Category: Comedy

 

This June, from the biggest animated franchise in history and global cultural phenomenon, comes the untold story of one 12-year-old’s dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain, in Minions: The Rise of Gru.

 In the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru (Oscar nominee Steve Carell) is growing up in the suburbs. A fanboy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6, Gru hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. Luckily, he gets some mayhem-making backup from his loyal followers, the Minions. Together, Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto—a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—deploy their skills as they and Gru build their first lair, experiment with their first weapons and pull off their first missions.

When the Vicious 6 oust their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles (Oscar winner Alan Arkin), Gru interviews to become their newest member. It doesn’t go well (to say the least), and only gets worse after Gru outsmarts them and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. On the run, Gru will turn to an unlikely source for guidance, Wild Knuckles himself, and discover that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.

 Teeming with Illumination’s signature subversive humour, pop-culture sophistication, full-hearted emotion, bold music sensibility, and over-the-top action, Minions: The Rise of Gru features a thrilling new cast of stars, including, as members of the Vicious 6, Taraji P. Henson as cool and confident leader Belle Bottom, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Jean Clawed, Lucy Lawless as Nunchuck, Dolph Lundgren as Svengeance and Danny Trejo as Stronghold. The film also features Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, an aspiring mad scientist, Michelle Yeoh as Master Chow, an acupuncturist with mad Kung Fu skills, and Oscar winner Julie Andrews as Gru’s maddeningly self-absorbed mom.

 Steered by the franchise’s original creators, Minions: The Rise of Gru is produced by visionary Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborators Janet Healy and Chris Renaud. The film is directed by returning franchise filmmaker Kyle Balda (Despicable Me 3, Minions), co-directed by Brad Ableson (The Simpsons) and Jonathan del Val (The Secret Life of Pets films), and features the iconic voice of Pierre Coffin as the Minions and a killer ʼ70s soundtrack courtesy of legendary Grammy-winning music producer Jack Antonoff.

 

Poised to thrill audiences around the nation, the Alliance Française French Film Festival has today unveiled the full line-up for its eagerly anticipated 31st season at www.affrenchfilmfestival.org

Spreading its cinematic stardust across 8 cities and 4 satellite locations, the Festival, which is proudly presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, Unifrance Films and screening partner, Palace Cinemas, will commence its national tour from 10 March until 19 April and is set to thrill audiences with a stupendous selection of 49 contemporary and classic French films, many enjoying their Australian premiere.

 We’re also delighted to announce that dynamic filmmaker, Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders, Macbeth, True History of the Kelly Gang), who has long taken inspiration from French cinema, will be the 2020 Festival Patron.

 Additionally, acclaimed director/actor, Zabou Breitman, whose lyrical, animated drama, The Swallows of Kabul (Les hirondelles de Kaboul), has won plaudits from critics and audiences alike on the international film festival circuit, will be visiting Melbourne to introduce a screening of this, her latest feature, which she directed with Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec. This special Festival event is slated for the evening of Tuesday 17 March at Palace Cinema Como, and will be followed by a filmmaker Q&A.

 On a more sombre note, this year has already experienced horrific bushfires ravaging our land and robbing so many of their lives and homes.  The Alliance Française, and venue partners thereby invite you to join us in helping those impacted by this tragedy by supporting special previews of How to Be a Good Wife and In the Name of the Land (both screening courtesy of Palace Films) to be held in all capital cities on 9th and 10th of March.  100% of tickets sales for these sessions will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal and Rural and Remote Mental Health.

And in celebration of mankind’s great capacity for kindness and compassion – which often comes to the fore in times of crisis – the Festival will launch the 2020 season with The Extraordinary (Hors normes)one of the most gloriously uplifting films to emerge from France in recent years, which will screen courtesy of Madman Entertainment.

 The latest feature from renowned filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano (who delighted with The Intouchables and C’est la vie!), The Extraordinary is inspired by a true story and was honoured as the Closing Night Feature at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. For twenty years, Bruno (Vincent Cassel) and Malik (Reda Kateb) have run two separate non-profit organizations where they train young people from underprivileged areas to be caregivers for autistic youth abandoned by the state system. But the authorities, concerned that they’ve never sought certification and that many of their carers aren’t ‘officially’ qualified, decide to mount an investigation.

 The result of two years’ immersion in the lives of the two associations, The Extraordinary is a crowd-pleasing charmer, which will have viewers experiencing a gamut of emotions as they fall in love with a host of extraordinary characters in exceptional circumstances.  It’s a testimony to the great things that can be achieved when people support one another in the face of adversity.

