Apr 282014
 

TRANSCENDENCE

Matthew Pejkovic and I have been friends and critic colleagues for a couple of years now, so I was rather chuffed when he asked if I would appear on his MMR podcast. Our topic was Transcendence and all things Johnny Depp. I liked the film more than Matt, and I really enjoyed chatting with him about it. One thing we did agree on was that Depp really gives a nothing performance. In light of this film and his last few performances Matt asked, Is Depp still cool? What could he do next to inject some life back into his career?

Listen to the podcast here.

Apr 262014
 

belle

Thanks to Icon Films , we have 5 x double passes to give away to BELLE – in Australian cinemas from May 8.

 BELLE is the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mabatha-Raw), who was the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral and a slave. Belle was a remarkable figure in 18th century society, being the first mixed-race woman to be raised as an aristocrat. Being in the care of her great-uncle, Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the colour of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder what her future will hold, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.

View the trailer for Belle here

To win: simply tell us the name of your favourite period drama film or television show. Send all answers, along with your name and postal address to sam@anonlineuniverse.com by 9pm on Tuesday 6 May.

Apr 192014
 

Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston star are a married couple who just so happen to be vampires. They’re moody, they’re cool, they’re intelligent and philosophical, but they also happen to be hungry. Whilst contemplating scientists and theorists, they tend to also include their dinner within that mix and no, they do not sparkle or pout at thin air. My review of Only Lovers Left Alive after the jump.

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Apr 192014
 

The Cannes 2014 Official Selection lineup has been announced, with a host of well-known film-makers returning with new projects, as well as a few first timers and as always, a surprise or two.

Cannes returnees such as Mike Leigh, David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, the Dardenne brothers, Andrei Zvyagintsev, Tommy Lee Jones, Zavier Dolan and Michel Hazanavicius are all back with new films. Compared to last year, this line-up of directors has a more Continental feel about it. While there are still American directors in competition, last year really felt like the year of the American story. I’m happy to see a little more variety in 2014, including new films from three very interesting and very different Canadian filmmakers.

In a slight improvement from 2012 and 2013, this year’s official competition features two female directors, Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase (Still the Water) and Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher (Le Meraviglie). New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion is the president of the year’s jury. Campion is the only female to win the Palm d’Or for 1993’s The Piano.

For a good analysis of this year’s offerings, I suggest checking out Variety .
 
Here are the 5 films that I am most excited about from the lineup.

Lost River – dir. Ryan Gosling. Gosling steps behind the camera for his directorial début Lost River which is playing in Un Certain Regard. The film which has been re-titled from How to Catch a Monster  stars Eva Mendes, Christina Hendrix, Ben Mendohlson and Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith. The brief official synopsis is as follows: “A single mother is swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.” Well colour me very interested!

Foxcatcher – dir. Bennett Miller.  The Moneyball director is back with a boxing film of sorts, this one an account of the murder of Olympic wrestling champion Dave Schultz. The screenplay is adapted from the book written by Schultz’s brother, Olympic wrestling gold medalist Mark Schultz. Dave Schultz is played by Mark Ruffalo, while Channing Tatumn plays brother Mark.

Goodbye to Language –  dir. Jean-Luc Godard. The 83-year-old French director is back at Cannes with his 39th film, this one in 3D. Will Goddard be able to convince cinephiles that 3D is worthy of the eyeballs? I have no idea, but I am so intrigued to see this. It’s just the most unlikely combination!

Mommy – dir. Xavier Dolan. The 25 year-old (!!!!!!!!!!) is back at Cannes for the fourth time, this year for the first time in official competition. To be honest I don’t care what the film is about, I’ll watch anything that Dolan makes. We’re yet to see Tom at the Farm in Australia (it plays at the upcoming Sydney Film Festival), but that doesn’t mean I can’t get excited about his next offering. The synopsis for Mommy is as follows: “A widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor inserts herself into their household.”

Still in the Water – dir. Naomi Kawase. A Cannes returnee, the Japanese director has previously won the Grand Pix in 2007 and the Camera d’Or in 1997. This film centers around a couple who get caught up in a murder investigation on a small Japanese island.

Other films I’m interested in include: The Captive, La Meraviglie, The Rover, Eleanor Rigby and How To Train Your Dragon 2.

Full lineup after the jump.

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Apr 162014
 

For six years they have raised their sons. They have shared special moments, taught them life essentials and watched them grow into their own little people. After six years of sharing and shaping a child’s life, what would you do if you were told that your child was not really yours? My review of Like Father, Like Son (そして父になる) after the jump.

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