Thursday, March 26, 2015

Film Stuff 26th March 2015

  A quieter week for film releases, thank goodness. I missed a preview because I had a school thing on, and I'd like to share something with you that happened there and get your feedback. 
   At this school event, we were asked to form groups of 6 parents and were given a sheet of butchers paper and  asked to write down what conflict we had with our teenagers and, on another sheet, what worried our teenager.
   Wow, these parents just went to town. We all did, sharing with each other the usual problems you have with teenagers... can't get them to get up in the mornings; can't get them to bed at night; they don't show enough respect; fighting with their siblings; disorganised; don't help enough around the house, etc., etc. We joined in, of course. We're just a normal family, and I do my fair share of yelling and berating.
   However, almost immediately afterward I was racked with guilt. I'd just shared with complete strangers all the bad things about my kids without taking the time to tell them all the wonderful things about my children, of which I am hugely proud. My kids participate in sport, represent the school in swimming, basketball, cricket, and soccer, which they train for outside school time. They both put their hands up to be the representatives of their class this semester and both were voted in. My eldest also served in this position last year. Every teacher I speak with tells me how kind and generous they are and that they are greatly respected by the faculty, especially the fourteen year old who has also won, two year's in a row, a Character, Honour, and Integrity award, of which they only hand out 12 among a group of 325 students. Plus they work really hard on their homework, and my eldest is dyslexic, so it is no mean feat for him to do well at school.
  It dawned on me, I would never sit with a bunch of girlfriends and share all my husband's faults (not that he has many), and he wouldn't do this either. I know, as much as it will happen, I wouldn't like my children sharing en masse how terrible I was and all the mistakes I made. So what was I doing sitting there happily joining in the other night?  If my children heard us, how would they feel? When they had adapted to high school life so well, what did I really have to complain about?
    My hubby thinks I'm over-reacting, and maybe I am. For me, though, I just feel it was against morals that I hold dear. From now on, I'm going to try my hardest not to complain about the children in public. I might have a whinge to a girlfriend, when it all gets too much, but I'm limiting it to that. Although, I completely understand why anyone would complain openly about their children, I'm giving, it up along with sugar. I'm not going to pretend to anyone they're perfect if the subject comes up; teenagers and parenting is the toughest job ever, but I'm going to try and look for the good and repeat the good more than the bad.
   What's your thoughts? Am I over-reacting?
  Of course, you really want to know about the films. Read on about one of my favourite films in years, Cinderella...

REVIEWS

CINDERELLA 5/5 Stars  (opens 26th March) – Screens at most cinemas
My Thoughts
   Every single moment of this film is a delight. Disney has turned the familiar into the fabulous. Kate Blanchett as the evil stepmother is a brilliant casting choice and her clothes are the most beautiful I have ever seen on screen. The scene, where Cinderella’s fairy godmother changes the pumpkin into a carriage, the mice into horses, lizards into footman and so on, is the most wonderful vision. Again, Helena Bonham-Carter is an inspired choice. Richard Madden as Kit, the prince, and Lily James as Ella, are perfect. Go see it. Take the kids, take the grandparents, take the boyfriend, the husband, the best friend. Everyone will love this film. Disney, I love you, you’ve done it again.
Film Blurb
   When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella's fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.

A LITTLE CHAOS 3 ½/5 Stars  (opens 26th March) – Screens at most cinemas
My Thoughts
I’m a bit of a sucker for period films ever since I fell in love with the original Pride and Prejudice starring Laurence Olivier. I love all the bowing, curtseying and underlying unspoken rules which accompany high society and royal dramas and romances. If I’m honest, I also love the long-haired nobleman. There’s something about a man in a wavy-haired wig, I don’t know. Belgian actor, Matthias Schoenaerts, certainly fits the bill as the lead landscaper to the King in A Little Chaos.
Kate Winslet is very good as the landscape designer who is tasked with building one of the gardens at King Louis XIV’s palace. The film does lack the build to a really dramatic moment, however it’s pretty and interesting enough to make an enjoyable watch. If a little more thought had gone into the script, it could have been elevated into something truly brilliant. If it appeals to you, then you will certainly enjoy.
Film Blurb
A romantic drama following Sabine (Academy Award winner Kate Winslet), a strong-willed and talented landscape designer, who is chosen to build one of the main gardens at King Louis XIV's new palace at Versailles. In her new position of power, she challenges gender and class barriers while also becoming professionally and romantically entangled with the court's renowned landscape artist André Le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts). (C) Focus features

