Sunday, September 21, 2014

Film Review Roundup 21st September 2014

This week, another great independent sci-fi film. This one really surprised with its script. A Young Adult (YA) book to film adaptation that I did like, a comic book film conversion that I shouldn’t have liked, but I did, and a crowd-funded film that I wished I wasn’t there to watch.

(My movie Pick of the week)
The Infinite Man  ✪✪✪✪½
Opens in Australia:               18th September 2014
USA: Various film festivals    UK: Festivals
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

This is probably the strangest film I’ve seen all year. Quirky. Yep, real quirky. So odd and unsettling to start with that I honestly considered walking out of the preview.  It seemed, well, kind of corny and the setting very basic, and I thought: Why should I sit here any longer, it can only get worse? Like they nearly always do, and I always wish I’d left when I thought to leave.

Wrong!  Boy was I glad that I stayed because after about thirty minutes when Dean, the main character of only three characters, travels back in time and starts getting tangled up in the time line, it gets good, really good. The kind of good that has you thinking about it days later. In fact, a week later, I love it even more now than when I saw it.

It’s clever, and did I mention quirky? You should see it. Really, please go see it, and don’t make up your mind while watching until it starts playing out. Did I mention that it’s quirky?

The film’s Facebook Page for news on where it’s showing is Try and catch it. There’s never been anything quite like it.

A man's attempts to construct the ultimate romantic weekend backfire when his quest for perfection traps his lover in an infinite loop.

The Maze Runner  ✪✪✪✪
Opens in Australia:                        18th September 2014
USA: 19th September 2014              UK: 10th October 2014
Other Countries:                             Release Information

This one didn’t thrill me to see. The trailer was meh, and I think for those of us over

seventeen, we’ve just about had our fill of young people killing and being killed in films adapted from bestselling books.

So find me pleasantly surprised by this thrilling little number. It’s a tad cliché, but then again I’ve read a lot of books and seen a lot of films, so you do get used to plot weaving and the beats that films and books need to meet. Did you know there’s a formula they teach in screenwriting school? Yep, there are beats to hit at certain points in a film (and many miss them).

The Maze Runner, though, is well done, and even though I kept thinking this is a modern day Lord of the Flies (so I can’t call it original), it feels fresh.  It’s also part of a trilogy, I presume, because the books are a trilogy. So another one to look forward to. I’m going to read the book. I can’t wait for the film. It ended on too much of a cliffhanger.

When Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner. (c) Fox

Sin City: A Dame To Die For    ✪✪✪½
Opens in Australia:                  18th September 2014
USA: 22nd August 2014           UK: 25th August 2014
Other Countries:                       Release Information

Nine years after the original Sin City that spawned a new film noir style, co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite again to bring Miller's Sin City graphic novels back to the screen.

Don’t worry if, like me, you didn’t see the first Sin City, you will still enjoy the story and the stunning, unique, visual style, now in 3D. The effect of creating a film with the look of the graphic novel, sometimes the exact scene frame of the comic, is truly an experience to savor on the big screen.

Two of the film's four segments are based on the six issue Sin City comic: A Dame To Kill For and the single run Just Another Saturday Night. Each story is told as a separate storyline with each intersecting and then glancing off each other in their own showcase.

Dwight (Josh Brolin) is so in love with Ava (Eva Green) that he will ‘kill for the dame’ even though he knows she is not worthy of his trust, having betrayed him before. She claims that her husband will soon kill her. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Johnny, a gambling hustler, who falls foul of Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) when he wins at the table. Nancy Calahan (Jessica Alba) is emotionally struggling with the suicide of John Hartigan (Bruce Willis), and though revenge is what she seeks, she can’t seem to find the courage to act. In each, as in the comics, Marv (Mickey Rourke) becomes involved, and when you have Marv with you that means there will be blood.

Sin City is filled with a dark menagerie of characters played to perfection by names such as Rozaria Dawson, Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta, Christopher Lloyd, Stacy Keach, and even Lady GaGa.

It’s hyper-violent and a crazy, wild ride, with a claustrophobic atmosphere conveying the feeling that these characters are trapped in this terrible, dangerous world from which there is no escape, giving them only small triumphs over greater evils. As the poster says, “There is no justice without sin.” Especially when this sinning is so good to watch. 

Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite to bring Miller's visually stunning "Sin City" graphic novels back to the screen in SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR. Weaving together two of Miller's classic stories with new tales, the town's most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more notorious inhabitants. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR is the follow up to Rodriguez and Miller's 2005 groundbreaking film, FRANK MILLER'S SIN CITY. (c) Dimension Films

Wish I Was Here  ½
Opens in Australia:               18th September 2014
USA: 25th July 2014               UK: 19th September 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

I’d like to rename this film from the filmgoer’s perspective. The actors might be wishing they were here, but I think most audiences will be wishing they were anywhere but here in a cinema watching this. 

My best description of this crowd-funded film, written, produced and starred in by Zach Braff, is to say that it was clumsy and un-engaging. The character Braff plays is an unsuccessful actor. Now he can add unsuccessful scriptwriter and producer to his credits. Don’t go. He’s already crowd-funded enough money from innocent people. Don’t give him any more. He might make another film.

And how bad is the poster? What a shocker.

Director Zach Braff's follow-up to his indie breakout hit "Garden State" tells the story of a thirty-something man who finds himself at major crossroads, which forces him to examine his life, his career, and his family. (c) Focus

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