Thursday, June 18, 2015

FILM STUFF 18th June 2015

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Inside Out ✪✪✪✪½  (Opens 18th June most cinemas)
   Disney’s Pixar has gone where most parents fear to tread; they’ve taken us into the brain of a child bordering on teenagehood. Yikes! Despite Inside Out being an animated fantasy, they’ve done their homework. You can almost hear the filmmakers brainstorming the idea: emotions control us.
   Director and screenwriter Pete Docter has brought us some of the greatest animated films to date including UP, MONSTERS INC, and TOY STORY, and he doesn’t miss the mark here either. INSIDE OUT has some refreshingly original ideas in exploring the idea that if emotions and memory were run as an organization, how would everything work?
  We first meet Joy (Amy Poehler) who arrives inside the control room of baby girl Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) moments after her birth. She is soon joined by Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). They run Riley’s reactions to life in a democratic manner with Joy mostly running the show, meaning, for the most part, Riley has a happy disposition. That is until Riley’s family moves from the Midwest to San Francisco. It’s a difficult transition for the whole family, and Riley remains positive, even rallying the family, until Joy and Sadness are accidentally sucked into the vault of long term memories. Without Joy in control, the rest of the emotions make poor decisions and Riley’s life spirals out of control. Joy and Sadness must find their way back to the control room by navigating through Riley’s subconscious travelling through the Dream Factory, hitching a ride on the Train of Thought, navigating the maze of long-term memories, and even teaming up with Riley’s childhood imaginary friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind).
  The voice actors do a wonderful job; the animation is colorful and imaginative, and despite its complex themes, children will still easily relate. Another finely scripted, beautifully imagined film from director and writer Docter, who clearly has the ability to tap into his inner child. This time, literally.

Film Blurb 
   Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. -- (C) Pixar

Minions ✪✪✪✪ (Opens 18th June most cinemas)
My Thoughts
   The first Despicable Me didn’t grab me. It may have been animation overload in 2010. Despicable Me 2, though, turned me around. The minions almost had their own little sketches within the film. Those I loved. The credits sequence with the bumbling minions falling out of the screen and auditioning for this film was fabulous.
   Well, the Minions have earned their own movie. Really they’re set to take over the world. They’re yellow, adorable, and we can’t understand anything they say, but we all want one.
MINIONS takes us back to the dawn of time by the narrator (perfectly voiced by Geoffrey Rush), to discover how the minions have travelled through history serving evil masters. It’s hilarious and very clever. Eventually they find themselves abandoned and bereft in an ice cave with no evil master. Their joyful enthusiasm for life diminishes as time goes on. The solution: Kevin, Stuart and little Bob set out into the world to look for a new master and save the tribe. They end up involved with Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), the world’s most evil villain, and her husband inventor Herb Overkill  (Jon Hamm). This sets them after the Queen’s (Jennifer Saunders) crown.
    I found this film laugh-out-loud hilarious. Even the jaded twelve-year-old son, who doesn’t like many films, was laughing throughout, as were most of the kids in the audience. The catch phrase for the minions is Bananaaa. Seems they love the yellow fruit (herb). As we entered the foyer after the film, there were kids running around screaming Bananaaa in the voice of the Minions. Pretty satisfied cinema-goers there.
   The film is witty, has enough nods to history and adult concepts to keep parents and grandparents happy, and you just cannot help but love these little guys. They’re so cute. Four out five Bananaaaa from me!

Film Blurb
The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment's Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters-from T. rex to Napoleon-the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression. But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he-alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob-ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award (R) winner Sandra Bullock), the world's first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind...from annihilation. (c) Universal

GOING CLEAR: Scientology and the Prison of Belief ✪✪✪✪ 
(Opens 18th June Luna cinemas)