 And concluding the 2020 season, on a deliciously whimsical note, will be The Bare Necessity (Perdrix)the directorial debut of Erwan Le Duc, starring Swann Arlaud, Maud Wyler, Fanny Ardant and Nicolas Maury.  Set within a tiny town nestled in the woody mountains of Vosges, this sweetheart of a movie, which delighted hardened cynics when it premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes 2019, looks at the romantic mayhem that ensues when an enigmatic young woman forces a stagnant family to re-define their boundaries and begin to truly live.

 With so many highlights bursting from this year’s programme, it’s impossible to list every film, but read on for some of the delights to be savoured:

 

A FRIENDLY TALE (Le Bonheur des uns)

Director:  Daniel Cohen                                                        

Cast:  François Damiens, Vincent Cassel, Bérénice Bejo

In this delicious tale of tested loyalties, the close friendship of two long-time couples is put at risk when one of the two wives unexpectedly becomes a best-selling author, upsetting the intricate balance of this formerly close-knit quartet.

 

AZNAVOUR BY CHARLES (Le regard de Charles)

A Film by Charles Aznavour, Directed by Marc di Domenico                                                                 

Narrator: Romain Duris

Crooner, Charles Aznavour, beguiled his legions of fans with a dream of romance.  But his life beyond music was even more extraordinary.  An actor, political activist, diplomat and filmmaker, this enthralling documentary, with rare footage, reveals a complicated, multi-talented man who entertained for the greater part of a century.

 

DEERSKIN (Le daim)

Director:  Quentin Dupieux                                                                 

Cast:  Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy

With his life in disarray, Georges might not be able to control his circumstances but he can control his wardrobe.  Believing that the deerskin jacket of his dreams is the answer to all of his problems, Georges’ delusions gradually increase each time he wears it, edging his obsession closer to a violent delirium.

 

EDMOND

Director: Alexis Michalik                   

Cast: Thomas Solivérès, Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner, Dominique Pinon

Paris, 1897. Although not yet thirty and clearly gifted as a writer, Edmond Rostand already has two children, many anxieties, but scant literary success.  When given three weeks to write a play for a mercurial star of the stage, all he has is the title, Cyrano de Bergerac.  Can he accomplish the impossible?

 

FAREWELL TO THE NIGHT (L’adieu à la nuit)

Director: André Téchiné                                                                            

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Kacey Mottet Klein

Muriel, a respected member of her idyllic local community, is horrified to discover that her visiting grandson, who claims to be heading to Canada for work, has in reality been radicalised by Islamist extremists.  His plans to fight for ISIS in Syria expose this ordinary woman to a moral dilemma of heart-breaking proportions.

 

HOUSE OF CARDIN

Directors: P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes

Synonymous with glamour, refinement and sophistication, this documentary provides a rare glimpse into the world of a 20th century icon. Allowing unprecedented access to his personal archives, we follow Cardin from his birth in the Italian countryside circa 1922, to his move to France where he made his name in fashion.

 

HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE (La bonne épouse)

Director: Martin Provost                             

Cast: Juliette Binoche, Yolande Moreau, Noémie Lvovsky, Edouard Baer

In 1968 amidst the lush regions of Alsace, the head of a housekeeping school that transforms teenage girls into ideal housewives, has her pristine life implode when she encounters her long-lost first love whilst simultaneously learning that her business is on the brink of financial ruin.

 

IN THE NAME OF THE LAND (Au nom de la terre)

Director:  Edouard Bergeon                                                     

Cast: Guillaume Canet, Veerle Baetens, Anthony Bajon

Returning to France in the late 70s, Pierre marries his sweetheart and takes over his father’s farm.  But twenty years onwards, Pierre is exhausted.  With mounting debt, what was once satisfying begins to take an insidious toll on his family who risk being torn apart by the property that binds them, in this powerful tale of resilience.

 

LA BELLE ÉPOQUE

Director: Nicolas Bedos                                                                    

Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Guillaume Canet, Doria Tiller

Disillusioned, his long-term marriage on the rocks, a man is given a second chance when he encounters a company offering a unique theatrical service that enables customers to revisit memories through carefully orchestrated re-enactments, thus allowing him to return to 1974 and the peak of his happiness.

 

THE LOST PRINCE (Le prince oublié)

Director: Michel Hazanavicius                                                           

Cast: Omar Sy, Bérénice Bejo, François Damiens

Djibi, a devoted single father, transforms into a heroic Prince in the nightly fairy-tales he tells his beloved 7 year-old daughter, Sofia. But as the years pass, Sofia is ready for her own stories with different heroes.  But is the Prince ready to become just a memory of his daughter’s childhood?

