Justice League

Nov 17, 17 Justice League

In Cinemas NOW!

SYNOPSIS:

Fuelled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Thanks to Roadshow

REVIEW:

Nerida:

DC is cleaning up its past mistakes. This is the filmmakers going away from the gritty modern style established in “Man of Steel” and going back to the classic light feel reminiscent of Rich Donner’s “Superman” from ’78. If you thought “Batman v Superman” was disappointing, then have no fear. Joss Whedon is here to make things more… hopeful… Yeah, that would be word. Hopeful, lighthearted and more like the old classic superhero stories. All the bad decisions made in previous movies are now starting to get undone. And that’s really good. They should have started out this way, but at least they now know what the right direction is. We owe a lot to “Wonder Woman” for that. Too bad the studio told them to not go over two hours with the run-time. Because that’s what ultimately hurt the movie the most. There’s a strange rushed feeling throughout it. Lots of new characters are introduced within a short time and before you notice you are already watching the final fight. That’s the real issue here. It brushes over things quickly and you don’t get much out of it. It’s entertaining but, there’s no weight or a good enough connection to what’s going on. Everything is just decent. But, hey! This is the Justice League! It should be more than just fine… Right? Well, this is what we got. And it could have been way worse. You can watch it and not be too bothered.

I liked the characters. They are all performed well. Flash is the one that I think could have been a little stronger. This is an interpretation of him being awkward and an outcast. He had his moments of being somewhat too weird, but I did laugh at most of it. Aquaman didn’t get enough time, but I’m fine with the direction they went with. It was fun to see the League interact. At times I forgot about the actors and just saw the comic book heroes instead. And that’s a good sign. Still, this movie is messing with me with conflicting thoughts. I liked the characters and many visuals, but the story and overall pacing is rushing instead of being effective. I didn’t feel the important impacts of major scenes. I wish I did. The best fight is actually the one during the beginning bank heist scene. It never got that good again. In the end I’ll say that it isn’t bad. It’s a decent popcorn movie that for once would have benefited having a longer run-time. Just so that we could feel the importance of the Justice League forming for the first time. The good news are that the future of the DCEU might be in good hands now. We’ll see, but I hope so.

 

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Suburbicon

Oct 24, 17 Suburbicon

 

In Cinemas OCTOBER 26

SYNOPSIS:

Suburbicon is a picture-perfect 1950s suburb where the best and worst of humanity is reflected through the deeds of ordinary people. But when a home break-in turns deadly, a family must turn to blackmail, revenge, and betrayal in order to survive.

Thanks to Roadshow

REVIEW:

Nerida:

I’m a fan of the Coen Brothers – love me some Fargo. So when I heard that George Clooney was directing their next original script, naturally I couldn’t wait to see it. Fast track a year and a half later and here we are. Clooney proved to me that it takes much more than a Coen Bros script to make it a Coen Bros film. Suburbicon is one of the few films that will come about where the talent attached to the project is so overwhelming and plentiful but the final product is so mediocre and bordering on bad that it leaves you scratching your head.

The film is very beautiful to start off. The cinematography is very crisp and extremely colorful which makes the setting of the 50s suburbs seemingly pop even more so. The production design and basically anything of a technical aspect is amazingly done here by traditional standards. So why is Suburbicon falling flat? Very simple: Clooney is woefully unqualified to direct a Coen Bros script as are most people. This feels like it was made by someone who watched Fargo and Burn After Reading a dozen times and decided to make this. It feels like it is an imitation and, by the end of the film, that is all it turns out to be. The cast is even really dull despite a fantastic performance from Julianne Moore. Damon can’t decide whether to play it funny or serious and that really plays a big part in the violence of the film. It is comically set up but brutally executed. It doesn’t feel right at all and it makes for a very tough watch.

Overall, Suburbicon is a film that will probably leave your mind as quickly as it came. It is a very forgettable film. It is a frustrating piece of cinema as well because we will always be left with the thoughts of what could have been. With the level of talent and star power, Suburbicon has no business being as dull and ragged as it is especially because in a technical sense, the film is great. But with Clooney’s misguided direction and Matt Damon’s very erratic performance, Suburbicon is a miss of the most disappointing fashion.

 

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It

Sep 08, 17 It

In Cinemas SEPTEMBER 7

SYNOPSIS:

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

Thanks to Roadshow

REVIEW:

Nerida:

Not being the biggest fan of horror, what persuaded me to watch this movie was the blessing bestowed upon it by the stories original creator, Stephen King, who claimed: “I wasn’t prepared for how good it really was”. He’s not wrong.

As someone who has read the book, “IT” is quite extraordinary. The attention to detail, the subtle but effective comedic undertone and the exquisite cinematography not only do the original title proud, they make this re-imagining of the original classic even better than its predecessor.

It’s a very scary film but what impressed me was how true the film sticks to the original’s tricks; it isn’t filled with loud in-your-face jump scares, in fact, a lot of what makes this film scary is the slick cinematography and intricate shadow play. The use of lighting and creation of atmosphere is what makes this film so tense, which is why it’s perfectly suited for those who like horror movies but without the obnoxious gore.

