Thursday, February 18, 2016

Film Stuff 18th Feb 2016

   This is usually a quieter few weeks of the year with not so many big releases. There's a
few quality pics out though. Concussion and Will Smith's non-inclusion in the Oscar nominations is just released. Personally, I don't see why he should have been included. He was good, but those nominated deserved it. It doesn't matter anyway because Leo will win for The Revenant. If someone of color had acted as well as he did in The Revenant, then they would be nominated. 
   I think the big question needing to be asked is are people of different descent not getting the quality roles? That's more likely the reason only caucasians dominate the nominations. Other than Denzel Washington, I can't think of any non-caucasian who has regularly featured in standard blockbuster roles, meaning they're not portraying slaves.  Although, Chiwetel Ejiofor recently starred in The Martian and The Secret In Their Eyes, and he was very good.
  Last week I reviewed Matt Hale's show at the Fringe World Festival, and guess what? Somehow I opened my big mouth, and now he's coming down to CurtinFm Radio on 31st March at 2:10pm Perth, WA time to hypnotise me before I go on to do my movie spot. This will be interesting. So mark that in your diary for a good laugh. You can still catch Matt Hale's fabulous show at Perth Fringe World Festival until the 21st February. Don't miss it. Click here for details

Concussion    ✪✪✪ ¾ (opens 11th February 2016 Most cinemas)
  Concussion is another expose in the vein of Spotlight and The Big Short. This time it’s the NFL in the USA who are under the sweat lamp for trying to stifle the voice of a lone doctor/pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), who discovers that the severe life-ending mental dehabilitation of ex-football players is not a random event, but the direct result of their constant exposure to concussion while training and playing.
   Will Smith who has not fared well in his last few roles does a fine job in this. But, no, I don’t think he missed out on an Oscar nod because of the color of his skin. He wasn’t worthy. He’s good, but not that good. I put his improved acting down to a good director and a reasonably solid script.
  The preaching does devolve a touch into Americans being the only country who can lay claim to bravery and nobility, but they made the film so I guess we should overlook that. We Aussies embrace our casualness; they embrace their heroes and anti-heroes.
   Even if you have no interest in sport, this is a fascinating look into a very recent news headline. I honestly don’t understand why they don’t change the damn rules when, according to the film, 23% of NFL players are going to suffer this disease. Well worth seeing.

Film Blurb
Based on the incredible true story of accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play.

How To Be Single  ✪✪✪½   (opens 18th February 2016 Most cinemas)
The trailers for this film makes it appear as though its another one of those look-how-cool-we-are-because-we-drink-and-sleep-around films. And I ended up at Radio 92.9 screening because the media screening elsewhere was full, so I sat there by myself surrounded by very young, hip people. This was not going to be a good experience I felt.
   However, paint me pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t so bad and, certainly, it didn’t glorify drinking. It portrayed it accurately as a bit of trap. The story though is more about the benefit of sometimes just being single to learn about yourself and not to be adventurous with the opposite sex. It isn’t a hugely funny movie; even the young peeps didn’t laugh so much. However, it is well made and the actors have chemistry.
   I just love Leslie Mann in anything, and I know I should love Rebel Wilson, but she’s typecast and plays the same role every time. I think she’s a talented comedienne, and good luck to her getting all these roles. I kind of cringe, though, because her comedy is about making fun of the fat girl that seems to be having all the fun, like they don’t normally!
   Anyway, not a rude crude rubbish film by any means, and Dakota Johnson is turning into a lovely actress. With her heritage of mother Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, I’m not surprised. Not a bad film at all. One you could take the teenagers to for a life lesson.
Film Blurb
There's a right way to be single, a wrong way to be single, and then...there's Alice. And Robin. Lucy. Meg. Tom. David. New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, be it a love connection, a hook-up.

