Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Releases (20/10)

Released this week in Australian cinemas are Midnight in Paris, Contagion, Paranormal Activity 3, The Three Musketeers, TT3D Closer to the Edge and George Harrison: Living in the Material World.

Midnight in Paris - This a delightful film and should be on top of everyone's lists this week. It's one of the best films of the year. A Hollywood screenwriter, Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is vacationing in Paris with his fiance Inez (Rachel McAdams), where he has an magical experience that will forever change his life. Aspiring to write a great novel about a man who works in a nostalgia store, Gil attempts to absorb the romanticism of Paris for inspiration, while committed to the illusion of a previous era - a 'golden age' when his literary idols were at their peak. Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody co-star. You will have a smile etched across your face for the entirety, and the photography is sensational.

Contagion - From acclaimed director, Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Ocean's Eleven), Contagion follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart. Described as a tense, tightly plotted, exceptionally smart - and scary - disaster movie, Contagion also features a stellar cast including Marion Cotillard (that's two films this week), Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow. 

Paranormal Activity 3 - The hit horror franchise continues with this third outing from Paramount Pictures. Oren Peli and Jason Blum return to produce the highly secretive feature, with Catfish's directing duo of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman taking on the directing duties. This seems to be more of the same, so if you enjoyed the first two (or were effectively scared, as some were), then you will find something here. 

The Three Musketeers - You must know Alexander Dumas' tale of D'Artagnan and the three musketeers by now. There have been countless adaptations. This has been given a glossy 2011 make-over, with the assistance of nauseating and gimmicky 3D. It's directed by Paul W. S Anderson (Resident Evil might be his best film). I'm not going to waste any time. It's bad. 

TT3D Closer to the Edge - By vividly recounting TT's legendary rivalries and Isle of Man's unique road racing history, this 3D documentary will discover why modern TT riders still risk their lives to win the world's most dangerous race. The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is the greatest motorcycle road race in the world, the ultimate challenge for rider and machine. A story about freedom of choice, the strength of human spirit and the will to win. It has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, so I feel this might be good. 

George Harrison: Living in the Material World - HBO and Martin Scorsese present George Harrison. The film focuses the imaginative and inspired eye of one of cinemas most preeminent filmmakers on one of the world's most influential men. The film takes viewers on the musical and spiritual voyage that was George Harrison's life, much of it told in his own words. The result is deeply moving and touches each viewer in unique and individual ways.

Weekly Recommendation: Definitely Midnight in Paris. I also intend to see Contagion, because it has the potential to be really great. TT3D Closer to the Edge has also piqued my interest. But everyone should see Midnight in Paris. Avoid: The Three Musketeers.


  1. Definitely going to see MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. We'll probably go and see it on Saturday, and I'll probably review it on my site the following day. May or may not go see CONTAGION, still not sure on that one. Not interested in any of the others, though.

  2. I would totally recommend the George Harrison doc. It's definitely a joy to watch while it features some funny stories about Harrison. Including one of the greatest questions that has finally be answered? What would it have been like if Eric Clapton did join the Beatles?

  3. Havent seen Midnight in Paris yet but want to. Is anyone surprised that Owen Wilson is praised considering the rubbish he has been in before?


    Anyway...I'm excited, haha.

    I have no idea when Contagion comes out here, I think it's next month sometime. I would quite like to see it, though, since the cast is so strong. TT3D played here not so long ago, but I didn't really hear that much about it. I'll definitely be giving The Three Musketeers a miss. The only thing that makes me mildly interested in that movie is Christoph Waltz.

  5. I am probably the only person who believes this but I would rather take the miniseries-y feel of Contagion than Woody Allen's amoral justifications in Midnight in Paris.

    Also, I saw Musketeers too. The Baroque art porn wasn't even enough to save the movie.

  6. @ Tyler - I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Midnight in Paris.

    @ Steven - Thanks for the recommendation, they sure are intriguing questions.

    @ Mrg - I think Owen Wilson has some genuine talent, but he has been in so many bad films - and usually plays a variation of himself. Only Wes Anderson and now Allen have brought out the best in him...

    @ Stevee - I'm excited for you! Yeah, don't see The Three Musketeers :-p

    @ Paolo - Well, I haven't seen Contagion yet so I might be with you. But I loved Midnight in Paris too much to be dismissive of it. I take it you didn't think much of Mr Allen's newest work?

  7. Even grumpy old me loved Midnight in Paris, and I haven't liked an Allen film for more than a decade...

  8. Good for you Colin. I'm glad. It sure was charming.

  9. Wow Midnight in Paris finally made it to your shores! Glad the prints didn't get damaged through the 6-month trip on board that 14th century caravel ahaha ;P

  10. I'm glad they are all here in one piece! Nice feedback from viewers yesterday, though the sessions weren't packed.

  11. On MIP-
    Woody Allen is able to point out the deficiencies of nostalgia mongering but does so without really rejecting it.

    Performances are pitch-perfect and bring out the potential, charm and confusion of the concept of the movie.

  12. That's a very astute observation, and an accurate one on reflection about the film. Living in the past can be a deficiency, but if your inspiration comes from idols from the past - sometimes it can create an unlikely sense of perspective.