Thursday, February 14, 2008

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 14/02/08

Dan in Real Life - I originally wanted to see this Steve Carell tragi-rom-com with Juliette Binoche, Emily Blunt and that guy from Good Luck Chuck whose name I can't remember, but - as is the case a lot of the time - they just waited way too long to release this. I mean, honestly, what reason is there to wait four months to release this movie? I'd love to find out their justification. And now it's too late and I've got too many other 2007 films still to see.

Definitely, Maybe - Some movie starrig Ryan Reynolds and Abigail Breslin. The trailer doesn't seem to make any sense, but it's getting some very good reviews. Just check out Rotten Tomatoes. It does co-star Isla Fisher though and I love me some Isla Fisher.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - This movie has been popping up in pop culture land a lot lately, hasn't it? First Sean Young's DGA tyrade, then Elle McPherson shacked up with Julian Schnabel's son. Can't wait to see this movie, especially since it bagged itself four Oscar nominations and two Golden Globe awards (for director and foreign language film).

Jumper - In case you weren't aware (and if you weren't you haven't been paying attention 'round these parts) this sci-fi action movie from director Doug Liman co-stars Jamie Bell. We like Jamie Bell and will see Jumper because of Jamie Bell. Yes... we... will...

Rendition - God, this movie looks so bad! Over at The Film Experience I and several others have been discussing our most anticipated of 2008 and this movie came up in our words about the upcoming Iraq drama Stop-Loss. Cutting through it all in the comments was Rural Juror:

I still remain unconvinced that Rendition or Lions for Lambs are any good. Movies like that NEED good reviews. Neither got them. You have to remember that. It's too easy to blame America for not seeing movies about Iraq. Without good reviews, people just don't see more serious fare.
So true. People can harp on and on about people not wanting to see Iraq-themed movies, but maybe if they made good ones (or at least marketed the bad ones better) then maybe people would go. It's how it works for every other genre of film in the known universe, so why not these?

DVD Releases for the Week 14/02/08

As It Is In Heaven - This Oscar-nominated film (from 2005!) stayed on Australian cinema screens for something like 65 weeks! That's crazy, folks! It's now finally outta there and onto DVD.

The Brothers Solomon - I read somewhere that this "comedy" holds the record for worst box office of any wide release film from 2007 in America. Good on them!

Danika - The only thing I can tell you is that it stars Marisa Tomei and Regina Hall.

Day Watch - The sequel to the Russian hit Night Watch.

This Filthy World - A stand-up comedy film that follows legendary director John Waters.

The Final Winter - I didn't care for this Australian film about rugby. The biggest sin it commits is having copious amounts of scenes involving Nathaniel Dean in a locker room and not once does he get to strip off. Not even shirtless! Whatta ripoff!

The Home Song Stories - Winner of eight (eight!) AFI Awards including Best Director, Actress (for Joan Chen) and Screenplay - yet not Best Film - this Australian film follows a Chinese immigrant as she runs away from her Australian soldier husband in the 1960s. I sort of liked this movie, but the parts were far and away better than the sum. Joan Chen is amazing and it sure does look great. I don't think anybody will deny that.

The Hottest State - Ethan Hawke's film - adapted from his own book, mind you - was screened at last year's MIFF (he even came down to present) but it seems to have bypassed cinemas and is now out on DVD.

Inside Paris - As these sorts of French movies go, Inside Paris (aka Dans Paris) is apparently one of the better ones.

Love and Other Disasters - A direct-to-DVD romcom with Brittany Murphy. Yawn. Did they think nobody would notice they stop the title from somewhere else?

A Mighty Heart - Angelina Jolie makes an apparently half-decent movie for once. Nobody went and saw it at the cinema, so maybe on DVD. If nothing else proves how little people care about Ange, it was this movie. She couldn't even get an easy Oscar nomination out it!

Red Road - Andrea Arnold made a big splash - including the Jury Prize at Cannes - in certain circles (as did star Kate Dickie) with this very dark anti-thriller. I unfortunately missed it when it played it's very brief theatrical run, so I hope to see it ASAP on DVD.

Resident Evil: Extinction - But does it have a commentary where Milla Jovovich's dog takes a shit on the floor and Michelle Rodriguez discusses her yeast infection? I THINK NOT!!!

Romance & Cigarettes - It's about time! John Turturro's gangster musical starring James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet and Mandy Moore gets a belated direct-to-DVD release.

Rush Hour 3 - I've made no mystery of how Rush Hour 2 is a big guilty pleasure for me. I had, however, now interest in seeing this completely unnecessary sequel. Nor do I have any desire to see it on DVD, either.

Tan Lines - An Aussie queer surfer picture. That's... different. I'm intrigued to see how they do. This has only played at Aussie queer film fests as far as I know, but has anybody seen it?

Phew... and we're done! That was quite a long list, wasn't it? Looks like I'll be very busy this next week or so.


Catherine said...

Wow, Australia seems to be further behind than even Ireland! Rendition is pretty terrible, I had major problems with it (surprisingly, I actually liked Reese in it, hysterica screamng and all), uut I just saw The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and oh man, bring some Kleenex.

Dave said...

You should see Definitely, Maybe just for Isla Fisher (not that the other people or rest of it is bad or anything), because all I wanted to do while watching her was jump onto the screen and take her for my own. She is SO loveable.

I'm so torn over whether to see Jumper or not. I mean, it has Jamie Bell and a crazy-looking Samuel L Jackson, but it just sounds... crap. And I know if I do see it I'll just be thinking all the way through, "now, self, you could be watching Juno again instead of this crap..."

John Turturro's rubbish gangster musical (except for Kate Winslet)


Rural Juror said...

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is wonderful. Roman Polanski's wife is in it, plus she has a song on the soundtrack. She's kind of my new idol

JS said...

Must find Home Song Stories before I give out my 2007-2008 citations.

I saw both Lions for Lambs and Rendition. Lions for Lambs has some laughable portions like when we go to Robert Redford's first meeting with the college kid. We get a on-screen tag saying it's his office when it sys RIGHT ON THE DOOR IN THE EXACT SAME SHOT whose office it is. As for Rendition, take out all the scenes that were in America and you'd get a movie that you could say was a combination of A Mighty Heart (in tone) and Eastern Promises (in "people"). But that's not what you get of course and is totally just my opinion.

Oh and I did just like to mention one last thing: to the person who wrote Lions for Lambs, ending a joke with the word "pejorative" is an AWESOME way to alienate your movie audience.

That's all. Before I get any longer. :)

J.D. said...

Definitely, Maybe was surprisingly good. But I think that's mostly because they loaded it with enough people I like (Isla Fisher! Rachel Weisz! Abigail Breslin! Annie Parisse!) to offset the confusing gimmick, which got sweeter as time went on. And it's not that obvious, and the ending almost made me contract diabetes. It's still clich├ęd tripe, but... Awwww!

Rural Juror said...

I just heard Rikki Lee's 'Can't Touch This' on a commercial. She's made her way over seas