Michael W.Bachochin’s highly-anticipated Psychodrama/science-fiction feature Parallax releases in theaters this summer.
A young artist wakes up in a life that she doesn’t recognize, spending her time asleep haunted by nightmares of drowning in a black abysmal void. As she begins to uncover the truths of the life that she’s found herself in, the gravity of her failing reality weighs heavily on her psychological identity and the reliability of her sanity is called into question.
Naomi Prentice, Nelson Ritthaler, Hattie Smith and Ted Gianopulos star.
Parallax, written and directed by Michael W.Bachochin, is produced by Bachochin, Brooke Lorraine and Yuself Baig.
Warner Bros. Pictures and Roadshow Films are partnering with exhibitors to invite audiences to celebrate the 10thAnniversary re-release of Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed box office sensation INCEPTION on July 16. This special anniversary theatrical event will also give audiences a never-before-seen look at footage from Nolan’s highly anticipated film TENET, which will debut worldwide two weeks later, on July 30.
“As cinema lovers return to theatres across the country we are thrilled to be bringing TENET, Christopher Nolan’s latest epic, to the big screen,” Said Joel Pearlman, CEO Roadshow Films. “Fans of Nolan’s work know the scope and scale of his films are made for the theatrical environment and as we countdown to the opening of this latest global film event, we are excited to offer his classic INCEPTION in cinemas on its 10th anniversary, July 16th.”
John David Washington is the new Protagonist in Christopher Nolan’s original sci-fi action spectacle “Tenet.” Armed with only one word—Tenet—and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Not time travel. Inversion. The film also stars Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, with Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh. Nolan wrote and directed the film and also produced with Emma Thomas.
“Inception,” a 2010 science fiction action film written and directed by Nolan, who also produced the film with Emma Thomas, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets. He is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for the implantation of another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious. The ensemble cast includes Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.
For further information on session times and participating cinemas, please visit your local cinema website for full details.
Way back in 1988, yes that year that Australia ended up calling the Bi-Centennial, a piece of Australian cinematic history was about to arrive. Out of Melbourne came a low budget film that became a cult classic – a comedy set during nuclear destruction – Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em. The film re-surfaced a few years ago when it was shown at Australia’s leading cult film festival Monster Fest and tonight it will be shown to an even wider audience as it becomes part of the Friday Fright Night live stream.
To find out a little bit more about this cult classic today I had the pleasure of chatting to the film’s screenwriter/director Ray Boseley who since then has gone on to work on successful television shows including Acropolis Now and Round The Twist.
“I’m just over the moon,” says Boseley when I ask him how he feels about his film being screened right around the world as part of Friday Fright Night. “I put everything I had into making the film some thirty odd years ago and now it is just a joy that it has found this opportunity to be seen by other people and perhaps some people that didn’t have that chance all those years ago to check it out.”
“I was studying film and television at Swinburne, I was in the graduating class of 1984,” explains Boseley as we start to talk about the very beginnings of Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em. “We had to do a major production in Year Three and that is when the idea of Smoke ‘Em first came to me. I sort of pitched that as what i wanted to make for my film and fortunately the lecturers there were a lot smarter than me and they immediately told me that it was not realistic to try and achieve it as a student film. So they said no and I had to come up with something else.”
“Then a few years later after working in the industry for awhile Film Victoria had a grant program and I put Smoke ‘Em in,” he says continuing. “By then I had it fully written. It had kind of just been sitting there waiting to record and that was the first chance I had to do it. They actually gave me more money than I thought I needed but it was still quite a tight budget and quite a tight schedule… it was pretty hard work getting Smoke ‘Em onto the screen.”
That hard work included one of the toughest shoots that Boseley has ever experienced in his career. “It is probably the second hardest thing I have ever done in my life,” he says with a laugh. “It was a really big script. It was really ambitious challenge to create the bomb shelter itself and then a separate challenge was the scenes outside in a devastated nuclear wasteland.”
“The there was a large cast and a lot of tricky things to film,” he says continuing. “There was a few little stunts, there was a fight scene that turned into a brawl at the party. It was basically a list of all the trickiest things that you could possibly write to push a crew to their limit on a fairly limited shoot. I think it was about two and a half weeks for the entire shoot and every shot was just complicated – most shots had a couple of dozen people in the frame. All of that makes it very difficult. Then there were some degrees of special make-up and all the costuming, it had to be lit properly and it led to some very tricky stuff.”
