Sunday, 27 September 2015

So here we go with my latest five-minute reviews of a few more of the recent releases in films.


Director: Denis Villeneuve
Length: 121 mins

This mainstream American film really stands out from the pack. A by-the-rules hostage response team leader Kate (Emily Blunt) gets co-opted to work with a crack team going in to Mexico to wage war against the drug cartels. Team leader Matt (Josh Brolin) and  mysterious Colombian hitman Alejandro (Benicio del Toro) soon show Kate that in Mexico one must fight fire with fire, and rules don't necessarily apply. Seething with nail-biting tension, and several gruesome scenes of carnage, this is not only a terrific thriller, but a story raising plenty of moral dilemmas. (BTW, Benicio's performance is one of his best yet.)

Really good!!

For a full review from Bernard Hemingway:

Cut Snake

Director: Tony Ayres
Length: 94 mins

Another movie about a crim trying to go straight, this time young Sparra (Alex Russell), who now hold a steady job and is engaged to the lovely Paula (Jessica de Gouw). Life is disrupted when ex-cellmate Pommie (Sullivan Stapleton) turns up, which threatens to reveal things about Sparra's past which he never wants Paula to know. The high point of the film is Stapleton's menacing edgy performance. There is some pretty nasty and explosive violence, but the tension stays strong almost until the end, when some formulaic and dubious plot points emerge. Overall it's a reasonable addition to the Aussie crime genre.  

Worth a look

For a full review from Chris Thompson:

The Visit

Director: M Night Shyamalan
Length: 94 mins

After The Sixth Sense we all expected great things from Shyamalan. This is not great, but oddly interesting, with impressive perfs from two young Aussie actors, Ed Oxenbould and Olivia De Jong. They play siblings Tyler and Becca who go to stay with grandparents they have never met, due to issues between their mother and her parents. All goes well until the kids start to notice strange things happening in the night. Perhaps these grandp's are not the nice old folks they seem.
I'm not sure what age group this is pitched at. Could be quite scary for little ones, and not scary enough for teens. One thing that works well is that the whole things purports to be made as a video by Becca, so we have a lot of interesting camera POVs, and a very modern feel. There are also a few good laughs. 

Maybe worth a look

For a full review from Chris Thompson:

London Road

Director: Rufus Norris
Length: 91mins

Think theatre meets film meets musical, and you have a sense of this unique and impressive film which takes a true story of the serial murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich, and the reactions of the residents of London Road, who never really knew each other until the crimes occurred in their street. Residents, lawyers, prostitutes and police were interviewed at the time, and the verbatim words of the interviews are cleverly crafted into a semi-musical format, in which individuals and ensembles speak and sing. If this sounds weird, rest assured it works brilliantly!  It's performed by London's National Theatre, with two important roles filled by headliners Tom Hardy and Olivia Colman. It's one of the more unusual and impressive films you will see this year. 

Really good!

For a full review from Chris Thompson:

Monday, 21 September 2015

Read my last (well, first) post to see that the brief here is to only spend five minutes (absolutely no more) on each review!

As you can see, I already posted my first reviews several weeks ago, but never really went live with it. So . . . lets get going with a few recent films:


Director: Asif Kapadia
Length: 128 mins

If you missed it, hunt down this magnificent and moving doco on the incredibly talented Amy Winehouse. Even if you you don't know her or like her music, the film is a revelation of a magnificent talent, tragically lost too young. 

For my full review:


Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Length: 121 mins

New Zealand mountaineer Rob Hall led an ill-fated climbing expedition to Everest in 1996. Based upon the true story, this nail biter takes you up there into the heart of the action on the treacherous mountain. This is not a film which delves deep into character - it is more a thrilling look at what happens when driven people take a huge risk and it all goes wrong. With a great cast, including Emily Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal and John Hawkes, it's as tense as you'll want to be in a cinema, and definitely worth seeing in 3D. 

For a full review:

Well worth a look! 

Holding the Man

Director: Neil Armfield
Length: 128 mins

This is based upon the memoir of Aussie boy Timothy Conigrave who fell in love with John Caleo, captain of the school footy team, back in the days when the pressures on being gay were immense. To compound matters, HIV/AIDS struck the gay community with a vengeance in the 1980s. This terrifically sensitive and beautifully acted and directed film is a total tear jerker. It is a love story for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

For a full review:
Well worth a look! 


Another Country

Director: Molly Reynolds
Length: 75 mins
David Gulpilil (star of Charlie's Country) gives us a bird's eye view of his community up in Ramingining, and  speaks about the disaster that happened to indigenous people when white fellas imposed their culture upon his.  This incisive and humane film is a revelation, and a heartfelt plea for understanding. It should be seen by all Aussies of all ages.

For a full review: