Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Weekly Review Round Up 26th December 2012.

THIS WEEK'S PREVIEWS

 
It is a smorgasbord this week in film.  So many films opening this week and in the next two weeks you are spoiled for choice.  Perth film-lovers, don't forget there are some fabulous outdoor cinemas open at the moment. I will post another blog with links to all of them shortly. 
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 Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ★★★★★
(My movie Pick of the week)

Opens in Australia: 26th December 2012
Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
This film has turned a non-Lord of the Rings fan into a fan.  Now I will have to go back and watch the LOTR trilogy as I only watched the first one and thought not for me.  Somehow in the past decade I’ve gone Hobbit.  The mixed reviews are thanks to the first forty-five minutes of character building which is slow but have faith it is worth the wait once the adventure gets going.  For my full review CLICK HERE.

STUDIO BLURB
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever... Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths ofguile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ...a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know. -- (C) Warner Bros.

Life of Pi ★★★★

Opens in Australia: 22nd November 2012
Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
This is a beautiful, spell-binding film.  I found it breathtaking and absorbing.  Yet, the hubby found it annoying and couldn’t say why but basically did not enjoy. And my girlfriend found it boring.  So, go figure.  I think most people would enjoy the mystical, parable presentation on a very popular book.  Quite an incredible story.
 

STUDIO BLURB
Director Ang Lee creates a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor...a fearsome Bengal tiger. -- (C) Official Site

Shadow Dancer ★★★

Opens in Perth Australia: Somerville 8pm 24, 26–30 December,
Joondalup Pines 1–6 January, 8pm


Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
I found this dragged a lot.  I’ve always thought that the IRA and their fight against England was about a passionate people fighting for what they believed.  However, this film seemed to lack that passion.  It has been described by other reviewers as a nail-biter.  So perhaps it is a subjective nail-biter.  The performances were solid but it has been done better I think.

STUDIO BLURB
           During an aborted bomb attempt in London, Collette falls into the hands of an MI5 officer, Mac, who offers her a deal: turn informant or go to prison. Fearing for her son's welfare, she returns to Belfast where betraying family and beliefs she becomes a reluctant mole for British intelligence. As suspicion of Collette mounts and Mac takes increasing risks to protect her, both feel the net closing in.

Jack Reacher ★★½

Opens in Australia: 3rd January 2013
Other Countries: Release Information

 OUR THOUGHTS
This seemed overly clichéd and Tom Cruise is well, Tom Cruise, as usual.  For some reason I didn’t buy the whole thing.  Rosumand Pike seemed to phoning it in as the defense lawyer.  It felt like I’d just seen this before in so many films this year.  If you want a crime thriller then you will enjoy it.  However, if you’ve seen all the episodes of Law and Order, like me, then you will probably guess most of the twists.

STUDIO BLURB
Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: You got the wrong guy. Then he says: Get Reacher for me. And sure enough, ex-military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. He knows this shooter-a trained military sniper who never should have missed a shot. Reacher is certain something is not right-and soon the slam-dunk case explodes. Now Reacher is teamed with a beautiful young defense lawyer, moving closer to the unseen enemy who is pulling the strings. Reacher knows that no two opponents are created equal. This one has come to the heartland from his own kind of hell. And Reacher knows that the only way to take him down is to match his ruthlessness and cunning-and then beat him shot for shot. -- (C) Official Site

Wreck it Ralph ★★★★

Opens in Australia: 26th December 2012
Other Countries: Release Information

 OUR THOUGHTS
I just loved this film.  It’s incredibly inventive and filled with amusing banter and beautiful colour.  This is my pick of the kid’s movie for the Christmas break. Disney just knows how to make a solid animation with a great story and memorable characters.  All video game addicts, this is your movie.

STUDIO BLURB
Ralph (John C. Reilly) is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer), the "good guy" star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he's tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero. On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero's Duty. But it's the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it's too late? -- (C) Disney

 Les Miserables ★★

Opens in Australia: 26th December 2012
Other Countries: Release Information

 
OUR THOUGHTS
I have waited for months to see this film.  And I was so disappointed.  Its two hours and thirty-seven minutes and I felt every one of them.  They sing almost every word and that was a bore because it extended the time with tuneless words.  Russell Crowe just can’t sing and after awhile I was wondering how I felt about Hugh Jackman’s voice.  There were just too many close-ups for entire songs and not enough variety of movement.  However, again many critics enjoyed it.  I will say I preferred the previous 1998 film with Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush.  And I have seen the stage musical three times, (once in London) and loved it each time.  Tom Hooper’s version sadly just left me miserable and aching to leave.

STUDIO BLURB
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption-a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. In December 2012, the world's longest-running musical brings its power to the big screen in Tom Hooper's sweeping and spectacular interpretation of Victor Hugo's epic tale. -- (C) Universal

Parental Guidance ★★★½

Opens in Australia: 26th December 2012
Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
This movie had our whole family laughing uproariously from the ten-year-old to twelve-year-old, their cousin to my sister-in-law.  However, the critics haven’t been laughing and I am not in agreement with them.  Parental Guidance reminds me of the comedies we used to be served that have now been replaced by the un-funny swearing and sex-filled romantic comedies.  Billy Crystal and Bette Midler are simply wonderful and have fabulous chemistry.   I love how the helicopter parents are the bad guys.  I highly recommend this for the whole family. We loved it.

STUDIO BLURB
Old school grandfather Artie (Billy Crystal), who is accustomed to calling the shots, meets his match when he and his eager-to-please wife Diane (Bette Midler) agree to babysit their three grandkids when their type-A helicopter parents (Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott) go away for work. But when 21st century problems collide with Artie and Diane's old school methods of tough rules, lots of love and old-fashioned games, it's learning to bend - and not holding your ground - that binds a family together.
 
What have you seen this week? Did you find our comments helpful or do you disagree? Share your thoughts with us.