Thursday, January 28, 2016

Film Stuff 28th January 2016

If you enjoy these musings, you might enjoy my latest book DEADLY MESSENGERS which readers are calling the most terrifying, impossible-to-put-down thriller of 2015.

Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Prime members read it for FREE!  (and all my other books and stories). CLICK HERE:

Bush fires seem to be a far more common occurrence than a decade ago, and this year one of our lovely, little country towns, Yarloop, was literally wiped out with one hundred plus homes destroyed along with the centre of the town. WA Cinema Exhibitors are banding together to raise money to support the victims. So if you live in Perth, consider making a plan to see a film first thing Sunday January 31. $2 of every ticket will reach people who really need it to help them begin to rebuild their lives.


Seven of WA’s leading cinema exhibitors will join forces to help raise much-needed funds for the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund (LMDRF). Destruction and property damage caused by fires in the State’s South-West has lead to the activation of the LMDRF. The LMDRF is the recognised state emergency fund and provides relief for personal hardship and distress arising from natural disasters occurring within Western Australia.

On Sunday, January 31, $2 from every ticket sold for the first session on the day at Event Cinemas, Greater Union Cinemas, Ace Cinemas, Hoyts, Reading Cinemas, Grand Cinemas and Luna Palace Cinemas will be donated to the LMDRF

For session times and to book tickets please visit: Ace Cinemas   Event Cinemas & Greater Union    Grand Cinemas   Hoyts   Reading Cinemas

Spotlight  ✪✪✪✪½  (opens 28th January 2016 Most cinemas)
   I walked out of this film bordering on tears, angry, speechless and wondering how this could happen. We already know the story about the abuse of children by the priests of the Catholic church. The very, very good 2012 documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God was graphic and well researched and detailed the corruption. I left the cinema after that rather angry, too. However there’s something about this fictionalization of the real uncovering of widespread abuse, along with the cover up by the church that just hits you in the heart.
   The ensemble cast (Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci) are extraordinary. Director Tom McCarthy, who also wrote the screenplay based on the true story, made a great call in creating a slow burn film, which builds to a dramatic climax. It’s a brave director who will take his time in the first half of a film without going for the dramatics, allowing the audience to feel part of the confusion and journey of the characters. There’s always a chance of the story dragging, and there are so many names and people populating this story, he certainly ran this risk.
   However, the film never falters. See Spotlight on the big screen. It requires your full attention. The victims of these heinous crimes deserve the respect of your full attention. You won’t regret seeing Spotlight, even though it’s hard to watch. It will make you feel strong emotions profoundly, educate, and give another voice to the victims. Do not miss this.

Film Blurb
Spotlight tells the gripping true story of a team of Boston Globe reporters who launch a fearless investigation into child abuse allegations against the Catholic Church. What they eventually uncover is a shocking citywide scandal; almost ninety priests guilty but never convicted, legal settlements done in private, and a systematic cover-up of the abuse by church leadership.

ROOM  ✪✪✪✪  (opens 28th January 2016 Most cinemas, Luna cinema)
   Based on the Booker-shortlisted bestseller by Irish-Canadian novelist Emma Donoghue, Room is a fascinating and heartbreaking story, torn from headlines that appear every now and then when a kidnapped girl is found alive. What Room does so well is take us into the world of the imprisoned girl and show us what she endured and how she survived. The rescue only plays a minor part.
   Born in captivity, five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) is taught by his mother, Ma (Brie Larson) that the room in which they live is the world, and the television people they watch are not real. 
   Young Jacob Tremblay gives a performance equivalent to Haley Joel Osmont’s remarkable performance years ago in The Sixth Sense. Brie Larson, who won a Golden Globe for her performance, is also outstanding. My husband felt the story was a little contrived and the first half a little too long. However, the psychological insight and the intimate portrayal of survival fascinated me. It’s a slow film and is more a small independent release than say the crowdpleaser Prisoners, which was also about a captured girl. Still worthy of your time.

Film Blurb
After 5 year old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world. Both highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, ROOM is a unique and touching exploration of the boundless love between a mother and her child.

Dirty Grandpa    (opens 28th January 2016 Most cinemas)
  It occurred to me watching this rubbish that De Niro must need money. Certainly an actor of his stature wouldn’t lower himself to spruce the obscenities profusely peppered throughout Dirty Grandpa if he didn’t have an ulterior motive. 
  Zac Efron better start making better decisions with his project choices or his career is going to take a nosedive. This film takes the crass, sexual content too far. It’s not funny. It’s not clever. It is just garbage. Don’t go, and send the studio a message.

