Friday, 16 October 2015

I am constantly in awe of the number of new films released each week. It's almost like an assembly line, and it's not possible to see them all (well, maybe it is if one chooses to forgo doing other things in one's life!) Sometimes I only manage to catch films a little while after they have released, but if I think they are worth seeing, I'll try to report in on them anyway!

The Walk 

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Length: 123 mins

In 1974, shortly after the Twin Towers of the ill-fated World Trade Centre were completed, a French high-wire walker named Philippe Petit decided to string his cable between them and walk above New York, about 102 storeys up! The daring tale was told in a 2008 documentary, Man on Wire, but this time it comes as a feature film, starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, who narrates in a cheesy French accent how he and his band of accomplices went about performing the illegal, daring and thrilling walk, which he refers to as "the Coup". If you loathe heights, you may be disturbed by this film, especially as it is in stunning and ultra-realistic 3D. I found it entertaining, thrilling, magnificently shot, and ultimately a wonderful homage to the enterprising spirit of daredevils, the city of New York, and the towers themselves. 

Well worth a look!

For a full review from Bernard Hemingway:


Director: Justin Kurzel
Length: 123 mins

I'm a Shakespeare klutz! Apart from Romeo and Juliet, I don't think there has ever been a play by the bard which I have felt I really understood. Hence, having me report in on Macbeth is a tad dodgy, but I have to say this is a strong and in-your-face film with top-shelf performances by Michael Fassbender as the ambitious usurper, and Marion Cotillard as his pushy wife. Production design and cinematography are both strong, with the bleakness of the Scottish landscape dominating all.  
Purists be warned - apparently the text is not totally true to the original. And squeamish souls also beware - the first part of the film is devoted to Macbeth's prowess on the battlefield, with its attendant extreme blood and gore, and towards the end there are also some highly disturbing and cruel scenes.      

Well worth a look!

For a full review from Chris Thompson:
For some enlightening and educational notes go to the SBS cheat sheet.

Crimson Peak

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Length: 119 mins

Edith (Mia Wasikowska), the feisty daughter of a wealthy American businessman, falls head over heels for a mysterious Englishman, Thomas Sharpe, (Tom Hiddleston), who whisks her away to his gloomy crumbling mansion which he shares with his mysterious and menacing sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain). 
Gothic horror is not everyone's cup of tea, but del Toro totally nails the look of it in this archetypal haunted house tale. I say look, because it really is a case of style over substance - costumes and sets are lavish, the ghostly visitations (though not super scary) are graphic, and there are all manner of classic horror moments from creaking doors, to crimson oozing mud flecking the snow. But plot wise, there is much we are asked to believe that I simply couldn't accept. The chemistry between Edith and Thomas is well handled, but there are some rather brutally violent moments that seem gratuitously included for shock value, and overall the plot and character development are simply not up to the superb quality of the film's production design. 

Maybe worth a look!

For a full review from Chris Thompson:


Director: Anupam Sharma
Length: 102 mins

I'm pleasantly surprised by this cross-cultural love story in which gorgeous independent single mum Meera (Tannishtha Chatterjee) falls for English teacher Will (Brett Lee - test cricketer who proves a light-weight but charming screen presence). She's from an Indian heritage; he's Aussie through and through. Of course her parents are horrified and want to make an arranged match. There's plenty of good-natured fun poked at Indian customs, but never offensively. Acting is strong, Will's teaching of Aussie-style English to migrants makes for good laughs, and all the support cast have their own individual charm. It's not Bollywood, but there are a couple of moments where the director sneaks a colorful dance or two in.   

Worth a look!

For my full review:


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