Month: February 2016

GODS OF EGYPT

127 minutes, Fantasy Adventure/Action, M

What do MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and GODS OF EGYPT have in common? Not only were they both shot entirely in Australia, but off the back of FURY ROAD’s outstanding success, which will likely further strengthen at Sunday night’s Academy Awards, GODS OF EGYPT has employed over two hundred of the same cast and crew. From the writers of THE LAST WITCH HUNTER and DRACULA UNTOLD comes a story based on an Egyptian myth starring Gerard Butler and GOT’s Nicolaj Coster-Waldau (who shed down to a whopping 7% body fat for this role). In a battle of the Gods, a young and fearless mortal named Bek joins forces with the God Horus to try and bring down the reign of the merciless God of Darkness, Set who is oppressively ruling all of Egypt.

Gods of Egypt Poster

As was expected, not even two hundred plus of FURY ROAD’s staff could inject some of the awe and adrenalin that dominated MAD MAX, into the bland storytelling that is lazily opted for in GODS OF EGYPT. Needless to say, director Alex Proyas (he made that Nicolas Cage film, KNOWING, that almost everybody hated!) is certainly no George Miller either. An over-reliance on (some admittedly striking) CGI to do all the visual talking and terribly wooden dialogue and acting throughout continually sour the light-hearted nature of the film. Entertainment levels never really exceed the moderate level and hit their peak about half way through during a sequence involving some very big human-steered serpents. A fantasy-lovers affair only, GODS OF EGYPT is easy to understand for all ages and Mr Butler does make a worthy antagonist in this adventure movie that ought to satisfy the same crowd who liked THE LAST WITCH HUNTER and SEVENTH SON.

2 out of 5

GODS OF EGYPT – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
Does have an M rating here and contains fantasy action violence and some sexual content. The violence isn’t anything unexpected or to be concerned about for ages about 10 and up. The sexual content is some scenes of intimacy where we get very close to seeing body parts, but never do. Some parents may also wish to know that some of the costumes are a little revealing.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Claire from Entertainment One, Entertainment One and Hoyts Melbourne Central for the invite to the Melbourne Media Screening of  GODS OF EGYPT.

Review by Moviedoc
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DVD & Blu-Ray Releases for March 2016

MOVIEDOC’S MARCH RECOMMENDATIONS

The Look of Silence Poster

IMDB – 8.4/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 96% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 2nd, Documentary (Note – This is a follow up to 2012 documentary THE ACT OF KILLING)

Bridge of Spies Poster

IMDB – 7.7/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 91% Moviedoc – 3.5 out of 5
Released on the 2nd, Biography/Drama

Hotel Transylvania 2 Poster

IMDB – 6.8/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 54% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 3rd, Animated Family Comedy

He Named Me Malala Poster

IMDB – 6.4/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 71% Moviedoc – Yet to See
Released on the 23rd, Documentary

IMDB – 8.6/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 100% Moviedoc – Yet to See
Released on the 24th, Indian Drama

All Other March Releases

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Poster

IMDB – 4.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 13% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 3rd, Horror

The Night Before Poster

IMDB – 7.2/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 67% Moviedoc – Yet To See
Released on the 3rd, Comedy

Spectre Poster

IMDB – 6.9/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 64% Moviedoc – 3 out of 5
Released on the 9th, Action

Love the Coopers Poster

IMDB – 5.7/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 20% Moviedoc – 1 out of 5
Released on the 9th, Comedy

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse Poster

IMDB – 6.3/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 44% Moviedoc – Yet to See
Released on the 10th, Comedy/Horror

Man Up Poster

IMDB – 6.8/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 80% Moviedoc – Yet to See
Released on the 10th, Comedy

Sleeping with Other People Poster

IMDB – 6.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 63% Moviedoc – Yet to See
Released on the 16th, Comedy

No Escape Poster

IMDB – 6.8/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 46% Moviedoc – Yet to See
Released on the 16th, Action/Thriller

Freeheld Poster

IMDB – 6.3/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 47% Moviedoc – 3.5 out of 5
Released on the 16th, Biography Drama

Secret in Their Eyes Poster

IMDB – 6.3/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 42% Moviedoc – 3 out of 5
Released on the 23rd, Mystery/Drama

Absolutely Anything Poster

IMDB – 6.0/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 8% Moviedoc – Yet to See
Released on the 23rd, Sci-Fi Comedy

The End of the Tour Poster

IMDB – 7.4/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 91% Moviedoc – Yet to See
Released on the 24th, Drama

90 Minutes in Heaven Poster

IMDB – 4.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 24% Moviedoc – Yet to See
Released on the 24th, Christian Faith Drama

The Program Poster

IMDB – 6.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes – 64% Moviedoc – Yet to See
Released on the 24th, Biography Sport Drama

Compiled by Moviedoc
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HAIL, CAESAR!

