Monthly Archives: January 2021

“My plan was to die before the money ran out,” says 60-year-old penniless Manhattan socialite Frances Price (Michelle Pfeiffer), but things didn’t go as planned. Her husband Franklin has been dead for 12 years and with his vast inheritance gone, she cashes in the last of her possessions and resolves to live out her twilight days anonymously in a borrowed apartment in Paris, accompanied by her directionless son Malcolm (Lucas Hedges) and a cat named Small Frank—who may or may not embody the spirit of Frances’s dead husband.

Starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges, Valerie Mahaffey, Imogen Poots, Danielle Macdonald, Tracy Letts

Directed by Azazel Jacobs

 Stan today announced that the highly anticipated second season of gritty crime drama series City On A Hill starring Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Kevin Bacon and Screen Actors Guildaward winner Aldis Hodge, will premiere 29 March, same day as the U.S., only on Stan. 

Season two centres on a federal housing project in the Roxbury neighbourhood of Boston that is plagued with drug violence and a rightful distrust in local law enforcement. As coalition leader Grace Campbell (Pernell Walker) works tirelessly on behalf of the community, her efforts are undermined by gang activity happening right under her nose. Enter irreverent FBI agent Jackie Rohr (Bacon), who is here to exploit Boston’s defective criminal justice system in a desperate attempt to salvage his own career. Unfortunately for Jackie, assistant district attorney Decourcy Ward (Hodge) is onto his adversary’s latest misstep. In time, the personal antagonism between these two escalates to an all-out war between the offices of the U.S. Attorney and the Suffolk DA. No one is safe from the collateral damage.

Season two also stars Lauren E. Banks, Mark O’Brien, Amanda Clayton, Matthew Del Negro and Jill Hennessy with guest stars Pernell Walker, Lucia Ryan, Kameron Kierce, Shannon Wallace, John Doman, and Michael O’Keefe.

City On A Hill is executive produced by multiple Emmy winner Tom Fontana (Homicide: Life on the Street), who also serves as showrunner. In addition, City On A Hill is executive produced by Jennifer Todd, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jorge Zamacona Barry Levinson, Chuck MacLean and Michael Cuesta. Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge and Michele Giordano serve as co-executive producers.

City On A Hill Season 2 will premiere 29 March, only on Stan – same day as the U.S.

Today Disney+ gave fans a first look at its original series “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” premiering Friday, 26 March. Nearly 30 years after first taking flight, “The Mighty Ducks” returns in a brand new chapter starring Lauren Graham and Emilio Estevez in the iconic role he originated as legendary Coach Gordon Bombay.
 
In the 10-episode season set in present day Minnesota, the Mighty Ducks have evolved from scrappy underdogs to an ultra-competitive, powerhouse youth hockey team. After 12-year-old Evan Morrow (Brady Noon) is unceremoniously cut from the Ducks, he and his mom, Alex (Lauren Graham), set out to build their own team of misfits to challenge the cutthroat, win-at-all-costs culture of youth sports today. With the help of Gordon Bombay, they rediscover the joys of playing just for love of the game.
 
The series features a talented new team of up-and-coming young actors including Brady Noon, Maxwell Simkins, Swayam Bhatia, Luke Islam, Kiefer O’Reilly, Taegen Burns, Bella Higginbotham, and DJ Watts. 
 
“The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” is produced by ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios. Steve Brill, the original creator, writer and executive producer of all three films, which spawned an NHL franchise, is back as co-creator and executive producer of the new series. Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa (“The King of Queens,” “13 Going On 30”) are co-creators and will serve as executive producers and showrunners. Michael Spiller serves as executive producer / director on the series, with James Griffiths serving as director/EP on the Pilot.  Emilio Estevez is an executive producer and Lauren Graham is co-executive producer. George Heller and Brad Petrigala of Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Jon Avnet and Jordan Kerner also serve as non-writing executive producers.

Attention all 90s kids, America’s first family (like, actually the first) Earl, Fran, Robbie, Charlene and Baby are back as the beloved classic TV series, Dinosaurs is finally returning to Australian screens this Friday, 29 January on Disney+.
 Created by Jim Henson, in partnership with Walt Disney Television, Dinosaurs first aired from 1991-1994 and follows the lives of a family of prehistoric creatures living in a modern world.
 
Home to unforgettable catchphrases like “Gotta Love Me” and “Not the Mama”, Dinosaurs delivers all the classic throwback memories you thought were extinct and have been waiting to watch again, in what feels like a million years. 
For those too young to remember this cult classic, let us introduce you to the Sinclairs… the funniest family in 60 million years! They’re just your average family with one BIG difference, they’re dinosaurs.
 
