Monthly Archives: November 2012

Fun Size

Summary: Wren (Victoria Justice) is on the verge of moving into the high school popularity stratosphere when she is asked to go to a Halloween party with the coolest guy in school. The only thing standing in her way is her style-cramping 8 year old brother who may just turn out to be even cooler than her date.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th November, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Josh Schwartz

Screenwriter: Max Werner

Cast: Osric Chau (Peng), Patrick de Ledebur (Mike Puglio), Jeremy Isaiah Earl (Officer Savage), Abby Elliott (Lara), Annie Fitzpatrick (Mrs. Brueder), Ana Gasteyer (Jackie), Stefan Gatt (Hulk), Chelsea Handler (Joy), Victoria Justice (Wren), Kerri Kenney (Barb), Johnny Knoxville (Jorgen), Brandon Landers (Buddy D), Mariana Lessa (Lica), Jane Levy (April), Thomas Mann (Roosevelt), Thomas McDonell (Aaron Riley), Thomas Middleditch (Fuzzy), Jackson Nicoll (Albert), Holmes Osbourne (Mr. Brueder), Josh Pence (Keevin), Maria Perossa (Hailey), James Pumphrey (Brueder), Erin Scerbak (Andrea), Morgane Slemp (Melinda), Rachel Sterling (Kassi), Peter Navy Tuiasosopo (Mr. Mahani), Lori Pelenise Tuisano (Mrs. Mahani), Nicholas Varricchio (Jonathan), Allison Weissman (Mackenzie), Krista Marie Yu (Jordan)

Runtime: 86 mins


Dave Griffiths’s ‘Fun Size’ Review: 

How do you put this nicely? ‘Fun Size’ is one of the worst films ever made! The film lacks so much direction it’s not even clear where it wanted to end up or even what kind of film it wanted to be. It tries to be ‘Superbad’ or ‘Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle’ but ends up being as wild as an episode of ‘Seventh Heaven’. 

Wren (Victoria Justice) feels she has had a hard life since her father died, she has had to endure her mother, Joy (Chelsea Handler) having to date an immature 26-year-old old guy named Keevin (Josh Pence), and a younger brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) who does nothing but annoy her with petty things. 

When it comes around to Halloween Wren and her friend April (Jane Levy) are thrilled to get an invite to Aaron Riley’s (Thomas McDonell). But when Wren is left looking after Albert and accidentally loses him the pair are left driving around with ‘geeks’ Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) and Peng (Osric Chau). 

So bad is ‘Fun Size’ that director, Josh Schwartz and screenwriter, Max Werner should be allowed to make another film ever again. The film lacks all forms of humor and while the inclusion of characters such as Fuzzy (Thomas Middleditch) tries to lift the film into Kevin Smith territory it fails on all levels. You can see the moments where the audience is supposed to laugh but instead you can only hear the tumbleweeds blow through the cinema. 

Even worse is the fact that the script loses itself. There is far too much time spent on Joy’s time with Keevin at her party when the main focus needs to be on Wren. Likewise there are huge chunks of the film that doesn’t make any sense. For example, does anyone believe the police would arrest Albert for letting off a firework when Jurgen (Johnny Knoxville) has manhandled him, locked him up and then asked for a ransom? 

And just to make the film even more of a mess it seems the characters of Roosevelt and Peng are like walking clichés from ‘Not Another Teen Movie’. 

Acting-wise, Victoria Justice should just use this as a vehicle to get other work… as long as she’s brave enough to include this dud on her resume, while Thomas Mann announces himself as the new Michael Cera. As for the other actors… well there is nothing there for them to really be proud of. 

Unless you are looking for a way to punish yourself, avoid ‘Fun Size’ at all costs. 


Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Fun Size′: Check Episode #10 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Fun Size’

Rating: 1/5

IMDB Rating: Fun Size (2012) on IMDb

Celeste & Jesse Forever


Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) met in high school, married young and are growing apart. Now thirty, Celeste is the driven owner of her own media consulting firm, Jesse is once again unemployed and in no particular rush to do anything with his life. Celeste is convinced that divorcing Jesse is the right thing to do — she is on her way up, he is on his way nowhere, and if they do it now instead of later, they can remain supportive friends.

Jesse passively accepts this transition into friendship, even though he is still in love with her.  As the reality of their separation sets in, Celeste slowly and painfully realizes she has been cavalier about their relationship, and her decision, which once seemed mature and progressive, now seems impulsive and selfish. But her timing with Jesse is less than fortuitous.

While navigating the turbulent changes in their lives and in their hearts, these two learn that in order to truly love someone, you may have to let them go.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th November, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Lee Toland Krieger

Screenwriter: Rashida Jones, Will McCormick

Cast: Chris D’Elia (Snow White), Rebecca Dayan (Veronica), Matthew Del Negro (Nick), Rafi Gavron (Rupert), Ari Graynor (Beth), Lenny Jacobson (Peter Pan), Rashida Jones (Celeste), Shira Lazar (herself), Will McCormick (Skillz), Chris Messina (Paul), Eric Christian Olsen (Tucker), Janel Parrish (Savannah), Patrick Pedraza (Pat), Chris Pine (Mystery Buddy), Emma Roberts (Riley), Andy Samberg (Jesse), Rich Sommer (Max), Matthias Steiner (himself), Elijah Wood (Scott)

Runtime: 92 mins


Dave Griffiths’s ‘Celese & Jesse Forever’ Review: 

A big congratulations needs to go out to director Lee Toland Krieger. Over the past few years so many directors have boasted that they will be the one to pull off an ‘alternative’ romantic comedy. A rom-com that doesn’t fall into the trap of being made up every cliché that Hollywood has come to use in the genre. Most of those directors have failed in their task but Krieger certainly hasn’t because ‘Celeste & Jess Forever’ is an alternative romantic comedy that works on all levels. 

The film is out there from the very beginning. Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are definitely not a couple in love. The teenage sweethearts are in the middle of a divorce but still trying to remain friends, something that their friends Beth (Ari Graynor) and Tucker (Eric Christian Olsen) find very strange and difficult to put up with. 

Celeste begs Jesse to move on with his life but how will she react when he does exactly that with Veronica (Rebecca Dayan). Even worse is the fact that their split seems to be affecting Celeste’s work with popstar Riley (Emma Roberts) which is annoying her business partner, Scott (Elijah Wood). 

There is that always present will they/won’t they tension between Celeste and Jesse but the screenwriting team (which also includes one of the stars – Rashida Jones) is never going to allow their audience to rest easy with Veronica certainly throwing a spanner into the works (that will come to a shock to the audience) and more than one guy interested in Celeste. But the real reason this script works is not only because this is some of the most naturalistic screenwriting since ‘The Secret Life Of Us’ but also because the finale is certainly not one of Hollywood’s clichés. 

Credit must also be paid to the screenwriters for the fact that none of their characters are one-dimensional. Yes a lot of background info isn’t given for characters such as Beth and Tucker but just enough is given so that the audience gets a fair idea of what kind of character they are. Celeste and Jesse are also different to a lot of the central characters that you would normally find in a rom-com… but you could never say that they are so different that they are unrealistic. 

‘Celeste & Jesse Forever’ is further strengthened by its cast. Rashida Jones announces herself as a real acting talent while Andy Samberg makes you forget about the horror that was ‘That’s My Boy’ with a genuinely funny but naturalistic performance… something that many thought would be beyond him. Cudos also to Elijah Wood who is almost unrecognisable as Celeste’s gay co-worker, Scott. 

Hopefully ‘Celeste & Jesse Forever’ will show a new generation of romantic comedy writers that you can break the rules without causing the world to end. But for now just sit back and enjoy one of the best rom-coms you are ever likely to see. 