INFINITELY POLAR BEAR 4/5 Stars (opens 26th March) – Screens at LUNA CINEMAS
My Thoughts
Mark Ruffalo plays a man suffering from bi-polar disorder, and he is fabulous in this role. You think it would be a depressing film because the guy’s life is a wreck. His behavior because of his illness drives his children crazy and embarrasses them constantly. In short, he can’t be counted on to be a responsible parent although, sometimes, he’s a lot of fun. The family has no money. The girls and he end up separated from his wife, while she attempts to gain an MBA to better their lives. It’s a real mess of a life, yet it is surprisingly uplifting and respectfully handled. I even shed a few tears at the end. A real gem of a little film, you will be glad you saw.
Film Blurb
A manic-depressive mess of a father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don't make the overwhelming task any easier.

SPECIAL EVENT CINEMA
The 26th annual Alliance Française French Film Festival
19TH MARCH TO 7TH APRIL  Showing at Luna Leederville & Luna SX & Windsor

Look out for THREE HEARTS and SAMBA (by same producers as Intouchables)
I’ve seen half of SAMBA, before our digital print stopped giving us subtitles, and we had to give up and go home. However, what we saw of it was wonderful, amusing and thought provoking with French sensibilities. Reminds me I must learn French.

LADIES NIGHT
THE GAZELLES
Friday 27 March @ Cinema Paradiso (6pm)
Enjoy a screening of The Gazelles with pre-screening treats courtesy of Choux Cafe. The night will also feature a fashion parade by Simone Perele, complimentary hand spa treatments and prizes to be won courtesy of sponsors Simone Perele and L'Occitane En Provence.

SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING *GANGSTERS & MOLLS*
THE CONNECTION
Wednesday 1 April @ Cinema Paradiso (6pm)
Enjoy French wine and pre-screening treats from Martineau Patisserie and partake in Blackjack in the cinema foyer. Dress as a gangster or moll for your chance to win fabulous prizes.

THAT SUGAR FILM
This film is really gaining momentum at the box office. I’ve just received THAT SUGAR BOOK to review and it’s brilliant. You can now see this film in general release. It’s showing at:
 Event Cinemas
Luna Cinemas
Moonlight Outdoor Cinemas Friday 27th March
Grand Cinemas Whitford and Bunbury
For more info on the film: http://www.thatsugarfilm.com
For more info on the book: http://www.thatsugarfilm.com/thatsugarbook/
Our giveaway on CurtinFm Radio kindly supplied to us by Pan MacMillan Australia

OUTDOOR CINEMA

LOTTERYWEST FESTIVAL FILMS - Somerville & Joondalup Pines
For Tickets and Times:  CLICK HERE
Coming to a close on the 12th April
CURRENTLY SHOWING:
THE MAFIA KILLS ONLY IN SUMMER 23RD March to 5th April
KUMIKO,THE TREASURE HUNTER 16th-29th March
PHOENIX 30th March-12th April

LUNA OUTDOOR CINEMA LEEDERVILLE
For Tickets and Times: CLICK HERE
DIOR & I
In Dior and I, one enters the storied world that is the House of Christian Dior with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ highly anticipated first Haute Couture collection as the iconic brand’s new Artistic Director. Beautifully melding the everyday, pressure-filled components of fashion with an elegant reverence for the history of Dior, Tcheng’s colorful homage to the seamstresses of the atelier is nothing short of magical. [French w/English subtitles]

CAMELOT OUTDOOR CINEMA
For Tickets and Times: CLICK HERE
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
WHILE WE’RE YOUNG (special Oysters and Jazz night) Wed April 1)
Stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts.

Perth Jazz Society presents Perth's finest jazz musicians every first Wednesday of the month at Camelot. Together with celebrity chef & seafood extraordinaire Andy Grljusich, who shucks fresh oysters for your indulgence.

