Monday, 30 May 2016
Wonderful! This is a superb family film that is funny, touching, and thoroughly enjoyable. The New Zealand scenery is spectacular, the acting excellent with three-dimensional characters, and the story delightfully quirky. Great fun and a must see for everyone. Fresh and vibrant. Don’t miss it!
Sunday, 29 May 2016
What a surprise this little gem is. I knew nothing about it except for the description above from IMDB. When it started, I wondered what I was in for — the acting seemed a touch to forced and the script a bit cliched. But after a few minutes, I was totally engrossed. Taylor Richardson, who plays the autistic Glory is absolutely outstanding and Anna Sophia Robb, who plays Jack/Donna carries the movie with her strong acting abilities. This movie has real heart. It was moving and, from what I can tell, portrays the challenges of caring for an autistic child. Check it out.
I had high hopes for this comedy crime action movie. With Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling teaming up, I thought this would be a winner. The trailers looked good, too. But it was disappointing. All the best moments are in the trailers and the rest of it is flat in tone. When the daughter of Ryan Gosling’s character (Australian, Angourie Rice) was introduced, it became quite difficult to watch at times as she is put into situations that no parent would allow for someone so young (13 yo). But she’s probably the best reason to see the film. Crowe and Gosling are worth seeing together and do their best with the material they’ve got but don’t seem to be trying that hard. An unsatisfying experience.
Saturday, 28 May 2016
OTHERS TO SEE
Wednesday, 25 May 2016
A sweet movie starring Susan Sarandon (as the mother) and Rose Byrne (as the daughter). Lightweight but enjoyable. Sarandon and Byrne work well together, but the script could have delved more deeply into its theme of the way that generosity can give life purpose — and give one’s children some space! If you are looking for some easy watching, check it out.
Saturday, 21 May 2016
Wednesday, 18 May 2016
The IMDB description is not quite right — it’s a young pickpocketer who joins with the CIA agent. During the first few minutes of BASTILLE DAY, I lost hope of a good movie. The acting seemed overplayed and stilted. But after a few minutes, the action got going in what turned out to be quite a good story with some nice twists and turns. It is pure entertainment and, if approached without expectations of something deep and meaningful, is thoroughly enjoyable. Idris Elba does the tough man really well and Richard Madden does a good job of the pickpocketer. The whole thing is earthy and unpolished in a nice way. The Paris setting which takes the viewer on a journey through some of its seedier parts is a pleasant change to the romantic tourist spots one usually gets. If you are looking for something where you can put your mind into neutral and go for a ride, check out BASTILLE DAY.
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
FLORENCE FOSTER JERKINS is the subject of two different movies showing in cinemas at the moment. The other one is a French film called Marguerite which departs somewhat from the historical facts. FLORENCE FOSTER JERKINS is a UK/France coproduction which provides a simplistic exposition of this completely deluded woman. What’s so intriguing is the way in which her husband and the society she moved in supported her delusion that she was a great singer. The story is entertaining on one level. But overall it is excessively comedic and superficial. Meryl Streep does a reasonable job singing badly. Hugh Grant puts in a surprisingly good turn and the supporting cast is ok. Overall, flat entertainment for the undemanding viewer.
Sunday, 15 May 2016
I’m going against the critics on this one — I quite enjoyed it. At times, the romance is a bit soppy, but the story makes up for that. I particularly liked the cool futuristic technology which I thought was quite innovative. There’s plenty of action and, if you liked the previous episodes of the Divergent series, I think you’ll appreciate this one.
If you’ve seen the first Bad Neighbours, you’ll know how bad this one is going to be, although, Sorority Rising might just have a slightly better message. That doesn’t mean it’s worth watching! Some good actors are acting badly. I don’t quite get why the likes of Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) and Rose Byrne (X-Men: First Class) feel the need to make movies like this. It has to be money, surely. If you feel the need to watch the first episode recycled, then go for it. Otherwise, give it a miss.
This is an interesting movie starring comedian, Tina Fey, a journalist who travels to Afghanistan to escape her predictable life and boring boyfriend and becomes embroiled in the complex politics of war and relationships. It's not a great movie but it is good enough to take a look. At times, it is unclear whether the movie is meant to be a comedy or a drama. But, in my opinion, it is mostly some quite confronting drama with a thin layer of comedy varying in its quality. Some of the humour seems a bit forced and lame. There are far too many humping dogs! But in other moments the humour is ironic and satirical, raising issues about gender, culture and war. The writers could, perhaps, have made more of this. The story is uneven and, while one can appreciate the attempt to make a complex movie about the issues it portrays, it doesn't quite hit the target. It's as if the movie makers can't quite escape their own cultural perspective. In fact, the way they treat Afghani culture is pretty insensitive without much attempt to understand it from the inside. Tina Fey is quite good and some of the scenes she is in are sensitive and moving. Given that it is based on a true story, it could have been better.