Risen  ✪✪✪  (opens 18th February 2016 Most cinemas)
   Risen is from Sony’s production company Affirm Films, which interestingly is a company dedicated to producing, acquiring and marketing films that are mainly aimed at evangelical Christians. I’m told by the Sony publicist that they do very well.
   It’s not a bad film at all, although it seems to take great license with the events following the crucifixion and resurrection. Still an entertaining view of this biblical story and reasonably well acted and produced. A good infomercial for the church.
Film Blurb
Risen is the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton), are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumours of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.

Trumbo ✪✪✪✪  (opens 18th February 2016 Luna cinemas)
At the end credits, the entire audience at my screening cheered. Then, when next to the credits, they began showing authentic photographs of the real Trumbo and his wife, more cheering and applause ensued. It’s one of those films where you do feel as though you are in there with the characters fighting for what is right.
   Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) is very deserved of his Oscar nomination. If not for Leo’s extraordinary performance in The Revenant, I think he might have won. You simply shake your head at the witch-hunt of the McCarthy era and the lives and careers that were destroyed by unfounded fear.
   You can put this injustice down to the era of a less evolved culture, but then if we think about it, we find a similar attitude to certain immigrants today. Now it comes under the heading in the USA of National Defense Act. Believe me, I do get that we have to be careful and we need to protect ourselves. However, that’s exactly the excuse these guys used. So prejudice and fear are still alive in our world, even today, and we must remain vigilant against that, lest people sixty years in the future cheer our comeuppance, too.

Film Blurb
   Dalton Trumbo was one of the most successful screenwriters in classical Hollywood. He also happened to be a left-wing political activist and member of the American Communist Party in a time when being red was worse than being dead. Blacklisted as one of the infamous ‘Hollywood 10’ during the anti-red hysteria brought on by the rise of McCarthyism, Trumbo was forced out of work… at least until, with the support of key industry players and friends, he began anonymously producing scripts that were then ‘fronted’ by other screenwriters. And then those scripts started winning Oscars.
    Starring Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo and an impressive supporting cast including Helen Mirren, Elle Fanning, Diane Lane, Alan Tudyk, Louis CK and John Goodman, TRUMBO is the story of one man’s fight against the U.S. government and Hollywood studio bosses in a war over words and freedom. Oscar Nomination:  Best Actor (Bryan Cranston)

45 Years ✪✪   (opens 18th February 2016 Luna cinemas)
   Oh dear, this film goes nowhere fast, and I think we are meant to revel in how clever that is. However, if you’re looking for something with a storyline, this isn’t it. You do feel as though you’ve lived every one of the forty-five years of the title in the two hours it trundles along. Charlotte Rampling has been nominated for an Oscar, but I’m not sure why. She’s good, but not that good. The ending is terrible, miserable, and we’re not left feeling in any way on anyone’s side. I’ve given it two stars as it’s not the worst I’ve seen this year, sadly, and the dawdling pair are, on occasion, on poignant point, but then quickly slip back into boring, thick maudlin. You might find paint drying or naval gazing more entertaining.
Film Blurb
   Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling) is planning a party to celebrate her 45th wedding anniversary. One week before the celebration a letter arrives for her husband, Geoff (Tom Courtenay), containing news that the body of his first love has been discovered, frozen and preserved in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps.
   Kate continues to prepare for the party, but she becomes increasingly concerned by Geoff’s preoccupation with the letter and the startling revelations about his former life. As their anniversary gets closer, and they delve further into the past, their future is left in question.
   Anchored by sensational performances from Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, 45 YEARS is an intimate, moving and beautiful portrait of a marriage shaken to its core by things left unspoken. Winning Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the 2015 Berlinale Film Festival, 45 YEARS is British filmmaking at its very best.

Date: 20th February
Time:  11am Saturday & 1 pm Sunday  (check Luna Cinemas site for exact times)
Location: Windsor & Paradiso Details and Booking

   The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season begins with The Winter’s Tale. Shakespeare's timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption is reimagined in a new production co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, following their triumphant staging of Macbeth in Manchester and Manhattan.
   King Leontes appears to have everything: power, wealth, a loving family and friends. But sexual jealousy sets in motion a chain of events with tragic consequence. The Winter’s Tale stars a remarkable group of actors, featuring Judi Dench as Paulina, alongside Tom Bateman (Florizel), Jessie Buckley (Perdita), Hadley Fraser (Polixenes), Miranda Raison (Hermione) and Kenneth Branagh as Leontes.