Despite all that Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em did all come together and you can watch it tonight on Friday Fright Night… details below.
Grab your popcorn and cuddle up with a hyena, it’s time to join ACMI in Australia’s first Birds of Prey: The Emancipation Of One Fantabulous Harley Quinn watch party with pop culture critic, ACMI writer and Number 1 BOP fan Maria Lewis.
Starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and brought to life by Robbie’s own production company Lucky Chap Entertainment, BOP is a high octane film of firsts. Not only is it the first big screen all-female superhero team movie, it’s also based on the first all-female superhero comic book team.
BOP’s diverse pool of female talent isn’t just in front of the camera, but behind it as well. Directed by Cathy Yan and written by British-Taiwanese screenwriter Christina Hodson, together they’ve lovingly recreated characters who are dirty, funny and sexy in a way that doesn’t consider the male gaze let alone cater for it.
One of the great initiates that has started up during our pandemic lockdown is that Monster Pictures have re-started their Friday Night Frights but are doing it online. The film screening tonight is the deserved Australian cult classic SheBorg Massacre. We decided that was the perfect excuse to catch up with filmmaker Daniel Armstrong who since directing SheBorg Massacre has also released Tarnation and is currently in post-production for his latest film Nova Star.
“Hopefully it will help kick a few of the lockdown blues in the nuts,” says Armstrong laughing when we begin to talk about SheBorg Massacre being part of Friday Night Frights. “I only found out about a few days ago, but it should be pretty fun… it should be pretty cool. I checked out Cat Sick Blues when it was on the other week, it is a good thing to do when you are a stuck at home, let the internet entertain you.”
As our discussion goes on we start to think back to the early days of when SheBorg Massacre was still in its infancy. “That is going back to far,” he says laughing again. “I think we shot in 2015 so I probably would have written it back in early 2014. What I remember is coming up with a title – originally it was called SheBorg Prison Massacre. I thought ‘that is the best name for a film, I should write that.’ So I remember writing that and then we couldn’t find a prison or something that looked like a prison to shoot in, but we did know a guy that had a farm that looked like a puppy farm. They were actually old chicken coops but we thought it looked like a really dodgy puppy farm.”
“So then I changed the name to Sheborg Puppy Farm Massacre and then we dropped the Puppy Farm part because it offended too many people,” he says continuing. “Then it became SheBorg Massacre. But yeah it started with a title.”
Despite the film being made on a micro-budget the film does actually contain actual stunts. At one point a car is crashed into a tree and at another point actress Whitney Duff is left climbing on the side of a moving van. That led me to ask how Armstrong shot stunts like that while filming on such a low budget. “To drive into the tree we just had an insane person who was willing to drive a car into a tree,” he explains. “So we just did that for real, we actually drove the car into the tree. With the van stunt we actually got a stunt co-ordinator and we got him in for the day and Whitney is actually wired onto that car. She was talked to about how the best way to do it but otherwise the car is actually driving around with her hanging off the side and back of it. She has a harness connected to the back of the car somewhere so in theory she can’t fall off, and she didn’t fall off so I guess it all went well.”
One of the highlights of the film are the amazing performances of Whitney Duff and Daisy Masterman so I just had to ask Armstrong how he went about discovering both of them. “It is the chemistry between Whitney and Daisy that makes the film fun to watch,” admits Armstrong. “They become legitimately good friends during pre-production and that really shows. That energy really helps you enjoy the film.”
“Whitney just auditioned,” he says continuing. “I don’t know where she would have seen the casting call but she just auditioned and I wrote the part for Daisy. I had worked with Daisy on Murderdrome, she had a very, very small part in that but she was extremely funny and I thought we should put her in a bigger part. I always knew that she was going to be Eddie so Daisy came to all the auditions that people came to for the Dylan character which is the character that Whitney plays. Then we kind of just judged on which applicant had the best chemistry with Daisy on the spot.”
To finish up we let Daniel say something special for all of you out there who are going to tune into SheBorg Massacre tonight. “If you all enjoy the film as much as we did making it then we enjoyed making it twice as much as you,” he says. “Hopefully you just enjoy it, I think it is entertaining and I think it is fun. It obviously has its flaws but it does do some really cool stuff. I think it is just entertaining and fun to watch – it has a good heart.”
SheBorg Massacre screens tonight as part of Monster Picture’s Friday Night Frights series.