106 minutes, Comedy, PG

Written, Produced and Directed by the Coen Brothers (TRUE GRIT, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, FARGO), this new comedy features an array of wonderful talent in its lengthy casting order – George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Alden Ehrenreich, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill to name most of them. HAIL, CAESAR! – a dramatic feature film being shot in Hollywood during the 1950’s, is in fact the setting for a series of dramas occurring off-camera, in HAIL, CAESAR! Inspired by real characters, we follow Eddie Mannix (Brolin), a “fixer” as he addresses the many complications and conundrums both on-set and in his personal life, during the course of a day in production.

Hail, Caesar! Poster

I’d love to give you a hint of just what’s in store on-set HAIL, CAESAR! I even wrote and deleted the paragraph several times! But, it stays deleted, for the less prior knowledge you enter HAIL, CAESAR! with, the more unexpected and fun it most definitely will be. Though very much a comedy that seeks the right kind of audience to extract genuine laughter from, with its mix of 50’s pop-culture satire and parody, there is no question that HAIL, CAESAR! deserves to be hailed as an intelligent and highly original comedy. Fans of Wes Anderson movies in particular will appreciate the cleverly conceived ideas and developments written into the script and characterisation. The shenanigans that play out do generate plenty of laughter and amusement, and the expertly planned & executed structure enables the element of mystery to the fore. The acting is fruitful and vibrant from the entire ensemble cast, though please do bear in mind in order to avoid disappointment, that with so many A-grade celebrities in a film that runs less than two hours, a number of them feature in less than a handful of scenes and some appear beyond the half-way mark. But, as they say, quality is more important than quantity, and each actor ensures their contribution, whether major or minor, is a memorable one.

4 out of 5

HAIL, CAESAR! Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
Rightly branded with a PG classification in Australia for mild themes and coarse language. However, the right audience for HAIL, CAESAR! will be above 15 years of age, but not due to any content material or unsuitable scenes.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Linda from Universal Pictures Australia, Universal Pictures Australia and Hoyts Melbourne Central for the invitation to the preview screening of HAIL, CAESAR! 

Review by Moviedoc
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PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES

107 minutes, Romance Drama/Horror, MA15+

Undoubtedly, one of the coolest movie titles to hit our screens this year is PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. Based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith that parodies the 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the first thing you need to know about this ROM-COM-ZOM flick is that there is not as much of the COM part that you may be expecting. Set in 19th century England, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES is very much the PRIDE AND PREJUDICE you already know, just add zombies! Oh, and specialised zombie combat skills that are well-trained into each of the five Sisters. The next detail you need to know of? Those Sisters, whom are – Elizabeth Bennett (Lily James – TV Series “Downton Abbey”, Cinderella in 2015’s CINDERELLA), Jane (the Australian Bella Heathcote – DARK SHADOWS, TV Series “Neighbours”), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady) and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse), each of whom face pressure to wed, whilst “slaying” on top of their zombie game. Something that becomes more difficult to do, once Mr Darcy (Sam Riley – MALEFICENT) and Mr Bingley (Douglas Booth – ROMEO & JULIET, JUPITER ASCENDING) make their appearances.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Poster

The third piece of information worth mentioning is for those who have seen any rendition of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, ought to have a little more fun with this over others (like myself, ashamedly!) that have not. Director Burr Steers (IGBY GOES DOWN, 17 AGAIN) exhibits a nifty edge in the choreography and filming of some early set-piece sequences, during an exciting opening sequence and solid first half. But it wears off. This romantic drama isn’t only missing some comedic strings it needed to pull, it also isn’t as bloodthirsty or gothic in its action/horror sequences as the majority of its audience would be anticipating. That was the fourth thing you needed to know. Now here is the fifth and final word I’ll leave you with – despite PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES being prohibited from reaching the level SHAUN OF THE DEAD OR SLEEPY HOLLOW are at, it does remain an entertainingly rendered period piece which does do enough to earn itself a viewing, and maybe even a cheeky sequel (hint – don’t leave your seat until after the credits have rolled!).

