Thursday, May 19, 2016

What's at the movies on the 19th May 2016?

Another Marvel superhero film. This one rather pedestrian I feel, even though there was a lot of flying around and arm waving with electric power flying out everywhere. I started writing the review and then it turned into a bit of a comedy farce the more I thought about the film, so you might enjoy a laugh out of it. I thought the podcast with Jenny Seaton this week was quite funny, too. She's been away on a lovely European jaunt, so we had a good laugh. I missed doing the show with her.

I'm deep in edits for my next thriller The Troubles Keeper, which is off to my editor on June 1, so I'll keep this short.  Wishing you a great week of film, books, and family.

X-Men: Apocalypse 3D ✪✪ Opens May 19 most cinemas
   The last X-Men, Days of Future Past was two years ago. I can only remember one scene from that film and that was where the really fast guy ran around a kitchen in slow motion to turn all the bullets around and save everyone.  So, I will admit, I was lost through most of this. 
   Plus you have the problem, where this is set in the past of the original series and is filling us in on the backstory, and this backstory has a backstory. Then throw in Wolverine in a couple of minutes’ cameo, and I’m wondering where this fits because Hugh Jackman is showing his age. But if this is set in the past, then shouldn’t he look more like he did in the original X-Men which began all this in 2000, nine films ago? But he looks oldish in his scenes, and I’m feeling like I’m getting old because I’m confused.
   What I will say is these actors have mastered the art of holding out their arms and waving them around a lot while electrical things flash around them. It must get tiring, like an episode of Survivor where they have to hold plates and not drop them to not be eliminated. They certainly earn every cent of their paychecks for being able to do that, take after take, and not laugh or drop electricity balls.
   Then some of them do a lot of touching to the temples while they’re getting inside the minds of other people, which doesn’t seem to end well because the X-men mutants holding their arms out have to come save them. Then the bad guy’s mutant X-Men people hurl the outstretched arm ones away, and then the face-touching psychic ones have to come back and save them. Then there is a lot of people who are blue and can, admittedly do cool things. One of them is Jennifer Lawrence (and I’ve given an extra star because of her because I just love her).
   In the end, I can’t quite work out what the bad guy with the blue-green face was really after. Apparently, he wanted to destroy the whole world and create an apocalypse, but I don’t think he’d thought it all through because without the planet his pyramid that he wanted to live in would collapse. So you see, it really is a very confusing film and franchise, I think.
    For those diehard fans, though, do stay until the very, very, very end of the credits (I’m sure 10,000 people worked on this film. Seemed to be a lot of compositors, whatever they do). Wait five seconds after the credits end, and a bonus scene will come up, which like most of these marvel credit scenes tells you hardly anything. Of course, you’ve got the problem that two years later in the next film you can’t remember the relevancy of the scene, let alone the plot. I think I’m getting dizzy, but I really do like the fast guy. I hope he gets his own film franchise.

Film Blurb
Following the critically acclaimed global smash hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer returns with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

THE MEDDLER ✪✪✪½  Opens May 19 Luna Cinemas
When you are as superb an actress as Susan Sarandon you can do most things, but she certainly can play a meddling mother like no other. This is a gorgeous film. It’s just wonderful to watch an actor doing what they do so well. Our own Rose Byrne, who seems to be in every second film I watch (recently, Bad Neighbours 2), is also very good as the self-absorbed daughter who doesn’t want her mother around so much. Seriously, she wouldn’t want to be born into an ethnic family. It goes without saying, your mother or mother-in-law will be very involved.   I highly recommend this one for a girl’s night out and particularly a mother/daughter treat. Shame it wasn’t around for Mother’s Day.

Film Blurb
   Susan Sarandon delivers one of her most richly satisfying performances in this insightful and winning comedy-drama about an incessantly doting mother who, after her husband passes away, follows her daughter (Rose Byrne) to Los Angeles and makes an unexpected connection with a local cop (J.K. Simmons).
   Marnie Minervini is a recent widow and eternal optimist who moves from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be closer to her daughter. Armed with an iPhone and a full bank account, Marnie sets out to make friends, find her purpose, and possibly open up to someone new.


Date: Opens MAY 12 – MAY 25
Time:  Various Times
Location: Windsor Cinema, Nedlands Details and Booking

featuring 14 films looking better than ever in HD Digital including retrospective of DAVID LEAN’s

Highlights this weekend:  The Lady Killers
Friday May 13 1:20pm  & Sunday May 22 1.15pm  Windsor Cinema

One of Ealing Studios' greatest black comedies, THE LADYKILLERS sees an over-imaginative landlady driven batty by a gang of criminals led by her dodgy lodger Alec Guinness.

