Category: Biography

Advanced Style

Summary: A documentary showcasing the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose style and spirit define them. Based on the popular blog of the same name by New York photographer Ari Seth Cohen, the film presents us with moving portraits of these vibrant women- aged from 62 to 95, who are challenging conventional ideas of beauty and aging while navigating their newfound fame.

Thrust from the streets of New York to the big screen, the film follows seven women and their stories of style. From store owners to Apollo Theatre dancers, these women won’t go quietly.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 4th October, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Lina Piloplyte

Screenwriter: Ari Cohen, Lina Piloplyte

Cast: Nil

Runtime: 72 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR ADVANCED STYLE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Advanced Style review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)

 

IMDB Rating: Advanced Style (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Advanced Style′: For our full Advanced Style review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #99 .

Trailer:

MIFF 2014

Supermensch

Summary: 

Shep Gordon was a casual drug dealer whose job caused him to collide with the music world in strange ways: he became the legendary manager of Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd and Blondie, and masterminded some of the music world’s most notorious stage antics. He lived the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll life to the extreme (while also being a close friend of the Dalai Lama and inventing the ‘celebrity chef’ concept!), earning a reputation as a hedonist who could be sweet and generous beyond compare.

Featuring contributions from Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Willie Nelson and more, this is the directorial debut of comedian Mike Myers, who spent 20 years trying to get Gordon’s blessing to make a documentary about him

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Beth Aala, Mike Myers

Screenwriter: Nil

Cast: Tom Arnold (himself), Alice Cooper (himself), Michael Douglas (himself), Shep Gordon (himself), Emeril Lagasse (himself), Anne Murray (herself), Willie Nelson (himself), Derek Shoof (himself), Sylvester Stallone (himself)

Runtime: 85 mins

Classification: CTC

 

SUPERMENSCH: THE LEGEND OF SETH GORDON REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Supermensch: The Legend Of Seth Gordon review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #91

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2013) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Supermensch: The Legend Of Seth Gordon′: Nil.

Trailer:

Devil's Knot

Summary: Based on the true crime and novel by Mara Leveritt, Devil’s Knot explores the murder and trial of three boys that went missing in Memphis in 1993. The crime brings three teenagers to trial and despite pleading innocent and the mounting forensic evidence to support their innocence, the teenagers are persecuted without question and left at the mercy of lawyer Ron Lax who continues to probe deeper into the case and the prejudices that exist within the court of law. The film explores the lives of deeply misunderstood outsiders, their families and communities, and their darkest fantasies. The conviction of the West Memphis Three – Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Baldwin – riled the American justice system, shocked a tightly knit religious town and outraged the nation.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 24th July, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Atom Egoyan

Screenwriter: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson, Mara Leveritt (novel)

Cast: Robert Baker (Detective Bryn Ridge), Paul Boardman Jnr. (Michael Moore), Kerry Cahill (Jo Lynn), Brandon Carroll (Bobby DeAngelo), Jack Coghlan (Aaron Hutcherson), Dane DeHaan (Chris Morgan), Kevin Durand (John Mark Byers), Mireille Enos (Vicki Hutcheson), Colin Firth (Ron Lax), Wilbur Fitzgerald (Tom), Michael Gladis (Dan Stidham), Bruce Greenwood (Judge Burnett), Gary Grubbs (Dale Griffis), James Hamrick (Damien Echols), Martin Henderson (Brent Davis), Kristopher Higgins (Jessie Miskelley), Stan Houston (Detective Donald Bray), Brian Howe (Detective McDonough), Ted Huckabee (Steve Jones), Julie Ivey (Melissa Byers), Jet Jurgensmeyer (Stevie Branch), Elias Koteas (Jerry Driver), Matt Letscher (Paul Ford), Rex Linn (Chief Inspector Gitchell), Seth Meriwether (Jason Baldwin), Stephen Moyer (John Fogelman), Bill Murphey (Marty King), Alessandro Nivola (Terry Hobbs), Kristoffer Polaha (Val Price), Anessa Ramsey (Rosie), Amy Ryan (Margaret Lax), Lori Beth Sikes (Annie), Brad D. Smith (Todd Moore), Brandon Spink (Christopher Byers), Matthew Stanton (Detective Durham), Clay Stapleford (Detective Mike Allen), Stephanie Stewart (Domini Teer), Brooke Jaye Taylor (Officer Regina Meeks), Reese Witherspoon (Pam Hobbs), Collette Wolfe (Glori Shettles), Isabella Zentkovich (Amanda Hobbs)

Runtime: 114 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR DEVIL’S KNOT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

The story of The West Memphis Three has been itching to be turned into a feature film for a great deal many years now. Countless documentaries have been made around the case over the years, and so powerful is the story of injustice that it has been impossible for anyone to sit through them without some kind of anger building up inside them. To be brutally honest the whole story (or should that be saga) is really a screenwriter and director’s dream.