Summary: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 10th October 2019
Thailand Cinema Release Date: 16th November 2019
Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: 22nd January 2020
Country: United States, China
Director: Ang Lee
Screenwriter: David Benioff, Billy Ray, Darren Lemke
Cast: E.J. Bonilla (Marino), Justin James Boykin (Connor), Ralph Brown (Del Patterson), Marc Demeter (Agent Demeter), Christopher T. Elliott (John), Linda Emond (Janet Lassiter), Douglas Hodge (Jack Willis), Clive Owen (Clay Verris), Will Smith (Henry Brogan/Junior), Igor Szasz (Valery Dormov), Ilia Volok (Yuri Kovacs), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Danny Zakarewski), Benedict Wong (Baron)
Running Time: 117 mins
Classification: M (Australia) 15 (Thailand)
OUR GEMINI MAN REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths Review:
Know your limits! It is the kind of thing that would expect to say to a first time director who wants to bury themselves in an overly-ambitious cinematic project that is destined to fail. It is hardly the kind of thing that you would think a studio or producer would have to tell an experienced, Oscar winning director like Ang Lee.
As far as filmmaking goes Lee has always been someone that has never been afraid to push the envelope. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon saw him bring Asian cinema to the American mainstream, while Brokeback Mountain tackled taboo topics in such a way it once again showed why cinema plays an important part in opening up discussions in society. Then there was Life Of Pi – a film which used CGI in a way that no other director had ever dared to imagine.
Therefore it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise when it was announced that Lee’s new film Gemini Man would once again attempt to use cutting edge technology to bring its audience something new and fresh. The technology that Lee decided to use saw the film shot digitally at an extra-high frame rate of 120 frames per second and then modified to 3D. Lee thought the finished product would make audiences feel like they were standing right there amongst the action, instead what has been delivered is a film that is such a terrible cinematic experience it is on par with M. Night Shyamalan’s fall with grace when he helmed the ill-fated The Last Airbender.
When it comes to plot Gemini Man is made up of a story that action heroes like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger would have fallen over themselves to be involved with back in the 1990s. Will Smith plays Henry Brogan one of the Government’s top hitmen. After a hit becomes too close for comfort for Brogan he decides to retire but when he learns a painful secret about his career he suddenly finds another agent, Danny Zakarweski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), is sent to kill him. Then after explaining to her that she is mistaken an even deadlier enemy arrives to finish off the job –a clone of Brogan’s younger self.
With a plot a lot like that you could easily imagine a film that could well deliver an intense exploration of a topic like cloning while delivering all the suspense of a big action blockbuster, sadly though Gemini Man just doesn’t deliver at all. First of all it looks bad. You may remember that this type of extra-high frame rate film technique failed miserable when it was trialled on The Lord Of The Rings franchise and here it does exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason. The problem is it leaves the image way too clear, that results in a sun-drenched look that you would normally see on a television soap like The Bold And The Beautiful. And while some may say that yes that does make the audience feel part of the action that crystal clear vision also means that the filmmaker can no longer ‘hide’ all the magic of cinema. Suddenly fake blood is identifiable as fake blood and as we see here a stunt-man filling in for Will Smith is forced to cover his face in an absolutely ludicrous way so the audience can’t tell that he isn’t Smith. Yes, for the motorcycle sequence you will be gasping in wonder but for the rest of the film you will be groaning with disappointment.
If the visual aspects of Gemini Man doesn’t have you groaning I can guarantee that some of the cheesy lines and woeful dialogue certainly will. There is a scene in this film between Danny, Brogan and the clone where the dialogue is so bad that you would swear that it had been lifted from some terrible family soap opera. Then there is the cheesy dialogue throughout the film that feels like the screenwriter was desperate to try and deliver a catch-phrase but fails miserable. Hearing Brogan declare that he is from Philadelphia as he gives his life story does for once get the audience to laugh, but for all the wrong reasons as they recall the lyrics that Smith sang during the title credits of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air.
It is easy to see that what Ang Lee wanted to deliver with Gemini Man was an action film that went down in history for changing the face of cinema, what he has created though is a film so bad that it is likely to become a cult classic for the same reason The Room has become a must-see film – a film that shows young filmmakers how to make a film and has them laughing at the film from start to finish. Perhaps one day a filmmaker will take a look at something as serious as cloning in a way that can open up discussion for the audience but Gemini Man certainly isn’t that film. Like Ang Lee Will Smith rarely delivers a flop but somehow them working together has resulted in one of the worst films of the year.
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