McDONALDS COMMUNITY CINEMA
CINEMAS are at Burswood, Mandurah, Murdoch, Bassendean and Curtin
For Tickets and Times: CLICK HERE
Burswood Highlights
JUPITER ASCENDING
SEVENTH SON

SPECIAL EARLYBIRDS FAMILY SCREENING
25/03/2014 - 19/04/2014
Gates open 5:30pm with film screening strictly at 6:15pm
Bring the kids and the kids at heart for these special early evening screenings on Saturdays during the Easter school vacations
WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAYS       28th March
PADDINGTON                                          4th April
PAPER PLANES                                      11th April
HOME                                                       – 18th April

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Film Stuff 20th March 2015

It's been a busy week in my household. With both my sons now at high school and very involved in sport and school activities, I have officially arrived at the taxi driver stage. What doesn't help is that we live about twenty minutes away from the school in beautiful East Perth. So there is a fair drive to pick up the tough film critics, especially since they both participate in different activities at different times. 

In between all this, I try and cram in as many films as I can. I just hate missing out. What if I went to the next screening and all my film buddies tell me the film I missed was brilliant?
I know it's a first world problem, isn't it?

I've started writing my next novel, while Messengers my book I wrote after Back Again is off at the editors.  I'm reminded, as I begin the whole process over again, that it is a process. It feels very strange to be in another world and learning about new characters who will eventually become like real people to me. It's exciting, daunting and stressful, but that is the life of a novelist. Since I write a book very quickly, it seems very intense to me, too. 

Anyway, on to the films, the reason you are here. A few good ones this week; Insurgent turned my head around from my dislike of Divergent. I actually liked it a lot.

Remember, if you would like to read some of my scratchings you can check out my books and stories here.


REVIEWS
INSURGENT    (opens 19th March) – Screens at most cinemas   
My Thoughts
    Veronica Roth, author of the Insurgent series, was one of the top-selling authors last year, with the Divergent series rarely out of the Amazon top ten. Of course, the films are going to do well on the back of multi-million book sales. I wasn’t a fan of the book series, having read them long before they became bestsellers. I found them a touch tedious and lacking pace, and I couldn’t shake the feeling they were a copy of The Hunger Games.
   However, the films are an entirely other beast in that they neatly condense the books, thus creating a far more exciting watch than a read (at least for me). Even though these films haven’t been on my must-see list, the latest episode Divergent has changed all that for me. It’s an exciting mix of action, romance, and politics, well put together by the writers, and even if you haven’t seen the first movie or read the books, you will still enjoy this thrilling ride.
   The film opens throwing us right into the middle of the action, following on from Divergent. Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James) and the gang are now outlaws and on the run from Jeanine (Kate Winslet), leader of Erudite faction. They are holed up at Amity faction, where the code is to remain peaceful and forgiving. It doesn’t take long for the small Dauntlet group to find themselves at odds with the nature of the Amity villagers and to be discovered by Eric (Jai Courtney) and the guards hunting them down on behalf of Jeanine.
   Tris is, also, dealing with the guilt of the slaughter of her mother and her friends in the raid, which wiped out Tris’s old faction, Abnegation. She discovers her mother was protecting a secret for which she was prepared to die; the same secret for which Jeanine will kill. A little more is revealed about Eric, which adds a twist to the story. Some old friends will betray Tris, but she will, also, find new allies.
   In Insurgent, the world is revealed as bigger than we imagined in Divergent, and you will be left panting for the next film. This series has turned me around on the book series, and I now see why the books have sold so well. These are interesting characters and the angst and fight in Tris makes her a great protagonist. In fact, I don’t think I can wait for next year’s film Alligient (which incidentally is being split into two parts) to discover what happens; I may have to read the book.

Film Blurb
As she searches for allies and answers in the wake of the uprising, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are on the run. Being hunted by Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), the leader of the Erudite faction, Tris and Four will race against time as they try to figure out what Abnegation sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices but desperate to protect the ones she loves, Tris faces one impossible challenge after another as she unlocks the truth about the past and ultimately the future of her world.

