Category: Music / Musicals

Step Up All In

Summary: All-stars from the previous Step Up installments come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their dreams and their careers.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 11th September, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Trish Sie

Screenwriter: John Swetnam, Duane Adler (characters)

Cast: Chaton Anderson (Sophie), Leslie Arcos (Santana Gomez), Stephen Boss (Jason), Jay Brazeau (Mr. McGowan), Celestina (herself), Frank Crudele (Boris), Briana Evigan (Andie), Parris Goebel (Violet), Ryan Guzman (Sean), Misha Gabriel Hamilton (Eddy), Stephen Stevo Jones (Jasper), Mari Koda (Jenny Kido), Karin Konoval (Ana), Facundo Lombard (Marcos Santiago), Martin Lombard (Martin Santiago), Izabella Miko (Alexxa Brava), Luis Rosado (Monster), Christopher Scott (Hair), Adam Sevani (Moose), David Shreibman (Chad), Chadd Smith (Vladd), Cyrus Spencer (Gauge), Alyson Stoner (Camille), Dzajna ‘Jaja’ Vankova (Robot Girl)

Runtime: 112 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR STEP UP ALL IN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Step Up All In review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2.5)

 

David Griffiths:

Yes it is the franchise that just won’t die, no matter how much film lovers rant and rave over it or wish for its demise. But seriously who can blame the executive producers for keeping it going now that they have discovered that these dance films cost very little to make and thanks to teenage girls right around the world end up making hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.

Step Up All In is supposed to be the All-Star Game of this franchise as the best characters/dancers from the previous films line up under the guidance of Sean (Ryan Guzman), Andie (Briana Evigan) and of course the lovable Moose (Adam Sevani) as they try to not only take out the prize offered by a reality show called The Vortex, but prove that dancing can be a fulltime job.

Now I’m actually going to go in and bat for this film a little because despite some of this franchise’s clichéd, recycled storylines and one-dimensional characters creeping in the film does more than enough to please its demographic. The film’s dance sequences are spectacular (despite the fact we are led to believe the characters came up with the finale in just a few hours), and there is more than enough Guzman flesh to keep the teeny boppers happy.

Step Up All In also take a fair swipe at reality television labelling it scripted and corrupt… so it needs to be congratulated for passing that message across to its’ audience. While the storyline revolving around television host Alexxa Brava was let down by Izabella Miko’s acting (was she trying to channel Lady Gaga and the crazy host from The Hunger Games?) at least it tried to make a good point, something that has been rare in Step Up films of the past.

Of course I could also write an entire essay on the weakness of the cast’s acting abilities (is that Asian actress one of the worst actresses to ever hit the big screen???) but of course people don’t go see a Step Up movie to see a Shakespearian performance do they? They’re here for the dancing and that’s about it. Oh, and talking about the Step Up cast, if you’re wondering whether Channing Tatum decides to return to the franchise that made him a name, no he doesn’t, he obviously thinks he is above all this now.

Step Up All In isn’t going to win any awards, but to its credit it also won’t bore its audience to death like some other dance movies have in the past. Now we just have to all sit back and watch as the producers once again count all the cash that comes in.

Stars(2.5)

 

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

 

IMDB Rating: Step Up All In (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Step Up All In′: For our full Step Up All In review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #96 . You can also read Dave’s Step Up All In 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:

 

Sunshine On Leith

Summary: Home is where the heart is for best pals Davy and Ally. Returning from duty in Afghanistan to their lifelong residence in Leith just outside Edinburgh, the lads kindle romances old and new: Ally with Davy’s sister Liz, and Davy with Yvonne, his little sis’s best friend from work. Meanwhile, their parents Rab and Jean are busy planning their 25th wedding anniversary. Everything’s going swimmingly, until a revelation from Rab’s past threatens to tear the family and all three couples apart.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Screenwriter: Stephen Greenhorn

