Saturday, December 12, 2015

Film Stuff 11th December 2015

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Star Wars: The Force Awakes opens midnight of the 17th December, and it’s a brave studio who would open any film near it. So there are no films opening this week. An extraordinary occurrence. In fact, the first screening of Star Wars begins at 12:05am, and then continues all through the night and the day. I’ve never seen a film open with so many sessions.
In any case, I thought I would review some of the films I’ve already seen that will be opening from the 26th December and into January. I hope you’ve got your Star Wars tickets. I have mine, although I draw the line at seeing it in the middle of the night. I’m a fan, but not that much of a fan.

The Good Dinosaur ✪✪✪ ½   (opens 26th December most cinemas)
My Thoughts
Don’t be fooled by the posters and trailer. It does look like a very young children’s film. However, there are adult themes in this strong enough my husband even shed a tear. My boys complained it looked too young for their teenage sensibilities, however they also were entertained. For young children, some of the themes will go straight over their head.
Disney and Pixar are the masters of creating memorable, lovable characters, and they’ve done it again with these dinosaurs and the little child cave man Spot.
The animation is taken to a whole other level, with the scenery appearing almost real. The colors are just beautiful and the character behavior and detail is amazing.
The story centers on family, overcoming fear, ‘making your mark,’ and the underdog can sometimes come out on top. I do love the messages in Disney films. This was a delight, with some funny moments, along with heart touching scenes. Well worth a viewing for the holidays. Probably suited to about thirteen and below, though, and above six or seven. Parents will not be bored.
Film Blurb
"The Good Dinosaur" asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. Written by Pixar

The Revenant ✪✪✪✪✪ (opens 7th January most cinemas)
My Thoughts

   Without a doubt this is my favorite film so far this year. All the awards films are releasing now in time for the nominations, and expect this one to grab nominations and wins in several categories, if not for best film. Compelling, gripping, hard to watch, brutal, beautiful, and extraordinary. These words don’t do this film justice. It is a masterpiece of filmmaking. If Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t win an Oscar, I’ll eat my reviewer’s hat.
   Di Caprio, Tom Hardy, Domnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, and the rest of the cast are barely recognizable as mountain men who are among the few survivors of an Indian attack on their camp. They are forced to make a grueling and dangerous journey to the safety of the nearest town.
   Based on the book by Michael Punke, The Revenant is the unbelievable true story of Hugh Glass and his three thousand mile journey of survival and eventually revenge in the brutal winter of 1820. After an attack by a bear, a barely alive Glass is carried by his fellow hunting team members as far as they can manage, until an impassable mountain forces them to leave him. John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), young Jim Bridger (Will Poulter), and Glass’s son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) volunteer to stay with him so he can be given a burial when his inevitable death arrives in the next few hours.
   Events that then unfold are the stuff of legends.
  Glass is betrayed in the worst possible way and then abandoned to die. Alone, barely alive, and without even a weapon or warm clothing, his superhuman will sees him crawl, then stagger, then walk on a journey to save himself, and then, after that, another journey of revenge. It’s man versus man, versus the wild, versus the elements, versus anything that can kill you. There are moments where you will gasp out loud. In others you will marvel how the film was actually made in such conditions and with such authenticity.
   Directed and written by Oscar winning director, Mexican Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel, 21 Grams), The Revenant is a film you will never forget. The imagery and visceral experience will amaze and haunt you. A must see on the big screen. 
Film Blurb
In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald. Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption.

THE BÉLIER FAMILY ✪✪✪✪   (opens 26th December Luna cinemas)
Special advance Fri 11 Dec - Sun 13 Dec at Cinema Paradiso & Luna SX
My Thoughts
This is an utterly delightful French comedy. It’s done big box office in France and will have you shedding a tear one moment and laughing your head off in another. A coming of age film that is, also, about family and finding your voice. A musical scene at the end is just overwhelmingly beautiful. Everyone attending the preview loved it.
Film Blurb
A captivating new star is born in THE BÉLIER FAMILY, Eric Lartigau’s fabulous, heart-felt comedy hit about a young girl whose close bond to her beloved family is challenged by the discovery of an extraordinary talent for music.
In the Bélier family, everyone is deaf, except dutiful sixteen-year-old Paula (beautiful newcomer Louane Emera). She acts as an indispensible interpreter for her parents and younger brother, especially in the running of the family dairy farm.
Though her salt-of-the-earth father (François Damiens) has decided to run for mayor – spurred on by her vivacious but over-involved mother (indelibly portrayed by 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…
Building to a heart-soaring and emotional finale, THE BÉLIER FAMILY is a feel-great triumph. Young Emera, a genuine revelation, lends both sincerity and joy to this deeply moving film that has been a word-of-mouth phenomenon across Europe, achieving over 10 million admissions to date and becoming France’s most popular film of 2015.

