Yeah I enjoyed No Strings Attached. Its got a few kitchy cliched moments scattered throughout but Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher ground the movie with a couple of really decent peformances. Portman produced the movie and said that it was her antidote to Black Swan. Its a basic premise with a predictable outcome but the stuff inbetween makes it a cut above the other typical rom coms. Ivan Rietman directed and is hopefully back on the scene for a while.
Essential Killing provides no answers. It tells the story of an unidentified Middle Eastern man (presumably) who is captured by American forces in an unidentified Middle Eastern country. He is transported to an unidentified European country where his transport vehicle runs off the road and he escapes into the snow covered wilderness. That is all we know as he spends the entire duration of the film lost, wounded and starving. Vincent Gallo plays the man and I think its the single greatest performance of his career. The entire role is silent and not a single word is uttered from his mouth and yet his desperation and fear is overwhelming. This is a 5 star film in my opinion and I definitely recommend you check it out.
Here's a grim little film for ya. As the poster suggests, "Tony" is a British answer to Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer. It follows Tony's mundane day-to-day life around the streets of London and inside his small stenchy apartment. He's been unemployed for 20 years and is socially inept. Whoever he comes across he tries to befriend but his inability to relate to them leads him to kill. It's a grizzly and macabre film with a strong underlay of humour. Peter Ferdinado's performance is chilling and flawless and if you know what he looks like in real life, its an amazing transformation and embodiment he's pulled off. If you dig serial killer flicks then this is a great one.
The Perfect Host plays out like a two-man stage show. Its new take on the home invasion premise with a wanted fugitive intruding on a man who lives alone in a wealthy suburban home. That man is played by David Hyde Pierce who turns out to be a psychotic maniac with multiple personalities. The film is rough around the edges, the music is woeful and the finale is really sloppy but Hyde Pierce gives the performance of his careers as the psycho. He well and truly breaks free of his Niles Crane (Frasier) persona and you can tell he's finding the new role liberating. He relishes every moment and one particular dance sequence really steals the show. Yeah, its kind of a dud but I'm really glad I got to see such a wicked performance. Worth it for that alone.
One of my favourite comedies of last year was Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. If you’ve got kids who loved it too and you’re looking for something similar then check out Max Keebles Big Move. It came out 10 years before Wimpy Kid and has pretty much the same premise. The gags aren’t quite as grotty but they all hit their mark and it’s a lot of fun. Another movie with a similar premise (starring two of these kids) is Snow Day. Same thing, with snow! If you don’t have kids then steer clear unless you are very young at heart and enjoy a good fart gag…… like me!
It’s been ages since I’ve watched Titanic. The kids were asking about the ship itself recently and so we all sat down and watched the movie. It’s copped a lot of crap over the years and people seem to revel in dissing it… I don’t agree with them at all. I think this is a great movie that hits all of the right marks of a melodrama… and that’s just it, people seem to forget that it’s a melodrama. It’s not trying to be a historical biopic, although the details of the ship’s demise are quite accurate and the movie really needs to be approached as the sweeping, epic love story that it is. It works for me. The story of the Titanic’s voyage in reality is both romantic and tragic and this movie captures both of those things very well. And now that the kids have enjoyed a fictional account of it, next up is Ghosts Of The Abyss!
How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many of them have you met? This documentary will really have you thinking about that. The Social Network was a film about the creation of Facebook and now Catfish is a film about the consequences... I think that's even quoted on a poster somewhere and it's true.
***some spoilers ahead. nothing that'll wreck the film for you, but if you want to go into this movie blind, stop reading here***
The film is made by two guys who film their roommate and document a relationship he sparks up with a girl off Facebook. As the story progresses there are certain inconsistencies about her life and he soon realises that he has been caught up in a web of lies. It's actually scary stuff really and it's pretty much a contemporary horror film... As the truth unfolds what was disturbing actually becomes really sad, heartfelt and ultimately moving. Some critics and filmmakers have questioned the authenticity of the film but it doesn't really matter. Whether its real or fake, the outcome is the same. Now... who are you're friends on Facebook again??
