Showing posts from June 12, 2016

Review: Wild

The true story of Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon), who after losing both her marriage and herself to years of reckless behaviour, decides to make a change. In order to find the woman that her mother thought she had raised, Cheryl embarks on a hiking expedition along the US Pacific Crest Trail. Somewhat prepared (in theory at least), but on her own and with zero experience, she will battle the elements and lingering memories of her loving mother (Laura Dern). The tragic death of the latter, was a large part of why Cheryl embarked on such self-destructive behaviour in the first place. Gaby Hoffmann plays Cheryl’s best friend, W. Earl Brown plays a farmer, and Cliff De Young plays a much older, more experienced hiker she meets along the way.   I was kept completely at arm’s length by Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild” because I found it to be the true story of a careless, thoughtless, ill-prepared idiot who selfishly went on a journey to supposedly ‘find himself’ when simply invest

Review: Kill Me Three Times

It appears that there’s more than one party interested in exterminating the life of Alice Braga. There’s her abusive husband Callan Mulvey, who hires a hit man (Simon Pegg) to off her for stealing from him and cheating on him with nice guy mechanic Luke Hemsworth. Meanwhile, milquetoast dentist Sullivan Stapleton and his wife Teresa Palmer (who is also the sister of Mulvey’s character) are cooking up an insurance scam that Braga will be an unwitting victim/participant in. Bryan Brown turns up as an intimidating and frankly arsehole-ish local cop.   “Red Dog” filmmaker Kriv Stenders tries his hand at Coen-esque crime/comedy with this 2015 flick. It bypassed cinemas here in Australia, whilst the previous “Red Dog” was championed by both audiences and critics as one of the best Aussie films in a long time. That’s funny because I don’t think either film is much chop, but this is certainly the better of the two, albeit solely for the cast, not the clich├ęd script by debutant Jame

Review: San Andreas

CalTech professor (and seismology expert) Paul Giamatti has come up with a method to predict earthquakes, and when he is a first-hand witness of the Hoover Dam collapsing, his data suggests an even bigger quake is going to wreak havoc on the San Andreas fault. Meanwhile, Search & Rescue chopper pilot Dwayne Johnson has just got divorce papers in the mail. His soon-to-be ex-wife (Carla Gugino) has moved on already with a slimy skyscraper architect played by Ioan Gruffudd (remember when he was set to be somebody? That didn’t happen…). Alexandra Daddario plays the teen daughter of Johnson and Gugino, who somehow ends up going with Gruffudd to his workplace where she meets a nervous British prospective employee (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) of Gruffudd’s company, and his chatty little brother (Art Parkinson) and they become fast friends. Then they quickly become potential earthquake victims. When disaster also strikes whilst Gugino is having lunch with Kylie Minogue (!), Johnson and his ch

Review: Johnny Belinda

Lew Ayres plays a well-meaning doctor who comes to a small Nova Scotia fishing and farming town. Whilst on the property of crusty Mr. McDonald (Charles Bickford), he comes across the old man’s pretty deaf-mute daughter Belinda (Jane Wyman). Everyone (including her father and stern Aunt played by Agnes Moorehead) tends to regard Belinda as simple, and amongst the least sensitive of townsfolk, a ‘dummy’, Ayres believes Belinda to be of perfectly normal intelligence. He begins to teach her sign language, though her father initially doesn’t see any sense in it, thinking menial tasks on the farm are all she’s capable of. When the doctor proves otherwise, he’s flabbergasted as Belinda indeed starts to lip read and use sign language. Unfortunately, just as the lines of communication open up between Belinda and the rest of the world, a local drunken creep named Locky (Stephen McNally) forces himself on the helpless girl. Belinda eventually becomes pregnant as a result of the violation, and

Review: Pixels

Beginning in 1982, we meet arcade gamer Sam Brenner, competing in a tournament, which he ultimately loses to uber-douchebag Eddie Plant (played by Andrew Bambridge), playing “Donkey Kong” . Cut to present day and Sam (now played by Adam Sandler) is now an electronical equipment installation guy. On one such installation he meets, and completely fails to impress Violet (Michelle Monaghan), whose husband has just left her. All of a sudden he gets a call from his childhood best friend and fellow gamer Will, who has become the President of the United States (!) and played by Kevin James (!). It appears that aliens (who viewed video footage of the game tournament that was sent into space by NASA as a cultural artefact, and the aliens took it seriously/literally) are threatening an attack on various cities around the globe. Sam rushes to the White House only to find that Violet is there too, that’s Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten, who will play an important part in the fight against the alien