Month: October 2015

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER

106 Minutes, Fantasy/Action, M

Vin Diesel is immortal human Kaulder in THE LAST WITCH HUNTER, a supernatural action film that mounts a battle of witches v humans, set in present day. A truce forged centuries earlier allows witches & humans to co-exist and now Kaulder stands as humanity’s final hope to stop a deadly plague cast by the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht), with the assistance of Chloe (GOT’s Rose Leslie), a good witch, and young Priest Dolan 37th (Elijah Wood) in his quest to save mankind.

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER - Film Poster

Question – How do you know you’ve come across a truly bad film? Answer – When you’re watching Vin Diesel’s attempt at acting, and it’s still not the worst aspect of the movie! This knucklehead, who in my books goes down as the very worst actor in cinema currently (maybe even history!), isn’t entirely to blame though for the pathetic bore THE LAST WITCH HUNTER is. Even the majestic Michael Caine, who is the best asset within this reprehensible film, has difficulty maintaining a straight face when acting opposite Diesel. It’s truly a case of the great V the grating. Anyway, best I move onto something else now!

THE LAST WITH HUNTER - Film Still

Early on, as a generic storyline hops onto its broomstick and flies past fairly pedestrian events, THE LAST WITCH HUNTER may somewhat entertain fans of the genre, at best. While the quality of the production always looks like it better belongs to a 6am weekend TV time slot, at least the pacing keeps one uninspiring event quickly moving to the next. But all that’s about to change. With a spell of predictable twists, unimaginative and cheap visual effects and its foolishly unconstrained, freewheeling attitude, THE LAST WITCH HUNTER is cursed to a level of boredom not experienced often in cinemas this year. And to later learn that a far more adept Timur Bekmambetov (the dude who made those awesome Russian fantasy thriller flicks NIGHT WATCH & DAY WATCH and WANTED, starring Angelina Jolie) was attached to direct originally just makes THE LAST WITCH HUNTER all the more terrible.

1 out of 5

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER – FILM TRAILER

Footnote to Parents
In my opinion, you’re punishing your children by allowing them to see THE LAST WITCH HUNTER, however it is relatively mild on the violence and coarse language. The scary scenes are not too intense or frequent either so from ages 13 and up is appropriate, if you must.

Moviedoc wishes to thank eOne Entertainment, Claire Fromm & Hoyts Melbourne Central for the invite to the media screening of THE LAST WITCH HUNTER.

Review by Moviedoc
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The Dressmaker

118 minutes, Comedy/Drama, M

THE DRESSMAKER is wearing some serious talent, of the haute couture style, mostly of local produce and one international import. Adapted from the debut novel of the same name by Rosalie Ham, this Australian comedy/drama is directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse (who hasn’t directed since 1997’s A THOUSAND ACRES), wife of P. J. Hogan (he’s the man who made MURIEL’S WEDDING) who contribute’s as script editor here. Set in the fictional country town Dungatar, Victoria during the 1950’s, we immediately meet Mrytle ‘Tilly’ Dunnage (Kate Winslet) who has returned home after a lengthy stay overseas. As she settles in to care for her sick Mother, Molly (Judy Davis), Tilly begins to exact revenge, by way of her superior dressmaking talent, on the locals for a wrong committed several years ago.

The Dressmaker - Film Poster

It’s been described as Clint Eastwood’s UNFORGIVEN, with a sewing machine by Moorhouse, and it’s a fair evaluation. This impressive film’s ability to evoke laughter out aloud surprised me. And it happens frequently too, I might add. The outstanding script, filled with witty retorts and acidic one-liners is just delicious by the husband/wife team. The many wonderful Australian actors, which includes Chris Hemsworth (a potential love interest to Tilly), Hugo Weaving (The policeman concealing a secret that will undoubtedly destroy his reputation), Sarah Snook (A local seeking a fashion makeover), Barry Otto (The local, very controlling Pharmacist) and many more evidently have a fantastic time filming their respective parts.

Film Still - Kate Winslet as Mrytle 'Tilly' Dunnage

Structurally, some adjustments have been made book to film. Told as a continuous story here rather than four parts as in the book, some of the more dramatic elements which abruptly occur during THE DRESSMAKER may leave its audience unsure of how to feel. Yet with so many characters in action (the entire population of a small country town know how to keep a two-hour film busy!), the feeling of boredom never pays a visit. With an exquisite production, set & costume design, glorious performances including an exceptional one from Judy Davis, and a wonderfully enthusiastic vibe running throughout, THE DRESSMAKER is a darn good picture that’s just the right fit for all genders, shapes and demographics.

