The world of film has lost one of it’s brightest young stars – whether it be an Indie pic or big screen blockbuster Anton Yelchin was fiercely brilliant, utterly committed and enhanced every picture he was involved with – although Anton’s career was short lived, his time on the screen will live on and entertain us all for many years to come !!
Let me start by saying how much I loved Kyle Newman’s love letter to Star Wars the brilliant 2009 picture Fanboys, so obviously upon hearing Newman was involved in directing a new picture with a whole bunch of his acting mates on-board I was giddy with excitement.
Barely Lethal is one of them movies that could have & should have been so much better – I’m not saying Newman is out of his film making depth but presenting us with an action movie with little bite, characters that have no chemistry, music from Matteo Messina that’s just horrible & a picture that fails to get the best out of it’s talented cast does not help the arguement – maybe the film is a victim of previous and much better executed versions of teenagers trained to be assassins, kicking ass whilst balancing everyday life style of movies but whatever the excuses Kyle Newman has delivered a real stinker of a picture, lets hope his next effort (Chewie or the planned Fanboys sequel) is better and he does not wait for another six years to do either.
The Interview (2014/5) – Movie Review ★★★★
“They Hate us caus they Ain’t-us”
Director: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg – Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang and Charles Rahi Chun – Synopsis: The Interview follows Dave Skylark and Aaron Rapaport as two friends running a TV show in the US called “Skylark Tonight” interviewing celebrities who usually spout trashy & outrageous nonsense – the show somehow manages to catch the eye of a certain North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who as it turns out is big fan of the show and grant the pair a one on one interview, upon hearing of this the CIA recruit Skylark and Rapaport to help assassinate the Korean Leader and that’s when the fun really begins Verdict: as you may know The Interview has become a movie shrouded in controversy, and just like a script from a Hollywood movie it all started with Sony axing the film from its planned Christmas schedule due to hacking threats (possibly the North Koreans?) which immediately saw a whole host of celebrities including George Clooney and the President of the United States taking to social media & many news outlets to decry the decision calling Sony weak and asking them to reconsider – it only took a few days for Sony to capitulate, with the FBI now involved in tracking these hackers a statement was put out that The Interview would return to the festive schedule and be shown in selected cinemas after all ! Overall: As a fan of Rogen and Franco’s style of brainless, moronic, insanely daft humor I had high hopes for this film their latest big screen pairing and by it’s end credits boy was I not disappointed – if you dislike gross-out comedy satires that produce the side splitting laughs but also in turn make you reach for the vomit bag, and your only thinking of watching the film due to the nonsensical over the top attention it’s received then you may want to reconsider – The Interview is made of the blackest of humor, some may even call the film distasteful and maybe it is – but overall it’s a well executed, tongue in cheek comedy that centers around a subject matter that shouldn’t be funny but really is, and that all due to it’s great material, it’s high tempo and a superb cast that includes a delicious turn by Randall Park playing Kim Jong Un who’s not only uncanny in resemblance to the North Korean leader but his camp & creepy portrayal makes his performance one of the true comic highlights of the year – if you have loved Rogen & Franco’s past movie pairings in Neighbors, This Is the End and Pineapple Express then I am pretty confident you will love The Interview it’s a comedy that will tickle you senseless, make your eye’s stream like a river and make your belly bounce till it hurts – the scenes that include that Eminem interview, Rapaport’s insertion, Kim Jong Un’s seduction of Skylark including the basketball come orgy and the tank ride, every moment on screen that included Sook played by the fabulous Diana Bang and each and every Franco smile, grimace and utterly stupid sentence spoken make The Interview one of 2014’s finest comedy achievements and one I can not wait to re-watch !!
