Oct 042015
 

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September was one of the most eventful months of the year so far – which involved moving house, and being without internet for two weeks, and a short holiday in New Zealand – and this resulted in limited opportunities to write. You will have seen a recent absence of content on the site, apologies for that we’ll be back shortly. Without the internet and the ability to stream, I didn’t have too many viewing options at home, so I decided to re-watch some of my blu-rays. I also caught ten films at the Sydney Underground Film Festival, which made up a majority of my cinema viewing, in addition to a select few regular releases we prioritised around our busy packing/moving schedule. Check out my quick thoughts on all of the films after the jump (ranked by preference):

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Theatrical Viewing

Sicario (x2) – I love all of Denis Villeneuve’s films, so I had high expectations. Go into this knowing nothing. Troubling off-the-grid dirty war descends into uncompromising darkness. Performances from Blunt, Del Toro and Brolin and nerve-shredding soundscape incredible. Holds up well on a second look too. (4.5/5)

Ricki and the Flash – Family drama with spunk and genuine feeling, Demme and cast nail the music and the relationships. Always have time for this brand of ‘feel-good’. (4/5)

The Gift – Nifty thriller offers more than creep-stalker unease; unaccountable elitist bullying and a dormant past rallying against. Bateman is unreal. There are many striking shots (Bateman in the drive looking back at Edgerton in the house, whoa), and a thoughtful approach to the filmmaking (throwing in jump scares to ensure you remain on edge, but thankfully not relying on them). And there is a complexity to the performances – especially Bateman. Look out for how he holds a knife & fork in one scene. (4/5)

Love 3D – Reviewed (3.5/5)

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the RevolutionFeels like it just scratches the surface, but it is a busy, energetic tribute. Wonderful images. (3.5/5)

The InternSuch a nice film, I really enjoyed it. Nancy Meyers hit my soft spot (again). De Niro and Hathaway work so lovely together, and despite some silly moments it is never as cloying as you might expect. (3.5/5)

All the Time In The World – Sweet. Beautifully photographed season-time. Subversive venture, discipline and innovation the admirable traits. (3.5/5)

Call Me Lucky – Wow, this changed gear quickly. Intimidating comedy pioneer shares tragic past – still uses stage for comedy, but also political activism and to build abuse awareness. (3/5)

Fassbinder: To Love Without Demands – Late-life interviews reveal plenty about the political and personal inspirations of the prolific filmmaker. (3/5)

Everest – Cast improve (though their accents don’t) as peak pressures hit hard; location obvious star. Technically convincing and nails big drama, often let down by script. The ’96 Everest tragedy was devastating – film captures gruelling opposition of merciless nature and human willpower. There are interesting characters and venture politics, but a lot is unfortunately sidelined for the purposes of an accurate ‘re-telling’ of events. (3/5)

Jesus Town, USA – Entertaining, but questionable as a doco as eccentric characters become scripted pawns in Easter scripture pageant drama. (2.5/5)

Hellions – Promising start, but abandons time/space logic for flair. Messy narrative leaves too many questions. Music erratic but the most interesting element, for sure. (1.5/5)

Knock Knock – Though his younger co-stars are rather good, Keanu gives a truly awful performance to rival Nic Cage in The Wicker Man in this abysmal, woefully misjudged subversion of Funny Games/Wild Things that fails to progress its idea beyond the first act. (1/5)

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Heaven Knows What – Raw, uncomfortably real/biographic study of addiction and dependency. Musical bursts punctuate constant desire to ‘escape’. Well-received at various international festivals, and now available on VOD. (3.5/5)

Along Came Polly – “Let it rain!” Seymour Hoffman was scene-stealingly hilarious in this pretty by-the-numbers, but rather relaxedly charming, rom-com. (3/5)

Child 44 – Perfectly watchable whodunit thriller with a hefty, intriguing plot. Though lengthy, dour and plodding at times, Hardy’s very good. (2.5/5)

Waterworld – The action sequences are impressively chaotic and layered, it has non-CG scale, but I could have lost that long boring middle chunk. (2.5/5)

Fast & Furious 7As ridiculous as expected – the stunts are insane, yes! – but not really that fun. Appalling script. (2.5/5)

Just Wright Pleasant, but very goofy. Rides Queen Latifah’s charm all the way. As an NBA fan, believing that Common was the starting PG for the New Jersey Nets (who don’t exist anymore) was a far enough stretch, but when he hears about the fact that management is considering letting him go from a player on a rival team I switched off. I knew where it was going, anyway. (2/5)

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Re-watches

Sorcerer – My defence of The Wages of Fear, which I consider one of the greatest films I have ever seen and only slightly superior, is getting flimsy. What an incredible achievement. (5/5)

Jurassic ParkThe Goldblum. THE 90’s blockbuster. (5/5)

Why Don’t You Play in Hell – (4.5/5)

The Bourne Ultimatum – (4.5/5)

The Breakfast Club – (4/5)

Scream – (4/5)

The Incredibles – (4/5)

Drug War – (4/5)

Kids – (3.5/5)

The Green Hornet –  (2.5/5)

TV

Scream Queens – Only watched the pilot, but I thought it was a lot of fun. Hit the spot for unique reasons. Needed the switch-off fun – wildly inconsistent but lots of jokes connect, mass-killer mystery hooks. Will continue. (3.5/5)

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