In this wonderfully macabre black comedy…a sister picture to KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS, five diverse oddball criminal types planning a bank robbery rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians. This, the last of the great Ealing Studios comedies, won the BAFTA best screenplay. Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker and Herbert Lom are all in top form. See it on the big screen to appreciate director Alexander Mackendrick’s wonderful gothic approach.

BE HERE NOW: The Andy Whitfield Story  
Date: Saturday May 30
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Event Cinemas Innaloo Details and Booking
This is a Tugg event. This means that it won’t go ahead unless enough people buy tickets. This film needs 34 tickets sold to go ahead. Brought to screen by Leap Frog Films in support of Lymphoma Australia
An inspiring love story between television superstar, Andy Whitfield, of “Spartacus” (McLeod’s Daughters, Packed to the Rafters) fame and his charismatic wife, Vashti, who together take on the most heroic role he’s ever had to play. With matching 'Be Here Now' tattoos on their forearms, they go on a quest to heal Andy from a cancer diagnosis – by embracing life, rather than fear. They openly allowed filmmaker, Lilibet Foster, to follow their dramatic and intimate roller coaster, in the hopes that by sharing their journey, they may help inspire others with challenges and dreams. And, it’s their determination, courage, and a healthy dose of humor and love, that shows us that the journey is more important than the destination.

Date: Thursday 26th May
Time: 6:00 pm for film start 6:30 pm (check Luna Cinemas site for exact details)
Location: Luna Leederville Details and Booking

To celebrate the release of HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE Luna Cinemas Leederville we will be hosting  a sweet as Opening Night party on Thursday 26 May. (6pm arrival, 6.30pm film start).

Pre-show entertainment includes musical entertainment by GC Peter Barr from RTRFM spinning chur wild tunes to get you in the mood to party and special treats for all your cuzzie bros!

This bun- fight will include pop-up bar, Varsity Burgers on-site serving up their delicious  'Notorious P>I>G>' sliders for all guests, Siena's  pizza, and a delicious healthy Wilderpeople survival snack  treat from our good mates NOOD. Our friends from Little Leaf Co are also setting up on site creating their take on the NZ-wilderness to complement our fancy-pants green carpet arrivals. Dress your skuxx-edst and we might even take a photo of your mug!

    We advise that you brush up on your New Zealand slang before you see the film 

HUNT FOR THE WILDER PEOPLE  review  ✪✪✪½ Opens May 26  Luna Cinemas)
   This is a delightful film, albeit, perhaps a little cliché. However, Sam Neill is always good value, and never so much as when he plays oddball, cantankerous characters, (I think he has the face and expressions for it) as he does here. Julian Dennison as young Ricky, the wayward child who has so much spunk, he’s too much for most of his foster families is such a great child actor.
  The Wilder People is brought to you by the same gang who created   blah blah and blah blah. It has very New Zealand comedy, which is screwball, to say the least.  I don’t think I loved it as much as many of my compatriot reviewers. A couple said it was one of the funniest films they’d seen in ages. It’s just a nice little comedy from the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Film Blurb
   Ricky (Julian Dennison) is a defiant young city kid who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle (Sam Neill) in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together to survive in this hilarious and heartfelt adventure.

Date:   Friday, May 20 & Sunday May 22
Time: 10:30 am (check Luna Cinemas site for exact details)
Location: Cinema Paradiso Northbridge Details and Booking

 (Sung in Russian with English subtitles) Duration approx. 3h30 including interval

Captured live from the stage of Paris’ historic Palais Garnier, Iolanta/The Nutcracker screens as part of the 2016 Palace Opera & Ballet Cinema Season, which also features opera and ballet performances from London’s Royal Opera House and for the first time this year, Milan’s famous La Scala.  New Production!  Directed for the stage by Dmitri Tcherniakov, Iolanta/The Nutcracker is an exceptional program that combines all the talents of the Paris Opera and offers an opera and a ballet in a single presentation.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Film Stuff 12th May 2016