 

LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT (Mon inconnue)

Director: Hugo Gélin                                                                         

Cast: François Civil, Joséphine Japy, Benjamin Lavernhe

After waking in a parallel universe, Raphaël finds his wife, Olivia, is nowhere to be seen and his professional achievements have vanished.  Without Olivia, his life is empty, but winning her back proves harder than he could have imagined – especially when he realises she doesn’t even know who he is!

 

MY DOG STUPID (Mon chien Stupide)

Director: Yvan Attal                                                                             

Cast: Yvan Attal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Eric Ruf

Henri, a writer in the depths of a mid-life crisis who hasn’t released a successful book in 25 years, strikes-up an unconventional friendship with a stray, bad-mannered dog who inspires him and his dysfunctional family to re-examine their lives and attitudes towards each other.

 

THE MYSTERY OF HENRI PICK (Le mystère Henri Pick)

Director: Rémi Bezançon                                                                                 

Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Camille Cottin, Alice Isaaz

The late Henry Pick, in life an unassuming Breton pizza marker, is celebrated as a brilliant author when a lost manuscript, attributed to him, becomes a literary success.  But one outspoken intellectual thinks the whole thing is a sham, and, after losing his wife, his job and his prominence due to his opinion, decides to uncover the truth.

 

ONLY THE ANIMALS (Seules les bêtes)

Director: Dominik Moll                                                             

Cast: Denis Ménochet, Laure Calamy, Damien Bonnard

Set in an isolated town in the lush, wintery mountains of southern France, the film opens with the departure of Evelyne, a local woman whose disappearance during a snowstorm soon reveals itself as murder. This act of violence gradually unveils the hidden agendas of several locals, setting the unexpected into motion.

 

PROXIMA

Director: Alice Winocour                                                              

Cast: Eva Green, Zélie Boulant- Lemesle, Matt Dillon

As the only woman in the European Space Agency astronaut-training program, single mother Sarah struggles with guilt over the limited time spent with her young daughter, which escalates when she’s invited upon a year-long space mission – Proxima – forcing her to choose between her work and her child.

 

ROOM 212 (Chambre 212)

Director: Christophe Honoré                                           

Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Lacoste

After Maria reveals a long history of affairs to her husband, she opts to spend the night at a hotel opposite their home. But this is a “magical night”, and it’s not long before time collapses upon itself opening a window into the past where young passions are revisited and the very concept of love, questioned.

 

SIBYL

Director: Justine Triet                                                           

Cast: Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel

Dissatisfied with her life, Sibyl, a psychiatrist, decides to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.  Casting professional ethics aside, she secretly uses the private sessions of her actress patient, Margot, as inspiration for her novel, a decision that irreversibly impacts upon both their lives.

 

SPREAD YOUR WNGS (Donne-moi des ailes)

Director: Nicolas Vanier                                                          

Cast: Jean-Paul Rouve, Mélanie Doutey, Louis Vazquez

Christian, a visionary scientist, studies wild birds. For his son, a teenager obsessed with video games, the idea of spending a vacation with his father in the middle of nature is a nightmare. However, father and son soon bond over a daring project to save an endangered species, which takes them on an incredible journey.

 

THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL (Les hirondelles de Kaboul)

Directors: Zabou Breitman, Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec                        

Voice: Simon Abkarian, Zita Hanrot, Swann Arlaud

Based on the cherished novel of the same name, this critically acclaimed, animated drama follows two couples living in the Afghan capital during the 90s and the impact Taliban rule has on each relationship. Through their individual love stories, unforgettable characters emerge amid the devastating impact of armed combat.

 

THE TRANSLATORS (Les traducteurs)

Director: Régis Roinsard                                                 

Cast: Lambert Wilson, Olga Kurylenko, Riccardo Scamarcio

Nine language experts, hired to translate the final book of a bestselling trilogy, are in lockdown within a luxurious bunker. But when the top-secret manuscript’s first ten pages appear online, their dream job implodes.  The culprit has to amongst them and the publisher is ready to do whatever it takes to unmask who it is.

 

TWO OF US (Deux)

Director: Filippo Meneghetti                                                    

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Martine Chevallier, Léa Drucker

In this emotionally compelling tale, pensioners Nina and Madeleine have hidden their deep and passionate love for many decades, but their bond is tested when circumstances trigger a series of events, preventing them from moving freely between each other’s apartments.

