Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekly Review Round Up 25th October 2014

Such a difficult pick for movie of the week, as Whiplash is a phenomenal experience. However, close on its heels is Fury. The critics all loved Whiplash, but it’s also a smaller film than Fury. So if you have a choice, and want bang for your buck, I would see Fury, and then if you fancy watching filmmaking, scripting, and acting at its finest, then Whiplash it.

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THIS WEEK'S PREVIEWS

(My movie Pick of the week)
Whiplash  ✪✪✪✪✪
Opens in Australia:               23th October 2014
USA: 10th October 2014        UK: 16th January 2015
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas


    The synopsis of this film is impossible to describe well enough to inspire you to see it, because the concept of watching 106 minutes of a kid taking jazz drumming lessons at an elite music conservatory in New York is never going to sound scintillating. However from the opening scene, where we are introduced to Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) during a solo drumming practice session interrupted by revered but feared teacher, Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), you realize that this is no Glee.

    As Fletcher mentors Neyman and his fellow students, you viscerally endure their physical and emotional abuse. He uses increasingly more vicious and disturbing modus operandi to elevate their performances, and you become caught up in the questions the film asks: What price, success? The word “evil” flitted through my mind during particularly tense and harrowing scenes.
   When Fletcher invites Neyman to join his elite band, suddenly a young man, whose musical aspirations are not considered by his family to be a worthwhile pursuit, becomes convinced that he is on the road to greatness. But his aspirations to greatness come at an enormous price. Will that price be too high?
    The last twenty minutes are some of the finest acting you will see on film this year. In fact, the film is outstanding in not just the performances but in its unflinching commitment to deliver the ugliness and the wonderment of the magic of any art form. All I can say is how grateful I am to be a writer, where things rarely get physical. We might jokingly claim there is blood on our keyboards, but in comparison to this story and similar insights into the ballet world via the Oscar winning Black Swan, as far as the arts go, writers have it easy.
    Whiplash and its leads, Teller and Simmons, and Academy Awards will be mentioned in the same sentence in the coming months. There is blood on the drum kit, and you will feel your blood pulsing as you watch Whiplash, too. This film dares to march to the beat of a different drum, and for that it is a marvel.

STUDIO BLURB
Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man's life. Andrew's passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability-and his sanity. (C) Sony Classics

Fury  ✪✪✪✪ ½ 
Opens in Australia:               23rd October 2014
USA: 17th October 2014         UK: 22nd October 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information
Perth:                                   Luna Palace Cinemas

   Fury is one of the finest war films in years. Not since Saving Private Ryan have we seen a war story in all its horror, along with the extraordinary bravery of the soldiers told with such passion and skill. Writer/director, David Avery (Training Day, End of Watch, The Fast and the Furious) is unflinching in delivering a sometimes tough-to-watch, but honest feeling tale. He certainly knows how to film an assured, tense action scene that will have you on the edge of your seat (or squeezing your partner’s hand, as in my case). The last time I watched a film and realized that I had barely breathed through the finale was during the Oscar winning Argo.
   It is also evocative of the wonderful war films from my childhood that I would watch on a Sunday afternoon—my favourite being the 1967 The Dirty Dozen. The ensemble of actors, led by Brad Pitt as army sergeant Don 'Wardaddy' Collier who is lumbered with a new wet-behind-the-ears recruit Norman Ellison (Loman Lerman), give wonderful, performances. With the awards season just around the corner, the studios are bringing out their big guns (excuse the pun), and this is one of them. It was made for the big screen, so see it there. It’s worth your dollars.

STUDIO BLURB
April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. (C) Sony

Love, Rosie  ✪✪✪
Opens in Australia:               6th November 2014
USA: 17th October 2014         UK: 22nd October 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

“It is, what it is,” was the consensus among the viewers at my preview. For me, it was predictable and dragged a bit in parts. A killer soundtrack helps it along a tried and true path, and the leads Lily Collins (Phil Collins daughter) and Sam Claflin are adorable. Romantics rejoice, if you crave one of those cute, bumbling, timing mis-sync but eventually-they-live-happily-ever-after stories, then here you go. Didn’t love Love, Rosie, but didn’t hate it either.

STUDIO BLURB
Rosie and her best friend Alex take a leap of faith, both on life and on each other, when they decide to go to the US together to attend university. But fate has other plans for Rosie. Over the next 12 years their lives change dramatically but the connection remains.







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