Friday, 23 December 2011
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Monday, 14 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
This film made me cry.
This film turned out to be a lot of fun.
Monday, 31 October 2011
Sunday, 25 September 2011
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Some commenters have said that it’s too soon to commit to film, the tragic events that left thousands dead in Los Angeles a few years ago. Personally, I don’t subscribe to that lefty thinking. I believe the story of the men and women that defeated the alien hordes on that tragic day is too important not to be told and Battle LA tackles the subject with sensitivity and compassion.
Based on the best selling biography of Sargent Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart), Battle Los Angeles follows the now famous rag tag team of marines that spearheaded the defense of LA. It recounts, in detail, the heroic sacrifices made by our fighting forces that were needed to defeat the alien scum.
This film is brilliantly cast; I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a clean sweep at next year’s Academy Awards. As well as Aaron Eckhart’s blistering performance, other notable standouts were Michelle Rodriguez as Technical Sargent Elena Santos and Ne-Yo, playing Corporal Kevin Harris. If there was an Academy Award for an ensemble cast, this is the film that would receive it.
Christopher Bertolini expertly adapted the screenplay, based on the book. You really get a sense of whom these people are. The character development is brilliant and is complemented by dialogue worth of Aaron Sorkin at his best.
History tells us what happened after the invasion, but Battle Los Angeles tells us the untold story, the personal story, of the American Heroes who put the lives on the line to protect our planet.
4 patriotic stars.
Monday, 12 September 2011
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
I wish I were a good writer. So that I could put on the page exactly what I felt when watching this film. But I shall try…
On Saturday afternoon I went to the lovely State Cinema in North Hobart with a friend to watch the most recent film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and my golly gosh how much did I love this film!
Most people know the story of young English orphan Jane who is shipped off by her aunt to a very punitive boarding school and who at 18 years of age, goes out into the world (still England) to work as a governess for the ward of the fiery, older and more worldly (been overseas), Mr Rochester. A man she falls in love with and which is requited but, alas, Mr Rochester is hiding a terrible secret.
Now, one could expect that this would be the usual period drama cliché. But this is not the case. In fact this is the best adaptation of Jane Eyre I have ever seen. Why, is this so? Well…
The cinematography by Adriano Goldman is breathtaking. The moors at once breathtaking and then haunting and gothic; the direction by Cary Fukunaga superb. I love the way the structure of the story was tweaked so that it flowed so well on the screen. The timing was beautiful and though I had seated myself with a full bladder I had forgotten all need by the time the film was into it’s 5th minute and I did not want this film to end. In fact, 2hrs later, I would, quite happily, have sat and watched more of the majestic scenery and some more fiery banter between Jane and Rochester.
Which brings me to the acting. Mia Wasikowska is amazing as Jane. The best Jane! She can look young and naïve and a child of 12 in one scene and in another a fiery independent woman. And she doesn’t even have to say anything. There is so much she can say with just a look.
And Michael Fassbender… He brings all the charm, temper, and fire you want in a Mr Rochester. It’s a superb bit of casting and the supporting cast which includes Sally Hawkins, Judi Dench and Jamie Bell is just great.
This film is thought provoking and beautiful. I want to go back and see it again. At times it was touching, you could feel Jane's turmoil and it wasn’t just me being a softy, I heard some teary sniffs behind me!
It made me think a lot about how lucky I am to be a woman in 2011 living in the developed world. I can choose my career, who to de facto or marry and travel where I choose. Jane is a 2011 woman stuck in 19th century England and when Jane is running along those moors without a house or carriage in site (and no mobile phone handy) it’s devastating to see just how isolating and cruel 19th century working class life could be. I highly recommend this film and can’t wait to get my own copy on DVD.
Monday, 5 September 2011
As a kid I used to be quite frightened of the front cover of Basket Case and made the decision it was too scary to ever watch……
But then I grew up.....
……Young Duane Bradley arrives at a cheap hotel in New York with a wad of cash and a big wicker basket. He feeds the contents of the basket hamburgers while they communicate semi-telepathically. It quickly transpires that Duane and the basket contents are Siamese twins who are seeking revenge on the Doctors that separated them.
