Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Roger on Nicole

The estimable US critic Roger Ebert has provided a(nother) positive and timely comment regarding Nicole Kidman after viewing her latest film, Rabbit Hole.

I was interested in Nicole Kidman's performance. I've always believed her to be talented, since all those years ago when she and Thandie Newton starred in the wonderful "Flirting" (1991). She seems to be two people: the glamorous star of "Moulin Rouge" and "Nine," and the risky, daring actress in "Birth," "The Hours" and "Eyes Wide Shut." Celebrity has clouded her image; if she were less glamorous, she would be more praised. Age will only be an asset to her.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Somewhere movie review

Sofia Coppola’s latest, Somewhere, is extraordinary because it is hard to see it being made well by almost anyone else.
It is the study of a man who is in crisis and faces a choice to rehabilitate or destroy himself.
For long periods of time the camera just observes its subjects as they go about their business. In the case of our man, movie star Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) - battered but handsome  – he attends a photo shoot; a press conference; accepts offers from willing admirers; and indifferently drives around in his black Ferrari. He has lost all interest and spark in his profession and 5 star lifestyle.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A Lifetime Goal

A lifetime goal has been achieved with the full cast & crew credits listed on for El Heist Grande.

The film has been entered into a number of festivals in 2011 - good luck!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The White Ribbon movie review

Michael Haneke is, to my mind, the best example of an “artistic” film director working today. Always challenging, never populist and very accomplished are words that apply equally to his Best Foreign Language Oscar winner, The White Ribbon.
So what happens when the drive for a godly perfection becomes an all encompassing and extremist view point with no scope for reason, grace or latitude? Perhaps, reasons Haneke, you raise a generation that simultaneously feels morally superior and through fear acts maliciously towards others.
This film is set in a small German town during the summer before the outbreak of World War 1. The film is narrated by the school teacher, now an old man reflecting back on the events of that time. The first mysterious event concerns the doctor who is felled, while riding his horse, by a wire strung between a tree and gatepost. The culprit is not discovered and after a time, village life returns to normal.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Paranormal Activity movie review

Things that go bump in the night,
Should not really give one such a fright,
It's the hole in each ear,
That lets in the fear,
That, and the absence of light!
Spike Milligan

What I particularly liked about Paranormal Activity:
  • the screenplay was tight with dialogue used to serve the story (not a time filler between scares as witnessed in Blair Witch Project)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

El Heist Grande movie review

It was with great anticipation last night that we attended the first ever screening for family & friends^, Farce Miller Enterprises latest comedy, El Heist Grande.
The film opens with a hush. The tension is immediately built with three men sitting around a table. Their faces grim. Two have guns which are pointing at each other’s head. The low synth music builds dread and expectation.
We jump to the jaunty opening credits which is playing the cheeky sax El Heist Grande theme and animated sequence of the main players. Without diluting the tension, this has everyone engaged from the first moment and signals to the audience that they are about to be entertained by this story.
Set in the quiet, eastern Melbourne suburb of Nunawading, friends Alec (David Farr) and Andrew (Darrell Hawkins) are in desperate need of some fast money. This leads them to the shadowy office of Stan Man (Onkar Kale) who offers the pair $10,000 if they steal some very rare Moga-Komo quiche.
Alec becomes The Heistmaster and Andrew, somewhat reluctantly, The Chief of Staff. Together they pull together an unlikely band of specialised skill sets : Daniel (Daniel Mu) as The Guy Who Turns Lights On & Off; Samson (Matthew Laing) as the Master of Communications; Charlotte (Grace Chandler) as The Injury Feigner; Jason (Richard Farr) as The Intimidating Cricketer; and Ivy (Zoe Dale) as The Personal Assistant.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

The Last Station movie review

The Last Station begs an interesting question. Is “religion” a life killing institution that seeks only to ‘take’ from people ? According to the film, in the latter years of his life, author Count Leo Tolstoy (he of the War and Peace and Anna Karenina fame) – played by Christopher Plummer - sought to implement a place of freedom and truth from his commune that was outside the traditional Orthodox religion of his time.
In a movie twist his followers, led by Chertkov (Paul Giamatti) seek to institutionalise their Tolstoyism which in turn only leads their followers to follow their puritanical rules and thus continue the cycle of one form of oppression. In one of the film’s best lines, when asked if they believe Tolstoy is the Christ, the answer back is “certainly a prophet : God speaks through him; I recognise the cadence in his voice.”

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Zidane : a 21st Century Portrait movie review

What a curious contemplation Zidane : a 21st Century Portrait is.
As the title suggests, it is a portrait rather than a documentary where viewers are encouraged to sit and absorb this version of conceptual art from directors Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno.
Zinedine Zidane (‘Zizou’ to his fans) was for a time world football’s best player and played at marquee club, Real Madrid. His contempories and team mates included Ronaldo, Beckham and Raul. Zidane played in the midfield as the pivot player through whom most advances were coordinated. Like supremely gifted players of all codes, Zidane found space and time, never appearing to be under pressure and making passes with a grace that belies the effort.