Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Releases (15/12)

Opening in cinemas Thursday December 15 are four releases: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Women on the 6th Floor, Melancholia and Dolphin Tale.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in a global terrorist bombing plot. Ghost Protocol is initiated and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his rogue new team must go undercover to clear the organisation's name. No help, no contract, off the grid. Cruise is joined by Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg on the mission, and are pitted against Michael Nyqvist (The Millenium Trilogy). The Red Carpet premiere was at the IMAX in Sydney this week and early reviews are claiming that it is the best of the Mission: Impossible films so far (actually, at this moment it is sitting on 100% Fresh). With Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, Ratatouille) at the helm, I would expect nothing less.

The Women on the 6th Floor - Paris, 1960. Jean-Louis (Fabrice Luchini) lives a bourgeois existence absorbed in his work, cohabitating peacefully with his neurotic socialite wife Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain) while their children are away at boarding school. The couple's world is turned upside-down when they hire a Spanish maid Maria (Natalia Verbeke). Through Maria, Jean-Louis is introduced to an alternative reality just a few floors up on the building's sixth floor, the servants' quarters. He befriends a group of sassy Spanish maids, refugees of the Franco regime, who teach him there's more to life than stocks and bonds. This has been a big hit - an Official Selection at Berlinale - and there will be plenty of opportunities to see the film at Palace Cinemas.

Melancholia - Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgard) are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law (Kiefer Sutherland). Meanwhile, the planet, Melancholia, is heading towards Earth. The film is divided to focus on each sister. The first half is on Justine, suffering from chronic depression and battling her personal demons as the wedding turns into a disaster. The second focuses on Claire, who suffers from crippling anxiety, fearing that Melancholia is going to collide with Earth, instead of the predicted 'fly by'. You can certainly admire Lars Von Trier's ambition here, even if the film's immense length isn't required and his themes aren't exactly subtle. The photography is beautiful at times and Dunst is superb. Those unfamiliar with Lars Von Trier should proceed with caution, but this is most certainly a cinematic experience.

Dolphin Tale - Inspired by the amazing true story of a brave dolphin and the compassionate strangers who banded together to save her life. Swimming free, a young dolphin is caught in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail. She is rescued and transported to the Clearwater Marine Hospital where she is named Winter. But her fight for survival has just begun. Without a tail, Winter's prognosis is dire. It will take the expertise of a dedicated marine biologist, the ingenuity of a brilliant prosthetics doctor and the unwavering devotion of a young boy to bring about a groundbreaking miracle. Stars Harry Connick Jr. and Morgan Freeman.

Weekly Recommendation: It seems like Ghost Protocol is a sure bet. It may be the best action film of the year - coming in the last few weeks of 2011. Melancholia is also worth a look, but fans of Lars Von Trier know who they are and won't need swaying. For everyone else, have a read up on Melancholia first before making a decision. It may prove rewarding and leave you an emotional mess. It also may not.


  1. Going on my past experience of Lars von Troll, I suspect the only emotional mess Melancholia will leave me in will be of the blazingly angry kind. I'm willing to be proven wrong, but I'm not willing to spend cinema prices on finding out, so I'll wait for the small screen release.

  2. That's fair enough. He is certainly an acquired taste. If you think you'll be angry watching this film - you probably will be. I have seen it twice now - and though I admired different things about the film each time, and definitely enjoyed the experience more the second time, I have some issues. It's no Dancer in the Dark or Antichrist - the latter being incredibly unsettling.

  3. Ghost Protocol looks like fun and there is the whole deal with the 6-minute prologue showing on IMAX screens. But I think I will pass, too many movies to check out in the next 3 weeks ah!

  4. Looking forward to your thoughts on Mission: Impossible 4. A good review would push me into seeing it.

  5. @ Castor - I hear ya. For me, there isn't much coming out between now and Boxing Day - but I'll squeeze some screenings for Jan films in there. So I'll have the time to see GHOST PROTOCOL and I'm looking forward to it.

    @ Colin - I won't be able to see it until after the weekend, but I'm hoping it is going to be an above-average action film. The response so far doesn't suggest otherwise.