Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Time Lapse ✪✪✪✪✪

Opens in Australia:               No release as yet

USA: 27th August, 2014 (Portland International Film Festival)               
UK: No Release as yet.
Other Countries:                   Release Information 

I'm championing this film because I'm an independent author, just like the filmmakers of Time Lapse are independent filmmakers. When you are out there on your own, sometimes, just knowing that there are a few people that really get what you are doing, gives you such a boost. I've had that thrill with wonderful reviews for my books from complete strangers, and so I like to pay it forward.  I apologise ahead of time that I am going to whet your appetite for a film that you may not be able to easily catch at your local cinema. Time Lapse is doing the rounds of the international film festivals, so if you are lucky enough to have it in your city, DO NOT MISS IT.  Otherwise, go to your local cinema and ask them when it is showing and they may contact the distributors and see if they can get a cinema release. Now to the review...

Time slip is one of the toughest genres to pull off. There are so many tropes around this sci-fi sub-genre that writers can easily fall into a plot-hole black hole from which their story cannot return, and they will be criticized for its implausibility. Time travel is implausible, but it holds so much opportunity if written right that we are happy to go along for the ride. Usually, though, the studios worry little about these issues when it comes to the latest science fiction offerings, casting mega-stars, spending a fortune on special effects, and little on the script. Then they blitz with a twelve month pre-launch marketing campaign, and we go along expecting “wow” and, instead, receive “woe” for our box-office dollar.

So you wouldn’t expect that a small indie release would blow you away with its script and originality, but that is exactly what happened at the Revelation Film Festival in Perth, Australia when viewing Time Lapse, a film directed by Bradley King and produced by BP Cooper, both of whom wrote the script. Think classics like Memento, Triangle, and Donnie Darko, where the story twists your mind with its complexity, and the minute you’ve finished you want to rewatch to spot the clues. Time Lapse is currently doing the rounds of film festivals, and winning awards at them. It may not be at your local cinema yet, but keep looking and asking for it.

Three friends (Danielle Panabaker, George Finn, Matt O'Leary), living in and managing an apartment complex, stumble upon a strange machine in a mysterious neighbor’s home. It’s pointed at their large living room window, and they realize that, somehow, it takes photos 24 hours into the future exactly at 8pm. Posted around the machine’s room are hundreds of photos of them. Initially, the machine provides a prosperous opportunity as they send messages, to their 24 hour earlier selves, on horse race winners. However, things turn dark and sinister quickly when they start to believe that they need to perfectly recreate the scene in the photograph the following day or face dangerous consequences and possibly death.
It’s one of those films that you wish would go on forever. With each new photograph revealed, you’re thinking—just like the characters—what’s the story behind the photo? What’s going to happen in 24 hours to make it come true?

First time director, King, and co-writer Cooper have produced a well-imagined film and worked wonders with a small set and budget. Keep an eye on these two. Something tells me we will be seeing big things from them in the future. Do not miss this film when it comes to your local theatre. It’s a science fiction classic gem.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review Round Up 19th July 2014

Having just come back from three nights away in the little seaside town of Busselton, I’m relaxed and ready for the full couple of weeks of movie previewing coming up. Only two releases this week, but one packs an emotional punch with a tragic Australian issue. The other is a biopic that I don’t hold a lot of hope for in Australia, even though it's quite good. And I catch up with that monkey film I missed reviewing last week.

(My movie Pick of the week)

Charlie’s Country  ✪✪✪✪ ½
Opens in Australia:               17th July 2014
USA: No Release                  UK: No Release
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

Every Australian over the age of 14 should see this film. It is arguably the best film since Rabbit Proof Fence to depict the chronic issues we, as a country, are struggling with in our attempt to live with the true owners of this land we call Australia.

Based loosely on David Gulpilil’s (Charlie) life, it is, initially, endearing and funny, then provocative, and ultimately heartbreaking. As the end credits rolled I was in tears, and I just wanted to get to my car and have a good sob. 

It asks questions that seem extraordinarily difficult to answer and, yet, must be answered sooner than later. Why are indigenous Australians so misunderstood, and why are they treated with such disrespect? We can watch Rabbit Proof Fence and soothe our guilt by pointing out these inhumanities happened decades ago when we didn’t know any better. However, there is no excuse now that this disregard continues in present day as portrayed by Charlie’s Country. As if there has ever been an excuse for any of the atrocities at any time.

This is probably one of the most important Australian films in the past decade. That aside, it’s beautifully scripted, acted, and director Rolf de Heer allows the actor’s and their story to shine through naturally and dramatically. Please see Charlie's Country and tell your friends.

