Friday, April 3, 2015

Film Stuff 3rd April 2015

There are so many films out this weekend to coincide with the school holidays, we are spoiled for choice. I never thought I'd say this, but I've been so looking forward to the holidays. Two weeks of no sport, no running the kids around to places they need to be, and no lunch making or snacks to organise for after school.

If you have high school-age children, you will know what I'm talking about. If you don't, it's all ahead of you. I don't want to scare you, but being organised is a skill you will need to develop to survive. Oh, and get accustomed to driving a lot. The taxi driver label is very apt for my stage of parenting.

I'm looking forward to relaxing and enjoying quality time with the children. Somewhere in there, I'm also going to stick to my writing schedule. At the moment, I'm half way through writing The Troubles Keeper, a real supernatural thriller that I think will please any Dean Koontz fans. According to my self-set deadline, I'm finishing it on the 18th April. So lets see if I can be a mum and keep up the pace. If you are looking for a good read over the holidays, skip over and maybe grab Back Again or one of my other books for the price of an Easter egg, and then I can afford my coffees to keep me going.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter holiday, although I'm going light on the chocolate after watching That Sugar Film and reading That Sugar Book


(opens 26th March) – Screens at most cinemas
My Thoughts
   The Fast & Furious franchise has certainly come a long way. They sure don’t let reality ora storyline get in the way of incredible action on screen. Fans don’t go to Fast & Furious films for thought provoking stories or Oscar winning performances, they go for the action and the cars, and nobody will be disappointed with Fast & Furious 7.
   I wasn’t a great fan of the franchise originally; I’m not even close to the young male demographic, but this one really hit the spot or multiple spots (with loud bangs and much debris) with dozens of cool cars and crazy breath-holding action scenes and stunts.
   Somehow the film’s creators have managed to balance not taking themselves seriously with staying true to the original concept. Even if you’ve never seen one of the films, I suggest you go along and see what all the fuss is about. Trust me, you don’t need to have seen the previous films, the plot won’t test your thinking skills. It’s about the cars and the incredible stunt driving, not the dialogue. Nice scene tribute at the end to Paul Walker who tragically died  during the filming. I loved it.

Film Blurb
Continuing the global exploits in the unstoppable franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson lead the returning cast of Fast & Furious 7. James Wan directs this chapter of the hugely successful series that also welcomes back favorites Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Elsa Pataky and Lucas Black. They are joined by international action stars new to the franchise including Jason Statham, Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey and Kurt Russell.

The Book of Life   ½ 
(opens 2nd April) Screens at most cinemas
My Thoughts
   This film is a glorious looking animation with a nice little story based on a Mexican myth. There’s enough in here for adults to enjoy as well as the kids. I love Channing Tatum’s voice. The littlies should really enjoy the colors and simple storyline. My boys didn’t mind it either, and the husband, who really doesn’t love being dragged to the kid movie previews on a Saturday or a Sunday, commented it was quite good. So, all round, a good family film with some lovely life lessons in there.

Film Blurb
THE BOOK OF LIFE, a vibrant fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village. (c) Fox

The Sponge Bob Movie: Sponge Out of Water    
(opens 2nd April) – Screens at most cinemas
My Thoughts
   To be fair I need to give full disclosure, in the bits where I was awake, I did think it was quite fun and well done. For some reason if I see a film on a Sunday morning, I just can’t stay awake all the time. The week just wipes me out, and Sunday is meant to be my sleep-in. So it’s probably not the film’s fault I nod off for ten minutes.
   I’ve never watched a Sponge Bob show, but my kids adore the show and have watched it for years, and they were very excited to see this. However, they went expecting the intermix of animation and real life to play a larger role than a couple of scenes, so they were disappointed. They’re also now twelve and fourteen, so they might be sneaking out of the demographic range. I tapped a few young ones on the shoulder afterward and asked them what they thought, and the consensus was that the younger kids enjoyed it very much.
   If your kids are fans of Sponge Bob, then I think they will enjoy. Although it’s up against a lot of quality competition with Cinderella, Book of Life, and I’ve heard Shaun the Sheep Movie is good, too.

Film Blurb
SpongeBob SquarePants, the world's favorite sea dwelling invertebrate, comes ashore to our world for his most super-heroic adventure yet.(C) Paramount Pictures

While We’re Young     
(opens 2nd April) – Screens at most cinemas & LUNA cinemas
My Thoughts
   For the first half of this film, I was so thrilled. It’s so Woody Allen, and I LOVE Woody
Allen. It’s bang on with its juxtapositioning of the two couples—one pair of free-spirited young ‘uns and the other middle-aged where has our life gone, we’re still cool worriers.
   Where I fell out of love with it was in the third act where it becomes some kind of stalker mystery and attempts to be too clever. I felt let down because it had set itself up so well in the first acts. However, I think it will be a film that divides opinion. It’s a small film, so don’t expect the grandeur of  Ben Stiller’s last film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and you might walk out happy.