Cast: Emily-Jane Boyle (Christine), Paul Brannigan (Ronnie), Elaine M. Ellis (Morag), Jason Flemying (Harry), Kevin Guthrie (Ally), Emma Hartley-Miller (Janice), Jane Horrocks (Jean), George MacKay (Davy), Freya Mavor (Liz), Paul McCole (Ewan), Peter Mullan (Rab),  John Spence (Brendan), Gaye Telfer Stevens (Francine), Antonia Thomas (Yvonne), Sara Vickers (Eilidh)

Runtime: 100 mins

Classification: PG

OUR SUNSHINE ON LEITH REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Sunshine On Leith review on www.filmreviews,net.au

Stars(3.5)

 

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

 

IMDB Rating:  Sunshine on Leith (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Sunshine On Leith′: For our full Sunshine On Leith review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Trailer:

The Broken Circle Breakdown

Summary: Director Felix Van Groeningen introduces two star-crossed lovers: Didier, a musician, and Elise, a tattooed singer. Music resonates throughout the film and their passionate relationship. They even name their daughter Maybelle, after a famous country singer. But when Maybelle is diagnosed with a serious illness, the couple cope differently.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 15th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Belgium, Netherlands

Director: Felix Van Groeningen

Screenwriter: Carl Joos, Felix van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeesch, Johan Heldenbergh (play), Mieke Dobbels (play)

Cast: Veerle Baetens (Elise Vandevelde/Alabama), Jan Bijvoet (Koen), George W. Bush (himself), Nell Cattrysse (Maybelle), Robbie Cleiren (Jimmy), Nils De Caster (Jock), Blanka Heirman (Denise), Johan Heldenbergh (Didier Bontinck/Monroe), Bert Huysentruyt (Jef), Geert van Rampelberg (William)

Runtime: 111 mins

Classification: MA15+

OUR THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

David Griffiths:

Films as dramatic and as intense as The Broken Circle Breakdown are few and far between. Often when a director is given a deep topic such as a child battling illness they avoid the issue of upsetting their audience by holding back and making the film in a Mills & Boon style – the topic is touched upon but it is in a light and fluffy way. That certainly isn’t the case for one of the latest films out of Belgium, The Broken Circle Breakdown.

Based on theatre piece written by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels The Broken Circle Breakdown revolves around the relationship of Didier Bontinck (Johan Heldenbergh – Come As You Are, TV’S De Riddler) a musician who celebrates everything American, especially bluegrass music, and Elise Vandevelde (Veerle Baetens – Halfweg, TV’S Cordon) a tattoo artist he meets by chance.

The film criss-crosses between how Didier and Elise originally got together and ended up performing in a band together and also between a time in their marriage when they learn that their only child, Maybelle (Nell Cattrysse – Het Vonnis), is battling cancer. The film ends up chronicling the full journey from erotic playful dalliances right through to a couple whose relationship is in extreme breakdown.

Perhaps the strangest thing about this film is that the style that director Felix van Groeningen (The Misfortunates, With Friends Like These) has decided to use to tell the story is both its biggest weakness and its greatest strength. At times the criss-crossing of the time periods throughout the story does become annoying but then as the film finishes you realise that once you have seen the whole story play out everything fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. The audience may find themselves feeling a little lost at times but stick with it because there is a handsome reward for those brave enough to watch this film through to the end credits.

The screenplay does allow for this film to become harrowing at times. If watching Maybelle get sicker and sicker isn’t gut wrenching enough then watching Didier and Elise self-destruct on each other certainly is. The intensity of the scenes shared between the two as their relationship collapses is emotional and confronting, but it is also what makes this such a brilliant film as well. The fact that the film also doesn’t try and take its audience into a ‘nice’ place is a welcome relief from the Hollywood fluff that most cinemas like to serve up to its patrons.

The Broken Circle Breakdown’s script also doesn’t miss its point with tackling some other deeper issues. Watching Didier’s love of America slowly disintegrate as he watches President Bush denounce the use of stem-cell research takes this film to a whole new level, as does his five minute tirade against religion mid-concert as his confused audience and emotional band-mates watch on. It’s moments like these that you realise that cinema is still one of the most powerful ways for a person to get their message across to the masses.