Blackfella Charlie is out of sorts. The intervention is making life more difficult on his remote community, what with the proper policing of whitefella laws now. So Charlie takes off, to live the old way, but in so doing sets off a chain of events in his life that has him return to his community chastened, and somewhat the wiser.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes  ✪✪✪½
Opens in Australia:               10th July 2014
USA: 11th July 2014               UK: 17th July 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

Every reviewer everywhere loves this film. “Best blockbuster this summer (or winter for us)” they say. Yeah… yeah… yeah. I don’t agree. Great visual effects, but that’s about it. Not a terrible script, but such a rehash of so many other films— Braveheart with hair, really. I did really enjoy the first film Planet of the Apes, and the very original with Charlton Heston (saw it at the drive-in when I was a kid). I didn’t hate this one, and I know most of you will want to see it. So do go. It’s by the numbers and, for me, the numbers just added up to same ol’ same ol’. And a tad slow, while I’m having a whine.

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species. (c) Fox

Reaching For The Moon  ✪✪✪½ 
Opens in Australia:               17th July 2014
USA: 2013 Festival Release  UK: No release that I can find
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

It’s beautifully shot. I was just drooling over the clothes, the houses, the scenery, even the furniture. There’s a desk in it that I would sell one of my children to own.

A bit of a soppy romance film in parts, while in other ways it is an interesting biopic of a clearly talented writer. However, I really question how well this will do outside the USA.  A lesbian love affair between an alcoholic poet and a South American architect doesn’t really set off the “must see” bells. Still, its nicely done and, again, that furniture and the beautiful architecture really had me salivating.


DAYS IN SEPTEMBER, DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS) returns with a sophisticated tale of an unlikely romance between two extraordinary artists, set against the backdrop of political upheaval and a clash of cultures. Grappling with writer's block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) travels from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to visit her college friend, Mary (Tracy Middendorf). Hoping to find inspiration on Mary's sprawling estate, Elizabeth winds up with much more - a tempestuous relationship with Mary's bohemian partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Glória Pires), that rocks the staid writer to her foundation. Alcoholism, geographical distance and a military coup come between the lovers, but their intimate connection spans decades and forever impacts the life and work of these two extraordinary artists. The attraction of two polar-opposite women has rarely been so volatile and so erotically charged on the big screen.(c) Wolfe

If you’ve enjoyed these reviews, please share with your friends and followers on social media and I will be very grateful. I love new readers who love film

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Win tickets to THE ROOM & Q & A Session with the star Greg Sestero

I was lucky enough to experience THE ROOM a couple of years ago. Boy, I had a ball. It is fantastic fun. You actually participate in the film, heckling, shouting out catch phrases, and the best fun, throwing spoons and footballs at the screen. Yep, you're allowed to do that (the poor cleaners at the cinema after).  My favourite film folk in Perth, Luna Cinemas have now brought Greg Sestero to Perth to discuss his book and host a Q & A. And they are again hosting a screening of THE ROOM. You do not want to miss this, friends. 

So the kind folk at Luna Cinemas have given me 5 double passes for Greg Sestero's Q & A on Tuesday 15th and five double passes to the screening of The Room on Monday 14th 9pm.  

I will be there. Wouldn't miss it. Tell you friends. And if you don't win, its worth grabbing a ticket and coming anyway. You won't regret it.

All you have to do is tweet the link below to be in the draw.  

If you can make it to both nights and you win, I will give you both doubles. What a deal!




Tuesday 15th July 7pm

A hosted screening of THE ROOM
Monday 15th July 9pm
 Both at


Just follow @susanmaywriter or like on Facebook and tweet or share:

#PERTH #WIN Tickts 2 @lunacinemas THE ROOM 14/7 & Q & A w/ star Greg Sestero 13/7  RT & Folo-Details: http://buff.ly/1tiwNl8 @susanmaywriter

Competition closes Midnight WA Time Saturday, 12th July

Join American author, actor and star of the cult hit phenomenon, THE ROOM, Greg Sestero, live in the cinema at  Luna Leederville on Monday July 14 at 7.00pm plus additional session on Tues July 15 at 7.00pm (give away tickets are for Tuesday night)

Greg will discuss his revealing memoir - The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made (currently being made into a film by James Franco and Seth Rogen) and recount his experience of working with the enigmatic writer/director Tommy Wiseau on The Room, the film that became a worldwide cinematic legend. The event will feature a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of The Room; an interactive script reading and a Live audience Q&A session on Mon July 14 at 7.00pm and an additional session on Tues July 15 at 7.00pm.

