My Most Anticipated Films of 2015

Following all of the eagerly anticipated January releases (Into the Woods! Birdman! Foxcatcher!) we can start to look forward to many more great films in 2015. Though many are as yet unannounced or unknown, there is still plenty to get excited about. Here are my most anticipated releases for 2015 thus far: Continue reading My Most Anticipated Films of 2015

FILM REVIEW: American Sniper

American Sniper (Clint Eastwood, 2014)

I told my friend with a sigh that I’d heard this was really pro-America and pro-guns. She responded: “Well it is called American Sniper”. So I guess I walked into that one. As someone who identifies as anti-war and anti-guns, I went into this film tentatively. Obviously I wasn’t going to miss it because it’s nominated for best picture at the Oscars, stars B-Coop, and is directed by Clint Eastwood (he may be a Republican but he makes great movies). Though some have accused the film of a pro-war stance, it wasn’t the right-wing bullshit that I’d feared. Then again, maybe it was just that good I got totally sucked in without even realising it. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: American Sniper

FILM REVIEW: Paper Planes

Paper Planes (Robert Connolly, 2014)

Aussie movies aimed at kids don’t seem to come around too often. Try to think of a film set in Australia with Australian characters that is primarily for children. From this millennium. I can only come up with two – Hating Alison Ashley (2005) and Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger (2008) and these are both aimed more specifically at girls in early secondary school. It is thus a welcome rare event for Paper Planes to be released these school holidays. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Paper Planes

FILM REVIEW: Wild

Wild (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2014)

Back in 1995, long before FitBits existed, Cheryl Strayed hiked 1770 kilometres along the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) in a journey of self-discovery and redemption. Following the death of her mother a few years earlier, she had plummeted into a downward spiral of adultery and drug addiction, with no visible way out. By chance she learnt of the PCT and decided a helluva long walk might just be her saving grace. Hey, it sounds better than becoming a CrossFitter. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Wild

MUSICAL REVIEW: Strictly Ballroom

Strictly Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann, 2014)

I really wanted to like this. Baz Luhrmann is one of my favourite film directors, with Moulin Rouge my absolute favourite movie of all time. Baz usually has such extraordinary vision and from memory (it’s been a while since I watched it) the film version of Strictly Ballroom was pretty delightful. It seemed likely that the stage musical would rival the brilliantly showy and hilarious Priscilla Queen of the Desert, but alas, it just lacked that WOW factor. Continue reading MUSICAL REVIEW: Strictly Ballroom

FILM REVIEW: Birdman

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2014)

From Batman to Birdman. It seems apt that in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Michael Keaton plays a washed up actor best known for his earlier success as the star of a superhero franchise, who now just wants to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, – and this is my only criticism of the whole film – despite Birdman’s voice sounding extremely similar to Batman’s, Keaton never does utter the words “I’m Birdman”. This is a massive missed opportunity, but I’m holding out hope that he’ll say it in his Oscar speech, should he win. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Birdman

The Oscar Noms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I’ve said before that there are many things wrong with the Oscars, but they get me excited nonetheless. I had a few strong reactions to the nominees last night so I thought I would share my feelings about what was wrong and what was right. Continue reading The Oscar Noms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

FILM REVIEW: Unbroken

Unbroken (Angelina Jolie, 2014)

"And... action!"
“And… action!”

A-list movie star, mother of six, humanitarian, and director. Is there anything Angelina Jolie can’t do? In her first English-language feature film, she proves yet again that she’s more than just those lips and that leg. She is a force to be reckoned with! And it’s no surprise that she’s gone with a story that showcases the fighting human spirit. Unbroken tells the true tale of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), who was taken prisoner of war by the Japanese Navy. Coming in at 137 minutes, it’s a hard going slog, but ultimately inspiring and satisfying. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Unbroken

FILM REVIEW: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Peter Jackson, 2014)

Let me preface this by saying: I have only ever seen the first Lord of the Rings film, I found it boring, I watched the first two Hobbit films half-heartedly on television/DVD, and I still maintain that Peter Jackson’s best movie is King Kong (2005), followed by The Lovely Bones. In other words, I am not a Tolkien fan girl by any stretch. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

FILM REVIEW: Into the Woods

Into the Woods (Rob Marshall, 2014)

Musical lovers, rejoice! At long last Into the Woods is here (a full two bloody weeks after the US I might add) and it is as exquisite as we could have hoped. There are a few changes from the stage musical though these seem to be minor. As I’ve only ever seen an average university production of the musical which I have tried to forget, I wasn’t too bothered by these changes, though I can’t speak for its biggest fans. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Into the Woods