It's not a great week in film releases. Dull and ridiculous for most of the films. Bad Neighbours 2 that released last week, I can't even bare to review. 
I'm sick of these films that glorify drinking, drug taking, and sleeping around. I'm not a prude, but in this day and age addictive behaviour has become a terrible scourge on society, and these idiots in Hollywood are using it as a basis for entertainment. It's not cool to get drunk or take drugs. 
Yep, sure, I did it when I was younger. We used to go along to the discos (yes, I'm that old), and get hammered. Tequila slammers were my choice, because they worked really quick in turning you into a blithering, swaggering, drunk person. Then one night, when I was probably about twenty-two, I was standing in a club talking to a friend trying to act sober, even though I was drunk, when I suddenly thought: what am I doing? I get drunk and then fight like crazy to appear sober. Why don't I just skip the drunk bit and just be sober? So after that, it was orange juice and water for me. Still is, although, I don't mind the occasional glass of wine and sip of a beer. And I have had, and still do, have plenty of fun. I don't need a drink to relax or loosen  up or free my inhibitions. I'm prouder that I can do that all by myself than imbibing calorie and sugar filled liquid that makes multi-national companies richer, while not truly increasing (as they so nefariously advertise to the opposite) my stature as a human being.
For the record, in my books, it is uncool, with a capital U, to drink to excess. If you have to do that to have fun, then you need to find something that you dig more, because clearly there's some flaws in your strategy for entertainment. If you have children, think what you're teaching them about having fun and relating to the world.
So any films that go out of their way to make it seem wonderfully cool to drink, drug-take, or sleep around (I'm talking to you, Seth Rogan) are getting a low rating from me from now. That's if I even go see them. Films like last year's Amy Schumacher's Trainwreck get a pass because that one was about the damage done and the redemption found when the character discovers she is messing up her life.
Ever since Bridesmaids, Hollywood has decided these excess, bad taste films are money-spinners, and if we keep going, we are confirming and encouraging that. We don't need them. Bridesmaids was a one-off that should have stayed that way.  Send a message. Don't hand your money over for these type of films and dissuade your teenagers from seeing them. Eventually, they will stop making them. Money talks.
Now off my soapbox and on to the films. Although most of these you would want to see on DVD, if at all.
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT ½ Opens May 12 most cinemas
  This film has so many plot threads it doesn’t know what to do with them. All the actors are good, Tina Fey, Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie (gosh, she is gorgeous), but it doesn’t add up to a good film. Based on the book "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan" by Kim Barker (the character played by Tina Fey), it should be fascinating. Instead, it is dull as dishwater.
   One of the film’s themes is the Eat Pray Love ideology of Power to Women, but they then throw Margot Robbie in as the supposedly serious journalist who is only interested in drinking, going to bed with the security guys, and getting ahead by backstabbing a sister in war.  And if I have to sit through another film that glorifies drinking, drug taking, and sleeping around, I think I will scream. One day we will look back on cinema of these years, and feel ashamed that we call that entertainment. No wonder first world countries have a drinking problem, when we educate our kids that this is what the cool adults do to get ahead or relieve stress, or to have a good time.
   To the scriptwriters, if this is the best you can come up with from the book, then it wasn’t a great book, or you didn’t do your job, or somebody was smoking something during the edits. If you are wondering what the title has to do with the film, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, I think it means WTF. Most of us know what that means. So to the filmmakers, back at you: WTF?

Film Blurb
When reporter Kim Barker’s (Tina Fey) life needs something more, she decides to 'shake it all up’ by taking an assignment in a war zone. There, in the midst of chaos, she finds the strength she never knew she had. Sometimes it takes saying ‘WTF’ to find the life you were always destined to have.
BASTILLE DAY ½     Opens MAY 12 most cinemas
This should be called Cliché Day. It pulls from every CIA, terrorist, conspiracy film you’ve seen in the past three decades, and it doesn’t pull anything interesting. Throw in some very average acting, and you have a yawn fest. Richard Madden, better known for his role as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones seems a little lost without the fur. And Idris Elba, who viewers might know as Heimdell in Avengers and Thor, is good, but labouring with a ridiculous nonsensical script. If you saw the recent LONDON HAS FALLEN and enjoyed that, then you might like this one. However, it really is a DVD watch. If you can still catch EYE IN THE SKY that is a much better way to spend your two-hour visit to the cinema.
Film Blurb
Michael Mason is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar, the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy. Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to use his expert pickpocketing skills to help quickly track down the source of the corruption. As a 24hr thrill ride ensues, the unlikely duo discover they are both targets and must rely upon each other in order to take down a common enemy.