Devil’s Knot looks at the case of The West Memphis Three told through the eyes of a private investigator, Ron Lax (Colin Firth) and one of the grieving mothers, Pam Hobbs (Reese Witherspoon). As Hobbs desperately tries to work out what happened in her son’s murder Lax concentrates on the theory that the three accused, Damien Echols (James Hamrick), Jason Baldwin (Seth Meriwether) and Jessie Misskelley (Kristopher Higgins) are innocent.

Oscar nominated director Atom Egoyan decides to tackle the case head-on in his latest film Devil’s Knot. Now a rookie filmmaker may have simply decided that this film should be told through the eyes of one of the accused but Egoyan is smarter than that and instead digs up the story of one of the case’s lesser known players, the private investigator hired by the three accused’s legal team to try and clear their clients name. So not to make the film too one sided Egoyan also tells part of the story through the eyes of Pam Hobbs, a grieving mother who seems more open to the fact that injustice is being done than anyone else involved in the case.

Early on Devil’s Knot is a promising film. It digs up certain parts of the case that are naturally overlooked in most explorations into the case including the mysterious ‘muddied and bloodied black man’ who was spotted in a fast food diner on the night of the murders. But it’s not long after that revolution that Egoyan seems to let Devil’s Knot dangerously let itself down. Just as Lax beguns to uncover series leads that suggest a Police cover-up and Police corruption the film pulls back from how hard-hitting it should have been and instead becomes a court room drama in the vein of a television show like Law & Order.

The second half of Devil’s Knot shows why a director of the class of David Fincher needs to get hold of this story and do something with it. The links of the boys to the occult and Satanic rituals could have taken the film into some dark places while the whole Police corruption element and them deciding to investigate Ron Lax needed to have a lot more suspense put into it then what it shown here. For Devil’s Knot to work there needed to be less of Lax sitting around in an office and talking to the lawyers and more of him actually out on the street doing the leg work – after all he had to be getting these leads from somewhere, right? Perhaps the most ironic thing about how much the screenplay lets down the film is that it comes from the same pen as Deliver Us From Evil, Scott Derrickson.

As a result Egoyan really under uses his two leads. Colin Firth seems like an actor champing at the bit for a dramatic scene right throughout Devil’s Knot while Reese Witherspoon plumps up and heads into the similar character territory she explored in Mud but again she is let down. Instead of allowing her character to deliver some powerful scenes when she starts suspecting her own husband, Terry Hobbs (Alessandro Nivola), as being involved in their son’s murder. It’s a sad point to make but the screenplay here really does let down both Firth and Witherspoon.

Devil’s Knot could easily have been one of the best films of the year, but sadly it is let down by a director and screenwriter who seem reluctant to tap into the suspense that is handed to them on a plate. Instead the second half of the film becomes a slow court room drama that never really lives up to its potential. Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon try in vain to deliver something but even they are let down dangerously by a script that needed to be much better.

Stars(2.5)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2.5)

 

IMDB Rating:  Devil's Knot (2013) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Devi’s Knot′: For our full Devil’s Knot review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #89. You can also read Dave’s review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Reaching For The Moon

Summary: Grappling with writer’s block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) travels from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to visit her college friend, Mary (Tracy Middendorf). Hoping to find inspiration on Mary’s sprawling estate, Elizabeth winds up with much more – a tempestuous relationship with Mary’s bohemian partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Glória Pires), that rocks the staid writer to her foundation. Alcoholism, geographical distance and a military coup come between the lovers, but their intimate connection spans decades and forever impacts the life and work of these two extraordinary artists.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 17th July, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Brazil

Director: Bruno Barreto

Screenwriter: Matthew Chapman, Julie Sayres, Carolina Kotscho (original screenplay), Carmen L. Oliveira (novel)

Cast: Marcello Airoldi (Carlos Lacerda), Anna Bella (Kathleen), Tania Costa (Dindinha), Marcio Ehrlich (Jose Eduardo Macedo Soares), Lola Kirke (Margaret Bennett), Tracy Middendorf (Mary), Marianna Mac Niven (Malu), Miranda Otto (Elizabeth Bishop), Sophia Pavonetti (Young Elizabeth Bishop), Gloria Pires (Lota de Macedo Soares), Treat Williams (Robert Lowell)

Runtime: 118 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR REACHING FOR THE MOON REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Reaching For The Moon review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2)

 

David Griffiths:

When a film begins to tell its audience that the film is about one of the most famous poets of all time but they aren’t a poet that you have ever heard of then you realise that there is something strange going on. Unfortunately for new film Reaching For The Moon that is just the start of this film going completely off the rails because this journey is going to be one that confuses both film and literature buffs alike.