Friday, 13 May 2016
MY REVIEW: THE BIG SHORT will not be for everyone. As it tells the story it has to try to convey complex financial topics to its audience making the movie very didactic. The writers have gone to rather bizarre and comedic lengths to get these concepts across to the viewers. For example, in one scene Margot Robbie, as herself, languishes in a bubble bath as she tells us all about mortgage securities. At times, the actors speak directly to the audience - in movie talk it's called breaking the fourth wall. But all of these antics make it very successful in communicating its key concepts and, for a dialogue-driven movie, there is an excellent feeling of suspense. The acting is certainly good (especially Steve Carell). If you watch this one, be ready to have to concentrate hard! Definitely worth the effort.
GREEN ROOM is a crime horror thriller that is getting mostly positive reviews from the critics. After witnessing a murder, a punk rock band is forced into a vicious fight for survival against a group of maniacal skinheads. For CineVue’s John Bleasdale, it’s ‘Scary and funny by turns, [and] has the potential to become a cult hit, with a genuine midnight movie appeal, and furthers the growing reputation of this young director. People ***1/2 ◉ Critics ****
Tina Fey stars in WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT as a journalist who recounts her wartime coverage in Afghanistan. It’s billed as a comedy/war film but there is more war than comedy. So don’t expect to be laughing for two-and-a-half hours. There are mixed reviews from the critics but the general public seem to enjoying it. The A.V. Club’s Jesse Hassenger says, ‘A movie like this doesn't require 30 Rock's joke density or silly streak, but it's surprising that Fey and Carlock's satirical eyes aren't a little more alert.’ People ***1/2 ◉ Critics ***. I didn’t mind it. I’ll post my review shortly.
THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY is a documentary for all you fashion lovers out there. THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY follows the creation of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's most attended fashion exhibition in history, "China: Through The Looking Glass," an exploration of Chinese-inspired Western fashions by Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton. Screen International’s Wendy Ide says that, ‘From the earnest score to the breathless talking heads to the atmosphere of awestruck reverence, this is a film which takes itself every bit as seriously as its subjects.’ People **** ◉ Critics ***
REMEMBER is a movie with Holocaust themes. With the aid of a fellow Auschwitz survivor and a hand-written letter, an elderly man (Christopher Plummer) with dementia goes in search of the person responsible for the death of his family. Variety’s Guy Lodge describes it as, ‘Crafted in utilitarian fashion by Egoyan, Remember does little to earn the poignancy of Plummer's stricken performance.’ People ***1/2 ◉ Critics **1/2
BASTILLE DAY sees Idris Elba popping up onscreen again in this action drama in which a young con artist and former CIA agent embark on an anti-terrorist mission in France. For The Hollywood Reporter’s Leslie Felperin, ‘It ends up playing like a shoddy blend of V for Vendetta and Mr. Robot but without the budget bandwidth or style of either.’ People *** ◉ Critics **1/2
You’ve been watching the trailers for THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE for months! It’s finally here! But, sadly, it isn’t great. Find out why the birds are so angry. When an island populated by happy, flightless birds is visited by mysterious green piggies, it's up to three unlikely outcasts - Red, Chuck and Bomb - to figure out what the pigs are up to. Hear what Time Out London’s Tom Huddleston, says before you spend your money: ‘If you loved the game, you might enjoy watching the script contort itself into ever more zany shapes to incorporate the necessary elements: giant slings, teetering towers, boomeranging toucans. But it's not enough to counteract the tiresome, sub-Lego Movie snarkiness of the script or the bright, busy and unengaging animation.’ People *** ◉ Critics **
Finally, THE BOY is one you can see at your own risk. The plot line sounds very weak. An American nanny is shocked that her new English family's boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive. Hmmm… Variety’s Joe Leydon says that, ‘Despite the assiduous grinding of plot mechanics by William Brent Bell (“The Devil Inside”) and scripter Stacey Menear, the movie never fully distracts its audience from the inherent silliness of its premise...and, as a result, is more likely to elicit laughs and rude remarks rather than screams and rooting interest.’ People *** ◉ Critics **
That's it for this week. See you at the movies!
NOTE Movie summaries are adaptations of movie summary on IMDB. Opinions are mine unless credited. People and critics scores are a rough idea of how movies are currently being rated on the “average”. These updates are written from an Australian perspective so openings of the movies in cinemas may vary in other parts of the world.
Monday, 9 May 2016
Wednesday, 4 May 2016
This episode of Captain America is probably the best one so far -- but that doesn't mean it's a great movie -- it isn't. CIVIL WAR has a better story than previously but is too long. The acting was pretty average but that's all you need when you've got top-notch special effects and dramatic fun action sequences! There's not as much humour in this one so it is a bit darker and more serious than previous episodes. The problem is that it gets a bit "preachy" at times when it tackles some issues in an overly-obvious way. When there is action it is frequently too frenetic and jumpy. 3D quality is pretty good. While this is not a great movie it is entertaining enough.