 

VERNON SUBUTEX

Director: Cathy Verney                                

Cast: Romain Duris, Céline Sallette, Florence Thomassin, Julie Fournier

When Vernon Subutex, an unemployed former owner of a once legendary record shop, is evicted from his flat, he’s helped by old friend rock star Alex Bleach. But Bleach’s sudden death makes Vernon a deadly target when it’s discovered that he’s in possession of 3 mysterious videotapes owned by Bleach.

 

WE’LL END UP TOGETHER (Nous finirons ensemble)

Director: Guillaume Canet                         

 Cast: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte

About to turn 60, nearly broke and estranged from his former friends, restaurateur Max embraces solitude at his soon-to-be-sold beach house.  So when his ex-buddies arrive for a surprise celebration, he turns them away. But this cannot be – something has to be done! The sequel to 2010’s star-studded comedy, LITTLE WHITE LIES.

 

ZOMBI CHILD

Director: Bertrand Bonello                            

Cast: Louise Labèque, Wislanda Louimat, Adilé David, Ninon François

Haiti, 1962…A man is resurrected from the dead and trapped in a nightmare of slavery. Modern-day Paris…Haitian teen Mélissa, the new girl at an elite school, is invited to join a secret ‘literary sorority’.  But the incendiary family secret she harbours becomes a source of fascination to others, who exploit her heritage with shocking results.

 

National dates and venues for the 2020 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:

     

SYDNEY:

 

10 March – 8 April

 

Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central & Hayden Orpheum Cremorne      

MELBOURNE:

 

11 March – 8 April

 

Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema             Como, Palace Westgarth, Kino Cinemas & The Astor Theatre

PERTH:

 

11 March – 8 April

 

Palace Raine Square, Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX,

Windsor Cinema & Camelot Outdoor Cinema

CANBERRA:

12 March – 8 April

Palace Electric Cinema

ADELAIDE:

17 March -14 April

Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinema

BRISBANE:

18 March -14 April

Palace Barracks & Palace James Street

HOBART:

19 – 28 March

State Cinema

AVOCA BEACH:

19 March – 1 April

Avoca Beach Picture Theatre

PARRAMATTA:

26 – 29 March

Riverside Theatres Parramatta

BYRON BAY:

31 March – 12 April

Palace Byron Bay

BENDIGO:

17 – 19 April

Star Cinema

BALLARAT:

17 -19 April

Regent Cinemas

 

You hear the saying ‘it was a dream come true’ used a lot about young actors and actresses. But never is it more appropriate then when you talk about young star Daisy Axon landing the lead role in the new Australian film H Is For Happiness. As Subculture found out when we sat down to talk to Axon she was a fan of the novel that the film was adapted from before she even had a chance to audition for the film.

“I knew the book a few years prior to when I knew it was going to be turned into a film,” the young star tells us. “Because my sister had the book at primary school and she lent it to me. So they ended up being quite special between us. I had read it and really loved it because I found that I related to the characters a lot. So when the email came through that said that it was being turned into a movie and that I would have the opportunity to audition for it I was pinching myself because I couldn’t believe it. I told my sister straight away.”

As we talk about what it is like winning the role of a character that you already love Axon said it didn’t make her more nervous. “I think it actually made me more confident if that makes sense,” she says. “I knew the character way more before the actual audition so it felt like her character was really clear to me, so it felt like I had really known for awhile, and that felt nice. When we actually got into filming of course I had nerves but I felt like I had Candace’s back and she had mine because she had been inside for such a long time.”

Candace of course is the character that Axon plays in the film – a character whose family have gone through a massive trauma and she is the win that feels like she can try and save her family from complete destruction. “Candace is a very unique character,” she explains. “She is full of optimism and she has a very unique view of the world compared to other people her age. She is able to see things in a very different light to her family who are under a very dark cloud. Her personality is one of the reasons that she is so headstrong and why she believes that she can fix her family. She has optimism, she is strong and she believes that she can do it. Plus she has her honesty which is a great personality trait, it does get her into trouble but it also makes the audience laugh and it is who she is so I wouldn’t change that.”

Of course the fact the film revolves around a family who are dealing with the loss of a child makes the performance for a young actress like Axon a lot harder. “I think from reading the book I had seen her traumas and her family’s grief,” explains Axon when I ask whether or not she had done any research into young people who had lost a sibling. “Naturally going onto set and seeing her room and where everything was going to be played out helped, especially the scene where Candace is asking her Mum if Douglas can come to the cemetery – when we practiced that scene it really felt like I got into her shoes and they helped me feel the grief that she was feeling.”

“I know you can play it both ways,” she says continuing. “That can be more of a light but because of the emotions that were running through me that day it made me feel like I wanted to just let loose and do what comes naturally. I think from the book and through the pre-production I was actually able to get some really interesting facts and those were things that I really did help me on set. But I think at other times I just let myself see what came naturally to Candace as a character as well.”

