Thursday, August 14, 2014

Film Review Round Up 14th August 2014

A week of okay movies; nothing jumps out and says “watch me.” In fact, all of them could be enjoyed on DVD, I’m afraid. If you are a fan of the book, of course you will want to see The Hundred-Foot Journey. There’s some fab ones coming up soon, so either save your money, or go see some of the great ones still showing.  I'd be interested to see how it measures up. Guardians of the Galaxy should be seen on the big screen, so catch that one first, if you haven’t seen it.

(My movie Pick of the week)

The Hundred-Foot Journey  ✪✪✪½
Opens in Australia:               14th July 2014
USA: 8th August 2014             UK: 5th September 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

It’s a charming film, although not as touching as it imagines itself to be. If you love food and your tongue hangs out at picturesque French scenic backdrops, then you will thoroughly enjoy this. Helen Mirren always holds her own on screen, but something feels a touch off on the storyline and it’s suddenly all over very quickly in the last twenty minutes. I think they wanted this on screen to tie in with the best selling book, but it needs a touch more development to have audiences get their tissues out. In saying that, the cooking mad husband enjoyed it, as did my 14-year-old son, and I heard the very difficult to please harsh-critic twelve-year-old laughing during it as well. He will never admit he likes a film (so uncool), but I didn’t hear him saying, “When is it over?” The Hundred-Foot Journey probably falls short by about twenty feet for me, though.

In “The Hundred-Foot Journey," Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant - the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award (R)-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own, escalate to all out war between the two establishments - until Hassan's passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory's enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing. (c) Disney

And So It Goes  ✪✪ ½
Opens in Australia:               7th August 2014
USA: 25th July 2014             UK: 18th July 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

This should be a good movie. It’s a good comedy set-up, albeit clichéd, you’ve got good actors in the leads who know their stuff, and Rob Reiner (When Harry Met Sally, The American President, Princess Bride) at the director’s helm. Yet, it’s pretty lame and slow in far too many scenes. There’s a couple of laughs, but its aimed at the older age group (of which I am in, but sorry I don’t think old enough to appreciate this). It reminds me of that horrible attempt at comedy by Sylvester Stallone and Robert De NIro earlier this year, GRUDGE MATCH. You think with all their combined experience these elders of cinema might have a better idea of how to put together an entertaining film. However, it seems not. If I were you, I’d wait for the DVD. AND SO IT GOES doesn’t really get going.

There are a million reasons not to like realtor Oren Little (Michael Douglas), and that's just the way he likes it. Willfully obnoxious to anyone who might cross his path, he wants nothing more than to sell one last house and retire in peace and quiet -- until his estranged son suddenly drops off a granddaughter (Sterling Jerins) he never knew existed and turns his life upside-down. Clueless about how to care for a sweet, abandoned nine-year-old, he pawns her off on his determined and lovable neighbor Leah (Diane Keaton) and tries to resume his life uninterrupted. But little by little, Oren stubbornly learns to open his heart - to his family, to Leah, and to life itself - in this uplifting comedy from acclaimed director Rob Reiner. (c) Clarius

Palo Alto ✪✪✪  
Opens in Australia:               14th August 2014
Its doing the Festival rounds in many countries
USA: No release as yet         UK: No release as yet
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

Wow, if you are a parent of a teenager (like me) or are thinking about having kids, watch this.  They say a male’s brain isn’t fully mature until their early twenties and here is what happens because of that. It’s a very nicely made film by first time director, Gia Coppola (she has the genes as the granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola).

It’s a coming-of-age film, so be warned, its filled with the F-Bomb, sex, and copious amounts of drinking and drug-taking. Probably one for those who enjoy art-house films; its not a mainstream piece. However it does work quite well on the big screen.

Shy, sensitive April (Emma Roberts) is the class virgin -a popular soccer player and frequent babysitter for her single-dad coach, Mr. B. (James Franco). Teddy (Jack Kilmer) is an introspective artist whose best friend and sidekick Fred (Nat Wolff) is an unpredictable live wire with few filters or boundaries. While April negotiates a dangerous affair with Mr. B., and Teddy performs community service for a DUI - secretly carrying a torch for April, who may or may not share his affection - Fred seduces Emily (Zoe Levin), a promiscuous loner who seeks validation through sexual encounters. One high school party bleeds into another as April and Teddy finally acknowledge their mutual affection, and Fred's escalating recklessness spirals into chaos. (C) Tribeca

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