Thursday, December 3, 2015

Film Stuff 3rd December 2015

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In the Heart of the Sea ✪✪✪ ½   (opens 3rd December most cinemas)

My Thoughts
Directed by Ron Howard (Rush, J. Edgar, Cowboys & Aliens, Frost/Nixon), arguably one of the better directors when it comes to consistently good commercial filmmaking, helms this fictionalized account of the inspiration for the classic book Moby Dick.
   It’s told in retrospect to the author Herman Melville (Ben Wishaw), from the viewpoint of a young boy who was on the Essex when it set out on its fateful voyage to bring home 200 barrels of whale oil. When the crew sail to a legendary part of the ocean where they are told there are more whales than they can imagine, they encounter a monster white whale which scuttles their ship. What follows is a harrowing account of survival.
   Starring Chris Hemsworth, Ben Whishaw (James Bond), Brendan Gleeson & Cillian Murphy. All do a fine job. The filmmakers tried to ugly down Chris Hemsworth for the period by giving him a few scars. He still looks stunning.  
   It looks beautiful on screen, and there are some magnificent and thrilling scenes, although there are parts of the film that lack pace. Still it’s an unusual story and something new on screen. Certainly, it’s a big film needing to be seen on the big screen. You can see it in 3D. Unfortunately, there was a technical hitch at our preview and we saw it in 2D. Enjoyable, and my kids liked it, too.
Film Blurb
In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. This film reveals the encounter's harrowing aftermath, as the ship's surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

By the Sea  (not reviewed) (Opens 3rd  December showing at most cinemas)

Starring Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie Pitt, and written and directed by Angline Jolie Pitt, By The Sea bombed at the box office. I didn’t see this film, but fellow reviewers gave it a big thumbs down. They called it boring, self-indulgent, and sodden.

Film Blurb
   A married couple takes a vacation in France in the 1970s and find that their time in a sleepy seaside town, complete with a unique array of locals, strengthens their bond and reaffirms their marriage.

The Night Before ✪✪✪  (not reviewed) (Opens 3rd December most cinemas)

Again, I missed this one, but my reviewer buddies inform me it was quite funny with some great rip-snorting scenes. When you see Seth Rogan’s name on any poster, you know what you’re going to get. It will be rude, crude, and not for kids, but have some genius comedy moments amid groan-fest moments of very wrong. Apparently Michael Shannon (99 Homes, Boardwalk Empire, Freeheld) is very, very good in this. I am going to try and catch next week, so will give my thoughts on it then.

Film Blurb
Ethan, Isaac, and Chris have been friends since childhood, and for a decade, their yearly Christmas Eve reunion has been an annual night of debauchery and hilarity. Now that they're entering adulthood, the tradition is coming to an end, and to make it as memorable as possible, they set out to find the Nutcracka Ball - the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.

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

I took the kids to see It’s A Wonderful Life, last Saturday to see my very favorite film ever. My two kids are named after the characters in this film. My eldest is Bailey named after Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey, and my second son Harry, named after George Bailey’s brother. It was a wonderful experience to see it on the big screen. I was reminded how great an actor was Jimmy Stewart. In fact, the whole cast was superb. If you’re a film fan, do check out the films showing at this festival. There’s something special about seeing them on the big screen.

Highlights this week:
The Apartment 1960 (Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray)
Singing In The Rain 1952 (Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds)
The Maltese Falcon 1941 (Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade)
Casablanca 1942 winner of three Academy Awards (Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman )
Sabrina 1954 (Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart)
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)
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.

MET OPERA: TANNHÄUSER
Date: Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th December
Time:  11:30am and 1pm
Location: Luna Leederville & Luna Essex Details and Booking
Approx RT: 4 hours 35 minutes incl. intermission

Wagner’s Tannhäuser James Levine conducts Wagner’s early masterpiece in its first return to the Met stage in more than a decade. Today’s leading Wagnerian tenor Johan Botha takes on the daunting title role, opposite soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek as Elisabeth, adding another Wagner heroine to her Met repertoire after her acclaimed Sieglinde in the Ring a few seasons ago. On the heels of his recent triumph in Parsifal, baritone Peter Mattei sings Wolfram, and mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung is the love goddess, Venus. CONDUCTOR: James Levine. PRODUCTION: Otto Schenk. CAST: Johan Botha, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Peter Mattei, Michelle DeYoung (Sung in German with Met Titles in English) Approx RT: 4 hours 35 minutes incl. intermission (Check closer to screening date)

Palestinian Film Festival 2015



Date: Opens 4th December–6th December
Time:  Various Times
Location: Cinema Paradiso Northbridge  Details and Booking
Do you recall Milos Forman and Amadeus, Jan Kadar, Elmar Klos and The Shop on Main Street, Jiri Menzel and Closely Watched Trains – all Oscar winners from former Czechoslovakia? Come and see outstanding cinematography at the Czech and Slovak Film Festival, for the first time in Perth. Enjoy the best of contemporary Czech and Slovak cinema, the films that have been crowd pleasers as well as award winners both at home and abroad.  There is something for every movie lover. As a festival visitor you have an opportunity to win a fabulous Audience prize, an accommodation package for two in Karlovy Vary, a famous Czech spa, a beautiful city also renowned for its most prestigious international film festival.

OUTDOOR CINEMAS
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: 
Crimson Peak (Thursday 3rd December)
Man Up (Tuesday night 8th December)
The Walk (Sunday 6th 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: 
Bridge of Spies (Thursday 3rd December)
The Dressmaker (Saturday 5th December)
Sicario (Sunday 6h December)
Mistress America (Wednesday 7th December)
FAIRBRIDGE FESTIVAL TASTER - DAVEY CRADDOCK (Friday night 27th November)

PRIVILEGE CARDS
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.

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

Films this week: 
A Perfect Day (Spain)
UWA Somerville:        Tuesday 1st December—Sunday 6th 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.

In Harmony (French)
ECU Joondalup:         Tuesday 1st December—Sunday 6th December

This simmering romantic drama set in the golden fields of rural northern France is the ninth feature by writer-director Denis Dercourt (The Page Turner, 2007 PIAF). It reunites French acting luminaries and Orchestra Seats (2007 PIAF) co-stars Albert Dupontel (A Very Long Engagement) and Cécile De France (The Kid with a Bike). They play Marc, a taciturn stunt actor hurt in a riding accident, and Florence, who works for Marc’s insurer. This is classic French drama with a terrific script, great music and exceptional acting.

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.

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