Let There Be Rock
Revelation Film Festival as part of the Fringe World Festival
Date: Running to 21st   February
Time:  Evening screenings  (check site for exact times)
Location: Perth Backlot Studios & Rooftop Films  Details and Booking

   It's our first year as part of the Fringe World program - and we think it's a ripper!
Experience a loud, fast and dirty program of rock and roll. We'll be diving into the world of punk, hair and hard rock with a collection of legendary, infamous, acclaimed, ground-breaking and down-right enjoyable cinematic delights across two weeks of the Fringe.
   From Feb 11-21 THIS IS ROCK! will screen at the Rooftop Movies and the fantastic Perth Backlot with these great titles. It's gonna be loud!  Although rock is a serious business (take a look at the Decline of Western Civilisation Pt 2 or We are Twisted Fucking Sister! trailers if you don't believe us!) you need to be aware of our ****BEST DRESSED ALERT!****


Lottery West Films (Somerville) 
Moonlight Cinemas
Details and Booking
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.

Films of note this week: 
The Hateful Eight Frid  Feb 19
The Finest Hours  (Advance Screening)Tuesday Feb 23
Hail, Caesar! (Advance Screening) Wednesday Feb 24

Burswood Outdoor Community Cinema
Details and Booking
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.

Films of note this week: 
The Big Short Friday Feb 19
Sisters   Saturday Feb 20 & Monday 22

Rooftop Movies
Details and Booking
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: 
Space Jam      Saturday Feb 20
Princess Bride     Tuesday Feb 23
Camelot Outdoor Movies
Details and Booking
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 Revenant    (Friday 19th Feb)             
The Big Short  (Monday 24th Feb)             
Star Wars The Force Awakens  (Wednesday 26th Feb)             
Luna Outdoor Movies
Details and Booking
Date: Runs to April
Time:  Doors open at 6.00pm Film commences 8.15 pm
Location: 155 Oxford Street, Leederville (tickets & entrance Luna Cinemas)

Films of note this week: 
The Big Short

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

Films this week:
UWA Somerville:          Monday 22ND February—Sunday 28TH  February
ECU Joondalup:           Tuesday 1ST March –6th March
Film Blurb
That giddy, all-consuming thrill of first love is conveyed with great empathy in La belle saison. It is 1971 and smart, young Delphine is bored at home on her parents’ farm in the verdant French countryside. She flees to Paris and immediately falls for older Carole (C├ęcile De France, In Harmony, 2016 PIAF), a leader in the emerging women's rights movement. La belle saison is many things all at once – a swoon-worthy love affair, a fascinating snapshot of the 1970s and a window to female friendships across a cultural divide.

UWA Somerville:          Monday 15TH February—Sunday 21st February
ECU Joondalup:           Tuesday 23rd February –28th February

See my review Here: CLICK
Film Blurb
Teeming with ideas to swell the heart and dazzle the mind, this film relives the 1996 meeting-of-minds between author, David Foster Wallace, who was hurtling to unprecedented fame for Infinite Jest, and hotshot journalist, David Lipsky. During their road trip through the wintry beauty of the American Midwest, these two smart but fragile minds debate everything, from art, writing and ego to candy, TV and Die Hard. It was, in Lipsky’s words, ‘the best conversation I ever had’ and now, thanks to two enthralling performances, it has borne one of the best films of the year.

ECU Joondalup:           Tuesday 16th February –21ST February
Read my review here: CLICK HERE
Film Blurb

   A moving story of courage and greed, set against the magnificent backdrop of Everest. This documentary was filmed during the calamitous 2014 climbing season, when 16 Sherpa guides were killed while moving across an ice-flow to aid Western climbers. Following the disaster, climbers and Sherpas entered into a tense mountaintop stalemate. This exhilarating film exposes many truths about money, Nepal, and the meeting of first and third worlds atop this alluring, spiritual peak.

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