Film Blurb
Noah Boaumbach's comedy While We're Young stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as Josh and Cornelia, a childless New York married couple in their mid-forties. As their other friends all start having children, the couple gravitates toward a young hipster couple named Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried). He's an aspiring documentary filmmaker, a vocation Josh already has. Soon the older couple begins enjoying the energy they feel hanging out with the younger generation, but eventually Josh begins to suspect his new best friend might not be as straightforward and trustworthy as he thought.

Samba   ½
(opens 2nd April) – Screens at Luna Cinemas
My Thoughts
   Unfortunately, we had a technical problem at our screening, so I’ve only seen half the film. However, what I did see, I enjoyed. It’s by the makers of the fantastic Intouchables, so I expected it would be a good watch. Showing currently in Perth at the French Film Festival and then general release, if it looks good to you, then go along. Let me know what you think.

Film Blurb
Samba migrated to France ten years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burn-out. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives. Samba's willing to do whatever it takes to get working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track until fate draws them together.

Mommy  ½  
(opens 2nd April) – Screens at LotteryWest Film Festival in Perth
My Thoughts
   This film makes you feel as if you are the best parent in the world. Die (Dianne) is a free-spirited middle-aged woman who isn’t great at looking after her son. She now has to care for him full time because he can no longer be institutionalized. He is a charming teenager until his mood changes, and he becomes violent and aggressive. However, the film also aims to be a feel good story, and I think this is its downfall
  The director should have decided whether he was going to show us the dark side of parenting a troubled teen or find some solution to it all, and let us all go home happy. The ending doesn’t tie any of it up, which is terribly French. Fabulous performances all round, and a reasonably fascinating film. I just think it could have done a little more with the concept. In any case, I do now feel as if I can claim to be mother of the year. So on that count, it did very well.

Film Blurb
A widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor inserts herself into their household.

I haven’t seen these films yet, but with school holidays, Easter, and Anzac holidays, I’ve included them here so you know some of your other choices. These first two have just opened, and I’ve listed all the other films I’ve already reviewed with a quick comment about them.

Bianca (Mae Whitman) is a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her as 'The DUFF' (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends (Skyler Samuels & Bianca Santos). Now, despite the words of caution from her favorite teacher (Ken Jeong), she puts aside the potential distraction of her crush, Toby (Nick Eversman), and enlists Wesley (Robbie Amell), a slick but charming jock, to help reinvent herself. To save her senior year from turning into a total disaster, Bianca must find the confidence to overthrow the school's ruthless label maker Madison (Bella Thorne) and remind everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone's DUFF. (C) CBS Films

When the scout fairies grow fearful that the mysterious NeverBeast will destroy Pixie Hollow, friendly Fawn must convince Tinker Bell and the rest of the locals that the creature is in fact a gentle giant.

When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

CINDERELLA    Loved it. Go see it. A magical experience. 5/5
HOME                Cute, good for the very littlies. 3/5
INSURGENT      Very enjoyable #2 of the Divergent series 4/5
RUN ALL NIGHT   A much better thriller than I expected 3/5
CHAPPIE             I enjoyed this Sci-fi. Ignore the critics. It’s good. 4/5
THAT SUGAR FILM        You know I love this doco. Go see it 5/5


The 26th Alliance Française French Film Festival
To 7TH APRIL  Showing at Luna Leederville & Luna SX & Windsor

A highlight this weekend for Asterix fans would be: ASTERIX-THE MANSIONS OF THE GODS
Look out for:  3 HEARTS, GEMMA BOVERY

PARIS JE T'AIME Tuesday 7th April @ Cinema Paradiso (6:30pm)
Live entertainment and macaroons provided by Maison-Saint-Honoré to be immersed in the magic of Paris. A roving magician will perform prior to the screening because Paris is magic! 7PM Film Screening


LOTTERWEST FESTIVAL FILMS - Somerville & Joondalup Pines
For Tickets and Times:  CLICK HERE
Coming to a close on the 12th April
PHOENIX 30th March-12th April
MOMMY  6th to 12th April

For Tickets and Times: CLICK HERE
THAT SUGAR FILM Friday 3rd April

For Tickets and Times: CLICK HERE
Stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina.

CINEMAS are at Burswood, Mandurah, Murdoch, Bassendean and Curtin
For Tickets and Times: CLICK HERE
Burswood Highlights

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
PADDINGTON                                         4th April
PAPER PLANES                                      11th April
HOME                                                       18th April

If you find value in my reviews and film blurb, then buying an ecopy of any of my books is a great way to say thanks, and keep me in coffee. My latest, Back Again, is only $3.99, less than a coffee. Click here to choose.

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