Spider-man : Far From Home

Jul 05, 19 Spider-man : Far From Home

IN CINEMAS NOW

SYNOPSIS:

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever. 


https://www.spidermanfarfromhome.movie

Thanks to Sony Pictures Australia

REVIEW:

Nerida

The MCU is in great hands! I personally have been of the opinion that Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man and that the MCU has handled Spider-Man better than previous iterations. I believe Far From Home is proof of that.

I am blown away at the quality of this film – The writing, action, story, and characters are all at a higher calibre than we’ve seen in most of the previous MCU films. I did not once find myself bored. I was always entertained by some aspect of the movie. The high school romance, the elemental battles, and most of all Mysterio.

Mysterio was the big highlight of this. I never thought I’d see Mysterio on the big screen and now we have him in movie where he is done PERFECTLY. He was absolutely flawless and a big stand out character of the MCU. Jake Gyllenhal was born for this role and was used to the fullest of his abilities and the characters abilities.

In the end, this is what Spider-Man should be. Tom Holland is fantastic and is set to lead the future of the MCU.



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Balloon

May 31, 19 Balloon

IN CINEMAS NOW as part of the
GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL

SYNOPSIS:

Known for Germany’s all-time biggest grossing movies Manitou’s Shoe (2001) and Dreamship Surprise (2004), comedy personality Michael “Bully” Herbig now makes his directing foray into thrillers, recreating a gripping historical event.

1979, East Germany at the height of the Cold War. Günter Wetzel (David Kross, The Reader), a bricklayer, and his friend Peter Strelzyk (Friedrich Mücke), an electrician, can no longer bear the oppressive regime. The two men and their wives resolve to undertake a mission to secretly build a hot air balloon from scratch that will carry them and their families over the border fence to freedom. Over the course of the next 18 months they sew 1,000 square metres of cloth and gather countless weather reports from West German radio with the Stasi (State Police) hot on their heels. A nerve-racking battle against the clock begins…

https://germanfilmfestival.com.au

Thanks to Palace Cinemas & The German Film Festival

REVIEW:

Nerida

‘Why do we bother guarding the border? Wouldn’t we be better off without those traitors?’ This question by a Stasi-official pinpoints the paradox of communism: if a system without freedom would be better than a free society, why would citizens escape this system? The German film ‘Balloon’ doesn’t elaborate on the pros and cons of political systems; instead, it is a thriller filled with suspense, about two families trying to cross the border between East and West in a home made hot air balloon. The thriller-element is far more important than the political side of the story. The director doesn’t shy away from classic Hollywood screenwriting clichés, but he gets away with it.

I was gripped by the story, although it’s clear that it’s made more exciting than it was in reality. The excellent Wikipedia-entry ‘East German balloon escape’ is interesting reading material for those who want to compare the film with reality. Besides being a fine thriller, ‘Balloon’ also shows very well the effects authoritarian societies has on its citizens. They risk their own lives and those of their young children, in order to stop living in a big lie. Many films have shown the gruesome aspects of East German communism, but this brings you another aspect of it all.

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Crazy Rich Asians

Aug 21, 18 Crazy Rich Asians

IN CINEMAS AUGUST 30!

SYNOPSIS:

The story follows New Yorker Rachel Chu (Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life. It turns out that he is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother taking aim. And it soon becomes clear that while money can’t buy love, it can definitely complicate things.

Thanks to Roadshow

#CrazyRichAsians

 

REVIEW:

Nerida

The romantic comedy genre is a flavour that gets a bad rap for being one-note and heavily playing on sappy/silly tropes, even if that is not always the case. I have learned to expand my horizons when it comes to the genre and fit more good titles in there that don’t necessary hit that mark. Last year, we were graced with the best of the genre staple I’ve seen in a long time in The Big Sick because of its strong writing. I am pleased to say that we have a winner again this year, and a lot of it has everything to do with how the editing complements the writing and directing.

 

Crazy Rich Asians is an entry that treads lightly on both the romance and comedy (there are plenty of laughs to be had, I just never got an abs workout or fell out of my chair is all) and instead delivers a story built around culture, respect and trust, taking pages from Meet the Parents and The Devil Wears Prada. It is an absolutely accessible film for all audience members. Through framing, editing and choice of music, director Jon Chu finds a way of bringing about action in a film that is entirely devoid of it. He really highlights Singapore as a character in the film full of vibrancy and vivacity, claiming set-pieces to dictate entire acts of the story. There is a lot of symbolism that is foreshadowed very subtly, and almost everything has a payoff instead of making the audience question what a certain setup was meant for. We get to see the crazy-rich invite us to their fantastical routines as side-characters like Awkwafina hilariously bask it all in and takes nothing for granted. We envy their possessions, even if we may not envy their lifestyle.

 

Our main protagonist couple is a duo worth rooting for as they yearn for a cathartic endgame with one another, despite what morals stand in their way. They drive the story’s purpose, but they are on the bland end of personality when it comes to delivering the comedic goods, and this is totally okay; they let those around them bring us most of the character and laughs. A couple of them are thrown in for the cheap shtick, but there are nearly a dozen characters which get the limelight with their own romantic subplots. This ends up being more than just one love story, and normally I would consider this a detriment but this drawn out middle act of the film spends a lot of time establishing tangible and intangible values, and these characters’ interactions are a big part of that. We get a lot of conversation regarding the betterment of characters from each side of the proverbial fence that separates rich versus not-rich, Chinese versus American cultures, and wants versus needs. In a movie that could have easily only stated messages for an elite class of individuals or specific ethnic group, they spend a long time catering to the other 99% so we can be a part of the journey and not just seeing it from a particular lens.

