Saturday, September 13, 2014

Weekly Film Reviews 13th September 2014

It’s the kid’s film release week here in Australia in the lead up to the school holidays in two weeks, when my life gets a whole lot louder for two and a half weeks. There are two kids films and a YA (young adult) book adaptation.

(My movie Pick of the week)
The Giver   ✪✪✪½ 
Opens in Australia:               11th September 2014
USA: 15th August                   UK: 19th September 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
It’s adapted from a 1993 book and you might think its similar to Divergent and Hunger Games. They’re all about a dystopian future. Those books were, no doubt, inspired by this earlier book. 

I liked this film a whole lot better than Divergent. It may not pack the surprises that the book does, but having read the book myself, it’s a pretty reasonable adaptation. I loved the book, too. So I suggest you grab that if you don’t fancy the movie. It’s really very thought provoking. The film is a good watch, too.

STUDIO BLURB
The haunting story of THE GIVER centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver (Jeff Bridges), who is the sole keeper of all the community's memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community's secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined - a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all - a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before. THE GIVER is based on Lois Lowry's beloved young adult novel of the same name, which was the winner the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. (C) Weinstein

TARZAN  ½
Opens in Australia:               11th September 2014
USA: 9th May 2014                 UK: 2nd May 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
If you desperately love Tarzan then go see it. It’s a very strange version. It’s filmed using motion capture, which is where the actor looks like some alien from the future with dots all over them while filming, and then they digitize them, so they look like very real cartoons.

In the case of this film, something’s gone very wrong with the process. They just look like really weird people with no expressions on their faces and bad hair. You can get an idea by the poster. The story is okay, but I judge these kid’s films on the basis that you are coughing up a fair whack of money to take your family, so you are entitled to see something better than what you can see on free-to-air. So I wouldn’t spend your hard earned money. Go buy the Disney DVD of Tarzan. Much better.

On another note, I see there is a Tarzan movie coming in 2016 that looks very cool starring Christopher Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Alexander Skarsgård, and Margot Robbie.

STUDIO BLURB
A teenage boy raised by gorillas in Africa falls for a pretty conservationist following a chance meeting in the jungle, but finds their romance threatened by a menacing Silverback, and a scheming capitalist in search of a new energy source in this animated adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic tale. Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  ✪✪½
Opens in Australia:               11th September 2014
USA: 8th August                     UK: 17th October 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

OUR THOUGHTS
I should have hated this film. However, I actually found it better than expected. Mind you, that is not saying a lot. It's aimed squarely at the younger fans. Megan Fox is so good in her role (I realise that could be a shock for you). She plays a dumb reporter who discovers the turtles and tries to convince everyone else they exist. Everyone she works with thinks she’s pretty stupid. See why it works with her? 

A couple of kids I saw after the preview told me that they loved it. There’s a lot of action. Some of it not bad, if not clichéd. I don’t know if it was our screening, but the 3D was not good at all. It was blurry in parts and quite annoying. Maybe its better to see it in 2D. Cheaper at any rate.

STUDIO BLURB
The city needs heroes. Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) to save the city and unravel Shredder's diabolical plan. Based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Characters Created by PETER LAIRD and KEVIN EASTMAN with a Screenplay by JOSH APPELBAUM & ANDRÉ NEMEC and EVAN DAUGHERTY, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is produced by MICHAEL BAY (director and executive producer of the blockbuster Transformers franchise), Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Galen Walker, Scott Mednick and Ian Bryce, and directed by JONATHAN LIEBESMAN (Wrath of the Titans).(c) Paramount



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