Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weekly Review Round Up 24th June 2012


Here is a round up of the movies we've seen this week. It may help you decide how to spend your precious dollars when visiting the cinema. If you have seen any of these or want to see them and have a comment please feel free to share. We love hearing from our readers.

Snow White & the Huntsman ★ ½

Kristen Stewart (the Twilight saga, On the Road) plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil Queen Ravenna (Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron of Prometheus, Hancock) who is out to destroy her. 

But the wicked ruler never imagined that the young woman who has escaped her clutches and now threatens her reign has been training in the art of war with a Huntsman named Eric (Chris Hemsworth of Thor, The Avengers) who was dispatched to capture her. 

The epic action-adventure is brought to the screen by Joe Roth, the billion-dollar blockbuster producer of Alice in Wonderland, and, in his feature-film debut, acclaimed commercial director and state-of-the-art visualist Rupert Sanders.


             Imagine this, shouting, shouting from Charlize, staring pensively from Kristen, lots of great CGI, then boring, boring dialogue. Then shouting, shouting, shouting, pensive, pensive, Chris Hemsworth swinging axe, great CGI, boring, boring, dialogue. Then shouting, shouting, pensive, pensive, swinging axe, great CGI, dwarves with boring dialogue. Then shouting, pensive, swinging, boring dialogue, dwarves, then end.  There, now you have the full story.  Watch at your own waste of money.  Our amusing take on how the movie came to be made Once Upon a Time in a Production Office

The King is Dead  ★ ★ ★

Cast: Dan Wyllie, Bojana Novakovic, Gary Waddell
Director: Rolf De Heer
Genre: Comedy/Drama
AUS release date: 12 July 2012
              Open inspection at the house-for-sale in the quiet, leafy neighbourhood...Max, science teacher, and
Therese, tax accountant, decide that here is the house for them.
               Unsuspecting, they buy and move in, finding a nice family on one side and, well, “interesting” on the other.  But interesting soon becomes loud, and loud soon becomes intolerable and when the intolerable becomes the violent, and the police are powerless to do anything, and the community lawyer suggests ear plugs, Max and Therese are forced to try and solve the problem of the neighbour from hell themselves...and end up with trouble on their hands.  But even that’s not the worst of it, because trouble from hell his friends...and even worse, enemies...

         What great fun is this film.  Great cast and so Australian.  I'm not sure if the ending is such a surprise but a solid Aussie film.  And haven't we all had one bad experience with neighbours. After this you will kiss yours.

Ice Age Continental Drift ★ ★ ★

Ice Age is back! Again, Scrat’s nutty pursuit of the cursed acorn, which he’s been after since the dawn of time, has world-changing consequences – a continental cataclysm that triggers the greatest adventure of all for Manny, Diego and Sid.

In the wake of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his cantankerous Granny, and the herd encounters a ragtag menagerie of seafaring pirates determined to stop them from returning home.

Features the returning voice talents of Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, Sean William Scott, John Leguizamo, Chris Wedge and Josh Peck, alongside newcomers Jennifer Lopez and Nikki Minaj.


      This has never been a favourite franchise of mine or the kids.  Just don't find those mammoths so cute and cuddly. Although the acorn chasing rodent is very amusing and probably the highlight of every film. Give him his own franchise, why donchta.  My husband swears this is a very short film but the running times is 94 minutes.  I'm thankful it is not much longer as it is getting a little long in the tusk.  Little kids will like it.  My eleven and nine year olds are over it.

What have you seen this week, share  your thoughts with us?  Did you find our comments helpful?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Snow White & the Huntsman ★ ½


Release Dates
21st June
, 2012   USA 22nd 1st June, 2012   UK 30th May, 2012
Other Countries Release Dates

In the darkened cinema—made darker by the bleak grey palette used in ‘Snow White and The Huntsman’—my mind wandered. That’s what happens when the film is agonizingly slow.  You start thinking about the school run and that book you must finish and what to cook for dinner tomorrow night. 
               Eventually, my thoughts turned to the production meetings I imagined occurred in bringing this film to screen to darken my evening. Hear this conversation in multiple enthusiastic American accented voices.  Like Chris Hemsworth, I am an Australian, and just like him I can’t do foreign accents.

