Saturday, June 21, 2014

Film Review Round-Up 20th June 2014

My pick is a family film from Dreamworks. Parents have no fear you will enjoy How To Train Your Dragon 2. Who doesn’t love dragons? A clever drama arrives, Locke, with the most incredible performance from Tom Hardy. The Two Faces of January and Yves Saint Laurent, both limited releases, and both only for the diehard cinephiles. Go see the dragons. Really, I mean it.
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(My movie Pick of the week)

How To Train Your Dragon 2 ✪✪✪✪½

Opens in Australia:               19TH June 2014
USA: 13th June 2014             UK: 1th July 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

What a truly gorgeous animated film. It has everything: a wonderful resonant story, glorious animation, and never a dull moment. It’s not just for the children; parents you will love it, too. Dreamworks surely have another hit on their hands. I do believe this is even better than the first. I adore the different breeds of dragons, too (someone at Dreamworks has some amazing imagination). Now where’s the collector’s cards for this? I want to collect me some dragons.

DreamWorks Animation returns to the world of dragons and Vikings in this sequel to their successful 2010 outing How to Train Your Dragon. The original film followed the exploits of a Viking chief's son, who must capture a dragon in order to mark his passage into manhood and prove his worthiness to the tribe. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi

Locke ✪✪✪✪
Showing at the Revelation Film Festival 3rd – 13th July Perth
Opens in Australia:               19th June 2014
USA: 25th April                      UK:    8th April 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

I saw this as part of the launch of the Perth Revelation Film Festival 2014 which runs from 3rd - 13th July. (Great pick, guys.) I take my beanie off (it’s cold in Perth at the moment) to filmmakers and scriptwriters who can create such a dramatic piece filmed entirely in the cabin of a car with one lead actor behind the wheel and nothing else. He only interacts with the cast via his phone. Tom Hardy plays Ivan Locke, a man whose life spins out of control during a two-hour drive to London.

How can the filmmakers make such a great cinematic experience with such a constrained focus and minimal budget and filming time? The script, my friends, the script. Plus a top notch actor and a fine director. Hundreds of millions they spend on these rubbish sci-fi flicks we’ve endured this last year (all except Edge of Tomorrow, my fave) and all they needed was a good script. Producers of Transcendence and After Earth, go see Locke and learn. Please learn.

Ivan Locke (Hardy) has worked diligently to craft the life he has envisioned, dedicating himself to the job that he loves and the family he adores. On the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Ivan receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, job, and soul. All taking place over the course of one absolutely riveting car ride, LOCKE is an exploration of how one decision can lead to the complete collapse of a life. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Steven Knight (EASTERN PROMISES, DIRTY PRETTY THINGS) and driven by an unforgettable performance by Tom Hardy, LOCKE is a thrillingly unique cinematic experience of a man fighting to salvage all that is important to him.(C) a24

22 Jump Street ✪✪✪

Opens in Australia:               19th June 2014
USA: 13th June 14                  UK: 6th June2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

There’s an over-abundance of jokes in this about sequels never being as good as the original. Funny that it should occur to the scriptwriters that sequels are usually below par to the point that they include it so often, but it did not spur them on to write a decent, funny script. I don’t know why they went back. Jonah Hill is his usual charismatic self, but Channing Tatum is losing his shine. It’s not dreadful; it’s just that, after the very good and very fresh 21 Jump Street, we do have high hopes, don't we? The joke end credit sequence showing posters and set-ups of the supposed follow-up sequels 23 Jump Street, 24 Jump Street, and so on to some ridiculous number, is the funniest part of the movie. The F-bomb  is out of control in this, too. Why don't they do a normal version for old-fashioned people like me and an X-version? 

After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don't have to just crack the case - they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them. (c) Sony

The Two Faces of Eve ✪✪✪         

Opens in Australia:                        19th June 2014
USA: 28th August 2014                    UK: 16th May 2014
Other Countries:                            Release Information
Perth:                                            Luna Palace Cinemas

Too noir for my taste. It just felt like a very slow Agatha Christie and a poor man’s Hitchcock. And Kirstin Dunst is just ordinary. However, I wasn’t a fan of The Talented Mr. Ripley and this is based on a book by the same author. The hubby didn’t mind it, and if you like this type of film you will probably enjoy. One look at the poster or the trailer shows you what to expect. I just thought it was trying to be all too intriguing and, in the end, I wasn't intrigued.  

The Two Faces of January is an international thriller, which marks the directorial debut of Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini and is based on a book from the writer of The Talented Mr. Ripley. The film centers on an American con artist and his wife who strike up a relationship with a stranger in 1960s Athens. Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst star as the couple, while Oscar Isaac(Inside Llewyn Davis) is onboard as the stranger.

Confident American tourist Chester and his glamorous younger wife Colette are holidaying in Athens during 1962. Encountering Greek-speaking American Rydal while sightseeing, the group decide to tour the city together. However, Chester is not who he seems and Rydal quickly becomes entangled in a plan to evade authorities and Chester's troubled past. A Hitchcockian thriller of uncommon sophistication and rather intriguing premise that’s reminiscent of The Talented Mr. Ripley , Oscar nominee Amini's feature directorial debut makes him a filmmaker to watch.       

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