Get Hard

Posted in Review by - Mar 25, 2015
Get Hard

Filmmaker Etan Cohen has a history of poking fun and playing on stereotypes.  For evidence take a look at the Ben Stiller comedy, Tropic Thunder scripted by Cohen.   Stiller famously played an actor known for playing a mentally challenged farmer called Simple Jack opposite Robert Downey Jnr as Five time Academy award winning Aussie actor Kirk Lazarus who decides to surgicaly dye his skin to play a black man for his latest role.

Get Hard is Cohen’s directorial debut and stars Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart two of the biggest names in comedy.   The concept behind this strained comedy …

Read More

Insurgent

Posted in Review by - Mar 24, 2015

The second instalment in the dystopian franchise I suspect will not disappoint fans of Veronica Roth’s young adult fiction trilogy.  However for the general moviegoer the film though well mounted feels engineered and orchestrated, Insurgent plays like a series of set-pieces designed to create a substantive whole, yet the end result leaves you unfulfilled.

We pick up with Tris (Shailene Woodley) experiencing nightmares, when we left her in last years Divergent her parents had been murdered in front of her, she has been left without a faction and forced to go on the run with Four (Theo James).  Insurgent picks up …

Read More

Big Eyes

Posted in Review by - Mar 23, 2015
Big Eyes

Big Eyes finds Tim Burton reuniting with the writing team responsible for Ed Wood (1994), arguably one of the 54 year old directors finest films.   Ed Wood was an exuberant, extrovert, played to the hilt by Johnny Depp in contract the protagonist of Big Eyes, Margaret is a shy, introverted artist. It is a challenging role, but Adams is up to the challenge and captures the spirit of the artist in an under stated performance.  In contrast Waltz hams it up, I’m conflicted in my response to his turn as Walter Keane.

The film begins in the late fifties as …

Read More

Love is Strange

Posted in Review by - Mar 23, 2015
Love is Strange

“Life has its obstacles but I learnt early on they will be lessoned with honesty.”

Ira Sach’s begins and ends his feature with the music of Frederic Chopin, it’s an exquisite piece of music and sets the tone for the film.

Love is Strange is a New York story about George and Ben played by Molina and Lithgow who decide to get married.  George is a music teacher in a catholic school and Ben is an artist.  They have been together for approximately forty years, they are comfortable, living in a spacious apartment in Manhattan, then suddenly George is sacked from his …

Read More

Run All Night

Posted in Review by - Mar 22, 2015

Two Liam Neeson thrillers in 2015 and it’s only March.  The ageless Irishman is having a late career changeling as a Charles Bronson action hero, he proves yet again his capacity to make any film credible just by appearing in it.

Spanish Director Jaume Collet-Serra and Neeson are now firm collaborators, having made three films in the last four years.  Starting with 2011’s Unknown, a Hitchcock inspired thriller, last years forgettable thriller Non Stop had him play a boozy air marshall heroically attempting to stop a mid air ransom.  Now with their third outing together Neeson moves further into noir darkness …

Read More

Chappie

Posted in Review by - Mar 18, 2015
Chappie

“A piece of intelligence and sentience that’s clean and uncorrupted…a blank slate born into what I view as a hostile world,”  Neill Blomkamp.

Robotics and AI intelligence in modern society are explored in a conceptually fascinating film that falls short of being a fully realised sci-fi action film or a profound examination of violence in the modern world.

The film opens with a brief compact explanation of the history of robots and law enforcement,  (300 murders a day have declined) before an exciting freeway car chase ends with one of the robots going off-line, in other words being shot through the heart …

Read More

’71

Posted in Review by - Mar 17, 2015
’71

Few actors in recent memory have announced themselves onto the cinema scene as impressively as Jack O’Connell has in the last year.   He was breathtakingly strong opposite Ben Mendelsohn in the prison drama Starred Up, playing a young offender with an explosive temper who joins his father in prison.  The scenes between father and son were electric.  O’Connelll navigated the subtle changes in his characters behaviour brilliantly in Starred Up.  Next up, Unbroken the Angelina Jolie helmed major studio epic, had him portray real life survivor Louis Zamperini.  The performance was unrecognisable compared to his earlier work and he …

Read More

Top Five

Posted in Review by - Mar 16, 2015
Top Five

Chris Rock plays a version of himself in his third directorial feature Top Five. a legendary stand-up comic who has experienced box office gold in the Hammy the Bear franchise but now wants his audience to see him in a more serious light.  The problem is the new serious film about an uprising in Haiti is a dud.  In the midst of the publicity promotional onslaught Andre Allen (Rock) meets a reporter Chelsea Brown (Dawson in top form) who just might be the love of his life.

For the majority of this moderately entertaining New York based comedy, drama, romance we …

Read More

Inherant Vice

Posted in Review by - Mar 15, 2015
Inherant Vice

‘I need your help Doc’

Arguably the best director of his generation, Anderson’s latest film arrives in Australian cinemas with high expectations, this is his seventh feature and he has an impressive track record, including The Master, There Will Be Blood, Magnolia and Boogie Nights.

Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye is an inspiration like that pic this one has a rambling narrative that keeps on leading the audience down rabbit holes.  An audience looking for a satisfying conclusion to the mystery will be sadly disappointed however if you engage in the sprawling story, full of the odd and unusual there is much …

Read More

affrenchfilmfestival

Posted in Review by - Mar 10, 2015
affrenchfilmfestival

Those looking for an escape from the multiplex fodder of happy endings and wish fulfilment will find much to enjoy in this years French Film Festival offerings.  Currently showing at Palace Cinemas.

The opening night film Gemma Bovary starring Gemma Arterton (Tamara Drewe) and Fabrice Luccini (In the House) is a modern retelling of the classic Madame Bovary.  Directed by Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel) who captures the simple life in the quaint French small village.  Fontaine recently made the Australian film Adore that starred Naomi Watts and Robin Wright.  Arteton and Luccini are terrific,  Arteton manages the challenges of speaking …

Read More