Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 22/01/09

The Class - French film, which was the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes earlier in the year. I keep hearing absolutely stellar things about this movie and I intend to see it... but I need to see The Wrestler first, okay?!

Gran Torino - *grumble grumble* Do I have to see this? Answer: No!

Revolutionary Road - Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet? I'm there!

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - Two thoughts strike me about this movie. First, does anybody actually realise that Kate Beckinsale has been replaced by Rhona Mitra (Doomsday). Beckinsale, it would seem, is too busy trying to regain her acting career in movies like Snow Angels and Nothing but the Truth to make movies about vampires. And secondly, why can't they just call them "werewolves" like regular people?

Valyrie - Tom Cruise with an eye-patch fighting Nazis. Meh. The second film this week to star Bill Nighy (after Underworld). Random.

DVD Releases for the Week 22/01/09

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging - ...I got nothin'.

Children of the Silk Road - A mildly interesting and well-intentioned drama that ultimately fails due to uninspired direction and the performance of Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who is perhaps worse here than he's ever been before (and that's saying a lot).

Eagle Eye - Am I wrong for actually quite liking this action thriller starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan? I thought it far more playful and inventive with it's concept than so many other so-called "high-tech" movies.

Meet Bill - Ummm... whatever.

Step Brothers - I hate knowing that this movie exists.

TV Screenings for the Week 22/01/09

24/01/09, 20 Centimetres (2005), SBS, 12.30AM - A Spanish tranny musical. No, seriously! And it's not that bad, actually.

24/01/09, Quo Vadis (1951), C9, 1.00PM - Nominated for eight Academy Awards (including supporting actor for Peter Ustinov and Leo Genn plus Best Picture) is this Roman epic. Stars Deborah Kerr

24/01/09, Superman III (1983), C9, 7.30PM - Yes, Superman III is screening in prime time! That almost warrants a viewing purely for the chutzpah of it all. Or, ya know... not. Either way.

25/01/09, Inside Man (2006), C9, 8.30PM - Spike Lee's quite excellent heist thriller that deserves to be seen, even if you find yourself not liking any of his movies. I found it interesting that The Dark Knight look a big page from this movie (which, in turn, had stolen it's twist from the brilliant Quick Change) in regards to a sequence towards the end.

25/01/09, The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce (2009), ABC1, 8.30PM - From director Michael James Rowland (Lucky Miles) comes this hour-long film about infamous Tasmanian convict and cannibal Alexander Pearce.

25/01/09, In the Winter Dark (1998), ABC1, 11.40PM - A dark and misleading Australian film from James Bogle, which stars Brenda Blethyn, Richard Roxburgh, Miranda Otto (who is fantastic here) and Ray Barrett. It's part domestic drama, part thriller, part horror.

26/01/09, Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts, SBS, 8.30PM - For Australia Day prime time viewing SBS offers up Scott Hicks' documentary about Philip Glass. Was shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar. We'll find out later tonight if Hicks earns himself his his first Oscar nom since directing Shine.

27/01/09, Macbeth (1948), ABC1, 12.30AM - A version of Macbeth directed by and starring Orson Welles.

28/01/09, Invaders from Mars (1953), ABC1, 11.35PM - More shlocky b-movies on ABC1. Always a treat for fans of this genre.

29/01/09, The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), ABC1, 12.50, 12.50AM - I love this movie - directed by Orson Welles - so much. Agnes Moorehead sure is stunning in it, isn't she? Such a shame that we'll never get to see Welles' original full-length version (the one that was chopped up by the studio, it's remnants burnt to ashes). Considering how great this 90-minute version is, I can only imagine how great the full version was.


J.D. said...

Ugh, I'm so jealous re: The Class. It doesn't get a US theatrical release till next Friday, and who know how long it'll take to get even close my area. Ugh. Boo.

Lots of Orson Welles on TV this week.

Guy said...

Believe me, you don't want to know about "Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging" ... it manages to be almost as bad as its title.

Coming-of-age comedy from the director of "Bend It Like Beckham," minus the eye candy, minus the charm.

Joel said...

I would go as far as saying Gran Torino is one of the worst films of the year. The praise heaped on that film is baffling!
Eagle Eye was fun, but if you think about it too much you realise just how stupid it is.
Also, In Bruges got released as a rental only title this week...

augustburns2 said...

I really liked Gran Torino. It really surprised me!

Paul Martin said...

The Wrestler is rightfully a higher a priority than The Class. I can give DiCaprio and Winslet a miss, but not Sam Mendes, so I'm with you on that, too. Gran Torino looks like fun, but it's not a priority for me at all. If I see Valkyrie, you can bury me.

GGBlog said...

Had the pleasure of attending an advance screening of Revolutionary Road. Thoughts here. Kate Winslet continues to impress - and she didn't get nominated for this one - her role in The Reader must be something indeed. A well told film and very well acted but just had the nagging thought that it was 'American Beauty' 1950's style.

Paul Martin said...

Glenn, I saw Revolutionary Road today and can report that it won't disappoint. My comments are on my blog.