Books and paraphernalia will be available for an extra charge and Greg will be conducting an autograph session at each session (on Tues July 15 this will be prior to 7.00pm session)
About THE DISASTER ARTIST.  In 2003, the independent film The Room made an inauspicious debut on a single cinema screen in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head”, the film gradually developed an increasingly passionate following that savoured its surreal performances, unusual production values and bizarre narrative. Now in its fifth year at Luna Leedervile, The Room has become an international phenomenon that rivals The Rocky Horror Picture Show for cult appeal. Readers need not have seen The Room to appreciate co-star Greg Sestero’s account of how a chance meeting with The Room's enigmatic writer/director/star Tommy Wiseau allowed him to become closely involved in a passion project that would defy every law of artistry, business and interpersonal relationships. The Disaster Artist reveals a first-hand account of what went on behind the scenes of one of the most legendary cult movies ever made: Tommy Wiseau's The Room. 
Check out the book review here 

Tickets now on sale and online - $25 / $23 conc (Rev Film Fest tickets holders get conc rate)
The Room(M) screens Mon July 14 at 9.0pm hosted by Tristan Fidler
View Trailer    |    Buy Tickets Online
Screening: Mon 14 Jul - Tue 15 July at Luna CinemasA

Screening: Mon 14 Jul

The Room returns to the Big Screen to celebrate The Room star Greg Sestero’s visit to Luna Leederville. The evening is hosted by TRISTAN FIDLER who will guide you through a really strange, bizarre & unique cinematic experience! Viewer guides and plastics spoons provided.

Bring your friends and plastic spoons and join us once again as Wiseau returns to the big screen at Luna Leederville for another sensational  night of this of the cult phenomena that’s so bad it’s good! The Room is basically a love triangle set in a San Francisco apartment building. But it’s filled with sub-plots that go nowhere, dodgy green-screen skylines, lots of un-sexy sex scenes and acting that wouldn't pass muster on a soft-focus soapie. The Room has garnered a massive world-wide cult following (especially in Perth!) leaving audiences stunned and laughing and is beloved by comic actors such as Kristen Bell, Paul Rudd and Alec Baldwin.

View Trailer    |    Website    |    Buy Tickets Online

Getting to Luna Cinemas Leederville

Luna Leederville is just a few minutes from central Perth. There's plenty of parking available off Vincent Street behind the supermarket or at the rear of the Leederville Hotel, or at the end of Oxford Street in the car park opposite the Leederville Train Station. We're also easy to reach by public transport. The Leederville Train Station is just a short stroll down Oxford St and Buses nos 15 and 401 will drop you at our door.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Film Review Round Up 7th July 2014

Phew, these reviews are late this week, but I have an excuse. I’ve been watching loads of films in the last few days at the fabulous Perth Revelation Film Festival plus finishing off the 2nd edits of a book I wrote in May/June. 

The Revelation Film Festival continues until the 13th July and from what I’ve seen so far, if you live in Perth, do try and catch a few films. I’ve started a second page to review the films that I have seen, click through here to check them out.

So, to this week of releases. It's school holidays, so there are a few for the littlies. Plus, a few smaller films in Calvary and the documentary Tim’s Vermeer. As well, my pick of the week, Jersey Boys is well worth catching to put you in a good mood.

(My movie Pick of the week)
Jersey Boys ✪✪✪✪
 Opens in Australia:               3rd July 2014
USA: 20th June 2014    UK: 20th July 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

Last year we saw the theatrical performance of Jersey Boys and loved it. Anyone who has seen the show at the theatre will enjoy Clint Eastwood's imagining of it on film, and you’ll also note that it is pretty much word for word. Most of the roles, too, are played by the original Broadway cast.

If you haven’t seen it in the theatre, you will still enjoy the film tremendously; it’s a great musical and story, regardless. I think those who lived through the era (like me) will find that it garners an extra star for sentimental value. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You has always been my favourite son. The songs take me back to my childhood and hearing them played in pinball arcades and the beer gardens that were popular in the sixties and seventies. When I was a kid, we used to holiday on the Gold Coast and these songs remind me of the Coolangatta Hotel beer garden and drinking pink lemondades. Franki Valli, Neil Sedaka, The Ronettes, and the Beach Boys were always playing on the tinny speakers or by the cover band. Yep, I’m that old. 

Anyway, I digress. Go see it. It’s uplifting and fascinating, with fantastic—absolutely fantastic—music, and they’ve done a good job of it.

Clint Eastwood's big screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of the four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic `60s rock group The Four Seasons. Their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the hit songs that influenced a generation, and are now being embraced by a new generation of fans through the stage musical.(c) Warner Bros.

Rio 2  ✪✪✪
Opens in Australia:               3rd July 2014
USA: 11th April 2014    UK: 4th April 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

If you enjoyed Rio, then you will enjoy this one, too. It’s bright, colourful and carries the usual conservation message. A very nice one for the younger kiddies, who might find the dragons in How To Train Your Dragon 2 a little too scary. My kids quite liked it, as did the friends that came along. I really love Jesse Eisenberg’s voice as Blu. In fact, I love him in anything, so that really added a sparkle for me. He’s a great voice talent and actor.