Credit must also be paid to the lead actors, Johan Heldenbergh and Veerle Baetens, for their performances in bringing this amazing screenplay to the screen. Heldenbergh seems to become totally taken over by his character throughout the film and when he is called upon to show real emotion and anger on the screen he does so with a brilliance that would have earned an American actor as Oscar for their performance. Heldenbergh knows there is more to showing anger on screen then yelling and stamping your feet and the images of his screaming abuse with spit flying from his mouth will be something that sticks in this reviewers mind for a long time to come. Baetens also puts in a sensational performance as she takes her character Elise from a journey of being the erotic vixen to the heartbroken mother who is watching her world crash down around her.

From the best screenplays to hit cinemas in a long while to two of the most amazing acting performances of 201 there is a lot to like about The Broken Circle Breakdown. Added to that is a sensational bluegrass soundtrack and a gritty ending that shows that some filmmakers are still willing to take chances. This surprise hit is one film that serious film lovers shouldn’t overlook in 2014.

 

Stars(5)

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

IMDB Rating:  The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown′: Please check our full The Zero Theorem review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #79

Trailer:

121212

Summary: A mix of live performances and behind-the-scenes footage from the televised benefit concert to raise relief funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Amir Bar-Lev

Screenwriter: Nil.

Cast: Jon Bon Jovi (himself), Steve Buscemi (himself), Eric Clapton (himself), Roger Daltrey (himself), Tony Danza (himself), Michael Dempsey (himself), James Dolan (himself), Dave Grohl (himself), Jake Gyllenhaal (himself), Mick Jagger (himself), Billy Joel (himself), Alicia Keys (herself), Chris Martin (himself), Paul McCartney (himself), Keith Richards (himself), Chris Rock (himself), Adam Sandler (himself), Bruce Springsteen (himself), Michael Stipe (himself), John Sykes (himself),, Quentin Tarantino (himself), Pete Townsend (himself), Eddie Vedder (himself), Roger Waters (himself), Charlie Watts (himself), Harvey Weinstein (himself), Kanye West (himself),
Runtime: 106 mins

Classification: M

OUR 12-12-12 REVIEWS & RATINGS:

David Griffiths:

It was the night that was put together to help aid the New Yorkers that were suffering in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, what it became was one of the biggest concerts held in music history. It was the night that saw Paul McCartney technically become the lead vocalist for Nirvana, the night that Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder put his Jimmy Fallon Show faux-pas and performed with the legendary Roger Waters, the night that REM’S Michael Stipe joined forces with Coldplay’s Chris Martin and to top it off the night when legends like Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel and The Who looked down off the stage and saw a pit filled with the unlikely combination of Chris Rock, Quentin Tarantino, Kristen Stewart, Miles Teller and Michael Chiklis… just to name a few.

The good thing for music fans that couldn’t be at Madison Square Gardens for the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy relief concert is the fact that former Beatles front man Paul McCartney knew that something big was going on and had the foresight to capture the night on video. Teaming up with documentary filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev has seen McCartney end up being the executive producer of one of the most interesting and entertaining doccos that is likely to hit the screens in 2014.

12-12-12 isn’t simply just a re-run of the concert footage that went to air on the night of the concert, no Bar-Lev goes a lot deeper than that. The docco itself almost tells three stories, it shows the horror of the night that Sandy touched down in New York, it then tells the story of those that put their own safety last and reached out to help those affected in the tragedies aftermath and then shows all the hard work that the likes of Harvey Weinstein went into putting together this massive concert in just three weeks. The fact that of all us is intermixed with some brilliant live performances by some of the world’s greatest artists makes this a touching human interest documentary that is also likely to enthral any serious music fans.

