Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Film Review Round Up 26th August 2014

Sorry film fiends, I got so busy last week that I missed posting my reviews. Here they are with this week’s releases. There are some good releases among them. If you can only see one film, see Predestination on the big screen. The Woody Allen release Magic In The Moonlight is a bit of a disappointment but, as I always say, an average Woody Allen is still better than most. There's a couple of great Australian documentaries as well. Both the James Cameron Deep Sea Challenge and Nick Cave's 20,000 Days on Earth are well worth a look.

I want to know what you think of Predestination, too, so leave me a comment with your thoughts if you go see it.


(My movie Pick of the week--possibly the year)
Predestination ✪✪✪✪✪
Doing the festival rounds
Opens in Australia:                          28th August, 2014
USA: No release as yet (craziness)   UK: No release as yet (craziness)
Other Countries:                   Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
After the past year of lame, over-produced, big studio sci-fi flicks that promise so much but deliver little, finally, we have a 5 star sci-fi film that will keep you thinking long after the end credits roll.

To call Predestination smart and entertaining is the equivalent of saying Einstein was pretty good at physics. It’s more than that. Quality production and script, along with a mesmerizing performance by Sara Snook, who is destined for super stardom, makes this a film not to be missed for anyone who loves science fiction or is up for a mind-warping time travel story.

After writing and directing Daybreakers and Undead, and now Predestination, the Spierig Brothers certainly display a true talent for realizing interesting, unique stories. They are now on my “must see their film” list of directors.

This film has, for some unknown reason, not received the wide release that it deserves. Please seek it out and see it, and if you love it, like I know you will, urge your friends to go see it. Show the cinemas that declined to show this amazing Australian made film in favor of the likes of Expendables 3, that they need to lift their game and support local industry and just get some smarts. I’m seeing it again. Something I rarely do.

Check out the trailer. Now, if this doesn't whet your appetite...



STUDIO BLURB
PREDESTINATION chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to ensure the continuation of his law enforcement career for all eternity. Now, on his final assignment, the Agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time. Written by Anonymous

Magic In The Moonlight  ✪✪✪
Opens in Australia:               28th August 2014
USA: 15th August 2014          UK: 19th September 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
I’m the biggest Woody Allen fan. He can barely do anything wrong in my book (except when he co-starred in the woeful Fading Gigolo—just awful) and Blue Jasmine was one of my favourite films last year. This isn’t the best Woody Allen. Although Colin Firth and Emma Stone are just divine in their roles and the setting in the Côte d'Azur is simply stunning. It’s rather predictable and very, very old-fashioned in tone and plot. It would be charming in the sixties, but its tired in this day and age. Still, its not terrible and Colin Firth is seriously gorgeous, girls. If you have a hankering for Woody, it will suffice but will just leave you wanting a little more finesse.

 STUDIO BLURB
Chinese conjuror Wei Ling Soo is the most celebrated magician of his age, but few know that he is the stage persona of Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth), a grouchy and arrogant Englishman with a sky-high opinion of himself and an aversion to phony spiritualists' claims. Persuaded by his friend, Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney), Stanley goes on a mission to the Côte d'Azur mansion of the Catledge family: mother Grace (Jacki Weaver), son Brice (Hamish Linklater), and daughter Caroline (Erica Leerhsen). He presents himself as a businessman named Stanley Taplinger in order to debunk the alluring young clairvoyant Sophie Baker (Emma Stone) who is staying there with her mother (Marcia Gay Harden). Sophie arrived at the Catledge villa at the invitation of Grace, who is convinced that Sophie can help her contact her late husband, and once there, attracted the attention of Brice, who has fallen for her head over heels. What follows is a series of events that are magical in every sense of the word and send the characters reeling. In the end, the biggest trick MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT plays is the one that fools us all. (C) Sony Pictures Classics

James Cameron’s Deep Sea Challenge 3D    ✪✪✪½
Opens in Australia:               21st August 2014
USA: 8th August 2014             UK: No Release Date
Other Countries:                   Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
The 3D in this film is impressive with the big screen. You really get the effect of being there. They should have this film at one of those 4D film cinemas at the theme parks where they splash water on you and rock the seat. It would be perfect for that.  My kids and I really enjoyed this, and even though you know that Cameron survives the very dangerous adventure to the deepest part of the ocean, you still get a sense of how brave he was to embark on this journey. I didn’t realize that the crew that built the submersible—which is a technological marvel—were Aussies, and it was actually built in Sydney. If it wasn’t in 3D, I would suggest probably waiting until it’s on National Geographic channel. However, if it’s of interest to you, the big screen version is quite something.

STUDIO BLURB
As a boy, filmmaker James Cameron dreamed of a journey_ to the deepest part of the ocean. This film is the dramatic fulfillment of that dream. It chronicles Cameron's solo dive to the depths of the Mariana Trench-nearly seven miles beneath the ocean's surface-piloting a submersible he designed himself. The risks were astounding. The footage is breathtaking JAMES CAMERON'S DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D is a celebration of science, courage, and extraordinary human aspiration.  (C) National Geographic

20,000 Days On Earth ✪✪✪½       
Opens in Australia:               21st August 2014
USA: 17th September 2014    UK: 19th September 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

I didn’t really know a lot about Nick Cave, except for his Kylie Minogue duet. Hey, I was really a Luther Vandross, Al Jarreau kind of gal in my youth. Even though I was aware slightly of his persona, I had no exposure to his music. So I was surprised how much I enjoyed this quasi-documentary on his 20,000th day on Earth and his music. He’s a fascinating guy and hugely talented and this is a great commercial for his music.  If you like the look of the trailer, then you will really enjoy the film. Its not just about his music, but a window into the creative process of an artist, and that is always fascinating.

STUDIO BLURB
Drama and reality combine in a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and international cultural icon, Nick Cave. With startlingly frank insights and an intimate portrayal of the artistic process, the film examines what makes us who we are, and celebrates the transformative power of the creative spirit. (c) Drafthouse



The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared   ✪✪✪

Opens in Australia:               21st August 2014
USA: 28th May                       UK: 4th July 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                     Luna Palace Cinemas

OUR THOUGHTS
An attempt at a whimsical film that falls a tad short of being a breakout foreign comedy, although the set up is indeed brilliant, derived from what I hear is a great book. It’s one of those rare foreign films that I wish Hollywood would grab and add a solid actor and a spruce up. It’s a Swedish Forrest Gump, but it needs a Tom Hanks. 

 STUDIO BLURB
Based on the internationally best-selling novel by Jonas Jonasson, the unlikely story of a 100-year-old man who decides it's not too late to start over. For most people it would be the adventure of a lifetime, but Allan Karlsson's unexpected journey is not his first. For a century he's made the world uncertain, and now he is on the loose again.


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