Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Review Round Up 15th June 2014

I missed writing up a review for The Fault In Our Stars when it released. I was busy writing a book in four weeks—just a little test I gave myself, which I’m happy to say I succeeded in. So its my pick of the week, even though it opened a week and half ago. It’s not just for teenagers, either. Blended, the new Adam Sandler comedy, is not the basket case reviewers are saying. If you liked Sandler’s previous films, this is more of the same. Then there is The Rover. I wish that I liked it. I hate panning Aussie films, but it was blah, really blah—and depressing. Just a reminder to see Edge of Tomorrow. It really is the pick at the moment. I haven’t been paid to say that, either.

(My movie Pick of the week)

The Fault In Our Stars ✪✪✪✪       
Opens in Australia:               5th June 2014
USA: 6th June                        UK:    19th 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                     Luna Palace Cinemas

No, I haven’t read the John Green book.

“Have you read it?” That’s the first question you are asked when you say you have seen or are seeing this film. If the person asking you has read the book, the next words out of their mouth will be: “I cried all the way through,” followed by “I read it three times, four times, ten times.” Insert any number you like.

It is a young adult novel and the film is directly geared toward that audience. I expected to be unimpressed. Come on I’ve seen Love Story and the 1973 Sunshine when I was a YA, so I know how these films are formulated to tug at your heart strings with this ounce of pathos, and that drop of hope, and those strategically placed characters who will be left behind.

I’m not a teenager anymore, so you won’t get me, I thought. But this film is good, the script well constructed, and the leads are talented, so they did get me. Well done. Good to see we are moving on from vampire love triangles and children killing children in tournaments. There is hope for the future of literature and films yet.

Hazel and Gus are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them - and us - on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, based upon the number-one bestselling novel by John Green, explores the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love.(C) Fox

The Rover ✪✪   
Opens in Australia:               12th June 2014
USA: 20th June                      UK:    15th August 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                     Luna Palace Cinemas

It’s hard to believe that Director David Michod of the highly acclaimed, and rightly so, Animal Kingdom directed this film. It has a slew of gritty characters just like his previous hit. And I’ll give him kudos that he shows great skill in eliciting from his actors a depth of nuance that creates credible and terrifying characters that we truly believe are capable of the worst.

However The Rover feels more like a film he would have made in his early career. The pace goes from full-on action in the first few minutes to a dreary walk very quickly. This has all been done before in Mad Max 2 and with more money spent on the sets. I will say, though, that Guy Pearce gives a tremendous portrayal of a man determined on recovering his property at all costs. And who knew that Robert Pattinson could act? Wow. He delivers, too. Unfortunately, there is not much to deliver but a depressing and soulless imagining that fails on many levels.
P.S. I do love this poster, though. 

THE ROVER, David Michod's highly anticipated follow-up to ANIMAL KINGDOM, is set in a world 10 years following the collapse of society. The rule of the law has disintegrated and life is cheap. The film follows hardened loner Eric (Pearce) as he travels the desolate towns and roads of the outback. When a gang of thieves steals his car they leave behind a wounded Rey (Pattinson) in their wake. Forcing Rey to help track the gang, Eric will go to any lengths to take back the one thing that still matters to him. Michod also wrote the film based on a story he conceived with Joel Edgerton. (c) A24

Blended ✪✪✪ ½
Opens in Australia:               12th June 2014
USA: 23rd May June 14          UK: 23rd May 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

You will read terrible reviews about every one of Adam Sandler’s films. He is not liked at all by the critics. I can understand why. For the most part, his films are formulaic and pretty silly. However, ever since Bridesmaids, with its edgy humor, became such a hit, all the romantic comedies these days revolve around the F-bomb, talking about sex as if you’re talking about drinking a glass of water, and copious drug-taking like it’s a common place occurrence in every home. I do enjoy these types of films. It’s comedy for grown-ups.

But what about the family films—that aren’t animated—that we used to take the kids to see? They’ve disappeared. Adam Sandler is about the only person making these family-type films, and my family, with pre-teen and an early teen, like them. I can’t take my kids to see A Million Ways To Die In The West (and it seems a lot of people didn’t take themselves either, it bombed—beyond the boundaries of bad taste, I fear). So Sandler is all that is left.

A fellow reviewer lamented on Twitter: When will Adam Sandler stop making movies? My hope is that its not until someone else starts making rom-coms minus the swearing and gratuitous sex. Don’t believe the reviews. There are some solid laughs and my whole family—who are hard to please because they’re veterans—enjoyed it a lot.

After a disastrous blind date, single parents Lauren and Jim agree on only one thing: they never want to see each other again. But when they each sign up separately for a fabulous family vacation with their kids, they are all stuck sharing a suite at a luxurious African safari resort for a week in "Blended," the third comedy collaboration between stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.(c) Warner Bros

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