And if you have never liked clowns before, you’re going to hate clowns even more because Bill Skarsgard’s performance as the new Pennywise will haunt your dreams for the next few weeks after you’ve watched this movie. What I appreciate about Skarsgard is that he doesn’t try too hard to emulate or imitate or channel Tim Curry, Skarsgard does his own take of creepy. And because Pennywise is pretty much invincible to a certain extent, you’ll see him pop up in the most unlikeliest of places meaning when you least expect him, that’s when he’ll scare you to your core so brace yourselves for surprises around every corner. Another reason why the timing of this movie’s arrival could not be more perfect is because today’s visual effects compliment Pennywise’s limitless abilities and so director Andy Muschietti and his crew have the creative freedom to not only realise some of the scare points in the book but they managed to also go beyond that. “IT” goes for massive, it goes for bold, it goes for bloody, not a single boring minute. You will laugh, you will scream, you will have nightmares, hands down one of the best horror movies ever made.

 

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Victoria and Abdul

Sep 05, 17 Victoria and Abdul

 

In Cinemas SEPTEMBER 14

SYNOPSIS:

The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.

Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia

REVIEW:

Nerida:

We’ve been here before – in John Madden’s 1997 “Mrs Brown” – admirers of Dame Judi Dench will rush to see how, twenty years later, she builds on the same role of Queen Victoria, in what could almost be the sequel to Mrs Brown, in Victoria & Abdul. The film is a lavish and more of a comic affair, which is a bit different from what we expect from Stephen Frears after his almost chillingly cold  rendition in “The Queen”.

We’re in similar thematic terrain to Mrs Brown in this dramedy about the relationship between the elderly monarch and a young Indian Muslim who became her trusted and adored companion.  “Victoria & Abdul” is a movie that flirts with exploring prejudice, cultural tension, power, and religion, but never really completes the ideas. At best, it tries to humorously dismantle the absurdity of empires and royalty, but that’s about as subversive as it gets. There’s certainly an aspect to Abdul that’s incredibly grovelling (and underwritten for that matter), and his friend Mohammed even curses him out at as an Uncle Tom. Much like Abdul, the amiable “Victoria & Abdul” is eager to please, but perhaps isn’t quite as flattering to the audience as one might imagine. The mix of splendour, wry chuckles and the odd tear – together with Dench’s typically rich, mischievous performance – make for imperial status at the box-office, particularly with older viewers. Just don’t expect cutting-edge historical revisionism from this production.

 

 

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Gifted

Aug 23, 17 Gifted

 

In Cinemas AUGUST 31

SYNOPSIS:

Frank Adler’s (Chris Evans) plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

Thanks to Roadshow Films

REVIEW:

Nerida:

Marc Webb is developing a nice little career for himself. Gifted has a keen sense of emotional weight, even if it’s ultimately a tad melodramatic with some clunky dialogue.

 

By far the best thing about ‘Gifted’ are the performances. Amidst the soap opera-ish story are the touching performances from Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace. This story only works if these two have great chemistry and you believe in their relationship. Both of them clearly had a blast filming with each other and developed a sweet back and forth. The one detractor being that the dialogue they are given isn’t all that effective. Tom Flynn doesn’t have a ton of experience working on feature films, and it shows here. I’m also a bit stumped by the use of a shake-cam in some scenes – we’re not filming an action film, or a horror movie here – this just took away from the experience.

 

The film always has good intentions, as do all of the characters, and in that way it feels safe. It’s a predictable story with enough likeable qualities to get by, but it could have probably taken a few more chances here and there. Funny enough, the film is about a young child who’s smarter than she should be, and that’s kind of similar to the film overall. It’s an innocent film that tries to be smarter and more thought provoking than it really has a right to be.

 

However, as I stated before, the film’s heart lies with Evans and Grace. Their comradery is undeniable and thus there are quite a few powerful scenes. With all of his outings as Captain America, you don’t get to see this side of Chris Evans, so I’m grateful this film gave us that. Webb does a nice job of getting an uncharacteristically emotional turn from Evans, and a funny, touching, and surprising turn from the young Grace. Overall, it’s not going to knock anyone’s socks off, but it definitely puts a smile on your face and maybe even gets a few tears out of you.

 

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Aug 22, 17 The Hitman’s Bodyguard

In Cinemas AUGUST 24

SYNOPSIS:

The world’s top protection agent is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hit men. The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their journey from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator who is out for blood.

Thanks to Roadshow Films

#HitmansBodyguard

 

REVIEW:

Nerida:

Do you like Samuel L. Jackson’s “mother-trucker” personae?  Do you enjoy Ryan Reynolds charming-roguish personae?  Do you think it would fun if these two mismatched personas were matched together in a buddy picture?  If so, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is the film for you.

Directed by Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3), The Hitman’s Bodyguard delivers EXACTLY what you want/expect it to deliver.  A fun, action-y romp with Ryan Reynolds being charming and roguish (and a bit “put upon”) while Samuel L. Jackson chews every scene that he is in while (very) frequently sprinkling in his trademark “mother-trucker” lines in each scene.

There is not much new here.  The plot and destination is irrelevant (and Gary Oldman professionally mails in his “bad guy” role to emphasise just how irrelevant it is).  It is the JOURNEY to the destination that matters and like other “mismatched folks on the run” films like Midnight Run, this one creates a journey that is well worth watching.  The pair in the lead are terrific together, and play off each other well.  The action is “good enough” (but, again, nothing new) and by the end, I found myself rooting for these two – and had a good time along the way.

Special notice should be made of Salma Hayek who does her best Samuel L. Jackson imitation in the role of SLJ’s wife, trying to match him beat for beat (or “mother-trucker” for “mother-trucker”) and, while she doesn’t always succeed, it is fun to watch her try.

A very enjoyable – if forgettable – way to spend a few hours.

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