Saturday 30 May 2015

Boychoir (2015) - Movie Review

With how pseudo-academic these reviews must sound at times, today’s film seems like the sort of film I should be reviewing as opposed to something like the Pitch Perfect series. Something deeply cynical in my brain, that is to say my entire brain, wants me to believe that Pitch Perfect 2 and this film being out as the same time isn’t a coincidence: Both featuring vocal groups, with the former focusing on Top 40 hits and the latter on classical works and hymns; Hansen vs. Handel, if you will, except the bout is being done on-screen instead of on Epic Rap Battles Of History… hmm… I should remember to suggest that at some point. At any rate, today’s film is the latest offering featuring one Dustin Hoffman and features vocal ranges that the human voice should not be able to reach.

Thursday 28 May 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) - Movie Review

This review marks the first of three films in the next couple of months that will require me to brush up on my 80s-90s action series… which should have come around a lot sooner than this, considering these are the kind of films that are required viewing for any self-respecting movie buff, but better late than never. The first Mad Max film furthers the thinking that the biggest of accomplishments come out of the smallest of budgets, as the visual aesthetic, characterisation and overall grit of the film highlight some of the best that Australian cinema has to offer. Unfortunately, the follow-ups didn’t hold up nearly as well for me: Road Warrior was rather dull given how many times I’ve seen its Western-inspired plot and character development, despite being easily one of the most influential films of all time; and Beyond Thunderdome joins the list of films that make me question anything Rotten Tomatoes has to say. I was expecting 80’s cheese, but what I was given was literal pig shit. So, based on what came before it, my expectations aren’t that high given how we have approximately one-and-one-quarter good films to go on. But does this film at least deliver on the promise of fire-spewing electric guitars?

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Pitch Perfect (2012) - Movie Review

As I hop on the years-past train again to do some catch-up before checking out a new release, I find myself face-to-face with someone I’ve been meaning to let loose about for quite some time: Rebel Wilson. I made brief mention of her rather grating turn in Night At The Museum 3, but I didn’t really get into what I think about her. Specifically, how baffled I am that, of all the Aussie stand-ups I’ve seen, she was the one to become a break-out star in the U.S. Having seen her older work, like The Wedge, Pizza and some of her stand-up material that largely consisted of standard Boganisms about Frankston (think the Australian version of New Jersey; a place that is the butt of every joke by hack comedians), I just don’t see it. Don’t get me wrong, good fucking on her for giving proper Australian comedy some overseas attention, but I’m guessing it’s because she kind of blindsided everyone that she got where she did and my proximity to her early work is why I don’t get it. In any case, time to look at the film that officially brought her to the attention of most U.S. audiences.

Saturday 16 May 2015

A Royal Night Out (2015) - Movie Review

I have a serious problem with the term 'first world problems' for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being that people mostly use it to negate whenever someone who is better off than they are has something go wrong. Nowadays, it comes package-delivered with all the "at least you aren’t starving in a third-world country" clich├ęd phrases, which then begins a slippery slope that means that literally no-one can ever say that they are going through hard times. Homeless and living on the street? At least you have a street to live on unlike most kids in Ethiopia; that kind of thing. The reason why this annoys me like it does is that I get that those in the higher ranks of society go through issues as well; not the same issues as the rest of us, but they have to deal with problems same as the rest of us. Sure, someone complaining about a scratch on his Mercedes kind of has what’s coming to him, but more income brings on a different variety of things that need to be handled and not everyone is cut out for it despite where they are. For the record, this isn’t me looking down from a castle wall and telling people to get over it; I’m just a middle-class guy who’s seen enough Disney Princess movies to get the general idea of why living in regal luxury can get a bit too much for some people.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Where The Dead Go To Die (2012) - Movie Review

This is going to be a lot more scattershot than my usual reviews and I won’t be going into too much detail here, the reasons for which will become more than obvious as we get into this. As far as an introduction goes, all you really need to know is that I first found out about this movie through a review of it done by Diamanda Hagan; without that initial review, I likely would never have found this movie. Whether or not that’s a good thing has yet to be decided.

Monday 11 May 2015

Unfriended (2015) - Movie Review

While The Blair Witch Project might be the first proper mainstream example of the found footage genre, it was Paranormal Activity that revived the genre as it stands today and, to be fair, there’s a lot that can work about a found footage movie. The ‘natural’ camera work that brings believability to the film, the low-fi aesthetic that can hide weaker special effects, not to mention being cheap as chips to make; it can be really effective, especially with horror films because that believability can make the scares hit that much harder. Problem is, however, that the majority of found footage films play it way too safe and just follow the same formula laid down for them by Blair Witch and the PA series, often leading to rather embarrassing results like the horrendous Chernobyl Diaries. Sure, there are some films that take the format in interesting directions: Cloverfield used it to make a decent monster movie and Chronicle had the simple act of filming everything add emotional weight to the main character’s story. But, for the most part, it’s pretty much same-old, same-old. So, when I saw the trailer for this and it looked like someone was going to try something different (a serious rarity these days for film in general), I just had to check it out. But is it really that original? This is Unfriended… and it already loses points for the stupid title.

Saturday 2 May 2015

Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015) - Movie Review

With the current cinematic dictatorship Hollywood is under thanks to Marvel Studios, it’s easy to see the point of view of people who are getting sick of comic book movies considering not only the frequency of their output but also the insane amounts of preparation they put into their releases, ensuring said frequency for the next several years. However, given the rather lacklustre comic book fare that came before Iron Man curb-stomped its way into the public consciousness (Look at any list online for worst films ever made, and I guaran-damn-tee you that several of the entries will be older superhero films) as well as my own preference for the genre, I’m not sharing in that thought process. So, when the release date came out for the follow-up to Joss Whedon’s 2012 geekgasm The Avengers, I joined in and added to the already copious amount of fanboy drool in the ocean. But, considering how legendary the original has become in such a short amount of time, how does this hold up?