Month: January 2016

ROOM

118 minutes, Drama, M

Not to be confused in any way with the 2003 cult hit THE ROOM, this critically-acclaimed Canadian/Irish co-production based on the novel of the same name by Emma Donoghue (who also writes the film screenplay) depicts a scenario seen in previous movies, yet never really from the perspective presented here. Something truly original, this deceptively layered, subtly powerful and poignant drama begins on similar grounds to last year’s tantalising Australian drama PARTISAN. Brie Larson (TRAINWRECK) is single mother Joy, whom with her son Jack, is surviving inside the tiny confines of what they refer to as “ROOM”. With their only visible access to the outside world coming via a skylight, Jack’s curiosity and Joy’s determination sees them hatch a dangerous plan to escape.

 

Simply sublime is ROOM. Provoking many questions from its keenly observing audience during a challenging first half – are they in a cult? Are they prisoners? Are they hiding from someone? All of them will be answered, at all the right times. In the meantime, let yourself be consumed by the claustrophobic tension, unsettling mystery and mesmeric atmosphere studiously designed. Then, after a brilliantly restrained first half, ROOM faces a new set of directional challenges. Challenges to itself, and to its audience. Curiosity intensifies as we are left in limbo while the next phase of the film begins to form. How are these challenges answered? Under the assured direction of Lenny Abrahamson (FRANK) and led by the lead performances of Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, ROOM further substantiates itself as a brilliantly bold, psychologically complex and deeply rational film that is easily going to be one of 2016’s greatest.

4.5 out of 5

ROOM – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
This movie is deeply intense. Due to this, and its scenario, ROOM is better reserved for a mature teenage audience from the age of 15.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Harriet and Jesse, Roadshow Films and Village Cinemas Jam Factory for the Media Screening of ROOM.

Review by Moviedoc
“LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

©

SPOTLIGHT

128 Minutes, True Story/Drama, M

In 2001, a team of journalists working for The Boston Globe were provided with some alarming information in relation to the local Catholic Archdiocese. As their investigation continued to progress, these four journalists uncover a shocking scandal involving child molestation that runs deep inside the Catholic Church.  

These events depicted are based on a true story.

Spotlight (2015) Poster

Without a shadow of a doubt, the draw card to this biographical drama is its true story. Just how did these four journalists uncover the secrecy within the Catholic Church? What did they do with the facts they found? How could they prove to the world that what they uncovered was real? It is these questions, and more, that SPOTLIGHT gives astonishing, uncompromisingly honest insight into. An experienced ensemble cast that includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Stanley Tucci handle the highly controversial and sensitive, yet utterly imperative to be told subject matter, with utmost professionalism and sincerity. Despite what looms as and sometimes is heavy on the heart and deeply upsetting, have confidence that the writers and director of the film ensure that the goodwill of its characters provides their audience with much warmth in cold surroundings. Yet, they also ensure the source material and its victims are never taken to lightly. Thanks to its straightforward and hugely compelling storytelling and with its goals firmly fixed all throughout, SPOTLIGHT achieves exactly what it aims and needs to, without ever being sensationalised. Highly recommended.

4 out of 5

Film Trailer – SPOTLIGHT

Footnote to Parents 
Exploring a story of child molestation will by default, be suitable for a more mature audience. Due to mature themes and some coarse language, SPOTLIGHT is for ages 13 and above, and with a parent or adult guardian by recommendation for ages 13-16.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Claire from Entertainment One, Entertainment One and Cinema NOVA for the invitation to the media screening of SPOTLIGHT.

Review by Moviedoc
“LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc (The one with E.T!)

©

THE DANISH GIRL

120 minutes, Romance/Drama, M

The much-hyped THE DANISH GIRL arrives on our doorsteps carrying Four Oscar Nominations including the possibility of giving consecutive best actor Oscar wins to Eddie Redmayne. Based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff, Redmayne is Einar Wegener, husband to Gerda (Played by rapidly rising star Alicia Vikander). An artist couple living in 1920’s Copenhagen, their relationship together begins to evolve and be challenged when Einar comes to the realisation he wants to become a woman.

The Danish Girl (2015) Poster


We could have seen THE DANISH GIRL in 2008, when this was a passion piece for Nicole Kidman, who was set to star, produce and even considered directing at the time. Eventually, those reigns were passed along to THE KINGS SPEECH director – Tom Hooper, and the finished product is a deeply empathetic, stunningly rendered production. A very unique love story, one which requires an open mind from its audience, the benevolently studied screenplay operates successfully and seamlessly as a story of self-discovery and sexual identity simultaneously. Have absolutely no doubts though, that just because you are witnessing an uncommon (and strange to some) romance and awakening of sexuality unfold, does not mean THE DANISH GIRL will feel all too foreign for your tastes. No, with Hoopers studious direction, Redmayne’s breathtaking performance and Vikander’s stunning career-best display always at the forefront, the dreams, desires, inhibitions, needs and feelings experienced by our leads are beautifully realised and profoundly digressed in a manner that is all but familiar to us all. THE DANISH GIRL isn’t merely a triumph on its own accord, it’s also one of the best films of the year.

4.5 out of 5

THE DANISH GIRL – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
THE DANISH GIRL is not only a story for an open-minded and mature audience, it also contains full-frontal nudity and some sexual content. Above 15 years of age only is recommended.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Bec from Universal, Universal Pictures and Cinema NOVA for the invitation to the Preview Screening of THE DANISH GIRL. 

Review by Moviedoc
“LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

©

CAROL

118 Minutes, Drama/Romance, M

In 1952, a book by the title of “The Price of Salt” was first published. The author, Patricia Highsmith (under the pseudonym Claire Morgan), who also wrote the novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, was first inspired to write her novel based on a chance encounter she had, while working at a department store in New York City. In 1990, “The Price of Salt” was re-titled “Carol”, when republished in the UK.
Receiving a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival and starring two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and two-time Oscar-nominee Rooney Mara, is the story of aspiring photographer, Therese (Mara) who begins an intimate relationship with the older Carol (Blanchett).

Carol (2015) Poster

Directed by Todd Haynes (FAR FROM HEAVEN, I’M NOT THERE), this sweeping spectacle takes us to an era and setting that only a highly distinguished film such as this can succeed in transporting us to. I could endlessly elaborate on just how gorgeous the set, costume and production design are. I could find many kind words to write when referring to the artistic, stunning arrangement of cinema photography on display. I may struggle to convey just how perfectly scored CAROL is, yet won’t struggle at all in conveying the sheer class and high quality of the acting performances. Rather, do yourself a favour, and see CAROL, a wholly absorbing and completely transfixing film, for yourself.
Immersing itself upon your senses doesn’t turn out to be CAROL’s only strong suit. More so, the perfectly restrained and patiently timed order of proceedings, all led by two truly immaculate acting performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, in every precious frame of CAROL, leave a lasting impression. So too does a memorable final act. While all taking place in the early 1950’s, engaged viewers have the opportunity to take away some virtues that couldn’t be more relevant to people of today, than what they are.

4.5 out of 5

Film Trailer – CAROL

Footnote to Parents 
Mature thematic elements, some coarse language and a sex scene containing some nudity enforce an M rating and it is recommended those aged from 15 years and above only, attend a session of CAROL, without a parent or adult guardian to accompany them.

Review by Moviedoc
“LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc (The one with E.T!)

©

 

THE HATEFUL EIGHT

187 Minutes, Mystery/Western, R18+

With early advanced screenings currently on, you will have two options in which to view Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film – THE HATEFUL EIGHT, once in full swing.
The option recommended, especially if you’re an aficionado of QT, is to visit one of the named cinemas, at the end of this review, who are showing the film in its original Ultra Panavision 70mm presentation. What exactly is the significance in doing so? This rare style of shoot (so rare, the last time a film was shot on 70mm film was KHARTOUM, in 1966), gives the film a much more detailed and wider image, as opposed to how almost all films are shot these days – on digital camera. To further heighten this unique experience, this original version includes a musical overture, an intermission, a souvenir program and an additional 6 minutes of footage, only seen in this version.
Now, for a snippet of the plot – It is the middle of a freezing winter in Wyoming, post American Civil war. A bounty hunter, John (Kurt Russell) is escorting a prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) across state when they seek refuge from the conditions in a cabin. A cabin that is already occupied by several characters, who do not welcome the unexpected arrival of their guests.

The Hateful Eight (2015) Poster

Split into six chapters, THE HATEFUL EIGHT is bound to test the patience of even the most ardent Tarantino fans. In typical QT style (albeit lengthier, even by his own terms), Tarantino’s screenplay concentrates entirely on “setting the scene for the show”, with an emphasis on building characterisation and establishing the set-up of its premise, all throughout a dialogue-heavy first half. Knowing an exchange of (some) dialogue for the stylistic, graphic violence and dark humour, that this unique filmmaker is characterised by is on the horizon, should enable the escalating tension to reach boiling point by the conclusion of the opening half.

The final three chapters see QT masterfully unwrap the layers of tension and mystery, one layer at a time, in a magnificently methodical and meticulous manner. While there is no ambiguity to the execution of a near-faultless screenplay, the same certainty cannot be applied to your overall satisfaction, once three hours have passed. THE HATEFUL EIGHT has placed a few hurdles in its path that not all spectators will be willing to jump. The absence of a truly iconic scene to recall THE HATEFUL EIGHT by, no genuine stand-out performance from anyone in the cast list, a few old tricks in new disguises seen in previous Tarantino works and of course, that extended set-up and running time may single-handedly or collaboratively interfere with the rocking mood it is so capable of setting.

Hopefully, your focus can remain more on the high quality production and the trajectory of THE HATEFUL EIGHT’s storyline and characters, for it is quite an excellent film.

