Monday, August 20, 2012

Preview Film Roundup 19.8.2012

THIS WEEK'S PREVIEWS

A busy few weeks in film releases with mini-reviews for your reading pleasure. How should you spend your precious dollars when visiting the cinema?  Read on...


The Campaign ½

Opened in Australia: 9th August 2012
Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS

           It should be funny with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis but it just wasn’t —although the audience were laughing.  For the record, can I just state I don’t understand why American comedies now require gratuitous swearing and sex in every third scene.  Ever since the Financial Crisis the Hollywood filmmakers seem to have decided that the only thing that will cheer everyone up is swearing, sex and fart jokes.  A wasted opportunity here and if you do want to see a good comedy, see Bernie or Not Suitable for Children.  This one does not get my vote.


 

STORY

          When long-term congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs plot to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district. Their man: naïve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center.
          At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice but, with the help of his new benefactors' support, a cutthroat campaign manager and his family's political connections, he soon becomes a contender who gives the charismatic Cam plenty to worry about. As Election Day closes in, the two are locked in a dead heat.






Bourne Legacy ( ★★)

Opens in Australia: 16th August 2012
Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS






            The first thirty minutes of this is certainly no Bourne movie.  It’s slow and tedious and I defy anyone to understand what they are talking about. Eventually it swings into action and it turns out its pretty much the same as every other Bourne movie.  The chase scenes are exhilarating but cranky husband reminded me that we’ve seen it all before in recent Bond movies.  Renner is a dull Bourne.  However, despite a limp beginning and ending it was an okay thriller.  Don’t go looking for substance or anything nearly as good as the earlier versions and you will be happy.

 

STORY



          The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. For The Bourne Legacy, Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles. -- (C) Universal



Bully (★★★★)

Opens in Australia: 23rd August 2012
Other Countries: Release Information

 

OUR THOUGHTS



            Prepare yourself to be very angry. As a parent I identified very strongly with the enormous pain endured by the families and the children involved in the bullying. It would be nice to think this is just an American problem. However, having had a child harassed at school all through Grade Three and having had pretty similar conversations with the authorities at the school who offered little help, I must say it is universal. We moved our child to another school this year because of the lacklustre attitude of the school.



           This movie should be seen by every parent and every child over the age of twelve. (I say twelve because there is swearing and the suicide concepts are heavy hitting.) It is confronting but it will open up a topic of conversation that needs discussion urgently. It enjoys five stars not for the quality of the filmmaking—it is flawed but still well made—but for the topic and the courage of those involved. Please see it.

 

STORY






           Directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, Bully is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America's bullying crisis. Bully follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals' offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children.



Holy Motors (Rating: decide for yourself -but if you love film, see it.)


Opens in Australia: 23rd August 2012
Other Countries: Release Information

 

OUR THOUGHTS



           The badges handed to us at the door of the preview said, ‘Art or Lunacy?’ So we knew going in we would be challenged.  I don’t really know how to rate this film as I’m not sure what I just saw.  Like many French films it’s whimsical and very, very different.  If you are curious, see it and go along with the whole thing, without looking for answers.  It is imagination run wild, and works and doesn’t work depending on whether you view it as a movie or a piece of moving patchwork art.  Film can and should be art and Holy Motors is an intriguing example.  Art or Lunacy?  I say, beautiful, crazy art.


STORY



From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man... He seems to be playing roles, plunging headlong into each part - but where are the cameras? Monsieur Oscar is alone, accompanied only by Céline, the slender blonde woman behind the wheel of the vast engine that transports him through and around Paris. He's like a conscientious assassin moving from hit to hit. In pursuit of the beautiful gesture, the mysterious driving force, the women and the ghosts of past lives. But where is his true home, his family, his rest?


Wunderkinder ( ★★½)

Opens in Australia: 23rd August 2012
Other Countries: Release Information


OUR THOUGHTS



           Holocaust movies are not easy viewing. However, they are usually uplifting dramas telling stories of incredible human courage and endurance, alongside horrific cruelty. I see everyone that I can, not because I need to know any more about the holocaust but because I feel we need to bear witness to this tragedy in our history. There are still stories to be told and we should honour those stories by listening, reading and watching.  The children in this German language film are fabulous and the friend who attended the preview with me said that she had to keep repeating to herself that it wasn’t real, so she didn’t break down. It is also a fascinating story of friendship and courage.


STORY



           The story takes place in the Ukraine (Poltava) in 1941 before and during the German invasion. This story is about deep friendship between three musically talented children—two Jewish children, both virtuosic, and a talented German girl who share a love of music. Their friendship extends beyond the gaps of different religions and nationalities, The Nazis invasion to the Soviet Union destroyed their world and they and their families deal with death threats War brings with it.