The film looks at poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) who decides to head away from New York for a bit during the 1950s and head to Brazil to visit her friend, Mary (Tracy Middendorf). What she certainly didn’t expect to find was that Mary would be dating a woman, Lota de Macedo Soares (Gloria Pires), and that soon she would be finding herself falling for that very woman.

Reaching For The Moon is very quick to point out that Elizabeth Bishop is one of the most important poets to have ever graced this planet. That point is hammered into the audience a lot throughout the film and it’s obviously something that director Bruno Barreto felt that the modern day audience not only needed to know but certainly needed to remember. With that in mind it’s hard to then work out why Barreto has done such a bad job bringing just an important person in world history’s story to the big screen.

Technically though it’s not Barreto’s work that lets down Reaching For The Moon, no all the problems associated with this film come directly from the pens of the team of screenwriters that put this film together… and perhaps a fair bit from the editors. Ironically this is a film about one of the greatest writers of all time but it has one of the poorest screenplays you are ever likely to see this year.

Actually it is probably the work of Barreto and his cinematographer that go some of the way to saving this film and at least making it watchable. When they haven’t gone about the lazy decision of using some fake scenery or a green screen there are some actually pretty attractive shot selections throughout this film, and often due to the poor script the audience is left feeling that it is only the visuals that are moving this story along.

It is sad to see this tale of two strong women flounder so badly but really someone somewhere needed to alert the filmmakers to the fact that there really needed to be a script rewrite done somewhere along the lines. Here the script is bland and make the film end up becoming a real daytime movie style of film rather than the hard hitting character drama that this needed to be. Huge parts of Lota and Elizabeth’s lives seem to be just skimmed over. Moments of jealousy from Mary that should have been at the forefront of this film are treated like small events while the raging political environment around the pair in Brazil is written in such a way that it feels like it was written for fans of Days Of Our Lives. Sadly which some poor form from the screenplay by the time the film reaches the point where some of the characters lives are in the danger the film has petered out so badly that most audience members will have already lost interest in what should have been a gripping film.

Sadly the script also holds back the performances of the cast as well. While Miranda Otto does get a chance to remind us that she can be a great actress and shouldn’t just be remembered for Lord Of The Rings her cast mates really do suffer. Gloria Pires and Tracy Middendorf are never given the grit in their roles that they deserved and as a result their performances barely raise a blip on the screen.

Reaching For The Moon is a valuable reminder of just how about a script still is to a film. With the right screenwriters at the helm Reaching For The Moon could have been a powerful biopic so hard hitting that it warranted Oscar buzz, instead we are left with a film about two powerful women that really doesn’t do credit to their memory. Reaching For The Moon plods along like a television movie rather then ever reaching the heights it should.

Stars(1.5)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)

 

IMDB Rating:  Reaching for the Moon (2013) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Reaching For The Moon′: For our full Reaching For The Moon review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #88. You can also read Dave Griffiths’ Reaching For The Moon review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Jersey Boys

Summary: The film tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons, and the rise of star Frankie Valli.  The story of their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the songs that influenced a generation, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn,” “Rag Doll,” “Bye Bye Baby,” “Who Loves You,” and many more.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 3rd July, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Clint Eastwood

Screenwriter: Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice

Cast: Toni Attell (Adrianne), Miles Aubrey (Charles Calello), Maggie Beal (Antonia Valli), Erich Bergen (Bob Gaudio), Johnny Cannizzaro (Nick DeVito), Dennis Delsing (Finney), Mike Doyle (Bob Crewe), Troy Grant (Ed Sullivan), John Griffin (Billy Dixon), Lacey Hannan (Angela), Elizabeth Hunter (Francine (7 Years Old)), Ashley Rose Joyner (Antonia Valli), Donnie Kehr (Norm Waxman), Grace Kelley (Francine (4 Years Old)), Chaz Langley (Hal Miller), Louis Lombardi (Trulio), Michael Lomenda (Nick Massi), Keith Loneker (Knuckles), Jeremy Luke (Donnie), James Madio (Stosh), Renee Marino (Mary), Rob Marnell (Joe Long), Michael Patrick McGill (Officer Mike), Steve Monroe (Barry Belson), Kathrine Narducci (Frankie’s Mother), Vincent Piazza (Tommy DeVito), Erica Piccininni (Lorraine), Heather Ferguson Pond (Miss Frankie Nolan), Grant Roberts (Johnny), Joseph Russo (Joey), Steve Schirripo (Vito), Vincent Selhorst-Jones (Hank), Freya Tingley (Francine (17 Years Old), Lou Volpe (Frankie’s Father), Christopher Walken (Gyp DeCarlo), Clint Ward (Officer Stanley), John Lloyd Young (Frankie Valli)

