Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weekly Film Review Roundup 17th October 2013

What a week it’s been for reviewers, we’ve seen some really great films. Prisoners is not for the faint-hearted; its gripping. If you want something lighter go fall in love with About Time.  Girls, go treat yourselves and watch at Gold Class, La Premiere or one of those luxury cinema experiences.  For those who want a solid Australian drama, take a trip to Mystery Road. Remember, also, it’s the last week of the Italian Film Festival running across Australia.  Make it a night out with pizza, wine and a wonderful Italian film.

(My movie Pick of the week)
About Time ★★★★
Opens in Australia: 17th October, 2013
Other Countries:          Release Information
OUR THOUGHTS
Richard Curtis, screenwriter for some of the most memorable romances in the past few decades—Notting Hill, Bridge Jones Diary, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and War Horse—wrote the screenplay and directed for About Time. So going in, you know what to expect. It’s blatantly sentimental and filled to the brim with lovely, sweet moments.  
Nerdish Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is sat down on his 21st birthday by his offbeat father (Bill Nighy) and given the secret man’s talk—the men in their family have the ability to travel through time. The deal is he can only change things in his own life, so he uses it to change the one thing uppermost in his mind—score a girlfriend (Rachel McAdams).
Of course, true love, or life for that matter, never runs smoothly, but Tim can fix that by jumping back in time. However, he comes to realize that it’s not as easy as he thinks and he is faced with some large dilemmas. Some of the best moments are between Tim and his Father. Bill Nighy’s quirky character portrayals never get old.
It may not be Notting Hill, but there are so few of these sentimental romances around these days that About Time was a surprisingly enjoyable film. It’s a lovely commentary, too, on family, the bond between father and son, and a reminder we should savor each day.
STUDIO BLURB
At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time... The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim's father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can't change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life-so he decides to make his world a better place...by getting a girlfriend.
Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think. Moving from the Cornwall coast to London to train as a lawyer, Tim finally meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams). Tim finds out that his unique gift can't save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere. About Time is a comedy about love and time travel, which discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all. (c) Universal  

Prisoners★★★★
Opens in Australia: 17th October 2013
Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
This film is intense… no, I mean, REALLY INTENSE.  If you have children it will ask you all kinds of questions you won’t want answered, and you hope will never be asked of you.
I think it’s one of the best performances by Hugh Jackman I’ve seen. He really is a great actor. The final act has a few plot-holes, but you will be so shaken up by then you won’t think about them until later.  It’s a good film but I can’t say I enjoyed it.  It’s too grim, too terrifying, and too relentless. But, if that’s what you like, this one is definitely a “go see it.”

STUDIO BLURB
PRISONERS, from Oscar (R)-nominated director Denis Villeneuve, stars Oscar (R) nominees Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal in a story that poses the question: How far would you go to protect your child? Keller Dover (Jackman) is facing every parent's worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation,  Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces the only suspect's release. Knowing his child's life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? (c) WB

Mystery Road ★★★ 

Opens in Australia: 17th October, 2013
Other Countries:          Release Information
Perth, Australia:      See at Luna Cinemas

OUR THOUGHTS
Ivan Sen has done a remarkably solid job in creating a real sense of dread in this small town murder mystery. The Australian cast is a “who’s who” of talent, and all deliver their best.  It’s a touch uneven in pace, but is still a good drama. Aaron Pedersen has a powerful screen presence, as the small town cop who follows his instincts while being confronted by prejudice and the challenges of his family. If you live outside Australia you will find this peek into Australian outback town life fascinating. And it’s a bloody good product from our country that you will enjoy tremendously.
STUDIO BLURB
An Indigenous detective investigates the murder of a teenage girl in a small town in the Outback. Ivan Sen (Toomelah) crafts a mesmerising thriller with a stellar Australian cast including Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Kwanten and Jack Thompson.

Honey ★★★½

Australian Lavazza Italian Film Festival

(Festival: 2nd – 22nd October­­­—varies in your state)

Visit Lavazza Italian Film Festival Website for info on the Festival
Perth Festival: Screening details: Click here
Other Countries: Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
Honey is a controversial film in its topic matter. Dealing with euthanasia it is not an easy

film to watch. Although, those who brave it will be rewarded with thought provoking arguments. Is euthanasia for mental illness justifiable. As one of the characters poses the question: Just because you can’t see the illness, is it not still an illness? 
It’s well-rounded and beautifully filmed and directed. Not for everyone but definitely a conversation starter.
STUDIO BLURB

Irene, nicknamed 'Honey', has devote herself to people looking for help, and tries to alleviate their suffering even when they make extreme decisions. One day she meets Grimaldi and his invisible malaise. An official selection of Un Certain Regard at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Honey has been applauded for Golino’s stylish direction and Trinca’s breakout performance, making this multilayered and beautifully nuanced film an unmissable festival highlight.