Category: MDP On Film

Supanova Melb 2010_MDPI’ve decided to see more movies this year and so far so good! However, I’m not getting the time to review them all, so I thought I’d write some mini reviews for you. And while I’m at, it I might as well mention some of the TV series I’ve watched recently as well.

 

Chef

I went to Chef on a whim one Sunday. There was nothing showing that I really wanted to see, but this turned out to be an unexpected delight. Chef Carl Casper quits the restaurant life to return to Miami and open a food truck selling cubanos. In doing so, he reconnects with his wife and son. The music is good, the food provides a visual feast, and Robert Downey Junior’s supporting role is one of the best parts I’ve seen him in. It’s a movie celebrating food, life, and love, and I came out of the cinema feeling good.

 

 

The Two Faces of January

Based on a Patricia Highsmith novel about a couple who are scammed by a young tour guide on a visit to the Acropolis, this movie is sinister, romantic, and sad. Though set in 1962, it felt like it could have been even older. The reversal of fortunes is always an interesting hook in a movie, and I was never too sure whose side I was on. None of the characters were particularly likeable, but the intertwining of their fates was. Though beautifully produced, the movie ultimately left me a little unmoved.

 

 

Transformers–Age of Extinction

In the first few moments of the movie I had high hopes. They crashed and burned. This was bloated even by Transformer’s standards. Not even the special effects could save it from it from a clichéd script that saw the lovely Nicola Pelz as a bone between two dogs (Wahlberg and Raynor). I apologise to those who loved it, but the treatment of the character Tessa Yeager nearly did my head in.

 

 

House of Cards (s2)

Frank and Claire Underwood are at it again–conniving and manipulating their way to the highest office in the Capitol. No one is safe from them; no one is spared. House of Cards is a fascinating political drama given life by some magnificent acting (Robin Wright, Kevin Spacey and Michael Kelly to name just a few) and a storyline judiciously sprinkled with sex and violence. A series you just can’t look away from.

 

 

Line of Duty

The anti-corruption unit, AC-12, investigate two-time Officer of the Year, DCI Tony Gates in a taut chase that turns into a downward spiral for everyone involved. Vicky McClure (DC Kate Fleming) is particularly convincing as an undercover anti-corruption cop, and Adrian Dunbar, who plays her boss, is always terrific in any role. Lennie James (Gates) portrays an arrogant but essentially honest policeman who becomes a victim of his own weaknesses. He performs the role with an exhausting inevitability that drew me in and held me in thrall.

 

jersey-boys-movie-trailer-2014I went to see Jersey Boys because I’m trying to be less insular in my movie selections, and Clint Eastwood directed and produced it. He seems to choose stories that deliver decent characterisation and a certain wry humour (after seeing The Other Woman recently, I vomited stereotypes for a week).

I didn’t know a lot of background about the stage version, other than it had been very successful, but I’m old enough to have heard all the Four Season’s music, especially the seventies hit December 1963–which is kind of a legendary song.

Here’s the premise: The story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. IMBD

So the film…set and costume design was stylish, the acting was decent, and some of the musical moments were sublime. It felt like a gentle movie, a loving rendition, not something truly raw and insightful. Metacritic summed it up well: Jersey Boys is neither as inventive nor as energetic as it could be, but there’s no denying the powerful pleasures of its musical moments”

I found John Lloyd Young’s reprise (from the stage show) of the Frankie Valli role to be lovable but a little dense. Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio couldn’t transform his suave 2000’s looks to fit into the ’50’s period–it was like watching Gabriel Macht (Suits) in the part. Vincent Piazza as Tommy de Vito had the most impact, but that may have been to do with the fact that his character was so lively. Christopher Walken looked like he was having a grand old time playing the revered mob boss, Gyp DeCarlo

The storyline in very poignant and all about honour among men, and, to a degree, about reaping what you sow. I can appreciate the former, but honestly, I’m not sure that I really relate. For me, the highlight was hearing this…

Movie Trailer

 

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

 

 

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