The Intern

Posted in Review by - Oct 01, 2015
The Intern

The Intern is written and directed by Nancy Meyer who has previously made It’s Complicated and Something’s Gotta Give, which showcased the talents of Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson.   Meyer makes old school Hollywood entertainment, the interior designs in all her films are spectacular, the kids are cute, and there is no mess.

The film’s premise is a 70 year old widower applies for a senior intern position at an internet start-up company that sells fashion.  Ben is played by Robert De Niro and the start up CEO Jules is played by Anne Hathaway.  Ben in pitching himself …

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Pan

Posted in Review by - Oct 01, 2015
Pan

A film, devoid of charm, it throws everything bar the kitchen sink into the proceedings.  It’s as if the film was conceived by the money men in a Hollywood boardroom.  You can only imagine the pitch, a pinch of Harry Potter, a teaspoon of Indiana Jones, a dollop of Lord of the Rings, and a sprinkle of Pirates of the Caribbean and this will translate to box office gold.

The film first appeared to be in trouble in the pre-production phase otherwise known as casting, ignoring the native American origins of Tiger Lily, Rooney Mara was cast instead, a fine actress …

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The Martian

Posted in Review by - Sep 28, 2015
The Martian

Ridley Scott once commented, “I’m one of those people who find the real world of no particular interest.”  A master of narrative and genre filmaking at its purest, Scott’s latest blockbuster is a classic tale of man overcoming the elements, in a  career that has been compounded with erratic greatness, The Martian will go down as one of his best.  Though modern audiences will need patience, the film is largely devoid of violence, and refuses to treat its audience as morons.

Like the great masters of old and older Hollywood, Spielberg, Cameron, Kubrick, Hitchcock, Ford and Curtiz, Scott constructs a world …

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Sicario

Posted in Review by - Sep 28, 2015
Sicario

Sicario is Mexican for Hitman, so we are informed in the opening of this taut thriller.  The film wastes no time in creating an atmosphere of tension and darkness  This is helped immeasurably by Johann Johannson punishing score, which enbalms the film with a constant feeling of dread.

The story centres around a young FBI agent named Kate (Blunt) who leads a kidnap response team, who in the opening moments of this searing crime drama lays siege to a house in the suburbs.  She’s capable and professional, first through the door, yet not immune to the horror of her work.  She …

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Everest

Posted in Review by - Sep 28, 2015

Icelandic Director Baltasar Kormakur who previously helmed the Mark Wahlberg vehicles Contraband and 2 Guns, has a penchant for framing a story where male heroes find themselves in peril.  Audiences who know little about the real life story will be richly rewarded with this impressively mounted based on true story about a climbing expedition that goes wrong at 29,000 feet on Mount Everest.

The film efficiently details the assent to the top of the mountain.  Like all decent disaster films, the characters are introduced, including the leader, Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), Beck (Brolin), Doug (John Hawkes), Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly) and …

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A Walk in the Woods

Posted in Review by - Sep 28, 2015
A Walk in the Woods

A throwback to the Newman/Redford buddy Western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, occurs towards the end of A Walk in the Woods.  Bryson (Redford) and Katz (Nolte) are trapped at the edge of a cliff, and the only way out is to jump into the river below.  It’s not the first time this genial, finely scripted, richly performed film recalls the peerless pairing of the two heartthrobs from a generation ago.  Originally Redford pencilled the film of the Bill Bryson book to start shooting in 2009 with Newman playing Katz, unfortunately Newman succumbed to cancer in September of 2008.  …

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American Ultra

Posted in Review by - Sep 07, 2015
American Ultra

Destined for cult status, primarily as a midnight movie, Nourizadeh’s follow up to Project X is a mash-up of stoner comedy, ultra violent graphic novel adaptation and love story for generation z. Mauled by critics the film has its charms largely in the charismatic performances of the two leads, the energetic directorial stylistics of Nourizadeh and the smart, sharp, funny script from Max Landis.

Jessie Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart previously seen in the underrated Adventureland, team up as Mike and Phoebe, two lovebirds stuck in a nowhere town unable to escape. This is the kind of empty dirtwater place with one …

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The Gift

Posted in Review by - Sep 04, 2015
The Gift

Aussie chameleon Joel Edgerton crafts a deft psychological thriller in The Gift, a throwback to the classic thrillers of the eighties and nineties.  Remember Fatal Attraction, Unlawful Entry and Pacific Heights.  What Edgerton accomplishes with his debut feature is to reinvigorate the formula and deliver a contemporary edge to the genre.

The set-up is simple, a husband and wife newly arrived from Chicago are in the process of buying a home in Los Angeles, Simon (Bateman) has arrived with the promise of a new job and a promising promotion on the horizon.  Robyn (Hall) was running a successful business in Chicago, …

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Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Posted in Review by - Sep 04, 2015

Tom Cruise returns to the franchise that has helped sustain his career.  Aside from the eccentricities of his private life, Cruise is a superbly astute filmmaker.  His career has sustained the onslaught of negative publicity simply because he has continued to release quality, intelligent films.  His collaborations with Steven Spielberg, Tony Scott, Doug Liman and Christopher McQuarrie demonstrate an actor/star interested in making quality films.  After working together on the underwhelming Jack Reacher, McQuarrie and Cruise hit their straps with the fifth instalment of the Ethan Hunt saga.

The story is straightforward, the syndicate briefly referenced in Ghost Protocol is now …

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The Man from Uncle

Posted in Review by - Sep 04, 2015
The Man from Uncle

Guy Ritchie responsible for reinterpreting Sherlock Holmes into a 21st century comic book hero, takes on the classic TV series from the sixties.  The Man from Uncle had been in development hell,  George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh had been circling the project,  however the project fell apart.  Enter Superman and the Lone Ranger to covert the characters of Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin.  The end product is a serviceable buddy spy caper.

The story opens as Napoleon helps the daughter (Vikander) of a German scientist escape from communist East to West Berlin.  Illya working for the Russians almost foils the escape, …

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