No time for the classics with the last fortnight consisting of 8 films and all but one being from 2013. At the Sydney Film Festival I caught Stories We Tell, Breathe In, Only God Forgives and The Past and quite enjoyed all 4. I also checked out new releases World War Z, Reality and Man of Steel.
After catching up with Firefly over the last week, I sat down for Serenity and I wasn’t disappointed. Read on for my thoughts on all!
Stories We Tell (2013) – I enjoyed this documentary about Director Sarah Polley’s quite interesting life growing up and 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 re-enactment scenes, the film’s final third does feel a bit long but it still finishes well and definitely gets some emotion out of you. B+
Stories We Tell will play at the Melbourne Film Festival on July 28, July 31 and August 4. You can book tickets at MIFF.com.au
World War Z (2013) <<< Click here for my review. My 2nd favourite film of the year to date! A-
Breathe In (2013) <<< Click here for my review. My 3rd favourite film of the year to date! A-
Only God Forgives (2013) – Following up from his instant cult classic, Drive, Nicholas Winding Refn’s latest film is much different, although with some striking similarities. I was still glued to the screen, as Ryan Gosling plays a drug smuggler thriving in Bangok’s criminal underworld. Detractors of Drive will have not have any greater luck with this film, but liking it doesn’t give you a guarantee either. I had an interesting experience, one I would like to repeat again, perhaps in the comfort of my own home to soak it in some more. Oh and just a warning, it’s extremely violent! B-
The Past (2013) – After A Separation in 2011, Asghar Farhadi directs another audience-pleaser in The Past. An Iranian man deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife’s request for a divorce. I enjoyed it for the most part but it lost me a bit at the end, it also didn’t hit me as hard as I would have liked it to. Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) also puts in a stunning performance. B-
Man of Steel (2013) – Perhaps I am too kind, but it’s hard to be too critical of Man of Steel. It’s certainly too long, too loud and often too predicatable, however I found it to have glimpses of brilliance throughout. Quite a serious film, it’s not one for a fun time, however those who are excited for it should give it a look. If you are already skeptical, I’d probably give it as a miss, as it might be 143 minutes you won’t be getting back! B-
Reality (2013) – Some of the humour in this movie is fantastic, as a normal Italian man suddenly becomes obsessed with getting on Big Brother after an audition goes well. It’s quite a devastating look at obsession and paranoia and a story that had my attention for the most part. I can’t say I loved the ending, but if the trailer or synopsis grabs your attention, it will be a likely winner. C+
Serenity (2005) – I’m wrapped I started watching Firefly a week ago, the characters are great and each have some unique traits and chemistry that bring the show together. The film was a bit different to how I expected, definitely bringing in more of a scare factor. I guess being too light-hearted wouldn’t have entertained those who didn’t already know and love the characters. Definitely recommended and a great way to wrap up a show that was sadly, ultimately cut short. A-
I’ve got a big couple of movie watching weeks coming up with Pacific Rim, The Conjuring and This is the End all out in Australia over the next two weeks. I’ll also be covering the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) quite extensively and plan to see over 35 films! MIFF starts on July 25 and will run through to August 11, with All Is Lost the closing night film. I’m really excited to check out films such as The Congress, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Fruitvale Station and Frances Ha to name a few!
It’s open to the public but tickets will sell quickly so head to miff.com.au to check it out.