You can watch THE HATEFUL EIGHT, in its original 70mm format at these following locations across Australia:

Event George Street, Sydney, NSW
Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Cremorne, NSW
Randwick Ritz Cinema, Randwick, NSW
The Astor Theatre, St Kilda, VIC
Sun Theatre, Yarraville, VIC
Village Rivoli, Hawthorn East, VIC

4 out of 5

Film Trailer – THE HATEFUL EIGHT

Footnote to Parents
This is an R18+ classification, so no person under the age of 18 is permitted to see THE HATEFUL EIGHT. Contains graphic violence and some nudity.

Moviedoc wishes to thanks the Village Roadshow Team, Village Roadshow and Village Cinema, Rivoli for the invitation to the media screening of THE HATEFUL EIGHT.

Review by Moviedoc
“LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc (The one with E.T!)

©

 

GOOSEBUMPS

103 Minutes, Family Adventure/Fantasy, PG

From 1992 until 1997, 62 books were published under the “Goosebumps” umbrella. Therefore, could we be seeing the first of 63 GOOSEBUMPS movies to be made (Judging by current trends, the 62nd film would be split into two parts, right!?)?
These children’s horror fiction novellas, by author R.L Stine (dubbed “the Stephen King of children’s literature”) come to cinematic fruition with Jack Black headlining a relatively fresh-faced cast.
With a story written specifically for the film by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, we follow teenager Zach (Dylan Minnette – TV Series “Saving Grace”), who’s been relocated with his Mum to Madison, Delaware, a quiet and dull suburb where nothing much really happens. Or so he thinks. Developing an instant crush on the cute girl next door, Hannah (Odeya Rush – The Giver), Zach’s little fancy takes several surprising turns when he discovers Hannah’s Dad (Black) is R. L Stine himself.

 

Goosebumps (2015) Poster

There is something quite nostalgic to this production. Reminiscent of some family favourites from the eighties and nineties and perhaps best described as JUMANJI meets GREMLINS, GOOSEBUMPS is good fun, yet never really seizes upon its full imaginative potential to earn itself a status as a family gem in years to come.
With obvious and understandable limitations as to just how far this family film can go in the fantasy horror department, screenplay writer Darren Lemke and film director Rob Letterman (Gulliver’s Travels) are too content to settle for a standard set-up and structure. The visual aspect of the film often plays it safer than it needed to also. It’s safe to say, GOOSEBUMPS won’t be giving too many viewers goose bumps at all!
Nevertheless, with some help from the awkward, yet sweet-natured sidekick Champ (Ryan Lee – TV Series “Trophy Wife”) and the films solid pacing, GOOSEBUMPS ticks enough boxes to succeed at moderately entertaining its target audience.

 

3 out of 5

GOOSEBUMPS – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
The horror is mild, however parental guidance is strongly suggested to accompany those aged below 10-12. 

 

Moviedoc wishes to thank Roadshow Films and the Moonlight Cinema for the invitation to the advanced session of Goosebumps.

 

Review by Moviedoc
“LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc (The One with E.T)

 

©

SISTERS

118 Minutes, Comedy, MA15+

Want to get your happy face on early in the New Year? Well then, get your face into SISTERS! For the first time since their feature film debut together in 2008’s BABY MAMA (a very good comedy, by the way), comedy queens Amy Poehler & Tina Fey headline a big screen release. They are indeed sisters, living their separate and unfulfilling lives in New York – Maura (Poehler), divorced and too awkward & shy to ever attempt anything resembling a date again and Kate (Fey) who can’t keep a job or her teenage daughter living with her. When their parents (played by Dianne Wiest and James Brolin) announce the childhood home is being sold, the girls decide to throw one final, epic farewell party.

Sisters Poster

SISTERS’ target audience will be left in stitches by the hilarity to be experienced in this rambunctious comedy that derives much of its humour in depicting adults behaving badly. A colorful and well-balanced comedic script creates a number of pathways to locating varied senses of humour for all genders and demographics. SISTERS’ comic timing is often switched on. Its propensity and sheer will to make you laugh out loud, by way of its snappy one-liners & sizzling counterpunches that are deliciously delivered and some imaginative scenarios that are sharply executed, is infectious and admirable. So much so, forgiveness for the more irksome moments and characters is easy to grant. Even the less major part players are written with real zing and something to savour during a somewhat over-extended, yet very funny party sequence. Audience favourites are likely to be John Cena’s Pazuzu – a singlet & beanie wearing, serious-faced drug kingpin and eventual scene-stealer Alex (Bobby Moynihan) who unwittingly gets high off artificial sweetener (or so he thinks)! Last but not least, our leading ladies work wonderfully in tandem to help make SISTERS one of the best of its kind since the excellent BRIDESMAIDS.

4 out of 5

Trailer – SISTERS

Footnote to Parents
A comedy about adults behaving badly will mean it is an adult comedy! Contains sexual content and references, strong offensive language and drug use. Keep it above 15.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Universal Pictures and Hoyts Melbourne Central to the Preview Screening of SISTERS.

Review by Moviedoc
“LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc (The One With E.T!)

©