Film Blurb
Jason Kelly [Zac Efron] is one week away from marrying his boss’s uber-controlling daughter, putting him on the fast track for a partnership at the law firm. However, when the straight-laced Jason is tricked into driving his foul-mouthed grandfather, Dick [Robert De Niro], to Daytona for spring break, his pending nuptials are suddenly in jeopardy.

Looking For Grace ✪✪✪ ½   (opens 26th January Luna cinemas)
My Thoughts
   This is an interesting Australian film, which I actually enjoyed quite a bit. Looking for Grace is kind of quirky and different. There’s a mystery at its heart, a few surprises, and some very funny scenes poking fun at our Aussieness.

   Rhada Mitchell, as a mother searching for her missing daughter, is very good, and so is Odessa Young as Grace, the runaway teen. Filmed in Western Australia, it has the feel of any place. A thought provoking, poignant story that will stay with you after the credits.
Film Blurb
   The long-awaited new film from Sue Brooks, acclaimed and multi award-winning director of Japanese Story and Road To Nhill, LOOKING FOR GRACE is an intimate, funny and profoundly moving story about the complexities of family life.
   When rebellious 16-year-old Grace (rising star Odessa Young) takes off, her exasperated mum and dad (the superb Radha Mitchell and Richard Roxburgh) enlist the help of a close-to-retirement detective, and begin the long drive from Perth out to the West Australian wheatbelt to try to find her. On the journey, the two must confront the realities of their changing relationship to one another, and to their daughter.



La Soirée
Fringe World Festival
Date: 27th January to 6th March
Time:  Various times in the evening. Check Website. 
Location:  Northbridge & Elizabeth Quay  Details and Booking

      Well, now I can say I’ve done everything (except skydiving, I’m not ever doing that). I’ve dived with sharks, snorkeled with dolphins, skied around the world, ridden horses when I was younger (I owned one), camels, eaten weird and wonderful things on my travels, whatever sounds fun given speeches to several thousand people, hosted film previews, but my experience courtesy of La Soirée takes the cake … or the unicycle … as it happens.

   One of the performers, Mario Queen of the Circus, named for his love of Queen music, was harassing the girl seated next to me to come on stage. She wasn’t having it. He looked at me: “Will you do it?” 
  “Yep,” I replied. I’m quite comfortable on a stage. No problems there. That was until he asked me had I ever ridden a unicycle before?
   Ahh, that would be a no, Mario, and as the stage is the size of a large, round, dining table, I didn’t really love the idea of trying it here in front of several hundred people either.
   I soon learned, directly after I sat on stage as he performed a striptease act (directed at me) down to his strongman suit, to the dulcet tones of Queen, my lack of skill on a unicycle was not a problem. I didn’t have to ride the thing. He would just whip me up on his shoulders (some feat as he is of slight build and shorter than me), and then hop on the unicycle to do a twirling circuit around the stage.
   Yes, I was terrified! The ringmaster standing next to us to offer physical support as Mario (with me on his shoulders) climbed aboard the unicycle, reassured me, whispering “It’s okay,” several times. This didn’t calm me much at all. It was high up there, and Mario wavered and staggered about (probably on purpose to terrify me even more) as he threw out comedic lines to the audience and me about fear .
   Finally, the longest minutes of my life were over, and I was back on the ground hugging Mario (we’d shared something deep and profound … terror and laughter). It took a good five minutes for my heart to slow; I’m not kidding. My husband, darn him, didn’t take video or a photo (seriously, how could he not? I really needed proof for the grandkids one day). So, to give you an idea, I’ve included photos of another person I found when I Googled. I repeat these are not me, but exactly the same banter and show. Video here is of another person, but its identical to my experience. 

As far as La Soirée goes overall, this is the second time I’ve seen it at the Fringe World Festival, and I don’t believe you will enjoy any entertainment as much as this. It is a MUST SEE. Even if you have seen the show before, many of the acts are new and just as spellbinding and humorous. We particularly loved the bubble act. You will marvel at the mesmerizing creations conjured by the simple act of blowing bubbles.
   Seriously, Perthites, go enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the Fringe World Festival. Terrific fun. We had a meal before at Positanos Northbridge (great value Italian food), which was delish and wandered up to the La Soirée Spiegeltent forty-five minutes early to ensure we had good seats (it’s first in, first served.) Probably one of the best nights, we’ve enjoyed in years. 
   And yes, I did enjoy my first and last ride on a unicycle and being part of the circus.  Needless to say, I won’t be running away with the circus any time soon. I sure love visiting, though.

