Wild

Posted in Review by - Jan 25, 2015
Wild

Reese Witherspoon is electric in Wild, she plays Cheryl Strayed a woman in her twenties who makes a sudden decisive decision to trek the Pacific Crest Trail. Her desire is to “walk myself back to the woman my mother thought I was”  It’s an epic journey that ranged from the Mexican border in California to just beyond the Canadian border.  As Cheryl puts it, “I’d made the arguably unreasonable decision to take a long walk alone on the PCT in order to save myself.”

The film opens atop a steep mountain slope somewhere in northern California, where in the process of …

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American Sniper

Posted in Review by - Jan 21, 2015
American Sniper

Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper arrives in Australian cinemas after being nominated for six oscars, including best picture and best actor.  The film has debuted at number one in the American box-office and is Eastwood’s most successful film to date.  Not bad for a director who will celebrate 85 years of age in May.

Eastwood a Republican in his Political leanings, has made films in his later years that demonstrate a more liberal approach to his subject matter.  His two war films Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, though sympathetic to the plight of the ordinary soldier, were more …

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Unbroken

Posted in Review, Uncategorized by - Jan 15, 2015
Unbroken

Angelina Jolie’s directs an old fashioned celebration of the life and survival of Louis Zamperini an olympic runner whose career was interrupted by World War 2 and the extraordinary endurance he endured.   Jolie surrounds herself with collaborators of the highest order.  The script is written by the Coen brothers, Richard LaGravanese and William Nicholson, the film is lit by Roger Deakins (Skyfall), his work is worth the price of admission, and is edited by William Goldenberg (Argo),  Alexandre Desplat provides the terrific subtle score.  At the films heart is a great story, and Jolie demonstrates a command of the narrative, …

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Into the Woods

Posted in Review by - Jan 15, 2015
Into the Woods

I was fortunate enough to experience the original broadway production of Into the Woods back in the late 1980’s.  It was an extraordinary event shared by my mum and sports loving brother on the hallowed turf of Broadway.  It was a hot summers day and the cool air-conditioned comfort of the Martin Beck Theatre provided a much needed respite from the New York summer.  The stage production was the masterwork of legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim (Follies/Sweeney Todd) and director James Lapine.  The film adaptation years in the works, directed by Rob Marshall, whose past adaptations include the Academy …

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Paper Planes

Posted in Review by - Jan 14, 2015

Family films predominately arrive at the multiplex from Hollywood studios, these are largely films with American protagonists, professionally packaged and promoted, delivering a much promised golden return at the local box office.  This Thursday a family film targeting a wide audience is being released, though this time there is a slight difference, though it is being released by Village Roadshow it is telling a uniquely Australian story and there is a profound pleasure in watching these Australian stories being realised on the big screen.

Ed Oxenbould an effortlessly natural actor, previously featured in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very …

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Taken 3

Posted in Review by - Jan 07, 2015
Taken 3

One of the watershed moments of Liam Neeson’s career was his sudden emergence as a viable action star in the original Taken, directed by Frenchman Pierre Morel from the Luc Besson stable of B grade  R rated genre films.  The memorable catchphrase, “I don’t know who you are but if you don’t let my daughter go I will find you and I will kill you,” became a pop culture reference point.  In his late fifties at the time, this was a marked shot in the arm for his career and allowed the Irish actor to diversify his considerable talent.  Unfortunately …

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Best Movies of 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by - Dec 31, 2014

Gone Girl
12 Years a Slave
Inside Llewyn Davis
Boyhood
The Great Beauty
Edge of Tomorrow
Whiplash
Calvary
Charlie’s Company
Begin Again/Captain America The Winter Soldier

Worst Films of the Year

Grace of Monaco & Trascendance

 

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Holiday Treats at the Movies

Posted in Blog by - Dec 24, 2014

Well it is that time of year, a break from the chaos that has framed our everyday lives.  The alarm clock is temporarily disposed of, in its place the sleep of angels, hopefully.

If you are interested in going to the multiplex or art house cinemas this holiday season, here are a selection of films I have been fortunate to see,  thanks largely to the publicists of the large and small chains of distributors.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Peter Jackson completes his extraordinary epic journey through the works of J. R. R. Tolkien.  The title says it all, essentially …

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Horrible Bosses 2

Posted in Review by - Dec 18, 2014
Horrible Bosses 2

There is something old school about Sean Anders Horrible Bosses 2. Clearly a sequel designed to cash in on the success of the original film made in 2011.  It recalls the comedies of Abbott and Costello and Martin and Lewis, yet with a R rated edge.  The comic timing of the three leads has received minimal praise in the critical drubbing the sequel has received, the assumption must be that this type of chemistry is effortless.  What Bateman, Day and Sudekis prove is that a prosaic plot that retreads the machinations of the original, can form the template for the …

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Human Capital

Posted in Review by - Dec 05, 2014
Human Capital

Part social critique, part mystery, Paolo Virzi’s Human Capital is a superbly directed insight into the human condition.  Adapted from the novel by the American writer Stephen Amidon which detailed the derailment of a middle class real estate agent, his involvement with a hedge fund manager, the estrangement from his daughter, and the lies he tells himself.  The book written in 2004 examined, a society worshiping money, image and status whilst losing its soul in the process.  It foreshadowed the financial crisis, Paolo Virzi  recognising the rich social commentary loosely adapts the novel and creates a compelling relevant narrative in …

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