♥ ♥ ♥ ½

Film Trailer – The Dressmaker

Footnote to Parents
For an audience around 15 years of age and over due to some offensive language, sexual references, some themes and a brief violent scene.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Universal Pictures and The Backlot Studios for the invitation to the media screening of THE DRESSMAKER

Review by Moviedoc
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BLACK MASS

122 Minutes, Crime Drama, MA15+

BLACK MASS is the true story of James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp), a gang leader from the South of Boston during the 1970’s who became a FBI informant to help bring down a rival Italian gang. That FBI Agent openly working with Whitey is John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), a friend from the past who currently remains friends with state senator William “Billy” Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch), Whitey’s brother.

BLACK MASS - FILM STILL POSTER

It has been quite some time since we have seen Johnny Depp in a role that demands to be taken as seriously as this. In fact, you need to go back to 2009’s superb PUBLIC ENEMIES where Depp played gangster John Dillinger (to scintillating effect) to recall the last time he gave a memorable performance (for all the right reasons). Though sporting blue eye contacts where he sometimes resembles a vampire, we are blessed during BLACK MASS to see Depp at his most commanding and convincing in years. The first half of a busy screenplay concentrates hard on establishing the connections and relationships of each main character, giving us a holistic view of their lives and personas. It’s a view that allows the viewer to weigh up the pros and cons on each side, in a fair and fairly truthful manner. While fascinating and insightful, BLACK MASS doesn’t do a whole lot more than that until its second half which brings us more one-on-one with Whitey, and the fearless intimidation, bold brutality and sheer mercilessness committed by the notoriously violent thug. With this move bringing the viewer closer to the picture, along with a more noticeable score and some telling cinematography, the second half definitely goes up a level in tension. More use of these enhancing film-making elements and BLACK MASS would find itself sitting closer to several greats of the crime drama genre, rather than falling a little short of expectations set by its more evocative and powerful counterparts.

3.5 out of 5

BLACK MASS – FILM TRAILER

Footnote to Parents
The violence is quite brutal and confronting at times. And with over 250 uses of the f-word, BLACK MASS is for an adult audience over the age of 16.

MOVIEDOC wishes to thank Roadshow Films and Village Cinemas, Jam Factory for the invite to the media screening of BLACK MASS.

Review by MOVIEDOC
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MISS YOU ALREADY

112 minutes, Drama, M

Milly & Jess are lifelong friends. From childhood, the two women have shared everything with one another. So much so, there is barely a photograph in an album or a frame where they’re apart. But all that is about to change when one of the girls falls pregnant and the other becomes very ill. Starring Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore and Directed by TWILIGHT filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke, is MISS YOU ALREADY the crying movie of 2015?

MISS YOU ALREADY - FILM POSTER

MISS YOU ALREADY, by way of several scripted incidents manufactured by the dramatics department, is set to make its emotional move on you. To compensate for the sadness to be felt, the script has been coloured with many attempts to make its audiences laugh and remember some more fond memories throughout. Abetting these lighter moments is the screenplay’s refusal to concentrate too closely on any of its many dramatics. The opening 20 minutes being the epitome of that, as the films merely scans over 20 years in the childhood, adolescence and earlier adulthood of Milly & Jess. Just as it does during the opening act, MISS YOU ALREADY continues to treat monumental, life-changing events like a headline treats its story. As a result of the complete lack of depth and commitment, the characters and their relationships find themselves unable to have any real emotional impact. The vital pieces missing from the screenplay early create no foundation to forming a connection to anyone and the touches applied to lighten the heavier elements rarely blend in well. Further exacerbating this pretty feeble affair is Catherine Hardwicke’s direction. Appearing to be in a constant rush to get to the next scene, the hasty editing and unsteady cinematography never suit MISS YOU ALREADY, nor are they doing it any favours. Ultimately, and upon reflection, the most saddening aspect of MISS YOU ALREADY is just how far it has missed the mark.