An Office in La-La Land

‘We have Kristen Stewart and she’ll bring all the Twihards.’
‘Plus we’ve got Charlize Theron.  She’s looking fabulous and got that Oscar too; so there’s credibility there.  She’ll get in the men—and the women (she has that appeal).'
‘And then we’ve got Chris Hemsworth.  Oh yes, yes, we all know he  can’t do accents (#&%*? Australian accent always slips through).  But look, as long as his hair is long and he’s still swinging something around that reminds them he’s Thor then nobody will care.’
‘The Dwarves though, they’re a problem.  There are no famous dwarf actors.  We can’t use the Oompa Loompa or that mini-me guy, they’re not craggy enough looking.  No, what we’ll do is we’ll get well known full size character actors and use CGI to make them look like dwarves.  Nah, nah, don’t worry about the “Dwarves Actor Union”—we’ll tell ‘em we may be remaking ‘Wizard of Oz’.  That’ll shut ‘em up.’
‘If only we hadn’t stuck these three writers (John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini, Evan Daugherty) together we could have just got cheaper actors and probably made something interesting.  Separately, they’ve done well for themselves but for some reason they just can’t patch this one together.  They all want their contribution to have equal time on the screen, which has turned it into over two hours of sludge.  But they’re standing firm and we’ve got contracts.’
‘And the Director?  Look everyone’s sick of seeing Spielberg above the title and Ridley is off in space again.  J.J. Abrams, well, he’s good but we need a conclusion here and after “Lost”, we don’t trust that he won’t end it with Snow White really never waking up and it was all set in Heaven. 
There’s this guy, Rupert Sanders.  Nobody’s heard of him—he hasn’t even got a proper bio on IMDB—but his video game commercials are pretty good and that really gives him great experience to handle a big budget Hollywood movie. So he’s not gonna complain or upset the writers or demand any more time and money be spent on the script.  No, he’ll be grateful, he got the job.'    
       ‘Then what we’ll do is start releasing really impressive CGI trailers a year out from the in-cinema date.  Really feature Charlize in them.  Put her in a milk bath and have her come up out of that with it covering her. That’ll get them interested.’
‘Don’t forget Kristen.  Get her to stare blankly at the camera just like she did in all the Twilight movies; and put her in chain mail and get her to hurl a sword around like she means it.  Thats a bit different from Twilight. They didn't give her a weapon, just a bad attitude.’
‘Put a lot of grabs of Chris with mud on his face and scenes with Kristen, like some romance is going to happen, even if it’s not.  And hair—get good shots of his long hair.  CGI it, if you have to.  We’re up against “Brave” and that one’s got good hair.’
‘And get Entertainment Tonight on the phone.  Tell ‘em we’ll fly Mark over to the set and he can interview Charlize.  Tell her to tell him that its great fun to be evil even if she has to shout in every scene.  Get one of the girl interviewers as well to fly over and stand outside a castle swooning as she interviews Chris Hemsworth about his new baby.  And make sure his hair is still long and tell him to use the Australian accent—we want it now—oh that’s the only accent he can do?  Right.  Right.’
'Now we’ve got the previews to do and we need to get passed those reviewers who may pick up it’s a bit of a dud.  Those useless scriptwriters—should have used dwarves.  Get the publicists to give ‘em a drink when they arrive.  And apples, get apples and put them everywhere—even put them in gift bags with other irrelevant stuff. No, no, we can’t put poison in the reviewer’s apples.  Too obvious.’

'Now we’ve got them sitting there, it’s our last chance to do something positive, let’s play them the spoiler trailer of the movie they are about to see.  Then let’s show them how we made the movie.  Show them the CGI.  I bet they wouldn’t realise we used CGI to make the troll or makeup to make one of the characters old.  Then tell them about the music. The music is really good.  We’ve got James Newton Howard.  He does all the big ones and Florence and the Machine.  She wrote a special song.  Maybe we can get some money back on the soundtrack.  Can’t hurt.'