Runtime: 130 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR JERSEY BOYS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s Jersey Boys review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #86

Stars(3)

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Jersey Boys review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(3)

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Jersey Boys review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #86

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

You could be forgiven for thinking ‘Clint Eastwood is directing what’ when it was first announced that he would be the director that would bring the award winning stage musical Jersey Boys to the big screen. However dig a little deeper into Eastwood’s career and you’ll see that his is perhaps, outside of Baz Luhrmann, the perfect choice for being at the helm of Jersey Boys.

See while many film lovers like to see Eastwood as the gritty director who brought Gran Torino to the screen but dig a little deeper into Eastwood’s biography and you’ll discover that he is the owner of a record label and also scored the music for films such as Flags Of Our Father and Million Dollar Baby just to name a few.

Perhaps that is one of the biggest reasons why it feels like Jersey Boys is such a let down… Eastwood could have done better but didn’t. There are parts of Jersey Boys that seem to work well. It is probably one of the first films since Moulin Rouge to really bring the whole musical theatre film into the cinema with it. Some of the concert scenes and of course the closing montage look they could have been lifted straight from a Broadway production but there are other sides of this film that become a total letdown.

Anyone who knows the Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young) story will know that it can’t be told without stories of his links to Mafia kings like Gyp DeCarlo (Christopher Walken) and the fact that he and Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) were convicted criminals before their first number one hits. It’s here where Jersey Boys feels like it lets down its audience. The film needs the nit and grit of a director like a Martin Scorcesce to delve into the murky world of the Mafia, but here it almost seems like Eastwood is scared to sully the Four Seasons’ reputation by going into the muck. The troubled home life of Valli himself is just skirted on so lightly that it feels like you are watching a tele-movie while most of the Mafia related characters becoming walking clichés, despite the efforts of Christopher Walken to try and pull out a good performance.

It’s these parts of Jersey Boys that makes it hard to watch. With all the darker sides of the story missing it feels like you are watching a glossy film with some segments of power pop infused to it, which doesn’t do justice to the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons at all. And to be honest even the scenes of the group on stage seem so stilted you could be confused for believing that Eastwood had simply inserted some shots in from the actual Broadway musical. At some point Eastwood needed to make a call on whether he wanted this to be a music biopic with the power of The Runaways, become a full blown musical like Les Miserables or make it so light and fluffy it should have been a straight-to-DVD flick.

The weakened script and directing also means that the cast’s performances are sub-par. Christopher Walken is completely wasted as he places a clichéd version of Mafia boss Gyp DeCarlo. The biggest cast member to suffer from the weaknesses of Jersey Boys though is John Lloyd Young. Playing Frankie Valli on the big screen should have been the role that had this young actor being talked about as an Oscar nominee or even just been the film that put him on the map, however none of that will happen here because his performance is so hamstrung that it won’t even garnish a second glance from most Hollywood producers. The only cast member that can hold his head high here is Vincent Piazza who plays tough guy Tommy DeVito. Somehow he manages to brush aside the fluff and somehow put together a fairly decent acting performance.

It almost feels like a crime bashing a Clint Eastwood film. The man is certainly a legend and has shown over the years that he is capable of holding his own with the directional heavyweights, but here Eastwood is dangerously out of his depth. He never truly captures the darker side to the Frankie Valli story and as a result both the film and its audience are left wanting more.

 

Stars(2.5)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  Jersey Boys (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Jersey Boys′: For our full Jersey Boys review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #86

Trailer:

 

Gardening With Soul

Summary: Following four seasons in the life of irresistible gardening nun Sister Loyola Galvin, director Jess Feast unearths sage gems from the nonagenarian on everything from compost to Catholic Church sex abuse scandals. The cycles of Wellington’s weather are charted via its influence on Loyola’s Island Bay garden, from the 2011 snow to flax-drunk tui.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: New Zealand

Director: Jess Feast

Screenwriter: Jess Feast

Cast: Sister Loyola Galvin (herself)

Runtime: 96 mins

Classification: G

OUR GARDENING WITH SOUL REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Our Gardening With Soul review on www.filmreviews,net.au

Stars(3)

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Our Gardening With Soul review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Stars(3)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  Nil

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Gardening With Soul′: For our full Gardening With Soul review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Trailer:

Lone Survivor

Summary: Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture/kill al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd in late June 2005. The team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 20th February, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Peter Berg

Screenwriter: Peter Berg, Marcus Luttrell (book), Patrick Robinson (book)

Cast: Yousuf Azami (Shah), Eric Bana (Erik Kristensen), Johnny Bautista (Lt. Edwards), Dan Bilzerian (Healy), Kurt Carlson (Captain Lovas), Paul Craig (‘EOD’ Paul),  Jerry Ferrara (Hasselert), Ben Foster (Matt ‘Axe’ Axelson), Daniel Fulcoly (Lt. Andrews), Michael P. Herrman (Wallace), Emile Hirsch (Danny Dietz), Joh Hocker (Hocker), Taylor Kitsch (Michael Murphy), Robert Loerke (Captain Jacoby), Alexander Ludwig (Shane Patton), Zabiullah Mirzai (Zabi), Henry Penzi (Penzi), Sammy Sheik (Taraq), Ali Suliman (Gulab), Rich Ting (James Suh), Mark Wahlberg (Marcus Luttrell)

Runtime: 121 mins

Classification:MA15+

OUR LONE SURVIVOR REVIEWS & RATINGS

Adam Ross: Stars(3)

Please check Adam’s Lone Survivor review of that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #68

Greg King: Stars(3.5)

Please check Greg’s Lone Survivor review of that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

David Griffiths:

War films are a dime-a-dozen… bad war films are even more common. It’s for that reason that is okay to be a little nervous when approaching Lone Survivor. Even the fact that it has a known actor like Mark Wahlberg in it doesn’t make necessarily a good film either… after all the man formerly known as Marky Mark has delivered some pretty bad turds over the years. Then there is the Peter Berg factor, yes Berg has shown over the years that he can create some masterpieces, just as he did with Friday Night Lights, but then he was also the man responsible for Battleship.

Luckily for movie fans out there Lone Survivor falls into the realm of good war films. So good in fact that it deserves to be mentioned alongside films such as The Hurt Locker and Black Hawk Down. Yes Peter Berg served his time with the studio and worked on Battleship and has now once again been allowed to show the world what a fine filmmaker he really is.

The film itself is based on actual events that happened to Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) during a daring raid in Afghanistan to capture notorious Taliban leader Ahmed Shah (Yousuf Azami). Soon Luttrell’s group, which also contains Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch) and Matt Axelson (Ben Foster) find themselves deep under enemy fire after having to make a huge moral call. Worse still is the fact that they are cut off by their leader, Erik Kristensen (Eric Bana) as their communications have all gone down.

There is little doubt that this is film is made ten times better under the direction of Peter Berg. Just like he did with Friday Night Lights Berg makes Lone Survivor feel like you are watching a documentary. The dialogue was his script his natural and just because he has a big name like Eric Bana in a role doesn’t mean that Berg decides to give his A-lister any extra on screen.

Likewise Berg doesn’t hold back on the violence in this film. The film is set on the battlefield and it is obvious that Berg not only wants his audience to see that the men involved in this mission were not only heroes but he also wants people to realise just how tough it is for men and women on the front line. Not only does he show this with some very confronting war violence but also by some extremely intense scenes that show the moral decisions that soldiers have to make while going about their jobs.

In fact the highlight of Lone Survivor is the scene where Luttrell and co are faced with a very big ethical dilemma. Do they shoot dead some unarmed young Afghanis or do what the law says and let them go, knowing full well that the latter option is likely to bring even more repercussions for the soldiers. As the soldiers discuss what is best to do Berg heightens the tension to a level that most filmmakers can only dream about achieving.

Lone Survivor really isn’t a film about the actors in it, which is made obvious by the fact that an actor of the calibre of Eric Bana is in a pretty much ‘blink and you’ll miss him’ role while the likes of Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch are also in restricted roles. To his credit Mark Wahlberg delivers even when some of the scenes seem to be above his usual acting talent, while Taylor Kitsch again silences his critics with a worthy performance as well.