Bar-Lev skills as a filmmaker are clearly on show for all to see in 12-12-12. Most directors would have simply just inserted some Hurricane Sandy footage into the concert footage and delivered it to the masses, but Bar-Lev goes deeper than that even showing the frantic pace that all involved in this concert went three in the days leading up to it and on the actual night. He shows the meltdown of some of the staff when it is realised that so many credit card donations are being made per second that the whole computer system is crashing, he shows the cool and calm owner of Google stepping in to fix the problem when nobody else seems able to. He also captures moments when stars became star struck themselves, moments like when Quentin Tarantino goes into complete surprise meeting Reggie Jackson and Chris Rock standing looking at the stage like a small child looking up at a Christmas Tree. Then there are the amazing interviews of those who survived Sandy, the volunteer firefighters who watched their own homes burn not being able to do a thing and an amazing insight from Tony Danza into what it means to be American. They are the things that most filmmakers would have overlooked… not so Bar-Lev.

12-12-12 is a documentary that no music fan should miss, it is also the kind of film that anyone who needs to renew their faith in mankind needs to see. It’s a film that looks at how community should pull together in the face of a tragedy whether they be your average Joe on the street or a wealthy musician… oh and this is a film that also shows us that Adam Sandler can still be funny when he wants to be. This is one documentary that shouldn’t be missed.

Stars(5)

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

IMDB Rating:  12-12-12 (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘12-12-12′: For our complete review of 12-12-12 please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #77.

Trailer:

Inside Llewyn Davis

Summary: Shambolic and and self-absorbed, Llewyn (Oscar Isaac) is a penniless musician trying to make it as a solo artist. Roughing it on the couches of barely sympathetic friends, he scores the occasional gig at a bar in Greenwich Village but struggles to break through despite earlier success with his former musical partner Mike. Things go from hapless to hopeless when Llewyn discovers that his fling with married songstress Jean (Carey Mulligan) has resulted in a very unwanted pregnancy..

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 16th January, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, France

Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Screenwriter: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Cast: Robin Bartlett (Lillian Gorfein), Max Casella (Pappi Corsicato), Richard Cordero (Nunzio), Adam Driver (Al Cody), John Goodman (Roland Turner), Jerry Grayson (Mel Novikoff), Garrett Hedlund (Johnny Five), Helen Hong (Janet Fung), Oscar Isaac (Llewyn Davis), Ian Jarvis (Cromartie), Alex Karpovsky (Marty Green), Sylvia Kauders (Ginny), Bradley Mott (Joe Flom), Carey Mulligan (Jean), Ethan Phillips (Mitch Gorfein), Bonnie Rose (Dodi Gamble), Michael Rosner (Arlen Gamble), Stark Sands (Troy Nelson), Jeanine Serralles (Joy), Justin Timberlake (Jim)

Runtime: 103 mins

Classification:M

OUR INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS REVIEWS & RATINGS

Greg King: Stars(3.5)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ that is available on http://www.filmreviews.net.au/

David Griffiths:

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is a strange film. Not strange in the Terrence Malick-you’ll-never-understand-this-in-a-million-years way but strange in the sense that the Coen Brothers seem to want to break so many film making laws with the film that is should be universally despised. Instead it turns out to be a warm film that slowly grows on its audience.

The film follows Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) a down on his luck musician who dreams of one day making it big, despite the fact that everything he touches turns to crap. He has no home and instead just drifts from couch-to-couch, whether it be the rich couch of Mitch Gorfein (Ethan Phillips), that leads to an adventure with their cat, or the couch of his musician buddy, Jim (Justin Timberlake).

Just when it seems that is life couldn’t go lower Llewyn discovers that he has now got Jim’s partner Jean (Carey Mulligan) pregnant and his new album is making no money at all. Faced with the fact that he needs to make money fast for Jean’s abortion he tries one last desperate bid to get his career on track.

The Coen’s have bad “Inside Llewyn Davis” a slow film but they also seem to do the impossible and make a film likable where all the characters are unlikable. Llewyn is far from likable, yet for some reason you find yourself barracking for him to get somewhere in life. Then there is a Jean a bad tempered character whose easy stance on abortion will sit uneasily with some audience members. Yet there is something in the power of the Coen’s writing that makes you want to like this film. Characters such as the heroin addicted, foul-mouthed jazz musician Roland Turner (John Goodman) may be unlikable but they sure are memorable.

