Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Weekly Film Review Round Up 9th November 2012


THIS WEEK'S PREVIEWS


What should you spend your precious dollars on when visiting the cinema? What needs popcorn to enjoy?  And what needs waiting until DVD?

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.

 
The Sessions ★★★★1/2  (My movie Pick of the week)

 
Opens in Australia: 8th November 2012
Other Countries: Release Information


OUR THOUGHTS

‘Give me a moment,’ I said to my husband as the end credits rolled.  I couldn’t stop sobbing.  Yep that was me blubbering like a baby in the fifth row.  It’s not a movie that sounds remotely interesting.  In fact, a guy in an iron lung having sex with a sex therapist, whilst sharing the details with his priest, sounds exactly what you don’t need to see or read or hear about.  BUT, you should see this film.  It’s beautiful, poignant and, dare I say it, the performances are Oscar worthy.  Helen Hunt gives the bravest performance of her life and though she’s not my fave actress her style really suits this story. It’s about love and what that means.  And though many films attempt to frame that thought, this one actually nails it. 

STUDIO BLURB

Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, The Sessions tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined - at age 38 - to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality. -- (C) Fox Searchlight
 

Seven Psychopaths ★★★★

Opens in Australia: 8th November 2012
Other Countries: Release Information


OUR THOUGHTS

You shouldn’t laugh in this film.  It’s violent, the language is foul and the characters, well, they’re, ah… psychopaths. So you also shouldn’t care about them.  But you do.   Just as you guffawed at the violent & anti-social behaviour in  Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Machete, Seven Psychopaths will have you laughing out loud at the superb lines and ridiculous antics of these outrageous characters.  Christopher Walken's and Sam Rockwell's performances simply make the film.  This comedy is blacker than black with no shades of grey.  If you squirm at the sight of blood, avoid.

STUDIO BLURB

Marty (Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, "Seven Psychopaths". Billy (Rockwell) is Marty's best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. All he needs is a little focus and inspiration. Hans (Walken) is Billy's partner in crime. A religious man with a violent past. Charlie (Harrelson) is the psychopathetic gangster whose beloved dog, Billy and Hans have just stolen. Charlie's unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn't think twice about killing anyone or anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale. -- (C) Official Site


Killing Them Softly ★★★½


Opens in Australia: 11th October 2012
Other Countries: Release Information


OUR THOUGHTS

In the same vein as SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, this one is funny and nasty but more character driven and thoughtful.  Brad Pitt, as always, delivers a perfect performance. Good looking, talented and with a gorgeous wife, he certainly never seems to put a foot wrong.  I’ve missed James Gandolfini, since the end of Sopranos, so it was a joy to see him back on screen as a broken down gangster assassin who can’t get his act together.  It’s a little overlong in the set up and a few scenes probably overstayed their welcome but still a pleasure to watch (if you can call watching multiple homicides and bashings a pleasure).


STUDIO BLURB

Three dumb guys who think they're smart rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. Brad Pitt plays the enforcer hired to track them down and restore order. Killing Them Softly also features Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, and Vincent Curatola. Max Casella, Trevor Long, Slaine and Sam Shepard also make appearances. -- (C) Weinstein

End of Watch ★★★

Opens in Australia: 1st November 2012
Other Countries: Release Information


OUR THOUGHTS

Big warning on this:  It uses very shaky hand-held cameras like all these FOUND FOOTAGE films.  In this case, there is the added extreme of particularly horrific violence.  One audience member in the row behind (but thank goodness about ten seats along) was violently ill.  It may have been the camerawork or they might have arrived feeling a tad greenish.  All I know is that it was one of the most unusual screenings I’ve ever attended whilst we pondered the fate of the sick patron.  Another warning:  The language is beyond disgusting.  These Mexican street gangs are scary folk and their vocabulary is limited to four letter expletives in every second word.  Not a date film girls, and a little bit of a dull start but it certainly makes you appreciate the tough job of police in certain areas of L.A. 

STUDIO BLURB

From the writer of Training Day, End of Watch is a riveting action thriller that puts audiences at the center of the chase like never before. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star as young LA police officers who discover a secret that makes them the target of the country's most dangerous drug cartel. -- (C) Open Road

Bachelorette ★★½

Opens in Australia: 1st November 2012
Other Countries: Release Information


OUR THOUGHTS

This isn’t bad but it isn’t great.  It’s not BRIDESMAIDS but it’s trying so hard to be, that it hurts.  The first half is funny and the concept should work but the characters aren’t positive if they are good, bad or ugly.  Kirsten Dunst has never looked worse and I’m not sure if Rebel Wilson is as funny with an American accent.  It’s definitely a chick flick, so leave the boyfriend/hubby at home and have a glass of wine beforehand (just one cause you don't want to end up like the characters). It may put you in the right mood.  And again, who do I complain to about the pointless foul language, people? Just because it worked in BRIDESMAIDS doesn’t mean gutter talk is a given in making a hit comedy. (Why not just try writing wit ala Katherine Hepburn)  Half a star off too because I’m sick of the “F” word in film—its lost its meaning. 

STUDIO BLURB

On the night before an old friend's wedding, three frisky bridesmaids go searching for a little fun but find much more than they bargained for. With lovely Becky (Rebel Wilson) set to marry her handsome sweetheart, Dale (Hayes MacArthur), the remaining members of her high school clique reunite for one last bachelorette bacchanal in the Big Apple. Regan (Kirsten Dunst) is an overachieving, ueber-Maid of Honor who's secretly smarting over the fact that she's not the first to marry, while Gena (Lizzy Caplan) is a whip-smart sarcastic who's actually a closet romantic, and Katie (Isla Fisher) is a ditzy beauty who loves the good life. But when Becky insists on keeping the bachelorette party tame, the women proceed with an after-hours celebration of their own. -- (C) Official Site
 

The Master ★★

Opens in Australia: 8th November 2012
Other Countries: Release Information


OUR THOUGHTS 

There was a buzz about, before ‘The Master’ preview screening.  It’s being touted as an Oscar contender.  Yes, the acting is superb, although, as good as Joaquin Phoenix is, his mumbling meant a lot of what he said was incoherent.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a standout as the slimy L. Ron Hubbard type but its not enough to make it an interesting film. There seemed to be a good deal of provocative sexual behaviour that we probably didn’t need to see (imagine that it could also have been called “The Master-bate”).  The Director, Paul Thomas Anderson, seemed uncertain that his audience got the message so he beat us over the head on every point, which makes for a slow and overlong experience.  I think there is a fascinating tale to be told about religions that are akin to cults, ala Scientology, but this isn’t it. 

STUDIO BLURB

A striking portrait of drifters and seekers in post World War II America, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master unfolds the journey of a Naval veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause (insert the religion that Tom Cruise and John Travolta practices) and its charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

 

What have you seen this week? Did you find our comments helpful or do you disagree? Share your thoughts with us.