'Oh and get Chris Hemsworth in again telling everyone how good the film and Director is, and tell him he can use his Australian accent.  Right, right, I forget that’s all he uses.  Is his hair still long?  Good, good.  Get him to Sydney for the Australian opening. Tell them he’s been surfing. That’s what they do in Australia in their spare time.  Can you get Kristen to Australia and get her in the reel?  Tell her to smile when she talks about the filming.  Oh, she doesn’t smile.  It’s in her contract?  Why?  Why can’t she smile?  Too many years as Twilight’s Bella, and everyone knows smiling gives you wrinkles.  Shame—pretty girl.'
‘Of course, it’s a good idea to show an audience how a film is made just before they see the film.  They want the spoilers and they know it’s just an illusion on screen, so why wouldn’t you tell them everything?  No there can’t possibly be reviewers who avoid pre-knowledge about a film before they see it, so they can experience it fresh as a ticket-paying film-goer would.’
‘Oh dear the reviews are coming in and it didn’t work.  Told you we should have put something in the apples.   Look on the bright side, we’ve still got “Alice in Wonderland” to our name and Johnny Depp is still returning our calls.' 
'Any more of these fairy tales we could have a swing at?  What about that “Rumpelstiltskin?  Get the Dwarf Union on the phone—tell ‘em we can make it up to them.  There’s a part for a baby and one of their members.  Wait, wait, hold that thought, get Depp on the phone.  Ask him does he mind if we digitize his body to make him shorter?  It’s a fairy tale for $#@&*’s sake, how can it fail?’

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Disney Pixar's "Brave" ★ ★ ★ ★ ½


Release Dates
21st June
, 2012   USA 22nd June, 2012   UK 17th August, 2012 Other Countries Release Dates

In the best books and films, we fall in love with the characters—their personality, their strengths, their struggles with their weaknesses, their style.  In ‘Brave’s’, Merida, Disney Pixar has given us not only a beautiful character  that young and old will love, they have also given us her Hair.  That’s right, I said, her hair. 
Let me tell you, I now dream about owning a Merida doll or a Merida wig or a blanket made from Merida hair.  This red, flowing, gorgeous, wavy and ringletted matter is stunning.   It has a life and a beauty of its own and I’m looking forward to a sequel to see what becomes of Merida’s hair.
And that is part of the magic of this film, the animation is the most exquisitely divine ever seen on screen.  Producer and Pixar veteran, Katherine Sarafian, comments “'Brave’ has a visual complexity that’s at a new level—even for Pixar.  Ancient Scotland—with horses, bears and human beings—is about as organic as you can get. There’s absolutely nothing easy in the film. We’ve pushed the look, pushed our technology and pushed our artists to new heights. Merida’s wild, curly mane of red hair and the complexity of clothing on all of the characters—from formal dresses to tunics, cloaks and armor, plus layers and layers of kilt—made this our most challenging film yet.”

To prepare for this assignment, the eighty strong animation team engaged in sword fighting, took archery lessons, wore kilts, rode horses, visited the zoo, heard lectures from an expert on Scottish accents, studied iconic and contemporary films set in Scotland, and watched nature documentaries about bears and horses. Director Mark Andrews himself gave biweekly lessons in swordplay. The daily animation reviews would often end with an invitation to pick up a sword and act out a particular shot move-for-move.
 John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and an executive producer of ‘Brave, says, “It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. That’s what we love to do at Pixar. We love to go to new worlds and present stories that you’ve never seen before. It’s a tour de force of technology and artistry.”
The story introduces Pixar’s first female hero in Merida (Kelly Macdonald) a Scottish princess destined to marry one of the son’s of the four clans.  The necessity of the marriage is steeped in Scottish folklore and history and it appears unavoidable.  Since childhood, Merida has behaved more like her boisterous father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly) than a demure royal daughter.  She becomes an expert archer and a beloved sister to her brothers, identical triplets Harris, Hubert and Hamish—adorable mischievous young red-headed boys (and even they’ve got good hair). 

