Mr. Turner

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Nov 182014


Mr. Turner is a dense, challenging biographical drama of ugly sounds and gorgeous visuals, sets and costumes. Veteran British filmmaker Mike Leigh (Naked, Secrets and Lies and Another Year) canvases the period spectacularly, while Cannes Best Actor-winner Timothy Spall (The King’s Speech) completely embodies the vile but fascinating J. M. W Turner, one of the great 19th Century British painters.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

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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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John Wick [Second Perspective]

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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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Snap Reviews: The Drop, My Old Lady, Winter Sleep

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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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 Reviews  Comments Off on Pride
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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2014 Brisbane Asia Pacific 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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Podcast: NIGHTCRAWLER (The Matineecast, Episode 122)

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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.

Interstellar [Second Perspective]

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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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