Thursday, June 12, 2008

This Week in Australian Cinemas

Cinema Releases for the Week 12/06/08

Fay Grim - It's winter, which means three things for Australian cinema:

1. A lot of big blockbusters.

2. Not a lot of arthouse indies (due to 3, below).

3. Film festivals.

Hence, Fay Grim - shown on the Aussie festival circuit last year - is getting a random release here now. All of six people will see it, I'm sure.

The Happening - Look, I'm not the biggest M Night Shyamalan fan - I've only truly loved two of his movies, Signs and The Sixth Sense - but I think even the movies that have since presented him as a scum of the earth (The Village and Lady in the Water) aren't as bad as they're made out to be. Each of his films - even Unbreakable, which I hate - has technical proficiency like so few Hollywood movies do, and even when they don't really work I tend to find them at least interesting. Read this nice piece of Shyamalan from Cinematical, which I tend to agree with. I'd rather Night than whoever directed the latest Adam Sandler movie. Which brings us to his latest film, The Happening starring Mark Wahlberg as a scientist (surely Shyamalan's biggest joke yet) and something about bio-warfare. We'll see how it developments, but as has become the norm, advance word is not kind.

Although, if I may, if they really wanted to get more people to see the movie then perhaps they could have used a different poster. I put forth this amazing design. It makes the "Mark Wahlberg is a scientist" angle a lot more believable and marketable along with it's other virtues...

The Incredible Hulk - I just don't care!

Speed Racer - I have, unashamedly, been anticipating this movie for quite some time now. Sure, I may very well get a headache from it and it may very well be a steaming pile, but (echoes of Shyamalan here) I'd rather see this than something as seemingly rote as The Incredible Hulk. I've included below is Alpha Team's 1992 hit "Speed", a techno remix (man, remember when it was called "techno"?) of the Speed Racer theme song (with included sex moans). Obviously not the original video, and you can ignore the silly "Aphex Twin" thing at the start. Do you remember this song though? I sure do!

DVD Releases for the Week 12/06/08

3:10 to Yuma - This mildly entertaining flicks biggest accomplishment in my eyes was making me reassess Ben Foster. Of course, just two weeks back I watched 30 Days of Night and was back to thinking he was a horrible horrible actor. And so the world keeps turning...

The Boss of It All - The latest from Danish auteur Lars Von Trier was this, surprisingly, wacky office comedy. I saw it at MIFF last year and was quite amused. It's a definite change of pace for the Great Dane. Alas, it's going direct-to-DVD though the "Director's Suite" series, try and seek it out! Performance wise, my favourite was Mia Lyhne.

Charlie Wilson's War - I didn't see this movie at the cinema and I'm sure I won't like it if I see it on DVD, but I'm really intrigued to see if this movie gets tagged as a flop. It made just under $70mil in America and $117mil worldwide, but sometimes things like that happen and it amuses me to no idea (read: people are stupid).

Fingerprints - It seems like every week there is a new direct-to-DVD horror movie being released that I've never heard of before. This one stars somebody called "Kristen Cavallari" whose name I have seen on American pop culture websites, yet whom I promptly scroll right past along with others of her ilk (namely people that star on shows like The Hills, even though I have no idea what it even is) as those personality free blonde bimbo zones cease to entertain me. Why does anyone care about them? Have they done anything to suggest even minute interest? Those websites (y'all know what they are) seem to worship these no name bores. Ugh.

The Gate - I'm only mentioning this 1987 horror flick because a) it's so '80s it hurts (hence, it's awesome) and b) it stars Stephen Dorff. That would be this Stephen Dorff:

And just to remind ourselves what he grew into:

Yes, that'll do!

The Jane Austen Book Club - A minor hit down here last year was this "chick flick" starring Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Kathy Baker, Maggie Grace, Hugh Dancy, Jimmy Smits and Amy Brenneman. I was so confused by this movie's American release, truthfully. Stuck in the arthouse ghetto when it didn't look like it belonged there at all. In America, with a population of 300mil+ it grossed just over double what it made in Australia with it's 20mil population. Strange, no?

Best of all though is the entire series of My So-Called Life, a show I have heard such amazing things about, but have never had the opportunity to actually watch. I'll definitely be trying to get around to this sooner rather than later.


Joel said...

You would think an M Night film (regardless of how bad it is) would at least get some tv advertising here... I have not seen one ad for it at all! I didn;t even know it came out until i saw a review and i'm pretty up to speed on release dates...

morningside omnivore said...

The Happening campaign is such a joke. It's literally just people running around yelling "It's Happening!" It's like secretive Shyamalan twists have gotten so out of hand that his movies no longer even have titles.

My So-Called Life is definitely on my best-ever shortlist for tv. I saw it on some random cable station a few months ago, and it really sucked me back in, despite all logic to the contrary telling me that I was about seven years too old for it. I expected it to be a big nostalgia trip, but it's actually aged really well.