Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Review

I hadn’t seen this Pirates of the Caribbean movie until last week, the day before I saw Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Please note, this review was written before seeing the fifth film, due to other reviews I already had scheduled, this is being released afterwards.

To preface, I’ve only really liked the first Pirates film, The Curse of the Black Pearl. The other two were good from a production value point of view, but story line wise they go off in all sorts of directions and the overacting became a staple of the franchise. That being said, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides also features the overacting. When I think about it though, what I really want from a blockbuster pirate movie, is actors acting like pirates. I want the ‘argh me-hearty’s’, swash-buckling, stereotype of pirates that I’ve grown up with. That is what I’ve come to expect when I hear Hans Zimmer’s epic theme, and that’s what I buy a ticket for.

On Stranger Tides, seemed to have a more streamlined story, while there are three ‘teams’ all racing to one goal, as well as a shopping list for ‘the ritual’. The important thing is that the protagonists and antagonists are all heading following a simple story and not all heading off on convoluted journeys for complicated reasons.

As usual, the film looks pretty good, pretty blockbuster-y but again, that’s the point right? The scenes on the water, at night especially, look like they’re shot on a sound stage but some of the location shots were pretty so you forgive it. While there wasn’t much in the line of CGI on characters, mostly enchanted ropes, water and backgrounds, there is a CGI frog that I wasn’t a huge fan of, a far cry from Davy Jones. On the plus side though, the mermaid effects weren’t too bad. I’m just about to get to the acting in this film, but I’m going to mention this now, there’s a clergyman and a mermaid who fall in love or what ever, it was a story tread to get the mermaid to cry because a mermaid’s tear was needed for the ritual – other than that, reasonably unnecessary.

Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) returns along with the first trilogy’s Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin McNally) in a one-shot of sorts having very little (if nothing) to do with the films that came before. Barbossa and Gibbs’ style of pirate-y-ness is what I was talking about earlier on. It’s nothing too amazing, but in this film, its fun, it fits the theme. It reminds me of what I liked about The Curse of the Black Pearl. Straight up pirates followin’ maps and findin’ treasure. Depp’s Jack Sparrow felt a little toned down in this film. Not to say he wasn’t overtly Sparrow, but it didnt feel as overdone as it did in Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End.

Penelope Cruz plays Angelica, a former flame of Jack’s whose motives and intentions are all over the place. I get the feeling that Cruz was performing each line at a time, because her character tells a lot of ‘lies’ that are actually ‘truths’, ‘truths’ that are ‘lies’, and ‘lies’ that are actually ‘lies’. In a blockbuster like this, a film for the masses, surely there should be a small tell or a subtlety or something that gets you thinking about what she is saying, questioning it’s validity. Either that or she would be killer at ‘two truths and a lie’.

Now we get to Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. While McNally and Rush play your typical pirates who’s allegiances can change with the wind, Ian McShane plays straight up bad pirate with Blackbeard. He’s on a mission to live forever but despite coming up against the film’s ticking clock, a foretelling of his death, he seems to have all the time in the world to kill crew members, threaten Sparrow and even play Russian roulette with his daughter’s life. That minor motive issue aside, the character was great and I would say is the reason I continued to have interest in the movie til the end.

Speaking of the end, its time to wrap this up. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a fun popcorn flick. It isn’t bogged down by the narrative of Will Turner like the first three films were, which gives it a lighter tone. It’s a modern version of the classic pirate films, stereotypes and over-acting a plenty. Still though – enjoyable.

3 Stars

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History of Superheroes in Movies

superman

While there were superhero movies in the 1940s, 50s and 60s it wasn’t until the 1978 film Superman opened the door for comic books and their characters to be taken as serious movie ideas, but that faded over ten years until 1989’s Batman put them back on the map again. Unfortunately, with the exception of Batman Returns (1992) the popularity of superhero films declined again until 2000 when X-Men got it right.