There is little doubt after watching H is For Happiness that Daisy Axon is going to be an actress with a huge future ahead of her. In performances here and in the amazing Judy & Punch suggest an actress that has maturity well beyond her years and the talent to make it big both in Australia and overseas.

 

H Is For Happiness opens in cinemas on February 6th.

 

The past twelve months may have been called the Year Of The Father for Australian actor Richard Roxburgh. From playing a father-like figure in Go-Kart drama Go! through to playing a father placed in a terrible predicament in Angel Of Mine. Now comes H Is For Happiness which once again sees Roxburgh play fatherly duties, this time he plays a damaged father whose family is being ripped apart by the trauma of losing a child. Meanwhile he is also in a bitter feud with his brother and it seems like the only person who wants to help the family is his very own daughter.

“I play a character called Jim Phee,” explains Roxburgh when he sits down to talk to Subculture about the film. “He is married to Emma Booth’s character and we are the parents of a twelve-year-old girl played by Daisy Axon and we have had a terrible incident in our life where one of our daughters, the younger sister to Daisy, has died. It does sound quite gloomy but it is incredibly funny and it is a beautiful big-hearted film and it is told pretty much through the eyes of Daisy’s character who is a kind of crazy optimist.”

As Roxburgh talks about the events that happen in the film we start to talk about the fact that while this is a film about a very dark period in the family’s life there is also an incredible light that shines through with the film as well. “Yeah, I think that is the point that it shows that kids kind of deal with grief, difficulty and adverseness in life in a very different way to we do,” he explains. “And I think that the film essentially brings that to life and shows this girl desperately trying to solve this puzzle of the sadness of her parents through the way that she sees the world – which is this incredibly vibrant and dynamic place which is full of larger than life characters.”

While the discussion goes on we begin to talk about the father roles that Roxburgh has played over the last twelve months and how he prepares himself to play fathers going through such traumatic experiences. “I guess it is not so much about research for a role like that,” he says after thinking about for a few seconds. “I am the father of three children myself so for a very large part of it I try to draw on my own experience and your own terrain – especially your emotional terrain as a parent and a father. You try to imagine what that would be like – having said that though there are always significantly different personalities so there is always that kind of work to do but that is the work that you do every time you do an individual new piece.”

Of course one of the major themes of H Is For Happiness is family and Roxburgh says the cast did get a little bit of time to bond to help out the younger actors as they prepared for the film. “We did get a little bit of time together,” he says. “It was a thirty day shoot so we didn’t get a lot of time but these kids were so, so great, they were such fabulous kids and they were so great to be around. I love working with kids because I just love their energy, so we had a short time to bond but I guess really it was just goofing off and having fun and making sure that they are okay with stuff.”

With some of the deep themes and emotional scenes in this film I asked Roxburgh how important it is for more experienced actors like himself to make sure that the young cast are dealing with it all. “It is always something to be reckoned with when you are working with kids,” he says after a deep breath. “You always want to them to be drawing on the thing that is really natural to them so that for them it doesn’t feel like they are acting because they are really drawing on the close version that they have of themselves, but in a really emotional scene, and in a scene that really counts you don’t really know as the director or one of the other actors that is in the scene how exactly it is going to go. But John Sheedy was a really wonderful director and he was great with the kids – he managed to really guide them through that stuff with great care.”

H Is For Happiness is one of those film that will make you laugh and it will make you cry but at the end of the day this is one of the most powerful movies you will see in 2020.

 

Summary: Two friends with very different ideals start a beauty company together. One is more practical while the other wants to earn her fortune and live a lavish lifestyle.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Miguel Arteta

Screenwriter: Sam Pitman, Adam Cole-Kelly

Cast: Jaylah Alise (Young Mia), Caroline Arapoglou (Brook), Rose Byrne (Mel Carter), Catherine Carlen (Aunt Margo), Jennifer Coolidge (Sydney), Aaron Dominguez (Justin), Ari Graynor (Angela), Brittany Guess (Ellie), Tiffany Haddish (Mia), Ryan Hansen (Greg), Salma Hayek (Claire Luna), Lisa Kudrow (cameo), Vanessa Merrell (Lux), Veronica Merrell (Zaylee),  Mackenzie Messick (Mackenzie), Donece Monk (herself), Billy Porter (Barrett), Natasha Rothwell (Jill), Melissa Saint-Amand (Jess), Karan Soni (Josh), Jessica St. Clair (Kim), Jimmy O. Yang (Ron), Lana Young (Shay Whittmore)

