Month: April 2016

A MONTH OF SUNDAYS

109 minutes, Australian Comedy/Drama, PG

In this Australian comedy/drama shot entirely in Adelaide, Frank Mollard (Anthony LaPaglia) is a man down on his luck, and just down in general. Recently divorced, he can’t escape regular contact and reminders of ex-wife Wendy (Justine Clarke), as they share the parental duties over their teenage son and Wendy currently happens to be the biggest soap TV star in town. He’s forgotten how to be a Dad to Frank Jr and has no care in the world for his real estate agency employment. But everything in Frank’s life is set to change after receiving a phone call from his Mother, who has been deceased for nearly a year!

A Month of Sundays Poster

A MONTH OF SUNDAYS sees a complete change in tone for writer & director Matthew Saville who started with the critically acclaimed crime drama, NOISE and followed that up with another crime drama from 2013, FELONY. This somewhat patchy, yet easily likeable affair applies its comedic touches within its genre of light drama just nicely. A quiet-achiever of sorts, there is a heavy dependence on the element of chance at play to convince and possibly even satisfy viewers. However, those watching who value the feel of a homegrown production will warmly welcome the grass roots nature harvested in A MONTH OF SUNDAYS. Also working in its favour is the return of LaPaglia to his birthplace. The experienced actor hits all the right notes throughout, helping maintain any wavering attention during slower moments of an over-extended running time.

3 out of 5

A MONTH OF SUNDAYS – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents 

PG for mild themes and coarse language. A MONTH OF SUNDAYS is a film that will find more appeal with a grown up audience.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Tessa from Madman Entertainment, Madman Entertainment and Cinema NOVA for the invite to the media screening of A MONTH OF SUNDAYS.

Review by Moviedoc
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THE BOSS

99 minutes, Comedy, MA15+

Ever since her scene-stealing breakout performance in 2011’s BRIDESMAIDS, Melissa McCarthy has rapidly built and solidly established her very own fan base. A fan base that is significant enough and devoted to all but guarantee one box office hit after another for the American star. Her latest comedy, directed by real-life husband Ben Falcone, is no exception. Cashing in with $23.4M in the US over the past weekend and landing at the number 1 spot, a whisker over BATMAN V SUPERMAN (In its third week), THE BOSS is Michelle Darnell (McCarthy), a self-made millionaire who manages her own business empire. So what’s Michelle’s undoing? Other than a childhood of family rejection, she’s about to be found guilty of insider trading and a short stint in prison kindly awaits. However, Michelle’s true punishment and chance for redemption arrive post her release.

The Boss Poster

Like any of the best comedians/comedienne’s out there, McCarthy can be right on top of her game or completely off it. In THE BOSS, she is definitely switched on and really asserts herself with a more consistent and enthusiastic showing than in some previous outings. As for the movie itself, it fails to be anything better than a standard comedy that plays out just as expected and predicted. Entertaining enough, yet completely forgetful, the best of THE BOSS’s laughter is generated by way of McCarthy’s comic timing and ability, and when it isn’t trying too hard to be funny. An example here is the film’s most woeful scene, which proudly advertises a distasteful and rather brutal, all-female, all-in-brawl that Falcone ought to be ashamed made the final cut. Fortunately though, as many wives may often feel, McCarthy isn’t too far away to restore some order to the disorder on display at times throughout her husband’s work.

2.5 out of 5

THE BOSS – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
Classified MA15+ for coarse language and sexual references which is spot on. This is a comedy better suited for ages above the age of 15 years.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Universal Pictures and Hoyts Melbourne Central for the invitation to the Melbourne Preview Screening of THE BOSS.

Review by Moviedoc
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ALLEGIANT

120 minutes, Sci-Fi Action/Adventure, M

Foreword – Please do not read on if you are yet to see either or both DIVERGENT and INSURGENT, and wish to.