xmen

Since X-Men superhero movies have been on the up and up. Production companies started taking the concepts seriously again rather than trying to make it comical and camp (I’m looking at you Joel Schumacher). 2002 saw Spider-Man swing on to the silver screen and both the X-Men and Spider-Man films spawned major film franchises for Fox and Sony respectively. But we’ll get to the major production companies later. Fox continued it’s push with Daredevil (2003), X2 (2003), Elektra (2005) and Fantastic Four (2005) while Sony (Colombia) released Hellboy and Spider-Man 2 in 2004. Following the success of
these franchises DC and Warner Bros. took a different angle and rebooted the popular Batman franchise with Batman Begins (2005) which had a much darker tone to it than the Marvel films that were being released at the time. Superhero films cashed in on the success of the early 2000 hits for a few more years X-Men: The Last Stand and Superman Returns in 2006 and Spider-Man 3 and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007 (which might I add were all franchise killers) but come 2008 something clicked in the minds of Marvel, DC, production companies and audiences… Superhero Movies could be better than exciting. They could be exhilarating the perfect escape for people young and old just like the comic books they were based on were for people years ago.

darkknight

2008 was a big year for Superheroes, with Marvel’s start of their Cinematic Universe (Actually owning the rights to these characters this time) Iron Man blasted on to the screen, reviving the dwindling superhero audiences and Robert Downey Jr.’s career at the same time. On top of that the reboot of the Hulk franchise with The Incredible Hulk re-established another character for something in the future. Iron Man would have been the walk-away hit of superhero films that year had the follow-up to Batman Begins not been released. The Dark Knight wowed audiences and box officenumbers proved that superhero movies were not just a sub-class of action films. They were their own genre. Mixing comedy and drama with action, visual effects and the characters people of all ages could enjoy. The superheroes were here.

avengers

The late 2000s brought us a prequel to X-Men in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and a surprise cult classic with Watchmen. The start of the new decade brought in more of the independent heroes in to the spotlight, Kick-Ass and Super depict average joes standing up and answering the call against villainy and Iron Man 2 delved deeper in to the mystery behind S.H.I.E.L.D and why they were showing up in all these Marvel movies. 2011 was another big year for Marvel with Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger setting up for the biggest superhero team up in film history. Fox released a re-invigoration of X-Men going back to the early days of Professor X in X-Men: First Class and DC unfortunately missed the mark with Green Lantern. Last year blew me away though with The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises three of the four big superhero movie powerhouses put everything they had in to these films and they were incredible.

The superhero film genre has risen over the last twenty or so years to become films that provide drama, comedy, explosions and an all round entertaining visit to the cinemas.

The Adventures of Tin Tin – Review

Tin Tin was a journalist who first appeared in a comic book in 1929. Since then he, his dog Snowy, bumbling policemen Thomson and Thompson and the seafaring Captain Haddock have appeared in cartoons stop-motion features, live-action, and now, performance capture animation, and boy, does it look good! The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn is directed by Steven Spielberg, Produced by Peter Jackson and written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish… Truly an ultimate team, and it works. the film looks incredible and the story is funny and exciting. I haven’t seen a film like this in years!

The Secret of the Unicorn stems from three of the Adventures of Tin Tin comics, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure. The story centres on hidden clues found inside three models of an old Man ‘o’ War ship, the Unicorn. The clues lead to a secret cargo that the unicorn was believed to have been carrying. Tin Tin stumbles in to the race to find the treasure when he buys one of the models. He begins to investigate which lands him in all sorts of trouble. After a series of captivating scenes, he meets Captain Haddock, a decedent of the Unicorn’s captain, and the last person alive to know the secret of the Unicorn… If only he could remember.

Jamie Bell (a grown up Billy Elliot) voices Tin Tin, Andy Serkis (Gollum in LOTR and this year’s Hobbit) brilliantly voices Captain Haddock, Daniel Craig is the Villainous Ivan Ivanovich, while Simon Pegg and Nick Frost voice Thomson and Thompson. The cast did brilliantly and in my opinion, the voices were spot on! The Animation (brought to you by WETA) should also get a nod for being amazing!

I thoroughly recommend this film. It’s a perfect one for the whole family. It seems the team will continue this film in a trilogy, with Jackson directing the second and a Spielberg/Jackson team up for the finale. With any luck these films will be in the same class as this one.

4 Stars

The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn is in cinemas now.

Forecast – The Festive Edition

Looking for something to see over the Christmas Break? Or a DVD to give as a present? The New and Improved Nicholas Linde’s Film Blog is here to help!

