Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 11/09/08

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging - A British teen comedy from Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham). Looks infinitely better than the last one we got here - that'd be St Trinians - but still looks pretty bad. I do find the guy who narrates the TV commercials for British teen movies to be hilaaarious, though. Don't you?

Caramel - I've heard great things about this French/Lebanese co-production.

Fly Me to the Moon - I just have one question about this IMAX-released 3D animated flick... what are these?!

Funny Games - I definitely was not a fan of Michael Hanake's original Funny Games (omnipotent villains render a film useless, no matter what pretentious message you're trying to make), but I am a fan of Naomi Watts and Tim Roth so maybe I'll catch this on DVD. I want to mention though that I am currently attending the AFI Film Festival and for some strange reason they have decided to play the Funny Games trailer before It's like last year with that awful White Planet trailer. At least Funny Games has a great trailer. Oh, and that poster is still one of the best posters ever made. Ever.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Wasn't the second one bad enough?

Waltz with Bashir - I have heard some amazing things about this animated film set in Lebanon and it's nice to get a movie like this at the same time as the rest of the world (hello Persepolis, which has suffered at the box office), but yikes... that animation looks quite rough, doesn't it? In fact, at a movie screening I was at this past weekend a man sitting behind me was discussing with some people how it was "as if the makers didn't know what animation was when they made it." Touche.

DVD Releases for the Week 11/09/08

10,000 BC - I don't think we'll be going there, okay.

Brick Lane - Acclaimed British drama about a Bangladeshi woman and an arranged marriage.

The Dinner Guest - French. Comedy. Daniel Auteuil. If those three things excite you then go ahead.

Flight of the Red Balloon - Hou Hsaio-hsien's French set drama starring Juliette Binoche. Will definitely be catching this after missing it at the cinema.

Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger - Aussie comedy about a Jewish teenager dumping her social outcast status at her private school to become the new exchange student at a public school where she becomes friends with Keisha Castle-Hughes. Toni Collette features.

Gone Baby Gone - I was a fan of this crime drama co-written and directed by Ben Affleck. Even though I have been known to like Affleck in front of the camera, I so hope he takes another go at directing.

The Nines - Ryan Reynolds takes drugs or something boring like that.

One Missed Call - I quite liked the Japanese original, but I think I'll skip this American remake that stars Shannyn Sossamon and Ed Burns (yeah, I know!) Unfortunately the DVD cover does indeed say "One Missed Call" and not "Don't Pick Up the Cell Phone!" like IMDb says (Australia doesn't have cell phones, we have mobile phones, to point out but one ridiculous aspect of that so-called title.)

Rails & Ties - Clint Eastwood's daugher Alison takes a stab at directing with this film starring Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden.

TV Screenings for the Week 11/09/08

11/09/08, Water (2006), SBS, 10.05PM - I very much liked this film by Deepa Mehta that deals with Indian widows. It has a nice lead performance by Sarala, an amazing supporting from Seema Biswas (she just missed a Best Supporting Actress UMA nomination) and lots of dishy John Abraham. It's also the movie that riled up Salma Heyak on Oscar nomination morning.

12/09/08, Kitty Foyle (1940), ABC1, 1.20AM - I always try and catch movies that the Academy nominated for Best Picture and those that won Best Actress. This one ticks both boxes, having been nominated in 1941 and won Ginger Rogers a Best Actress Oscar. However, considering how the last one I watched went down I'm a bit wary.

12/09/08, Footloose (1984), C7, 12.00PM - Because it's hilariously awful.

12/09/08, Late Marriage (2001), SBS, 11.00PM - I remember hearing such good things about this Israeli film, but I never got around to actually seeing it. Time to make amends, perhaps.

13/09/08, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), C7, 1.20AM - Have you actually seen this? It's really bad. Like, I don't even remember watching it all. Mind you, I watched this after having fallen in love with the TV series, so perhaps that had something to do with my reaction...

13/09/08, Harper (1966), C9, 1.30PM - Paul Newman crime drama co-starring Lauren Bacall, Janet Leigh, Julie Harris, Robert Wagner and Shelley Winters. With a cast like that how can I refuse? The cherry on top? Paul Newman walks around in nothing but a towel. If that doesn't entice you then nothing will.

13/09/08, In Her Shoes (2005), C7, 8.30PM - I keep hoping that history will look upon this Curtis Hanson-directed film with a shining light, but it appears to be just plain ol' forgotten, which is a damn shame considering it's actually quite amazing. It would probably make my top ten of 2005. Not only are usual class acts Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine very good, but so is Cameron Diaz of whom I am definitely not a fan generally.

15/09/08, Out of the Past (1960), ABC1, 1.30AM - Jacques Tourneur's film-noir classic starring Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas.

15/09/08, Stranger on the Third Floor (1940), ABC1, 3.20AM - Routinely hailed as the first film-noir, it's no classic but it's a vital film in the history of the genre.

16/09/08, Sunshine State (2002), 10HD, 11.30PM - Probably my favourite John Sayles film (from the limited number that I have seen) featuring great performances by Angela Bassett and (especially) Edie Falco.


Dame James Henry said...

Just as a warning, Kitty Foyle is a big pile of steaming crap both as a movie (trashy melodrama about class and mobility...yawn) and as a Best Actress vehicle (gone is everything interesting we ever loved about Ginger Rogers in Top Hat and Stage Door). For me, one of the Top 3 or 4 worst Best Actress winning performances.

I caught In Her Shoes on TV a few months ago after reading the book awhile ago and I definitely thought it was much smarter than the book. It's so much more than the average chick flick that most people perceived it to be (it actually felt eerily similar to my own relationship with my brother). And I think that when Cameron Diaz challenges herself, like she does in here, Being John Malkovich and from what I've heard about her performance in Vanilla Sky, there are very few who can match her. Plus, I find her to be quite excellent comedically in There's Something About Mary and My Best Friend's Wedding. It's just when she wastes herself in crap like What Happens in Vegas and The Holiday that I get sad.

Oh, and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging is probably the most horrid title I've ever heard for a movie.

Kamikaze Camel said...

What I liked about Diaz in In Her Shoes is that she remained the bubbly blonde gal that people like, but still managed the good performance. And she was a hoot in Being John Malkvich

She's alright in Vanilla Sky, but that's probably cause she yells "I swallowed you cum!" and it was sort of brilliant. I think, however, that Julia Roberts' experience allowed her to stomp right over Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding, except for the kakeoki scene, which to Diaz's credit she made work. And I really don't like Mary at all.

Joel said...

One Missed Call would make a good addition to your cinema of the absurd section... Its absolutely hilarious!

The Nines is actually quite good! Not at all what the trailer would suggest it to be...

Outland Institute said...

I came to say The Nines is pretty good too, but Joel got there first... it's quite a trippy film in which three stories feature the three actors playing three different characters, but it appears the stories all overlap each other, or inform each other in some way. It's certainly worth a look.


JA said...

I love In Her Shoes, but every time I watch it I can't help but believe with every fiber of my being that, as Cameron phonetically pronounces words as she's learning to read, that that is really what she'd sound like when reading aloud. And I laugh uncontrollably. I am a bad person.

The Nines is an interesting movie. I can't say I liked it per se, but it's... interestingly weird. Melissa McCarthy is a doll, and Ryan Reynolds is momentarily gay (sexlessly so, unfortunately), so that's all in good spirits.

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