3 out of 5

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
Rated MA15+ for strong comedic violence. Advised to keep it 15 and over, and not for those who are too easily frightened by zombie films or have a weak stomach of strong violence of any kind.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Jesse from Roadshow Films, Roadshow Films and Village Cinemas Jam Factory for the invitation to the media screening of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES.

Review by Moviedoc
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HOW TO BE SINGLE

110 minutes, Comedy, M

Do not be mislead by the working title here. This film is not a step-by-step reference for how you should live a single life, nor is it a guide for those seeking a way out of a current and unfulfilling relationship. This is a film about having fun being single, in your own way, while it lasts. Alice (Dakota Johnson) is the woman who doesn’t quite know who she is and needs a break from her four year relationship. Older sister Meg (Leslie Mann) is a midwife trying to talk herself out of the need to finally have one of her own delivered. Alice’s best friend, Robin (Rebel Wilson), a party girl who doesn’t give a damn about much else other than getting laid that night. Then there’s Tom (Anders Holm) a bartender who goes to extreme lengths to keep his one night stands, one night only and frequent visitor Lucy (Alison Brie) who’s having trouble keeping a man for beyond one date.

How to Be Single Poster

If you’re a female aged anywhere from 15 to about 40, and are quite content to have an easy laugh watching stereotypes acting as gross exaggerations of themselves, then you’ll be more than happy hooking up a date night with the newest comedy HOW TO BE SINGLE. But ladies, assuming you have attended enough of these types of movies, then you know they have a serious side. Nothing too heavy, but enough for this rather indecisive chick-flick to put a lengthy hold on generating much laughter for most of the second half. To be honest, this shift in temperament is HOW TO BE SINGLE’s saving grace, for the first half really is quite poor. Trite dialogue, bad comic timing and execution, and a bizarrely out of form, uncomfortable looking performance from Rebel Wilson often result in this comedy’s attempt to evoke laughter, fall horribly flat. Fortunately, as Alice, Lucy and Meg are asked to take some of the load off Robin’s heavily burdened shoulders, a gradual improvement becomes ostensible.

2.5 out of 5

HOW TO BE SINGLE – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
Contains crude sexual content (no actual sex scenes or nudity though) and coarse language including sexual innuendo. Recommended for over 15 years of age.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Harriet & Jesse from Roadshow Films, Roadshow Films and The Backlot Studios for the invitation to the Media Screening of HOW TO BE SINGLE.

Review by Moviedoc
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TRUMBO

124 minutes, Biographical Drama, M

How’s this for versatility – filmmaker Jay Roach, whom we know for all three AUSTIN POWERS and the first two MEET THE PARENTS films, takes on a complete change in genre with the new biographical drama TRUMBO, a career-best film for Mr Roach, to date.
“Breaking Bad” lead actor Bryan Cranston stars as Dalton Trumbo, a Hollywood screenplay writer growing in stature during the 1940’s, shortly after the end of WWII. Until politics intervene.
Enter a US agency who have blacklisted Trumbo, along with several others, believing the openly communist citizen poses a threat to society by influencing his communist beliefs via his screenplay writings in major Hollywood films, and subpoena him to testify before the congress.

Trumbo Poster

It isn’t just fitting, it’s (over) due fairness and justification. A film which chronicles an unjust political system and the resulting impact this has on a talented writer, both personally and professionally, is itself and exceptionally well-written piece on the subject.
Based on the book Dalton Trumbo by Bruce Cook, TRUMBO is a highly engaging, behind-closed-doors observation of the struggles to be in Trumbo’s shoes during a time of utter hardship. For those of you that know less of the events that took place, an exceedingly informative viewing awaits. Sometimes touching, often & surprisingly evoking laughter and boasting high-end acting performances, TRUMBO is also immensely entertaining to watch. Oscar nominee Bryan Cranston is no doubt deserving of the nod – this performance demonstrates so effectively Cranston’s understanding of the character and he knows just the right way to pitch Trumbo at varying stages throughout the movie. That comes as no surprise. The surprise performance comes from John Goodman, in fact! Displaying some of the best work he’s put out in years, his character steals many scenes.