CINEMA

New Years Eve

The lives of several couples and singles in New York intertwine over the course of New Year’s Eve. Starring: Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Héctor Elizondo, (Take a quick breath…) Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Hilary Swank and Sofía Vergara. It’s another attempt at the success of Love Actually… I fear for this film because we saw how well Valentine’s Day went, and with the same writer and director. Final Verdict: I doubt this will be worth seeing.

Melancholia

Lars Von Trier’s newest work. On the night of her wedding, Justine is struggling to be happy even though it should be the happiest day of her life. It was an extravagant wedding paid for by her sister and brother-in-law who are trying to keep the bride and all the guests in-line. Meanwhile, Melancholia, a blue planet, is hurtling towards the Earth. Claire, Justine’s sister, is struggling to maintain composure with fear of the impending disaster. Sounds like an interesting concept and it’s Lars Von Trier! Final Verdict: If you are in to a twisted form of drama/sci-fi… See this film!

Puss In Boots

Years before meeting Shrek and Donkey, the adorable but tricky Puss in Boots must clear his name from all charges making him a wanted fugitive. While trying to steal magic beans from the infamous criminals Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris), the hero crosses paths with his female match, Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), who leads Puss to his old friend, but now enemy, Humpty Dumpty (Zack Galifianakis). Memories of friendship and betrayal enlarges Puss’ doubt, but he eventually agrees to help the egg get the magic beans. Together, the three plan to steal the beans, get to the Giant’s castle, nab the golden goose, and clear Puss’ name. Ummm… Yeah… This movie should be good for kids… but to be purr-fectly honest (pun definitely intended) the Shrek franchise is dead and gone… this looks to be a feeble attempt to revive a series that only finished last year. Final Verdict: Good for the kids.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name. J.J. Abrams and Tom Cruise produce while Incredibles and Ratatouille writer-director Brad Bird directs the latest in the Mission Impossible franchise. We’ll see how this goes… a sequel to this is a possibility as Cruise, Pegg and Bird are interested in a fifth film. Final Verdict: It’s Mission Impossible! (Possibly one for the Boys more than their dates).

Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Having bought a model ship, the Unicorn, for a pound off a market stall Tintin is initially puzzled that the sinister Mr. Sakharine should be so eager to buy it from him, resorting to murder and kidnapping Tintin – accompanied by his marvellous dog Snowy – to join him and his gang as they sail to Morocco on an old cargo ship. Sakharine has bribed the crew to revolt against the ship’s master, drunken Captain Haddock, but Tintin, Snowy and Haddock escape, arriving in Morocco at the court of a sheikh, who also has a model of the Unicorn. Haddock tells Tintin that over three hundred years earlier his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock was forced to scuttle the original Unicorn when attacked by a piratical forebear of Sakharine but he managed to save his treasure and provide clues to its location in three separate scrolls, all of which were secreted in models of the Unicorn. Tintin and Sakharine… One of the most anticipated films of the Summer! Steven Spielberg teams up with Peter Jackson, Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and many more to produce a film that in my opinion should win best animation hands down. If we can call it animation… the film uses 3D performance capture technology which makes the animation look incredible. Final Verdict: Super Excited!

Happy Feet 2

Mumble the penguin has a problem: his son Erik, who is reluctant to dance, encounters The Mighty Sven, a penguin who can fly! Things get worse for Mumble when the world is shaken by powerful forces, causing him to bring together the penguin nations and their allies to set things right. Hmmm… I don’t know about this film. Final Verdict: We’ll See.

The Iron Lady

Tells the story of a woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is a surprising and insightful portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman. Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher from what I’ve seen… WOW! Brilliant accent and reflecting the type of woman she was. Final Verdict: A must see! I Smell an Oscar!

The Skin I Live In

It’s definitely no Puss In Boots… Antonio Banderas stars in The Skin I Live In – In honor of his late wife who died in a flaming car accident, scientist, Dr. Robert Ledgard, is trying to synthesize the perfect skin which can withstand burns, cuts or any other kind of damage. As he gets closer to perfecting this skin on his flawless patient, the scientific community starts growing skeptical and his past is revealed that shows how his patient is closely linked to tragic events he would like to forget. Interesting concept, it’s in Spanish, so yeah… I’d like to see how this goes. Final Verdict: I might just stick to Darkman.