CGI updates of classic cartoon favourites have been deplorable. The poor kids of today have no idea what Garfield or the chipmunks were really like.... thank God for Yogi Bear!! I loved this movie. The cartoon comes to life with everything in tact. Its the same goofy scenarios played out just like they were in the good ol' days. Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake are great as the voices of Yogi and BooBoo and Tom Cavanagh and Anna Farris provide solid support characters... but the show stealing performance comes from Andrew Daly (from Eastbound and Down) as the shifty mayor. He's hilarious. So ignore the critics... if you loved the cartoon, then the movie delivers the goods. Fun fun fun!
Sanctum kind of hovers around the middle. I saw in on dvd and really regret not seeing it at the cinema in 3D. I think that would have been a deciding factor... but in regular 2D its nothing new. We're seen it all before, in fact so many times that it's almost a genre unto itself. The script it derivative and hokey and Richard Roxburgh delivers one of the kitchiest roles of his career... but at the end of the day its a no-brainer popcorn flick. It looks good and it's exciting.... the pace is tight and ultimately is entertaining enough to recommend. Wish I'd seen it in 3D though.
I watched Wall Street 2 several months ago and really enjoyed it. Something struck me about it and while I recognise that it's not nearly as powerful as the first film, I enjoyed this one a lot more. I watched it again tonight and I feel the same way. The first movie is a cautionary tale about greed and this sequel is about the consequences. The performances are good and Shia LaBouf is proving himself as a solid actor. Oliver Stone is getting softer with age and he's been showing this with his last few films, and in returning to this story he delivers it with more compassion and sympathy... and I think that works in the movie's favour. Family is a strong anchor and a basis of redemption. Its a great catch up.
This is the most enjoyable rom-com I've seen in a good while. It's rough around the edges and avoids all of that cutesy, lovey stuff that the rest of these movies do in abundance... yet amongst all of it's crassness, there's a tenderness and a honesty that anchors the story. Drew Barrymore and Justin Long are perfectly suited as two people who fall for each other in New York six weeks before she has to return home to the east coast. They begin a long distance relationship and the film is about the difficulties of keeping it going. Heaps of fun with some great support characters.
Harold is the first movie I have turned off half way through in a long time. Im very tolerant of bad movies and can usually get more out of them than other people. Not this one. This is absolute shite. Avoid.
With the upcoming Fright Night remake getting closer I thought it a good idea to catch up on the original and it's sequel. Fright Night is one of those classics from the 80s that everyone who remembers it, loves it. Its a great campy vampire flick. I just finished watching part 2 and in my opinion it is better than part 1 in just about every way. Its takes itself more seriously, its darker and the vampires are much scarier. Most people think that Stephen Geoffrey's and Chris Sarandon were the best things about the first movie but I think the sequel is much stronger without them. It's a shame that this flick has fallen out of distribution because its damn hard to come by these days.... hopefully it will get a re-release with the new remake just around the corner. Verdict: a great 80s fright flick!!
I had a huge falling out with a well known film maker and festival director when this film was released. He wrote a scathing review of it while he admittedly had never actually seen it. His rationale was that it's got a shit title which is all he needed to know. Naturally I called him a fuckwit. We then had a heated argument and we haven't spoken since. It took me ages but I finally watched My Year Without Sex and as suspected, the name is perfectly suited. Its a comedy drama about a mother who suffers a brain haemorrhage and is forbidden to do certain strenuous tasks, including sex for a year. The movie chronicles this period month by month and shows us the ups and downs of such a journey. Its got lots of funny moments and many tender moments. Sacha Horler is steadily becoming one of my favourite actresses and she's wonderful in this. Other than the poster sucking the only problem I had with the movie was a strange scene with a suggested pedophile. I wasn't sure why it was there and don't know what it was trying to say. It made me a little uneasy. But other than that, a great little Aussie flick.
I am always drawn to movies which deal with themes of innocence lost. There's something profound about children being faced with grown up situations and being prematurely catapulted into adulthood. Stand By Me and The Boys Club are two good examples. Mean Creek is another. Its about a group of kids fed up with the school bully and they set about teaching him a lesson. What was supposed to be a harmless prank turns into a tragedy and these kids are faced with a horror which will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Its heavy stuff and its beautifully told. All kid actors are brilliant and its an amazing achievement from a first time director. An interesting parallel to Stand By Me is that both of the "fat kids" in these films subsequently shed all of their weight soon after. Jerry O'Connell in Stand By Me and Josh Peck in Mean Creek.