Monday, 27 June 2016

THE WAILING (Goksung)

A stranger arrives in a little village and soon after a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman is drawn into the incident and is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter. —IMDB

A very quirky, over-the-top horror, crime, virusy, zombie story from South Korea. It was fun, and the humour and horror were quite well done. An enjoyable bit of nonsense.


Friday, 24 June 2016

YOUR GUIDE TO THIS WEEK'S NEW CINEMA RELEASES

Something for everyone at the movies this week!

TOP PICK


Top of the list is EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!, a comedy in which a group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood. It’s from writer/director, Richard Linklater, who brought us the fascinating Boyhood. The Playlist’s Charlie Schmidlin reminds us that, ‘The strength of Linklater's films have always been their ability to capture the textures of lived experience, and Everyone Wants Some!! is no different in that regard: it is a confident, hugely enjoyable return to a universe that treats the connection to “Dazed and Confused” not as an obligation or cash grab, but as inspiration to match that film's level of energy and cast chemistry.’ People ***1/2 ◉ Critics ****


OTHERS TO SEE


In the Turkish movie, MUSTANG, five orphan girls are seen innocently playing with boys on a beach. Their scandalised conservative guardians confine them while forced marriages are arranged. This looks like it will be a deep, emotional story. The A.V. Club’s Mike D'Angelo compares sees resonances between Jeffrey Eugenides book, The Virgin Suicides and Sofia Coppola’s movie of the book. D’Angelo goes on to say that, ‘The result, while less poetic and artful than Eugenides' book or Coppola's film, is much more emotionally direct, and pulls off a very tricky balancing act between bemoaning its characters' fate and celebrating their resilience.’ It looks very good. People ***1/2 ◉ Critics ****


MAYBE/MAYBE NOT


Scrap is still chasing his acorn in ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE. In this episode, Scrat is catapulted outside of Earth, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the planet. To save themselves from peril, Manny, Sid, Diego, and the rest of the herd leave their home and embark on a quest full of thrills and spills, highs and lows, laughter and adventure while traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colourful new characters. This one is getting mixed reviews from the critics. For The Hollywood Reporter’s Michael Rechtshaffen, ‘It's as if co-directors Michael Thurmeier and Galen Tan Chu, both veterans of the Ice Age franchise, sensed that there was essentially nowhere left to go with the concept and opted to instead overstuff the production with too many characters breathlessly doing tired, pop culture-heavy “bits” like it was open mic night at the Paleolithic Punch Line.’ The general viewer are a bit more forgiving. People **** ◉ Critics **

Last up is INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE. It’s been twenty years since the first invasion and now Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind's new space defences be enough? Mixed reviews from critics on this one, too. The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin says, ‘This isn't just lazy, it's borderline nonsensical. Resurgence inflates the scale of the alien threat to such a preposterous degree - the mothership takes up roughly an eighth of the Earth's total surface - that the queues of honking traffic and rooftop helicopter rescues we're supposed to invest in can't help but feel like microscopic trifles.’ Looks like this one is for those who want nothing but special effects action. 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.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS

As Shredder joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang. —IMDB

Yes… I went and saw this. I saw the first one and it was bearable. But this one? No. Terrible. It’s all about the visual effects. Forget a decent story. Forget about depth of characters. The whole thing is boring and pointless. The only people I have met who enjoy these seem to be adults who grew up on these comics as kids. Surely they must be disappointed with the way these movies represent their heroes. Give it a miss.


Monday, 20 June 2016

3D FINDING DORY

The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way. —IMDB Very sweet and cute but nowhere near as good as Finding Nemo. Will be more interesting for little kids than adults. Occasionally humorous. The seals on the rock are the best! Does explore the issue of short-term memory loss in a sensitive way but becomes quite repetitive after awhile. The animation is beautiful, as usual. But, overall, feels too familiar and is pretty predictable. Suitable for age 6+ (some scenes might be scary for very young children).