This is one film that is certainly a gripping, yet also very tough watch. The violence is unrelenting but Peter Berg does what he sets out to do and that is show the audience just how brave the men involved in this raid were. Lone Survivor is one of the finest war movies you will ever see.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3.5)

IMDB Rating:  Lone Survivor (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Lone Survivor′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #68 for our full Lone Survivor review.

Trailer:

The Wolf Of Wall Street

Summary: Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) is the son of an accountant, hoping to make it big on Wall Street as a stockbroker. Following the crash of 1987 Belfort reinvents himself with the help of Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and close group of unscrupulous friends, starting brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont. Rapidly becoming wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, Belfort develops a hard-partying lifestyle that soon attracts the attention of federal government.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd January, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Martin Scorsese

Screenwriter: Terence Winter, Jordan Belfort (book)

Cast: Ashlie Atkinson (Rochelle Applebaum), Jon Bernthal (Brad), Loretta O. Booz (Wendy), P.J. Byrne (Nicky ‘Rugrat’ Koskoff), Chris Caldovino (Rocco #1), Katarina Cas (Chantalle), Aya Cash (Janet), Kyle Chandler (Agent Patrick Denham), Kenneth Choi (Chester Ming), Robert Clohessy (Nolan Drager), Shea Coleman (Skylar Belfort (14 months old)), Carla Corvo (Pam), Dan Daily (Honorary Raymond Samitz), Leonardo DiCaprio (Jordan Belfort), Bo Dietl (himself), Jean Dujardin (Jean Jacques Saurel), Christine Ebersole (Leah Belfort), Giselle Eisenberg (Skylar Belfort (4 Years Old)), Michael Engberg (Smith), Jon Favreau (Manny Riskin), Danny Flaherty (Zip), Marcus Antonio Gonzalez (Rocco #2), Ted Griffin (Agent Hughes), Jonah Hill (Donnie Azoff), Jake Hoffman (Steve Madden), Christina Jeffs (Venice), Spike Jonze (Dwayne), Dustin Kerns (Ben Jenner), Stephen Kunken (Jerry Fogel), Stephanie Kurtzuba (Kimmie Blezer), Aaron Lazar (Blair Hollingsworth), Ben Leasure (Brantley), Fran Lebowitz (Honorary Samantha Stogel), Joanna Lumley (Aunt Emma), J.C. MacKenzie (Lucas Soloman), Johnnie Mae (Violet), Rizwan Manji (Kalil), Matthew McConaughey (Mark Hanna), Madison McKinley (Heidi), Mackenzie Meehan (Hildy Azoff), Cristin Miliroti (Teresa Petrillo), Ron Nakahara (Rocky Aoki), Michael Nathanson (Barry Kleinman),  Sandra Nelson (Aliyah Farran), Dierdre Reimold (Nicole), Rob Reiner (Max Belfort), Margot Robbie (Naomi Lapaglia), Barry Rothbart (Peter DeBlasio), Brian Sacca (Robbie ‘Pinhead’ Feinberg), Jon Spinogatti (Nicholas the Butler), Ethan Suplee (Toby Welch), Natasha Newman Thomas (Danielle Harrison), Emily Tremaine (Cristy), Shea Whigham (Captain Ted Beecham), Joe Zaso (Bernardo), Henry Zebrowski (Alden ‘Sea Otter’ Kupferberg)

Runtime: 180 mins

Classification:R18+

OUR WOLF OF WALL STREET REVIEWS & RATINGS

Adam Ross: Stars(5)

Please check Adam’s The Wolf Of Wall Street review of that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #65

 

Greg King: Stars(3.5)

Please check Greg’s The Wolf Of Wall Street review of that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

Nick Gardener: Stars(3.5)

Please check Nick’s The Wolf Of Wall Street review that is available on Southern FM

David Griffiths:

First I do have to admit a real bias when I am reviewing The Wolf Of Wall Street – I am an avid Martin Scorsese film and also an avid Leonardo DiCaprio, yes I have been in heaven for the past few years while they are collaborated together on five films. And yes while films such as Shutter Island and The Departed would make my ‘Greatest Films Ever Made’ list, I am not biased enough to admit that these two have made some ordinary films together, especially The Aviator.

So where does The Wolf Of Wall Street fit on the Leonardo DiCaprio/Martin Scorsese scale. Well to be honest it is pretty bloody high up, because this is a good… no make that… great film. But to preface that I should say this film does go above and beyond to get its R18+ rating because Scorsese has pretty much made a film about a world of sleaze.

Under Scorsese’s wonderful direction DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a young man who is introduced into the world of Wall Street finance by the ‘out there’ Mark Hanna (Matthew McCounaughey) who teaches Jordan the things he needs to succeed are cash, drugs and sex… and that you get them anyway you can.

