Thursday, September 3, 2015

Film Stuff 3rd September 2015

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Straight Outta Compton. ✪✪✪✪½  (Opens 3rd September Screens at most cinemas)
My thoughts
From the poster, you would be excused for thinking this film is about a rap band and will only appeal to the hoodie, baseball cap wearing young ones. It’s not. Even though it does tell the story of the true-life rise of N.W.A., a group of rappers who spawned Ice Cube, Dr. Dreh, and Eazy-E, it’s about so much more. This is not just the history of the beginnings of hip hop which revolutionized music and culture, it’s about a time and a place in history in America where the beating of Rodney King by police was just the tip of the iceberg of the disgraceful treatment of African Americans. It’s a chunk of important history told to the beat of great music.
O'Shea Jackson, Jr. son of rapper and actor Ice Cube, portrays his father in the biopic. You would never guess this is his first role. His resemblance to his father in movement and appearance is uncanny and he is very, very good.
The other young actors Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E and Corey Hawkins as Dr Dre have huge careers ahead of them if they maintain the quality of presence portrayed on screen here. Paul Giamatti, up there as my favorite actor, is creepily good as Jerry Heller the manager who takes the boys from the streets to the top of the charts.
This is an immensely enjoyable film taking a staggering 60 million on its opening weekend in the US. The leads are remarkable; the music is toe-tappingly brilliant, and the story immersive and surprisingly inspirational without being over-sentimental. When it comes around to awards season, don’t be surprised to hear Straight Outta Compton included.

Film Blurb
In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., this documentary tells the astonishing story of how these young men revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war.

A Walk in the Woods ✪✪✪½  (Opens 3rd September Screens at most cinemas)
My thoughts
Based on the 1998 book/memoir of the same name by Bill Bryson who is the main character in the film, this is not just one for those who enjoyed the book. A charming small comedy that is grand on scenery. Think Grumpy Old Men meets Wild. Quite possibly this will do for the Appalachian Trail what 2010 The Way starring Martin Sheen did for the "El Camino de Santiago."
I love anything with Robert Redford. He’s always been one of my favorites. At 79, he’s still charismatic. Gosh, I loved him in the sixties and the seventies in The Sting, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Great Gatsby, Three Days of the Condor, and, of course, one of my favorites The Way We Were. He has my undying film loyalty.
Nick Nolte (at 75) is a great grungy, no-hoper side-kick to Redford’s quiet and intelligent charm. He’s the ex-drunk who looks like he’s about to have a heart attack with every step.
Emma Thompson is always fabulous on screen. Here she plays a small part as the wife who quite comically tries to put her husband Bill Bryson off attempting the walk by printing off pages and pages of how he can die walking the trail.
This is a lovely, life-affirming film, and it sure makes me want to give part of this walk a go. The Appalachian Trail is 3,500 kilometers long with the highest elevation of 2,025m running from Georgia to Maine on the east coast of the USA.
In this new comedy adventure, celebrated travel writer, Bill Bryson (Academy Award winner Robert Redford), instead of retiring to enjoy his loving and beautiful wife (Academy Award winner Emma Thompson), and large and happy family, challenges himself to hike the Appalachian Trail - 2,200 miles of America's most unspoiled, spectacular and rugged countryside from Georgia to Maine. The peace and tranquility he hopes to find, though, is anything but, once he agrees to being accompanied by the only person he can find willing to join him on the trek - his long lost and former friend Katz (Academy Award nominee Nick Nolte), a down-on-his-luck serial philanderer who, after a lifetime of relying on his charm and wits to keep one step ahead of the law - sees the trip as a way to sneak out of paying some debts and sneak into one last adventure before its too late. The trouble is, the two have a completely different definition of the word, "adventure". Now they're about to find out that when you push yourself to the edge, the real fun begins. (C) Broad Green

Life - a film by Anton Corbijn  NOT REVIEWED (Opens 3rd September)
My thoughts
I haven’t seen this film, but it’s getting good reviews and looks interesting. If you are a James Dean fan, this looks very interesting. I’m going to try and catch it in season as I couldn’t make it to the preview.
Film Blurb
Anton Corbijn (Control, A Most Wanted Man) directs Dane Dehane as James Dean in this intimate drama based around the actor's friendship with LIFE magazine photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson).
On the brink of becoming the actor that would define his generation, Dean has been anointed the next big star by studio chief Jack Warner (Ben Kingsley). With one film in the can and the possibility of another on the horizon, Stock convinces editor John Morris (Joel Edgerton) to let him candidly shoot the upstart actor for the iconic photo journal. Travelling throughout New York City and back to Dean's family home, the photographer and his subject open up new horizons to one another as America starts to undergo enormous cultural change.before its too late. The trouble is, the two have a completely different definition of the word, "adventure". Now they're about to find out that when you push yourself to the edge, the real fun begins. (C) Broad Green

Wes Craven Dies
Prolific horror filmmaker Wes Craven, who directed the slasher classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, died on Monday aged 76, after suffering from brain cancer.

Wes Craven filmography
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Paris, je t'aime (2006)
Scream (1996)

Original scream has grossed $US173,046,663. The four Screams collectively have grossed over $US600 million.

Gayby Baby
Date: Saturday 5th September & Sunday 6th September
Time:  6:30pm
Location: Cinema Paradiso Details and Booking

Additional screenings Sat, 5th of September and Sun, 6th of September 1pm at Cinema Paradiso
Meet Gus, Ebony, Matt and Graham, 10- to 12-year-olds each coping with growing up. As they navigate challenges of school, sport, friends and their futures, they do so within loving homes and with caring parents – who happen to be gay or lesbian.
It's a situation still debated over and legislated against, as director Maya Newell knows from experience. Inspired by her own upbringing in a same-sex household with two mums, she crafts an intimate portrait of childhood, showing the complexity that colours these four families far beyond the issue of sexual orientation.
Gayby Baby provides a platform to those too often ignored: the kids themselves. As marriage equality continues to inspire discussion around the world, Newell's documentary looks at the reality – not the rhetoric – of same-sex parenting.

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