Thursday, May 14, 2015

Film Stuff 14th May 2015

 Thought for the week
 I noticed in media news this week, Masterchef's T.V. ratings blitzed the release of the Federal government's budget. The figures were almost double at almost 1.3 million viewers per night. What does that say about us Aussies? That we are more interested in what amateur chefs can cook than the near future of our nation? 
   Do we feel so secure in our immediate future that what ever the government decides is cool? Do we think, no matter what, it's going to be bad? Or good? I'm not going to hazard a guess.   You know what? I didn't watch the budget either.  My excuse was that like  most parents I'm so busy multi-tasking being a mother, a writer, taxi-driver and everything else that I do, I forgot. When I used to own my own business (once I was in the video games industry in the very early days), I never missed a budget. Then again what the government did really mattered to my livelihood.
   I feel privileged to live in a country where our standard of living is so high, we can, to a degree, ignore the budget release. Australia is a pretty wonderful place, and living here is the equivalent of winning the lottery. Living in Perth is doubly so with our amazing weather. We are such a happy-go-lucky nation of people, I hope that doesn't become our downfall. Worst case, we might be able to cook our way out of any future troubles.


Mad Max: Fury Road 

(Opens 14th May- most cinemas) 

   I am going to age myself here, but I saw the original Mad Max starring Mel Gibson in the cinema not once, but twice. In fact, I saw it in Australia in 1979, and then in London a year later when it finally released overseas. I remember taking a friend along and telling them they would love it, that I’d never seen anything like it before.
  The world hadn’t either. The film spawned two sequels and held the Guinness record for most profitable film for decades. It set Mel Gibson on the road to stardom. The director and co-screen writer George Miller went on to nab an Oscar and create some of the most loved films on screen, Babe and Happy Feet, and produce career launching television mini-series like Dead Calm and Bangkok Hilton. So it was some film.

   Now in 2015 can Miller recreate Mad Max for a new audience and give us something original? Cinema has moved on incredibly in thirty-six years with regards to stunts and digital on-screen creations. After all, if you’ve seen the recent Fast and Furious 7, you could expect you’ve now seen everything they can do with car chase sequences.
  Well, count me surprised. Miller has actually done it. I don’t think we’ve seen anything like this visually when it comes to car chases. Some will complain it is nothing more than a two hour car chase, and they would be right. But the entertainment is in the car chase, and Miller throws everything wildly at it to keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you feeling you’ve seen the best seventies film remake yet.
   Tom Hardy as Mad Max is brilliant casting. He is just as gorgeous, hinting just as subtly at madness as Mel Gibson did. Charlize Theron as Furiosa proves why she is an Oscar-winning actress as Max’s nemesis and then his partner in eluding those who are chasing them down. The other actors, Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) does a great job with an Australian accent; Megan Gale can act (and she’s beautiful, too), and the rest of the ensemble are just so good with the perfect amount of outrageousness. Considering it is full on, no-slow-bits action, it has surprisingly solid character development and story. As a friend commented: “The film felt like it was five minutes long.” 
   Don’t go expecting a touching, heart-warming film. This film is simply crazy, mad, action that comes at you relentlessly like an out-of-control truck or a convoy of trucks. Thirty-five years ago, I urged a friend to come see Mad Max, never thinking one day I’d become a film critic able to reach out to friends and strangers across the world with my recommendation on it's follow up Mad Max: Fury Road. The world since has become a constantly evolving, new frontier of unimagined experiences. The same could be said of this seventies cult film and it's genius director. This is the Mad Max for this era, and it’s bloody good.

 Film Blurb 

   In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.

A Royal Night Out  ½
(Opens 14th May – Luna Cinemas & most cinemas) 
   If it wasn't for the charming, adorable performances by the two leads, Sarah Gadon as Princess Elizabeth and Bel Powley as Princess Margaret, I think this film would be a thoroughly average affair. Supposedly inspired by a true story, do keep in mind the word is "inspired" not "based." So this is fantasy. Here is the link to the true story  based on accounts by people who were there. It was a much less exciting affair than the film.
   Despite becoming a touch repetitive in the middle, there is still a lot of fun to be had with the film. It's always fun to see how the other side lives, and how out of touch the royals were then with the real world. Don't look too deeply at the plot-holes or it will ruin the enjoyment. I love any historic films, so this gets an extra half star just for its era. Emily Watson as the Queen Mother and Rupert Everett as King Georg VI are very, very good. I just love Emily Watson; she's such a solid actress. 
  A Royal Night Out is no King's Speech, but still a lovely, charming film.
 Film Blurb 
   On V.E. Day in 1945, as peace extends across Europe, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret are allowed out to join the celebrations. It is a night full of excitement, danger and the first flutters of romance.

Film opening not reviewed
When Marnie Was There
(Opens 14th May – 27th May Luna Cinemas only) 
Film Blurb 
   Anna is a reclusive and withdrawn 12- year-old. Suffering from ill health, she is sent to recover with distant relatives in Hokkaido, in a sleepy town by the sea where she dreams her days away amongst the marshes. Finding herself drawn to an enigmatic house which sits upon the edge, there she meets Marnie, an energetic young girl who seems to know her somehow. The pair quickly become inseparable, taking boat rides and picnics every day. Although, whilst Marnie is cheerful on the outside, Anna begins to realise that they both share a unique sadness.
   One evening, Marnie makes a cryptic request of Anna: “Promise me that our friendship will be a secret. Forever.” Anna is compelled to investigate the truth behind Marnie’s existence and the mysterious things that occur whenever they meet. As she is drawn deeper into Marnie’s world, she begins to learn about life, love and most importantly, herself.
   Based on the beloved novel by Joan G. Robinson, When Marnie Was There is the newest film from Studio Ghibli, and the second feature film by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the director of Arrietty. (Japanese language with English subtitles; and English language limited  version)


The Fugitive heading back on the run with new sequel
A new follow-up to the Harrison Ford thriller is on the way but there’s no confirmation on whether the actor will return. After becoming one of the few TV-to-film adaptations that actually proved a success, Warner Brothers has decided to green light another chapter in the long-running saga of Dr. Richard Kimble.
The Fugitive, which originally started out as a TV show in the 60s, became a big hit in 1993 making $368m worldwide and giving Tommy Lee Jones an Oscar for best supporting actor. The plot followed a doctor who was falsely accused of murdering his wife.Credit: IMDB Website

Catch an Oldie


Info on Saving Private Ryan

Date: Monday June & 
Location: Backlot Studios 
Time: 2pm is proud to present SAVING PRIVATE RYAN in a stunning digital presentation at The Backlot Perth on June 7 at 2pm. 
Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.
Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Geremy Davis, Matt Damon, Ted Danson and Paul Giamatti.


Date: Monday May 25th 
Location: Backlot Studios 
Time: 6.30pm for 7pm 

   As per the majority of Australian Revelations screenings, their April screening of Newsfront. sold out, so get in early for their May screening of Ted Kotchiff's bona-fide classic Wake in Fright. Australia's own Heart of Darkness this brilliant film delved into outback Australia in a way that shocked and confronted Australian and international audience. 
   With a career defining role by Donald Pleasance, Wake In Fright is a must-see film and indeed sold out a 700 seat house at Rev 2009. The film comes fully restored - which in itself was an enormously complex and painstaking process...but well worth the effort. Each Australian Revelations feature screening will be accompanied by a Western Australian made short film, providing opportunities for local filmmakers to have their work seen by new audiences. 

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