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Celeste & Jesse Forever′: Check Episode #10 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Celeste & Jesse Forever’

Rating: 3/5

IMDB Rating:Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012) on IMDb

Summary: Scrats nutty pursuit of the cursed acorn, which hes been after since the dawn of time, has world-changing consequences a continental cataclysm that triggers the greatest adventure of all for Manny, Diego and Sid. In the wake of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his cantankerous Granny, and the herd encounters a ragtag menagerie of seafaring pirates determined to stop them from returning home.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th June, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 28th November, 2012

Country: United States

Director: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier

Screenwriter: Michael Berg, Lori Forte, Jason Fuchs

Cast: Aziz Ansari (Squint (voice)), Joy Behar (Eunice (voice)), Alain Chabat (Silas (voice)), Peter Dinklage (Captain Gutt (voice)), Karen Disher (Scratte (voice)), Aubrey Graham (Ethan (voice)), Nick Frost (Flynn (voice)), Josh Gad (Louis (voice)), Ben Gleib (Marshall (voice)), George Jacobs (Beaver (voice)), Alexa Kahn (Hyrax (voice)), Queen Latifah (Ellie (voice)), Denis Leary (Diego (voice)), John Leguizamo (Sid (voice)), Jennifer Lopez (Shira (voice)), Nicki Minaj (Steffie (voice)), Heather Morris (Katie (voice)), Kunal Nayyar (Gupta (voice)), Keke Palmer (Peaches (voice)), Josh Peck (Eddie (voice)), Simon Pegg (Buck (voice)), Ally Romano (Meaghan (voice)), Ray Romano (Manny (voice)), Seann William Scott (Crash (voice)), Eddie ‘Piolin’ Sotelo (Uncle Fungus (voice)), Patrick Stewart (Ariscratle (voice)), Wanda Sykes (Granny (voice)), Alan Tudyk (Milton (voice)), Chris Wedge (Scrat (voice)), Rebel Wilson (Raz (voice))

Runtime: 88 mins

Classification: PG

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Ice Age 4: Continental Drift’ Review:

While at times during Ice Age: Continental Drift it seems like the filmmakers behind the series have lost control of their storyline this still ends up being an enjoyable watch that will be loved by both kids and adults alike.

This time around sees Manny (voiced by Ray Romano – Sack’s West, TV’S The Middle) and Ellie (Queen Latifah – Joyful Noise, TV’S Let’s Stay Together) having some parental problems with their daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer – Rags, TV’S Winx Club). Peaches feels she is old enough to her own thing while Manny still feels that she needs her parents around.

Meanwhile poor old Sid (John Leguizamo – One For The Money, Lincoln Lawyer) is having family issues of his own when his family stop by and dump him with the ‘burden’ that is Granny (Wanda Sykes – The Muppets, TV’S Futurama).

All those problems however seem petty when Scrat’s (Chris Wedge – Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs, TV’S Family Guy) love for acorns starts a catastrophic shift of Earth that soon sees Manny, Sid, Granny and Diego (Denis Leary – The Amazing Spider-Man, TV’S Rescue Me) stranded on an iceberg while Ellie is left to the save the lives of all the other creatures.

To add to the drama Manny, Sid, Granny and Diego soon find themselves upsetting Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage – A Little Bit Of Heaven, TV’S Game Of Thrones) and his crew which includes Flynn (Nick Frost – Snow White & The Huntsmen, The Adventure Of Tintin), Shira (Jennifer Lopez – What To Expect When You’re Expecting, The Back-Up Plan) and Raz (Rebel Wilson – What To Expect When You’re Expecting, Struck By Lightning)

At times it feels like screenwriters Michael Berg (Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs, Ice Age) and Jason Fuchs (Rags, Pitch) have lost their senses by bringing pirates into the Ice Age franchise. The story doesn’t fit comfortable with fans of the franchise yet the duo put so much heart into the script, and a healthy dose of thrills that at the end of the day it doesn’t seem to really matter.

