Month: May 2016


87 minutes, Italian Comedy with English Subtitles, PG

A comedy from the Catholic capital of the world, about God. Might not sound like a laughing matter to most, but just hold that thought for a moment! GOD WILLING is not the gospel sermon written by the Vatican one may rightly assume, nor is it the Italian Monty Python! No, Italy’s #1 smash-hit comedy at the 2015 Lavazza Italian Film Festival, is a crowd-pleasing winner that puts its money where its heart is. Andrea (Enrico Oetiker) has a secret, and can barely wait to reveal it to his family. He has decided to become a Priest. His Father, played by Marco Giallini, is a highly regarded surgeon. Oh, and an atheist, who will stop at nothing to make his son reconsider his chosen profession. 

God Willing Poster

Winner of the Best New Director award at the Italian Oscars for debut filmmaker Edoardo Maria Falcone, GOD WILLING often looks set to walk down a rather familiar path. But GOD WILLING works in mysterious ways, and works best when doing so! This delightfully funny movie certainly has a few tricks up its sleeve that not only outlast the end credits, but are also quite impacting in their own way too. Execution and development of the trajectories of lead characters and the main plot are cleverly handled, absolving the film of its sins in sub-plotting and where it is too contrived. An energetic, yet well-controlled lead performance by Marco Giallini leads the way in this good-natured comedy, where the things we aren’t shown are just as impressionable and meaningful as those we do witness.

3.5 out of 5

GOD WILLING – Film Trailer (Italian with no subtitles available only)

Footnote to Parents 
Will be classified PG and contains mild language, sexual references and sensuality. 

Moviedoc wishes to thank Paige from Palace Films and Palace Films for the invitation to the screening of GOD WILLING. 

Review by Moviedoc
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93 minutes, Comedy, PG

Ricky Baker – the central character of the new Kiwi comedy HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE and one you’ll remember for a long time to come. Ricky (PAPER PLANES actor, Julian Dennison) has had a rough, tough time in his first 13 (or so) years. This ‘real bad egg’ finally has a chance to crack some good into his life, staying in the home of Hector & Bella Faulkner (Sam Neill and Rima Te Wiata). When Ricky and Hector find themselves lost in the bush, a national manhunt ensues, which includes child protection officer Paula Hall (Rachel House), who’ll stop at nothing to find them!

Hunt for the Wilderpeople Poster

A raging success in its hometown, where it has broken the NZ box office record to become the first local feature to gross more than $1 million in its opening weekend, you can add HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE to your watch list. This little Kiwi gem with a big heart is first and foremost, a comedy. And a laugh out loud one at that. Yet what elevates this excellent film above others of the same ilk is what it has going on in the background. As a buoyantly creative screenplay excitingly leads us along unpredictable terrain, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE uses sound by way of a unique and eclectic soundtrack and briefly brings to the fore undertones closer to the heart. This is a clever, heartwarming and triumphant cinematic experience. There is no disputing the superb work that has been completed by director Taika Waititi (WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, BOY, EAGLE VS SHARK), yet it cannot be denied that the shining light of HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE is cast upon Julian Dennison as Ricky. In what has got to be a breakthrough performance, Julian has a natural style to his comedic acting that is only outdone by his outstanding timing and execution. A majestical film! Highly recommended.

4 out of 5


Footnote to Parents 
Classified PG and contains thematic elements which include violent content and a suggestive act, and coarse language. My suggestion, ages from approximately 10 and up with parental guidance should be suitable viewing. 

Moviedoc wishes to thank Madman and Cinema NOVA for the invitation to the Media Screening of HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE.

Review by Moviedoc
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92 minutes, Comedy, MA15+

NEIGHBORS, as it is named and spelled in its homeland, pitched a premise involving a couple and their newborn baby who find every which way possible to end the endless partying ways of a fraternity club next door. BAD NEIGHBOURS 2 (or NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING) replaces the fraternity club with exactly what the American title suggests. Oh, and that newborn baby is now old enough to be playing with certain toys she’s wayyyyy too young for! With Mac & Kelly (Seth Rogen & Rose Bryne) losing a bidding war against the uprising females next door, led by Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz), they enlist the aid of Teddy (Zac Efron), leader of the past fraternity club, to bring the party crashing down.


Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Poster

As pretty much expected, it isn’t only the party next door that could come crashing down. With its best bits laden into the trailers and occurring mostly within the first act, there is a complete lack of freshness and sharpness throughout the rest of the film that inevitably leaves BAD NEIGHBOURS 2 attempting to replicate the tricks that worked for it first time around. The punchy execution and fast-pace placed a big tick in the comical timing box previously, but here the acceleration of all dialogue and scenarios comes off as an attempt to cover up the rather thin material. Further damaging this deconstructing production are a handful of gags and scenarios that should have been evicted from the final cut. As for the sorority girls, the material written for them – an over-emphasis and misunderstanding of anything and everything resembling sexism & an immature discovery of friendship (which I’m sure most other 19 year-old females would cringe at) – severely lets them down. Only Beanie Feldstein as Nora (kind of like a female Jonah Hill with her style and mannerisms) is better than the dirt dished up by her dialogue.

2 out of 5

BAD NEIGHBOURS 2 – Film Trailer

Footnote to Parents
A comedy for ages of 15, just as the MA classification advises. Contains strong use of coarse language, sexual content & references, and drug use. And being a party-themed comedy, lots of wild teen partying.

Moviedoc wishes to thank Universal Pictures and Hoyts Melbourne Central for the invitation to the preview screening of BAD NEIGHBOURS 2.

 Review by Moviedoc
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110 minutes, Comedy/Drama, PG

At some point in our lives, whether completely alone in the shower or during a night out with friends performing karaoke, we cannot resist the urge to test our vocal range and ability. Like myself, some may be absolutely frightened by the results and therefore, never wish to attempt that again. Not FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS (Meryl Streep)! Armed with a singing voice that frightens almost everyone except herself, she fires it at any ear willing to listen for the sake of curiosity. As for other people who experiment with their vocal cords, some may have just discovered their true calling. No’p, not Florence either! With her devoted, yet equally unconvinced husband (Hugh Grant) by her side, and buoyed by a supportive group of friends, this is the miraculous true story of how FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS forges a career and a true calling in a field there was never one there for her, in Opera performing. 

Florence Foster Jenkins Poster

She relentlessly pursued her dreams. Those dreams left her listeners with nightmares. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the feel-good, sound-bad film of the year! 
There is an undeniable factor behind the entertaining success that FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS is – it’s such an unbelievable story, it just has to be true!  Using this to its advantage in every way possible, Stephen Frears’ (THE QUEEN, PHILOMENA) latest film is a fascinating experience that often suspends us in disbelief. Ironically though, one of the only things that have a tendency to bring the good work down is not intentionally bad singing, but unintentionally bad acting. “The Big Bang Theory’s” Simon Helberg completely overdoes his awkward and timid character – a talented pianist that (very nervously) accompanies Florence on stage. Elsewhere, a considered and deceptively thought-provoking screenplay encourages its audience to ask worthy questions. One of those may be in relation to if and when it’s acceptable to laugh at the undeniably amusing, yet sensitive situation at hand. Thankfully, an uncluttered script has endorsed laughter at times it’s warranted whilst often reminding you to keep the compassion you possess right by your side at all times. Trust me, it is needed.

3.5 out of 5


Footnote to Parents 
PG for mild coarse language and sexual references

Moviedoc wishes to thank Claire from Entertainment One, Entertainment One and The Backlot Studios for the invitation to the media screening of FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS.

Review by Moviedoc
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