BIG EYES   ½     (opens 19th March) – Screens at most cinemas & LUNA cinemas
My Thoughts
   Director Tim Burton is known more for his quirky character films usually starring his wife Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp. His latest film is probably the furthest he has travelled from his previous work and shows he can direct straight films very well indeed, without his usual dark flourishes.
   Amy Adams as Margaret, the woman whose strangely haunting paintings of children with big eyes are passed off by her husband as his work, is quite extraordinary. She plays the vulnerable, quivering-lipped woman of the sixties to a tee. Christoph Waltz as the despicable, slimy husband Walter Keane is perfectly cast and is always wonderful to watch on screen, although if he plays one more of these underhanded characters I feel he may be typecast forever as the ‘master of creepy.’
   If you’ve seen the trailers and the film looks good to you, then go see it. I don’t think you will be disappointed. You will definitely come out shaking your head at the travesty, which befell this innocent woman, and wondering how the heck something like this could happen.

Film Blurb
Tim Burton tackles a biopic in this tale based on the real life relationship of Margaret and Walter Keane. The Big Eye’s paintings of the 1950’s were a phenomenal success, with the paintings of children with disproportionally large eyes filling commercial stores thanks to the business savvy of the apparent artist, Walter Keane. What was not known at the time was that it was in fact his wife, Margaret, who was the genius behind the images, and Walter was a fraud, taking advantage of his wife’s talent.

HOME      (opens 19th March) – Screens at most cinemas
My Thoughts
   Home is based on Adam Rex's 2007 children's book The True Meaning of Smekday. This film is aimed at the young ones. Anyone over the age of eleven or so will find it too cutesy and too preachy without any of the adult quips that make these children’s animations enjoyable for parents as well as the young ones. The animation is nice. The characters are nice. The story is nice, but there’s no real substance to this, and you will probably forget it almost as soon as you get home. Rihanna voices the main character, Tip, and I just didn’t enjoy listening to her. The other voice actors (Steve Martin, Jim Parsons, Jennifer Lopez) do a good job with standard fare. Home is nothing write home about.

Film Blurb
When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.
- Written by 20th Century Fox

Run All Night   ½    (opens 19th March) – Screens at most cinemas   
My Thoughts
I went along to this only because it had some positive comments attached to it. I have been vocal about my distaste for the very poorly executed and laughably dull Taken series. This one looked pretty similar and it is, although it is a superior film to any of the Takens. Think of it as Taken part B.
Liam Neeson is incredibly type-cast as the alcoholic, down and out man who must pull himself together and make good. In this one, it’s making good with his son who is being chased by mob boss Shawn Maguire who is also his longtime friend.
It’s actually quite tense to watch and I enjoyed it. If you like action movies and you are not yet sick of Liam Neeson playing these roles, then this one will entertain for sure.

Film Blurb
Mobster and hit man Jimmy Conlon has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike, whose life is in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire, who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son.

SPECIAL EVENT CINEMA
The 26th annual Alliance Française French Film Festival 
OPENING NIGHT
Française Film Festival
Showing at Luna Leederville & Luna SX & Windsor

Look out for THREE HEARTS and SAMBA (by same producers as Intouchables) I love French films. This is my favourite foreign language festival. Yes, you do have to read the subtitles but you soon get used to that and forget you are not hearing English. As I’ve mentioned I adored THREE HEARTS and that’s showing this weekend several times. Check out the programme and have yourself a cultured evening out with a film, a meal and maybe some wine. 
Singing Contest & try wine and cheese
THE BÉLIER FAMILY screening Sunday 22 MARCH at Windsor Cinema 3.15PM French wine and cheese in a countryside setting and try out your vocal talent in our singing contest*. Prizes to be won offered by our generous sponsor Peugeot. 4PM Screening. * Contest open for all ages.

Though her salt-of-the-earth father (François Damiens, Delicacy) has decided to run for mayor - spurred on by her vivacious but over-involved mother, portrayed by the wonderful Karin Viard - Paula’s attentions are very much elsewhere. She’s witnessed the handsome new boy at school sign up for the choir, and impulsively joined too. It’s not long before her music teacher (Éric Elmosnino) discovers her considerable talent, however his encouragement only exacerbates the matter of Paula’s independence…

