“Strangerland centers around a couple living in a rural town in Australia who discover that their two teenage children have disappeared, lost in the vast desert that surrounds their home”
Don’t you just love Australian Cinema? Their movies often contain haunting & twisted narratives, jaw dropping visuals, eerie soundtracks and most of all the real good ones focus heavily on characterization whether that be in the form of psychological torment, emotional or both
Overall – Kim Farrant’s directorial debut Strangerland is a majestic piece of cinema, a little gem that’s dark, daring & tackles the harsh reality of infidelity & the unthinkable, possible child abduction or worse – at its core the film is an atmospheric mystery thriller that’s coated with sublime acting by Kidman, great support by Weaving and a pace that’s purposefully slow, which only adds to its unnerving, unsettling premise! ★★★★½
THE REVENANT looks the bomb !! From Academy Award Winner Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman) brings his exciting, original style of film-making to the American Wilderness, pitting DiCaprio against the elements – Iñárritu’s revenge thriller also stars Tom Hardy, Domnhall Gleeson, Will Poulter and Lukas Haas and opens in Cinema’s later this year !!
“Deep in the uncharted American wilderness, hunter Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is severely injured and left for dead by a traitorous member of his team, John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). With sheer will as his only weapon, Glass must navigate a hostile environment, a brutal winter, and warring Native American tribes in relentless quest to survive and exact vengeance on Fitzgerald”
A really good movie is not all about great story telling, or how mind blowing the stunning visuals are, it’s not even about how many awards that picture’s won or how much money the studio makes in filling them theatre halls – for me A Really Good Movie should only be judged on the movies overall enjoyment, it’s experience it gave you it’s viewer, did it bring a smile to your face?, make you all gooey inside? or brought tears trickling down your cheek? – we’re not all robots and each person’s idea of a good movie is different to the next, so do yourself a favor and don’t take the review of a so called movie critic as gospel – after all it’s only their own personal take on that movie.
My version of a really good movie is Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland from its exceptional cast that includes the dazzling Britt Robertson (Under the Dome) who excels in the female lead, the veteran George Clooney who is superb as the quirky inventor Frank Walker and last but not least in my opinion the best young actress since Jodie Foster Snow White and the Huntsman’s Raffey Cassidy who was born to play the authoritative yet charming Athena, such a great character ignited to the screen by this passionate young actress that oozes a magical screen presence.
Overall: Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland is bold, ambitious film-making that’s full of exciting ideas, great photography and most of all one of them rare movies that engages the whole family – it’s a film jam packed with fun, heart warming characters, colorful and jazzy sets along with a stirring, riveting soundtrack from The Incredibles Michael Giacchino – if you only see one movie this weekend then I’d highly recommend Tomorrowland it will make you smile and remind you of the classic Lucas and Spielberg movies of yesteryear ★★★★½
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
“Apes Together Strong !”
Director: Matt Reeves – Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, and Kodi Smit-McPhee – Synopsis: After a global disaster wipes out a huge chunk of the population a group of genetically evolving apes led by Caesar and a pocket of human survivors in San Francisco battle for supremacy and out & out survival – Verdict: Being a huge fan of the original franchise back in the 60’s and thoroughly enjoying Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes back in 2011, I was excited to see if Matt Reeves (director of Cloverfield) could continue where Wyatt left off and produce something memorable and Reeves did not disappoint – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a well balanced action flick that’s not all about the incredible motion capture and mind blowing effects, it’s a film with an emotional spine, a storyline that’s dark and gripping and one that is powerfully played out by it’s great cast including Lord of the Ring’s Andy Serkis as Caesar, Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke as Malcolm and the veteran Gary Oldman who like a good wine gets better with age playing Dreyfus the leader of the human colony – but one of the standout characters in the film is Koba the bitter and terrifying Ape that resents the humans and goes against Caesar to start a war, his character is brutal but you can sympathize with his plight as he’s been tortured for years by the humans and his character has become entangled with rage and hate – Koba is played motion capture by Toby Kebbell – Matt Reeves handles all the action scenes with aplomb whilst giving several nods to the classic Ape movies of yesteryear in the process – two of my favorite scenes in the film has to be the tower raid by the apes on horseback with guns OMG and the fantastic, breathtaking and moving showdown between Caesar’s & Koba towards the movies climax – Overall: please revisit Rise of the Planet of the Apes and then treat yourself to it’s sequel Dawn of the Apes an exhilarating, cinematic triumph that’s every bit as good as the first and a fabulous addition to the Apes growing franchise….
3 Days to Kill (2014) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Director: McG – Cast: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Richard Sammel, and Eriq Ebouaney– Synopsis: After being told he has months to live, CIA agent Ethan Renner (Costner) decides to quit the agency, mend some bridges and build a closer relationship with his estranged wife and daughter before checking out – but his past wont let go and when’s he’s offered a deal to take an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment Ethan has no choice but to step back into the line of fire and track down the world’s most deady terrorist – Verdict: McG can be quite the filmmaker, he knows how to deliver action to the screen with thunderous results, they’re usually fast flowing, with big set pieces and pretty entertaining affairs such as Charlie’s Angels, Full Throttle and Terminator Salvation – but sadly McG can also direct the odd dud like 2012’s comedy This Means War that had a superb cast but was the worst film by a distance that year and sucked in every department – luckily for us 3 Days to Kill sees the director return to form, it’s smart yet simple script written by the French maestro Luc Besson is played out by a stella cast including the class act that is Kevin Costner, the eye candy Amber Heard and Ender’s Game actress Hailee Steinfeld all giving the movie a solid footing, making the movie enjoyable to watch and bringing believability to their characters and scenarios – I believe most of the outside shots were on location in Paris and Belgrade and this lent to the feel of a European thriller, typical of McG the action scenes are crisp, exciting & at times explosive and the wry humor throughout is delivered with masterclass by Costner who seems to be getting to an age like Eastwood did ten years back where you can see the swagger of an aging acting pro oozing confidence and looking great doing so – yes at times it maybe cliched and predictable, and yes Steinfeld and Heard were underused but Overall I had fun with 3 Days to Kill McG has delivered an energetic action thriller, that’s funny, sentimental and so so enjoyable….