Thursday, July 3, 2008

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 03/07/08

The Children of the Silk Road - This is an Australian/Chinese co-production, directed by Canadian Roger Spottiswoode starring Brit Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. Indeed, colour me confused. It went by the title The Children of Huang Shi for it's American release a few weeks back. Does that make it more appealing to those arthouse attendees who only see "foreign films" if they're on ethnic overload? I imagine so.

Hancock - I don't really have anything to say about this Will Smith superhero movie. Moving on.

Standard Operating Procedure - The acclaimed new documentary by Errol Morris, focusing on the torture of terror suspects by American officials. Perhaps one of the only true Oscar contenders to arrive so far this year.

Ten Empty - An Australian film directed by AFI-winning actor Anthony Hayes (Suburban Mayhem, Look Both Ways), co-written by Hayes and seemingly everywhere actor Brendan Cowell (Noise, Love My Way) and starring Daniel Frederiksen, Geoff Morell, Cowell himself and even features Jack Thompson. It deals with one of the recurring tokens of Australian drama - that'd be tragic family lives - but sounds promising.

DVD Releases for the Week 03/07/08

The Bucket List - The number of jokes I could make about this movie and vomiting into buckets? Six or seven.

The Game Plan - HEY!!!! THIS MOVIE IS ABOUT AMERICAN FOOTBALL!!!!! I just thought I'd get that fact out there because judging by the ads and trailers that were around during the film's theatrical release late last year, they don't want you (anybody who is not American) to know. Eventually they'll cotton on and just release movies that deal with American football as direct-to-DVD and not waste anybody's time. Leatherheads, a film starring George Clooney and Renee Zellweger (!!!), debuted a while ago at the Aussie box office at a blazin' #14. Proof. Pudding. Etc.

Jumper - Jamie Bell stars in this fun advent... oh, wait. Nevermind. He's only a supporting character. Snooze factory Hayden Christensen is actually the star of this middling sci-fi blahfest. Jamie Bell is a hoot though. Do you remember when I interviewed* him earlier this year?

In the Valley of Elah - Tommy Lee Jones scored a surprise Best Actor Oscar nod for his performance in this Iraq-themed (and thus, doomed to failure) film by Paul Haggis. Also has Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon and Jonathan Tucker.

P2 - Direct-to-DVD for this horror flick with one of the worst titles of all time.

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep - Was this actually about the Loch Ness Monster or not? I could never tell.

Zodiac: The Director's Cut - As far as I'm aware, this director's cut has yet to be released on DVD here, but I may be wrong and this may just be the Blu-Ray release.

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