These screenwriters are so talented they also infuse some great lessons centered at teaching children to respect their parents in such a way that the message gets across loud and clear but never once seems preachy.

Ice Age: Continental Drift certainly isn’t the best film in this franchise but it is still an enjoyable watch.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Ice Age 4: Continental Drift:

Rating: 3/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) on IMDb

Summary: Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th July, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 28th November, 2012

Country: United States/United Kingdom

Director: Christopher Nolan

Screenwriter: David S. Goyer, Bob Kane (characters), Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan

Cast: Alon Aboutboul (Dr. Pavel), Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Rob Brown (Allen), Michael Caine (Alfred), Marion Cotillard (Miranda), Marvin Duerkholz (Logan), Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent), Chris Ellis (Fr. Reilly), Will Estes (Officer Simon Jansen), Tyler Dean Flores (Mark), Morgan Freeman (Fox), Gus Lewis (Bruce Wayne Age 8), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Blake), Burn Gorman (Stryver), Tom Hardy (Bane), Anne Hathaway (Selina), Reggie Lee (Ross), Ben Mendelsohn (Daggett), Matthew Modine (Foley), Cillian Murphy (Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow), Liam Neeson (Ra’s Al Ghul), John Nolan (Fredericks), Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon), Josh Pence (Young Ra’s Al Ghul), Daniel Sunjata (Captain Jones), Juno Temple (Jen)

Runtime: 165 mins

Classification: M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Review:

Let’s be honest when director Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight) created The Dark Knight he set the bar pretty high for his Batman trilogy. How do you put together a finale when the second film of the trilogy is globally described as a cinematic masterpiece? With The Dark Knight Rises Nolan had his work cut out for him, but so talented is he that he yet again manages to create a film that is a serious contender film of the year.

The Dark Knight Rises is set eight years after the finale of The Dark Knight. While Gotham remembers Harvey Dent as a hero Batman (Christian Bale – The Flowers Of War, The Fighter) is remembered as a murderer and is still considered an outlaw. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman – Lawless, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) knows the truth but doesn’t have the courage to speak out.

Meanwhile Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has hidden himself away from the public, the only person he allows to see him is the trusty butler, Alfred (Michael Caine – Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Car 2). Bruce is unaware that he still has supporters out there though, people like young police officer Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 50/50, Inception) who are just waiting for the day for their hero to rise.

Bruce’s interest in the world returns when he meets a cat burglar, Selina (Anne Hathaway – One Day, Rio) who seems to be a small part of a scheme put together by the extremely dangerous Bane (Tom Hardy – Lawless, This Means War).

Nolan brings an entirely different feeling to The Dark Knight Rises then what he allowed to come through in The Dark Knight or Batman Begins. While The Dark Knight focused on the psychological (like its ‘bad guy’ The Joker) The Dark Knight rises mirrors Bane with its focus on violence mixed with a sensationally creative storyline that has its audience guessing at every turn.

Like he did with Inception Nolan also allows the visuals of The Dark Knight Rises to visually stimulate his audience. The early shots from the plane look amazing, as does many of his cityscape shots. As a director/screenwriter he really is someone he has realised that even action movies need to have substance if they are to be taken seriously.

Christian Bale, as usual, puts in a dominant performance as Bruce/Batman, but even he is overshadowed by a brilliant performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Despite his performance in Inception he is still underrated, yet here he once again shows the world just how good he really is.

The actor you have to feel sorry for is Tom Hardy. He is seriously held back by his character, Bane. He looks physically intimidating but a lot of his characterization is ripped away by the fact that the mask he has to wear completely denies him the opportunity to use his voice or facial expressions to show emotions.

Of course many eyes are on Anne Hathaway as Selina/Catwoman. She does an okay job but you can only wonder whether someone like Angelina Jolie would have done a better job. Michael Caine also does some wonderfully emotional acting but poor old Morgan Freeman (The Magic Of Belle Isle) and Marion Cotillard (Rust & Bone, Contagion) seems underused in their roles.