Running Time: 83 mins

Classification: M (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR LIKE A BOSS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Review


 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Review

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Like a Boss (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Like A Boss Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

Summary: The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 16th January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 23rd January 2020

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States, Mexico

Director: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Screenwriter: Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, Joe Carnahan,

Cast: Jay Amor (Rodrigo Vargas), Happy Anderson (Jenkins), Jeff JJ Authors (Felix the Forensics Guy), Jennifer Badger (Julie Weber), Sidnei Barboza (Tommy Bahama), Chick Bernhard (Judge Sorenson), Bianca Bethune (Megan), Thomas Brag (Jeffrey – Cake Boy), Tom Bui (Detective Austin), Damian Butler (Lt. Butler), Kate del Castillo (Isabel Aretas), DJ Khaled (Manny), Bilall Fallah (Fael), Massi Furlan (Terry Taglin), Dennis Greene (Reggie), Carlos Guerrero (javier), Vanessa Hudgens (Kelly), Nicky Jam (Zway-Lo), Melissa Kennemore (Major Patel Miami PD), Martin Lawrence (Marcus), Alexander Ludwig (Dorn), Dennis McDonald (Reggie), Charles Melton (Rafe), Ivo Nandi (Carver Remy), Paolo Nunez (Rita), Joe Pantoliano (Captain Howard), Nick Puya (Sargaent Normand Harris), Theresa Randle (Theresa), Leah Renee-K (Officer Hemminger), Eduardo Rosario (the Butcher), Jacob Scipio (Armando Aretas), Will Smith (Mike), Lindsay Thaxton (Detective Rodriguez), Buddy Watkins (Officer Kittes),

Running Time: 124 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia) 15 (Thailand)

 

 

OUR BAD BOYS FOR LIFE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

Is there a more terrifying word in Hollywood than reboot? Well if you are serious movie fan who adores the movies and television shows of the 1980s and 1990s I would certainly say no. It didn’t take Hollywood long to realise that there was still money in recreating the fan favourites of the past but as the recent animated version of The Addams Family showed these reboots rarely capture the magic of the originals.

It’s for that reason so many people have been nervous about the release of Bad Boys For Life. For an entire generation of film fans Bad Boys and Bad Boys II are the epitomes of what a good action films should be. A semi-believable storyline, great action sequences, lead actors who ooze charisma and a witty script that knows when it is okay to allow a laugh or two.

Whenever the mention was made that Bad Boys III was in the works people almost treated it as blasphemy and then as more than a decade passed it seemed less and less likely that it would ever happen. But now fifteen years after the last film in the franchise Bad Boys For Life hits cinemas and I am happy to say that it bucks all trends and gives us what well could be the best installment in the franchise to date.

In fact I may have just accidentally nailed why this movie works so well. While it is technically a re-boot such is the feel of the movie it just seems like it is simply the third film. Nothing is re-set here the action just starts up fifteen years after Bad Boys II. Detectives Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) still patrol Miami with wit and charm bringing the bad guys down with their own way of Policing. However, things change forever when Marcus starts to think about retirement after becoming a grandfather and a cold-blooded assassin shows up in town with Mike in his sights.

The first thing that hits you about this film is the ability that directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have with incorporating the new with the old. The opening sequence from the film is a homage to the first film and while Mike and Marcus have not changed at all they fit in extremely well with the new characters including Kelly (Vanessa Hudgens) and Rita (Paola Nunez). From there the film remains aimed at the original fans of the franchise – it is adult orientated and never once does it feel like the film is even slightly slanted at trying to attract a younger audience.

You also begin to realise that these filmmakers also know a thing or two about how to make good action films. The duo have cred from their award-winning film Black and with Bad Boys For Life they take the bigger budget and run with it without over-awing their audience. They seem to mirror what the young Michael Bay did with the first two films and infuse a believable cop story with elements of action without over-doing it to the point with belief has to be suspended. There is also a great plot twist here that suits the story and like other major plot points in the film contains true heart.

Perhaps the most important thing for the film though is that the amazing chemistry between Smith and Lawrence returns. Sure Smith has delivered some terrible films over the years (and Gemini Man is still fresh in everyone’s minds) but here he is back at his stunning best. He mixes comedy, action and drama at will and better still gets to bounce off the amazing timing of his good buddy Martin Lawrence. And yes, despite the naysayers before this film was released… Lawrence still has it.

The two stars are also well-supported by the rest of the cast. Kate del Castillo often steals the show playing the very Bond-villain like Isabel Aretas while Nunez, Hudgens, Happy Jackson and Charles Melton play the kind of new-breed cops that you can easily see continue to move this franchise along for the next few years.

