Tells the story of seventeen year-old J (Josh) as he navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.
Directed: David Michôd
Stars: James Frecheville, Bryce Lindemann, Joel Edgerton
What we think: Animal Kingdom can join a very successful long line of Australian films to pack a heavy handed punch to its audience.
Such films as Chopper, The Boys and Romper Stomper all hailed Aussie filmmaking as being up there with the best of them, you only have to look at the amount of talent that have gone on to bigger things.
Set in urban Melbourne during the mid-1980s Animal Kingdom is a hard look at one criminal family and the young boy they look to devour after his mum dies of a drug overdose.
Continue reading REVIEW: Animal Kingdom (2011)
After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caretaker.
Directed: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
Stars: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny
What we think: So far I don’t think there has been one foreign film that I have watched that I have not liked, or that has not moved me in some way.
It’s good to be able to pull away from the main stream Hollywood films and delve into another language.
This time I went for French and this heartwarming tale about a French aristocrat and a man from the projects who form an unlikely bond.
Driss (Omar Sy) struggles in life, he lives at home with a large extended family and does his best to make ends meet.
Looking to show the benefit office that he is trying to find work so he can claim is not the easiest way to make money.
On the other side, Philippe (François Cluzet) is dependent on everyone in his life, since a paragliding accident left him paralyzed from the neck down.
Continue reading REVIEW: The Intouchables (2011)
Directed by: Bruce Robinson
Written by: Bruce Robinson
Starring: Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli
A decade ago in 2003, our fears were confirmed. Johnny Depp really does play a good alcoholic. Stumbling around the set as Captain Jack Sparrow, wondering why the rum was always gone, it was hard to tell when he was drunk and when he wasn’t. Whether you’re a fan of the very long, very drawn out – yet brilliant Pirates of the Caribbean or not, you can’t deny that Johnny Depp is hilarious while playing a drunk man.
In 2011 we meet drunk Depp again, ironically back in the Caribbean. This time he’s staggered onto our screens as Paul Kemp – an aspiring author who has never managed to sell a book.
Continue reading REVIEW: The Rum Diary (2011)
Warning: Reader discretion advised.
It’s not often that I’ll do a double review, but I did effectively watch these films as a double-bill, so I thought I’d also review them as such. I’ll try my best not to compare them – they’re two completely different films and give different messages, but as some of the themes and content are similar, some contrasting will inevitably occur.
Why, I hear you ask, have I put myself through such an ordeal as to watch two of the most revolting movies of all time back to back? Let me explain.
There I was, sat in Caffe Nero enjoying a caramelatte with extra caramel (one of my usuals) and I stumbled across an article on Total film (read it here) about the Top 25 Most Disturbing Movies Ever. Like most people, I saw The Human Centipede as soon as I could, and actually thought it wasn’t a bad film. The sequel I saw too, and okay I didn’t enjoy it, but it wasn’t as revolting as I’d imagined.
So, I wondered what the most disturbing movie in the world was, and whether it would affect me. Total Film decided it was The Exorcist, but I disagree. Having never been a fan of The Exorcist, I thought I’d try out the one that sounded the most disgusting, which was Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom.
Continue reading REVIEW: A Serbian Film (2011) and Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people – and the state – kill.
Directed: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry
What we think: Every now and again I like to leave the fictional world of film, and take a trip into reality, this month I did so with Into the Abyss.
A film by Werner Herzog (Rescue Dawn) it looks at the always controversial capital punishment, and focuses on one particular triple murder in the state of Texas.
Using actual footage of the crime scenes which is disturbing enough, Herzog also draws on the real life interviews of those involved and how it has affected their lives.
It also explains to us what causes a person to commit murder, and if taking a life for a life really is worth it in the long run.
Continue reading REVIEW: Into the Abyss (2011)
Directed by: Tanya Wexler
Written by: Stephen Dyer, Jonah Lisa Dyer
Starring: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Rupert Everett, Jonathon Pryce
A film about the invention of the vibrator that’s managed to obtain a 15 certificate and doesn’t show a single “private” body part on screen?! Yep, they’ve managed it. And what’s more, they’ve done an absolutely fantastic job of it.
Continue reading REVIEW: Hysteria (2011)
Review by Paul Brewer.
Directed by: William Friedkin
Written by: Tracy Letts
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Juno Temple, Emile Hirsch
Chris, (Emile Hirsch – ‘Into the Wild‘, ‘Speed Racer‘ etc) , is in trouble – he owes money and drugs to Digger, the local businessman, yeah he deals in drugs etc… Chris goes to his dad Ansel, (Thomas Haden Church – ‘Sideways‘, ‘Spider-man 3‘), to get the $1000 he needs, but Ansel doesn’t have it. Chris then puts a proposition to him – they pay someone to kill Chris’s mum for her $50,000 insurance policy.
Continue reading REVIEW: Killer Joe (2011)