The Dark Knight Rises is a film that must be seen on the big screen, once again Christopher Nolan has delivered a film that can instantly be filed under film classics.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’:

Rating: 5/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: The Dark Knight Rises (2012) on IMDb

Summary: Annie, Jean, Claude, Albert and Jeanne have been friends for more than 40 years. So when memories let them down, heart rates quicken and their families plot their futures in retirement homes they decide to rebel and all live together. To help make their lives a little easier they hire young student (Daniel Br hl), who is initially a quiet observer but is soon drawn in to the group dynamic. Their new communal lifestyle provides plenty of surprises, challenges and adventure but soon stirs up memories and hidden secrets from years gone by. In order to find happiness together in their golden years the five friends must come to terms with their past, their mistakes, and their limitations. This charming and moving story proves that youthful exuberance and happiness can be found at any age, with a little creative thinking.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th July, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 28th November, 2012

Country: France

Director: Stephane Robelin

Screenwriter: Stephane Robelin

Cast: Shemss Audat (Soraya), Guy Bedos (Jean Colin), Daniel Bruhl (Dirk), Geraldine Chaplin (Annie Colin), Caroline Clerc (Madame Rolland), Jane Fonda (Jeanne), Gwendoline Hamon (Sabine), Bernard Malaka (Bernard), Claude Rich (Claude Blanchard), Pierre Richard (Albert), Alexandre Robelin (Hugo), Lili Robelin (Lola), Tom Robelin (Milan), Camino Texeira (Maria)

Runtime: 96 mins

Classification: M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘And If We All Lived Together’ Review:

And If We All Lived Together sees the French produce a racier version of the great The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with differing results. On one hand the film’s characterization makes for a joyful watch, but on the other hand there are several aspects of the film that are a real let down.

Directed by Stephane Robelin (Real Movie, Pile ou Face) sees a group of people who have been friends for over forty years decide to move in together in a bid to look after each other.

Each person is very much an individual despite the fact that they are in the later stages of their life. There is Jeanne (Jane Fonda – Georgia Rule, Monster-In-Law) who is seriously ill and refusing treatment or to tell anyone how sick she is. Then there is her husband, Albert (Pierre Richard – Le Grande Restaurant, Le Mystere) whose dementia makes him extremely difficult to live with.

Then there is the second married couple, Jean (Guy Bedos – Moi Michel G Milliardaire Maitre Du Monde, Survivre Avec Les Loups) and Annie (Geraldine Chaplin – Hostias, O Apostolo) who always seem to be fighting and then making up, they literally seem to disagree on everything.

Last but not least comes Claude (Claude Rich – Final Flourish, Bancs Publics) who despite his age has an insatiably sexual appetite. Keeping them all in line is young university student, Dirk (Daniel Bruhl) who is also studying the group for his thesis.

Some parts of Stephane Robelin’s script are absolutely sensational. The fact that the film is so well written that you instantly fall in love with the characters is a big plus, as is the fact that its willing to tackle some serious social taboos, but And If We All Lived Together never becomes as truly great as it could have been because of a seriously disappointing finale that almost makes you want to scream at the screen.

Also making this a great watch is the fine performance from Jane Fonda who has actually been missing from the big screen for four years now. She leads an amazing ensemble with a performance that is clearly Oscar worthy. Her touching scenes with Daniel Bruhl are one thing that will certainly remain in your memory after you have left the cinema.