It’s the perfect horror movie if you want a good laugh. Henenlotter seems to take great enjoyment of making the movie gross but funny. He also somehow manages to make you feel a little sorry for the deformed critter, who was left in the trash to die after the twins were operated on.
Really though, it’s enough to just watch the film for the stop motion animation where the wee mutant goes ballistic in the hotel room.
The extras are also worth viewing as Henenlotter revisits a few of the movie locations 20 years on. Interesting to note that part of it was filmed in a building which is now the Hellfire Club.
I give it 4 1/2 comedy horror movie stars.
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
After a moment or two of contemplation, Karen decides not to leave her husband but to instead to find a lover of her own. As it happens, a happy go lucky carpenter turns up at the house one morning and she invites him in.
Much to Adam's chagrin, Karen decides they all should spend the holidays in Karen and Adam's Vermont chalet to do some skiing and open relationship exploring. To add another dimension to the unusual mix is the arrival of the Evans' daughter Kasey with her very new and ultra conventional fiance.
It apparently nearly destroyed Shirley MacLaine's career and from what I have read Anthony Hopkins couldn't stand Bo Derek as she refused to rehearse and abhorred MacLaine even more for being one of the most obnoxious actresses he had ever worked with. I don't know if I can give any credence to those claims as I only read it off other reviews of people like myself....but they pleased me as they made me chuckle.
I also don't know if I am just one for a B grade film, or that I now own this particular film (I bought it for $3)...but I didn't mind it. True, I was unsure if it was meant to be a comedy or a drama or a combination of the both or neither....but it was easy to watch.
It defintely drove home the idea that men shouldn't leave their wives for someone more than half their age- because although younger women have bouncy boobs (opening scene) they just end up squirting water in your face (opening scene and another scene); and if the man messes with the domestic balance they will be alone and sad while the wife will have a new lease on life with lots of new love interests.
But all said and done I liked the skiing scenes.
2 1/2 or 3 stars
The opening scene shows Caul and his team recording what appears to be a rather inocuous conversation between a man and a woman in San Francisco's Union Square.
Caul successfully combines the tapes to make a clear recording of the conversation however, its meaning is ambiguous. Harry becomes more intrigued by the conversation he taped and decides to investigate it further. The more he learns, the more the meaning of the conversation changes. His investigations also threatens his anonymity.
This film is one that stays with you well after you have seen it.
Gene Hackman's performance is perfectly pitched to show the restraint and lonely world of Harry Caul. I felt such empathy towards his character during the brief moment when opens himself up.
The music score by David Shire is definitely a part of why the The Conversation is successful - the main theme played on a solo piano is one of the most enchanting that I have heard and am suprised that I haven't heard it before.
I give it 4 1/2 stars
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Sunday, 21 August 2011
A major fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's previous work - tv series Spaced (1998-2001), Sean of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007); I was excited to watch the next installment.
I ruddy well enjoyed it. Apart from great writing and directing in these movies, why I love their work so much is the fact that Pegg and Frost are best mates in real life. Their friendship is evident on screen and adds a special dimension to their films. Paul is funny and well paced, with tender moments. It was fun spotting the sci-fi film references and I loved seeing a stunning Sigourney Weaver. The dvd extras are great - especially watching how how Paul was created out of Seth Rogan.
Four stars from me
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Hedwig tours America (her husband has since left her), singing with her Eastern European band in chain restaurants and shopping mall foyers - her songs too big for the location. Hedwig's US tour also follows the tour of her now famous ex boyfriend Tommy Gnosis (Michael Pitt) who has stolen her songs.
Not a one for musicals, I started watching Hedwig and the Angry Inch (written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell) expecting I would be frequently pausing it to do the dishes, check Facebook and pat the dogs. But from the first scene I was hooked. Hedwig's band performances are so over the top they are deliciously funny. Yet Mitchell plays Hedwig's character as so brittle, affectionate, sweet and flawed that I fell a bit in love with her. The moments between Hedwig and Gnosis were tender are real that I lamented their break up.
I give it 4 stars.