Tower Heist

Josh Kovacs is the manager of a residential apartment in New York. He is close to all the tenants, especially Arthur Shaw, a financier. One day Shaw is arrested by the FBI for fraud. Josh thinks it’s a misunderstanding that can be resolved. But later he learns that the employees’ pension which he asked Shaw to handle is gone. When one of the employees tries to kill himself, Josh’s views of Shaw change. He goes to see him and loses his temper. He loses his job. The FBI agent in charge of Shaw tells him that Shaw might walk and recovering the pension fund is unlikely. She tells him that it’s been rumored that Shaw has 20 million laying around if he needs. Josh thinks he knows where it is. So with two other employees who also lost their jobs and an evicted tenant, they set out to get into Shaw’s penthouse to get the money. But they realise they need the assistance of someone who knows what they are doing… Some of you may disagree but this film has not really caught my attention. It might be a laugh or two but yeah. I might skip this until I hear otherwise. Final Verdict: It is the only ‘comedy’ out this festive season… (Rom-Coms DO NOT COUNT).

War Horse

Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert’s hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on. I don’t know much about this film but I’m impressed by the trailer and I think I can feel an oscar coming on. Final Verdict: See It! It’s Spielberg and War… It’ll go far.

We Bought A Zoo

Set in Southern California, a father moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo. I’m sure it’s a nice film… But just not for me. Final Verdict: Up to you really… use your judgement.

DVD

Out Soon

Space Battleship Yamato

In the year 2194, alien marauders, the Gamilons, bombard the Earth with planetary bombs sent from space. Humanity fights back but is defeated and escapes underground. Five years later, those who remain on the devastated planet gather together for one last plan to save the Earth. Armed with mysterious alien technology and an old battleship called the “Yamato”, they embark on a quest to find a device that has the power to save humanity from destruction. The Japanese anime springs to a live action stage. – Perfect for your anime nerd friend.

Conan the Barbarian

The most legendary Barbarian of all time is back! The tale of Conan the Cimmerian and his adventures across the continent of Hyboria on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village. – For your fantasy action fan.

Friends with Benefits

Dylan (Justin Timberlake) is done with relationships. Jamie (Mila Kunis) decides to stop buying into the Hollywood clichés of true love. When the two become friends they decide to try something new and take advantage of their mutual attraction but without any emotional attachment. Physical pleasure without the entanglements. Sounds easy enough for two logical adults, right? Not so much. They soon realise romantic comedy stereotypes might exist for a reason. – For the Rom-Com lover (you could alternatively buy them a gun).

One Day

After spending the night together on the night of their college graduation Dexter and Em are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day. – For the (Actual) Romance Lover. (A good late Christmas Present as this comes out on the 29th.

Priest

In a post-apocalyptic world, a savage war between man and vampire has raged for centuries. A warrior priest (Paul Bettany) receives word of fresh attacks, but now it`s personal, his niece has been kidnapped by a new hive of merciless vampires. To save her, he must break his vow of peace and hunt down the hive before it’s too late. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel and packed with bloodthirsty action, this full throttle crusade takes you on the hunt for a deadly new breed of killer. – For the Sci-Fi/Action Fan.

Out Now

Cowboys & Aliens

Blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau directs Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in an event film for summer 2011 that crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in a blazingly original way: Cowboys & Aliens. Joined by an arsenal of top moviemakers Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, he brings an all-new action thriller that will take audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world. 1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrson Ford). It’s a town that lives in fear. – For the blockbuster lover.

Senna

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34. – For the Motor Head.

Green Lantern

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite force of protectors for peace and justice has existed for centuries. They are the Green Lantern Corps. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of the Corps’ newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). Bringing the popular superhero to the big screen for the first time, Green Lantern also stars Blake Lively (Gossip Girl), Peter Sarsgaard (Orphan), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett and Academy Award® winner Tim Robbins. – For the Kids.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

During experiments to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a genetically-enhanced chimpanzee uses its greater intelligence to lead other apes to freedom. – For the Sci-Fi or Original Apes Fan.