It's a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids in RIO 2, after they're hurtled from that magical city to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all - his father-in-law. All our favorite RIO characters are back, and they're joined by Oscar (R) nominee Andy Garcia, Grammy (R) winner Bruno Mars, Tony (R) winner Kristin Chenoweth and Oscar/Emmy (R)/Tony winner Rita Moreno. RIO 2 also features new Brazilian artists and original music by Janelle Monae and Wondaland. (c) Fox

The Pirate Fairy   ✪✪✪½
Opens in Australia:               3rd July 2014
USA: DVD                     UK: 14th February 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

How mean am I? My boys had a day off school when the media screening was happening for this, and I dragged them to it. As you may know, they’re eleven and thirteen. Totally outside the intended audience for this film, but tough, I thought, I have to sit through countless soccer games and swim carnivals, so they can sit through Tinker Bell. In any case, they didn’t hate it and they weren’t bored, and that’s a testament to a good storyline regardless of the characters delivering it.

Tinker Bell and The Secret of The Wings was a lovely film for the Tink fans two years ago. Disney is back again with The Pirate Fairy, and though I didn’t love it as much as the previous one, it still hits the mark. For all the moms with the darling little Tinker Bell fans, this one is a goodie.

From the world of Peter Pan comes The Pirate Fairy, a swashbuckling new adventure about Zarina (voice of Christina Hendricks), a smart and ambitious dust-keeper fairy who's captivated by Blue Pixie Dust and its endless possibilities. When Zarina's wild ideas get her into trouble, she flees Pixie Hollow and joins forces with the scheming pirates of Skull Rock, who make her captain of their ship. Tinker Bell (voice of Mae Whitman) and her friends must embark on an epic adventure to find Zarina, and together they go sword-to-sword with the band of pirates led by a cabin boy named James (voice of Tom Hiddleston), who'll soon be known as Captain Hook, himself. Enjoy the laughter, heart, magic and thrills of The Pirate Fairy.

Tim’s Vermeer ✪✪✪✪   
 Opens in Australia:               3rd July 2014
USA: 6th December 2014       UK: No release that I can find
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

Art fans, this is for you. A fascinating documentary on a crazy guy—with way too much money and time—who decides to prove that Johannes Vermeer used a secret method to paint his extraordinarily photorealistic pieces. It does sound very droll, if you read the blurb. However watch the trailer and you will see why it’s quite an engrossing watch. I’m not sure why it’s getting a theatrical release though. It’s rather short at eighty minutes and I imagine only one for the curious and the art fans.
If the trailer appeals, go see it. http://youtu.be/CS_HUWs9c8c At the very least you will have some art vocabulary to show off at the next dinner party.

Renowned illusionists and professional debunkers Penn & Teller document the quest of their friend Tim Jenison, who sets out to prove his theory about the secret methods of Dutch master Johannes Vermeer's by endeavouring to create an exact replica of the painter's masterwork The Music Lesson. This exactitude of detail has sparked controversial theories from painter David Hockney and architecture professor Philip Steadman, who suggest that Vermeer may have worked with a camera obscura to project an image onto a canvas.

Calvary ✪✪
Opens in Australia:               3rd July 2014
USA: 1st August 2014             UK: 11th  April 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

Hubby and I hated this film. Hated it. In fact, some of the dialogue and vision offended me. Not the swearing, but the images created by the dialogue of some of the characters. It’s not bad like The Counselor bad, where the script, acting, and direction are a mess. No, its well acted, and directed and has some incredible layered and quirky characters. Brendan Gleeson, in fact, is extraordinary

It’s a cynical commentary on Ireland and religion and it’s a nasty and ugly one, which, of course, is a director’s prerogative to create. However, it’s billed as a black comedy, and I didn’t find it funny. It meanders all over the place, and in the end, there is no real redemption. None of the characters were sympathetic, and for the rest of the afternoon, after viewing it poor Hubby (I say poor because he'ds  ragged to indie films that he mostly doesn’t like) and I felt quite cranky.

In saying all this, many fellow reviewers that I quizzed, loved it. One reviewer, who I respect tremendously, actually said it was her favorite film of the year. So, perhaps you need to go see it for yourself and decide. It’s one of those ones that divides reviewers and theatregoers. I won’t say don’t go, just do your research beforehand.

CALVARY's Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is a good priest who is faced with sinister and troubling circumstances brought about by a mysterious member of his parish. Although he continues to comfort his own fragile daughter (Kelly Reilly) and reach out to help members of his church with their various scurrilous moral - and often comic - problems, he feels sinister and troubling forces closing in, and begins to wonder if he will have the courage to face his own personal Calvary. (c) Fox Searchlight

If you’ve enjoyed these reviews, please share with your friends and followers on social media and I will be very grateful. I love new readers who love film.