Avengers: Infinity War

Apr 27, 18 Avengers: Infinity War

IN CINEMAS NOW!

SYNOPSIS:

19 films and thousands of hours of work by thousands of people have all lead up to this moment – An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time.

The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Thanks to Marvel Studios Australia and New Zealand

#InfinityWar

REVIEW:

Nerida

Over the past decade, Marvel has earned itself the benefit of the doubt. The studio has consistently delivered smart, funny, brave films that both embrace and transcend their comic-book origins. The 18 blockbuster movies produced since Iron Man first blasted off into the stratosphere in 2008 have not only reinvented superhero films as a genre – they’ve helped to legitimise it. Indeed, Marvel’s two most recent films – Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther – have received the kind of accolades usually reserved for edgy arthouse flicks.

 

And yet, it’s perfectly reasonable to be apprehensive about Avengers: Infinity War. This is a blockbuster film that’s been ten years in the making, its plot hinted at and scattered throughout 18 other movies. It features 30 or so characters, each with their own complex backstories and motivations. And all of them are coming together in a bid to stop a giant alien dude from destroying the universe. It sounds ridiculous, and feels impossible.

 

But that’s precisely what makes the final product such a monumental achievement. Masterfully directed by the Russos, Infinity War is bold, brainy film making at its very best: the kind that will lift your spirits, blow your mind and shatter your soul – occasionally in the same scene. It demonstrates on an epic scale what Marvel has known all along: that special effects and tightly choreographed action are there to serve the story. For all its blockbuster spectacle (and there’s almost too much of that), the film works because it’s anchored by the heart, humour and humanity of its characters.

 

From the outset, it’s immediately clear that neither the film’s directors nor screenwriters (Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) are interested in playing it safe. Most other superhero films are bled of high stakes – the hero in the title might suffer untold trauma, but it’s a super-safe bet that he or she will make it to the end alive. There’s no such guarantee here. Within the first ten minutes, we are confronted with the dark, twisted depths to which Thanos and his acolytes in the Black Order will sink in order to achieve their goals. Death, as well as genuine loss and sacrifice, is intrinsic to the narrative drumbeat that drives Infinity War ever forward, and the film is all the better for it.

 

In a film with so many moving parts, some elements don’t work quite as well. A couple of characters that you might have expected to be right at the forefront – including an original Avenger or two – fade into the background. The film tumbles from dizzying fight scene to dizzying fight scene, and while most of them are fantastically choreographed, there are some purely dumb moments that literally revolve around attempts to prevent Thanos from clenching his fist. In effect, this is a superhero mêlée that’s part over-the-top and part overkill, and might prove too much for those who don’t already care for this franchise and the characters in it.

 

Minor quibbles aside, though, Infinity War is yet another step in the right direction for Marvel. It continues the studio’s tradition of placing a premium on rich, complex storytelling that respects both its characters and its audiences. But it also refuses to make things easy for itself. The film ends even more bravely than it began, with a final ten minutes that will haunt and horrify you in equal measure. It’s a stroke of bold, brilliant genius – a narrative risk so audacious that you’ll want to follow Marvel wherever it goes next.

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Tully

Apr 23, 18 Tully

I have 5 double passes for the preview screening of TULLY, 6:30pm, Tuesday 8 May, at Palace Barracks Cinemas

For your chance to win a double pass, answer the question below:

“What do you think is the best thing about being a parent?”

Put your answer on Twitter, Instagram (with the hashtag #Tully, tagging @reviewbrisbane), Facebook, or below!

In Cinemas MAY 10
But see it first, at the preview screening!

SYNOPSIS:

When Marlo (Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD) is gifted a night nanny by her brother (Mark Duplass, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED) she is hesitant to the extravagance at first, but soon comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis, BLADE RUNNER 2049).

Academy Award® nominated director Jason Reitman (UP IN THE AIR, JUNO) and Academy Award® winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (JUNO) reunite for this brilliant and refreshingly modern new comedy-drama, in cinemas nationally May 10.

Thanks to Studiocanal

REVIEW:

Nerida

The film TULLY,  once its layers get peeled away, brings forwards Cody’s refreshing take on modern-day maternity (in a film that carries her stamp more than Reitman’s). It is neither blandly conventional (far from it), nor a Juno for adults – though Tully is infused with Juno’s infectious wit. This very welcome creative reunion of the Young Adult trio is a winning combination right from the start, especially when the story morphs into something out of a fairy tale once Marlo’s happily married, well-off brother (Duplass) decides to give her the gift of a nighttime nanny. Having watched a nicely stitched montage of Marlo’s hectic days and sleepless nights, we find ourselves on her brother’s side almost immediately.

 

Enter Tully (a smiling, overeager Davis, perfectly cast), the competent and knowledgeable (on any topic) nighttime helper. You could perceive her as a contemporary Mary Poppins, who can fix things with the snap of her fingers. Or perhaps liken her to Pulp Fiction’s Mr. Wolf, in charge of cleaning up daily domestic crime scenes created by raucous kids.

 

With fluid, wise dialogue and tender female-bonding scenes as comfortable to slip into as cozy loungewear, Cody gradually builds a heartwarming relationship between Marlo and Tully, making memorable screen heroes out of everyday women. This often laugh-out-loud-funny film generously puts itself in service of all mothers shamed by society for seeking help or wanting to preserve a bit of their former selves. “You don’t have to do it all by yourself,” the film reminds. Tully’s surprising finale may be gentler than Marlo has earned throughout the film, but its simple, common-sense message remains quietly radical. This collaboration between Reitman and Cody is bound to make mothers everywhere feel a little less alone.

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Love, Simon

Mar 28, 18 Love, Simon

 

IN CINEMAS MARCH 29

SYNOPSIS:

Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing.

