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Monday, 18 June 2018

No. 50 (2018) Upgrade June 11th.

Film No. 50 (2018) June 11th.  6:45 PM EVENT Cinemas Innaloo.                        


"As a quadriplegic it must be frustrating for you, someone who likes to get things done with their hands." (Profound words uttered to Grey Trace after the track incident which changes his life for ever).






Billed as a horror flick, Upgrade is more a futuristic thriller with the odd scene depicting horrific violence. It's sure to get a following due to its smart concept and old fashioned revenge and redemption themes. Popeye ate spinach to take on super-human strength, Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) gets help of the I.T. variety after he is rendered a quadriplegic in the most tragic of circumstances. But Grey is a convincing hero, one we root for from the first time we meet him.  He tinkers with cars from our world when all the while A.I. operates around him. He's grounded and uncomplicated. Director Leigh Whannell created Saw in Australia fifteen years ago, shopped it around Hollywood and the rest is history. Upgrade may very well be his cleverest, slickest project so far. 9GUMS.






Thursday, 14 June 2018

No. 49 (2018) Brother's Nest June 9th.

Film No 49 (2018) June 9th.  11:00 AM  LUNA PALACE Leederville . 


"I know that Jeff, it's kinda a little intense when it's all written down like this".(Terry makes a point to brother Jeff in response to his big brother's lecture on being organised when committing a crime).








The proudly Australian Jacobson brothers are back with a film so much darker and different to their first offering (Kenny) that Brothers' Nest only further underlines older brother Clayton's ability to make original films. Jeff (Clayton J) and Terry (Shane J) roll up at the family's rural homestead to commit a dastardly deed. The clever, darkly humorous script joins all the dots before leading us to a slightly overly long, but never the less impactful, climax. Walking away from Brothers'Nest I couldn't help but feel this tale could easily be based on true events. Families and the nightmares which may occur within are stories heard regularly. Brothers' Nest is another Jacobson gem of simple proportions but of significant repercussions both in message and hopefully on the world stage. 11GUMS.  




      

No. 48 (2018) Edie June 7th.

Film No. 48 (2018) June 7th.  6:30 PM LUNA  Palace Northbridge. 


"Nancy, I'm letting you know I'm going away for a few days" (Edie makes a decision and understates the trip she is about to take, in a voice message to her daughter).






Edie (Sheila Hancock) tries and tries to push our compassion trigger points harder than she tries to climb Mount Suilven itself and that's saying something for an 85 year old. The problem with Edie (the film) is, one can't make up ones mind if it's a feature length travelogue or a corporate team building, moral boosting, audio visual presentation. The overly earnest soundtrack would suggest the former. Hancock however sucks in a breath of fresh air for all of us on her journey of discovery and if the inspiration she generates in Edie flows onto people of her generation anywhere in the world then the film becomes a wonderful vehicle. The same can be said for the beautiful seaside town of Lochinver on the north west coast of Scotland. If the town's tourists double over the next few years due to the director's stunning drone work, there's another win. It's just a pity that, unlike Local Hero, the storytelling is naff! 6GUMS.




   

Monday, 11 June 2018

No. 47 (2018) Hereditary June 6th.

Film No. 47 (2018) June 6th.  6:45 PM EVENT Cinemas Innaloo. 

"She wasn't altogether there at the end." (Daughter Annie describes her recently deceased mother's demeanor just prior to her death).






Another horror flick with a seemingly happy, functioning family at its core, hot on the heels of A Quiet Place. Hereditary is getting the same, if not better, critiques but for me the former is by far the superior film. Tony Collette (Annie) plays the vulnerable mother and meticulous miniaturist who draws on all our dark senses as she deals with tragedy, blackness and more blackness. Undercurrents of spiritual unpleasantness brew around her after the death of her mother. Husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne) is Annie's rock and brilliantly cast children Peter (Alex Wolff) and Charlie (Milly Shapiro) all band together to take us on an emotional rollercoaster ride via close-ups, cut aways and subtle light definitions. The ending will have you thinking through the triggers that came earlier. This is Ari Aster's first feature as a director and he's nailed Hereditary to a point. But I say again, it's not as effecting as A Quiet Place. 8GUMS.





Saturday, 9 June 2018

No. 46 (2018) Disobedience June 2nd.

Film No 46 (2018) June 2nd.  11:00 AM  LUNA PALACE Leederville . 


"I think he thought that marriage would cure me".(Esti explains to Ronit the reason for one of the major changes   which had taken place in her life).






Terms such as slow burn, insightful, tense then finally, heartfelt and emotionally powerful describe Disobedient. Never a relaxing watch, the film explores life where people, in this case Ronit (Rachel Weisz), Esti (Rachel McAdams) and Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) childhood friends, each brought up as orthodox Jews reunite under strained circumstances. It's evident early  why Ronit left
suddenly in search of a new life in New York city. No one has heard from her in years. Then Ronit returns after receiving word her father, a Jewish leader, had died suddenly. The film, put simply, captures the puzzle of unresolved issues lying thick in the air after her exit. Weisz and McAdams have a brooding chemistry and Nivola goes a way to stealing the show with his calm, insightful performance. Don't see Disobedience if your mood requires  a light, fun film. Sebastian Lelio's (A Fantastic Woman) film is neither fun nor light but it is very good. 10GUMS




  

Saturday, 2 June 2018

No. 45 (2018) Gurrumul May 28th.

Film No 45 (2018) May 28th.  5:50 PM  LUNA PALACE Leederville . 



"He's making it easier for the world to understand and he's making it new". (A voice over from a family member describing Gurrumul's unique sound).






Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, arguably, will be remembered as having the purest, most authentic voice Australia has produced. This riveting documentary tells a little of the story of a prodigiously talented blind boy who becomes a man as he humbly unveils his talents to the world. Darwin film maker Paul Damien Williams was given approval by Gurrumul to make the film. Williams scoured hours and hours of archival sounds and images from Gurrumul's past, he captures brilliantly how his subject came to be who he is. An unsung star of Gurrumul's is friend and closest collaborator Michael Hohnen. The film relies on Hohnen's unique  connection with Gurrumul, the people of Elcho Island and ultimately the rest of the world. Geoffrey is the star but the bond these men have is what makes this journey so watchable.  10GUMS.            




    

Sunday, 27 May 2018

No. 44 (2018) Tea With The Dames (Nothing Like a Dame) May 21st.

Film No 44 (2018) May 21st.  6:30 PM  LUNA PALACE Windsor,  Nedlands . 


"I'm still hanging in for that" (Dame Maggie Smith's reaction to Joan Plowright's recollection of a director telling Smith she'd be discovered then re-discovered again during the 50's).






This fly on the wall portrait of four of Britain's most decorated artists of screen and television both entertains and enlightens in a surprising fashion. I say surprising because the thought of a film in which four octogenarian actors sit around gossiping about their past didn't set me in an anticipatory sweat. My favourite of the four, Maggie Smith, is the clown of the gaggle. Her sharp wit and impeccable timing give the film colour. The reason Joan Plowright is seen so rarely on screen now is very evident and her recollections of life with Sir Laurence are revealing. They joke about Dame Judy taking  all the available roles these days through which Dench sits, unmoved with a knowing grin on her face. And the least known internationally, Eileen Atkins (Queen Mary, The Crown), pleasantly glues many of the conversations together with her sharp recollections. This film will get its best following when released to public T.V. in nine or so months me thinks. 8GUMS.