Dior & I Opening Extravaganza
Thursday  26 March from 6.00pm. Screenings:
Luna Cinemas - indoor (arrival 6pm for 6.30pm film start)
Luna Cinemas - outdoor (arrival 6.30pm for a 7.45pm film start)
Celebrate with a selection of pre-screening activities, including a complimentary champagne on arrival, as   the fine folk at Muse Bureau, the styling gurus at Vivien's Creative, the stunning models at Vivien's Model Management, plus local fashion stores Atlas Divine and Varga Girl bring a touch of glamour to Luna Cinemas Leederville!
Local filmmaker Justin Griffiths' shorts will also be screened prior to the feature; providing a celebration of WA fashion. The supremely talented stylist, 'The Butcher, The Baker, The Stylist and Creator', will bring the foyer to life with a Dior-inspired transformation of Luna Leederville's grand staircase. Dress to thrill in your most Dior -inspired look  for your chance  to  win  some terrific  prizes!  The celebration continues  in Luna Outdoor from  6.30pm with  acoustic  musical entertainment by Cool Perth Nights featuring acoustic funk duo Low End Theory, a  glass of  Wine by  Brad  on  entry and  Siena's pizza  and a Dior-esque flower-wall for social pics.

FILM NEWS

TOP GROSSING FILMS GLOBALLY
The growing importance of the overseas box office may explain some of these international settings. Of the top 20 grossing films, 19 made more than half their money outside the United States. China is currently the world’s second biggest film market, and four of the top 100 highest grossing films of 2014 were at least partially set in China. Each of these films made 70 percent or more of their worldwide box office totals overseas. Attempts to court the Chinese market have included shooting scenes in China, casting famous Chinese actors in supporting roles, and even re-editing films to position the country and its people in a more favorable light.

Global Box Office 2014 Gross (in millions)     
1.    Transformers: Age of Extinction   $1087            Texas; Chicago; Hong Kong; Antarctica
2.    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies          $787   Middle Earth (fictional)
3.    Guardians of the Galaxy     $773   Not specified; Space
4.    Maleficent      $758   The Moors (fictional)
5.    X-Men: Days of Future Past           $748   China; New York; Paris; Washington, D.C.
6.    Captain America: The Winter Soldier      $714   Washington, D.C.; New Jersey
7.    The Amazing Spider-Man 2           $709   New York
8.    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes    $709   San Francisco
9.    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1            $707   Panem (fictional)
10. Interstellar     $663   Midwestern U.S.; Space
11. How to Train Your Dragon 2          $619   Berk (fictional)
12. Godzilla (2014)        $529   Japan; San Francisco
13. Rio 2  $500   Rio de Janeiro
14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)     $477   New York
15. The LEGO Movie      $469   Lego Universe (fictional)
16. Lucy    $459   Paris; Taipei
17. Big Hero 6     $410   San Fransokyo (fictional)
18. Edge of Tomorrow  $369   London; Paris; Bavarian Alps
19. Gone Girl       $365   North Carthage, Missouri (fictional); New York
20. Noah  $363   Not specified
21. The Maze Runner    $341   The Glade (fictional)

OUTDOOR CINEMA

LOTTERWEST FESTIVAL FILMS - Somerville & Joondalup Pines
For Tickets and Times:  CLICK HERE
CURRENTLY SHOWING:
THE MAFIA KILLS ONLY IN SUMMER 23RD March to 5th April
KUMIKO,THE TREASURE HUNTER 16th-29th March
HIP HOP-ERATION 17th-22nd March Joondalup Pines ECU

LUNA OUTDOOR CINEMA LEEDERVILLE
For Tickets and Times: CLICK HERE
STILL ALICE
IMITATION GAME
THAT SUGAR FILM (Wednesday March 25)
CAMELOT OUTDOOR CINEMA
For Tickets and Times: CLICK HERE
A LITTLE CHAOS special preview - Wed 25March 7:45pm
KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE

McDONALDS COMMUNITY CINEMA
CINEMAS are at Burswood, Mandurah, Murdoch, Bassendean and Curtin
For Tickets and Times: CLICK HERE
Burswood Highlights
THE GAMBLER
WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAYS
THEORY OF EVERYTHING
THE INTERVIEW

CATCH THEM BEFORE THEY'RE GONE...
In the next week you might like to catch these highly recommended films:
PAPER PLANES – Pleasing to see an Australian film getting such a great run in cinemas.

AMERICAN SNIPER True story and a great war movie with Bradley Cooper

If you enjoyed this musing, do hop over and register for my very random newsletter. Straight away you will receive two fantastic short stories FREE. You'll also be the first to know when I have exciting news to share like free books (international) and film ticket giveaways (Australia). Hop over here: http://eepurl.com/3P-Wz