Month: March 2016

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT

120 minutes, Documentary, M

The working title for this very entertaining and impassioned project can be somewhat misleading. No, this new documentary from Michael Moore (BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, SICKO) is not an analysis for which country we invade next, as part of our war against terror. Rather, the invader is Moore himself, who spends time in several (mostly European) countries, learning about and educating us simultaneously on (mostly) political and social matters. His aim? To “steal” the best laws and values from respective countries in order to better his homeland – the United States of America.

Where to Invade Next Poster


Although WHERE TO INVADE NEXT is personally produced and presented to the US alone, Moore has assured that there is a ripe abundance and variety of insight in this fascinating documentary, it offers plenty to ponder about for all others around the world. His views are one-way roads and you may very well disagree completely with certain practices in place in other countries, yet Moore’s ability to encourage and challenge his audience to give those topics some serious and genuine thought is never in question. Presented in his typically humourous style, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT is often very funny but never makes fun of its subject matters (with the exception of Americans!) to evoke laughter. Whether we’re watching the Italians relish their idyllic working conditions or gaining an understanding into the extraordinary prison system and facilities proudly run by the Norwegians, Moore cleverly extracts humour and skilfully uses it to educate his crowd in a truly engaging way. Highly recommended!

3.5 out of 5

Trailer

Footnote to Parents
WHERE TO INVADE NEXT is a valuable film that ought to be seen from ages old enough to begin learning about political and social affairs. Before taking anyone that may potentially be too young for this, do be advised it has an M classification and contains moderate themes, some coarse language and brief nudity.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Tessa from Madman, Madman and Cinema NOVA for the invite to the screening of WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. 

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

©

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2

94 minutes, Comedy, PG

It is the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time. Collecting $368M worldwide and produced on an estimated budget of just $5M, a sequel to 2002’s MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING was simply inevitable. Well, after the failed attempt of TV Series “My Big Fat Greek Life”, at least!
After we all celebrated the nuptials of Toula & Ian 14 years ago, just who will be walking down the aisle in MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2?
Those identities will be kept privy here! Speaking of secrets though, or the revelation of them, they set the premise for Wedding #2, as each member of the Portokalos family get together all over again in preparation for the next big fat Greek wedding!

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Poster


Have you ever been a wedding guest and discovered your seat at the reception venue is reserved at the children’s table? Well, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 is often just as awkward!
The secret to the success of MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING was simple really – timing! Not to mention the fabulously crafted (and Oscar-nominated!) writing work of its star Nia Vardalos, who gave the world an ensemble of characters they’d fall in love with. The humour was mostly fresh too as MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING soared its way to the top and became one of the most heart-warming and crowd-pleasing films of its kind.
Sadly, and sometimes embarrassingly, much of the forced and highly exaggerated attempts to humour us second time round consist of one recycled joke after another. They are as outdated as the father of the brides tie probably is! The writing work of Vardalos under a different Director here (Kirk Jones – WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING) is as sharp & fresh as two left-foots sharing the first dance. Taking a back seat to all mundane proceedings in MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2, Vardalos has tried to re-create and slightly modernise the comedy and affection so splendidly drawn out of the 2002 original. The end result is a stale, moderately amusing but mostly unfunny & unnecessary sequel that not even unlimited amounts of Windex could make shine!

2 out of 5

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents 
This sequel remains suitable for a family audience again, despite some suggestive material and sexual references. Ages 10 and up is more appropriate.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Linda from Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures and Hoyts Melbourne Central for the invite to the Premier of MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2.

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

©

RAMS (HRUTAR)

93 minutes, Foreign Drama with English Subtitles, M

An import from Iceland, RAMS is the story of two brothers who must confront each other for the first time in 40 years. Despite living on the same large piece of land they were raised, Gummi and Kiddi, both sheep farmers, have chosen to not be on speaking terms. Once the final verdict at a local prize-winning competition for the top ram is revealed, the sibling’s long separation will shortly come to an end.