Merida, like her hair, will not be tamed.  As she grows older her struggle against her destiny and her Mother Queen Elinor’s (Emma Thompson) expectations that she play the perfect Princess, tears the Mother and daughter apart.  When the clans come together to celebrate the betrothal of Merida, to the winner of a physical challenge, everything comes to a head.   Merida sets forth on a path which brings her a humorous encounter with a witch (Julie Walters) who grants her an ill-considered spell.  In her plight to reverse the spell Merida must discover truths about herself and her Mother and what it means to be brave.  The story evokes the true emotional turmoil of a teenager breaking free from her parent's rule.
"There’s a reason why the story of “Brave” is so relevant," says director Brenda Chapman. "It’s inspired by a real relationship. I was dealing with a very headstrong daughter.  She was so passionate and so strong—and she was four at the time. I thought, ‘What’s she going to be like as a teenager?'"
“I started to imagine what a fairy tale would be like,” continues Chapman, “with a working mom and a really willful daughter whose strength you don’t want to squash—but sometimes you do want to squash it a little. But in the end, it wasn’t a fairy tale at all. ‘Brave’ turned out to be more of an epic action-adventure.”
‘Brave  is the tenth original film from Disney Pixar, and as in all their films—as masterful as their animation may be—it’s the parable within the story that reaches out from the screen and drags you in.  It reminds us all that bravery is not only in fighting for your beliefs but striving to understand others.   Oh, and lest we not forget, accepting that you will never have hair like Merida no matter how much product you use.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Take This Waltz ) ★ ★ ★

Kindly Reviewed by John Richard

Release Dates

Australia: 14th June
, 2012 USA:  29th June 2012   UK 17th August 2012
Other Countries: Release Dates

Perth West Australian FilmGoers: Click here for Luna Palace Website session times

Canadian Sarah Polley both wrote and directed Take This Waltz.  Perhaps better known as an actor, Sarah [she started her career as a child actor] has in recent years given her audiences fine films as both a director and screen writer.  Is Take This Waltz one of those ‘fine’ films?  To some degree it is but overall there is a feeling of being let down.  The cast is fine, the film quality good, vocal audio not so good and the music augments the story.

Take This Waltz tells the story of a young married couple Margot and Lou Rubin.  Lou (played by Seth Rogen, The Green Hornet) is well settled into married life and writes cook books specialising in ways to cook chicken.  His wife Margot (Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain) appears to have no work other than being an aspiring writer although we experience little effort in that direction.  The married life routine which Lou has settled into does not suit Margot quite as well.  On a short trip to Montreal, Margot meets Daniel (Luke Kirby, Cra$h & Burn TV) an aspiring artist.  They meet again on a plane returning to their hometown and progress to cautiously flirt. They share a taxi ride to their respective homes only to find that they live across the street from each other.  During the taxi ride Margot informs Daniel that she is married.

We are taken through the daily lives of Margot and Lou and increasingly sense that Margot is bored and discontented.  Lou’s little asides and word-games were earlier in the relationship viewed by Margot as being loving and cute, yet now she participates less enthusiatically.  We see Margot spending more time looking across the street as she watches Daniel’s comings and goings.  To support himself Daniel operates a rickshaw around the city streets.  On one occasion as Daniel arrives home Margot meets him and visits his studio/apartment.  Daniel shows her some of his artwork, some of which she finds disturbing.  Although she beats a hasty retreat on this occasion she remains drawn to Daniel and continues to flirt with him and seek out opportunities to meet.

Lou’s extended family; mother, sister, and brother-in-law feature in family gatherings and show that Margot is a part of that grouping and treated as one of them.  She has an endearing relationship with a young niece.  Aside from these moments the relationship between Margot and Lou slowly disintegrates.  Margot spends more time away from home and invariably finds herself in the company of Daniel who pursues her relentlessly promising a life wildly different from that with Lou.

Not unexpectedly Margot leaves Lou and sets out to live with Daniel.  Lou cannot comprehend why she departs, but continues on with his life by completing and publishing his book.  They meet again as part of the family group.  This time not for a celebration, but for the resolution of a problem involving Lou’s sister.  Take part in resolving the problem does not reconcile Margot with Lou, she leaves him at his front door and returns to Daniel.

