Director Nicolai Fugslig has displayed a tedious taste for violence and carnage in over-extended battle scenes in his telling of this true story of a mission by American Special Forces in Afghanistan immediately following the events of 9/11.
If, like me, you grew up with Bugs and not Beatrix Potter’s much-loved Peter, you might be surprised to discover that the two rabbits’ personalities are not a million miles apart.
Gloria Grahame is not exactly a household name, but in 1952 she won an Oscar as best supporting actress for her performance in The Bad and the Beautiful. By 1981, when this film begins, she was just another faded American star, working on the stage and reduced to doing her own makeup (it’s a beautiful opening scene, with Gloria sitting in front of the mirror in her dressing room, accompanied by the piano from Elton John’s Song For Guy).
In From Russia With Love (the novel), Tatiana Romanova was a ballerina in Leningrad before joining the Russian Secret Service, whereupon she was trained as a siren to seduce and execute James Bond.
I haven’t had such a good laugh at the movies for ages. As Max and Annie, Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are perfectly cast as the youngish middle class couple in the burbs whose main goal is to have a baby (though 48 and 38, they can still get away with it).
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) has opened the floodgates for seniors’ romances. Not everyone wants to sit through two hours of smash-ups, chases and hallucinogenic CGI (without the hallucinogens), so it’s pleasing that producers have cottoned on to a previously neglected demographic
Clint Eastwood, now 87, has made some of the finest movies of this century. His latest is not one of them, but it does not warrant the brickbats that have been hurled at it. Indeed, if Eastwood’s crime is to... Read More →
The poster says a lot. It is of Saoirse Ronin (as the eponymous Lady Bird) in profile. For all the world it might be a Madonna by Piero della Francesca
Having received poison-pen letters for bagging Samson and Delilah (2009), I approached Warwick Thornton’s new film with trepidation – nobody wants to be branded a redneck by those who really care. This time out Thornton has nailed it with a... Read More →
When the world outside your window gets a bit too real for comfort, and you know that neither Hugh Jackman as PT Barnum nor the slugfest of pyjama cricket on TV will lift your spirits, a dose of big-screen animation... Read More →
It’s no wonder that Americans shoot each other with gay abandon, if they are flocking to their cinemas to be ‘entertained’ by movies such as this. It is exceedingly nasty and violent, and if macho bullshit were to be measured on the Richter scale it would likely fly off the register.
When I saw the trailer, I tried to remember the victim in the infamous knee-capping incident at the 1994 US trials for the Winter Olympics. Everybody knows Tonya Harding, the ‘villain’ in the piece, but the other girl’s name is lost to all but trivia buffs. ‘The Devil gets the best tunes’, as they say, so it’s Tonya who captured and maintains the imagination of a scandal-hungry public.
For whatever obtuse reason, a media commentator recently refereed to this as a ‘horror movie’. Perhaps he had not yet seen it, for it is nothing of the kind. What it is is an out-and-out romance – and an adorable, fantastical, heart-stopping one at that – with ‘beauty and the beast’ as sub-genre.
Poor old Liam Neeson is the hardest done-by bloke in cinema today. Tragedy, disaster and low-life crooks keep turning up like bad pennies in his screen life, usually threatening not just him, but his beautiful wife and kid too! This... Read More →
I disliked this movie intensely. Writer/director Stephan Elliott, who gave us the memorably crass A Few Best Men (2011), has stooped even lower in a self-adoring memoir that is loaded with mockery but bereft of empathy (how on earth did he fluke 2008’s lovely Easy Virtue? – maybe because it was written by Noel Coward?).
In the not very distant past, the print media did more than just sell ads, push its own political barrow and fawn over celebrities. More remarkably, its investigative journalism and revelations frequently led to mass demonstrations of public outrage and, in the case of Richard Nixon, the impeachment of the president of the US.
What hagiographies such as this routinely forget to mention is that the ‘great man’ who lifts us ‘ordinary’ people from the depths of despair and saves the world from destruction is invariably one of the ‘great men’ who have put us all up that malodorous creek without a paddle in the first place.
You or I might not do it, but it appears to be a common practice in America to go for a drive with a fire extinguisher in the car. Mildred (Francis McDormand) is returning home when she sees the eponymous billboards on which she is promoting her cause have been set alight.
This is the film for which venerable director Ridley Scott, after the shoot had been completed, was forced to call in the ancient but reliable Christopher Plummer to re-do the many scenes that had featured the disgraced sexual predator Kevin Spacey.
Alexander Payne’s latest offering is a peculiar movie that never seems to be sure whether it wants to be a scathing diatribe, a kinky satire or a sweet romance. It moves from one to the other without warning, but the end result is nevertheless provocative and heart-warming – in a cheesy way.
At this time of year, you’re better off to just lower your expectations, go with the flow and try to remember that ‘fun for all the family’ need not necessarily be a nightmare. The original Jumanji (1995) passed me by, so I am in no position to make a comparison, but this one is a beauty (if you like that sort of thing).
The circumstances of Woody Allen’s ‘courting’ of his current wife, Soon-Yi Previn, combined with his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow’s insistence that he sexually molested her as a child might reasonably lead us to the conclusion that the revered little filmmaker is a bit of a grub
TOP 10 ❶ T2 Trainspotting The Godfather 2 is the only other sequel I can think of that actually improved on its fabulous predecessor. Director Danny Boyle, again collaborating with writer John Hodge, returns to Edinburgh to see how his... Read More →
It’s all about the suspension of disbelief when you’re watching a movie about a talking bear living with a family of humans in Notting Hill. Fortunately, this sequel to 2014’s adorable Paddington has that essential element in spades. Directed and co-written once more by Paul King, with the same cast in the central roles (Hugh Bonneville, the lovely Sally Hawkins, Samuel Joslin and Madeleine Harris
With he bushfire season upon us (‘the country is a tinderbox’ is Australian journalism’s equivalent of the ‘first swallow of spring’), this timely movie reminds us of the sacrifices that firefighters make to keep safe our lives and homes.