May 012016
 

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What constitutes a sexy movie? Is it something explicit like the shooting a Cadbury Cream Egg ejaculate into one’s mouth like Short Bus? No. Is it a movie that features ONE blindingly good sexy scene a la Neve Campbell and Denise Richards’ pool party in your pants in Wild Things? No. A sexy movie is about tension or sexual energy between the characters. A sexy movie immerses you into a filmmaker’s voyeuristic gaze; appraising beauty and passion of the characters. A sexy movie is about being tempted with what’s forbidden and occasionally giving in and having a taste. With that in mind, here’s my Top 10 Sexiest Films of All Time. In no particular order…

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Apr 302016
 

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For some reason Ryan McNeil keeps inviting me back to speak on his podcast. I am flattered, but not always up to the task. For this episode we talked about the #52FilmsByWomen challenge (read more about the challenge here). I really enjoyed the chat, but man (or ‘woman’, as would be more appropriate in this case) – my brain was not playing ball. I found it so difficult to articulate myself and describe the plots of films I had watched only a few months before. It was rather frustrating. I am certain I created quite a lot of editing work for Ryan!

Despite my brain farts, I encourage you to give this a listen. This challenge has been incredibly rewarding and at times, rather challenging, particularly in terms of sourcing the films and the lack of films directed by women showing at the cinema in general release. I think you’ll get from the podcast that Ryan and I are both getting a lot out of the challenge, and are for the most part, enjoying it immensely. We also talk about some films we have enjoyed, and some films we are looking forward to checking it. It’s a great way to get some recommendations if you want to get into the challenge, or just watch some more films directed by women.

The full episode is available here.

Apr 292016
 

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In Civil War, the thirteenth instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the focus shifts back to Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America (Chris Evans). This is his third film as central protagonist, joining Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark with as many films. It seems fitting that these two come to a head here, as Rogers finds his allegiance torn between Stark and The Avengers and his old friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who finds himself the subject of a global manhunt. Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) return to direct, again proving to be very competent in their choreography of the action sequences and their ability to find a deft balance of humour as they probe into deep human emotion, and further explore the intense physicality of the characters under pressure.

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Apr 282016
 

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In cinemas this week: Captain America: Civil War, A Month of Sundays, Mother’s Day, God’s Not Dead 2 and Pawno (released limited last week)

Captain America: Civil War – Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and others must pick a side. With a motion put in place to bring a more peaceful future, past vengeances resurface that threaten the harmony of the Avengers. An epic collaboration of brilliantly choreographed action and stake-fueled allegiances. One of the stronger entries in the MCU. 

A Month of Sundays – Written and directed by Matthew Saville (Noise and Felony), this is a charming Adelaide-set drama about ordinary people and second chances, starring Anthony LaPaglia in a compelling performance as a career real estate agent, Frank Mollard, trapped in a mid-life crisis of professional failure and emotional disconnect. Having recently lost his mother and been divorced, he is estranged from his teenage son and can’t even manage to sell a house during a property boom. This humorous and often moving existential study has a unique offbeat approach, which ensures that it stirs and lingers in the consciousness longer than you would fist anticipate. Further thoughts at the link.

Pawno (released limited last week) – In a dusty old pawnbroker’s in the heart of Footscray, world-weary owner Les watches as the lives of the people who come through his doors collide, change and unravel. From incipient love affairs to desperate last gambles to those simply worn down by all the world has thrown at them, these individuals and their stories represent the best and the worst of Melbourne’s most hopeful and giddily mixed-up suburb. Transporting Wayne Wang’s seminal Smoke into the heart of Melbourne’s inner-west, Pawno is the ambitious and breezily watchable feature film debut from actor-turned-director Paul Ireland. Combining elements of thriller, romance and gangster genres this quirky, off-kilter character study features an eclectic ensemble cast including Maeve Dermody.

Mother’s Day – Intertwining stories revolve around a television host (Julia Roberts), a divorcee (Jennifer Aniston) looking for love and a woman (Kate Hudson) who wants to strengthen her relationship with her mother. The latest entry in that multi-plot/ensemble holiday-themed rom-com genre a la New Year’s Eve. You know what you’re in for.

God’s Not Dead 2 – High school history teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart) comes under fire for answering a student’s (Hayley Orrantia) question about Jesus. When Grace refuses to apologise, the school board votes to suspend her and threatens to revoke her teaching certificate. Forced to stand trial to save her career, Grace hires young lawyer Tom Endler (Jesse Metcalfe) to defend her in court. Endler devises a powerful strategy to show the jury the historical significance of Wesley’s classroom discussion. There was another one of these?

Weekly Recommendation – Captain America: Civil War is the superhero movie that die-hard Marvel fans were waiting for. Millions will flock to see it, and it does deliver on a lot of levels; in particular the coordination of the new characters into the struggle. A Month of Sundays is a charming, nicely directed comedy-drama with a stirring existential salvation arc and a compelling performance from Anthony LaPaglia.

Apr 282016
 

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

With his fourth feature film, writer/director Jeff Nichols is again tackling big themes on a small-scale. Though Midnight Special is a science fiction film, its main theme is that of family, whether biological or constructed, and the lengths people will go to in order to protect the people they love. Midnight Special is reviewed after the jump.

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Apr 262016
 

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Written and directed by Matthew Saville (Noise and Felony), A Month of Sundays is a charming Adelaide-set drama about ordinary people and second chances, starring Anthony LaPaglia in a compelling performance as a career real estate agent, Frank Mollard, trapped in a mid-life crisis of professional failure and emotional disconnect. Having recently lost his mother and been divorced, he is estranged from his teenage son and can’t even manage to sell a house during a property boom. This humorous and often moving existential study has a unique offbeat approach, which ensures that it stirs and lingers in the consciousness longer than you would fist anticipate.

Continue reading »

Apr 242016
 

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We have 3 x DVD copies of  the RLJ Entertainment and BBC One Agatha Christie title And Then There Were None to give away in support of its Australian release on May 4th.

This impeccably produced and photographed three-part series is adapted from one of Agatha Christie’s most popular classic thrillers. And Then There Were None tells the story of ten individuals invited to an isolated island, where they are killed off one by one by an unknown killer. It’s Christie at her darkest and most sinister and has seen many adaptations in the past. This latest incarnation returns to the dark roots of the story and was written by Sarah Phelps (Great ExpectationsOliver Twist) and produced by Mammoth Screen (Parade’s EndEndeavour).

And Then There Were None stars Australia’s own Maeve Dermody (Black Water, Griff the Invisible) and New Zealand legend Sam Neill (Peaky Blinders and The Daughter, now in cinemas), as well as English stars Douglas Booth (Great Expectations, The Riot Club), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, The Imitation Game), Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises, Torchwood), Anna Maxwell Martin (The Bletchley Circle, Death Comes to Pemberley),  Miranda Richardson (Mapp & Lucia, Parade’s End), Toby Stephens (Black Sails, Jane Eyre), Noah Taylor (Peaky Blinders, Game of Thrones) and Aidan Turner (Poldark, The Hobbit Trilogy).
 
To win
Tell us the name of one other Agatha Christie novel

Send your answers, along with your name and postal address to sam@anonlineuniverse.com by 9pm on Thursday 5 May, 2016.

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

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Apr 212016
 

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Fourteen films will have their Australian premiere as part of the brand new Essential Independents: American Cinema, Now festival coming to Palace Cinemas in May. The two-week festival, curated by artistic director Richard Sowada, will showcase the past, present and future of independent cinema from the United States and its impact on the international screen industry.

With a diverse program of 32 films, across five categories, Essential Independents celebrates new narrative feature and documentaries and includes a retrospective on first films from now major international filmmaking talents, including Kelly Reichhardt, Kathryn Bigelow and Sofia Coppola.

Oren Moverman’s Time Out Of Mind, starring Richard Gere, will open the festival, but take a look at some of  our highlights from the program after the jump. Note: blurbs credited to the official website. Continue reading »