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A pretty damn fine movie.
A movie with a cast as great as this was bound to be excellent, it's not often a cast as impressive as this is compiled into the one film, I mean come in you've got a bevy of some of the greatest actors working today, Tom Hardy Guy Pearce Jessica Chastain Mia Wasikowska, are all actors at the top of the talent pool, and their performances are without a doubt excellent. I will single out Guy Pearce, it's not an easy feat to outshine the likes of Tom Hardy, but Mr Pearce is the real scene stealer in this movie. Appearance wise he's almost unrecognizable and the role itself is something in its own, a villain to really be afraid of, a true psychopath, I think he's way overdue for an Oscar nom and I hope he gets it with Lawless. As I said before the performances from everyone are good, nothing's over done, very understated and done perfectly.
The movie is quite interesting, generally it's not the type of film I would rush out to see but pretty much straight away I was intrigued and interested and actually cared about where the story went, the history of illegal alcohol selling in the U.S at the time was something I knew nothing about but the film presents it in a simple way for even dummies like me to understand. It's great to see a tough guy gangster shoot em up style film with a soft side, the inclusion of the female characters really brings another dimension to the male characters that you usually don't see in films such as this.
Be warned though, the violence is pretty intense, the throat slitting scene had me on edge and the pretty much any scene Guy Pearce is in will have you shivering. This really is a film any type of film lover will enjoy, be it male or female, young or old, it's got a great story and even greater actors to tell the story.
I hope you enjoy it. :)
Killing Them Softly (2012)
A fun ride of a film.
Killing Them Softly up front seems like a male centric action film with guns and chases a d all that kinda stuff, however viewers will be quite surprised at just how much more this film has to offer. First off I will start by saying this is an ensemble effort, Brad Pitt may be the central character and on the poster but really this movie is an ensemble of great male actors all complimenting each other in every way possible, it's actually quite hard to pick which actor is the best in this movie, they're all so wonderful in their roles.
The storyline is fast paced and easy to grasp, you never lose track and the film never out stays its welcome, it's actually probably a little too short in my opinion, but a movie that gets the story told with no plot holes in an hour and 30 minutes and still be good is very rare these days. People interested in gangster films like Casino or the like will enjoy this movie, it's kinda like a gangster movie light, not huge and over the top but small and still vicious... Brad Pitt is a bit of a champion to lend his big name to an otherwise small film, I think this movie will gain a very big audience thanks to him.
If you're after an easy afternoon at the movies, check this one out, it's dark, it's funny, it's violent and it's excellently acted, I highly recommend this one. :)
Ruby Sparks (2012)
Good, but not as great as i was hoping.
This movie is a charming little film from a very exciting new talent, Zoe Kazan, who i think is going to excel with her next foray into screen writing. While watching this movie it's rather obvious that it's written by a first time writer, that's not to say that it's not well written because it is, it's just a little underwritten, some characters are underdeveloped and at times it lags without any type of direction. It may sound like i didn't like this movie but i did, it's quirky and very indie which is the kind of stuff i like, it has two leads who are excellent in their roles (it does help that the audience knows they are in love in real life), and it has a wonderful supporting cast, in particular the always excellent Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas who impressed me in a role i'd never picture him in otherwise.
One particular part of the film i like was the realistic portrayal of a modern day relationship, it's not all romance and love every day, there are dark parts to a relationship and it's portrayed here very well, the relationship ups and downs are some of the best i've seen in a film in a very long time. The production and all that jazz is done very well, it's impressive how low budget indie films are made so well and stylish these days, i guess it's a good indication of a director knowing how to make a movie well.
Little Miss Sunshine it ain't, but it is a bit of fun for a Sunday afternoon, it's nice to see a new girl on the block taking on the quirky side of cinema, MOVE OVER ZOOEY DESCHANEL, THERE'S A NEW ZOE ABOUT TO TAKE YOUR CROWN. ;)
Hilarious from go to whoa! A real Aussie laugh fest.
Oh what a treat I got when I sat down in a criminally empty theater to watch Mental, I saw the trailer and to be honest I thought it looked cringe-worthy, but because I'm such a huge fan of Muriel's Wedding I thought I'd give it a go anyway. Muriel's Wedding it ain't, but it's a new classic on its own accord. The film is set in a typical coastal Australian town, complete with regular Aussie houses, fish and chip shops and a public pool, we get to see the Moochmore family at home and we realize that all isn't well with this family, so the mum (expertly played by Australia's golden girl of television Rebecca Gibney), gets shipped off to the loony bin by the bastard father, and then enters Shaz, a character equally as charming and hilarious as Muriel Heslop. This woman transforms all the young daughters in so many ways, teaching them valuable lessons along the way, she even gives the father a serving of her mind which is awesome. As the film progresses we see all isn't as it seems with Shaz but I won't say anymore about that, as its a spoiler and its fun to see it happen without any knowledge.
I'm a massive Aussie at heart, I grew up in country New South Wales so I love seeing real bogan stuff like Mental, the dialogue and the houses and everything just reminds me of growing up. The jokes are by the minute, Toni Collette is one hilarious woman, every line she delivers so spot on, half of the movie wouldn't be what it is if it wasn't executed so well by her. The supporting cast is spectacular, Anthony LaPaglia is good playing against character as the bad father, Rebecca Gibnet is heartbreaking but hilarious as the mum you can't help but feel for, the actress that plays the oldest daughter is going places I'm sure, and Deb, Deb Mailman is down right bloody ridiculously funny, that woman can do no wrong in my opinion.
The film deals with mental illness in a really good way, all the facts and stuff are there, PJ Hogan obviously did his research while writing this movie, it's not sad and fluffy, it's hilarious and wonderful. If you're Australian and don't enjoy Mental, you mustn't be human, there's a bevy of classic lines " you're a mad bitch", lots of laughs, and excellent performances all around.
The perfect night at the pictures, it's sad no one bothers to see Australian films anymore. Come on guys, support the local stuff!!!!!
Chloe does it again.
It's not often the world gets to see young actresses really make their mark in the film business, there's really only a handful in the past few years, Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Abigail Breslin and the cream of the crop of them all, Chloe Grace Moretz. It's pretty much impossible not to like this great actress in everything she's in, from Diary of Wimpy Kid all the way to Let Me In, she has stolen the screen away from everyone. Largely thanks to her breakout role as Hit-Girl, she is pretty much a household name and rightly so, and with her role in Hick she can add another stellar performance to her belt.
The film itself has a lot of problems, the script isn't that strong and the supporting characters are somewhat wasted, but for a first time screenwriter it's a damn good effort. I'm actually intrigued to see what the book by Andrea Portes is like in comparison to the film, I'm guessing it would be the same as I'm sure an author wouldn't want to change her own story. Anything that's wrong with the movie is made up for by all of the fantastic performances from everyone, Juliette Lewis is great as the white trash mother, Eddie Redmayne is funny and terrifying as the drifter and Blake Lively is pretty good in her small role, I would have loved to know more about her character but oh we'll, and of course Miss Moretz is amazing. The film lags a little in parts, and it steers into strange directions at times, particularly around the Blake Lively character. Some people disagree with the fact that Chloe has really only done adult films thus far, but I think it goes to show what a mature actress she is that she can do these roles and still stay a regular teen.
The main problem I had was the lack of memorable soundtrack, it would have benefited from some classic country tunes to accompany a lot of the scenes, I noticed quite often that there was hardly any music and it took away from the overall greatness of the film.
All in all it's an enjoyable little film, rent it and just enjoy the good and ignore the bad. :)
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
A great addition to the franchise.
I will admit this review is a little bias as I am a very big fan of this franchise and there isn't one of these films that I haven't loved, but honestly this fifth installment is indeed a great one. The big thing for me is the shift in direction this movie took, I cant pinpoint what it is but it just feels different to the others, at the beginning we see the usual "My name is Alice" introduction that we've all come to know and love, from then on its a non stop pulse pounding thrill ride that is sure to keep you on your toes. Yes you have to kind of suspend disbelief while watching a Resident Evil movie but that's like most scifi type game stuff, it's not realistic in the least but that's what makes them all so excellent.
A lot can be said about Milla, she is the absolute driving force in these films, they wouldn't be as good as they are if someone else were in the role, she never overdoes it and she always kicks ass, however it's good to see a more vulnerable side to her in this installment as she tries to protect a young girl who is her make believe daughter, she's just frakking awesome to put it down to one word. The effects are top notch as usual and as expected, the score is fitting and the colour palette is suited well also, big props for the closing credits song by Bassnectar and Chino Moreno, very cool. Another thing ill mention is the very clever way two characters from previous films were introduced back into the series, Michelle Rodriguez is one tough broad and the Sienna Guillory is cool playing the same character but doing it in an entirely new way.
As the film ends we see a set up for the 6th film, and by the looks if it, it's going to be epic. Once it ended I was sitting in the theater just thinking to myself " ooohhhhh wonder what they'll do with that". I cannot wait for the next one, hooray.
Fans will love it, non fans will love it, and I hope it gains new fans. Excellent. Probably the best in the series.
Kath & Kimderella (2012)
I loved it!
Anyone who is Australian and doesn't flat out love Kath and Kim is obviously crazy, I'm an avid fan of these two characters, from their early days on big girls blouse all the way to their prime-time series on 2 of Australia's leading channels, and after watching Kath and Kimderella it makes me love them even more. They're just so bloody charming, and really it is all meant to be a bit of fun and not to be taken seriously. I will say, when I saw the trailer I thought it looked kind of silly, but I was so surprised at just how good the "fillum" really was, we see all our favorites from the show in a bunch of hysterical situations. One thing I really appreciated was that the jokes all weren't recycled from the TV show, sometimes the show used to repeat itself, but I think the movie format and having it set somewhere entirely different really helps, it gives them a new subject to write material on. The script is actually very clever, Riley and Turner have snuck in so many little bits and pieces from fairy tales, I'm even pretty sure the crazy wife in the attic was a nod to Jane Eyre.
Gina Riley, Jane Turner and Magda Szubanski are national treasures, hands down Australia's funniest women, these ladies are just wonderful and all work well together, perfect chemistry. My favorite I have to say is Kim, she is such a right cow she's impossible not to love. This movie must have had a very large budget, as it looks terrific, some has been done on a green screen but that all adds to the Aussie feel, but everything else is just amazing to look at, they've captured Italy very well.
I do hope people ignore the bad reviews and go and make up their own minds, they might be pleasantly surprised at just how enjoyable it is, just take it for what it is which is a lighthearted comedy romp.
I hope all you fellow Aussies love it as much as I did.
Hit and Run (2012)
Kristen Chenoweth is wonderful.
Hit and Run isn't necessarily a bad movie, but it's really not that wonderful either, it's got so much talent, both leads have been hysterical in previous things, but in this movie not so much, Kristen Bell is OK but she seems totally wasted in this role, you'd never know that her boyfriend wrote it for her, and Dax Shepard is just a little annoying. However the best parts of this movie are the short scenes with Kristin Chenoweth, as usual she makes herself known in a tiny role, the only times I found this film remotely funny were the scenes she's in, and Bradley Cooper has a couple of good scenes.
The storyline itself is a little weird, the title hit and run doesn't match the story, not once in this movie is there a hit and run, it's car chases without the Death Proof wow factor, most probably due to the small budget. At times I was a little bored, some scenes are just strangely placed, and some are just slow. It's not all bad, the cars are pretty cool, the soundtrack is very different and offbeat and it doesn't go for too long. Fans of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard will probably love seeing them together on screen, but for me it was just a tad disappointing.
Not awful, but not as good as the trailer may have you think. :(
Damsels in Distress (2011)
Deliberately Quirky. :)
From the get go I realized Damsels In Distress wasn't going to be a ridiculous comedy that you would forget about as soon as you left the theater, the humor and jokes in Damsels in Distress is not light and fluffy, it's the kind of stuff you have to pay close attention too, it's kinda like a new form of comedy, awkward but not cheesy and stupid. Greta Gerwig, an actress almost too awkward and quirky, is perfectly cast in the lead role, she portrays the perfect amount of mean girl and best friend, at times you hate her and at times you really feel for her, actresses like her don't come along very often, she's a bit reminiscent of Zooey Deschanel back when she was making indie stuff like The Good Girl, I do hope she doesn't sell out and become like Zooey is now. The supporting cast are also really well cast, Annaleigh Tipton plays it cool, I do think her character was a little boring but there's no doubting she does a good job, and Hugo Becker is pretty funny as one of the distresses, weird but funny.
The actual film is at times trying a little hard, more than once were jokes made and no- one in the theater laughed, and sometimes the story veers in strange directions which are too far away from the central storyline, the pacing lags a little bit towards the end but I guess it's at the end so it's not that big of a deal. Generally the movie is good and different, but it just seems like it's wanting to be weird and different and unique but doesn't succeed, lots of jokes and situations are great and make you laugh, however a lot of them totally miss the mark, it's all seemed so deliberate and not natural. It is refreshing to see a female comedy that doesn't sell out and become gross-out or romantic comedy style, these gals are pretty cool.
A little bit too hipster but it's still a nice movie to watch, people should watch out for Greta Gerwig, she's fast becoming the next Parker Posey.
Enjoy it guys and gals. ^.^
P.S the dance number at the end made me want to boogie right there in the cinema
Total Recall (2012)
In my opinion this movie has a couple of really good things going for it, firstly it is absolutely amazing to watch, the visuals and special effects are breathtaking, and secondly it has Colin Farrell, who is a great actor no matter what the role. Unfortunately though, that's pretty much all that's positive about Total Recall. When I saw the trailer I thought it looked like a cool scifi romp that would be easy to watch, however about half an hour in I had to be awoken by my friend because I had fallen asleep. The story takes far too long to get going, the beginning is such a drag, and once it did get going I'd lost interest, it also seemed as though there was too much going on that it was hard to keep track of anything.
One big thing that I really disliked was Kate Beckinsale, everything I've seen her in previous to this I've thought she's been great in, but in this she is extremely overused and is overacting so much that it's embarrassing, her character is probably meant to be the cool villain but I just didn't like her at all, and Jessica Biel was good in her role but she was underused and her character was underwritten, the characterization between the two females should've been a little more equal. Colin Farrell is great, he hasn't ever really given a bad performance, and it's good to see him buffed up and playing something a bit different. I haven't seen the original so I can't compare the two, but I've heard that the story is extremely different, which begs the question, why remake a movie if you're just going to change it, just make a new movie.
All in all the movie was a letdown, it was probably about 20 minutes too long (it's not a good sign when you keep falling asleep in an action film), the script is cheesy (I give good wife), and the overall pace is disjointed, however hardcore scifi peeps would probably love it.