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is also one of those films that strangely makes you realise (after the credits have rolled) that not much actually happened throughout the film, yet for some reason it never, ever gets to the point where it is boring. The story meanders its way through a short period of Llewyn’s life and the journey is made sweeter by the fact that it contains a dreamy folk music soundtrack that is enhanced by the great vocal stylings of Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver. If you don’t like folk music however then you don’t stand a chance of being drawn into this film.

As is the case with most Coen brothers films the film is brilliant cast. Isaac excels in a challenging role that sees him having to not only act but sing songs in their entirely, yes in a way this film is a musical. Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake are serviceable yet underused in their roles while just like so many of his recent films John Goodman steals the show playing an over-the-top character that just sadly seems to peters out as the film goes on.

This is very much a film that will divide audiences and critics alike. Some will like it’s alternative style of story-telling while others will feel that the fact it goes around in one big circle and doesn’t really go anywhere makes it very, very annoying. “Inside Llewyn Davis” is an acquired taste but it is one that I quickly warmed to.

Stars(4)

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

IMDB Rating:  Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #65 for our full 47 Ronin 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:

Battle Of The Year Poster

Summary: An American b-boy crew heads to France to compete at the Battle of the Year International Championships.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 12th December, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Benson Lee

Screenwriter: Brin Hill, Chris Parker, Benson Lee

Cast: Laz Alonso (Dante Graham), Joshua Lee Ayers (Mayhem),Gil Brace-Wessel (Gillatine), Chris Brown (Rooster), Jesse  ‘Casper’ Brown (Rebel), Michael Carrasco (Kilowatt), Anis Cheurfa (Anis), Donnie ‘Crumbs’ Counts (Villain), Jon ‘Do Knock’ Cruz (Do Knock), Jesse Erwin (James), Giovanni V. Giusti (Brian), Demetrius Grosse (Scott), Thomas Hergenrother (himself), Josh Holloway (Jason Blake), Morris Isby (Intricate), Terrence J (himself), Kirsty Johnson (Valerie), Kamel (himself), Victor Kim (Aces), Paul Kirkland (Paul), Daniel Liechty (Dani), Caity Lotz (Stacy), Jay Luchs (Benson), Richard Maguire (Lil Adonis), Oren Michaeli (Coldeye), Melvin Odoom (himself), Natalya Oliver (Janice), Josh Peck (Franklyn), Jonathan ‘Legacy’ Perez (Swat), J.D. Rainey (Flair), Luis Rosado (Bambino), Weronika Rosati (Jolene), Dominic Sandoval (Grifter), David ‘Kid David’ Shreibman (Kid), Richie ‘Abstrak’ Soto (Abbstarr), Sammy Soto (Samo), Keith Stallworth (Gatland), Storm (himself), Sway (himself), Rafael ‘Spaz’ Szulc-Vollmann (MC Spax), Steve Terada (Sight), Albert ‘Trix’ Thompson (MC Trix), Ivan ‘Flipz’ Verez (Flipz), Sawandi Wilson (Sniper)

Runtime: 110 mins

Classification:PG

OUR BATTLE OF THE YEAR REVIEWS & RATINGS

Greg King: Stars(2.5)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘Battle Of The Year’ that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

David Griffiths:

The whole dance film genre has become a little bit of a joke over the last few years. You realise that when you can sit down with a friend and try to predict what is going to happen before you go into a film such as “Battle Of The Year.”

Films such as “Streetdance” and “Step Up” have really just been working to a pretty basic formula for the past few years… so much so in fact that you can nearly predict when and what exactly is going to happen. They’ll be an underachieving crew that needs to have some discipline brought in before a major event, two people will fall in love and that will cause problems and then of course there will be the dramatic moment of someone having to pull out at the actual event because a secret has been revealed around them.

Well obviously it wasn’t just the cinema going audience that became sick of this formula because with “Battle Of The Year” director Benson Lee takes that normal formula screws it and throws it in the bin. It is obvious that Lee wanted something different with this film, and in doing so he’s created a much better film for film lovers.

