Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Film Review Round Up-July 28 2013

  THIS WEEK'S PREVIEWS

This is a catch up Film roundup.  I've been away for two weeks on a wonderful holiday in the Hunter Valley, a wine growing area of Australia, with a quick pop-in to Sydney to see the Manchester United football (soccer) match against the Aussie All Stars.  Manchester won 5 to 1 and it was interesting to see a stadium of almost 90,000 Australians barracking for an overseas team and booing their own countrymen.  Poor form I thought but then I am not a soccer fan (I was dragged along).
So, most of these films have been in your local popcorn distributor for a couple of weeks.  There is quite a choice at the moment and some good ones coming up over the next few weeks.  You should see my preview diary.  On one week there is five screenings.

(My movie Pick of the week)
This Is The End
★★★★

Opens in Australia: 18th July, 2013
Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
This is Seth Rogan all the way.  If you don’t like high school toilet humour, ala ‘Pineapple Express’ and ‘Superbad’, then you will probably wish for the end of the world whilst watching his latest outing, ‘This is The End’.
I am a fan despite not loving toilet and sex humour (some of it combined explicitly in the same scene in this) and yet there is something about the exuberance of Rogan I really love.  He is simply the coolest uncool guy in Hollywood.
Be warned, this is silly ridiculous but if you go along with the ride, you will find yourself chuckling and imagining the fun this bunch of Hollywood A-Listers had mocking their own celebrity.  It’s a long way from ‘The Breakfast Club’ but we’ve evolved haven’t we?  You will find every extreme in this, including actors peeing into their own mouths (yep, that’s right).  Don’t take the kiddies.
STUDIO BLURB
The comedy This Is The End follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption. (c) Sony

BEFORE MIDNIGHT ★★★★      
Opens in Australia: 18th July
Other Countries:
Release Information
Perth, Australia: See at Luna Cinemas 

OUR THOUGHTS
I’ve not seen the first two in this series, ‘Before Sunset’ and ‘Before Sunrise’.  However, after this one I am going out to find them. It’s a beautifully crafted piece that is so true to modern day romance, as opposed to the fluffy pieces we are constantly delivered, you will hear yourself saying, ‘I know that feeling’, ‘I’ve said those words.’  This is a film made with respect for the medium of film and, it is also a very true portrayal of adult love. It’s not about how beautiful is love, it is about how  true is love even though it is hard to maintain when life happens to you.

STUDIO BLURB
  It has been nine years since Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) reconnected on the streets of Paris in Before Sunset, having met on a train to Vienna nine years earlier in Before Sunrise. Now the parents of two children, the couple are vacationing with friends on the coast of Greece.
Director Richard Linklater continues his enchanting tale of a chance meeting between two strangers, bringing to it a nuanced perspective only gained by years lived. Life carries with it new responsibilities and attitudes, forcing the two dreamers to reassess what they each want next. Bolstered by an increasingly refined onscreen chemistry between lead actors Delpy and Hawke, Before Midnight is a fitting third chapter in one of the great love stories of American independent cinema.

THE WOLVERINE ★★★       
Opens in Australia: 25th July
Other Countries:
Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
Reviewed by Tracy Harris

Director James Mangold returns us to the universe of the X-Men and one of their most popular characters, Wolverine.  Since his last appearance on film, Logan has hidden himself away in a remote part of Alaska, partially to lick his wounds after the death of his love, Jean Grey, but also to protect the world around him from the chaos that follows the beast that is Wolverine. After a slight altercation involving illegal hunters and a grizzly bear which Wolverine calls friend, Wolverine is reluctantly dragged out of his solitude by the striking Yukio (Rila Fukushima) who has been sent by a ghost from his past, Yashida, who wishes to see him once more before he dies. 
This sets in motion a plot which could ultimate cost Wolverine his life. Wolverine’s spends much of the film doing what Wolverine does best, fighting down and dirty through the streets of Tokyo.
The Wolverine is an enjoyable action film aimed at the fanboys (and girls) Hugh Jackman recreates Wolverine accurately, playing him as a world weary hero, surviving rather than living. One of the highlights is the character of Yukio, who lures Wolverine back into our world. She’s a strong, smart and sassy character, who seamlessly combines her modern life with that of traditional Japan, fights like a samurai and she can foretell death, the perfect sidekick for Wolverine.
As my fanboy brother said after viewing this film, “not even Wolverine’s healing powers can save some of this film.” And that’s a shame, because The Wolverine certainly had the potential to be so much more than this.

STUDIO BLURB
In modern day Japan, Wolverine is out of his depth in an unknown world as he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.

PACIFIC RIM ★★ ½
Opens in Australia: 11th July 2013
Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
Reviewed by Tracy Harris

Giant robots fighting giant alien monsters from another dimension. What more can one say?
It’s our not so distant future and the Earth is under attack by Kaijus, colossal monsters which are emerging from a portal to another dimension on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The world has united in an attempt to fight these Kaijus by creating Jaegers, gigantic humanoid shaped robots, mind controlled by specially selected pilots. These Jaegers have successfully fought the Kaijus but the military have shut them down, instead focusing on building huge seawalls surrounding each continent.   This is a grand idea until the Kaijus break through and leave humanity’s fate in the hands of the last five operational Kaijus, their pilots and their support crews.
If you suspend your common sense, check reality at the door and ignore plot holes the size of a giant alien monster, then you’ll enjoy this film. It is squarely aimed at teenage boys.   See this if you love the 1998 Godzilla or the Transformers of 2000s, but remember, you have been warned.

STUDIO BLURB
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes - a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) - who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind's last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

The Way, Way Back
★★★½

Opens in Australia: 25th July 2013
Other Countries: Release Information
Perth, Australia: See at Luna Cinemas

OUR THOUGHTS
Here is another ensemble Indie coming of age piece dissecting American family values.  This has wit and depth and a stellar cast.  I love the way Steve Carell takes opportunities to play dramatically against typecast.  He is quite unlikable in this.  Toni Collette is her usual solid self and Allison Janney is seriously brilliant providing great comedy.
When I received the preview invite I replied to the publicist, “You had me at Sam Rockwell.”  And it’s Rockwell, playing the cavalier manager of a water park, who lifts this out of mediocre territory. I didn't love the ending but everything before was a real summer holiday.

STUDIO BLURB
THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan's (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world - all during a summer he will never forget. (c) Fox Searchlight


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