Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Releases (17/11)

There are a whopping seven new releases opening in Australian cinemas this week. If you can find a way through the crowds of teens trying to see the first sessions of Breaking Dawn: Part 1 you can also check out Colombiana, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Burning Man, The Tall Man, The Future and The First Grader.

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - I'll get the extremely annoying one out of the way first. Just think, there is going to be another one of these next year. I'm so thankful I no longer work at a cinema where these films are screened. It is hell. So, if anyone cares, in Part 1 Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson), plus those they love, must deal with the chain of consequences brought on by a marriage, honeymoon, and the tumultuous birth of a child...which brings an unforeseen and shocking development for Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Interestingly, this was downgraded from an MA rating to an M - meaning it will make even more of a killing. Keep clear of the Multiplexes this weekend.

Colombiana - Zoe Saldana plays Cataleya, a young woman who has grown up to be an assassin after witnessing the murder of her parents as a child. Wait. Really? Yawn. Turning herself into a professional killer and working for her uncle, she remains focused on her ultimate goal: to hunt down and get revenge on the mobster responsible for her parent's deaths. Zoe Saldana has plenty of talent and I'm sure she gives it her all, but come on - the story is far from original and this looks like a sloppy and unnecessary addition to the genre.

We Need to Talk About Kevin - An extraordinary film from acclaimed filmmaker, Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher), is an experience that benefits from knowing very little prior to viewing. Adapted from the acclaimed 2003 novel by Lionel Shriver, Kevin is densely plotted, powerful acted (especially from an Oscar worthy Tilda Swinton) and truly affecting. The film explores the fractious relationship between Eva Khatchadourian (Swinton) and her son Kevin (played by Ezra Miller as a teenager). Seamlessly blending together, in the form of a waking dream, chapters of Eva's life, we witness her contention with the increasing malevolence of her first-born son, much to the ignorance of her husband, Franklin (John C. Reilly). The result is a stunning act that shatters the lives of the family, and Eva's future psyche.

Burning Man - An English chef (Matthew Goode) with a chic restaurant on Bondi Beach is trying to put his life and his relationship with his son back on track while surrounded by women. The reviews coming in have been positive, mostly about the effectiveness of the film's emotional punch and the strength of Goode's performance. Written and directed by Jonathan Teplitzky (Gettin' Square), Burning Man also stars Bojana Novokovic and Rachel Griffiths.

The Tall Man - This is the story of Palm Island, the tropical paradise where one morning Cameron Doomadgee swore at a policeman and forty-five minutes later lay dead in a watch-house cell. This is also the story of the policeman, the tall enigmatic Christopher Hurley who chose to work in some of the toughest and wildest places in Australia, and the struggle to bring him to trial. The film has been describes as a "haunting moral puzzle that no viewer will forget."

The Future - When Sophie (Miranda July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) decide to adopt a stray cat, their perspective on life changes radically, literally altering the course of time and space and testing their faith in each other and themselves. The Future played In Competition at the 2011 Sydney Film Festival, but received mixed reviews.

The First Grader - In a small, remote mountain top primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance to the free education newly promised by the Kenyan Government. One new applicant causes astonishment, Maruge, an old Mau Ma veteran in his eighties who is desperate to read at this late stage in his life. Moved by his passionate plea, head teacher Jane Obinchu (Naomie Harris) supports his struggle to gain admission and together they face fierce opposition from parents and officials who don't want to waste a precious school place on such an old man.

Weekly Recommendation: We Need to Talk About Kevin is an absolute must-see, while Burning Man and The Tall Man sounds like they are worth checking out.


  1. Oh come on Andy! Go see Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1! Taylor Lautner's nipples will be there as well as Robert Pattinson's hair! Oh! It's going to be sooo...

    Oh fuck that shit! Seriously, I wouldn't want to see though if I was to choose between that and that new Adam Sandler. I'd choose Twilight because at least you can laugh at how bad it is.

  2. We need to talk about Kevin won't come up here until mid February. :( That new Twilight movie on the other hand is apparently having a world wide release, all places at once. I guess they need to do it that way for various reasons, including piracy perhaps.
    But it's annoying. I want to watch the Kevin movie when the rest of the blogosphere watches it. Not several months later. Twilight on the other hand... I couldn't care less.

  3. @ Steven - There is no way I am seeing that film. No way.

    @ Jessica - I know *exactly* what you mean. I have been lucky enough to see some films advanced at festivals and screeners, but films like The Artist and Shame don't come out here until late January and mid February. Most of the world will have seen them before I do. We got X-Men: Origins and Thor before the rest of the world (to name just two) but I couldn't care less about either film. Same with Twilight. It's very annoying.

  4. You know, as a teenager, I loved the Twilight books, but the movies are horrible, and the most dissapointing thing is the acting- I never thought I could see on screen performances like that (especially Stewart, who seems to hate her character). But, unfortunately, a friend is dragging me to see this one, so I guess I will have to undure!
    Burning Man sounds really interesting, I have never heard of it before now, I will check it out! Thanks Andy!

  5. @ Aziza - Yeah, I have never had any interest in any of it. I'm sure the novels are digestible and addictive, but as films (from what I have seen) they are awful - and the fandom that has followed (are you an Edward or a Jacob fan?) is extremely annoying. I have no interest in them on a cinematic level. I'll be seeing Burning Man this weekend, so I'll have a review posted somewhere there. Check back to see if it's worth a look :-)

  6. Can't wait to see THE FUTURE. I was a huge fan of Miranda July's previous film ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW, and this one sounds just as amazing.

  7. I've read three bad reviews about Breaking Dawn, guess it settles then..I won't be seeing them in the cinemas :)) Plenty also praise We Need To Talk About Kevin. Thanks for the recommendation :)

  8. @ Tyler - I haven't seen ME AND YOU... but I decided not to see THE FUTURE at SFF earlier in the year. Others appealed to me more. But, I have heard good things (and bad) so if I get the chance I'll check it out.

    @ Andina - I guess BREAKING DAWN is critic proof isn't it? Are you a Twilight fan? If not, I doubt you would enjoy it anyway. Definitely check out KEVIN. Mesmerising.