Tagged: Barry Humphries

Blinky Bill The Movie

Summary: Blinky Bill (voiced by Ryan Kwanten) the mischievous koala is devastated when his father, Bill Koala (Richard Roxburgh) leaves their home town and goes exploring in the outback but hasn’t returned after twelve months. Despite promising his mother (Deborah Mailman) that he won’t Blinky heads off to look for him.

Soon Blinky is joined by an accidentally freed zoo koala named Nutsy (Robin McLeavy) and a crazy filled neck lizard called Jacko (David Wenham) as he battles the dangerous outside world in a bid to find his Dad. The journey is made even more dangerous by the fact that they are being pursued by a cranky cat (Rufus Sewell) who wants to make the koalas his dinner.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 17th September 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia, USA

Director: Deane Taylor, Noel Cleary, Alexs Stadermann, Alex Weight

Screenwriter: Not listed

Cast: Toni Collette (Beryl/Cheryl (voice)), Barry Humphries (Wombo (voice)), Ryan Kwanten (Blinky Bill (voice)), Deborah Mailman (Blinky’s Mum (voice)), Robin McLeavy (Nutsy (voice)), Barry Otto (Mayor Cranklepot (voice)), Richard Roxburgh (Bill Koala (voice)), Rufus Sewell (The Cat (voice)), David Wenham (Jacko (voice))

Runtime: 91 mins

Classification: G

 

OUR BLINKY BILL THE MOVIE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Blinky Bill is one of those children’s characters that never seems to go out of fashion. Created by author Dorothy Wall in 1933 generations of Australian children have grown up loving Blinky in the countless television shows, books and two movies that have told the larrikin koala’s stories over the years. Now in 2015 Blinky gets a resurgence and unlike so many other characters that have been re-invented for the kids over the years this is one character’s story that still holds up.

Aside from trying to make a character cool for the younger generation that has been around for over 80 years there are a few other hurdles that director Deane Taylor has had to overcome with Blinky Bill The Movie. First of all is trying to get kids who have grown up on the slick animation of Pixar to warm to a movie that uses some old fashioned style animation. The key it seems in this case was to come up with a story that transcends generations and here the filmmakers seem to have done that well. Not surprisingly when you consider that Taylor has worked on some legendary animation projects over the years including Popeye, Casper, The Flintstones, Pink Panther, Footrot Flats and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas the film does conjur up that simple old time animation story of a character on an adventure while being pursued by a character wanting to put an end to it – yes Sewell’s cat here is like the Will-E Coyote or Elmer Fudd characters of old.

Taylor brings a simplistic style to the film’s storytelling and it ends up working. To be honest there is nothing new here but for some reason the audience finds themselves barracking for the little koala and his friends and while some of the gags are a little childish there are some other humorous moments in there that are obviously designed to bring a smile to older audience members. Like the Ginger Meggs stories there are some things about Blinky that are a little questionable about whether today’s parents are okay with their children watching it but for the most part this is a fairly innocent film. Some serious issues around refugees and conservation does get a look in with the screenplay but just like Oddball this isn’t a film that you are going to walk out of and feel like you have been preached at with.

One of the obvious things about Blinky Bill The Movie is that this is a film that seems to be aimed at an international audience rather than just an Australian audience. The inclusion of big name actors like Toni Collette, Barry Humphries, Ryan Kwanten and Richard Roxburgh do give this film a lot of credibility while the inclusion of so many lovable forms of Australian wildlife could just give this film a life outside of Australia if it is marketed right.

Blinky Bill The Movie does nothing wrong. A simple story that has you barracking for the young koala as he outruns the villainous cat is very Looney Tunes like, while the script is smart enough to also include some touching moments about the relationship between a father and a son. Blinkey Bill The Movie is mainly for younger children but certainly won’t put an adult to sleep, it’s just innocent fun.

 

 

 

 

Stars(3)

 

 

Stars(3)

 

 

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

 

IMDB Rating: Blinky Bill the Movie (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Blinky Bill The Movie reviews: Blinky Bill The Movie with be reviewed in an upcoming episode of The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show.

Trailer:

The Last Impresario

Summary: Australian filmmaker Gracie Otto profiles perhaps the most famous person you’ve never heard of: Michael White. This larger-than-life theatre and film impresario single-handedly transformed the cultural scene of 1970’s London. Amongst the glitter and endless parties, White brought risqué productions such as The Rocky Horror Show to the stage, Monty Python’s The Holy Grail to the screen and introduced dance legends Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch to the British masses.This is a fast and entertaining documentary with a stellar cast of famous friends and ex-lovers to boot including John Cleese, Yoko Ono, Naomi Watts, John Waters, Barry Humphries, Anna Wintour and Kate Moss.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th June, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia, UK, USA, France

Director: Gracie Otto

Screenwriter: Gracie Otto

Cast: Lou Adler (himself), Joanne Benjamin (herself), Michael Billington (himself), Gael Boglione (herself), Nell Campbell (herself), John Cleese (himself), Miranda Darling (herself), Peter Daubney (himself), Jessica de Rothschild (herself), Erro (himself), Harry Fane (himself), Alan Finkelstein (himself), Robert Fox (himself), Mirian Safia Haley (himself), Lyndall Hobbs (herself), Barry Humphries (himself), Jean-Jacques Lebel (himself), Rupert Lycett-Green (himself), Lorne Michaels (himself), Spike Milligan (himself), Kate Moss (herself), Michael Morris (himself), Richard O’Brien (himself), Bill Oddie (himself), Yoko Ono (herself), Gracie Otto (herself), Jean Pigozzi (himself), Nigel Planer (himself), Patricia Quinn (herself), Peter Richardson (himself), Julian Sands (himself), Jim Sharman (himself), Robert Shaye (himself), Meryl Tankard (herself), Jeremy Thomas (himself), Barnaby Thompson (himself), Brian Thomson (himself), Colin Vaines (himself), Leonie Van Ness (herself), John Waters (himself), Rachel Ward (herself), Naomi Watts (herself), Joshua White (himself), Michael White (himself), Anna Wintour (herself), Alan Yentob (himself), Richard Young (himself)

Runtime: 85 mins

Classification: TBA

 

OUR THE LAST IMPRESARIO REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s The Last Impresario review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(3.5)

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s The Last Impresario review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #85

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

Michael White… ever heard of the name? If you are honest then the answer would be no, unless you have memorised a website like IMDB off by heart. It’s the premise that Michael White is the most famous person you’ve never heard of that actress turned filmmaker Gracie Otto uses to promote her first feature documentary The Last Impresario.

For those not in the know Michael White is a man who can walk into the Cannes Film Festival and instantly have members of the elite film groups fawn all over him. There is little chance that any serious film, theatre or television fan hasn’t seen at least one thing that he has produced at one stage in his life. From working with the likes of Yoko Ono on small alternative theatre pieces to producing the show that would eventually turn into the mammoth that we know as The Rocky Horror Picture Show it seems like Michael White has been there and worked with everyone. His work on some small theatre pieces and then television shows and films such as Monty Python also has many labelling him as one of the forefathers of modern comedy.

The White that Otto catches on film though is not the Michael White that once partied all night with the likes of Mick Jagger and Kate Moss. No the White we get to meet is a mild-mannered old man who series of strokes has left him with a speech impediment and has been lowered financially to the point of having to auction off some of his prized possessions including letters from the likes of John Cleese and Laurence Olivier. He is even coy about whether or not he still owns the rights to some of his best productions including The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

As a filmmaker Otto does a good job with The Last Impresario. Certainly any film or theatre fan is going to sit captivated as she tells the story of a man you almost feel guilty about not knowing. And while interviews with the likes of Barry Humphries, Kate Moss and John Cleese do give you a wonderful view inside both the business and personal life of Michael White you do start to get the feeling that Otto has perhaps relied too much on talking head interviews… especially when you consider just how flamboyant White was with his life.

Another really annoying trait of this documentary, and I know this is being really picky, is the way in which Otto asks the questions to White during his interviews. Because she hasn’t got a microphone near her for most of the time she simply yells the questions out. Yes it sounds like a small thing to have a gripe about, but it does become increasingly annoying and is certainly something that the top documentary film makers of our time would never, ever do.

