a psychologist of he film director. Thank god I am not.
Have you ever met friends or so called 'friends' who suffer some complexes of low self esteem? Such people try to project all their bad character features on you lowing you down and making you the same level with such "friend" so they feel "equal" or "even" with you. On the other side such friends also try to copy your best character features. You always see them stealing your best ideas, your "people", your word expressions and even your "style" of life.. Such "monkeys" s behavior is not justified, t is strange , it only shows sick, limited and not-logical mind. This people never live the life of their own but parasite on you.
Do Americans still fear Russians/ D they still think that Russians are people who are different from them? They are all evil and have bad intentions no matter what they do. Did the film remind me of something? Have we already seen Americans saving Russian president? There are super heroes living in one country and stupid idiot living in the other country just across the ocean. At least it is a great pleasure to see Russian president is pictured as a dark all and handsome macho man.
Some of the so called "twists" of the story line are unbelievable in the worst sense of this word. There are lots of very rude errors that also create a doubt in high budget of the film and in the detailed research the producer has done showing us those "doubtful" details.
Th film that was supposed to be huge turned into a really sarcastic exhibition of something that as not there! Sad but considering the good acting and more or less global theme my rate is defined above.
review by Alex First at MAPT review is published with the author's permission
Hunter Killer (MA) – 121 minutes – by Alex First
Ra ra, America the great. Heroes saving the world from destruction.
Hunter Killer is the name given to a naval vessel, especially a submarine, equipped to locate and destroy enemy vessels, especially other submarines.
Deep beneath the icy surface of the Arctic Circle, the Cold War never really ended.
Here, at extreme depths invisible to the rest of the world, U.S. and Russian submarines continue to play ultra-high-stakes rounds of hide-and- seek.
They do so through harrowingly narrow passages, as a constant reminder to one another of the unthinkable costs of sudden aggression.
The danger has only mounted amid heightened tensions as a new generation of highly sophisticated nuclear attack subs prowl the murky depths, persistently trailing and shadowing one another as if a full-blown battle is about to break out.
But what if these charged war games suddenly stopped being a game at all?
What if, as chaos erupts on land, there is only one shot to pull the world back from the brink of WWIII and unthinkable nuclear conflict?
This is the relentlessly tense situation presented in Hunter Killer.
It all begins as a Russian sub sinks in the Arctic Ocean. Soon after, the U.S. sub ghosting it also mysteriously vanishes.
In the midst of investigating these unsettling events, military brass in Washington D.C. are sent scrambling when they discover a rogue Russian admiral is attempting to carry out a bloodthirsty coup at a naval base in Russia.
The only hope to halt a war of the superpowers lies in the efforts of two secret crews.
The first is a clandestine Black Ops team of ex-SEALs who must try to sneak into Russian territory to intercept the kidnapping of the Russian President.
Simultaneously, in the sea, Captain Joe Glass and the young crew of the USS Arkansas are under orders to head towards the enemy.
As a hunter-killer captain, Glass has mastered the rules of the cat-and-mouse game but will now have to break them as he comes to realise that this time the cat and the mouse may have to join forces.
The script by Arne Schmidt (Chain Reaction) and Jamie Moss (Ghost in the Shell) is based upon the novel Firing Point, written by George Wallace and Don Keith.
Direction is from Donovan Marsh (iNumber Number).
How many times have we seen it before – big budgets, explosions, political tensions ramped up to breaking point?
At least this time we have something a little different in the form of cooperation behind the scenes between the Yanks and the Ruskies.
You see, neither side wants to see a madman – in this case the instigator of a successful coup against the Russian President, namely Russia’s military leader – assume control.
The whole thing is heavily and visibly manipulated to ensure everything fits neatly together.
And yet in spite of this there are several sequences where the tension is palpable. That is commendable.
Mind you, all the characters are single dimensional. They serve a purpose and don’t deviate from it. No subtlety. No nuance.
Gerard Butler is the live by the bootstraps commander, Common is the stoic war hero, now rear admiral, while Linda Cardellini is the National Security Agency senior analyst who forms a bond with the the rear admiral.
And you have the off the grid grunt too by real men’s men.
That is not to overlook Gary Oldman, whose talents are hardly used to great effect as the admiral feeling the heat.
One thing I can also say is that the underwater cinematography and that inside the submarines is crystal clear, as if it was shot in a bathtub. The cinematographer is Tom Marais.
I mention that because so often with films shot in such an environment the total opposite is the case. You can barely make out what is happening.
So if patriotism and big budget look and feel movies are your thing, go for it.