Youth (opens 24th December Luna Cinemas & selected cinemas)
My Thoughts
I felt my youth slipping away from me as I watched this film. While it’s beautifully filmed and I can admire the great eye of its Italian director. I’m more your middle-of-the-road give me some entertainment and cohesive story kinda gal. This has strange little moments that mean nothing and add nothing. There’s an interesting story here of aging and acceptance of the mistakes made in life, but it’s lost within the longwinded dialogue and bizarro moments. There also seem to be some scenes only there so we can stare at naked bodies.
Like everyone, I adore Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, but seriously what are they doing here? Even they look as though they are walking through their lines thinking what the hell am I saying her? As a friend mentioned, if it were in Italian and sub-titled it might have worked better. We almost expect this kind of off center storytelling from the Italians, but without that it’s not arty it’s just pretentious. It’s also not funny, even though the trailer has you believe this is one of those The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films. It’s exotic, but a long way from the best.
Film Blurb
YOUTH is about two longtime friends vacationing in the Swiss Alps. Oscar winning actor Michael Caine plays Fred, an acclaimed composer and conductor, who brings along his daughter (Rachel Weisz) and best friend Mick (Harvey Keitel), a renowned filmmaker. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. The two men reflect on their past, each finding that some of the most important experiences can come later in life.

Hollywood Retro Film Festival 2015
Date: Opens 26th November– 16th December
Time:  Various Times
Location: Windsor Cinema Nedlands Details and Booking

Last week to see some fabulous retro films on the big screen. A one off opportunity.

Highlights this week:
It’s A Wonderful Life 1943 (Jimmy Steward, Donna Reed)
Citizen Kane
The Maltese Falcon 1941 (Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade)
Sunset Boulevard 1947 (Gloria Swanson, William Holden)
Gone With The Wind 1939 (Clark Gable, Vivian Leigh)
On the Waterfront 1954(Marlon Brando,Karl Malden, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint)
Spartacus 1960 (Directed by Stanley Kubrick stars Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov)
Casablanca 1957 (Humphrey Bogart)
12 Angry Men 1957 (Henry Fonda)

Margaret Pomeranz announces the first ever HOLLYWOOD RETRO FILM FESTIVAL. Many of the 20 films haven’t been seen on a big screen in decades and will look terrific in HD digital. Titles include SUNSET BOULEVARD, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, THE GRAPES OF WRATH, CASABLANCA, THE APARTMENT, THE SEARCHERS,  12 ANGRY MEN,  HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY,  ON THE WATERFRONT, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, GONE WITH THE WIND, CAMILLE ,THE RAZOR’S EDGE  and SPARTACUS. There’s no substitute for seeing these wonderful films on the big screen with an audience so I hope that you can see some, or all of these classic films in this special MARGARET POMERANZ HOLLYWOOD RETRO FILM FESTIVAL starting November 26.


Rooftop Movies
Date: Runs to April
Time:  Doors open at 6.00pm Film commences 8pm
Location: City of Perth Roe St car park LEVEL 6 NORTHBRIDGE

Films of note this week: 
Spectre (Saturday 12th December)
Dumb & Dumber (Sunday 13th December)
Ant-Man (Tuesday 15th December)                   

Camelot Outdoor Movies
Date: Runs to April
Time:  Doors open at 6.00pm Film commences 8pm
Location: 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park

Films of note this week: 
The Gift (Thursday 10th December)
Oddball (Friday 11th December)
Everest (Sunday 6th December)

Luna Outdoor Movies
Date: Runs to April
Time:  Doors open at 6.00pm Film commences 8.15 pm
Location: 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park

Films of note this week: 
Tehran Taxi (Hit at the Film Festivals)
Death or Liberty (Australian Film with Q & A with Director and some of cast)
The Wrecking Crew (Music Documentary)

For just $25.00 annual joining fee you and a friend can see films for just $13.50 each.
You also receive a free double pass on your birthday. Join up online or at any of our cinemas, including Camelot.

Date: 23rd November to 10th April
Time:  Doors open at 6.00pm Film commences 8pm
Location: Sommerville UWA & ECU Joondalup Pines

Films this week: 

Tangerines (Estonian, Russian & Georgian)
UWA Somerville:        Monday 7th December—Sunday 13th December
ECU Joondalup:         Tuesday 15th December – 20th December

Oscar-winners Benicio del Toro (The Usual Suspects, Sicario) and Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) shine in this witty Balkans-set comedic drama that has proved a hit with audiences worldwide.
The year is 1995 and a group of humanitarian aid workers, led by world-weary veterans del Toro and Robbins, are nearing the end of their tour in mountainous Bosnia. A village’s water supply has been contaminated and amid the mayhem the workers’ seemingly straightforward quest for a rope soon becomes quite the ordeal.

Queen & Country (UK, Irish)
ECU Joondalup:         Tuesday 8th December—Sunday 13th December

This wistfully mocking drama by British film luminary John Boorman (Hope and Glory, Deliverance) transports us to sun-dappled southeast England in 1952. In a boot camp for young troops heading to Korea, Bill begins to discover worldly pleasures. The camp officers are officious and pompous, and for questioning young men like our hero Bill and his pals they are ripe for derision. This is intelligent nostalgia by a world-class filmmaker.

The Crows Egg (India)
UWA Somerville:        Monday 14th December—Sunday 20th December
ECU Joondalup:         Tuesday 22n December – 27th December

   Cheeky and street-smart, young brothers Big Crow’s Egg (aged 8) and Little Crow’s Egg (aged 6) are the masters of mischief in their hectic Chennai neighbourhood. When a pizza restaurant opens in the smart part of town they become desperate to taste this exotic new dish, trying every trick in the book to raise money to buy a slice. But even if they have the cash, will this snooty pizzeria tolerate kids from the ‘wrong’ part of town? A hit with audiences from Sydney to Mumbai, this colourful, music-laden film has bundles of energy, joy and charm.

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