In DIVERGENT, Tris (Shailene Woodley) learned that she is a divergent and of a plot to destroy all of her kind. Without fully understanding exactly what she was and what made her dangerous, she’d teamed up with other divergents to find out, in a world grouped and divided by certain characteristics you possess. Then came INSURGENT, a fight against a now known alliance run by Jeanine (Kate Winslet). The finale of INSURGENT looks set to take this series into a whole new direction, after fellow divergent and love interest to Tris, Four (Theo James) discovers his Mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts), leader of a Factionless territory. Now, here is ALLEGIANT, once known as part 1 and still in two parts with the final instalment named THE DIVERGENT SERIES – ASCENDANT, scheduled for a 2017 release. With the defeat of Jeanine accomplished and the message inside the box revealed, Tris and Four, together with their divergent sidekicks are set to discover what has become of the outside world.

Allegiant Poster

With the similarly-themed (and much better) THE HUNGER GAMES series all but over, will the curiosity for where THE DIVERGENT SERIES will conclude result in a surging increase to its popularity? Current box office trends suggest a big no ($54M & $52M US opening weekends respectively for the first two films and just $29M for this!). Anticipation levels are running hot throughout the opening act of ALLEGIANT. Whether or not this can be sustained depends heavily on your willingness to embrace the plot developments that follow on. Without sharing the details of those developments, I can emphatically state that they are the primary reason ALLEGIANT soon becomes cold. Disappointingly, the journey of Tris and crew has only a rare moment of excitement. Any initial intrigue often falls into a repetitious trap it cannot dig itself out of and there’s a complete lack of emotion and connection to the characters from all of the cast. As ALLEGIANT tiredly staggers towards the finish line, it barely musters up a cliffhanger finale.

So, we now await the final chapter to close the franchise – THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ASCENDANT. Let’s hope that the vision of a fresh director to the series in Lee Toland Krieger (THE AGE OF ADALINE), can get things back to its intelligently absorbing and thematically inspiring best, as promised from early.

2.5 out of 5

ALLEGIANT – Film Trailer

Footnote To Parents 

An M rating for Fantasy Violence and also contains a scene of nudity, although nothing can be seen thanks to the lighting work.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Claire from Entertainment One, Entertainment One and The Backlot Studios for the invitation to the Melbourne Media Screening of ALLEGIANT.

Review by Moviedoc
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THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR

114 minutes, Action/Adventure, M

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR is both a prequel and a sequel to 2012’s SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, which as you know, starred THE TWILIGHT SAGA’S Kristen Stewart as Snow White. You may also know of the scandal that rocked the SNOW WHITE production, which has reportedly led to the absence of Stewart and her character appearing here. After viewing the second chapter of the HUNTSMAN franchise, it is quite evident the scriptwriters have gone to great lengths in avoiding the necessary casting of Snow White! The film is partially revolves around her kingdom and she is mentioned several times, yet she is eluded, time and time again! This prequel concentrates more on the journey of The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), who together with his lover Sara (Jessica Chastain), plots to bring down two evil Queen sisters – Freya and Ravenna (Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron), who are rising in power and threaten to take control over all the kingdoms.

The Huntsman: Winter's War Poster

If you have not seen 2012’s SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, and want to, then do not read on, for the following contains spoilers to the first film.

Now, if you’re thinking to yourself “Wait a sec, didn’t Queen Ravenna die in the first film!?”, you are absolutely right, she did! Two points – 1) remember the word prequel and 2) do not ever question the reason (even though it’s wishy-washy) to invite the magnifique Charlize Theron into any film! For the sheer presence of such a talented, well-liked cast alone is what solely endorses THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR to achieve a pass mark, just. Everything else, in every filmmaking practice possible, hovers around the average mark throughout. Each plot development can be seen coming from a mile away. The simple structure in which first-time director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan has opted to produce this action/adventure keeps the order and flow very straightforward. That’s all well and good when you’re aiming for a pre-teen audience and below, however THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR is unexciting and sometimes sluggish for the age demographic in which it is targeted for.

3 out of 5

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
Classified M for fantasy action violence and also contains some sensuality where very brief, partial nudity can be seen.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Universal Pictures and Hoyts Melbourne Central for the invitation to the preview screening of THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR.

Review by Moviedoc
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