Rams

It isn’t until then that RAMS begins to fulfil more of the promise its premise suggests. A rather routine and under-developed opening act gradually begins to harvest some pretty engrossing and intimate dramatic stocks. The trajectory in which the brothers’ reunion will travel not only remains unforeseeable but is also the essence of viewers’ interest. There are bittersweet moments (one particular scene where one brother escorts the other to a location I won’t disclose here has got to be one of the most memorable scenes we’ll see in any movie this year!) that keep RAMS a tender drama throughout. The impact sustained by the end of this picturesque movie from Iceland will vary depending on your level of connection to the two central characters from the beginning. For me, RAMS wasn’t as powerful as it could have been, and as it clearly was for some others.

3 out of 5

RAMS – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
RAMS is definitely a film aimed for adults. Should there be anyone under 15 who wishes to see this, RAMS has an M classification for infrequent coarse language and brief, strong nudity (full-frontal male).

Moviedoc wishes to thank Paige from Palace Films, Palace Films and Cinema NOVA for the invite to the screening of RAMS.

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

©

EYE IN THE SKY

102 minutes, Drama/Thriller, M

They say that time is of the essence. This phrase is not only critical to what will transpire throughout the taut and tense EYE IN THE SKY, but also the timing of its release couldn’t be more essential than what it is now. The premise of this dramatic thriller is one we’ve either become used to viewing as popcorn entertainment (Hello, LONDON HAS FALLEN!) and/or is expressed patriotically to the rest of the world. Not so in EYE IN THE SKY though. This is the opposite of escapism. A horribly real situation that occurs somewhere in our world on a daily basis is the subject in which we are required to observe, assess and form our own opinion of. 
Helen Mirren stars as Colonel Katherine Powell, a military officer in charge of an operation taking place in Kenya. She and her team have been closely monitoring a premises in which they believe terrorist activity is being planned, with the impending attack due to occur at any moment. Those above and below Col. Powell, including Lieutenant General Frank Benson (the late and great Alan Rickman, in his final live-action film role), are about to face their toughest conundrum yet.

Eye in the Sky Poster

The unmistakable objective of Guy Hibbert’s distinctively written screenplay and an interesting cinematographic perspective make EYE IN THE SKY a strongly immersive motion picture that summons all of the pertinence and urgency required. In director Gavin Hood’s best film since RENDITION and TSOSTI, we are granted exclusive behind-the-scenes, fly-on-the-wall type of access to the shot-callers from all over the world in command of a covert and critical operation. As another phrase goes – there are always two sides to a story, and the terrific writing & acting work enables every viewer to grasp each characters perspective and frequently opposing views, even the ones you find yourself disagreeing with. Backed up furthermore by a palpable score, EYE IN THE SKY is seriously compelling, thought-provoking stuff. Highly recommended.

4 out of 5

EYE IN THE SKY – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents 
For a mature audience aged over 13. It contains war/terrorism themes, infrequent violence and coarse language. It is also worth mentioning that some footage seen here may be distressing to some viewers.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Claire from Entertainment One, Entertainment One and The Backlot Studios for the invite to the media screening of EYE IN THE SKY.

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

©

LONDON HAS FALLEN

99 minutes, Action/Thriller, MA15+

There are certain films that arrive with certain warnings. For example, CLOVERFIELD from 2008 contained a queasy-cam warning due to its cinematography. The French feel-gooder ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS required you take blood tests for diabetes after seeing it, for so cloyingly sweet and cute it was! The sequel to 2013’s OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN also arrives with some sound advice – leave all and any logic and sense you possess at home. For any that you do bring with you to the ridiculous LONDON HAS FALLEN will be a major blocker to the guilty-pleasure entertainment intended to be derived from watching this action-packed extravaganza. In this second instalment, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) and US President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) make an unexpected trip to London after the sudden death of the UK Prime Minister to attend his funeral. Meanwhile, a sinister terrorist leader is plotting an attack on every world leader due to attend.

London Has Fallen Poster

Believe it or not, LONDON HAS FALLEN isn’t here to waste your time. And it takes surprisingly little time of its own to get straight down to its point – non-stop gun fire, a body count to match its bullet count and lots of explosions. Once LONDON HAS FALLEN ensures its tongue in cheek manner becomes more obvious (and less irritating) than its arrogant disregard of all sense and conceivability, the guilty-pleasure entertainment on offer is undeniable. LONDON HAS FALLEN’s target audience will be very well fulfilled by the high-dose of mindless action exploding from the big screen.