Merry Christmas Film Fans!

In Time – Review

Who wants to live forever? What if living forever came at a cost? Like, someone else’s life?

Thats the issue facing Justin Timberlake’s Will Salace in New Zealand born writer-director, Andrew Niccol’s In Time.

In time starts out like many sci-fi films, an almost blatant set up of the world the film is set in. In this dystopian future, time is litterally money, spend it wisely or watch as it runs out before your eyes. On top of that, in what i’m assuming is a ploy to have a cast of young, attractive actors, you stop aging at 25. Thats when your 1 year clock starts.

Justin Timberlake is Will, a 28 year old who lives in the ghetto with his yummy mummy played by Olivia Wilde. He and his best friend, Borel, Johnny Galeki (Leonard from the Big Bang Theory), work every day in order to get enough time to make it to the next… With a little on the side for the bar in Borel’s case. The major threat in the Ghetto is not the police (known here as Timekeepers), it is the mobsters known as Minutemen (yes, they really worked hard on names), led by Fortis, played by a ridiculously old looking Alex Pettyfer. Amanda Seyfried plays Sylvia Weis, daughter of one of the big wigs in New Greenwich (again, these names must have been so hard to come up with), Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser). The only other character worth talking about is the head Timekeeper who is investigating a suicide that is thought to be a murder, committed by Will… Cillian (I can’t believe he doesn’t have a bag on his head) Murphy, who plays the highlight of the film as Timekeeper Raymond Leon.

Niccol is obviously a big fan of the dystopian, having written and directed Gattaca and S1m0ne, and in In Time he looks at the classic Metropolistion* concept of those down below serving those up above. The film also looks at themes of greed and selflessness and how they can become the exact opposite of what was intended. JT’s character realises that he can give all the time in the world but the higher-ups can never truly lose. His take on the value of time is an interesting one and it got me hooked when I first heard about the concept. The acting was average with as I said before, Cillian Murphy being the stand out for me. I question Sylvia’s character motives as she quickly shifts from the rich and well off to the Bonnie to Will’s Clyde. And yes, there is a resonating Bonnie and Clyde reference throughout the whole movie and Amanda Seyfried looks sexy with a gun.

With some funny one-liners and some nice sort of action In Time is a good fun movie… don’t go to see it if you want a super meaningful movie but if your up for a bit of ‘on the run fun’… in a similar vein as The Island, this is definitely a movie worth going to see.

3 Stars

In Time is now showing in cinemas.

*Metropolistion – Reminiscent of the German Expressionism great, Metropolis… A Nicholas Linde New Word.

Alfred Hitchcock: A Retrospective

With these three words, ‘Master of Suspense’, you already know who I’m talking about.  THAT says more about Alfred Hitchcock than any award or analysis ever could.

Luckily for us, the Gallery of Modern Art have decided that you can never overdose on Hitchcock, providing us with “all 56 films in existance and 17 selected episodes for television.”  Yes, thats right.  EVERYTHING.

For someone like me, (a film student who seems to watch alot of trash and bypass the classics), this is my shot to talk in a somewhat educated fashion about a truly fantastic director, who made films with class, technique, make trademarks and pushed the boundaries of his time.  I had the privilege of attending the launch of the program on October 7th.  Every Friday night GOMA whips out the Hitchcock lounge, complete with deliciously devised cocktails, music, and ominous crows scattered about the place.

It was on this night that I once again viewed the only Hitchcock film I had seen before.  The infamous Psycho.  But I hadn’t seen it like this before.  GOMA had managed to acquire, from Universal Studios no less, a copy on 35mm film.  On the big screen, you have a sense that this is the way classic cinema should be seen.  Every dot, slip, just adds to the authenticity of the experience.  In a world thats full steam ahead digital, it felt refreshing knowing that the organic medium of film hadn’t been lost quite yet.

But the real highlight for me so far is the Sunday films.  Somewhere along the way, an individual/group had the ingenious idea of pairing Hitchcock’s silent films with a live band playing a score they themselves had devised.  Introducing The Quadratic Contingency, who upon my viewing of The Pleasure Garden on the 9th of October, accompanied the film with their talents.  I can honestly say that this musical addition enhanced the experience of watching Hitchcock’s first directorial effort (a melodrama!), capturing my attention and holding it tight.  I was captivated by the storyline, the tale of two dancers tangled in a web of fame, lust, deciet and cuddles.  Watching an aged black and white silent film is simply charming and almost soothing admist our current filmic environment of big budget explosions, 3D and megastars.

