Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 17/07/08

The Dark Knight - There's not really much to say about this one, is there? I'm planning on seeing it tomorrow night and cannot wait. Although, in regards to Heath Ledger, it's actually quite disappointing to see his performance being lauded as the best thing he ever did. Are they already forgetting Brokeback Mountain - the best male performance of the decade so far - or is it because The Dark Knight is a masculine movie and, thus, it's better by default for so many of the film community? We'll see...

Salute & Wild Ocean 3D
The only films willing to open opposite The Dark Knight - rare, there's usually even a moderately profiled arthouse film opposite the biggest of blockbuster fare - are these two documentaries. Salute is an Australian doco about Olympian Peter Norman who was involved in one the Olympics' most controversial passages - the Black Power Salute. Wild Ocean 3D is another IMAX doco about animals. I know.

DVD Releases for the Week 17/07/08

Blonde and Blonder - Just a couple of weeks back we had Blonde Ambition with Jessica Simpson, and now this with Pamela Anderson and Denise Richards.

Chapter 27 - Direct-to-DVD biopic of sorts about Mark David Chapman, the man who assassinated John Lennon. Stars Jared Leto as Chapman, Lindsay Lohan and - in one of those bizarre "did they realise that at the time?" - an actor named Mark Lindsay Chapman playing John Lennon. I am not making that up! They got an actor named Mark Lindsay Chapman who portray a man who got killed by a man named Mark David Chapman. !!!!

Closing the Ring - A modest period flick from Richard Attenborough starring Shirley MacLaine and Mischa Barton as the same character 50 years apart. Yeah, I chuckled too.

The Hottie and the Nottie - Yeah, okay. Whatever.

Joy Division - Doco about these iconic musicians.

Mister Lonely - Not too sure about this one. It sounds Q-U-I-R-K-Y (Michael Jackson impersonators and the like), but it's gotten good notices. I don't remember this receiving a theatrical release here, which is odd considering it's had a nicely sized indie profile overseas. Stars Diego Luna, Samantha Morton and, oddly, Werner Herzog. I should see it for the cast alone.

Mr Woodcock - I, personally, found it rather amusing that this was released one week and Lars and the Real Girl a week later considering they were both made by the same director.

The Other Boleyn Girl - On DVD where I might actually watch it.

Sports Movie - This title didn't even exist on IMDb and then I discovered it went by the name The Comebacks in America. Wasn't there a Keanu Reeves movie by that name a few years ago? Anyway. It's a dumb sport spoof movie or something. Who cares?


morningside omnivore said...

I'm living in L.A., and Mister Lonely got like zero attention here! It played in like one theater and then quickly moved into a second-run one. I assumed it must be unwatchable.

richardwatts said...

I look forward to your review of The Dark Knight - I found it much less coherent and far less successful than Batman Begins so it will be interesting to read your take on it...

Paul Martin said...

Richard, I agree that The Dark Knight lacks coherency (I've written on it on my blog).

Glenn, I think Ledger's Joker is perhaps the best screen cartoon villain ever. I can't say it was a better performance than in Brokeback Mountain, though in TDK, Ledger inhabits his character in a way that I've not seen from him before.

As for Mister Lonely, my DVD will be here in a couple of weeks (ordered from UK Amazon). I don't know why it didn't get a local release. I found it a wonderfully moving film which is visually spectacular and also with great music. I saw it at MIFF last year and was one of my 2-3 favourites.

I received Southland Tales in the mail on Friday and watched it last night. It's another film that should have received a local release but didn't. While not as successfully executed as Donnie Darko, it took much more risk and is an immensely entertaining and thought-provoking film.