Bad Boys For Life is a film that is going to be adored by the original fans of this franchise. The magic, the style and the charisma all returns with a storyline that goes above and beyond what any of us could have hoped for. Cast all the doubts aside because this is action cinema at its very finest.

 

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Review:

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:   Bad Boys for Life (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Bad Boys For Life Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

Summary: When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 9th January 2020

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane

Screenwriter: Brad Copeland, Lloyd Taylor

Cast: Rachel Brosnahan (Wendy (voice), Jarrett Bruno (Young Walter/Pigeon Voice (voice)), Min-Hyuck Jang (Joon (voice)), DJ Khaled (Ears (voice)), Karen Gillan (Eyes (voice)), Tom Holland (Walter (voice)), Carla Jimenez (Geraldine (voice)), Rashida Jones (Macy (voice)), Peter S. Kim (Joon (voice)), Reba McEntire (Joyless (voice)), Ben Mendelsohn (Killian (voice)), Masi Oka (Kimura (voice)), Will Smith (Lance (voice)), Youn So (Soo-Min (voice)), Randy Trager (Terrance/Pigeon Voice (voice)),

Running Time: 102 mins

Classification: PG (Australia) G (Thailand)

 

 

OUR SPIES IN DISGUISE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

A film where a super-hero turns into a pigeon shouldn’t work, no even the notion of such a film would probably have you laughing and wondering whether or not the film deserves to be placed in the same pile as the ridiculous Sharknado. But let the laughter subside because somehow Spies In Disguise not only works but is pure entertainment from start to finish.

The fact that the film works is probably good news for Will Smith (Men In Black) who certainly needs a winner after the absolute shocker that was Gemini Man. In this animation Smith voices Lance Sterling, the greatest spy the world has ever seen. However Sterling’s career is placed in jeopardy when he comes up against arch-villain Killian (Ben Mendolsohn – Ready Player One) who frames Sterling and makes it look like he is using a killer drone to do his own dirty work.

Sterling vows to clear his name when he is confronted by an eager young agent named Marcy Kappel (Rashida Jones – The Social Network) who is hellbent on arresting him. However when Sterling is escaping he is forced to take the nerdy and socially inept inventor Walter (Tom Holland – Spider-Man: Far From Home) with him after he accidentally drinks a liquid that turns him into a pigeon. Now with the lives of many in danger it is up to the Sterling pigeon and the out-of-his-depth Walter to try and save the day.

Like we mentioned previously the whole film’s premise sounds so far out of this world that it simply wouldn’t work, but somehow the screenplay by Brad Copeland (Wild Hogs) and Lloyd Taylor (The Wild) pulls everything together and has it work perfectly. To put it simply the film works because Copeland and Taylor never try to make this film anything that it’s not. They know the premise of the film is ridiculous and they simply go with that ‘flow.’ When Sterling is in human form they make the film a serviceable James Bond parody and when he is pigeon form they are gifted enough comedy writers to be able to introduce an influx of bird jokes and slap-stick comedy that is actually funny.

Perhaps the most important thing though is that Copeland and Taylor alongside the film’s two directors Nick Bruno (first time director) and Troy Quane (The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol) have given this film heart. Never at any time when you watch this film do you feel that this was a film made just to generate some cash at the box office. Yes despite the whole ridiculous nature of the film’s premise from start to finish this feels like a film that was made by a group of people who genuinely believed in the story at hand. The result is a film that will be lapped up by its audience as it goes from a moment of true comedy through to a far-fetched action sequence that totally works and will then rest for a moment as it explores the notion that Walter is actually emotionally hurt by some of the more traumatic events that have occurred during his life. It is moments like that that makes Spies In Disguise resonate so well with its audience.

The team behind this film also completely nailed the voice casting of the film. Will Smith is the absolute perfect choice to play a cooler-than-cool spy while Tom Holland shows real style as he branches out and gives Walter real characterisation through his vocal work alone. At no point in the film did his unique Spider-Man voice become apparent which was something I was worried about when first sitting down to watch the film.