ANGRY BIRDS (Not reviewed)   Opens MAY 12 most cinemas

I didn’t see this one. I made the error of going to see BAD NEIGHBOURS 2 with my husband’s work’s social club at Readings Gold Class. I’m not even going to review that film. It was just awful American rubbish. If they think it’s okay to glorify college days of boozing and drug-taking as something to be proud of, then no wonder that country has so many problems.
  So I don’t have firsthand knowledge of ANGRY BIRDS, but my kids went along and a couple of their friends and I can share their thoughts. They were too old to enjoy the film at thirteen and fifteen they informed me, despite the fact, my thirteen-year-old wanted to go because he loved ANGRY BIRDS, the game. They felt it was suited to kids probably five up to about ten. Their friends thought it was fun, but the mother who took them told me, it was only ‘okay.’ I’m sure if you have a child who is still crazy on Angry Birds–is that craze even still happening?–I’m sure you will have to go.  From what I hear and the reviews, probably not the best kid’s film around.
Film Blurb
In the 3D animated comedy, The Angry Birds Movie, we'll finally find out why the birds are so angry. The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds – or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red, a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck and the volatile Bomb have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.
THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY ✪✪✪✪ Opens May 12 Luna Cinemas
Loved. Loved. Loved this documentary. It’s got everything. Passionate people, beautiful clothes, famous gorgeous people being famous gorgeous people, and the drama of a small crew of people mounting a huge event in a limited time.  There’s a debate as to whether fashion should be considered as art. After watching this film and the sublime clothes displayed, the argument is over. This is art and it is wonderful and breathtaking. Also, prepare yourself for suddenly passionately desiring to book a trip to New York sometime soon after the first Monday in May to view the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual fashion exhibition. It’s that compelling.

Film Blurb
  The First Monday in May follows the creation of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's most attended fashion exhibition in history, "China: Through The Looking Glass," an exploration of Chinese-inspired Western fashions by Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton. With unprecedented access, filmmaker Andrew Rossi captures the collision of high fashion and celebrity at the Met Gala, one of the biggest global fashion events chaired every year by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour. Featuring a cast of renowned artists in many fields (including filmmaker Wong Kar Wai and fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano) as well as a host of contemporary pop icons like Rihanna, the movie dives into the debate about whether fashion should be viewed as art.

Date: Opens MAY 12 – MAY 25
Time:  Various Times
Location: Windsor Cinema, Nedlands Details and Booking

featuring 14 films looking better than ever in HD Digital including retrospective of DAVID LEAN’s

 DAVID STRATTON says: “It was most gratifying to see the terrific response to the first Great Britain retro festival last year. This second edition features more wonderful films, many of which have not been seen on a cinema screen in decades. It’s particularly pleasing to include films in which Australian talent made major contributions – ace Perth-born cinematographer Robert Krasker provided the unforgettable images for ODD MAN OUT, and the luminous Judy Davis is magnificent in A PASSAGE TO INDIA. In all, a feast of British cinema.”

Date: Saturday May 14 & Sunday May 15
Time: 1:00 pm (check Luna Cinemas site for exact details)
Location: Cinema Paradiso Northbridge Details and Booking
Original language (Italian) with English subtitles.

   At the end of the Fifteenth Century Leonardo da Vinci lived for eighteen years in Milan at the court of Ludovico Sforza, known as ‘Il Moro’. It was a long, important period in his life, that left a lasting impression on the city. In Spring 2015 Milan paid tribute to Leonardo by holding a large exhibition at the Palazzo Reale. One of the paintings from this exhibition became the film Leonardo da Vinci - The Genius in Milan, which uses a combination of event interviews and mise-en-scènes to tell the story of the Artist’s world and the treasures he left us.
   Inside the exhibition, under the ambiguous gaze of the Belle Ferronnière (one of the paintings loaned by the Louvre for the occasion) we are welcomed by the curator, Pietro Marani. Right before those very works of art, he introduces such special subjects as the reasons why Leonardo travelled north and his dreams of maturity, as well as discussing portrait art and the art of drawing, the works of art that have stayed in the city and those that have returned to it.

Date: Saturday May 14 & Sunday May 15
Time: 1:00 pm (check Luna Cinemas site for exact details)
Location: Luna Leederville Details and Booking

Winner – Best New Play at 2016 Olivier Awards! Following a sell-out run at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Olivier and Academy Award® winner Martin McDonagh (The Pillowman, The Cripple of Inishmaan, In Bruges) returns to the West End with Matthew Dunster’s award-winning production of his deeply funny new play Hangmen, broadcast live to cinemas by National Theatre Live.
    In his small pub in the northern English town of Oldham, Harry (David Morrissey – The Walking Dead, State of Play) is something of a local celebrity. But what's the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they've abolished hanging?

   Amongst the cub reporters and pub regulars dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, his old assistant Syd (Andy Nyman – Peaky Blinders, Death at a Funeral) and the peculiar Mooney (Johnny Flynn – Clouds of Sils Maria) lurk with very different motives for their visit.