Life with Daniel involves parties, fun, sexual exploration of various types, but like all lives it settles into a routine.  It is at that point where Margot again succumbs to boredom.  She still does not appear to be working, we no longer see her at her computer and the scene closes with Margot staring into the distance while leaning against an oven waiting for her cup-cakes to bake.  It was at that point that the 1960s song “Is that all there is?” would have been an appropriate theme to reflect Margot’s disenchantment.

The film presents a theme previously explored by other writers and directors, the interplay between a couple and a third party.  The story has been told in a better manner by others and Take This Waltz does not add to previous attempts or set out to excel these.  The characters are well cast.  Seth Rogen and Luke Kirby submit pleasing performances.  Michelle Williams reprises, in many ways, a role she has played before and appears to play her part by the numbers.  I was concerned that my hearing was less than adequate until other audience members commented that Williams was very difficult to understand and parts of her dialogue were near inaudible.

It is clear that Sarah Polley invested time and effort into bringing this story to the screen; the locations are well-selected; the direction is good; and, the music assists in the mood of the film.  The overall result is a film that, although pleasing, does little to add to the viewer’s experience of storytelling via the medium of the cinema.

Thank you to John Richard for this review.

Le Chef (The Chef) ★ ★ ★★

Kindly Reviewed by John Richard

Release Dates

Australia:   14
th June
, 2012
Other Countries: Release Dates

Perth West Australian FilmGoers: Click here for Luna Palace Website session times


An established chef in an upmarket Paris restaurant is handicapped by the acting CEO of the company which owns the restaurant to make the chef lose a rating star. The loss of this one star will mean that the restaurant (Cargo Lagarde) comes under the full control of the holding company and the chef will lose both his employment contract and the apartment that comes with it.  Is this the premise for an entertaining and funny film?  Oh yes, it is!  Filled with many moments of smiles and as many of loud laughter, this French film starring Jean Reno and Michaël Youn entertains from start to fin.

Writer/Director Daniel Cohen takes us behind the scenes in several Paris restaurants to expose the frantic efforts to bring the clientele fine food, on time and with a minimum of fuss.  The story is often told that watching a swan glide through the water the observer is unaware of the frantic paddling beneath the surface which generates the swan’s journey.  This is what the film exposes us to as we witness the frantic efforts of the gaggle of chef’s in the kitchen.

Jackie Bonnot (Michaël Youn) is a well-trained and skilled young chef who cannot retain a job in a kitchen for more than a few days before he finds himself being marched out of the door over culinary differences.  His partner Beatrice (Raphaelle Agogue) is expecting their first child and is keeping them financially afloat.  After losing yet another job Jackie promises that he will take any job on offer.  He accepts a six month contract to paint the outside of a retirement home.

Elsewhere, Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Reno) is facing his own demons.  He is suffering the chef’s equivalent of writer’s block and cannot decide on his (required) upcoming new spring menu.  He relies on this to retain the critics’ support and the attendant star rating for his restaurant.  Lagarde faces the additional pressure of hosting his daily TV cooking show, avidly watched by millions of French women (and men presumably).  Fate steps in and Jackie and Lagarde join forces to attempt to salvage the situation.  At times more like combatants than allies they forge a relationship where each acknowledges the other’s skills and specialities.

Attempting to subvert Lagarde’s success, Stanislaw the acting head of the restaurant’s holding company sets out to torpedo every move Lagarde makes to save his reputation and his beloved restaurant.  Far from being contrived situations we witness the cut-throat initiatives by big business to globalise a franchise of up-market restaurants regardless of the effect this may have on the chefs or the restaurants’ clientele.

Clever writing and directing by Cohen seamlessly bring in several sub-plots which only serve to further entertain the audience.  Sympathy and empathy are evoked by the storyline and fine deliveries by the main protagonists.  The audience becomes immersed in both the ongoing struggle and the apparent failures of Lagarde and Jackie to achieve their objectives.  The supporting cast are without exception well cast and do not attempt to control anything more than their allotted parts.  Although the conclusion seems inevitable and predictable Cohen delivers a finale that leaves the audience both laughing and wanting more.

In recent years Jean Reno has entertained audiences as a tough guy in both Hollywood and French/European productions.  It is well worth remembering that Reno has had many previous outings in the comedy genre and has always delivered great performances earmarked by his impeccable comedic timing.  Michaël Youn, perhaps not as well-known as his famous co-star, has nevertheless entertained audiences in over 20 films and proves to be Reno’s equal in this fine French film.