Surprisingly “Battle Of The Year” is a dance film that has a plot. The film opens with one of the most celebrated B-Boy dancers of all time, Dante Graham (Laz Alonso), absolutely disgusted at the fact that the genre of dance that he once created is no longer considered cool. Worse still is the fact that whenever the Americans compete in the annual ‘Battle Of The Year’ competition in France they never even make the finals anymore.

Dante decides to do something about it so he calls in is damaged friend Jason Blake (Josh Holloway), a gifted basketball coach who has turned to alcoholism to deal with the pain of losing his wife and son in a car accident.

Despite hesitations Date soon as Blake looking at the current U.S. team but to everybody’s shock Blake sacks the entire team and decides to start looking for a whole new crew. Dante decides to let him and soon Blake is working with the likes of Franklyn (Josh Peck) and Stacy (Caity Lotz) to hastily mould this team into something that will be competitive at the big event.

Of course some of the dancers have problems and they clash with Blake and his hard-lined training methods. Then there are Rooster (Chris Brown) and Do Knock (Jon ‘Do Knock’ Cruz), the two most talented dancers in the crew, but the fact they hold a grudge with each other threatens to derail the entire crew before it even has a chance to compete.

Okay so it would be a lie to suggest that Benson Lee has created anything that deserves to be award nominated, but he does do enough with “Battle Of The Year” to make it different to the other films in the genre. He develops back stories for a lot of the characters, he even has Blake having all the traits of a Darren Aronofsky character, he removes the clichés such as the predictable love story and even decides to remember that a dance film needs a ‘film’ element to it and creates characterisation and plot. Yes he dares to make dance secondary to plot.

To his credit Lee also takes some huge risks with this film. He bases his plot formula on the sports films such as “The Mighty Ducks” or “Coach Carter” and as a result ends up with a film that won’t exactly put those not into dance to sleep. He removes his characters from the sexy U.S. street setting and places them in a bland prison and has topics such as teenage fatherhood and alcoholism bubbling away under the surface – he doesn’t focus on them but has them simmering away providing tension without too much effort.

“Battle Of The Year” also separates itself from other films in the genre by allowing the actors to do what they do best – act!!! Josh Holloway seems to relish getting to play a ‘tragic’ character while Josh Peck and Caity Lotz do their thing without exactly setting the world on fire.

The bit of grit to the script allows for Laz Alonso to bring some dramatic grunt to his role (didn’t expect that in a dance film) while newcomer to the acting stakes Chris Brown doesn’t turn his performance into the car-wreck that many thought he would deliver. The controversial star seems to enjoy playing a headstrong, vain dancer and does little wrong in the portrayal.

“Battle Of The Year” certainly ain’t film of the year but it doesn’t even close to becoming one of the worst films of the year either. Credit must be paid to Benson Lee for daring to do something a little different in the dance film genre.

 Stars(3)

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

IMDB Rating:  Battle of the Year (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Battle Of The Year′: Please check our Battle Of The Year review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 62.

Trailer:

One Direction Poster

Summary: An all-access pass to the British pop sensation One Direction live in concert. Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis’ meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on the X-Factor, to conquering the world.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th September, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Morgan Spurlock

Screenwriter: Nil

Cast: Sandy Beales (himself), Simon Cowell (himself), Josh Devine (himself), Niall Horan (himself), Zayn Malik (himself), Liam Payne (himself), Dan Richards (himself), Chris Rock (himself), Martin Scorsese (himself), Jon Shone (himself), Harry Styles (himself), Louis Tomilson (himself),

Runtime: 92 mins

Classification:PG

OUR REVIEWS/RATINGS OF ‘ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US’:

David Griffiths: Stars(2)

Please check Dave’s review of ‘One Direction: This Is Us’ that is available on The Helium Entertainment Channel

Greg King: Stars(2)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘One Direction: This Is Us’ that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

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

IMDB Rating:  One Direction: This Is Us (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘One Direction: This Is Us′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Ep 51 for a more in depth review of ‘One Direction: This Is Us’.

Trailer: