Friday, May 8, 2015

Film Stuff 7th May 2015

   It's Mother's Day in Australia this Sunday. As much as the kids drive me crazy, I feel privileged to be a mother to two, healthy, teenage boys. There is no love like the love you
have for your children. Why else do they get new football boots, which will last three months, and I get $10 on-sale shoes from Target? 
  Having children has served me the greatest lessons of my life. I've learned to be more accepting; I've learned I can't be in control of everything; I've learned supreme patience;  I've learned how to juggle life; and I've learned it's okay to fail. There's more, but these seem to be the lessons I value most. 
   I've made beautiful friends with other mothers whom I never would have met. When I think about it, I've trodden down a road that has taken me to places I never would have visited. I am so grateful for that. All the bad is outweighed by these memories and friendships so far.
   I don't need a special day to look around my home and feel warm joy and gratitude for  being a mother. Amid the fighting between the boys, the frantic rush to get places they need to be, and the constant battle to teach them good manners and respect against the input of a world which seems to value these virtues less and less, I find I don't need to be reminded that I am lucky. They don't need to give me breakfast in bed or gifts to show appreciation.  When they excitedly want to share something with me or ask me to do something with them, that is enough of a gift. Every day my children are in my life is my Mother's Day and having them is special enough for me. Even with all the angst of teenagers. I love you, my darling boys, Bailey and Harry. 

If you are a mum, or a mom, I wish you a lovely day. 

FILM REVIEWS

Pitch Perfect 2 

(Opens 7th May- most cinemas) 

   You know those fluffy, cute, and repetitive songs that you should hate because their so silly, but you love them the minute you hear them, and you can't stop singing them? They have no real substance, but whenever you hear them, they still make you happy.  Well that's Pitch Perfect 2.
   I absolutely loved this film, even though I thought the original was so-so. If I put my serious critics hat on, I realise it has a cliche story-line, and there was no solid arc to any of the character's storylines. However, who cares. It was pure, joyful fun and, sometimes, that is just what the doctor ordered.
   The song mashups are just wonderful; my foot wouldn't stop tapping. The one-liners are hilarious, and they are peppered throughout. It's all inappropriate comedy, but that's what makes it funny. Our own Rebel Wilson is perfect as Fat Amy, and she has most of the great lines. Ann Kendrick, as Beca, the leader of the group, is even stronger in this second film. Elizabeth Banks as one of the co-commentators on the a cappella competitions looks as if she is having the time of her life with her haughty quips. She's adorable, too.
   Seriously, go along, and have fun. You will be singing all the way home. 

 Film Blurb 

   After a humiliating command performance at Lincoln Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform. 

EX MACHINA  ½
(Opens 23rd April – Luna Cinemas) 

   Ex Machina is fascinating in the way it manages to create an interesting, dramatic science fiction story in a very, confined setting. We've seen the story before, and a touch too much recently, of the dangers of creating machines with artificial intelligence. Most of those films, however, are played out on a large scale with big special effects budgets.
   In director, Alex Garland's film, he isn't interested in impressing you with the breadth of destruction an A.I. can create. There is no seeking world domination here for these robots. This film is about survival and exploring the layers of humanity, not just whether or not we have the right to create A.I.s but, if we succeed, how should they be treated. It's thought provoking and beautifully created like all of Garland's films.
   I love Domhnall Gleeson as an actor, and he doesn't disappoint as Caleb, the lead character, brought in to test the A.I. Ava. He's come a long way since playing Bill Weasley in Harry Potter. You would remember him from the charming About Time.
   Alicia Vikander, as the A.I. Ava, is stunning in performance and beauty. This girl is working her way up the Hollywood ranks, starring recently in Testament of Youth, Seventh Son, Anna Karina,  Fifth Estate, and the Danish production A Royal Affair. She's very talented ,and you will be hearing a lot more about her, I imagine, in the years to come.
   Ex Machina's only downfall is probably the mad scientist character Nathan (Oscar Isaac), the reclusive billionaire. He's too one dimensional and over-played. A more subtle character would have been more credible.
   If you're a sci-fi fan, you won't miss this one. I do think we may look back on Ex Machina as an indie classic and an example of what can be done with more suggestion than special effects. 

 Film Blurb 
   Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine, makes his directorial debut with the stylish and cerebral thriller, EX MACHINA. Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company's brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test-charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan's latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated--and more deceptive--than the two men could have imagined. (C) A24

SPECIAL EVENT CINEMA
National Theatre Live
A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE
Screens Luna Leederville and Luna on SX Sat 9th May
NT LIVE: A View from the Bridge

   Don’t miss a stellar cast led by Mark Strong (The Imitation Game; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) in the Young Vic’s ‘magnetic, electrifying, astonishingly bold’ production of A View from the Bridge – the Evening Standard, Guardian and Independent’s top theatre pick of 2014.The great Arthur Miller confronts the American dream in this dark and passionate tale. In Brooklyn, longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his Sicilian cousins to the land of freedom. But when one of them falls for his beautiful niece, they discover that freedom comes at a price. Eddie’s jealous mistrust exposes a deep, unspeakable secret – one that drives him to commit the ultimate betrayal.   The visionary Ivo van Hove directs this stunning production of Miller’s tragic masterpiece, captured live from London’s West End by National Theatre 

NEWS
NEW INDIAN JONES FILM, SOME DAY
There's a new 'Indiana Jones' film in the Works. Star Wars isn't the only dormant George Lucas cinematic franchise being revived thanks to the producer's deal with Disney. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has confirmed the company has begun "talking about" making a new Indiana Jones film. Harrison Ford's fedora-wearing treasure hunter last appeared in the franchise's 2008 fourth installment Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. However, with the next installment still years away, it's unclear whether or not the 72-year-old Ford will return to crack his trademark whip. "When it will happen, I'm not quite sure." Credit: IMDB Website


SeNIORS SAVE MONEY AT THE CINEMAS

Luna Cinema Privilige Cards  

MORE INFO: CLICK HERE

Privilege Cards Privilege Card For just a $25.00 annual joining fee you and a guest can see films for just $13.00 You can now buy online. Take this link to purchase As a Birthday Treat, you and a guest receive a free ticket on your special day. During the course of the year you could win tickets for you and a guest to free "exclusive members screenings" of selected forthcoming films. Your card entitles you to special deals at the Black Swan State Theatre Company. Receive concession price tickets to all performances.

Event Cinemas Senior Screenings
MORE INFO: CLICK HERE

This is a special club for those over sixty through the Events Cinema chain. Next one is on Wednesday, 27 May
Time: 10:00am morning tea, 10:30am film Tickets: Cine Buzz Seniors member tickets $8

WOMAN IN GOLD is the remarkable true story of one woman's journey to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt's famous painting 'The Lady in Gold'. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court, and forces her to confront difficult truths about the past along the way. Don’t miss out and buy your tickets online today!

Grand Cinemas Silver Screen
http://www.grandcinemas.com.au/Page/Silver-Screen 
Annual Membership Fee $10
Join today and receive these great membership benefits: 
A one-off $6 movie ticket* 
Only pay $10 per movie ticket 
One FREE Coffee/Tea
Special Candy Bar offers
Regular newsletters with all the latest movie information plus the chance to win great prizes 
Special movie offer during Senior’s Week 
Must be 60 years and over. 

Ace Cinemas

http://www.acecinemas.com.au
$10 membership
General $8 (membership discount does not apply to Ace Cine Gold Lounge Screenings. However other Gold Lounge discounts apply.) 
Special members discount offers throughout the year. 
Regular e-newsletters with all the latest movie information plus the chance to win great prizes 
Invites to our Monthly Senior’s Morning Tea 
Invites to Special Movie Screenings

Readings Cinemas
http://readingcinemas.com.au
Readings Cinemas - Senior's discount card - $8 per annum 

Hoyts Cinemas
http://readingcinemas.com.au
Hoyts don't seem to have a special Senior's Club, but they do have Super Discount Tuesdays

Discount Cards in General
You probably never have to pay full price if you plan ahead. Don't forget you can also grab discounts using vouchers from:
Entertainment Book
Optus Members
HBF and other health insurance providers
RAC

THEATRE

The Confidence Man
Showing at State Theatre Centre 30th April - 10th May
CLICK HERE: More Info & Tickets