Still The Last Impresario is a good documentary that will be loved by those who enjoy to learn a lot more about the cinema and theatre they have grown up. Cudos must be paid to Gracie Otto for being able to put together such an A-List of interviewees as well as being the first person brave enough to bring the Michael White story to the big screen. This is one for all the cinephiles out there.

Stars(2.5)

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

IMDB Rating:  The Last Impresario (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘The Last Impresario′: For our full The Last Impresario review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #85

Trailer:

The Hobbit

Summary: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug.

Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities…

A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA/New Zealand

Director: Peter Jackson

Screenwriter: Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Fran Walsh

Cast: Richard Armitage (Thorin), Timothy Bartlett (Master Worrywort), Manu Bennett (Azog), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Jed Brophy (Nori), Adam Brown (Ori), John Callen (Oin), Benedict Cumberbatch (Necromancer), Martin Freeman (Bilbo), Mark Hadlow (Dori/Bert Troll), Peter Hambleton (Gloin/William Troll), Ian Holm (OLd Bilbo), Barry Humphries (Great Goblin), Stephan Hunter (Bombur), William Kircher (Bifur/Tom Troll), Christopher Lee (Saruman), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Bret McKenzie (Lindir), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Michael Mizrahi (Thrain), James Nesbitt (Bofur), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Lee Pace (Thranduil), John Rawls (Yazneg), Thomas Robins (Young Thrain), Andy Serkis (Gollum), Conan Stevens (Bolg), Ken Stott (Balin), Jeffrey Thomas (Thror), Aidan Turner (Kili), Stephen Ure (Fumbal/Grinnah), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Elijah Wood (Frodo)

Runtime: 169 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Review: 

While ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ is one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year, it also has the potential of becoming one of the most frustrating films of the year. Many audience members will find themselves being blown away as director, Peter Jackson (The Lovely Bones, King Kong) once again takes them on a journey into Tolkien’s Middle Earth world but sadly the film is also let down by the fact that Jackson has experimented with a new of film-making.

Closely following the original novel ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ begins with Old Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) writing down more of his adventures for Frodo (Elijah Wood – TV’S Wilifred & TRON: Uprising). This time around he tells a story that occurred sixty years before the events of the original ‘Lord Of The Rings’ trilogy.

This new adventure sees young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman – Animals, Pirates! The Band Of Misfits) selected by Gandalf (Ian McKellen – Miss In Her Teens, TV’S Doctor ho) to take up the part of ‘burglar’ in a group led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage – Captain America: The First Avenger, TV’S Strike Back) that has the mission to returning to a once grand Kingdom (now known as the Lonely Mountain) that belonged to the Dwarves and then to defeat a Smaug the Dragon that took control of it and the gold that it contains.

But when they begin their journey they soon realise that there is a dark rising in Middle Earth. While this means the group is constantly under threat by a group of Orcs led by the war-chief Azog (Manu Bennett – TV’S Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms & Spartacus: Blood And Sand), a meeting with a wizard known as Radagast the Brown (Sylvester McCoy – The Academy: Special, Eldorado) also reveals that a new evil has emerged, an evil known as the Necromancer (Benedict Cumberbatch – Wreckers, War Horse).

And while not giving away any spoilers the journey also sees the group meet up with old favourites including Elrond (Hugo Weaving – Cloud Atlas, Happy Feet Two), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett – Hanna, The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg), Saruman (Christopher Lee – Dark Shadows, The Hunting Of The Snark) and Gollum (Andy Serkis – Arthur Christmas, The Adventures Of Tintin) while also introducing new characters including the Jabba The Hut like Great Goblin (voiced by Barry Humphries – Kath & Kimderella, Mary And Max).

To the credit of Peter Jackson and the team of screenwriters (which included Guillermo del Toro) that helped put together ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ the film’s story carries quite well. Yes there are some slow moments before the journey actually begins but they are necessary to set up the characterisation of those going on the adventure. Others may find the singing parts (especially the stacking of the cutlery) a little too Disney, but others will also see this as an important part of bring Tolkien’s world to life.