Jordan’s first journey into Wall Street though doesn’t last after the crash of 1987 and soon Hanna disappears out of the picture and Jordan is left to resurrect himself, this time through a backyard operation that pretty much just sells worthless penny deals. But Jordan sees promise in that and soon he, and his new found buddy the loud Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), begin their new operation that has the sole aim of making them money.

Once Jordan is once again wealthy he again reaches Wall Street doing illegal deal after illegal deal while his weaknesses are still cash, drugs and sex… this time with his future wife, the beautiful Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie). Everything is going well until a Federal Agent (played by Kyle Chandler) starts sniffing around Jordan and aims to bring him down.

With The Wolf Of Wall Street Scorsese is once again at the top of his game. He is cunning with the way that he tells this story – yes at times he glorifies the sick lifestyle that Jordan lives, but he also dramatically shows the downside of this lifestyle to the point where anybody watching the film would be an idiot to want to get involved in the finance world. At times Jordan appears to be a God, but that image is shattered when Scorsese allows the grime to reach the surface in shocking acts such as seeing Jordan punch his wife in the stomach. Those that criticize The Wolf Of Wall Street and point out that Scorsese is trying to glorify this film are on the wrong track completely because he is trying to do anything but that.

The critics that have pointed out that Scorsese goes back and reuses some of his old Goodfellas style are right, but always the inventor Scorsese also uses comedy to full affect in The Wolf Of Wall Street… perhaps to give his audience a rest from the onslaught, while he is also creative in the way that he allows Jordan to narrate this film, especially in the sense that Jordan seems to be able to pick and choose what he feels the audience will understand. He may be in his seventies but at least Scorsese is still a director willing to try new things.

Once again Scorsese also gets the best out of Leonardo DiCaprio. Just like he did in Django Unchained DiCaprio relishes the fact that he gets to play an unlikable character here and he is well deserved of all the awards he has been nominated for. But this isn’t just the DiCaprio show, oh no Matthew McConaughey steals the show with his brief performance, Kyle Chandler is once again smooth in his role while Jonah Hill provides more than just comedic relief showing that he is a genuine dramatic actor these days. However the person that deserves a big tick for The Wolf Of Wall Street is Australian actress Margot Robbie who shows that she is more than just a pretty face and delivers some intense acting during her sometimes vicious scenes with DiCaprio. Yes she well and truly deserves her ‘star on the rise’ label.

As previously mentioned The Wolf Of Wall Street is not a film that will be enjoyed by all. It is a powerful, and yes at times graphic film. It may be a little long (some of the scenes wouldn’t have suffered if the editor had been a bit more brutal) but this film once again shows why Martin Scorsese is a living legend when it comes to filmmaking.

Stars(4)  

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

IMDB Rating:  The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #65 for our full The Wolf Of Wall Street review.

Trailer:

Saving Mr Banks

Summary: When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favourite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt (Tom Hanks) comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer (Emma Thompson) who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machinery. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history..

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, UK, Australia

Director: John Lee Hancock

Screenwriter: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith

Cast: Michelle Arthur (Polly), Kathy Baker (Tommie), Melissa Bickerton (Mrs. Corry), Lily Bigham (Biddy), Claire Bocking (Nanny Claire), Annie Rose Buckley (Ginty), Kimberly D’Armond (Katie Nanna), Lynly Ehrlich (Mrs. DaGradi), Colin Farrell (Travers Goff), Paul Giamatti (Ralph), Rachel Griffiths (Aunt Ellie), Tom Hanks (Walt Disney), Kristopher Kyer (Dick Van Dyke), Andy McPhee (Mr. Belhatchett), B.J. Novak (Robert Sherman), Ginger Pauley (Joyce Sherman), Melanie Paxson (Dolly), Jason Schwartzman (Richard Sherman), Victoria Summer (Julie Andrews), Dendrie Taylor (Lillian Disney), Emma Thompson (P.L. Travers), Ronan Vibert (Diarmuid Russell), Thomas R. Waters (Andrew Dutton), Bradley Whitford (Don DaGradi), Ruth Wilson (Margaret Goff)

Runtime: 126 mins

Classification:PG

OUR SAVING MR. BANKS REVIEWS & RATINGS

Greg King: Stars(4.5)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ that is available on http://www.filmreviews.net.au/

David Griffiths:

Do you remember “Mary Poppins?” The all singing and dancing affair with Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and some penguins thrown in for good measure. Well a film set during the making of the 1964 family favourite film “Mary Poppins”  doesn’t exactly have the allure of films such as “Hitchcock” or “Me And Orson Welles”, but don’t be put off because “Saving Mr. Banks” is a film that is pure cinematic masterpiece. While award wins may show that director John Lee Hancock’s last film, “The Blind Side,” was the better film that theory is without a doubt incorrect because “Saving Mr. Banks” is one of the finest films to have come out of Hollywood in a long time.

