Saturday, March 1, 2014

Weekly Film Review Round Up 1st March 2014

THIS WEEK'S PREVIEWS

The pick this week is a small film, and you probably won’t even find it in a cinema near you. But lucky Perth folk can enjoy the atmosphere of Joondalup Pines while enjoying In A World. The last outing for a famous Japanese director has arrived on our screens. But you will probably all flock to Non-Stop this week, looking for another Taken. But you won’t find it on this flight, I am afraid. 

(My movie Pick of the week)
 In A World ★★★½
LOTTERY WEST FILMS - PERTH
Joondalup Pines: 4–9 March, 7.30pm, doors open 6.30pm
To see In a World… in the Great Southern click here.

Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth, Australia:         LotteryWest Film Festival

OUR THOUGHTS
As a film reviewer who sits through hundreds and hundreds of trailers a year, this was a fun look at behind the scenes of the voiceover world where the big score is to get the big film trailer voice overs. I wonder if that is true.  Some great little cameos of well-known actors make this even more refreshing.  Lake Bell who plays the lead, Carol, is so Sandra Bullock in her portrayal of the determined daughter of the voice over king. I don’t know why she doesn’t pop up in more big Hollywood comedies—perhaps she is more discerning.  It’s a lovely, sweet, smart film that ticks all the voice-boxes.

STUDIO BLURB
Carol’s egotist father is the king of the voice-over. She is firmly stuck in the shadow of his legendary baritone, while trying to carve her own place in the male dominated industry. When a lucky break brings some overdue recognition – it turns out female voices can sell – she finds herself up against the best in the business, including her dad . A hilarious satire on family, the film industry and the art of being heard.

The Wind Rises ★★★ ½  
Opens in Australia: 27th February 2014
USA: 28th February 2014    UK: 9th May 2014
Other Countries:          Release Information
Perth, Australia:           See at Luna Cinemas

MY THOUGHTS
Hayao Miyazaki is probably the most famous of all Japanese filmmakers, inside and outside his home country. He has been compared to Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney and Nick Park, when it comes to animation. Most film buffs will have seen at least one of his last decade of films, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Secret World of Arrietty, or Spirited Away. His films are always beautifully rendered and as deep in their message as they are whimsical.
Miyazaki, after much threatening, has finally hung up his director's coat and The Wind Rises is his last creation. It is beautiful and an interesting story, but I didn’t find it as engaging as his previous works. However, it is still a wonderful film and for those who haven’t caught any of his previous work, begin here and work backward. You will enjoy the journey.

STUDIO BLURB
In "The Wind Rises," Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Nearsighted from a young age and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world's most innovative and accomplished airplane designers. -- (C) Studio Ghibli

Non-Stop ★★ ½   
Opens in Australia: 27th February 2014
USA: 29th February 2014    UK: 28th February 2014 
Other Countries:          Release Information

MY THOUGHTS
      You will go along with the premise of Non-Stop for about the first fifteen minutes, and then you will realize it’s plumbed all the clichés of this genre.         Liam Neeson’s portrayal of alcoholic air marshal Bill Marks, the only person standing between a terrorist-hijacker and the safety of passengers on the plane, is his usual solid grimness.
      Not long after take-off on a transatlantic flight, he is tasked with uncovering the terrorist who is threatening, via text, the life of a passenger every twenty minutes if he doesn’t receive 15 million dollars into his bank account. Could it be the Muslim doctor, or the New York off-duty detective, or the arrogant, young, rapper-like guy? 
     It has the mood and plot of an Agatha Christie mystery, but on a plane.  Julianne Moore is one of the confused passengers who just happened to sit next to Marks. She is dragged in as his ally, or could she even be a suspect?  There’s the usual red herrings and action along the way.
     Director, Jaume Collet-Serra, best known for the 2011 suspense thriller Unknown, also starring Neeson, attempts to create the same who-dunnit atmosphere of his last film. But it fails for me in that it feels all too contrived, unusually improbable, and dare I say, clumsy.
   However, forty minutes into the film, my thirteen-year-old son turned to me and said what an exciting film it was and how much he was enjoying it.  Afterward he asked if we could see it again. And a fellow reviewer commented that the action and the guessing game was good fun. My gut instinct is that this film will be enjoyed by the average film-goer who doesn’t see a hundred films a year. So ignore the critics and hop on this one if you like the premise. It is non-stop tension and action, even if reality is left at the gate.

STUDIO BLURB
Global action star Liam Neeson stars in NON-STOP, a suspense thriller played out at 40,000 feet in the air. During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the government to transfer $150 million into an off-shore account. Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes. NON-STOP, which reunites Neeson with UNKNOWN director Jaume Collet-Serra and producer Joel Silver, co-stars Golden Globe Award winner Julianne Moore and will be released by Universal Pictures on February 28, 2014. The StudioCanal production is also produced by Andrew Rona and Steve Richards. (C) Universal
What have you seen this week? Did you find our comments helpful or do you disagree? Share your thoughts with us.