Saturday, May 11, 2013

Weekly Review Round Up 11th May 2013


THIS WEEK'S PREVIEWS

This week a smart romance I loved in A PLACE FOR ME, we go disappointingly where we’ve gone before with STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS, a laughable thriller in THE CALL and an English family drama that’s almost there in BROKEN

 (My movie Pick of the week)

A PLACE FOR ME (aka STUCK IN LOVE)
★★★★½
Opens in Australia: 16th May
Other Countries: Release Information
Perth, Australia: See at Luna Cinemas

OUR THOUGHTS
Sometimes you are watching a film, and it’s a small film (no explosions, CGI) with actors just portraying everyday people enduring everyday struggles like divorce, teenagers, failures in career, and instead of watching, you are drawn into something special. That is this film.
There are moments, especially with the young leads where you hold your breath the performances and script are that good.  You are inside their heads without them saying a word.  My sister and my cousin came with me to this and both loved it too.  It’s funny but not hilarious, moving but not over-sentimental. Choose this one if you want to see master storytellers make magic.

STUDIO BLURB
Three years past his divorce, veteran novelist Bill Borgens (Academy Award (R) nominee Greg Kinnear) can't stop obsessing over, let alone spying on, his ex-wife Erica (Academy Award (R) winner Jennifer Connelly), who ignominiously left him for another man. Even as his neighbor-with-benefits, Tricia (Kristen Bell) tries to push him back into the dating pool, he remains blind to anyone else's charms. Meanwhile, his fiercely independent collegiate daughter Samantha (Lily Collins) is publishing her  first novel while recoiling at the very thought of first love with a diehard romantic (Logan Lerman); and his teen son Rusty (Nat Wolff) is trying to find his voice, both as a fantasy writer and as the unexpected boyfriend of a dream girl with unsettlingly real problems. As each of these situations mounts into a tangled trio of romantic holiday crises, it brings the Borgens to surprising revelations about how endings become beginnings. (c) Millenium

STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS ★★★★
Opens in Australia: 9th May 2013
Other Countries: Release Information  

OUR THOUGHTS
Let me say up from I am a trekkie. One of my fave shows in the sixties was Star Trek and then, oh joy, oh bliss, came Star Trek Next Generation and all the fab follow on series after that and the series of eighties and nineties movies.  In my previous life my company even sponsored the 11pm Thursday night series of Star Trek Voyager.  It was pretty cheap to run ads at that time of night.  So, this reboot was always on my must see list. 
The 2009 J.J. Abrams first Star Trek was such a thrill and despite my concerns after Abrams LOST series finale letdown, he managed to deliver a great start to the new series.  It was such great fun watching the new younger versions step into their iconic sixties characters. That guy who plays Doc really looks like the original doesn't he?
So, I was bouncing in my seat for Into Darkness.  And it was good but it wasn't beaming me up as I’d hoped.  It felt like a bunch of scenes I had seen before mashed together.  I think one of the scenes was even taken from the 1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan but with a reversal of the characters.
Gene Rodenberry the original creator of Star Trek’s vision of the future was one of optimism and hope.  He created Star Trek as the perfect example of how much can be achieved when beings come together for the betterment of everyone and not just expansion of power. And I think it is the lack of optimism where the problem lies for me in INTO DARKNESS.  Whilst there is much to enjoy here and I am sure most Trekkies will love it and most Sci-fi buffs will revel, for me it is missing that special ingredient.  I’ve rated it high though because lets face it any Star Trek is better than no Star Trek. 

STUDIO BLURB
  J.J. Abrams delivers an explosive action thriller that takes 'Star Trek Into Darkness.' When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew. (c) Paramount

The Call
Opens in Australia: 16th May 2013
Other Countries: Release Information  

OUR THOUGHTS
The first fifteen minutes of this are tense whilst they set up the plot.  You will think I don’t want to sleep alone tonight.  But by the end you will be laughing into your popcorn bucket.   The preview audience was killing themselves laughing and guffawing at the outrageous behaviour of the characters which became progressively ludicrous. The serial killer was insanely overplayed and somehow they managed to make Halle Berry look most unattractive. What on earth were they thinking?
The Director Brad Anderson has actually directed some very good television series episodes of some of my favourite shows (The Killing, Boardwalk Empire, Fringe), so I can only imagine that he directed this via Skype and the actor’s simply misunderstood.
Please hang up on this one.  You will be wasting your dime.

STUDIO BLURB
When veteran 911 operator, Jordan (Halle Berry), takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl's life. (c) Sony

Broken   ★★★
Opens in Australia: 16th May
Other Countries: Release Information
Perth, Australia: See at Luna Cinemas

OUR THOUGHTS
A great premise, that one random lie and the reaction to that lie, can begin a domino effect that changes everything for three families living in an English cul-de-sac.  The acting is spot on and the little girl who plays Skunk the main character, Eloise Lawrence, is simply amazing.  The end is shocking when all the threads are brought together, however it just didn’t pack the punch it promised. Still an interesting indie film but maybe a DVD watch, unless you are a massive Tim Roth fan.  He’s always so good isn’t he?

STUDIO BLURB
Skunk is 11, diabetic, and pretty cool. The summer holidays have just begun and her days are full of easy hopes. Then Mr. Oswald, the ugly man who lives opposite, beats up Rick, the sweet, but unstable boy next door and Skunk's innocence begins to be drained away at a speed and in a way she cannot control. Her home, her neighborhood, her school - all become treacherous environments where the happy certainties of childhood give way to a fear-filled doubt, and a complex, broken world fills her future. Skunk seeks solace in the last remaining place where she knows she can find it - the unspoken friendship with sweet, damaged Rick - and falls into a chaos where suddenly, joyfully, she has choice thrust back into her hands. The choice to remain in this place she was never promised, or to leave it entirely - to live or to die