The story does provide a great deal of suspense as various members of the small troop have their lives put at risk on a number of occasions although if you are thinking about seeing the film in the 48FPS format you should probably reconsider. At times the picture is too crisp to be believable and this format of showing the film leads to an annoying optical illusion that at times makes it feel like it is being played in fast-forward. The format does although enhance some of the battle scenes and it is almost virtually impossible to tell what is CGI and what is real but then at other times ruins the film by clearly showing that some of the backdrops have been made from cardboard or polystyrene while the rabbit sleigh sequence looks so bad you could be excused for believing that you are watching a badly made 1980s music video clip.

If you want to see ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ looking at its absolute best go and see it in 2D or in standard 3D form because the 48FPS will only ruin an otherwise brilliant film for you.

When it comes to the casting Peter Jackson has hit the nail right on the head. Martin Freeman is likable as the younger Bilbo Baggins but to be honest you never feel as close to his character as you did with Frodo in ‘The Lord Of The Rings’, but the real star here is Richard Armitage who brilliantly portrays Thorin, so well in fact it is a truly memorable performance.

If you choose to see ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ in the right kind of format you are in for a truly magical experience, but be warned if you see it in the 48FPS format you may be in for a disappointing time.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey′: Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’.

Rating: 3.5/5

IMDB Rating:The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) on IMDb

Mary And Max

Summary: A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.

Year: 2009

Australian Cinema Release Date: 9th April 2009

Australian DVD Release Date: October 2009

Country: Australia

Director: Adam Elliot

Screenwriter: Adam Elliot

Cast: Eric Bana (Damien (voice)), Toni Collette (Mary Daisy Dinkle (voice)), Renee Geyer (Vera (voice)), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Max Jerry Horovitz (voice)), Barry Humphries (Narrator (voice)), Michael Ienna (Lincoln (voice)), Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum (Homeless Man (voice)), Bethany Whitmore (Young Mary (voice)),

Runtime: 92 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR MARY AND MAX REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Way back in 2004 Adam Elliot won an Oscar for his short-animation ‘Harvie Krumpet’, so it is scary at just how far the marvelous ‘Mary And Max’ will go. ‘Mary And Max’ is one of the finest animation films to ever surface and leaves the critically acclaimed ‘Persepolis’ for dead.

Young Mary Daisy Dinkle (voiced by Bethany Whitmore) is a lonely young girl that has no friends, parents who don’t pay her enough attention and a poo-coloured birthmark on her forehead that results in her constantly getting teased. While her mother shoplifts in a Post Office one day, Mary decides to flick through a New York phone book to find someone she can write to in a bid to discover whether ‘American babies come from the same place as Australian babies… out of a beer glass’. She chooses Max Jerry Horovitz (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a man who is just as depressed as her, but is constantly startled by the questions she asks. Over time they both get older. Adult Mary (Toni Collette) goes to uni, marries Damian (Eric Bana) while Max continues to suffer and realises that he suffers from Aspergers Syndrome and battles with his obesity

What Adam Elliot has managed to create here is an absolute masterpiece of a film. This is no Pixar animation, it delves into some very dark areas of human life but always manages to have a laugh at hand that will actually get audience members to chuckle. The story holds up so well that you can only imagine just how well this film will do overseas. It will become an absolute smash hit amongst European cinemagoers and may even be the film that attracts Australian film goers back to actually paying to see an Australian film.

Elliot is a visionary director and he manages to capture shots that would normally be impossible in animated films. The scenery and Elliot’s eye-for-detail leave the audience in awe and even those who would normally avoid animated films will see the true beauty in ‘Mary And Max’.

Some may be surprised at the caliber of actors that Elliot has managed to get involved with ‘Mary And Max’. Certainly you wouldn’t normally expect for someone like Philip Seymour Hoffman to voice a character in an Australian animated film but it’s not hard to see that Hoffman would have read this script and fell in love with it straight away. The story found here has produced one of the best scripts that an actor could ever have fall into their laps.

Films as brilliant as ‘Mary And Max’ don’t come along very often. If I had to grade it out of ten I would give it one hundred.

 

Stars(5)

 

 

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

 

IMDB Rating:  Mary and Max (2009) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Mary And Max reviews: This Mary And Max review first appeared in Buzz Magazine – October 2009.

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