Today few films deliver comedy in both the volume and quality that studio promoters want us to believe.  Often the humour is of the schoolboy type toilet humour interspersed with language that makes many audience members cringe.  Le Chef is genuinely funny and entertaining whilst providing the audience with an insight of the restaurant trade with all its foibles and petty squabbling.  With a running time of only 84 minutes this film proves that good writing, directing and editing can tell a story without having to resort to unnecessary padding.  All the parts of the story fit together perfectly and the audience is satisfied with the process of storytelling and the story itself.

Thank you to John Richard for this review.



              Here is a round up of the movies we've seen this week. It may help you decide how to spend your precious dollars when visiting the cinema. If you have seen any of these or want to see them and have a comment please feel free to share. We love hearing from our readers.

A Royal Affair ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

             Winner of the Best Actor and Best Screenplay awards at the Berlin Film Festival, and starring internationally acclaimed Mads Mikkelsen (CASINO ROYALE, COCO CHANEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY), A ROYAL AFFAIR is an epic tale of a passionate and forbidden romance that changed an entire nation.

             Denmark, 1766, and Caroline Mathilde is married to the mad and politically ineffectual King Christian VII. Ignored by the wild King who chooses to live scandalously, Caroline grows accustomed to a quiet existence in oppressed Copenhagen. When the King returns from a tour of Europe accompanied by Struensee, his new personal physician, Queen Caroline finds an unexpected ally within the kingdom. The attraction between the two is initially one of shared ideals and philosophy, but it soon turns into a passionate and clandestine affair that will change a nation forever.


             This is a compelling masterpiece of cinema.  Halfway through I realised it was so engrossing I didn't feel like I was reading the sub-titles.  The best film I've seen since The Artist.  Don't miss it if you are a true cinephile or love all the pageantry of royal court and the accompanying scandals.

Polisse  ★ ★ ★

Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes 2011
Nominated for 13 Cesars
Box Office hit in France in 2011

              This is the story of the CPU, Child Protective Unit, of a French police force. Forget Law and Order SVU. Forget any of the dour films and TV shows about cops who are in the thick of darkness, that's not real, this is!
              The daily grind for the police officers of the Child Protection Unit - taking in child molesters, busting underage pickpockets and chewing over relationship issues at lunch; interrogating abusive parents, taking statements from children, confronting the excesses of teen sexuality, enjoying solidarity with colleagues and laughing uncontrollably at the most unthinkable moments.

             Knowing the worst exists and living with it. How do these police officers balance their private lives and the reality they confront every working day?  Fred, the group's hypersensitive wild card, is going to have a hard time facing the scrutiny of Melissa, a photographer on a Ministry of the Interior assignment to document the unit.

             The film is about 15 minutes too long. Some of the torrents of French dialogue can become overwhelming and some parts should have ended on the cutting room floor. The film won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival possibly more for the scriptwriting, direction and acting rather than the content of the story. It is not filmed in a (sexually) voyeuristic manner, but brings grittiness to the story and the screen in a way that may leave some audience members wanting to wash their hands of the entire saga.

Rock of Ages ★ ★ ★½

             "Rock of Ages" tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock 'n' roll romance is told through the heart-pounding hits of Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey, Poison, REO Speedwagon, Twisted Sister and more.
           The movie musical stars Julianne Hough ("Burlesque"), with actor/singer Diego Boneta in his feature film debut, Russell Brand ("Arthur," "Get Him to the Greek"), Oscar® nominee Paul Giamatti ("Cinderella Man"), Academy Award® winner Catherine Zeta- Jones ("Chicago"), Malin Akerman ("The Proposal") and R&B queen Mary J. Blige, with Oscar® nominee Alec Baldwin ("The Cooler," TV's 30 Rock"), and Oscar® nominee Tom Cruise ("Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol," "Magnolia," "Jerry Maguire") as Stacee Jaxx.