This is the kind of film that you will watch once and thoroughly enjoy, but it’s not the kind of film that will you have wanting to watch it over and over. It’s good but with a little bit more work could have been brilliant.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘And If We All Lived Together:

Rating: 3/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: All Together (2011) on IMDb

Summary: Leopold Socha, a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a Nazi occupied city in Poland, one day encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto. He hides them for money in the labyrinth of the town’s sewers beneath the bustling activity of the city above. What starts out as a straightforward and cynical business arrangement turns into something very unexpected, the unlikely alliance between Socha and the Jews as the enterprise seeps deeper into Socha’s conscience.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th July, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 28th November, 2012

Country: Poland, Germany, Canada

Director: Agnieszka Holland

Screenwriter: Robert Marshall (book), David F. Shamoon

Cast: Joachim Paul Assbock (Nowak), Milla Bankowicz (Krystyna Chiger), Marcin Bosak (Yanek Weiss), Benedict Crisand (Daniel), Benno Furmann (Mundek Margulies), Piotr Glowacki (Icek Frankel), Agnieszka Grochowska (Klara Keller), Julia Kijowska (Chaja), Herbert Knaup (Ignacy Chiger), Frank-Michael Kobe (Wilhaus), Anton Lewit (Max), Alexandre Levit (Kovalev), Ida Lozinska (Rachela Grossman), Andrzej Mastalerz (Sawicki), Aleksander Mincer (Szlomo Landsberg), Aniela Nykowska (Anielka), Zofia Pieczynska (Stefcia Socha), Kinga Preis (Wanda Socha), Maria Schrader (Paulina Chiger), Maria Semotiuk (Mania Keller), Krzysztof Skonieczny (Szczepek), Oliwer Stanczak (Pawel Chiger), Etl Szyv (Szona Grossman), Jerzy Walczak (Jacob Berestycki), Robert Wieckiewicz (Leopold Socha), Michael Zurawski (Bortnik)

Runtime: 145 mins

Classification: MA15+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘In Darkness’ Review:

Over the years there have been some heart-wrenching films about the Holocaust. Joining that long list comes new thriller In Darkness which sees director Agnieszka Holland (TV’S The Killing & Treme) mix just the right amount of characterization, story and suspense to make this an excellent watch.

Based on a true story In Darkness begins with sewer worker Leopold Socha (Robert Wieckiewicz – Courage, Maiden Vows) and his colleague, Szczepek (Krzysztof Skonieczny – Yuma, Maraton Tanca) viewing the war as the perfect opportunity for them to commit a number of robberies in a bid to bring in extra wages.

Then when Socha meets up with Bortnik (Michal Zurawski – Kac Wawa, Los Numeros), an old friend who is now part of the Ukrainian Militia (who have teamed up with the Nazis) he learns that money can be made hunting down Jews and turning them over to the officials.

However, when Socha finds a group of Jews desperate for escape his plan changes when they offer to pay him to hide them in the sewers. Despite the threat to himself, his wife Wanda (Kinga Preis – Rose, Suicide Room) and Szczepek he decides that hiding them is the best thing to do.

One of the things that makes In Darkness such a fascinating watch is the brilliant way that screenwriter, David F. Shamoon (newcomer) brings the characters to life on the screen. Unlike some Holocaust films in the past he gives the Jewish characters really characterization and personalities. He even takes the huge gamble of having some unlikeable characters (such as a cheating husband and a drug addict), but despite this they are characters that the audience come to love and care for. The fact that this occurs makes the directors job of building suspense even more easy, as there is no way any audience member wants to see anything bad happen to these characters.

Of course Holland also finds other ways to build the suspense. The way he captures the claustrophobic feel of the sewers is enough to make anybody feel at unease and at times the high drama of the film literally has the audience gasping for breath.

Holland has also picked an incredibly cast for In Darkness and while all the performances are extremely high credit must be paid to Robert Wieckiewicz who is brilliant throughout. He is also well supported by Kinga Preis who plays his onscreen wife.