There’s always been great movies that have come out of Australia : Walkabout, Picnic at hanging Rock, Mad Max, Gallipoli, Crocodile Dundee, Dead Calm, Romper Stomper, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Tomorrow When the War Began, Animal Kingdom, Wolf Creek, Snowtown & many many more… And in 2014 Australian Cinema has continued its fine tradition of bringing us yet more fresh, well acted, gritty & excitingly told new movies – of course there are so many quality films out there but here’s my 5 must see Aussie flicks of 2014
Still Alice (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland – Cast: Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth & Hunter Parrish – Synopsis: Julianne Moore plays Alice a happily married women living in New York, she has three children and is a well thought of linguistics professor at a local college – one day she starts to forget words, and then gets lost on her daily run – Alice seeks help from a doctor which leads to a devastating diagnosis – Verdict: Glatzer and Westmoreland’s Still Alice is an exceptional analysis of a women’s struggle with a rare illness, it’s an important film that opens your eyes & gives you a glimpse of what the many sufferers of Alzheimer’s go through, yes it’s a subject matter that’s tough to watch but Julianne Moore’s portrayal of Alice who’s suffering the early stages of a rare form of the illness is heartbreaking, unsettling & at times disturbing – as an actress she’s effortless in bringing real emotion to the role – as Alice slowly begins to unravel, you feel her pain, your distraught at her predicament and as her appearance slowly becomes disheveled & her memory deteriorates you kind of feel like one of her loved ones, helpless statue like & frozen in the moment watching and hoping things will improve or at the very least stabilize – one of the most painful scenes in the movie is when Alice is recording a video message for herself to re-watch when her illness finally grabs hold & gets too much & her ability to make simple decisions are made more difficult – Moore captures Alice’s pain, her anguish, and her obvious confusion – Its a remarkable, gutsy display and one of Julianne Moore’s finest to date – although Still Alice’s focal point is Moore’s character the movie also has an excellent turn from Twilight’s Kristen Stewart playing Alice’s daughter Lydia, I couldn’t imagine anyone more suited for this role than Stewart and she excels – Kate Bosworth, Alec Baldwin and Hunter Parrish also add great balance to the film playing members of Alice’s family – Overall: although I felt Still Alice could have done with an extra 30mins run time, the movie is excellent, from it’s droning, depressing score that adds to the films tragic nature, the realism captured by Denis Lenoir cinematography and the deeply moving performance from Julianne Moore – Still Alice is a picture of high intensity that pulls at the heart strings, it’s also a movie that I hope will highlight the illness Alzheimer’s and the struggles that people who has the illness go through….
Here’s four new character posters & the latest trailer for George Miller’s upcoming MAD MAX : FURY ROAD that looks epic in every department – the movie lands next summer and has a killer cast that includes Tom Hardy (Warrior), Charlize Theron (Prometheus), Hugh Keays (Mad Max), Nicholas Hoult (Days of Future Past) and Zoe Kravitz (Divergent) – I for one loved the original trilogy so can’t wait for this new chapter in apocalyptic madness….
Here’s some rather colorful character posters from James Gunn’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY the latest Marvel big screen bonanza that will hit our screens later this summer – Gunn the guy who brought us the fabulous Slither and comedy superhero movie Super has assembled an exciting cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista and Vin Diesel – here’s them posters…. Enjoy!
here’s some rather delicious posters from the upcoming TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES remake that lands this summer – the movie is directed by Wrath of the Titans helmer Jonathan Liebesman and stars Megan Fox, William Fichtner, Will Arnett & Johnny Knoxville – from early footage it looks promising and certainly darker than it’s 1990’s original (thank god) !
The Double (2014) – Movie Review ★★★
Director: Richard Ayoade – Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Sally Hawkins, Chris O’Dowd & Paddy Considine – Synopsis: Simon James (Eisenberg) is a very shy, un-confident and somewhat lonely type of guy who works as a clerk in some government agency – one day whilst at work he finds his life turned upside down with the arrival of James Simon (Eisenberg) a new employee that is not only Simon’s exact physical double (WTF) but also his complete opposite, James is confident, charismatic and outgoing all the attributes that Simon only wishes he had – Verdict: Ayoade’s The Double is a film of the weirdest, highest order! it’s full of dimly lit scenes, dark almost excruciating humor, oddball characters and an intriguing somewhat haunting soundtrack – the film’s style is very reminiscent of Gilliam’s Brazil and although I applaud Ayoade’s originality The Double failed to keep me hooked long enough to garner any interest for it’s many unlikeable characters and it’s cold and pretty bleak setting – I felt the film was void of explanation and in my opinion tried too hard to be weird and confusing – Overall: Ayoade will no doubt get praise from some quarters for his style and originality but for me The Double was a missed opportunity let down by a weak script and criminally not giving it’s two talented leads enough to work with….
