Busy, busy, busy life at the moment, isn't it? And now we are fitting in watching the Olympics, too. It's been enjoyable, but I've had to turn it off to finish the edits to this new book The Troubles Keeper.
And sorry there is no podcast this week. I rushed out and didn't set the record up properly. Sad face.
If you love free stuff and want to check out my books for absolutely FREE, join my club and you will receive two free books, PLUS, and this is a great plus, this weekend I will be sending out an offer to receive an early readers' eCopy of The Troubles Keeper. To join just go here: Join me up!
THE SHALLOWS ✪✪✪ Opens August 18
Filmed off the coast of Queensland, this film was made for peanuts (in Hollywood terms), seventeen million. So there was no way with the slick marketing behind it and an appealing star in Blake Lively that it wasn't going to make back its money and some. You can read why it is doing so well here: The Wrap.
I had a conversation a year or so ago with a film producer in Sydney. He was looking at one of my short stories for film (no, nothing has come of it, yet). He kept repeating, we need a big idea that is cheap to film, mentioning the success of Open Water made in 2003 for $500,000 and grossing eventually lifetime $55 million. The minute I saw the trailer for this, I knew this was one of those films. It's not going to be great, but it will certainly make a fantastic return on investment.
Is it a good film? No, not really. Is it fun and watchable? Yes, very much so. It's cheap and silly, but you will come away having eaten a bucketload of popcorn you didn't even notice because you were too busy rooting for the Blake Lively character. I could pick a dozen holes in this film, but director Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop, Run All Night) does know how to ramp up the action, and I think people spending their dollars to see this will get what they paid for. If you are a film purist, I think you will not enjoy. It's certainly not the well crafted Jaws and Collet-Serra is no Spielberg. I don't even think it will keep you out of the ocean. Watch the trailer and if you like what you see, then go and enjoy.
In the taut thriller The Shallows, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy's ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.
WAR DOGS ✪✪✪½ Opens August 18
This film's trailer leads you to believe it's one of those ribald comedies Jonah Hill usually stars in. However, it couldn't could be further from that preconception. It's a drama about a true story and while there are a couple of laughs, the joke is on the US government who in real life actually bought hundreds of millions of dollars of defence weaponry from two dope-smoking, irresponsible twenty-somethings. So it's more like a Wolf of Wall Street or a Big Short than anything.
The film stars Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, and Bradley Cooper, who also co-produced. Jonah Hill and Miles Teller perform very well. In fact, I'm surprised how good Jonah Hill is in this, playing Efraim Diveroli, the wily, conniving leader of the pair of gun runners. Miles Teller is always a talent. He's so understated, but says so much with just fine facial movements. He plays the poor sap David Packouz, Efraim's naive partner.
There's been quite a few films lately dealing with different aspects of the Afghanistan war and USA participation, but then I guess big events involving millions of people and money are always going to spin off incredible stories. Certainly if you go along expecting to see an interesting drama on something I'm sure none of us have heard you will enjoy.
"War Dogs" follows two friends in their early 20s (Hill and Teller) living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a 300 million dollar deal to arm the Afghan Military--a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government.
KUBO and the TWO STRINGS ✪✪✪ ½ Opens August 18
I didn't make it to this screening. However, I did send along a friend and her two sons aged 13 and 11. They really enjoyed the film. My reviewer friends also said it was a good film. In particular the stop-gap animation was spectacular, I'm told. My friend did tell me that its probably very suitable for kids, but as an adult it was only 'okay' viewing. Here's her quickie review:
The movie was better than we expected. It was spiritual and inspiring. Beautifully described Japanese culture in scene with lots of Origami figures shaped as humans and creatures. James (11 year old) even cried at climax. Good kids movie and my boys can recommend this to any age children. They rated 3.5 out 5.
Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of "Game of Thrones") ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Akihiro (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen - a magical musical instrument - Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara), to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.
HITCHCOCK TRUFFAUT (not reviewed) Opens August 18
I haven't seen this film, but I'm going to try really hard to catch it. I'm obviously a big Hitchcock fan and I quote him as being an inspiration for my own work. Anything giving us an insight into the mind of a creative genius is going to be riveting. Fans of the craft of films should certainly catch this one.
In 1962 Hitchcock and Truffaut locked themselves away in Hollywood for a week to excavate the secrets behind the mise-en-scène in cinema. Based on the original recordings of this meeting-used to produce the mythical book Hitchcock/Truffaut-this film illustrates the greatest cinema lesson of all time and plummets us into the world of the creator of Psycho, The Birds, and Vertigo. Hitchcock's incredibly modern art is elucidated and explained by today's leading filmmakers: Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Arnaud Desplechin, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Wes Anderson, James Gray, Olivier Assayas, Richard Linklater, Peter Bogdanovich and Paul Schrader
CINEFEST OZ FILM FESTIVAL 2016
Date: Wednesday August 24 & August 28
Time: Various Times
Location: Western Australia South West Details and Booking
Set in the seaside centres of Busselton, Bunbury, Dunsborough and the Margaret River wine region, CinefestOZ premieres feature films and events in the region’s cinemas, wineries, small bars and galleries, making it a feast for the senses and an unforgettable five-day getaway.
With such a large score of Australian features, there will be an impressive group of esteemed industry professional accompanied the various films on offer. Heading the Film Prize Jury is acclaimed director Gillian Armstrong. Joining her in the festival experience is multi-award winning novelist, playwright, television writer, screenwriter and lyricist Ben Elton (Upstart Crow); comedian, screenwriter and director Tim Ferguson (Film Prize Finalist Spin Out); Cinesnaps Patron Myles Pollard (Drift); Logie winning actor Lincoln Lewis (Spin Out); actress, director and writer Matilda Brown (The Death and Life of Otto Bloom); actor and writer Matthew Whittet (Girl Asleep); actress Sara West (Bad Girl) and actor Aaron McGrath (Jasper Jones) alongside one of Australia’s greatest and most-loved actors Magda Szubanski. Plus many more!
Films screening include The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, Girl Asleep, Jasper Jones, Spin Out, Blood Father (Mel Gibson), Down Under
In 2015, CinéfestOZ highlights included:
Over 150 public screenings of Australian and French feature films, documentaries and short films
160 free community screenings
Film-related events, open to the public and ranging from Red Carpet premiere gala nights to intimate short film screenings in cosy bars
Forums with filmmakers and cast members through Q&As and ‘In-Conversation’ events
The $100,000 CinefestOZ Film Prize in 2015 attracted thirty-five entries of Australian features and documentaries and Putuparri and the Rainmakers was presented with the CinefestOZ Film Prize
Filmmaking workshops for public participation
Screen industry workshops held in conjunction with ScreenWest, Screen Australia and the South West Development Commission (SWDC)
READING CINEMAS ADVANCE SCREENINGS
BRIDGET JONES BABY
Date: Wednesday September 7
Location: Readings Belmont Details and Booking
Film season opens Thursday September 8
Gold Glass $28 General Session $10
After breaking up with Mark Darcy (Firth), Bridget Jones's (Zellweger) "happily ever after" hasn't quite gone according to plan. Fortysomething and single again, she decides to focus on her job as top news producer and surround herself with old friends and new. For once, Bridget has everything completely under control. What could possibly go wrong?
Then her love life takes a turn and Bridget meets a dashing American named Jack (Dempsey), the suitor who is everything Mr. Darcy is not.
READING CINEMAS SPIT THE DUMMY SESSION
Date: Wednesday August 24
Location: Readings Belmont Details and Booking
Readings also has The Spit the Dummy session every Wednesday. Next week they are screening BAD MOMS. The lights are dimmed and stay on and the sound is lowered. Tickets are the usual $10
IN THE HOUSE (CLASSICS)
Date: July 22 – 25 November
Time: Friday 7pm
Location: Event Cinema Innaloo Details and Booking
Tickets: Non Cine Buzz member tickets $13 Member Tickets: $11*
HOSTED BY SHANNON HARVEY from THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
Friday 19th August– SERENITY
Serenity is a 2005 American space Western film written and directed by Joss Whedon of Marvel Avengers fame. It is a continuation of Whedon's short-lived 2002 Fox television series Firefly and stars the same cast, taking place after the events of the final episode. Set in 2517, Serenity is the story of the captain and crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. The captain and first mate are veterans of the Unification War, having fought on the losing Independent side against the Alliance. Their lives of smuggling and cargo-running are interrupted by a psychic passenger who harbors a dangerous secret.
Friday 19 August - Serenity
Friday 2 September - Leon The Professional
Friday 16 September - The Godfather
Friday 30 September - Boyz N The Hood
Friday 14 October - Flying High
Friday 28 October - *Halloween Double Feature* - The Thing (6:30pm) & The Shining (9:30pm)
Friday 11 November - True Romance
Friday 25 November - Aliens
Some of cinemas most celebrated films are set to return to our screens in the 2016 season of ‘In The House’! Join the conversation on the dedicated In The House Facebook page and tell us what YOU want to see back up on the big screen here.
THE GOONIES (monkey collective immersive)
Date: 28th August
Time: 8pm for the fun. Film starts 9pm
Location: Luna Leederville Details and Booking
“It’s gonna hit you so hard that when you wake up your clothes will be out of style!” (We have
sold out in as little as 4hours. If this is your film, don’t wait.) Pre-screening entertainment from 8PM, film screening 9PM at Luna Leederville. Tickets $22 include a goodie bag. Your goodie bag packed with items and chants to play along with throughout the screening. This is no Ordinary Screening....... Tonight you are IN the film!! But first you gotta do the Truffle shuffle… From 8pm you can grab pre-show drinks and witness actors run amok in the foyer! In Cinema Bar with Cocktails and Costume Competition Treat yourself to some treasure at the amazing Frontier 3D prop shop. Snag a photo with One eyed willy and his Mound of treasure. This is a mad favourite of ours…things might get a bit out of hand… Strictly 18+ We will be rude, crude and extremely unapologetic. I'm setting booty traps..
Kenneth Branagh Theatre Live
ROMEO & JULIET LIVE
Date: Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th August
Location: Cinema Paradiso & Windsor Cinema Details and Booking
The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company Live cinema season continues with a new vision of Shakespeare’s heartbreaking tale of forbidden love. Branagh and his creative team present a modern passionate version of the classic tragedy.
A longstanding feud between Verona’s Montague and Capulet families brings about devastating consequences for two young lovers caught in the conflict.
Reuniting the stars of his celebrated film of Cinderella, Kenneth Branagh directs Richard Madden and Lily James as Romeo and Juliet and Sir Derek Jacobi as Mercutio.
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