In Darkness is a gut wrenching film that is equal to Schindler’s List when searching for a truth-based Holocaust film.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘In Darkness’:

Rating: 4/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: In Darkness (2011) on IMDb

Summary: Set in the world of male strippers, Magic Mike is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Channing Tatum in a story inspired by his real life. The film follows Mike as he takes a young dancer called The Kid under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th July, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 26th November, 2012

Country: United States

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Screenwriter: Reid Corolin

Cast: Daria Badanina (Stephanie), Matt Bomer (Ken), Reid Carolin (Paul), Erica Day (Carla), Kate Easton (Liz), Caitlin Gerard (Kim), Cody Horn (Brooke), Eric Ian (Eric), Gabriel Iglesias (Tobias), Micaela Johnson (Portia), James Martin Kelly (Sal), Riley Keough (Nora), Melissa LeEllen (Sarah), Joe Manganiello (Big Dick Richie), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas), Olivia Munn (Joanna), Kevin Nash (Tarzan), Alex Pettyfer (Adam), Michael Roark (Ryan), Adam Rodriguez (Tito), George A. Sack (George), Channing Tatum (Magic Mike), Jennifer Thompson (Penelope), Denise Vasi (Ruby)

Runtime: 110 mins

Classification: MA+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Magic Mike’ Review:

Magic Mike became a whipping boy before it even reached the cinema. There wasn’t a comedian or even film-lover who wasn’t cracking jokes about how bad a film that tells the story of Channing Tatum’s life was going to be. But one man has saved this film from becoming a complete joke, that man is director Steven Soderbergh (Haywire, Contagion). With Magic Mike Soderbergh once again shows that no matter what the topic he can make a film look good.

As previously mentioned Magic Mike is a semi-autobiographical look at Channing Tatum’s (21 Jump Street, The Vow) time spent as a stripper. Here Tatum plays Magic Mike the lead star of Dallas’s (Matthew McConaughey – Mud, The Paperboy) crew of strippers that are quickly raking in the big bucks for him.

After meeting him on a worksite Mike introduces Adam (Alex Pettyfer – In Time, Beastly) to the crew and soon he too finds success. But as the dark side of stripping raises his head and Mike finds himself attracted to Adam’s sister, Brooke (Cody Horn – Occupant, Violet & Daisy), Mike wonders if it’s time to start a new career path.

There is no point saying Magic Mike is a terrific film, it’s not as it has some major flaws, but it is still a lot better than the train-wreck many predicted it would be. Soderbegh uses his alternative style of filmmaking to achieve the best effect out of the sometimes dramatic storyline but still the film falters as it relies too heavily on dance scenes to move the story along, and then frustratingly seems to hold back when the storyline begins to delve into some of the more gritty elements.

For example Dallas is set up as a somewhat dangerous guy. There is a brilliant scene where he confronts Mike about his intentions yet when called upon to do so the threats seem to go nowhere which seems completely out of line with Dallas’ character. Likewise the drug-side of the storyline is just skirted on when it really should have been a main focus.

The one thing you can’t fault Magic Mike for however is the acting. Channing Tatum finally steps up and shows that he does have some acting talent to go along with his dancing ability while Cody Horn shows that she is certainly an actress to watch in the future. But the star of Magic Mike is Matthew McConaughey who puts in a blinding dramatic performance (and shows that he is well ripped for a 40-year-old) that shows as a character actor he is certainly back in the game.

Magic Mike isn’t as cheesy as some would have expected. It’s a good watch that you feel could have been even better.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Magic Mike’:

Rating: 3/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: Magic Mike (2012) on IMDb

Summary: Winner of Best Documentary at the 2012 Academy Awards, ‘Underfeated’ is an intimate chronicle of three underprivileged student-athletes from inner-city Memphis and the volunteer coach’s mission to help them beat the odds – both on and off the field. The 2009 Summer/Fall football season promises to be the Tigers’ best ever – perhaps the season that finally breaks the 110 year-old playoff jinx. It’s the senior year for the team’s star player, O.C., a left tackle blessed with power, size and speed. With football scholarships hanging in the balance, O.C. will have to juggle practice with the study sessions he needs to pass crucial exams. Also playing his last season is undersized offensive lineman Montrail – known to all as ‘Money’ – an earnest honors student hoping to score an academic scholarship. For Chavis, a talented linebacker in his junior year, the challenge of 2009 lies in keeping his explosive temper in check – something the willful teenager isn’t always interested in doing. As the football season intensifies, tensions mount and tempers fray, it’s up to the tireless efforts of Coach Bill Courtney to keep each player focused on one thing – his future..

Year: 2011

Australian Cinema Release Date: Nil

Australian DVD Release Date: 3rd October 2012

Country: United States

Director: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin

Screenwriter: N/A

Cast: Montrail ‘Money’ Brown (himself), O.C. Brown (himself), Bill Courtney (himself), Chavis Daniels (Himself)

Runtime: 113 mins

Classification: M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Undefeated’ Review:

Dave Griffiths’s review of ‘Undefeated’ can be found at

Other ‘Undefeated’ Reviews By Dave Griffiths: Nil

Rating: 5/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: Undefeated (2011) on IMDb

Summary: At the beginning of World War II a hostile chance encounter in the skies above the harsh Norwegian wilderness leaves two aircraft one British, one German shot down in a remote and isolated region. By strange coincidence the crews seek shelter in the same cabin. They must battle to survive the brutal winter in order to get back to the war and to fighting one another. Although war has made them enemies, as the days go by animosity proves hard to maintain. Mutual need leads to unlikely friendships, and the rules of war must be put aside.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: Nil

Australian DVD Release Date: 9th January 2013

Country: Norway/Sweden

Director: Petter Naess

Screenwriter: Dave Mango, Ole Meldgaard, Petter Naess

Cast: Morton Faldaas (Terje), Rupert Grint (Gunner Robert Smith), Kim Haugen (Bjorn Gustavsen), Stig Henrik Hoff (Feldwebel Wolfgang Strunk), Knut Joner (Harald Gustavesen), David Kross (Unteroffizer Josef Schwartz), Sondre Krogtoft Larsen (Kjell), Florian Lukas (Lieutenant Horst Schopis), Lachlan Nieboer (Captain Charles P. Davenport)

Runtime: 100 mins

Classification: M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Into The White’ Review:

Dave Griffiths’s review of ‘Into The White’ can be found at

Other ‘Into The White’ Reviews By Dave Griffiths: Nil

Rating: 4/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: Into the White (2012) on IMDb


Daniel Craig is back as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in Skyfall, the 23rd adventure in the longest-running film franchise of all time. In Skyfall, Bond’s loyalty to M is test as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, now matter how personal the cost.

After a four-year absence from screen, direction by Academy Award-Winning Sam Mendes, and the 50th Anniversary celebrations; expectations are high for Skyfall. However, the praise has been universal, with many critics commending the quality of the film, Daniel Craig’s portrayal of the iconic James Bond, and the Oscar-calibre supporting cast. All this adds up to the 007 adventure we’ve been waiting for: a flawlessly assembled thrill ride with a cast to die for.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 22nd November, 2012

Australian DVD/Blu-Ray Release Date: N/A

Country: United Kingdom, United States

Director: Sam Mendes

Screenwriter: Ian Fleming (characters), John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade

Cast: Javier Bardem (Silva), Daniel Craig (James Bond), Judi Dench (M), Elize du toit (Vanessa), Ralph Fiennes (Gareth Mallory), Albert Finney (Kincade), Naomie Harris (Eve), Rory Kinnear (Tanner), Berenice Marlohe (Severine), Helen McCrory (Clair Dowar MP), Ola Rapace (Patrice), Ben Whishaw (Q), Nicholas Woodeson (Doctor Hall)

Runtime: 143 mins


Dave Griffiths’s ‘Skyfall’ Review:

To see our review of ‘Skyfall’ please check

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Skyfall’: N/A

Rating: 3/5 Stars

IMDB Rating:Skyfall (2012) on IMDb