Thursday, 16 June 2016

YOUR GUIDE TO THIS WEEK'S NEW CINEMA RELEASES

Ready for this week’s goodies at the cinema? Here they are for entertainment…

TOP PICK

Top of the list this week is FINDING DORY in which the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way. It’s a cute film mainly for the kids. But don’t expect anything as good as Finding Nemo was 16 years ago. Time Out New York says that, ‘While Finding Dory is definitely the kind of visual pleasure we've come to expect from Pixar, its storyline doesn't always reach the heights of inventiveness upon which the gigantic animation studio has built its reputation. The film lacks the psychological probing of Inside Out, the existential ponderings of Wall-E, the gentle, stoic sadness of Up.’ People **** ◉ Critics ***1/2 ◉ Me ***. My review coming soon.

OTHERS TO SEE

Don Cheadle has turned his hand to directing in biographical drama that explores the life and music of Miles Davis. Don Cheadle plays Miles Davis. According to The Playlist’s Rodrigo Perez, ‘Miles Ahead is well-intentioned and ambitious, but ultimately uneven, as it cannot redefine the structures its so desperately wants to break down.’ This one may be for those who are “into” Miles Davis. (Limited Release) People ***1/2 ◉ Critics ***

MAYBE/MAYBE NOT

There’s a couple of romances to choose from this week. The first adds action and comedy to produce MR RIGHT in which a girl falls for the "perfect" guy, who happens to have a very fatal flaw: he's a hitman on the run from the crime cartels who employ him. Sounds fun but for The A.V. Club’s Noel Murray, ‘Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell have often been the lone bright spot in otherwise dismal movies, and it takes their combined charm to redeem Mr. Right.’ People *** ◉ Critics **1/2 The second romantic offering adds drama into the recipe. ME BEFORE YOU is about a girl in a small town who forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she's taking care of. The trailers look sweet. For The Hollywood Reporter’s Sheri Linden, ‘The chemistry between the leads and a few finely etched supporting turns provide welcome counterweight to the movie's formulaic progression, welcome especially for those who have seen their fair share of entries in the love-story-with-medical-complication subgenre.’ People *** ◉ Critics **1/2 Finally, one probably just for those who play Warcraft. WARCRAFT is an action adventure fantasy. ‘The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.’ (Written by Official site) The critics are mainly negative in their reviews. The general public like a bit more. People ***1/2 ◉ Critics *1/2 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, 13 June 2016

NOW YOU SEE ME 2

The Four Horsemen resurface and are forcibly recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet. —IMDB

Very disappointing and very boring. Nowhere near as good as the first one (which I really enjoyed). The story seemed incredibly convoluted with much less focus on the magic than #1 — and the magic was pretty unbelievable, using CGI for most of it. Give it a miss. Boring.


QUEEN OF THE DESERT

A chronicle of Gertrude Bell's life, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. — IMDB

Better than the critics (who have given mainly negative reviews) say it is. I found learning about this rather amazing woman very interesting and informative. Nicole Kidman does a pretty good job of Gertrude Bell with reasonable supporting actors. The story could have delved into the Bell’s motivations a bit more and with a bit more tension. But it is an adequate movie and worth seeing.


THE CONJURING 2

Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.

My daughter, Emma, has kindly agreed to provide a review for this one (thanks, Emma!):

Good following on from the first Conjuring. Norma Bates from Bates Motel (can't remember her name) showed excellent acting capabilities in a scene of distress. The youngest son (also can't remember his name) played his role and was very convincing. I think they made it a bit over the top in some scenes using the crooked man as a possession. It made the film seem comical and tainted my view of the severity of the climax.


Friday, 10 June 2016

NEW RELEASE DVD RECOMMENDATION - THE LADY IN THE VAN

SUMMARY: A man forms an unexpected bond with a transient woman living in her van that's parked in his driveway. —IMDB

MY REVIEW: A "mostly true" story (according to the titles) that is sweet and amusing. Maggie Smith is excellent, as you would expect, and her character and that of Alan Bennett's (whose memoir this is based on) develop nicely. But it is Maggie Smith who is the backbone of the film. The story is ok and deals with issues that are important but are, perhaps, too sanitised to have much impact. THE LADY IN THE VAN was filmed in the actual house where the events took place.