For people like me, this is an opportunity to actually come out the otherside educated in the Hitchcockian way, and discover truly timeless filmaking together.  For others, here’s a chance to catch up on the classics that, after all these years, delivers chills and thrills courtesy of everyones favourite Master of Suspense.

Alfred Hitchcock: A Retrospective is running from the 7th October to the 27th November at the Gallery of Modern Art.

Check Out the GoMA Website for more information on the retrospective.

This review was by Danielle Muir.

 

 

Steve Jobs Dies, Aged 56

Former CEO and founding member of Apple died today at the age of 56. Steve Jobs was not only a technology expert, he was the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios and a member of the Board of Directors of Disney. He was also an executive producer on 1995’s Toy Story.

Apple released the following statement… Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Walt Disney Company president Bob Iger said… Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined. Steve was such an “original,” with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time.

Finally, visionary filmmaker Steven Speilberg stated the following about the founder of Apple… Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor since Thomas Edison. He put the world at our fingertips.

The world has lost a true visionary and a very talented man in Steve Jobs. His entrepreneurial skills allowed him to drastically change the world of technology and animation. Macs make the world go round.

Steve Jobs

1955-2011

Forecast – Week 40, 2011

CINEMA
FOOTLOOSE

Writer/Director Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) delivers a new take of the beloved 1984 classic film. Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald) is transplanted from Boston to the small southern town of Bomont where he experiences a heavy dose of culture shock. A few years prior, the community was rocked by a tragic accident that killed five teenagers after a night out and Bomont’s local councilmen and the beloved Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) responded by implementing ordinances that prohibit loud music and dancing. Not one to bow to the status quo, Ren challenges the ban, revitalizing the town and falling in love with the minister’s troubled daughter Ariel (Julianne Hough) in the process
HIGHER GROUND

Pregnant, married, and awkward at eighteen years old, Carolyn Briggs grows more and more interested in Jesus, eventually giving herself over to a radical New Testament church. Amidst her community of self-described “Jesus Freaks,” Carolyn’s daily life consists of hours of Bible study, alternative family practices and bracing for the oncoming Rapture. It’s only when her marriage begins to unravel that Carolyn dares to question the religious dogma she has embraced for her entire adult life.
THE HUNTER

Based on the acclaimed novel by Julia Leigh, THE HUNTER is a powerful psychological drama that tells the story of Martin (Willem Dafoe), a mercenary sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a dramatic hunt for the last Tasmanian Tiger.
REAL STEEL

A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future where the sport of boxing has gone high-tech, Real Steel stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback. REAL STEEL is directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum franchise and Date Night).

THE TRIANGLE WARS

In May 2007 the Port Phillip City Council unveiled plans for a large-scale commercial development on the St Kilda foreshore – a $400 million mega mall that would comprise 180 shops, a hotel, a supermarket, eight cinemas, a gallery and five bars. Local residents were outraged, and with developers preparing to push the project through council, the community galvanised to stop it going ahead.

In this compelling story of democracy in action, truth proves stranger than fiction as accusations of betrayal, deceit and corruption abound. Filmed over three years, The Triangle Wars captures the fascinating battle between an outraged community, an intractable local government apparatus and a powerful development consortium, as heads roll and careers are destroyed.

 

DVD

Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (DVD)

Thor (DVD)

Big Bang Theory Season 4 (TV Series)

Andy X – Review

Jim Sharman, the eccentric mind that brought us everyone’s favourite sweet transvestite, delivers his latest uber-retro musical ‘Andy X’ with lashings of sex appeal, sass and delicious visuals.

Pop art is digitised with this tale of Andy Warhol, switching between hooded man, multi-coloured splotch ridden man and wigged man.  All sharp as a tack and exaggerated perfectly.

