Ted 2

Posted in Review by - Jun 26, 2015
Ted 2

Seth MacFarlane returns with the sequel to the monster hit Ted, after the Western A Million Ways to Die in the West struggled to produce comedy gold.  The raucous gags are on display but the plot suffers from a Hollywood formula that has been at play since the beginning of sound.

The film opens on the wedding of Ted and Tami-Lynn, Sam Jones draped in white is overseeing the affair and Ted’s pal John is the best man. A short time later Ted and Tami-Lynn are bickering like Jake and Vicki La Motta, the solution to their troubles is to have …

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Love & Mercy

Posted in Review by - Jun 26, 2015
Love & Mercy

Director Bill Pohlad and screenwriters Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner have crafted a deeply affecting portrait of an artist in crisis. Blessed with an extraordinary talent, yet struggling to separate himself from his controlling influence of his legal guardian.  The film is anchored by three superb performances in Dano, Cusack and Banks.  The structure of events has been compressed for cinematic purposes, however the overall impact is not dulled.  The less known about the Brian Wilson story might heighten the fascination of this character driven opus.

Brian Wilson (John Cusack/Paul Dano) meets his saviour Melinda Ledbetter (Elisabeth Banks) in a …

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Inside Out

Posted in Review by - Jun 21, 2015
Inside Out

Inside Out is a wonderful film, another masterwork from Pixar.  The movie was directed by Pete Docter who previously helmed Up and Wall E, he also co-scripted Toy Story 1 & 2.  His track record is extraordinary and he is a leading figure in the resurgence of animation that began in the mid nineties.  The film is showing in 3D and 2D, I saw it in 2D and the film is a visual feast, brilliantly constructed and deserving of recognition when critics are compiling their best films of 2015.

It tells the story of Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) who is facing a …

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Jurassic World

Posted in Review by - Jun 12, 2015

In 1993 the American summer blockbuster season heralded a diverse range of box offices successes.  Including Sylvester Stallone’s action film Cliffhanger, the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan vehicle Sleepless in Seattle, Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire, Clint Eastwood’s In the Line of Fire and finally the $920 million extravaganza that was Jurassic Park directed by Mr Steven Spielberg.  In the same year Spielberg also released Schindler’s List.  In 1997 he returned with the hugely successful yet underwhelming sequel, in 2001 Joe Johnston delivered a tepid uninspired Jurassic Park III.   Now in 2015 Colin Trevorrow reignites the franchise, delivering a highly enjoyable …

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Aloha

Posted in Review by - Jun 05, 2015
Aloha

What happened to the once great Cameron Crowe, an admirer of Billy Wilder and once touted as the heir apparent.  Perhaps it started to deteriorate post Jerry Maquire, and Almost Famous.  He’s struggled to recapture the magic that started with Say Anything and concluded with Almost Famous.  His recent films Elizabethtown and We Bought a Zoo demonstrated a filmmaker on the decline, searching for originality in formulaic and trite story lines.

Aloha confirms the descent, a film in search of originality, almost salvaged by an appealing cast, though Emma Stone was clearly cast for her appeal without an ounce of consideration …

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Entourage

Posted in Review by - Jun 04, 2015
Entourage

The opening shot has a speed boat, travelling along a clear blue ocean searching for the luxury yacht of Vince Chase who is consoling himself after a failed marriage that lasted 9 days with a bevy of bikini clad models.  Cut to a spectacular model walking towards Vince with a barely held together bikini.  This film is fantasy, it depicts Hollywood as a wish fulfilment paradise where the male fantasy comes true.  However Vince is himself in search of something more meaningful.  This translate to acting and directing in a modern adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr …

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San Andreas

Posted in Review by - Jun 04, 2015
San Andreas
  • Release Date: 5/28/2015

The trailer for San Andreas promises a family drama set against a spectacular catastrophic earthquake.  Ray (The Rock) is a helicopter search and rescue pilot and his estranged wife Emma (Carla Cugino) is having lunch with Susan (Kylie Minogue), the ex wife of her current boyfriend,  then all hell breaks loose.  Buildings start falling down, cruise liners are turned over by tsunami tidal waves, smoke and dust fill the streets, Ray’s hot daughter Blake  (Alexandra Daddario) is running for her life and then the sound effects really kick in.  Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) is the expert, who bespeaks of having a …

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Tomorrowland

Posted in Review by - Jun 04, 2015
Tomorrowland

At one pivotal moment a central character utters the words “oh bollocks,” which seems to sum up the ambitious misfire that is Tomorrowland.  The pedigree is first rate, Brad Bird the acclaimed director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and most recently Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, hot screenwriter Damon Lindelof (World War Z, Star Trek into Darkness) and pretty boy George Clooney headlining a talented cast.  The result is a sporadic visual wonder interspersed by dead spots espousing positive messages about making our own destiny, and make sure the dreamers stick together.  By the way the world is going to …

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Mad Max Fury Road

Posted in Review by - May 14, 2015

The fourth instalment in the franchise is a balls to the wall adrenalin fuelled crash bang of a blockbuster entertainment.  Recalling the second film in tone and execution it’s essentially a two hour chase, expertly executed and edited to within an inch of its life.  It starts fully charged and doesn’t let go.   Directed as if he’s taken a hit of speed, mad George Miller (70), delivers a film directors half his age would aspire to shoot.  The sound editing alone offers an immersion into a thunderous universe rarely seen in toned down politically correct Hollywood cinema.

If you rejoiced …

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Clouds of Sils Maria

Posted in Review by - May 08, 2015
Clouds of Sils Maria

Musings on celebrity, ageing and the evolution of egocentric creativity play out in this intriguing work from one of the greats of modern cinema. Olivier Assayas is arguably one of the most original filmmakers working in cinema today.

In a crowd of male centric narratives it’s refreshing to watch a film that features complex female characters.  Valentine (Stewart) is a protector, secretary, confidante, and combatant to her employer Maria Enders (Binoche) a 40ish movie star.  As the film opens Maria is on a train travelling to Sils Maria in Switzerland to accept an award on behalf of her mentor Wilhelm, who …

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