Wednesday, 31 May 2017

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD

When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern, Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword Excalibur from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy... whether he likes it or not.

An entertaining version of the King Arthur legend. Problem is that there is so much action using just about every filming trick available that the story takes a back seat. Jude Law is excellent as the baddie, Vortigern. The sets and costumes are amazing. There’s some good humour, and the action is pretty good but, overall, it’s an average movie.


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

DON’T TELL (2017)

Based on true events that changed the law. This is the story of a survivor, Lyndal, a young woman sexually abused as an 11 year old while attending a prestigious school. Her courage to fight for justice is entrusted to a local lawyer determined to build a case and give Lyndal peace from her torment. With the help of his aspiring young associate and an enigmatic barrister, the lawyer and Lyndal find their way together.

This movie is a must see. It focuses on Lyndal, the main character, and the longterm effects of her abuse, rather than sensationalising the abuse itself or the pedophile who perpetrated the abuse. The story is told with sensitivity and compassion. Sara West, who plays Lyndal, is brilliant in what would have been a demanding role. Aden Young is good as Lyndal’s lawyer and Jack Thompson does a reasonable job as the barrister. I found this movie to be deeply moving and we all need to celebrate the courage that people, like Lyndal, demonstrate in surviving the incredible evil that is child abuse. I really encourage you to see this move.


Sunday, 21 May 2017

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2

John Wick is forced out of retirement by a former associate looking to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to aid him, Wick travels to Rome and does battle against some of the world’s most dangerous killers.

Very, very violent but with a better story than the first one —even if it is totally over the top! If you enjoyed the first John Wick movie, you’ll like this one even more. Keanu Reeves is excellent as John Wick. The action scenes are superbly choreographed and Reeves has clearly done some martial arts training - I believe he does all his own fight scenes and car stunts. Great escapist entertainment for those who like lots of action. It’s a good sequel.


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

CATCH-UP RATINGS

PERSONAL SHOPPER - A personal shopper in Paris refuses to leave the city until she makes contact with her twin brother who previously died there. Her life becomes more complicated when a mysterious person contacts her via text message. ****

THE INNOCENTS - In 1945 Poland, a young French Red Cross doctor who is sent to assist the survivors of the German camps discovers several nuns in advanced states of pregnancy during a visit to a nearby convent. ***1/2

GET OUT - Chris and his girlfriend Rose go upstate to visit her parents for the weekend. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined. *****

THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE - The Zookeeper's Wife tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion. *****

ALIEN: COVENANT - The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape. ***1/2

A DOG’S PURPOSE - A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners. ***

See you at the movies!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

THE CASE FOR CHRIST

Based on the true story of an award-winning investigative journalist -- and avowed atheist -- who applies his well-honed journalistic and legal skills to disprove the newfound Christian faith of his wife... with unexpected, life-altering results.

This movie will be emotionally reassuring to fundamentalist evangelical Christian believers. But for anyone who thinks critically, they won’t be persuaded. There are some moving moments in the movie — mostly to do with the relationship between Strobel and his wife. Much is made of Strobel’s ‘well-honed journalistic and legal skills’. But during his investigation of the resurrection of Christ, he didn’t use them very well. The story has him interviewing experts (mostly Christian) on the resurrection who affirm its historicity. There are a couple of atheist or agnostic scholars who are portrayed as amazed at the evidence for the resurrection. But Strobel never thinks deeply or critically about what he is being told and the scholars are cherry-picked so there is no doubt what the conclusion will be. And Strobel, the famous investigative journalist, just accepts the experts’ opinions! The whole purpose of the movie is to make a lot of an atheist’s “unwilling” conversion to Christianity because the evidence for the resurrection is so compelling. Strobel is now a Christian apologist and, like so many movies from an evangelical Christian perspective, it presents a very one-sided view of evidence and scholarship. There’s a lot of circular and fallacious reasoning going on in this movie with lots of straw man arguments. There are cliches like Strobel scribbling all over a whiteboard as he tries to make sense of the evidence to convince us that he is thinking deeply and rationally. I’m sure this movie will make a lot of money with fundamentalist evangelicals flocking to see it. For me, it was a movie that wants to convince the viewer that the resurrection must have happened because an atheist journalist and lawyer just had to believe in the face of overwhelming evidence. But it really ends up mostly preaching to the choir — and, hopefully, the choir will be thinking critically enough to be disappointed, too.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

BAD GIRL (2016)

Bad girl Amy, 17, is given one last chance by her adoptive parents, who think Amy's friendship with local girl Chloe is a step in the right direction. But when Amy discovers Chloe's secret she finds herself fighting for her life, and for the future of the family she herself tried to destroy.

This Australian thriller is excellent considering it was made on a budget of around $1.5 million — a very low budget for a movie. While the plot is not really new, the acting is excellent (especially by the two lead girls) and the production values top notch. Direction is tight and it’s well paced with some good suspense. Good entertainment.