Theatre Blurb
   The smash hit sensation of Fringe World 2015 is back! Impossible to define and impossible to resist, prepare to be amazed, amused, appalled, aroused, shocked, stirred and shaken as you enter the sexy, funny and dangerous world of LA SOIRÉE.
   Reviving the passion, heart, unforgettable style and good old-fashioned showmanship that made them favourites across the globe, these artists will present their twisted take on cabaret and variety in LA SOIRÉE.


Moonlight Cinemas
Date: December - March
Time:  Doors open at 6.00pm Film commences 8pm  
Location: Synergy Parkland in Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Enter from May Drive.

Details and Booking

Films of note this week: 
The Good Dinosaur      Saturday Jan 30
Steve Jobs (Advance Screening) Tuesday Feb 2

Burswood Outdoor Community Cinema
Date: Runs to April
Time:  Doors open at 6.30pm Film commences 7:45pm
Location: Burswood, Bassendean, Mandurah, Murdoch.
Run by over 700 volunteers, they proudly donate all profits to kids charities. To date we've raised over $6 million for kids in a health or physical crisis.

Details and Booking

Films of note this week: 
Star Wars
The Good Dinosaur    Friday Jan 29

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
Details and Booking

Films of note this week: 
Star Wars
Bridget Jones Diary     Tuesday Feb 2
Camelot Outdoor Movies
Date: Runs to April
Time:  Doors open at 6.00pm Film commences 8pm
Location: 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park
Details and Booking

Films of note this week: 
Joy … Most of the week
The Good Dinosaur          Friday Jan 29

Luna Outdoor Movies
Date: Runs to April
Time:  Doors open at 6.00pm Film commences 8.15 pm
Location: 155 Oxford Street, Leederville (tickets & entrance Luna Cinemas)
Details and Booking

Films of note this week: 
The Hateful Eight pre show extras) Thursday Jan 28 all week
Room     (immersive event)  Sunday Jan 31

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

Films this week: 

The Brand New Testament ✪✪✪✪ (French/Belguim)
ECU Joondalup:         Tuesday 26th January – 31st January
   What if God were an angry family man from Brussels?
   What if he sat at his computer in his dressing gown, dreaming up commandments to amuse himself and annoy everyone else?
   And what if his daughter, in a fit of childish pique, decided to change the rules and write a brand New Testament?
   This gloriously imaginative comedy answers all these questions with a series of affectionately funny twists on religion and society.
DHEEPAN ✪✪✪ (FRANCE) French & Tamil with English subtitles
UWA Somerville:        Monday 25th January—Sunday 31st January
ECU Joondalup:         Tuesday 2nd February – 7th February

My Thoughts

   Dheepan begins as a fascinating insight into the plight of the refugee as we follow three Sri Lanken refugees who pose as a family to escape the the civil war in their country. They end up in France in an apartment block compound, which seems to be not much better than what they left. It takes a turn to the ultra violent toward the end, which was rather unexpected. An interesting film, well acted. Of course, seeing anything at Somerville or Joondalup Pines is a wonderful experience.
   Winner of the top prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Dheepan is the latest masterpiece by director Jacques Audiard (The Beat That My Heart Skipped, 2006 PIAF).
   In the aftermath of civil war in Sri Lanka, Dheepan flees to make a new life in France. He arranges with two strong women to pose as a family in their Paris apartment, but outside, trouble is brewing.
   An utterly absorbing drama, Dheepan is one of the year’s most important films.

THE WAIT (L'attesa) (ITALIAN/FRENCH) with English subtitles
UWA Somerville:        Monday 1ST February—Sunday 7th February
ECU Joondalup:         Tuesday 9th February –14th February

Piero Messina Q&As   Mon 1–Wed 3 February

Lottery West Film Festival is thrilled to welcome the director of The Wait, Piero Messina to Perth on Monday 1–Wednesday 3 February.

Film Blurb

   Single mother Anna (Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche, The English Patient, Chocolat, Three Colours: Blue) is in shock following the death of her teenage son Giuseppe. Shuttered up in a villa in mourning, she is visited by Giuseppe’s girlfriend Jeanne, who is unaware of recent events. And Anna is in no hurry to reveal the truth. The Wait is a calm, stylish and atmospheric tale, with a spinetingling central performance from Binoche as a woman in denial.

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