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272 reviews in total 
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A brilliant, beautiful Australian film, 7 October 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Diane and I just saw this wonderful film yesterday at the Luna Essex in Fremantle and we can't praise it high enough. I am unsure what a "spoiler" is for this film because to write what the film is about must write about the substance of the film is a spoiler in and of itself.

This substance is an old taxi driver in a large country town who is living with the final stages of stomach cancer. His nature has precluded him from telling people around him of his condition as well as having no permanent relationships: no wife and no family but a lovely collection of these friends that he has shared rounds of beer with over the years plus very importantly, an Aboriginal woman who lives across the street from his house and turns out to play a huge role in his final hours.

These major players in his home town know nothing of his quickly deteriorating medical condition. He hears about the passage of a law in The Territory of a euthanasia bill and he sets off to drive his cab there to take part in the experiment to determine the efficacy of this euthanasia bill.

His drive north becomes slightly like a Road Movie excerpt not as long. The bulk of the movie involves the activity in Darwin and his eventual return to the country town he left.

The film is sad but uplifting and being the old man that I am I can already hear the cries of indignation about the poor script: easy to foresee the ending, cardboard characters and lines that can easily be anticipated. I don't care: no car crashes, no fights, no shootings and no Hollywood love scenes. In short an amazingly good film!

There are many ways and many things to find on the Camino, 13 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My wife and I have driven the Camino back in '93 but I could not walk it so this comment may be skewered a great deal; however, we did start it in Paris and drove as close to the real Camino as we could. I honestly did not want to give it a low vote because both Diane and I expected more from the film. I have often criticised reviewers for saying what I just said,"...expected..." because a viewer does not have the right to believe that a film should follow their cinematic desires. We did not think that the script picked the right people to follow on their journey. We also believed that the ones they did follow were cut off too quickly; those stories were the most interesting and we never heard of what happened to the people again. The camera work was very good, however, and the scenes photographed for the film were superb. However, because it was a documentary we believed that there could be more pedantic information about prices, foods eaten and places taken for sleep if the Camino establishments were full. A film for the thoughtful though.

9 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A movie to nowhere: for the fans only., 6 June 2015

I hate watching movies that are not 10 or 9/10 but this was not much of my doing and it certainly lived up to any thoughts that I had about it before seeing it. That is not to say I watched the film with a head full of preconceived notions; no, I was ready to watch a film that was a valuable continuation of the superb Mad Max movie.

I readily give credence where it is due with a film of such explosive force that simply does not stop until the very end. One need only look at the credits here on IMDb to see the creativity and work that went into this film but for me it was not enough. I could admire the work that went into creating the extraordinary cinematography but as for holding my interest it provided nothing beyond excellent makeup and action sequences. If that is what you want in a contemporary movie so be it. I am sorry I watched it though.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Could it be that the second is really the best?, 9 March 2015

I thought that this second film in sequence was at least as good as the first; it began at a slower, to me, pace as the first but about halfway through this sequel picked up pace and exceeded the First Marigold Hotel.

Diane and I just returned from watching this anticipated sequel and her opinions differed considerably from mine in that she was disappointed by this sequel because there was no anticipation in the action of the film. She could mentally anticipate everything that was to occur as the film progressed; I on the other hand did not care if I knew what was going to happen because I showered (I know, terrible metaphor) in the beauty of India that was captured so well by the cinematographer and the director that blocked out the shots. The lighting was superb bringing in the beauty of what must be one of the most split level incomes in world economics.

I do not want to write a spoiler but I must say that Devi Patel, the young man who plays the lead role, shows his dancing abilities at the end of the film during his wedding. The wedding was anticipated but his dancing ability took me by surprise because it was clouded by his sort of inept persona throughout the earlier scenes. A delightful film; try all that you can to see it.

Chloe (2009)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
My take is far better than the "experts.", 25 February 2015

I just watched this film on TV and Diane thought that it was good; I just thought it was better. Obviously the actors were outstanding while the remainder of the film was virtually equally as excellent. The fact that the script was from a French story filmed in Toronto, Canada made for fascinating settings; they were away from the now boring settings in New York and Southern California.

The three and one half main characters (the half being the son) were superb by my standards; I thought they carried their roles excellently and therefore very believably. This is were the settings play such a large role; these settings played perfectly into this story line lending a more reasonable (believable?) direction to the entire film.

This film is definitely worth a look in if the chance presents itself.

Selma (2014)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Memories as scary as they were when they fist appeared on TV., 7 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Diane and I saw this marvelous film yesterday in Fremantle and both of us were moved by the images of those now long ago years. She did not think as highly of the film as I did; she thought it was a bit "cheesy" but I on the other hand thought that all that I saw on the screen dovetailed perfectly with my memories of TV news watching of those years ago; I enjoyed every moment of this "return."