Footnote to Parents
For ages above 13 due to thematic content and some sexual content and references. It may be a little bit confronting too for those who have undergone serious medical treatments and surgeries, so please consider before buying a ticket.

Moviedoc wishes to thank eOne Entertainment, Claire Fromm and The Backlot Studios for the invitation to the media screening of MISS YOU ALREADY.

Review by Moviedoc
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DVD & Blu Ray Releases for October 2015

MOVIEDOC’S MUST-SEE LIST

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
IMDB – 8.1/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 93% Moviedoc – ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ½
Released on the 16th, Documentary  

Amy
IMDB – 8.0/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 97% Moviedoc – ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ½
Released on the 28th, Documentary/Music 

MOVIEDOC’S ADD TO YOUR LIST RECOMMENDATIONS 

Partisan
IMDB – 6.8/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 82% Moviedoc – ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Released on the 14th, Australian Drama/Thriller 

Woman in Gold 
IMDB – 7.4/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 52% Moviedoc – ♥ ♥ ♥ ½
Released on the 7th, True Story/Drama

Jurassic World 
IMDB – 7.2/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 71% Moviedoc – ♥ ♥ ♥ ½
Released on the 15th, Action/Adventure 

All Other October Releases

Danny Collins 
IMDB – 7.1/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 77% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 7th, Comedy/Drama

Aloha
IMDB – 5.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 19% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 8th, Comedy/Drama

The Wrecking Crew
IMDB – 7.7/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 93% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 14th, Documentary/Music

When Marnie Was There
IMDB – 7.8/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 89% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 21st, Foreign Animation/Drama 

The Nightingale
IMDB – 7.0/10 Rotten Tomatoes – No Critical Score, 71% Audience Score, Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 21st, Foreign Drama

Poltergeist 
IMDB – 5.0/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 31% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 21st, Horror

Magic Mike XXL
IMDB – 5.9/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 62% Moviedoc – ♥ ♥
Released on the 21st, Comedy/Drama 

Hot Pursuit 
IMDB – 5.0/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 8% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 21st, Action Comedy

Love and Mercy 
IMDB – 7.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 89% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 28th, Drama

Terminator Genisys
IMDB – 6.8/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 26% Moviedoc – ♥ ♥ ½
Released on the 29th, Action

Compiled by Moviedoc
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THE INTERN

121 minutes, Comedy, M

Getting back into the workforce after a lengthy absence is daunting for almost anyone, and something which many can relate to, in some way. Getting back into the workforce years after you’ve retired? That’s the next move to make on the agenda of 70-year-old Ben (Robert De Niro), a widower who’s tried all of the activities that occupy a retiree’s lifestyle. Unable to fulfil that feeling of something missing in his life, he successfully applies to be the senior intern at a hugely profitable and ultra-busy online fashion store, founded and run by Jules (Anne Hathaway).

The Intern - Film Poster

THE INTERN can perhaps be described as a meshing of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA meets THE INTERNSHIP, holding a seniors card. Another card this comedy often plays is the right one, at the right times too. Nancy Meyers’ screenplay (she’s the one who brought us some great comedies almost two decades ago in WHAT WOMEN WANT & SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE) is a carefully considered, thoughtfully written and flawlessly structured one. This wonderful movie, of multi-generational & all-gender appeal (not a “chick flick”!), even comes complete with sub-plots that not only matter but also add purpose to the film’s theme. A selected theme of which we rarely see present in mainstream comedies like this. While I won’t reveal specifics here of the very relevant issue explored in THE INTERN, I will assure you that Meyers has creatively blended the serious side of this comedy in a way that will win viewers’ affection and earn their respect. And the ability for her film to generate a hearty moment of laughter is always just around the corner. Robert De Niro & Anne Hathaway have to be one of the most unlikely, yet successful screen pairings (No, they’re not romantically linked!) this year. The interplay the star duo exchange has a very friend-like and natural flow to it that is so lovely to watch. The characters, situations and manner in which they’re dealt with are organically produced in THE INTERN, a funny, charming and utterly pleasant comedy that ought to be essential viewing.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

THE INTERN – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents 
Contains very infrequent strong language and some sexually suggestive humour. Teenagers should be completely fine to attend a session of THE INTERN, even without parent or adult supervision.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Village Roadshow and Village Cinemas, Jam Factory for the invitation to the media screening of THE INTERN.

Review by Moviedoc
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