YOUR GUIDE TO THIS WEEK'S NEW CINEMA RELEASES

Not much on offer this week…

TOP PICK


The highest rating movie this week is THE CONJURING 2 — which doesn’t say much. In this second in THE CONJURING series, Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits. According to Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty, ‘There are some solid scares (Wan is too gifted in the dark art of gotcha manipulation to not make you leap a few times), but there's nothing on par with the first film's brilliant hide-and-clap scene with Lili Taylor. If there's going to be a Conjuring 3-and this movie is just decent enough to suggest there will be-our heroes should be a little choosier about which case they dust off next.’ People **** ◉ Critics ***


MAYBE/MAYBE NOT


The Spanish comedy drama, A PERFECT DAY, is about a group of aid workers who work to resolve a crisis in an armed conflict zone. It’s won Best Adapted Screenplay at the Goya Awards plus lots of nominations in other awards and categories. The Hollywood Reporter’s, David Rooney, says that ‘While it's uneven, A Perfect Day builds to a nice melancholy conclusion. It underscores with gentle strokes the frustration and disillusionment of self-sacrificing workers confronted on a daily basis with feelings of futility in the face of corruption and compromise.’ People ***1/2 ◉ Critics ***

Are you a teenage mutant ninja turtle fan? You’re in luck as TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE: OUT OF THE SHADOWS is on! In this episode, as Shredder joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang. If you understand that, then this movie is for you. Empire describes it as, ‘Considerably better than its predecessor, the central four may give it their all but the people behind this franchise sadly don't seem all that interested in their crime-fighting, pizza-eating heroes.’ People ***1/2 ◉ 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.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

3D ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Alice returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. —IMDB

Thoroughly enjoyable. Great visual effects, fast-paced, and Sacha Baron Cohen is good as Time. I enjoyed it more than Alice in Wonderland with the same cast. Check it out in 3D.


YOUR GUIDE TO THIS WEEK'S NEW CINEMA RELEASES

A few new movies this week, most of which have either mixed or negative reviews from critics — but I think someone of them aren’t too bad! If I have already seen them, I’ll let you know my star rating…

TOP PICK


Money is a hot topic at the moment — particularly when things go wrong with it and people lose it. MONEY MONSTER is the latest movie to deal with this topic. Financial TV host Lee Gates (George Clooney) and his producer Patty (Julia Roberts) are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes over their studio. Screen International’s Tim Grierson says, ‘The movie is competently made, but also perfunctory, telling us things about the greed of rich business executives and the shallowness of cable TV that we already know.’ I liked it and I’ll post my review soon. People *** ◉ Critics **1/2 ◉ Me ****

MAYBE/MAYBE NOT


The story of true life Gertrude Bell is told in QUEEN OF THE DESERT. She was a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. A very accomplished woman. According to The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, ‘It is grown-up, respectable and historical, perfectly competently made, lots of accents and period dressing-up ... and just the tiniest bit dull.’ Once again, I disagree. I enjoyed it and will post my review soon. People **1/2 ◉ Critics *1/2 ◉ Me ***

NOW YOU SEE ME 2 is the sequel to the 2013 movie of the same name (without the ‘2’ of course!). This time around the Four Horsemen resurface and are forcibly recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet. Screen International’s Tim Grierson describes it as, ‘Doubling down on the giddily ridiculous tone of its predecessor, Now You See Me 2 is diverting, but the film's rampant, cheeky cleverness - its 'can you guess what's going on?” coyness - ultimately proves tiresome.’ Critics ***

Finally, what does an authoritarian father, atheist, which is believed to be liberal, do when his son tells him that he wants to become a priest? Find out in the Italian comedy GOD WILLING. People ***

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.