Thursday, September 4, 2014

Weekly Film Review Round Up 4th September 2014

There’s a film out this week you shouldn't miss. BOYHOOD. It will be referred to for years to come, I believe, as one of the most brilliant films ever made. It's an incredible undertaking.  Also, if you’ve seen the trailers and been hanging out for the bat boys, What We Do In The Shadows is finally here. Then there is the very B-grade Into The Storm, which is a DVD watch or Netflix or however you watch your video nowadays.

(My movie Pick of the week)
Boyhood ✪✪✪✪✪
Opens in Australia:               4th September 2014
USA: 18th July 2014              UK: 11th July 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                     Luna Palace Cinemas

EXTRAORDINARY! What an incredible concept. In lesser hands than director Richard Linklater’s, this would be not the experience that it is. After all it is about nothing more than a family going through the phases of parenting children into adulthood.  How Linklater knew that Ellar Coltrane (cast when he was only eight to play the central character, Mason, over a twelve year span) would nail it year after year, makes him a psychic director.

Every actor in this film is the SAME ACTOR coming back over the years, annually, to add to their part. We actually watch them age; Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke grow greyer, their faces changing with real wrinkles as the time passes.

It’s, at the core, about family and dealing with all those non-descript moments filled with excitement, fun, tedious events, milestones, challenging times, and all the mistakes and successes that comprise parenthood, along with the experience of the children becoming adults. We see it from both sides.

As a parent of boys, fourteen and twelve, I couldn’t help feeling as if I was watching my life condensed into 165 minutes. I don’t share the single motherhood and the broken marriages of Patricia Arquette’s mother character, but it certainly contains a lot of the phases of parenting that I’ve experienced so far. 

What is so compelling is that you are drawn emotionally into the character’s experiences, with your own memories, feelings, and near future, stirred by what you are watching. When you are shown the perspective of events as seen through the children’s eyes, like the look on the teenager’s faces as they are lectured by their parents on the usual subjects of responsibility and respect, you suddenly realize what your kids are really seeing and hearing. Much of it really hits home.

I found this film to be a profound and moving experience. So much so, that I ended up sobbing as I drove home and later as I recounted the story to my husband. It just filled me with so much emotion.

If you are a parent, or if you are contemplating becoming a parent, you must see this film. Linklater’s daughter plays the sister, Samantha. So there is no doubt the script was drawn from the director’s own experiences. That’s what give this film its authentic feel that reaches out beyond the medium of film and tears at your heart.  Amazing.  See it. You will never forget the experience.

Here’s a fascinating interview with Coltrane (Mason) that is worth reading

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's Yellow to Arcade Fire's Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It's impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey. (c) Sundance Film Festival

What We Do In The Shadows  ✪✪✪✪
Opens in Australia:               4th September 2014
USA: 26th April (Festival)       UK: 21st November 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

The trailer to this film is hilarious because it is short and sharp, and I do wish the guy who'd edited the trailer had also edited the film. 

The film is funny but not all the sets-ups are as funny as they could be. I gave it the four star rating for its originality and because the lead vampire Viago is adorable, played perfectly by Taika Waititi. All the actors did a fine job, considering a lot of it was adlibbed around concepts. 

You'd better see it because, if you don’t, you won’t understand what everyone is talking about at work or at your social gatherings for the next few weeks. I think it will be one of those word-of-mouth films. You will never look at bisgetti (spaghetti) again in the same way.

Follow the lives of Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) - three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life's obstacles-like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection-modern society has them struggling with the mundane like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

Into The Storm   ✪✪
Opens in Australia:                4th September 2014
USA: 8th August                     UK: 20th August 2014
Other Countries:                    Release Information

Remember Twister? Same stuff, except this time it’s a video crew that have the dubious motivation of acting like complete Jackass idiots in order to film the tornadoes to make money. I can’t understand why they would be paid for this footage when the television helicopters seemed to be getting perfectly good film coverage.

The tornado scenes were pretty cool but, sadly, that’s where the producers spent all the money. And a bunch of good CGI tornadoes does not a good movie make.  Ultimately, it's a lot of hot air and not really something you should rush out to see. There wasn’t even a cow sucked up this time. Boo hoo. Or, should I say, “moo-hoo.”

In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot. Told through the eyes and lenses of professional storm chasers, thrill-seeking amateurs, and courageous townspeople, "Into the Storm" throws you directly into the eye of the storm to experience Mother Nature at her most extreme. (C) Warner Bros

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