Highly recommended.

4 out of 5

TRUMBO – Film Trailer

Once you’ve seen TRUMBO and for those who fancy some more, not only would the book be well worth the read but there is also a documentary from 2007, also titled TRUMBO, available to you.

Footnote to Parents
Contains offensive language including sexual references and some rear male nudity. Ages from 13 and up are pretty safe.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Claire from Entertainment One, Entertainment One and Cinema NOVA for the invitation to the Melbourne Media screening of TRUMBO.

Review by Moviedoc
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DEADPOOL

108 minutes, Action/Comedy, MA15+

And the award for best opening credits in any film to be released in 2016 goes to………. DEADPOOL! Yes, I know, it is only February. But I guarantee this – you will not see a more creatively constructed and utterly hilarious opening credits roll for a long time to come. So, if you plan on seeing DEADPOOL, DO NOT BE LATE! Now, time for some record breaking statistics. DEADPOOL has achieved the following, in just one long weekend in the US:

– Broken the February opening weekend record by nearly $45 million (previously held by FIFTY SHADES)
– Destroyed the largest opening for an R rated film (MA15+ here in Australia)
– Waved goodbye to the largest opening weekend for an R rated comic book adaptation (belonged to 300 before this)
– 20th Century Fox’s highest grossing opening weekend film, ever
– The biggest opening for a film starring Ryan Reynolds
– Largest opening weekend for a first time Director (Tim Miller)
– Grossed $135 million over a 3 day weekend in the US
– Has brought in over $125 million from 61 international markets (including $10 million in Australia)
– Set to gross over $260 million worldwide, all off a $58 million budget. Ka-ching! Not bad at all!

Deadpool Poster


Oh, and if that wasn’t enough reward for effort, DEADPOOL currently sits at #42 on IMDB’s Top Rated Movies of all time. But do be advised, DEADPOOL is not a film for children, is not a superhero movie and the character himself is always at his best when behaving his worst. Ryan Reynolds is cast in his best role to date, and as a result, this is the most in sync to a character we’ve seen him. Belonging to the X-MEN film series, this origin story for DEADPOOL, whose birth name is Wade Wilson (Reynolds), is very much an anti-superhero film, as DEADPOOL seeks revenge on those who have performed a failed experiment on him, leaving him with the ability to self-heal from all injuries. Might not sound like a failed experiment, but he isn’t wearing a body suit and mask because he thinks it’s fun, cool or sexy!

In a mainstream movie world which is heavily dominated by various forms of caped crusaders, masked men and destructive scrap metal beings, saving all of mankind time and time again, DEADPOOL is a breath of fresh air in not only the Marvel comics stable, but for blockbuster franchises. With dialogue so crude, rude and shrewd and a highly-referential script that pokes fun at a plethora of characters and scenes from other films (good luck grasping them all in one sitting!), watching DEADPOOL is a heck of a lot of fun. That is provided by the fact you are a) not a prude and b) willing to go along with the very brutal, ultra-violent ways in which numerous characters are bludgeoned to death, without any mercy. In most aspects, it works and works strongly thanks to simply being fast-paced, fresh and downright, inappropriately funny. Though, it must be said, there are some severe weaknesses standing in DEADPOOL’s path to true excellence. A few characters with a significant amount of screen time are not written to the same high degree that Wade Wilson/Deadpool has been penned. As a result, they do not manage to make the contribution they ought to and in most cases, the quality of acting performance from these actors in comparison to the incredibly wired one from Reynolds is too far and noticeable a gap. Despite this and its last minute budget cut of $7 million, DEADPOOL has enough brain to go with its brawn to really kick some ass, even if it doesn’t quite manage to be 2016’s KICK ASS.

3.5 out of 5

By the way, be sure to remain seated for the closing credits (also quite funny) and some post-credit scenes too. Then, be looking forward to a sequel in the works!

DEADPOOL – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
Dear parents, please do not make the same mistake you may have made with KICK ASS (even though I love that movie) and send your minors along to watch what you think is another Marvel superhero film, which is what your kids will say it is! DEADPOOL has an MA15+ classification and there is a lot of graphic, bloody violence, strong coarse language including sexual innuendo, sex scenes and full-frontal nudity (it isn’t easiest to see, but you see Ryan Reynolds’ manhood!). 

Review by Moviedoc
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