Living the good life in sixty million and three B.C., this hilarious and oddly relatable family is made up of Daddy Earl, his wife Fran, their kids Robbie, Charlene, and the Baby, and feisty Grandma Ethyl, who bring a hilarious Jurassic twist to daily life. 
All 65 episodes of Dinosaurs will be available on Disney+, including iconic episodes from ‘The Golden Child’ and ‘The Terrible Twos’ to ‘New Leaf’ and of course ‘Changing Nature’.
 
So dig up your fossils, get the dino snacks ready and head to Disney+ from Friday 29 January for a night of nostalgic fun – nothing will Tricera-tops this! 

For a glorious respite from the challenges of our present reality, look no further than the Alliance Française French Film Festival, which will return from early March until mid-April for its luminous 32nd season.

Presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, this joyous and evocative celebration of French culture will screen in splendour at Palace Cinemas across seven cities and two satellite locations.  The strictest Covid protocols are adhered to in each state, including social distancing, sanitising and circulation of clean air, to ensure a safe cinema experience.

For its 2021 outing, the Festival is delighted to have the generous patronage of esteemed Presenting Sponsor, Peugeot Australia. With over 210 years of rich history, Peugeot delivers award-winning excellence in its mobility solutions for the modern motorist.

2021 is also noteworthy for being the inaugural season of Artistic Director, Karine Mauris.  Hailing from a background immersed in cultural creativity, Karine is passionate about nurturing emerging talent and discovering stories that cast a spotlight on the many rich facets of French life. 

To this end, Karine has assembled 37 incredible features from established filmmakers including Ruben Alves, Éric Barbier, Éric Besnard, Quentin Dupieux, Marc Fitoussi, Anne Fontaine, Yann Gozlan, Éric Lartigau, Gabriel Le Bomin, Emmanuel Mouret, François Ozon and Nicolas Vanier, alongside emerging talents such as Kaouther Ben Hania (The Man Who Sold His Skin), Manele Labidi (Arab Blues) and Chloé Mazlo (Skies of Lebanon).  Adding further spice to the mix will be movies from multi-talented actor/directors including Valérie Lemercier, Albert Dupontel, Géraldine Nakache and Samir Guesmi.

Every film in the 2021 season is guaranteed to transport and delight, with many exploring the powerful urge to overcome obstacles, no matter the situation, or sacrifice demanded. 

Passionate examples include Appearancesa taut thriller in which a couple’s privileged Viennese existence threatens to implode when a husband’s infidelity propels his wife into a spiral of revenge; Missa joyful, yet thought-provoking film about a boy who dreams of transcending traditional binary gender definitions by entering the Miss France beauty pageant; Final Set, a must-see for sports fans, as an aging tennis player takes one last shot at winning the French Open, The Rose Maker, a gentle comedy in the grand French tradition, about a once prosperous rose grower, who finds salvation from an unlikely quarter; Bye Bye Morons, a madcap quest filled with adventure, peril and bewildering encounters, and Aline (inspired by the life of singing sensation Céline Dion), the story of a teenager from Quebec whose powerful voice propels her onto the world stage to become the darling of millions.

As intrinsic to French culture as breathing, ‘l’amour’ in all its intoxicating complexities, is also a recurring theme throughout the 2021 line-up.  It’s explored with delicate sensitivity in Love Affair, with sophisticated humour in The Wedding Speech, empathy in Summer of 85, whilst France’s enduring love affair with gastronomy is depicted via the first French restaurant in the splendid 18th century period drama, Delicious.

This year’s programme will also highlight diversity through titles such as The Man Who Sold His Skin, a modern Faustian tale, selected as the Tunisian entry for Best International Feature Film at the 93d Academy Awards©; the devastation of civil war as depicted by Small Country: An African ChildhoodArab Bluesa sparkling ‘fish-out-of-water’ comedy about adapting to a new culture; the fraught Night Shift, which explores the moral dilemmas faced by police when dealing with illegal immigrants, the lyrical and poetic 1950s drama, Skies of Lebanon and Fahim, the Little Chess Prince, the story of  Fahim Mohammad, the Bangladeshi refugee boy who became a national French chess champion.

Bringing these stories and more to life will be a host of Europe’s finest actors, from Jean-Paul Belmondo, Monica Bellucci, Isabelle Carré, Alain Chabat, François Cluzet, Camille Cottin, Emmanuelle Devos, Lou de Laâge, Gérard Depardieu, Laeticia Dosch, Romain Duris, André Dussollier, Virginie Efira and Catherine Frot, to Grégory Gadebois, Blanch Gardin, Ana Giradot, Golshifteh Farahani, Isabelle Huppert, Kad Merad, Tchéky Karyo, Vincent Lacoste, Alex Lutz, Isabelle Nanty, Sylvain Marcel, Pierre Niney, Denis Podalydès, Kristin Scott Thomas, Omar Sy, Patrick Timsit, Karin Viard and Lambert Wilson.  Also look out for rising stars such as Félix Lefebvre, Finnegan Oldfield, Emma Mackey, Benjamin Voisin and Alexandre Whetter.

National dates and venues for the 2021 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:

SYDNEY: 2 – 31 March Palace Central, Palace Verona, Palace Norton Street, Chauvel Cinema & Hayden Orpheum Cremorne 
MELBOURNE: 3 – 31 March Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace, Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, Astor Theatre, The Kino & Pentridge Cinema 
CANBERRA: 4 – 31 March Palace Electric Cinema 
PERTH: 10 March – 7 April Palace Raine Square, Luna Leederville, Windsor Cinema, Luna on SX & Camelot Outdoor Cinema 
HOBART: 11 – 20 March State Cinema Hobart 
BRISBANE: 17 March – 13 April Palace Barracks & Palace James Street 
ADELAIDE: 23 March – 20 April Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas & Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas 
BYRON BAY: 24 March – 14 April Palace Byron Bay 
PARRAMATTA: 8 – 11 April Riverside Theatres Parramatta 

Legends collide in “Godzilla vs. Kong” as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.  Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond.  But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe.  The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.

Godzilla vs Kong stars  Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir. It is directed by Adam Wingard.

Godzilla vs Kong lands in cinemas on March 25th.

Australian audiences have fallen in love with Roadshow Films’ PENGUIN BLOOM, the inspirational tale of a wounded magpie that restores hope to a family. The film has taken over $1.51 million at the Australian box office since it opened in cinemas on Thursday.

“The fantastic box office result for Penguin Bloom represents how eager Australians are to get back to the cinema and support quality, home-grown film-making.” said Joel Pearlman, CEO Roadshow Films. “The universal appeal of these films is undeniable and now is the time for Australia to champion its bold stories and beautiful locations with the world.”

The exceptional box office results for quality Australian productions continues, with THE DRY taking second spot, and crossing $12 million in its fourth week.

“It’s remarkable that the two top spots of the Australian box office are currently held by Australian films – this is a rare and remarkable achievement and a further indication of just how eager audiences are to support great stories and exceptional film making.” said Pearlman.

“We have enjoyed an incredible relationship with the Made Up Stories team of Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutensky and Jodi Matterson, as well as Robert Connolly and Eric Bana on The Dry and Emma Cooper and Glendyn Ivin on Penguin Bloom.” He said “These filmmakers have done brilliant work to realise these exceptional Australian Stories.”

Penguin Bloom tells the true story of Sam Bloom (Academy Award® nominated Naomi Watts) a young mother whose world is turned upside down after a near-fatal accident leaves her unable to walk. Sam’s husband, (Andrew Lincoln), her three young boys and her mother (Academy Award® nominated Jacki Weaver), are struggling to adjust to their new situation when an unlikely ally enters their world in the form of an injured baby magpie they name Penguin. The bird’s arrival is a welcome distraction for the Bloom family, eventually making a profound difference in the family’s life.

Directed by Glendyn Ivin, the film is produced by Broadtalks’ Emma Cooper, Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies), Steve Hutensky and Jodi Matterson (Little Monsters), alongside Watts.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Roadshow Entertainment have announced today that the major superhero tentpole film “Wonder Woman 1984” will be exclusively fast-tracked from cinemas to Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) and premium digital ownership in Australia and New Zealand from January 27, 2021.

This title will be one of the first wide-released blockbusters to be fast-tracked ahead of the usual three month release window.

Since Boxing Day, “Wonder Woman 1984” has brought in over $26 million to the Australian and New Zealand Box Office, and now fans and families will have the option to enjoy the film in the comfort of their own home, or continue to enjoy the film on the big screen.

Wonder Woman 1984”, will be available for rental either via PVOD for $29.99 AUD or to own digitally for $34.99 AUD, beginning on Wednesday January 27.The title will be available on participating digital platforms.

From director Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot in the title role, “Wonder Woman 1984” fast forwards to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her riding lightning across the sky, donning wings of gold, and chasing a dream while in pursuit of two new formidable foes: Max Lord and the Cheetah.

