Jul 032015
 

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So, this month I predominantly watched films at the Sydney Film Festival. I am not going to rank them here as I normally would, because my thoughts on all but a couple can be found in my Diaries (1-3 / 4-5 / 6-8 / 9-12). My five favourite films that I saw during the crazy twelve days were Victoria, Corn Island, Welcome to Leith, Tehran Taxi and Cartel LandA couple of  controversial disappointments: Tangerine and Me & Earl & the Dying Girl. 

After Sydney Film Festival I had a bit of a hiatus and didn’t watch films or write much for a while. I took up gaming a lot more – first NBA 2K15, then Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. The latter has certainly been a big time suck, but it is a fantastic game. We also did some other cultural things too – like see a stage show (Thomas Jordan’s solo act ‘Cleansed in Blood’ – if it comes to your city, I recommend it).

Coming up in July – consistent new release screenings (will try and have a review a week on the site) and the first instalment of the Director of the Month. Check out my thoughts on some June viewing below:

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Jul 022015
 

Amy Winehouse

In cinemas this week: Terminator Genisys, Amy and The Last Five Years. 

Terminator Genisys – When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin, an unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline. Instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by her side. Faced with unlikely allies and dangerous new enemies, Reese sets out on an unexpected new mission: reset the future. Has been mostly savaged and despised, but I rather enjoyed it. Review at the link.

Amy – Despite just two albums to her name Amy Winehouse is one of the biggest music icons in British history. With a voice oft described as a combination of Billy Holiday, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan, Amy Winehouse was a pop star with soul; a once in two generational musical talent whose appeal crossed cultural and demographic boundaries. But while her music made her a star, her chaotic personal life stole headlines. I have never been particularly interested in Amy Winehouse’s music, but her story is a tragic one. Director Asif Kapadia’s Senna was a phenomenal documentary and even non-F1 fans will tell you that. I have been expecting this to be equally transcendent. However, since the the bunch of extremely positive reviews at Cannes, there has been a lot of negative comments about the construction of this film.

The Last Five Years – In this adaptation of the hit musical, The Last Five Years is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five year period. Jamie (Jordan), a young, talented up-and-coming Jewish novelist falls in love with Cathy (Kendrick), a Shiksa Goddess and struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through song. All of Cathy’s songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time to the beginning of their love affair, while Jamie’s songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the center when Jamie proposes. Saw this at TIFF last year, and it was one of the worst experiences in a cinema of the entire year. Hated it!

Weekly Recommendation: I unashamedly enjoyed Terminator Genisys, so I am going to go against the grain and recommend it. I do think Amy will be worth the time, too. 

Jul 012015
 

Terminator-Genisys-Pictures

The Terminator franchise is back with Genisys, its best instalment since 1991. Granted, this is not all that difficult considering the last two uninspired films, but the first instalment in the supposed new T-trilogy is worth the while for the sci-fi/action junkie. Read why after the jump:

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