Many cinema lovers perhaps don’t realise that “Mary Poppins” almost didn’t happen. The fascinating script of “Saving Mr. Banks” chronicles as the reluctant Poppins creator P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) reluctantly has to make the decision to travel to Los Angeles and talk with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) about the possibility of her much loved character hitting the big screen.

The idea of Mary becoming an animated buddy for the likes of Mickey Mouse is just too much for Travers and she plans on travelling to L.A. and pretty much telling Disney where he can stick his project. However, money is now a problem for her and she finds herself holding off on saying no to Disney, instead she finds herself reluctantly bonding with her driver, Ralph (Paul Giamatti) and having to sit down with the ‘in-her-eyes-annoying’ Sherman brothers (B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzmann) – the two men charged with the task of bringing music into Mary Poppins’ world.

At the same time the audience is shown the inspiration behind the Poppins’ book Travers’ relationship with her drunken but loving father Travers Goff (Colin Farrell) and the arrival of her Aunt Ellie (Rachel Griffiths) on the scene.

There is so much to love about Saving Mr. Banks.” Firstly the screenwriting team absolutely nail the characters involved. Those who were close to P.L. Travers and Walt Disney have seen this film and been surprised by just how realistic the characters are. Then there is of course the fact that those same screenwriters have almost brought a sense of suspense to the film. Once you become engrossed in the plot you simply forget that “Mary Poppins” did make the big screen and you find yourself waiting with baited breath as Travers and Disney battle over whether the film will be made.

The other part of “Saving Mr. Banks” that will stun its audience is the flashback sequences to outback Queensland. Not only does this section bring some real heartfelt moments to the film but the scenes allow cinemagoers to once again since the acting stylings of one Colin Farrell. Mr. Farrell has delivered some real dogs of films recently (anybody else see “Total Recall”?) so it’s good to see him embracing the role of Travers Goff and putting in a performance that is worthy of some award nominations.

Also joining Farrell with outstanding performances in “Saving Mr. Banks” are Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. Thompson becomes the very-British Travers alarmingly well while Hanks puts in a surprising performance of Disney. Technically Hanks shares no physical resemblance to Disney at all but captures the spirit of the man in a way that is sure to garnish him more award glory. This performance on the back of his work in “Captain Phillips” just goes to show why Hanks is one of the better actors of the modern generations.

The words cinematic masterpiece shouldn’t be used lightly but that is exactly what “Saving Mr. Banks” is. This is a charming film that recaptures the magic of Hollywood.

Stars(5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4.5)

IMDB Rating:  Saving Mr. Banks (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Saving Mr. Banks′: Please check our Saving Mr. Banks review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 63.

Trailer:

Muscle Shoals

Summary: A documentary that celebrates Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the signature sound he developed in songs such as “I’ll Take You There”, “Brown Sugar”, and “When a Man Loves a Woman”.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier

Screenwriter: N/A

Cast: Gregg Allmann (himself), Bono (himself), Jesse Boyce (himself), Freeman Brown (himself), Clarence Carter (himself), Jimmy Cliff (himself), Aretha Franklin (herself), Donna Godchaux (herself), Rick Hall (himself), Roger Hawkins (himself), David Hood (himself), Clayton Ivey (himself), Mick Jagger (himself), Jaimoe (himself), Jimmy Johnson (himself), Alicia Keys (herself), Ed King (himself), Martin Luther King (himself), Spooner Oldham (himself), Dan Penn (himself), Sam Phillips (himself), Wilson Pickett (himself), Billy Powell (himself), Otis Redding (himself), Keith Richards (himself), Percy Sledge (himself), Candi Staton (herself), Harvey Thompson (himself), Ronnie van Zant (himself), Jerrry Wexler (himself), John Paul White (himself), Steve Winwood (himself),

Runtime: 111 mins

Classification:TBC

OUR MUSCLE SHOALS REVIEWS & RATINGS

Greg King: Stars(4.5)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘Muscle Shoals’ that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4.5)

IMDB Rating:  Muscle Shoals (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Muscle Shoals′: Please check our Muscle Shoals review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 63.

Trailer: