Reviews written by registered user
|14 reviews in total|
It is good to see that Australia is returning to the comedy idiom after such a long absence since Muriel's Wedding and Priscilla going back to the early 90's Having said that although I found it quite amusing the first half an hour was a bit flat and until it got into the silliness that most of the comedy consisted of it did not hit the mark. Olivia Newton John surprises in a comedy performance as mother of the bride and it was good to see this Australian icon back on the big screen. The absurdity of some of the situations that unfold is certainly reminiscent of Death at a Funeral but falls short of that comedy gem. Nevertheless it is worth going to see and has more laughs than some American so called comedies
Given that we can expect the usual offering of holocaust films year after year this one has to be one of the worst. The far superior Sarah's Key released recently covers the same ground in a far more interesting way with at least some respite from what was happening in France during the second world war through by the very clever use of flashbacks to allow the viewer the opportunity of leaving the cinema without being in a state of severe depression. There was no character development and the heavy handed direction left no opportunity to escape the very dark and grim storyline. Sure, these events may have really happened but by now after countless films depicting the horrors of the holocaust this one does nothing more than wallow in the misery of the victims. The over sentimental soundtrack also adds to the darkness of a film that I for one wish I had not spent my money on. Upon leaving the cinema I noticed a sign offering money back if you leave before 30 minutes into the film if you are not enjoying it. I so wish I had noticed this beforehand as I would have taken up the offer.
I must admit that I approached this movie and it's subject matter with a fair amount of trepidation given the holocaust theme once again having sat through other movies such as Sophie's Choice, The boy with the striped pajamas and The Pianist. However I must say that the story here was compelling and the performance of Kristin Scott Thomas was excellent as I have come to expect from her in other movies I have her seen her in. Perhaps as it was the French who were first and foremost the main villains in this piece the story of those black days being diluted to a degree by the switch from the past to the present was in some ways a relief from other holocaust movies. Searching for the truth concerning Sarah kept me interested until the final minutes of the film and I recommend it to those lovers of European cinema.
Well there is very little in this story of an American woman going on a journey of self discovery to recommend apart from some exotic locations. Perhaps a storyline like this may have been handled better by a European filmmaker because it was, to me, a complete mess and far too long. Julia Roberts was far from convincing, the script was trite and in its attempts to delve into the issue of a woman looking for spiritual enlightenment falls flat. I think the problem rests primarily with the script which seemed to be riddled with clichés and no real emotional connection with the characters. The Roman episode was of very little interest apart from the role of the Swedish friend she happens to meet up with. Maybe this falls into the category of a chick flick in which case maybe it will find an audience with some female viewers, particularly those who haven't left the shores of their homeland and maybe go on this journey because they have not had the opportunity to experience foreign lands first hand. I hope this doesn't sound sexist but I cannot in truth find anything to recommend to anyone contemplating spending over two hours of their life watching this nonsense
A rather brave film in many ways taking on such a topic and in a satirical way perhaps highlighting the tragedy involved when naive young Muslim men are misled into taking action to become martyrs in the name of their religion resulting in unexpected outcomes. Despite their bumbling attempts to do harm to society you can't help but become involved in the lives of these young men as they are undeniably like-able as played by the actors. The scenes towards the end of the film at the Marathon were quite hilarious and ridiculous to boot.Also their mis-adventures in Pakistan were funny. But there is an underlying message here about how young men can be recruited to jihad because of a misplaced faith in those who advocate such acts in the name of their religion. All of the actors I thought performed well especially Riz and I left the theater thinking how the lives of young men are exploited and that perhaps in the end they are not all that different from the rest of us were we to find ourselves facing similar circumstances.
It will be interesting to see if this movie has universal appeal, particularly in USA where Rugby is confined to colleges mostly on the west coast. The thread of the story of course was more about Mandela's wish to find a way for uniting the country through sport and this came across quite well along with the scepticism on both sides of the political divide and the mistrust of the new administration. Personally I thought the sequences of the Rugby went on a little long although they were reasonably well done. The question remains though, would the film have been made had the result of the game been different? Character development was not strong apart from the Mandela character.Matt Damon was fairly convincing but the film, for me at least, failed to reach the heights of other recent Eastwood films. I am sure the film will have a large audience in South Africa and to a lesser degree other Rugby playing nations.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Living a long way away from Germany this film really is something of a curiosity. I was aware of the baader meinhof terrorist group and one would have thought that there was plenty of material here to make an interesting movie about a time of turmoil in German history. I was in fact living in England 1972-75 and was in Germany at times during this period. The film looked very 1970's and the acting was fine. I think that the problem with the film, and in my view a major one, was the lame script and a series of characters that didn't manage to get through to me in any human way and by the end I really didn't care about them or what happened to them. The second phase of the campaign to free the main characters was not explained in any great depth and just seemed to materialise from nowhere. Not a German classic in my opinion, not even a good film and perhaps at over two hours running time far too long and self indulgent by the director
Without giving away the ending this is pretty much a run of the mill holocaust film, it's saving grace is that it does make you question your emotions as to what eventuates and as to whether your feelings should be shocked by the entirety of the whole or the circumstances under which the unexpected happens. In other words what shocks you more the overall tragedy or the way another innocent is drawn into the web of madness that was Germany during the second world war. The obvious English accents of the actors playing Germans grated for me and the film did drag for me for a lot of the time with stereotype Nazis being portrayed as evil against the naivety of the central character of the young German boy and the sad situation of his young Jewish friend. I understand this was adaptedfrom a well regarded novel and I was appreciative that I hadn't read it as I would have found the whole journey rather tiresome. The power ofthe film lies in its ending in my opinion
I did enjoy this romp in the Greek Islands and was surprised at how well Meryl Streep sang. It's light, full of froth and bubble and perhaps has some aspects of Grease and Bollywood in it. The reason the music works I feel is that they haven't really messed with the arrangements of the songs keeping them generally faithful to the Abba originals. But Pierce Brosnan's vocal efforts were abysmal, almost laughable. Perhaps it was meant to be a send up of the original songs all the way through but he really did manage to mangle the vocals in my opinion. If you have seen the musical on stage you will know what to expect and there are some funny moments in the film and the Greek islands are as always a superb backdrop for the action.
I have to say that I have not been entertained as much by an Australian movie since the early 1990's when Muriel's Wedding and Priscilla, Queen of the desert hit our screens. A very human drama of a working class family in Sydney's western suburbs that strikes the right note between comedy and drama which is often difficult to pull off. Brenda Blethlyn, playing the domineering Mother does so very well with the result that perhaps her character tends to grate a little by the end of the film but that was only after approximately two hours spending with her and not a life time that the characters around her have had to endure. She is perfectly cast in this role but for me the real stars were Emma Booth who plays the love interest of her son and Khan Chittenden her boyfriend and young man experiencing his sexual awakening. Also worthy of mention is Frankie J Holden as the father and ex-partner of the Blethlyn character. An entirely believable human drama that will have you totally engrossed in the characters until the final reel. How good it is to see that the Australian film industry can still put out such quality cinema with a universal appeal. Go see it you won't be disappointed!
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