 An update on this play... 
My husband as Sam (a not very nice old man)
   I returned this week to watch, instead of participating as a character. My husband went into the head as character Sam. It is just as much fun to watch and quite the revelation when you see parts of the story you obviously couldn't have seen while only hearing your track. For instance, when I played Susan and end up in the lounge at the end, kneeling while a gun was held on me, I thought the cushions were on the floor for us to kneel on (I know, pretty stupid thought). They were actually thrown on the floor, for a whole other dramatic reason, which was fun to realise.
   My husband had a ball playing a character, and there were still news things he learned about the storyline, which he hadn't known before, even though he'd watched last week. A really fantastic theatrical experience that I highly recommend. I hope it gets another run somewhere. I think the word has been slow to spread  in Perth as there were a few spare seats at this performance. Next time round, I think a lot of people will be lining up to experience this unique mode of storytelling. Bravo to the producers. Bold and brilliant, indeed.

My Original Review
Me as the character Susan!

   You can't get more audience interactive at the theatre than with The Confidence Man. The audience are actually in the play! This innovative theatrical performance is so clever and so fun it should be illegal. 
   We knew we were in for a fun time as we descended the steps to the basement theatre at the State Theatre Centre, when we were greeted by a group of twenty-somethings who exclaimed excitedly they'd just attended the six-thirty performance and it was the "best fun."  Four of them had been in the play. They were so enthusiastic, I thought to myself, When would I ever get an opportunity to be in a play? So I promptly nominated myself to be a character. The only downfall being,I wouldn't get to watch or appreciate the whole storyline. My husband would have to fill me in later. There was a real air of excitement as the audience and the characters awaited the beginning of the play.
   Play participants are taken downstairs and briefed fifteen minutes before. We are still told nothing about the play; it's more about what to do if technical difficulties occur. So if you want to be a character, get there at least thirty minutes before and make yourself known to an usher near the door of the theatre. 
   The six participating audience members wear headsets underneath their big costume heads. Each character has his own audio track. As my character was Susan, yes, Susan, I would only hear her track and voice. I needed to follow the directions on my track, react and respond to the dialogue with gestures and movement even though I had not idea what was coming up or what was happening. 
   It was a lot harder than I expected, in fact. You don't know where anything is; you don't know the storyline; and you have a big head on. We were told not to worry if we made mistakes. That was the partial entertainment value for the audience, watching people goof off. I felt like I wasn't doing very much, while everyone else seemed to be gesturing and playing their role so well. My husband assured me, though, that I did a good job. You see, I had forgotten when I saw the others waving their arms around and putting hands on hips that they had their own separate track telling them what to do. As did I. You are kind of on auto-pilot while listening, so I didn't even realise I was gesturing as much as I was.

Each watching audience member is given a smart phone and headset, and they follow the story by switching between the six character's monologue tracks. It's easy to do as the phone screen has six heads relating to the six characters. You simply press the character to hear their track.  So while I'm chatting to my daughter character, Anita, the audience could choose to listen to the track of the baddies, or my husband character, Peter.
  The show is only an hour long, but a lot happens within the story in an hour. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. So much so, I'm going back again to watch the show and so my husband can experience being one of the characters.
  My husband enjoyed watching it as well, and I found it interesting afterward that I had to ask him what had actually happened, because while I was in the story, I missed the ins-and-outs of how the story progressed to the finale and how the plot was resolved.
   The play was created by Perth's own award winning Side Pony Productions, and I take my hat off (or should that be my head off) to these young playwrights and actors who came up with such a clever idea. I hope they create another story using the same concept.
  Try and get along to this event. You will be talking about it for a long time after, especially if you dare to become one of the characters. It's not expensive, and it's always a fabulous experience to visit the State Theatre Centre. Grab a meal in Northbridge after and make a wonderful, memorable night of it. Thank you to Perth Theatre Trust for our tickets, which were given in exchange for an honest review. I honestly loved it! 

What's it about 
Presented by Perth Theatre Company Created by Perth’s award winning Side Pony Productions and featuring vocal performances by some of Perth’s finest actors, this interactive audio experience places you at the centre of the action. When a bag full of cash is brought into Peter’s very ordinary home, his family finds themselves caught up in a sinister and disturbing chain of events. You are invited to step onto the floor and into this gripping thriller, experiencing first-hand the sordid betrayal and moral philandering that’s about to smother this suburban dream. Six audience members, equipped with masks and headsets, are guided through the story, experiencing events first hand. Those who prefer to watch can survey the action from the perimeter, eavesdropping on the characters’ most private thoughts and conversations.

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