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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Exodus: Gods and Kings

Posted in Review by - Dec 04, 2014
Exodus: Gods and Kings

Sir Ridley Scott unreservedly gets the visuals right with Exodus: Gods and Kings, at times you sit in awe of the spectacle that has been recreated by Scott and his legion of artists. He executes the affordances of technology to enhance the narrative.  Joseph L. Mankiewicz may have built the palaces when making Cleopatra in 1963, Scott and his team use CGI to recreate them.  His latest is a salute to the masters of classical Hollywood filmmaking from Cecil B De Mille to John Ford.  However amidst the grandeur, the central characters pivotal to the 3D spectacle, lack the necessary …

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1,000 Times Goodnight

Posted in Review by - Dec 04, 2014
1,000 Times Goodnight

Juliette Binoche portrays Rebecca, a famous war photographer in Norwegian director Erik Poppe’s 1,000 Times Goodnight.  Poppe mines his previous career as a war photographer to bring the family drama to the big screen.  The opening 15 minutes, takes us straight inside the conflict, its edge of the seat suspense, the less spoiled the better, though it involves a middle eastern war zone and a bomb.

After this traumatic event Rebecca returns home to Ireland and reconciliation with her frustrated, exhausted, exasperated husband Marcus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and their two young girls.  Rebecca must emotionally settle into a quieter existence.  He asks, …

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Nightcrawler

Posted in Review by - Nov 30, 2014
Nightcrawler

Dan Gilroy making the step from accomplished screenwriter (The Bourne Legacy) to impressive first time director, in the process creates a damning portrait of the modern day media.  James Brook’s Broadcast News (1987), and Sidney Lumet’s/Paddy Chayefsky’s Network (1976) foreshadowed the future of television news, Gilroy’s film represents a modern day reality that surpasses any of the dire warnings from these earlier films and creates a world frighteningly real.

The film opens on images of empty streets, deserted amusement parks, buses sleeping in terminals, a Los Angeles reminiscent of Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Drive.  In the dead of night Louis …

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Whiplash

Posted in Review by - Nov 19, 2014
Whiplash

Whiplash arrives in Australian cinemas with advance word on the performances of the two leading men, and the critics announcing the young director Damien Chazelle as one to watch.  It is a film not to be missed.

It is New York City and young drum protege Andrew (Miles Teller), suddenly gravitates to the head class of the legendary band leader/teacher Fletcher (J K Simmons) at the renowned Shaffer Conservatory of music.  Andrew will do anything to get better, practice, listen to Buddy Rich CD’s, sacrifice relationships, be friendless, and suffer the indignity of the constant abuse from his mentor/teacher Fletcher.  His …

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Fury

Posted in Uncategorized by - Nov 18, 2014
Fury

The opening blood red titles inform us that it is 1945, the allies are in Germany and its total war.   Suddenly a white horse appears amidst the burning landscape of warfare.  The savagery of war is quickly conveyed and the symbolism of the white horse is played out, loss of innocence amidst the brutality of war.  Steven Price’s score recalls Jerry Goldsmith’s The Omen score.  This is hell!

David Ayer responsible for the terrific End of Watch, and the screenwriter of Training Day, has also directed some failures including last years risible Sabotage starring Arnie.  Fury sits somewhere in the …

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Interstellar

Posted in Review by - Nov 18, 2014

Interstellar directed by Christopher Nolan is a huge ambitious blockbuster full of ideas about climate change, the spirit of discovery, the relativity of time and the power of dimensions. The problem that undercuts the ambition is the silly dialogue, and the constant exposition of what is happening on screen.  Largely delivered by Michael ‘Mr Exposition’ Caine.

We are informed that in this near future world, the wheat has died, corn is still grown, “but mostly we had dust, a steady flow of dirt, you never expected this dirt that was giving you this food to turn on you and destroy you.” …

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Siddarth

Posted in Review by - Oct 25, 2014
Siddarth

Set in Modern day India population over a billion people, the film opens as a worried father wishes his 13 year old son goodbye as the son travels by bus to work in another city.  We learn later the place of work is a trolley factory and the period of time the son will work there is a month.  Mahendra Saini (Rajesh Tailang) spends the rest of the film searching for his lost son.   He went for food and never came back.  The authorities range from apathetic, “first you make the mistake then you cry”, but the boys mother …

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The Judge

Posted in Review by - Oct 09, 2014

“Yeah is not an affirmation a person uses in court, you and you alone are responsible for your actions.”  Duvall playing the title character relishes getting to nail some of the dialogue that screenwriters Nick Schenk (Gran Torino), and Bill Dubuque throw his way.

The Judge is less a courtroom thriller than a family drama set in small town America.  The narrative is not particularly original, big city successful lawyer, with a failing marriage and an annoying manner, “this isn’t an act your’e really not a pleasant person” returns to the Indianna town of his youth to bury his mother and …

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