      You will read negative reviews about this film but the music is fab and it is a whole load of fun.  Your feet will be tapping and your head nodding, and despite it being Tom Cruise's ickiest role, he personifies and inhabits the rocker role.  Its worth seeing just for him and Paul Giamatti as the slick band manager.  Bring back the eighties.

Disney Pixar's Brave ★ ★ ★★ ★

             “Brave”follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lor MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane).
              Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources – including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers – to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late, discovering the meaning of true bravery.


      A truly beautiful work of art in digital animation.  You will fall in love with Merida's character and her hair. I want a Merida doll.  In fact, I want Merida hair.  A story of a Mother/daughter relationship that is engaging, charming and captivating.  My sons, the nine and eleven year old harsh reviewers loved it.  Disney Pixar are still the masters and this will be another hit for them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SWERVE ★ ★ ★ ½

Kindly Reviewed by John Richard

Release Dates

7th June
, 2012
Other Countries: Release Dates

Perth West Australian FilmGoers: Click here for Luna Palace Website session times

We have all grown up with the parable of ‘The Good Samaritan’; where we are taught to help others.  In more modern times we are urged to do the ‘right thing’.  Swerve now teaches us that doing the right thing should also include the right time and the right place.  Colin (David Lyons, Eat Pray Love, Sea Patrol) recently discharged from the Navy is on his way to Broken Hill for a job interview.  He travels on a lonely outback road and witnesses an accident after a driver (on the wrong side of the road) swerves to avoid an oncoming sports car.  After stopping, Colin rushes to the worst damaged car only to find the driver has died.  He also finds a suitcase full of money which he places in his car.  The driver of the other car Jina (Emma Booth, Underbelly, The Boys are Back) appears unhurt, though dazed.  She requests a lift back to her homestead and our good Samaritan agrees after urging her to obtain medical assistance.
After dropping Jina off Colin continues down the main road until he spots a signpost for the town of Neverest.  Being a good guy out to do the right thing he drives to town to report the accident and hand in the suitcase at the local police station.  The station is closed so Colin heads to the pub for a cold beer.  Here he meets the local police officer Frank (Jason Clarke, Public Enemies) who secures the suitcase and the money but declines to take a statement until the following day.
Colin is somewhat nonplussed by this turn of events, but appears to take it in his stride – although a number of audience members urged him to do otherwise.  There being no accommodation in town Frank invites Colin to stay at his home.  We return to the homestead where Colin last saw Jina.  This is the point of the film where the audience needs to fasten their seatbelts as the roller coaster ride begins.  The film is littered with plots and sub-plots; twists and turns; a sleazy car dealer (Vince Colosimo, The Kings of Mykonos), nasty cops and nastier gangsters; and, one hapless good Samaritan trying to save himself and …
A number of minor roles were filled by well-known Australian faces. Among these were Roy Billing, Chris Haywood, Travis McMahon, Robert Mammone and Andy Anderson.  Each was well cast and delivered their usual high standard of performance.
There are contrived coincidences, car chases, shoot-outs and man hunts.  Colin manages one lucky escape after another although in fairness the scratches and bruises begin to mount.  Each move by Colin results in a counter move by one or more opponents.  The intricate game of chess being played out results in the loss of some pawns, while check mate never seems to be a likely outcome.  The action is filmed in outback South Australia and the scenery adds to each setting.  Threatening at times; idyllic at others, but it adds to the mood and aids the intent of the director.
Swerve does not aim to become a high brow opus on morality or love or crime.  It does however set out to entertain and after all isn’t this why most people go to see a film.  Sure, some of the stunts are not likely to be possible in life, but overseas films get away with that all the time.  So why can’t an Australian cop jump on the roof of a moving train?
Producer, director and writer Craig Lahiff (Black and White, Heaven’s Burning) possible had his tongue in cheek whilst writing the script, but he does not resile from the fact that this film sets out to entertain.  The audience laughed, groaned or sighed at all the right moments proving that something was working as planned.  At 87 minutes there must have been a fair amount of footage on the cutting room floor.  This merely served to ensure a well-paced, tightly controlled series of actions which told the story and isn’t this what every story teller sets out to do.

Visit http://swervefeaturefilm.com/ for more information.

Thank you to John Richard for this review.