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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Gone Girl

Posted in Review by - Oct 09, 2014
Gone Girl

“Its hard to believe you. It’s your chin its villainess.”  These lines come early in David Finchers adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel.  Flynn is responsible for the screenplay and by all accounts it stays true and faithful to the source material.  These lines set up the stage for a damning indictment on marriage and the media wrapped up in the guise of a thriller.

The marriage between Nick and Amy Dunne initially appears almost perfect, “I’m so crazy stupid in love,” “We’re so cute I want to punch us in the face,” Amy confesses as Nick proclaims “I’m the guy …

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The Equaliser

Posted in Review by - Oct 09, 2014
The Equaliser

Before the shooting starts there are some brief references to Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway.  Robert aka Denzel in a brief conversation with the teenage prostitute played by Chloe Grace Moretz comments that the great thing about the Hemingway novella The Old Man and the Sea was that the old man met his greatest adversary in the fish.  There are plenty of Russian mobsters sleeping with the fishes by the end of The Equaliser.  This 2014 revenge thriller is immersed in the cliches and tropes of the genre, not even the superior production values can hide a b movie wrapped …

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The Inbetweeners 2

Posted in Review by - Aug 30, 2014
The Inbetweeners 2

The boys go down under and shenanigans ensue.  That is the pitch for this largely awful sequel to the 2011 hit.  The highlight of this comedy, that relies on toilet humour for most of its 96 minute running time, is the climatic scene in the Splash Planet water park where Simon is hit with a log of shit in the face.  This is the result of Neil having IBS and wearing white swimming trunks.

The barebones story involves Jay (James Buckley) living in Sydney with his uncle Bryan (David Field in full flight), he sends an email painting a picture of …

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Begin Again

Posted in Review by - Aug 30, 2014
Begin Again

John Carney scored with his Dublin set musical drama Once several years back.  It was made on the smell of an oily rag however caught fire with audiences looking for authenticity in their modern day musical.  The film won an academy award for best song and signalled a filmmaker who had a rare gift to lift the tired musical genre into the modern day.  His seventh feature is a more mature work, blessed with two outstanding leading actors and original songs by New Radicals lead singer Gregg Alexander that ignite the narrative.

Mark Ruffalo in worn down mode plays Dan a …

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Felony

Posted in Review by - Aug 30, 2014
Felony
  • Release Date: 8/28/2014

Actor, Screenwriter, Producer Joel Edgerton teams with Director Matthew Saville with Felony a well acted tightly plotted exercise in physchological suspense.

Edgerton plays Malcolm Toohey a good cop, who in the first scene escapes death only to celebrate at the local pub with a litany of beers and chaser shots.  After avoiding the booze bus with the key word “pirate”, he knocks a young Indian boy off his bike.  What would you do?  Is the question the audience has to ask themselves.  In Malcolm’s case he begins a complex, emotionally devastating series of cover-ups.  Facilitated by another senior detective, who is …

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