Mar 042015
 

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In cinemas this week: Focus, Lucky Them, Seventh Son and Unfinished Business.

Focus - A con artist (Will Smith) takes on an inexperienced apprentice (Margot Robbie) in this crime comedy from the filmmaking duo behind Crazy Stupid Love, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. It looks like a lot of other films of its type, but I am intrigued to see what Robbie gets up to post Wolf of Wall Street. 

Lucky Them - More interested in partying and flirting with young musicians than work, veteran rock journalist Ellie Klug (Toni Collette) has one last chance to prove her value to her magazine’s editor: a no-stone-unturned search to discover what really happened to long lost rock god Matthew Smith, who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend. Teaming up with an eccentric amateur documentary filmmaker (Thomas Haden Church in a delightful performance), Ellie hits the road in search of answers.

Seventh Son - In a time long past, an evil is about to be unleashed that will reignite the war between the forces of the supernatural and humankind once more. Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is a knight who had imprisoned the malevolently powerful witch, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), centuries ago. But now she has escaped and is seeking vengeance. Summoning her followers of every incarnation, Mother Malkin is preparing to unleash her terrible wrath on an unsuspecting world. Only one thing stands in her way: Master Gregory. In a deadly reunion, Gregory comes face to face with the evil he always feared would someday return. He has only until the next full moon to do what usually takes years: train his new apprentice, Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) to fight a dark magic unlike any other. Man’s only hope lies in the seventh son of a seventh son.

Unfinished Business - A hard-working small business owner (Vince Vaughn) and his two associates (Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco) travel to Europe to close the most important deal of their lives. But what began as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every imaginable – and unimaginable – way, including unplanned stops at a massive sex fetish event and a global economic summit.

Weekly Recommendation –  Focus? Focus is the only one here that I seen anything remotely about. I did see one trailer for Seventh Son, and despite the presence of Bridges and Moore it looks pretty terrible. Unfinished Business, with that mismatched cast, has potential. An unknown week, but with the exception of Seventh Son, these are all films I will seek out later in the year on DVD if I don’t catch them in the cinema.

Mar 032015
 

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Thanks to Ella Donald for this piece. You can read more of Ella’s writing here [Ed].
On March 8 is International Women’s Day, a day celebrating women and calling for change in areas where women still face challenges. This post is apart of the Women’s Appreciation series, where I take a look at influential and important women in film, whether the characters or the actors who bring them to life on-screen. It is based on this prompt.

In September 2006, veteran Canadian actor Sarah Polley would première her directorial and writing début at the Toronto Film Festival. The film was Away From Her, an adaptation of the Alice Munro short story ‘The Bear Came Over the Mountain’, and it would be nearly universally acclaimed, receiving rave reviews that were shocked at how Polley had managed to create such a mature, insightful portrait of fidelity and forgiveness at such a young age.

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Mar 022015
 

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The Alliance Française French Film Festival is back for its 26th season, this time with 49 features, which will take place across 8 cities at Palace Cinema venues from early March until mid-April. The festival is packed with a variety of films, from easy-watching romances, to relationship dramas, and action-thrillers. We have taken a look at five of the films screening at the festival: Girlhood, Love At First Fight, The New Girlfriend, Saint Laurent and The Last Diamond. Check out our thoughts after the jump.

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Mar 012015
 

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The month got off to a cracker of a start with 6 cinema trips in a week. And then….well and then life got busy and I stayed at home more. I saw a couple of incredible films, went to one of Sydney’s outdoor cinemas for the first time and finally watched probably the most famous orgasm scene in modern cinema. My round-up of my February 2015 viewing is after the jump.

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Mar 012015
 

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Thanks to The Becker Film Group, we have 10 x double passes to give away to KIDNAPPING MR.HEINEKEN – in Australian cinemas March 12, 2015

In 1983, a group of childhood friends pulled off the crime of the century: kidnapping one of the richest men in the world, the heir of the Heineken beer empire (Anthony Hopkins). The shocking capture–by gunpoint in broad daylight on the streets of Amsterdam–resulted in the largest ransom ever paid for a kidnapped individual. It was the perfect crime…until they got away with it. Based on a true story, KIDNAPPING MR. HEINEKEN also stars Sam Worthington, Jim Sturgess and Ryan Kwanten.

To Win
Tell us what your favourite heist film is and why.

Send your answers, along with your name and postal address to moc.e1425499958srevi1425499958nueni1425499958lnona1425499958@mas1425499958 by 9pm on Tuesday 10 March, 2015.

Check out the terms & conditions of the competition after the jump.

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Feb 282015
 

Throughout the month of February I watched a total of 25 films. I started out with half a dozen straight at the cinema, but have cooled off since then and been catching up with French Film Festival screeners and DTV stuff since then. It has been a rom-com/Daniel Radcliffe month.

Horns, film still

In my limited spare time I played NBA Live 15, Child of Light, Drive Club and The Last of Us on PS4 and worked through Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’. We have also been busy getting the final preparations for the wedding together, it is a feat I managed to achieve this much.

All of the categories after the jump are ranked in order of preference: Continue reading »

Feb 282015
 

inherentvice

Award season may be over, but that doesn’t mean the end of quality cinema – in fact, I’d say it means the opposite. March-May traditionally sees the release of some great indies and arthouse film from Toronto, New York and other film festivals; as well as seeing the first of the [US] “summer” blockbusters.

We’ve picked 12 that we are excited for, but the list of films could have easily been double that. Check out our picks for 12 films to watch in Autumn after the jump. Continue reading »

Feb 252015
 

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In cinemas this week – A Most Violent Year, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Eastern Boys and That Sugar Film (March 1)

A Most Violent Year – Set during the winter of 1981 – statistically one of the most crime-ridden of New York City’s history – A Most Violent Year is a drama following the lives of an immigrant and his family as they attempt to capitalize on the American Dream, while the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built. This is the new film from J.C Chandor (responsible for Margin Call and the amazing All is Lost) so you should be very interested. He is a terrific filmmaker, and this looks like another hefty project. Plenty of praise has come for the performances from Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain and Albert Brooks.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel), and it’s making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life. Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy – posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tasmin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce and are wondering where there regular dates will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone’s secrets. I quite enjoyed the first film, and it was such a hit with the elderly demographic that I can completely understand a sequel.  I’ll get around to watching this – even if it is on DVD.

Eastern Boys - Arriving from all over the Eastern Bloc, the men who loiter around the Gare du Nord train station in Paris are scraping by however they can, forming gangs for support and protection, ever fearful of being caught by the police and deported. When the middle-aged, bourgeois Daniel played by Olivier Rabourdi approaches a boyishly handsome Ukrainian who calls himself Marek for a date, he learns the young man is willing to do anything for some cash. What Daniel intends only as sex-for-hire begets a home invasion and then an unexpectedly profound relationship. The drastically different circumstances of the two men’s lives reveal hidden facets of the city they share. Presented in four parts, this absorbing, erotically charged drama from writer-director Robin Campillo is centered around anonymous liaisons, in which motivation, risk, and desire produce volatile and unexpected consequences.

That Sugar Film - Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. Damon’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar will forever change the way you think about ‘healthy’ food.

Weekly Recommendation: A strong week for sure, with nay an uninteresting film amongst them. I have my heart set on seeing A Most Violent Year this weekend, but I expect I will have to settle for the rest on DVD/VOD later in the year. If you enjoyed the first Marigold Hotel what’s to stop you seeing this. I wonder if it will beat its predecessor at the Box Office.