Directed by Greg Berlanti (TV’s Dawson’s Creek, Brothers & Sisters), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (TV’s This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, LOVE, SIMON is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love.

Thanks to 20th Century Fox Australia

#LoveSimon

REVIEW:

Nerida

This film is about so much more than coming to terms with one’s sexual orientation. In fact, what makes this movie so special is the universal theme of how to be who you truly are and live with integrity, even when you might be subject to adversity because of it. It’s a film about finding the courage within yourself to be who you truly are no matter what. This is precisely what makes the film relatable to anyone who watches it.

The theme may sound serious and heavy, but director Greg Berlanti skilfully balances humorous entertainment with real, vulnerable, and sensitive emotion. I heard this from many who watched the movie: never before has a movie made them laugh and cry so much in the span of a couple hours.

All the acting was great and nuanced, and you will definitely walk away relating to many of the characters because of it. The music was fantastic. Don’t be surprised if many of the songs are stuck in your head afterwards. And the script and dialogue will stay with you for long after you watched the film. There are some REALLY powerful moments!

I highly suggest you watch Love, Simon as soon as you can! This film has already become a cultural phenomenon of sorts, and deservedly so.

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A Wrinkle In Time

Mar 27, 18 A Wrinkle In Time

IN CINEMAS MARCH 29

SYNOPSIS:

Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.

Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who just want to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Travelling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself in order to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.

Thanks to Walt Disney Studios Australia

#WrinkleInTime

REVIEW:

Nerida

Children’s books will never be easy to adapt for new generations. Not just because of generational gaps of the state of mind when it was written, but also the expectation of holding filmmakers to the standard that a book indirectly sets (even if it doesn’t translate to film). While in recent years, Ava DuVernay has established herself directing impressive urban dramas (Selma, Middle of Nowhere) and finds herself stepping into the Disney fantasy land, and while young children can have fun in her world, adults may find a few more wrinkles than expected.

Ava DuVernay is very much staging an ambitious world visually, and while it’s interesting to view, it doesn’t allow enough on the surface or even depth to understand how the “wrinkles” operate. While I’m okay with the idea of the children going into a world unlike their own, I found myself asking “what is anything and why doesn’t it click like it should?” We are told many times on screen that Meg and her brother have great minds, but we never really get to see what makes them so brilliant like the film says they are. For a film that’s trying to really inspire young minds into STEM, I really feel that this wasn’t explored enough. There’s points when Meg’s brother becomes the central focus and he goes from over his years to unexplainably odd and it becomes hard to digest on screen. And as for Oprah playing the witch, it just sounds like Oprah talking like Oprah. Take what you can from that.

It’s not all bad within the world though. There’s enough colorful elements that I could see young children finding enjoyment in the fantasy world. The set pieces have some interesting ideas and surreal moments in visual repetition and ever changing geography.

A Wrinkle in Time sadly has too many wrinkles to give it a recommendation, but I wouldn’t tell people run away either. It has interesting ideas, but trouble connecting it altogether. Colourful, but maybe too intense to the eye. The heart and soul is very much seen in Ava’s work, but I feel the heart wasn’t in the right direction.

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Pacific Rim: Uprising

Mar 23, 18 Pacific Rim: Uprising

IN CINEMAS NOW

SYNOPSIS:

Jake Pentecost is a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous Kaiju. Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through cities and bring the world to its knees, Jake is given one last chance by his estranged sister, Mako Mori, to live up to his father’s legacy.

Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia

#PacificRimUprising

REVIEW:

Nerida

The movie has the robots, the badass fight scenes, the enjoyable cast of characters and all the makings of a fun time. For most part, it is. However, when compared to the first it lacks that certain reverence for its inspiration which shows most apparently when watching the action.

Character scenes aside, since the first was no winner in this department either, what Pacific Rim did amazingly well was craft gargantuan mechs and monsters that we can remember. Uprising almost feels like the director was following a checklist, but forgot to watch the first one to see how Del Toro put it all together to make it special. The result is a ‘cool’ and ‘badass’ robot v monster fight scene collection that ultimately fails to resonate.

As a sequel, it also fails to cover any new ground. This is most likely due to having to basically cast a whole new group of characters, give them scenes rather than simply starting off where the last left it. Consequently we don’t really get too much more info in terms of what or how or why things happen, only that the Kaiju are coming again and we gotta stop them.

Pacific Rim Uprising fixed the pacing issues from the original, but that’s about it. Otherwise, more doesn’t always equal better sums it up pretty well. It IS still a fun watch, especially if Jaeger v Kaiju action was what you’re looking for in the first place.

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Tomb Raider

Mar 16, 18 Tomb Raider

IN CINEMAS NOW

SYNOPSIS:

Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

Thanks to Roadshow

#TombRaider

REVIEW:

Nerida

Finally a video game movie that breaks the video game movie curse. It is so much fun & exciting as well as crafted beautifully. Overall, a solid story with great action and some surprises I wasn’t expecting. Alicia Vikander crushed it as Lara Croft

Vikander is the new queen of action films! I was so impressed by her performance throughout the course of this film.The entire cast was solid. The film definitely has an Indiana Jones vibe which I think is epic! I spotted some nods to the original games.

The film is very well grounded and gritty. The action sequences and visuals are stunning. Definitely brought the 2013 version of Tomb Raider to life with a bang. Vikander’s Lara Croft is a hero that is flawed yet keeps pushing forward and you see that in Vikander’s performance.

While Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed stumbled, Tomb Raider rises above the pack with superb storytelling, great action and impressive performances.

Some of plot elements are predictable and cliche as is the case in many action films but there’s plenty of twists and excitement along with the stellar cast performance and action sequences to make this a must see if action films are your thing!

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