Godzilla (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Gareth Edwards – Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston – Synopsis: the movie starts deep in the Phillippines where archeological work uncovers some sort of gigantic skeleton and two egg-shaped pods – two scientists who work for a company called Monarch are called in to investigate, they realize upon inspection that one of the pods have hatched and whatever was inside have crawled out and made it’s way to the ocean – the action then turns to a Nuclear Plant near Tokyo, Japan where some rather unusual activity is being felt – minutes later an explosion occurs followed by a radiation leak that wipes out a crew of scientists and then suddenly the plant begins it’s collapse into ruin – the powers at be are calling this disaster a deadly earthquake but the plant’s supervisor Brody (Cranston) who lost his wife inside the plant is convinced otherwise – Verdict: Having watched Gareth Edwards showcase his directing skills on the small budget yet effective MONSTERS I was fascinated to see what he could do with a Hollywood blockbuster and a remake of the classic Japanese monster movie GODZILLA – I remember as a young boy watching them monsters (in rubber suits) battling it out in the original films and screaming at the TV in amazement and total wonder Godzilla was scary as hell, a destructive force but also hero and one you could root for – and then all grown up I set eyes on Roland Emmerich’s picture, a typical 90’s Hollywood Blockbuster that stomped and screamed all over my childhood memories, part of my dislike for the flick was Matthew Broderick who was awful and the film’s plot can only be described as hilarious, sure it did pretty well at the box office but as a screen spectacle it was pure garbage – so now in 2014 it’s the turn of British filmmaker Gareth Edwards to hopefully reignite GODZILLA in all it’s glory & on the biggest screen’s in 3D – hopefully this movie will be the start of a new chapter in the world of the King of Monsters – Overall: although at first the hiring of relative newcomer Gareth Edwards to helm this possible huge franchise may have been thought a brave and daring choice by the movie studio’s it could have also turned out to be the movie’s master stroke – Edwards obvious admiration towards the likes of Steven Spielberg is evident, the monster’s are slowly introduced to it’s audience teasing you, gripping you and allowing you to sweat a little whilst the action unfolds, the film’s buildup & tension is very reminiscent of Spielberg’s classic JAWS and is beautifully filmed, carrying some great nod’s to the monster movies of yesteryear and complimented by a heart thumping soundtrack – the film’s main trio of cast members do a great job too, first up you have the reliable star of TV’s Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston who comes across as this family guy, totally committed to his job & who’s eventually turned into this guy who looks to have some serious paranoia issues, secondly there’s the soldier come action hero Taylor-Johnson who many know from his role in action flick Kick-Ass and Oliver Stone’s superb Savages who has not only matured as actor but seems to exude lot’s of screen presence and looks every bit a Hollywood leading man and last but not least there’s the underused & super talented Elizabeth Olsen who plays a wife and mum, who shows great emotion and steals pretty much every scene she’s part of – GODZILLA is in an exciting, bold and refreshing monster movie that can be enjoyed by all – it’s certainly no masterpiece and it won’t win any movie awards but one thing for sure is that when you take your seat at your local cinema Gareth Edwards vision will entertain, surprise and make you smile like a school kid once more….
SAD NEWS the towering comic writer/director HAROLD RAMIS has passed away aged 69 – along with starring roles in the likes of Stripes & the two Ghostbusters movies (that he also co-wrote) Harold Ramis was also an accomplished filmmaker directing movies such as Caddyshack and Groundhog Day that both starred his good friend Bill Murray, Analyze This & Analyze That starring Bob De Niro & Ice Harvest that starred John Cusack – the movie world has lost another giant but the memory of Harold Ramis will continue to entertain with the many film’s he either wrote, directed or starred in – thanks for the laughs Big Man and don’t forget “Don’t cross the streams”
SOMEONE MARRY BARRY (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Rob Pearlstein – Cast: Tyler Labine, Damon Wayans, Jr., Lucy Punch, Hayes MacArthur & Thomas Middleditch – Synopsis: Three friends selfishly decide to rid themselves of their inappropriate best friend Barry (Labine) by finding him a wife – but when Barry meets Melanie (Punch) a woman just like him and someone he connects with the friends troubles double – Verdict: There’s something loveable, charming and downright hilarious about Canadian actor Tyler Labine, he fills the screen with an almost John Candy presence playing the life of the party, downtrodden, loveable rogue so so well and is slowly emerging as a reliable leading man – in his latest outing Someone Marry Barry Tyler Labine is simply outrageous them early scenes at the funeral had me in stitches and his chemistry with the quirky British actress Lucy Punch who also starred with Labine in the Horror Comedy Cottage Country is a delight to watch – Overall I found myself having so much fun with Someone Marry Barry – Rob Pearlstein’s screenplay is 87mins of romantic hilarity and if like me your a fan of Tyler Labine’s work then this movie will certainly not disappoint….