The performances are pitch perfect.  Akos Armont is spot on as everyone’s favourite pop-artist, his performance quick and versatile, and keeping pace with the fast-moving pace of the film.  Fast tracking the journey from a young man to the Warhol phenomena is a joy with Armont at the helm.

Sheridan Harbridge is a joy as Valerie, a rough-talkin’ American with an itchy trigger finger.  She also plays other smaller roles throughout with the same vigour as the rest of the cast.

In short, I ate this film up.  Catchy, sensual, exaggerated and luscious, it was a piece of unashamed fun and frivolity.  Sharman has done a fabulous job of bringing the life of Warhol to the screen in the only manner in which it would have done the man justice.

I managed to see this as part of the previews that ran during the Brisbane Festival 2011.  I realise just how much of a privilege it was to see such a new work, by such a grand director.  Thankyou, Mr Sharman, for giving me a shot of digital pop-art straight into my arteries.

If ANYONE has the opportunity to see this film, do it.  Your witnessing something rather special.

3.5 Stars

Andy X is due for online release later this year.

This review was by Danielle Muir.

Film News Update – Week 36, 2011

  • Lauren Shuler Donner provides some insight on the next X-Men instalments, Wolverine: will be viewed as a stand alone movie very independent of Origins. That is looking set to shoot next year some time. Deadpool: is being prepared at the same time, Ryan Reynolds will be returning as the hero. The film is set to be true to the comic books and character of Deadpool.

“We’re gonna give it a little bit of a different look. It’s a different kind of movie. If you know ‘Deadpool’ …it’s true to ‘Deadpool’. So you know, it’ll be violent, and outrageous, and funny, and all that.” – Shuler Donner. 

  • An X-Men: First Class sequel is in discussion. The team is trying to woo back the director of the original, Matthew Vaughn.
  • The Great Gatsby began shooting this week, Warner Bros. distributed a Press Release…

Principal photography began this week on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ “The Great Gatsby,” the new big screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel from the uniquely imaginative mind of writer/producer/director Baz Luhrmann. The filmmaker will create his own distinctive visual interpretation of the classic story, bringing the period to life in a way that has never been seen before. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the title role.

“The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy, and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan. It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.

Academy Award nominee DiCaprio (“Blood Diamond,” “Aviator”) plays Jay Gatsby, with Tobey Maguire starring as Nick Carraway; Joel Edgerton and OscarÆ nominee Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) as Tom and Daisy Buchanan; Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke as Myrtle and George Wilson; and newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker. Indian film legend Amitabh Bachchan will play the role of Meyer Wolfsheim.

OscarÆ nominee Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge!”) directs the film in 3D from a screenplay co-written with frequent collaborator Craig Pearce, based on Fitzgerald’s book. Luhrmann produces, along with Catherine Martin, Catherine Knapman, Lucy Fisher and Academy AwardÆ winner Douglas Wick (“Gladiator”). The executive producers are Barrie M. Osborne and Bruce Berman.

Two-time Academy AwardÆ-winning production and costume designer Catherine Martin (“Moulin Rouge!”) also designs with the director. The editors are Jason Ballantine, Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond, and the director of photography is Simon Duggan.

Luhrmann said, “Fitzgerald loved the movies and was a passionate believer in the power of cinema. “The Great Gatsby” has been adapted for the screen no less than four times. Fitzgerald’s story defies time and geography. The vision and the goal of our remarkable cast and creatives is to do justice to the deftness of Fitzgerald’s telling, and illuminate its big ideas and humanity. This is our challenge and our adventure.”

“The Great Gatsby” is being shot in Luhrmann’s native Australia. The filmmaker stated, “The opportunity to make the film in Australia with the Bazmark creative team is very important to us; the assistance from Screen Australia and the NSW Government has made that possible.”

The film will be distributed in 3D and 2D by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

  • The Weinstein Company will move into the online market next year. They’ll be launching a VOD (Video On Demand) Label, early 2012.
  • Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski have been hired to write the script for director Ridley Scott’s big screen adaptation of Hasbro’s Monopoly.
  • A long-awaited Beetlejuice sequel may finally be moving forward, Deadline reports. Writer/producer pair David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith have just signed a two-year first look contract with Warner Bros. and among their first projects is a follow-up to the 1988 film.
  • To finish off, the new trailer for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: