Friday, 25 April 2014

NEW RELEASE DVD RECOMMENDATION

Looking for a new release DVD to watch this weekend? Check out THE RAILWAY MAN.

A former British Army officer, who was tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.

A powerful story of forgiveness, the power of which does not convey well in this screenplay. Apart from the final scene the movie does not seem to have the emotional intensity it should have. Clearly the story is an important one. But the movie goes along at a pretty steady pace without the ups and downs that should be in a story such as this. The acting is pretty good - even Nicole Kidman plays her part well - but it just doesn't have the haunting impact it needs - this is a story that should follow one for days. Still worth seeing but don't expect a great movie - just an adequate one. Would be fine to watch on DVD.

overall=*** ; acting=*** ; story=***1/2; cinematography=****
overall=***1/2 ; acting=**** ; story=*** ; humour=** ; soundtrack=****

TRANSCENDENCE

As Dr. Will Caster works toward his goal of creating an omniscient, sentient machine, a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent him from establishing a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain.

Yes, there are plot holes you can drive a truck through. And it's pretty slow during the first half. But the philosophical and ethical questions it raises about the limits of technology and its relationship to human identify are interesting and provocative. In my view, the movie HER explored similar issues with more heart and soul, but TRANSCENDENCE is ok as far as sci-fi goes. But perhaps wait for the DVD.

overall=***1/2 ; acting=*** ; story=***1/2 ; special effects=*** ; directing=**1/2

THIS WEEK'S NEW CINEMA RELEASES

Not much in the way of new release movies this week.

MY TOP PICK TO SEE


First on my list to see is Johnny Depp who stars as Will Caster in TRANSCENDENCE,  who works toward his goal of creating an omniscient, sentient machine while a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent him from establishing a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain. I had high hopes for this one when I saw the trailers. But critics haven't been kind to it rating it an average of around ** to **1/2 stars. General movie goers are rating it around ***. I'll be able to tell you my opinion in a few hours time!

OTHERS TO SEE


With ANZAC Day approaching here in Australia, it is not surprising that a movie comes to our screens related to war and Australians. This year, we have the adventure war drama, CANOPY, starring Khan Chittenden (Clubland). It's set in wartime, 1942. Singapore. An Australian fighter pilot shot down in combat awakens suspended in the treetops. As night devours day, he must navigate through dangerous jungle in search of sanctuary. Transcending language and culture, CANOPY is a cinematic tour de force exploring the collision of war, nature and its impact on humanity.

Finally, the documentary THE CROSSING might be worth a look. It's not showing here in South Australia so I won't be able to see it. Two young Australians decide to go on an adventure to become the first to cross Victoria Island unsupported. It doesn't all quite go to plan. It's directed by Julian Harvey (The Tunnel) and won the Audience Award at the 2013 Sydney Film Festival. If you get to see it, come and post what you think here.

That's it for this week. Enjoy the movies!