While expecting very little from Spies In Disguise this was one animation that really surprised me. Like Teen Titans Go To The Movies and Planet 51 before it Spies In Disguise manages to overcome the obstacle of having a ridiculous premise and somehow becomes a film that reminds you just how magical cinema can be sometimes. While some of the violence of the film may not make it friendly for younger children this is certainly a film that will be enjoyed by kids who are older enough to sit down and enjoy something like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe you still think Spies In Disguise sounds like a ridiculous waste of time but trust me you write off this film at your own peril.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Spies in Disguise (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment SpiesIn Disguise Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

 

Summary: In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to rescue one of their own, the players will have to brave parts unknown from arid deserts to snowy mountains, to escape the world’s most dangerous game.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December 2019

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 25th December 2019

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Jake Kasdan

Screenwriter: Jake Kasdan, Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenburg, Chris Van Allsburg (book)

Cast: Awkwafina (Ming Fleetfoot), MichaelBeaslley (Coach Davis), Sarah Bennani (Andi Tow), Jack Black (Professor Sheldon ‘Shelly’ Oberon), Ser’Darius Blain (Anthony ‘Fridge’ Johnson), John Ross Bowie (Cavendish), Rhys Darby (Nigel Billingsworth), Danny DeVito (Edward ‘Eddie’ Gilpin), Massi Furlan (Switchblade), Karen Gillan (Ruby Roundhouse), Danny Glover (Milo Walker), Colin Hanks (Alex Vreeke), Kevin Hart (Franklin ‘Mouse’ Finbar), Jared Hasmuk (Dagfin), Madison Iseman (Bethany Walker), Dwayne Johnson (Dr. Smolder Bravestone), Nick Jonas (Jefferson ‘Seaplane’ McDonough), Sal Longobardo (Tony), Rory McCann (Jorgen The Brutal), Bebe Neuwirth (Nora Shepherd), Deobia Oparei (Gromm), Dania Ramirez (Flame), Ashley Scott (Ashley),  Morgan Turner (Martha Kapley)

Running Time: 123 mins

Classification: PG (Australia) G (Thailand)

 

 

OUR JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

Cinema fans rejoice the true dream team are back. Yes a team made up of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black may seem like a strange line-up for what is essentially an action adventure film, but nobody gets things done like these guys do. No one seemed to predict just how successful of a film Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle was going to be back in 2019 and once again people seem caught out but the arrival of the latest film in the franchise and just how good it is.

Picking up a few years after the events of Welcome To The Jungle we find our original players coming together for the first time since they graduated from High School. Spencer (Alex Wolff) and Martha (Morgan Turner) have split up and Spencer finds himself in a rut that sees him separate himself from his friends.

Determined to try and put some spark back into his life Spencer begins to put the Jumanji game back together and places himself back in the world of the video game. When they discover that he is missing his friends decide to go into the game to rescue him but in doing so accidentally take Spencer’s grandfather Eddie (Danny DeVito) and his ex-best friend Milo (Danny Glover) with them. From there it is once again up to the team of Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Franklin Finbar (Kevin Hart) and the Professor (Jack Black) to once again save Jumanji.

With so many franchises staying beyond their welcome these days I can imagine there are a few people out there who are rolling their eyes and thinking ‘oh no, not another one’ when it comes to Jumanji. The good news though is director/screenwriter Jake Kasdan once again finds new ways to bring a freshness to the franchise. The inclusion of Danny DeVito and Danny Glover is the cast enhances this film in a way nobody could have predicted. As well as their character’s storyline adding a little bit more personal drama to the plot but seeing Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson have then to take on the characteristics off DeVito and Glover is absolutely priceless and shows both actors did have more range than many would have predicted. The same goes for Awkwafina who later has to carry the DeVito mantle and does it with brilliant comedic timing.

It is the comedy of Jumanji: The Next Level which also makes the film such a pleasure to watch. Kasdan seems to be able to mix genres throughout this film in a way that very few filmmakers can. Often a film that tries to mix comedy, drama and action would feel disjointed but here Kasdan can go from a scene of pure comedy between Johnson and Hart to an action sequence where all the characters’ lives are placed in danger and it seems just perfectly natural.

The big difference this time around is that the action scenes, excuse the pun, feel like they have gone to the next level. The ostrich attack and the monkey battle on swinging bridges are right up there as some of the best action sequences that you will see in cinemas this year and they only further enhance the video game feel that the film portrays throughout.

As we mentioned earlier Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart steal the show as they try to mimic Danny DeVito and Danny Glover. Hart actually produces some of the best acting of his career as he portrays a character who feels like he owes his former best friend a lot but just can’t break away from his bad habit of over-explaining things. Credit must also be paid to Karen Gillan who is sensational when it comes to the action and fighting sequences throughout the film showing why she is one of the most under-rated action stars going around.

It has taken nearly all year to get there but Jumanji: The Next Level is one of the most enjoyable action films of this year. The film has the right mix of drama, comedy and action and contains one of the best ensemble casts we’ve seen on the big screen for a long time.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating: Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Jumanji: The Next Level Reviews: N/A

Trailer: