Nov 162014


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is the first cinematic half of the third and final installment in the Hunger Games franchise, based on the best-selling novels by Suzanne Collins. Francis Lawrence, who directed the excellent second film, Catching Fire, returns to direct, and the story continues to follow Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) as she becomes a reluctant hero and symbol of hope for Panem after escaping the Third Quarter Quell Hunger Games.

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Nov 132014


A brutally efficient and elegant return to the world of action for Keanu Reeves and an impressive, confident directorial début for David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, John Wick is a reminder that the action genre need not be left to the mercy of soulless, shaky-cam, rapidly edited, PG-13 pretenders. My review of John Wick after the jump.

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Nov 112014


Three very different films hit Australian cinemas this week. The late, great James Gandolfini’s final film, The Drop; Maggie Smith & Kevin Kline’s Parisian comedy-drama, My Old Lady; and the 2014 Palm d’Or Winner, Winter Sleep. Our brief thoughts on all three are after the jump.

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Nov 092014


Pride is British feel-good drama at its very best, featuring one of the strongest ensemble casts of the year. It is not only an inspiring and important film about the fight for equality and how strength in numbers amongst multiple marginalised groups has the potential to change a nation’s values, but it’s also full of frequent humour and irresistible energy. Coupled with the charm is an ever-present feeling of substantiality in its exploration of the period and the heroes that made such an unlikely union possible. Written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus, Pride has understandably been internationally celebrated, including winning the Queer Palm at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

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Nov 072014


The Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF) is a 16-day international event screening more than 80 films from across the region. The new and exciting program includes multi-award winning features and documentaries, highlights from the festival circuit and a curated showcase of the best films from the Asia Pacific.

Opening the festival will be the Australian premiere of The Crow’s Egg, direct from the Toronto International Film Festival. It is a charming and authentic portrayal of contemporary Indian life through the eyes of two young brothers. Closing the festival will be Coming Home, the latest film from the Chinese Fifth Generation auteur Zhang Yimou. With virtuoso performances from the country’s leading actors Gong Li and Chen Daoming, Coming Home quietly addresses the aftermath of Cultural Revolution yet ultimately celebrates human bonding and enduring love.

Highlights from the programme (there are many!) and recommendations after the jump.

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Nov 052014


Without a doubt, Nightcrawler is one of my favourite films this year. So when Ryan asked if I would come on The Matineecast to talk about it, I was delighted.

Usually Ryan and his guest talk about a couple of other films at length (The Otherside), but for this episode we mostly let that slide, and got into the nitty-gritty of Nightcrawler.

If you haven’t seen the film yet you might want to be cautious, as we do stray into spoiler territory.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Nightcrawler releases in Australia on November 27.

Nov 042014

“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here”. The Earth is no longer able to sustain life, it is slowly dying. People have sucked it dry and now many are starving. What if there was another place, somewhere where humans might have a second chance at survival? If only we could find it….Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is reviewed after the jump.

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Nov 032014

Winner of the 2014 Sydney Film Festival Prize, Two Days, One Night gets a cinema release in Australia this Thursday (November 6th).

From writer-directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (The Kid with a Bike, Rosetta), it is a moving and poignant film which is so relevant for our current economic climate.

The official synopsis as is follows:

Academy Award®-winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) is Sandra, a married woman with two children who plans to return to her factory job after a breakdown. However she’s told that she is to be made redundant, while her co-workers will receive a bonus. In order to help her, Sandra’s best friend at work has convinced their boss to hold a vote – do the workers want to save Sandra’s job, or keep their bonus? It is Friday and the vote will be held on Monday – Sandra has the weekend to persuade her workmates to keep her employed, or to sacrifice their bonus they need to make ends meet.

I was rather affected by this film and the moral conundrum that it presented. I’m sure that all of us would like to think that we would be one of the people to give up our bonuses for our colleague’s job, but I’m not sure it would be so easy to say goodbye to that sort of money. It’s a fascinating idea, one which speaks to the humanity in us.

Marion Cotillard delivers one of the year’s best performances in this film, particularly in regards to displaying the mannerisms and moods of someone who is dealing with mental health issues. Sandra is a complex character and Cotllard gives her incredible depth.

A list of cinemas playing Two Days, One night can be found here.