The Avengers hits $178 Million!

The Avengers (known as The Avengers Assemble in some countries) has made $178.4 Million worldwide… Not a bad feat considering the film hasn’t even opened in the States yet. To compare, The Hunger Games made only $59 Million internationally on it’s opening weekend.  It opened on the top of the Box Office charts in every one of the 39 territories it has screened in since Wednesday. Breaking it down a little, $24.7 million from the UK, $19.7 million from Australia, $15.9 million from Mexico and $12.9 million from Korea. The Avengers opened in 94 IMAX cinemas, from those alone the film made a whopping $5.6 million (the highest gross for a Marvel IMAX title internationally), averaging over $59,000 per location.

Imagine the box office once it opens in the US on May 4th!

I recommended in my review of The Avengers that you see this film… I now recommend that you see it again!

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Griff The Invisible – Review

Griff (Ryan Kwanten) is an office worker by day and a superhero by night. He has a very hi-tech set up in his apartment where he monitors the his suburb and fights off any wrongdoers and attackers. He has a Superman/Clark Kent sort of alter ego-ality (yes its now a word) where regular Griff is picked on at work and is very shy and incredibly awkward, while when he wears his suit he is the other extreme, he is strong and brave, he is Griff The Invisible (though the name is never revealed, he toys around with a few name ideas). His brother, Tim (Patrick Brammall) has moved from Adelaide to help out the troubled Griff. In the process he meets Melody (Maeve Dermody) and the two begin dating. But when Melody meets Griff she is immediately attracted to him and upon realising who he ‘really’ is she wishes to help him and become his sidekick. Unfortunately things take a turn for the worse and Griff has to look at himself and see if it’s time to grow up.

This movie is such a good and cute film. The character of Griff is so awkward you can’t help but fall in love with him. The tale is whimsical and charming, the acting is decent and usual for an Australian film. Unfortunately I have a bone to pick with others who have reviewed this film. It’s clear to me, through reviews, that some Australians are far too critical of this industry and have rated this movie poorly while it’s others from other countries that find it a very good movie. People are critical of the acting in these films but as I have noticed, people don’t like seeing themselves in film, Aussie films these days are almost mirror images of who we are and how we act. In fact I think they are very good representations of our way of life and encourage the Australian Film Industry to continue. Ryan Kwanten is a very successful actor in the states and has returned, in his breaks on True Blood, to do local films like Red Hill and Griff, again I applaud this move. This movie overall is sweet and is definitely one to see with your partner.

2.5 Stars

Griff The Invisible is in Selected Cinema Release now.

The Loved Ones – Review

Aussie Horror at it’s best!

Now I am not a huge fan of the sadistic horror films but I had to see this one because it was Australian and it got a lot of good reception. The Loved Ones is about Brent (Xavier Samuel), a high school kid who six months prior to the end of school dance is involved in a car accident that kills his father. Brent’s girlfriend, Holly (Victoria Thaine) seemed to be his girlfriend at the time of the accident and at the time of the main story (although it’s not clear), she is very pretty and seems to be the perfect girl for a tortured soul like Brent. Enter Lola Stone (Robin McLeavy), the social outcast at school she asks Brent to the dance, he declines, saying he’s going with Holly. Lola gets angry and her psychopathic father (John Brumpton) kidnaps Brent and sets up the school dance from hell for his little “princess” and her new ‘toy’. Things go bad to worse when it turns out that the sadistic apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as Lola and her father brutally torture Brent and attempt to turn him into a lobotomised prisoner just like the ones she keeps under her trapdoor.

This film seems to tread an incredibly fine line as to what is entertainment and what is just down right insane. Never have I seen a seventeen(ish) year old girl be so deranged and demented. That being said Robin McLeavy is fantastic as Lola Stone and has been recognised by folks in the US for her acting ability (lets hope it’s acting, cause she scares the shit out of me!). The film was a financial flop taking in a small amount on the first weekend. But it has received very strong reviews from the many festivals it has screened at.

If you love immensely gory, incredibly insane, and (for want of a better phrase) completely fucked-up movie… this one is for you. If however you are weakhearted and the idea of hammering knives into peoples feet and power-drilling in to someones head makes you want to throw-up… perhaps watch something else.

4 Stars

The Loved Ones is out now on DVD and Blu Ray from all good DVD stores.

Wasted on the Young – Review

Wasted on the Young is an Australian film from first time feature director Ben C. Lucas.

Wasted on the Young is a film that begins with a jumpy timeline, centring around the fateful party where Xandrie (Adelaide Clemens) is drugged and raped, while showing before, for example the meeting of Xandrie and the protagonist, Darren (Oliver Ackland) and after the party, where Xandrie wakes up traumatised on the beach. The rest of the film deals with the events that follow that night. In the end everyone is involved because as Xandrie says, “If you see something and do nothing, you’re not a witness… you’re an accomplice.” All hell breaks loose when Zack (Darren’s step-brother) (Alex Russell) believes he’s gotten away with what he did to Xandrie on the night of the party and decides to throw another party to keep his “loyal followers” entertained. Darren has other plans and seeks “justice” for the crimes Zack committed.

This movie has a heightened sense of reality, there are no adults present (with the exception of a teacher’s voice on one occasion) and so it gives you a feeling that there are only these young people in this world, almost a Lord of the Flies feeling. They rule and justice and punishment is handed down their way. It can be looked at as a reflection of the issues plaguing youth these days and in a world without adults, who knows, this could be the way things would be handled. The acting in Wasted on the Young is very strong, Adelaide Clemens handled her difficult role of Xandrie incredibly well. The character of Darren reminds me a lot of the character of Simon in the british tv series Misfits and Oliver Ackland struck a cord with me, he could resonate this rage-ful helplessness that really connected with me. The whole young unknown cast did a fantastic job of making this “parallel world” come to life.

Wasted on the Young’s techniques are what sets this apart from other Aussie films, is high-contrast, and exclusive and selective shots contribute to this feeling that something is wrong with this world, you can tell that it’s not quite real. The director, Ben C. Lucas has this film planned and executed perfectly. It really made me think if this was the world we live in today, would this be the end result, is life truly Wasted on the Young?

4 Stars