Movie Review: Annabelle (2014)

Annabelle evokes the same lingering dread as the hugely successful The Conjuring, with the film-makers creating a worthy prequel as the sole focus shifts to the evil doll.
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John Gordon has found the perfect gift for both his pregnant wife Mia and their unborn child; Annabelle, a beautiful and rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. Unfortunately, the family’s delight with the doll is short-lived.

Director John R. Leonetti (cinematographer on The Conjuring) and producers James Wan and Peter Safran keep the scares coming, as the tension rises with every small hint or eerie noise.
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Movie Review: The Boxtrolls (2014)

While it has a big cast of voice actors and some great messages for the kids, it’s the absolutely fantastic stop-motion animation that makes The Boxtrolls a worthy watch.-
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From the creators of Caroline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012), Laika bring us yet another great stop-motion film, with this one being a little less darker than the previous two. Based on the Alan Snow novel Here Be Monsters! and directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable, the film focuses on a group of friendly underground cave-dwelling trash collectors called the Boxtrolls and an orphaned boy, Eggs, who they have raised since he was a baby.
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Movie Review: The Inbetweeners 2 (2014)

Following up from the hit series and first feature film, The Inbetweeners 2 sees our favourite lads Jay, Neil, Simon and Will provide plenty of laughs as they head down under to Australia. While outsiders to the series may look on in disgust, fans will love seeing the guys back on the big screen with an entertaining sequel.

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While Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas) and Neil (Blake Harrison) are having an average weekend over in the UK, Jay (James Buckley) is having the time of his life over in Australia on a gap year, or so the boys are led to believe. When Neil comes up with a brilliant idea to visit Jay on holiday, the boys are quick to jump on and spontaneously book a trip.
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MIFF Recommendations

It’s that time of the year again, with the Melbourne International Film Festival just weeks away and over 300 films from around the world on display this time around! I’m eagerly anticipating catching as many films as I can from July 31 to August 18 and thought I’d give some recommendations on the great films I’ve seen so far, as well as my most anticipated.

As well as the site, I’ll be updating the films I see with this list on Letterboxd. Let me know which films you will be seeing this year and your thoughts on any as you see them!

Recommended Films:

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Boyhood – The best film I’ve seen from the MIFF line up so far. Filmed over 11 years, it’s fantastic film-making. Playing August 2 and 6.
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Movie Review – The Raid 2 (2014)

Providing action just as brilliant and breathtaking as the original, The Raid 2 takes a slightly different route to The Raid, with a noticeably stronger plot. As opposed to the relatively simple storyline of the first film, the layered story works well for the most part, but the highlight of the film is still the thrilling action sequences.
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Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force. Gareth Evans returns to the director’s chair after the big success of The Raid: Redemption and he keeps the sequel fresh with a much deeper storyline that the first. Iko Uwais also returns as Rama and it’s his fantastic action scenes that give the film a great base. Along with Yayan Ruhian and newcomer Arifin Putra, the film is filled with interesting characters.
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86th Academy Awards Predictions

After going 20/24 with my predictions last year, it’s that time of the year again to lock in my official predictions for the 86th Academy Awards! There’s some tough categories as always this year, but I’d be very surprised if any of the major categories had an upset, except perhaps Best Supporting Actress. Here’s my full predictions:
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BEST PICTURE:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street

Winner: 12 Years A Slave
Confidence: 90%

I’d be very surprised if Gravity can upset 12 Years A Slave, a film I’ve had locked in now for the best part of 6 months.
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Top 50 of 2013 – #10-1

Welcome to my final post in the Top 50 films of the year countdown. It’s been another awesome year of movies, I hope you enjoy my top 10 and thanks for checking out the list!

Without further ado:
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#10 – Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

My funniest film of the year, Steve Coogan is hilarious as Alan Partridge and the 90 minute run-time flies by. When famous DJ Alan Partridge’s radio station is taken over by a new media conglomerate, it sets in motion a chain of events which see Alan having to work with the police to defuse a potentially violent siege. Nothing else to say, I hope it makes you laugh as much as it did for me.

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Top 50 of 2013 – #20-11

Entering the top 20 films of 2013, all highly recommended!
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#20 – Prisoners

Highly gripping, tense and well acted from Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and co. There’s no telling what’s going to happen; When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. Awesome cinematography from Roger Deakins and I didn’t feel the 153 minute run-time either.

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Top 50 of 2013 – #30-21

Crossing the half way point of my countdown, we are starting to get to the films I really loved, ones I will definitely rewatch in the near future. As always, let me know which of these you enjoyed, I’m sure #25 will feature as many people’s best of the year!

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#30 – Stories We Tell

One of only two documentaries in my countdown, looking at director Sarah Polley’s quite interesting life growing up. While the source material is decent, it’s the way it’s highlighted through small amounts of information and interviews that is great. There’s plenty of humour from the interviewees which is fantastic, especially given it’s not quite a happy story. With some decent reenactment scenes, the film’s final third does feel a bit long but it still finishes well and definitely gets some emotion out of you. I didn’t see that many documentaries this year but it would be well worth catching this one.

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Top 50 of 2013 – #40-31

The next 10 films in my Top 50 of the year are up now. (Check out yesterday’s post if you missed the start.) Let me know if any of your favourites are in this set of 10!

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#40 – Oblivion

Already recognized at #2 in my “Best Rotten Films of the year” list, Oblivion was also good enough to slot in at #40 on my end of year list, arguably the most underrated film of the year. From my review: Oblivion is an often enthralling Sci-Fi film with stunning cinematography and a soundtrack that provides tension and intrigue around every corner. It’s complex plot may not be perfect but the music and the film’s ease on the eye does enough to carry it and give an entertaining, suspenseful viewing.

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