Monday, 27 March 2017
Disney can’t seem to put a foot wrong at the moment. This year’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST adaptation keeps that momentum going. Perfectly cast, with excellent performances from everyone, good music, cheeky humour, good CGI (if occasionally imperfect), a fresh script while keeping everything we already love about the story, some new songs and dancing, some scary moments — it’s made to order for the romantics amongst us. Emma Watson’s performance is spot on — and she can sing! I predict that BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will be a hit and become yet another Disney classic. Head to the cinema and feast your eyes and ears — and take the kids with you (suitable for 8+). An infectious retelling of an enduring fable.
Saturday, 25 March 2017
Given the target audience, POWER RANGERS is ok. Good themes for teens about bullying, friendship, living on the edge of groups, and so on. The effects are good and the acting is competent. All of this makes up for the predictable, cliched, saving the world plot line. One of the worst aspects of this movie is the blatant product placement of a brand of donuts — completely jarring and unethical. Young fans of the Power Ranger franchise will probably enjoy this movie. Suitable for 12+
Friday, 24 March 2017
A solid thriller that is clearly influenced by Ridley Scott’s Alien movie. It’s occasionally a touch cheesy but, overall, is a fast-paced, thrilling, well-acted space sci-fi set in the present day. The characters are all different and the alien makes a welcome change to some we’ve seen already - it’s a nasty little critter that isn’t evil — just trying to survive. So, if you are after a bit of tension, check it out on the biggest screen you can find!
Thursday, 23 March 2017
The only way I can describe this is to call it a contemporary gothic horror. It’s a long movie at around 2hr 26m. It’s superbly photographed with an eerie story that becomes more bizarre as it progresses. Acting is very good. There are some very dark themes and disturbing themes so it’s not for the fainthearted. At the heart of the story is a criticism of how we, in the 21st century, are working ourselves to death, looking for wellness at the same time as we are denying the very thing that is making us “sick”. It’s a good message, although it is overtaken by the horror. There is so much packed into this movie that it needs to be watched without distraction. This is the sort of movie you need to just sit back and go for the ride.
Sunday, 19 March 2017
Even though the message of this movie is cliched (live in the present and live the best life you can now) I really liked the way it is presented. It’s a “serious” Groundhog Day aimed squarely at the teen market. Zoey Deutch (Why Him?) is excellent as Samantha Kingston — she puts in the best acting with her very expressive face. But the whole cast of young actors come across as very believable. There are some cheesy moments, but they are forgivable. A thought-provoking movie.
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Emma Thompson and Bendan Gleeson do a good job of playing Anna and Otto Quangel in this suspenseful drama. And Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Bastards) puts in a nuanced, compelling performance as the police detective. I liked ALONE IN BERLIN because it focuses on two ordinary German civilians who carry out such a simple subversive activity. We see so many stories of dramatic heroism — but this one is about people just doing what they can to protest. The story is told in a straightforward way with no sensationalism and very little action — and yet, it communicates the constant anxiety that people must have felt during the Nazi regime when you couldn’t trust anyone — even your closest friends.
A thoroughly enjoyable revisioning of the King Kong myth. The action sequences are AMAZING — especially at the beginning of the movie when the helicopters are flying into the unchartered island! Kong is awesome as are all the other “monsters”. And the personality of Kong is nuanced. Acting is good and, if you watch this in 3D, you’re in for a real treat! The social commentary made by this movie (about war, the environment) is good, too, although it could have been developed more. The relationship between Kong and the humans, including that between Kong and Mason Weaver, the photographer is beautifully understated. This is a very entertaining, well executed, fast-paced story with some great humour. Don't miss it on the big screen!
Saturday, 4 March 2017
As far as superhero movies go, LOGAN is pretty reasonable. It’s tone is very different to the previous X-Men and Wolverine stories. This one is very dark, very raw, and very violent. It has an MA15+ rating here in Australia (R in the US) and this looks like the direction these movies will head in the future. Hugh Jackman is, of course, very good as Logan and this will be his last movie playing Wolverine — you’ll see why when you watch the movie. And Dafne Keen puts in a great performance as Laura (X-23). It is quite disturbing, though, to see a young kid perpetrating such intense violence. LOGAN is not a great movie (and it is a little long with a less than satisfying last half hour) but it is worth seeing if you’ve been following the franchise. It is certainly a different sort of superhero movie than we’ve been used to.