2.5 out of 5

LONDON HAS FALLEN – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
The action violence is strong enough to earn the MA15+ classification. Aside from this, just the usual coarse language that occupies these type of film’s you may want to know about.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Roadshow Film and Village Cinemas Jam Factory for the invitation to the Preview Screening of LONDON HAS FALLEN.

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

©

THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY

83 minutes, Action/Comedy, MA15+

If your taste buds for comedy do not have the palate for the truly tasteless, the outright absurd or the shamelessly crude varieties, then it is strongly advised you keep well clear of Sacha Baron Cohen’s (BORAT, THE DICTATOR) newest movie, THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY. This rambunctiously reckless spy comedy teams his character, Nobby – a loving yet terribly irresponsible Dad and football fanatic up with his estranged Brother, Sebastian (Mark Strong) – a top spy assigned onto a new deadly mission.

The Brothers Grimsby Poster

Opting to present THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY as a standard feature film over the mock-doco style his previous outings are shot, this action comedy delivers just the required rate of laughter Cohen’s fan base would arrive expecting. Just! As one can expect, there scenes you can never unsee, there are those jokes that take things too far, ones that fall flat and others that hit the funny bone, running hard. If nothing else, THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY won’t be forgotten in a hurry!
The integration of the spy action genre is purely here to help set-up the numerous comical scenarios to play out. While they do bring with them a stabilising presence in the form of Mark Strong’s Sebastian and display some nifty camerawork, by no means is THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY ever a decent spy movie. And never does it try to be either.
It’s a better effort than what could be conjured up in THE DICTATOR and BRUNO, so while this is arguably Cohen’s best film (written only) since BORAT, there are no guarantees that your cinema visit will be a satisfying enough investment.

3 out of 5

THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents 
MA15+ for strong crude sexual humour and nudity. THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY is as crude as it gets for a film classified MA15+, so definitely above this age filter only.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Alex from Roadshow Films, Roadshow Films and Village Cinemas, Jam Factory for the invite the preview screening of THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY.

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

©

TRIPLE 9

115 minutes, Crime Thriller, MA15+

Have you ever watched a film starring Kate Winslet and wondered how she would sound speaking with a Russian accent? No? Me either. Well, the casting folk here certainly did so if you’re curious, this could be your one and only chance to see it for yourself! She plays Irina, who is married to a prominent figure within the Russian mafia (we never get the honour of visually meeting the friendly chap, as he’s based overseas) and is working alongside some nasty guys to ensure a particular deal her husband has orchestrated, goes according to plan. That plan involves the likes of several gangsters and corrupt cops working together in the slums of Atlanta, Georgia. Standing in their way are Sergeant Detective Jeffrey Allen (Woody Harrelson) and rookie cop Chris Allen (Casey Affleck).

Triple 9 Poster

A lot of emphasis has been placed on the raw sounding electronics score ordered by Australian director John Hillcoat (THE PROPOSITION, LAWLESS) for TRIPLE 9. That, together with some handheld cinematography and its graphically violent nature have lent Hillcoat’s film a constant foreboding feeling and a pretty grim atmosphere all throughout. Despite this aspect of the film being quite profound, it mistakenly overpowers TRIPLE 9’s narrative, and as a result is a very difficult film to absorb. The second half of TRIPLE 9 does become less murky and once some character and plot details are made more tangible, TRIPLE 9 finds itself functioning more efficiently as a tense and gritty crime thriller. There are some thrilling sequences during the final act, yet one cannot help but recommend SICARIO over TRIPLE 9, a similar yet far superior film. Oh and as for that Russian accent? Not Winslet’s finest hour!

3 out of 5

TRIPLE 9 – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents 
Strictly above the age of 15/16 only – contains graphic bloody violence, strong coarse language and some nudity.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Jesse from Roadshow Films, Roadshow Films and Village Cinema Jam Factory for the invitation to the Media Screening of TRIPLE 9.

Review by Moviedoc 
“LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

©