My Thoughts 
  Much has been written and filmed on Scientology. Probably at most critical you could say director Alex Gibney is not revealing anything new here. We know John Travolta and Tom Cruise are the best known A List celebrities endorsing the church. We know L. Ron Hubbard ruled the church and its followers as though it was his own private fiefdom. We know they do these odd tests, and somehow people believe in clearing the test levels they will become more successful, not just in the church but in their lives. We know that at the lower levels, people are treated abysmally and families are broken up by their belief in the church—the divorce of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, a well-known case in point.
   However what makes this film fascinating watching are the interviews with the leaders of the church who have come to their senses and left the church. Going Clear is a tell-all on what it really is like behind the scenes at the highest level. One second-in-command even admits it was his job to come between Cruise and Kidman. The entire film is a crazy and very sad story. The final scene is actually gut wrenching for a parent to watch.
   Gibney has rightly made a name for himself as the top documentary maker in Hollywood with such quality films as We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, The Armstrong Lie, and many more. This is another illuminating spotlight on an intriguing subject. It may not contain many revelations, but, boy, a fascinating story is still a fascinating story, and this is one polished and well researched documentary.

Film Blurb 
   Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, Going Clear profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology-whose most prominent adherents include A-list Hollywood celebrities-shining a light on how the church cultivates true believers, detailing their experiences and what they are willing to do in the name of religion. One of the most talked about films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, this powerful documentary highlights the Church's origins, from its roots in the mind of founder L. Ron Hubbard to its rise in popularity in Hollywood and beyond. Going Clear is a provocative tale of ego, exploitation, and lust for power. (C) HBO


The School Action Toolkit is available now and costs $220

Fantastic news that as of 1st July 2015 THAT SUGAR FILM will be released on DVD to screen in schools with their School Action Toolkit. This is a suite of resources crafted around That Sugar Film and That Sugar Book to educate and raise awareness about sugar consumption within primary and secondary school settings. Developed in collaboration with curriculum experts, the Toolkit is a one-stop shop that walks schools through a process for implementing sustainable change and provides practical tools to help engage the whole school community.

The Toolkit consists of:
   That Sugar Film on DVD
   That Sugar Book
   Study Guide (Years 5-10)
   10 x short segments of the film for teachers to use
   Action Planning Guide
   Posters, handouts and worksheets for the classroom or home
   Digital materials and tools

You can force a That Sugar Film screening at Readings Cinema in Mandurah by going here : and buying tickets. Once it reaches its tipping point then the film will screen. What a great idea

Date: Sunday 19th July 2015
Time:  11:00AM
Location: Readings Mandurah       Details and Booking

Well, FanForce is an exciting new way to see films in the cinema. Film fans can see just about any film they want – in any cinema – with a room full of other fans, just like you. FanForce takes the financial risk out of hosting cinema screenings by putting these fans first. If enough people buy tickets then the screening goes ahead.

Date: Thursday 2 July 2015
Time:  Sunday 12 July
Location: Luna Leederville               Details and Booking
                                                           CLICK HERE: Membership Info to save

Revelation commenced its formal life in 1997. It was designed to showcase ideas "at point" in contemporary independent film and find a place for them in a conservative cinema and social environment.
   Today, the event includes over 120 international films presented at cinemas, galleries, cafes and bars across Perth. It attracts 12,000 patrons and 50 national and international guests over 10 days.
   Revelation also includes a unique Academic component (introduced in 2012), industry discussion sessions, live performances, masterclasses, visual art exhibitions and other hybrid activity generated by the event or independent curators. Revelation always welcomes independently curated or initiated programs and ideas and actively embraces creative professional development and mentoring opportunities.

Intro and Q&A Thu 2, Fri 3, Sat 4TH July with director Jeremy Sims and cast members including Michael Caton

Rex (Michael Caton) is a cab driver from Broken Hill. On the surface he appears as a simple man whose days are spent driving miners to the airport, whose evenings are spent drinking a beer with a handful of old mates and whose mornings pass by as he has tea with his neighbour Polly (Ningali Lawford). But underneath the apparent simplicity of his daily life Rex is in poor health. Now, facing bad news he understands that he wants to control his final moments, meanwhile in Darwin Dr Farmer (Jacki Weaver) may have the perfect solution. Rex just needs to drive there.

DVD Releases

CHAPPIE   ✪✪✪✪  Click here for review        
SELMA   ✪✪✪½     Click here for review
WILD ✪✪✪½          Click here for review
FOCUS  ✪✪✪         Click here for review