I thought that the casting and the makeup people did a superb job: Andrew Young looked as he did and Ralph Abernathy looked as I remember him. Diane did not think that Johnson looked as she remembered but his thinning hair was a dead giveaway. Coretta King was, again, unmistakable. Some of the other, George Wallace for instance, needed the surrounds of history to bring him into focus but those are minor points considering the huge scale of personalities that peppered the playing field of those tumultuous years.

I have not mentioned the figure of Martin Luther King who appeared, virtually, in every scene of the film. His appearance was captured very well but who besides King could deliver those almost melodious speeches that we all know: the most perfect speeches ever to be heard by human beings and not one but literally dozens of them.

I was literally frightened by the scenes of the film even though I knew what would happen from memories of TV broadcasts in the early Sixties; the gut wrenching thump of the police batons could make you sick and just emphasized the courage of the white Freedom Marchers and the Black Freedom Marchers who faced those batons in the name of Nonviolence only armed with the weapon of courage.

See this film even if you think you have heard enough of those people and events.

The Gambler (2014/III)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
If it is possible-a cerebral gangster movie., 5 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We saw this very interesting movie some hours ago; I followed the story most of the way but I lost him when Jim Bennett, the main character, has an "oh so trendy lecture/talk" with his university English class. I think that he was trying to draw parallels between prose writing and a person's personal affliction. This interpretation may be totally wrong but the rest of the film didn't challenge me as much as this small part. Pay attention to this university scene as well as the many references back to it through the remainder of the film.

The movie is not hugely bloody but there are some small bits that will make one cringe; however, there are no car chases or automatic weapon use so for action lovers buy another ticket. The two dominant gangs are the Korean-American guys from around the junction of Vermont and Santa Monica and abutting this area is the African-American area of South Central Los Angeles; the close shot of the old art deco theatre gives you a perfect location key for the greater neighbourhood. The area in general is a "no-go" area for Anglos unless you are, in Bennett's case looking to pay off a considerable loan or borrow a considerable amount of money.

Diane and I both thought the movie was better than the press gave it credit. We particularly enjoyed the role that Goodman played and yes he seems always to play variations of the same character but he plays those roles so well he must be in the running for any such role that becomes available. The role that Jessica Lange played was of award quality. Mark Walberg cannot be forgotten because he carried the movie and I thought that his performance was of great quality.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Marvelous history as well as a mavellous period piece, 31 January 2015

Diane and watched this lovely film this past Monday, three days ago. Both of us left the theater with the same thoughts about the excellence of the film we had just seen: the acting by all characters was award winning as were the sets and the photography. The script was balanced between genuine tension regarding the next moves by the main actor and the surrounding players.

Having just read one of the comments about this marvelous film and not knowing the details surrounding this extraordinary breakthrough in cipher history particularly as it pertains to the Second World War, I must agree with his superior knowledge. I can only comment on this movie which, as I have mentioned, was totally absorbing for Diane and I.

I can, on the basis of what we saw the other day, think that this is a sleeper of a movie that has not garnered the accolades that we believe it justly deserves. By all means see this film if you have the chance and judge for yourself if the actors as well as the other aspects of the film do not deserve greater credit that it has so far received?

9 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A war movie that is not about war(?)., 16 January 2015

As a migrant to Australia of many years I still cannot fathom the Australian patriotism that surfaces when national citing of Gallipoli is mentioned; as many people know it was a defeat packaged in that over- credited brain of the first lord of the admiralty: Winston Churchill. We all know that his use of Australian troops, among others, in an ill- founded attack at Gallipoli which strategically may have been reasonable but tactilely virtually impossible given where the Allied landing occurred.

With this monumentally futile battle as the background a father returns to the actual battlefield after the war to find the bodies of his three sons who never returned to Australia and their parents. As I wrote at the beginning, this is a film about war but has a minimum of scenes of the warfare elements. It is a film about the search, definitely, but it is also about what he finds in that country so far away with people that are far away from his own parochial patch of farmland on the desert's edge in NSW.

I thought the film was about discovery; the discovery of his missing sons and likewise the discovery, not so much about himself but about a larger world with vastly different people who have their own unique approach to life on this rock. It is a movie of joining and of the realization that we are far closer than the war leaders would like us to understand.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A Delightfully Soft Film that Unfolds Quietly, 19 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Diane and I attended this delightfully quiet movie after being moved to see it from the movie shorts seen at an earlier screening of The Lunchbox; we were both exceptionally pleased that we attended 100 Steps because it unfolded so quietly and pulled the audience in so thoroughly that, at least by our standards, we believed the scenario could actually happen: the father had enough money, the eldest son had enough talent, the French woman could make peace, the son would return from Paris to reside in a small French village, etc. As a viewer all of these scenarios do not seem far-fetched as the movie rolls because it is stitched together so well; this I believe, is the true art of movie making, the ability of the people who make movies to make what is perhaps unbelievable believable.

I am amazed at the acting abilities of all concerned with this film; to make the unbelievable believable. Yes, call me a stooge, a patsy or a dupe that can be sucked in by movie make-believe but isn't that what we pay our money for, to be transported to a new realm, a realm that transcends reality?

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