Sunday, June 23, 2013

WEEKLY REVIEW ROUND UP 23rd June 2013

We have the best pick of films in a long time this week; especially welcome after last week’s poor group.  I couldn’t pick 'Movie of the Week' because they are all so good and so different.  There’s wonderful family films with Disney’s ‘Monsters University’ and ‘Despicable Me 2’—both equally good; then a great Blockbuster ‘World War Z’ and a beautiful independent film, ‘Still Mine’.  All films this week are worthy of your dollars.  You won’t be disappointed.

(They’re all top picks) My movie Pick of the week)

Still Mine ★★★★½
Opens in Australia: 6th June 2013
Other Countries: Release Information
Perth, Australia: See at Luna Cinemas

OUR THOUGHTS
This doesn’t sound like an engrossing premise–a retired farmer building a house for his wife who suffers from dementia and comes up against bureaucracy.  Yawn right? 
But this is engrossing.  I kept thinking, whilst watching, why, why, do I love this so much. The answer is James Cromwell of ‘Babe’ fame.  He is mesmerising. They bandy the words ‘tour de force’ around so much in film promotions but, in this case, believe it.  Geneviève Bujold, playing his wife, is pretty remarkable too. 
I saw this on a screener (a DVD sent to reviewers when you can’t make the preview) and I wish I had seen it on the big screen-I think the full immersion of a darkened cinema would have had me sobbing. This is a special film. 

STUDIO BLURB
 In his first lead role after decades of playing supporting characters, James Cromwell gives a tour de force performance in STILL MINE, an exquisitely crafted and deeply affecting love story about a couple in their twilight years. Based on true events and laced with wry humor, STILL MINE tells the heartfelt tale of Craig Morrison (Academy Award (R) nominee Cromwell), who comes up against the system when he sets out to build a more suitable house for his ailing wife Irene (Academy Award (R)  nominee Geneviève Bujold).
Although Morrison uses the same methods his father, an accomplished shipbuilder, taught him, times have changed. He quickly gets blindsided by local building codes and bureaucratic officials. As Irene becomes increasingly ill - and amidst a series of stop-work orders - Craig races to finish the house. Hauled into court and facing jail, Craig takes a final stance against all odds in a truly inspirational story. (c) Samuel Goldwyn

World War Z ★★★★           
Opens in Australia: 20th June
Other Countries:
Release Information
OUR THOUGHTS
Woohoo this is a ride!  How can you go wrong? Brad Pitt. Zombies. And a good script.  Buy a big popcorn, spend the extra dosh on IMAX at Hoyts Cinemas in Australia, or whatever giant screen is nearest you, sit back and hang on.    Yippeeeee.  Our full review here with all the interesting behind the scenes facts: "Zombies Rule O.K.!”

STUDIO BLURB
  The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself. (C) Paramount
  
Despicable Me 2  ★★★★
Opens in Australia: 20th June
Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
My family were not fans of the first Despicable Me so we weren’t skipping along to number two in anticipation.  Well what a surprise!  Great voice talent plus a solid script plus beautiful animation adds up to a film which the whole family will enjoy. Steve Carrell and Kristin Wig eat up the lead voice roles and the minions are simply hilarious.  There is a fantastic scene over the end credits well worth the extra entry price to see it in 3D.
The twelve-year-old harsh film critic and I have been officially converted to minion status. 

STUDIO BLURB
Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment's worldwide blockbuster Despicable Me entertained audiences around the globe in 2010, grossing more than $540 million and becoming the 10th-biggest animated motion picture in U.S. history. In summer 2013, get ready for more Minion madness in Despicable Me 2. (c) Universal
  
Disney’s Monster’s University
★★★★

Opens in Australia: 20th June, 2013
Other Countries: Release Information
Perth, Australia: See at Luna Cinemas

OUR THOUGHTS
Disney Pixar’s Monsters Inc set a standard back in the early days of animation.  Our eldest watched it all through his babyhood and then childhood and we still all marvelled at the freshness and wit over twelve years later when we saw the re-release in cinemas of a 3D version. 
For the past year we’ve been taunted by trailers for the prequel 'Monsters University', so by the time we snuggled down into our seats we were ready for school with our pals, Sulley and Mike.  Pixar rarely misses with their animations and it was a wise move to bring these beloved characters back to the screen with a prequel, giving us insight into the friendship between the leads and the conflicts with characters like Randall.  Plenty of cameos abound from the original cast as their younger selves.
It’s charming, witty and full of heart.  And that’s Disney’s Pixar studios for you.  No need for them to go back to school.  My suggestion is to enrol your whole family in Monster University at your nearest cinema. 
Oh and the short, which always precedes a Pixar animation, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ is charming and clever.  Read our full review here: Excelling in A-Grade Entertainment”

STUDIO BLURB

Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn't always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn't stand each other. "Monsters University" unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends. -- (C) Walt Disney