 

From the earlier marketing, I did not expect this movie to win me over. It did, and I think you will feel the same if/when you decide to check this one out. Story-wise I felt some unevenness, but Jon Chu strikes enough visual flair to make a duvet out of a blanket. What could have been a tedious sitting was instead a raucously good time, and I really feel like there is something for everybody here. It is a recommended watch. Go check it out.

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BlackKklansman

Aug 15, 18 BlackKklansman

IN CINEMAS AUGUST 16!

SYNOPSIS:

From visionary director Spike Lee comes the provocative story based on Ron Stallworth’s real life as Colorado Springs’s first African-American police officer who went undercover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. Unbelievably, Detective Stallworth (John David Washington) and his partner Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) penetrate the KKK at its highest levels to thwart its attempt to take over the city. Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award® winning Get Out, Spike Lee uses his trademark take-no-prisoner style and humour to tell this story often missing from the history books.

Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia

#Blackkklansman

 

REVIEW:

Nerida

Spike Lee remains one of the most interesting American directors working at this moment, regardless of the varying quality of his work as of late, it’s immediately apparent with any of his projects that even in his early 60s he remains just as eager to experiment and indulge as he was when he got out of film school. Even his outright bad films contain so much cinematic flair and so many flat out ballsy choices, that they are worth watching. BlacKkKlansman, his best film of late, bounces with so much energy that it’s easy to forget how much of the runtime is given to discussion, how much is dedicated for varying parties to reveal their view points and logic. Its a film which bounces effortlessly between black comedy and police procedural, which is filled equally with gut busting wit and sweat inducing suspense, and most importantly which never skimps on entertainment. But Lee is always aware that his film is first and foremost a vehicle to deliver social commentary, and he ends the film on a left field gut punch the likes of which haven’t been seen since Do the Right Thing. After 2 hours of laughter and a good time, the final frames of this film left me speechless in a way that few films have, and crystallise the films message in the boldest terms imaginable. Many people will hate this film because of its politics, because it states things that are frankly uncomfortable to think about, but the message is supported by top notch craftsmanship, the film making on display is inspired to say the least, and it feels like Lee is again filled with the same infectious energy which made him a legend 30 years ago.

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Adrift

Jun 25, 18 Adrift

IN CINEMAS JUNE 28!

SYNOPSIS:

A woman and her fiancé find themselves caught in a hurricane after departing Tahiti by boat. She wakes up after being knocked out, only to discover him missing, and the elements threatening.

Thanks to Roadshow

#AdriftMovie

 

REVIEW:

Nerida

I wanted to see Adrift because I do enjoy shipwreck or ocean disaster based films. They usually end up being grand visually and are a great reminder of how cruel nature can be. Adrift is based on a true story and looked like a mix of a romantic film and a survival film. It is pretty much that. I think the plot and timeline jumping does not always work but the film is anchored by a truly great performance by Shailene Woodley and some harrowing but memorable moments.

 

The film is about the true story of Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp. Both quickly fall in love with each other and share a common love for sailing. On one expedition, they sail into a dangerous hurricane. The hurricane was so fierce that it leaves Richard with incapacitating injuries and Tami left to steer their ruined boat to survival despite all odds being against them. She soon realizes that this is a mental as well as a physical battle.

 

Baltasar Kormákur does not always impress with his directional efforts although Everest worked for its cinematography and subject matter. Its more or less the same for Adrift. The cinematography of the oceanic terrain is beautiful and the storm scene was done very well. The plot is a bit thin and often not as focused on the duo’s survival as it should. The timeline jumps back and forth between present events and the couple at an earlier time. I don’t think this always works. Yes, there is good chemistry between Woodley and Claflin, I just didn’t think going back to their love story was as effective for focusing on the aftermath of disaster.

 

This is by far the best Shailene Woodley performance I have seen. The film is what it is because she takes hold of the role and is so convincing. Her determination, hopelessness, drive, and struggle is all displayed perfectly. There are two distinct passages in the film that deal with her coping while at sea. I thought they were fantastic and real standout moments in the film and displayed psychological toll of being adrift for so long. Not a perfect film but does what it needs to do right.

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jun 22, 18 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

IN CINEMAS NOW!

SYNOPSIS:

It’s been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles. When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia

#JurassicWorld #FallenKingdom

 

REVIEW:

Nerida

So, the first thoughts.

 

A huge improvement over the corny Jurassic World. Far from perfect, but surprisingly good, and it includes some of the most beautiful scenes in the whole franchise. There are moments brought real tears to my eyes, and that has never happened to me before in a JP movie.

 

The animatronics are back, and they are superb. They used them carefully and wisely to tell the story. T-rex is awesome. She is the most magnificent creature in the movie, and she got some really excellent appearances, in which she became a menace again.

 

The movie starts with a great opening sequence, and it builds up tension slowly, then all of a sudden it turns into a non-stop roller coaster. The acting is well held this time, and there is little to no cheesiness at all.

 

The nods to the first two films are subtle but well played. The movie is brimful of classic JP set-pieces and atmosphere. Bayona has nailed it with set-pieces.

 

As for the negatives, the movie has got too loud sometimes, and this made me feel that I need a break. It also dragged for about ten minutes in its third act. These were the main two things that bothered me the most.

 

All in all, it was worth waiting. Not great, but good, and really fun. It’s suspenseful, scary, heartbreaking, wonderfully filmed, and visually resplendent. There are three scenes here any fan can consider them some of their favourite scenes in the franchise.

 

Mister Bayona, after careful consideration, I’ve decided to endorse your park.

 

Long live Jurassic Park.

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