In “Wonder Woman 1984,” the fate of the world is once more on the line, and only Wonder Woman can save it.  This new chapter in the Wonder Woman story finds Diana Prince living quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s—an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all.  Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile, curating ancient artifacts and only performing her superheroic acts incognito.  But now, Diana will have to step directly into the spotlight and muster all her wisdom, strength and courage in order to save mankind from a world of its own making.

The film also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as the Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, Robin Wright as Antiope and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta.

Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot and Stephen Jones produced the film.  Rebecca Steel Roven Oakley, Richard Suckle, Marianne Jenkins, Geoff Johns, Walter Hamada, Chantal Nong Vo and Wesley Coller served as the executive producers.

Jenkins directed from a screenplay she wrote with Geoff Johns & Dave Callaham, story by Jenkins & Johns, based on characters from DC.  Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.  Joining the director behind the scenes are several members of her “Wonder Woman” team, including director of photography Matthew Jensen, Oscar-nominated production designer Aline Bonetto (“Amélie”), and Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (“Topsy-Turvy”).  Oscar-nominated editor Richard Pearson (“United 93”) cut the film.  The music is by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer (“Dunkirk,” “The Lion King”).

Summary: Abby thinks her relationship with Harper is perfect but all that changes when they go to Harper’s family home for Christmas and Abby learns that her parents don’t even know she is gay.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 20th December 2020 (Australia), 4th February 2021 (Thailand)

VOD Release Dates: 26th November 2020 (UK), 25th November 2020 (USA)

Country: USA, Canada

Director: Clea DuVall

Screenwriter: Clea DuVall, Mary Holland

Cast: Chelsea Banglesdorf (Colleen the Hostess), Sarayu Blue (Carolyn McCoy), Alison Brie (Sloane), Michelle Buteau (Trudy), Mackenzie Davis (Harper), Victor Garber (Ted), Ana Gasteyer (Harry Levin), Jenny Gulley (Ashley), Caroline Harris (Kelly), Jerrick Hoffer (Em K. Ultra), Mary Holland (Jane), Daryn Kahn (Todd), Lauren Lapkus (Mall Security Crystal), Dominque Lawson (Levi), Dan Levy (John), Jake McDorman (Connor), Burl Moseley (Eric), Anis N’Dobe (Matilda), Matt Newell (Guard Eugene), Aubrey Plaza (Riley Johnson), Benjamin Putnam (Miss L’Teau), Timothy Simons (Mall Security Ed), Mary Steenburgen (Tipper), Kristen Stewart (Abby)

Running Time: 102 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12 (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR HAPPIEST SEASON REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Happiest Season Review:

Yes it is almost February but the Christmas movies just keep coming this year. Now it is time for Happiest Season to be released in Phuket and one thing about this film should tell you straight away that this film is not going to be ‘just another Christmas movie’ – and that is the fact that it stars Kristen Stewart.

Stewart is an actress that we should all feel sorry for. Most people still unfairly refer to her as the ‘Twilight girl’ despite the fact that she had a pretty decent filmography behind her before she stepped into the shoes of Bella Swan and since that outing has made a number of more serious cinematic classics Cafe Society and Clouds Of Sils Maria. Yes, she also made Charlie’s Angels but we will give her a free pass for that one because she is one actress that normally knows how to pick a film with an interesting script.

In Happiest Season she plays Abby, a young gay woman in a relationship with the love of her life, Harper (Mackenzie Davis – Blade Runner 2049), but hasn’t really celebrated Christmas since the death of her parents several years before. In a moment of Christmas spirit Harper invites Abby to go and spend Christmas with her family but then instantly regrets it when the next day she remembers that she has never told her parents she is gay.

The pair create a story that Abby is Harper’s orphaned house-mate and Harper promises to tell her parents the truth after Christmas. But then when they arrive they discover that Harper’s father, Ted (Victor Garber – Titanic), is mounting a political campaign for Mayor fuelled by her mother, Tipper (Mary Steenburgen – Step Brothers), who is in full campaign mode. But as the weekend goes on Abby sees a darker side to Harper as she competes with her sister (Alison Brie – Community) and continues to hurt Abby.

As Abby then finds herself confused by her relationship and Harper’s attitude she finds herself listening more and more to her best friend, John (Dan Levy – Schitt’s Creek), and Harper’s ex Riley (Aubrey Plaza – Ingrid Goes West).

Just like Last Christmas last year Happiest Season is the kind of Christmas film that even the most seasons cinema-goer can enjoy. Director/screen-writer Clea DuVall (The Intervention) makes sure that there is no cheesy Christmas moments in the film – instead she has created serious relationship drama that at times contains just as much suspense as a thriller.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Happiest Season (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Happiest Season Reviews:

Nil

Trailer: