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Monday, 16 April 2018

No. 31 (2018) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society April 12th.

Film No. 31 (2018) April 12th.  6:30 PM LUNA Paradiso Northbridge. 

"How wonderful, a film I could enjoy with no sex, no swearing and next to no violence ....... marvellous" (A fellow preview attendee in the cinema foyer immediately after the showing).

So, what of this film depicting a popular novel with the longest title in living memory? This period piece shot on some of the the U.K.'s most breathtaking coastline is going to woo the crowds, and some. Mike Newel (Four Weddings and a Funeral) returns to his British roots and melds a bunch of no name actors, Tom Courtney excluded, into a charming World War II and post war story. Lily James (Juliet Ashton) is motivated to travel to Guernsey after a chance connection via mail with Dawsey Adams (Michiel Huisman). Juliet is a successful writer seeking a challenge. What she encounters will change her life, but that's not a spoiler. The predictability of TGLPPS is unsurprising, it's the brilliant balance  with which Newel layers every character and scene leading to the conclusion we know is coming that surprises. Escapism at its very best. 9GUMS.


No. 32 (2018) Last Flag Flying April 14th.

Film No 32 (2018) April 14th.  10:45 AM  LUNA PALACE Leederville . 

"I haven’t seen these men in decades, they represent a dark period in my life". (Mueller, to his wife after the unexpected arrival of two fellow Vietnam veterans Doc and Sal)


Linkletter serves up yet another clear window into the power of the human spirit with his usual insightful brilliance. This time he serves up strong themes in a film where there is much to reflect on. I am always impressed by the effective use of comedy in films which cover sensitive elements and events from the past; Last Flag Flying does just that. The three leads Bryan Cranston, Steve Carrel and Laurence Fishburne play Vietnam veterans Sal, Doc and Mueller who re-unite 30 years post war after Doc’s son ‘Larry’ dies while serving in the 2003 Iraq war. The three embark on a roadtrip across the states in order bring Larry’s body home to be buried next to his mother. Cranston’s character is the comic in this film and the source of it’s effectiveness. ‘Larry’s friend who joins the vets on their mission also plays a powerful role in bringing the two generations together.  10GUMS.  by Sarah Greenwood.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

No. 30 (2018) Loveless April 9th.

Film No. 30 (2018) April 9th.  6:30 PM LUNA Paradiso Northbridge. 

"The school just called. He hasn't been there for two days" (Mother Zhenya phones Alyosha's father Boris to reveal a new stress about to unfold in their selfish lives).

This bleak film has plenty to say but a sense of optimism it does not have. Be warned, this film will leave you wrung out and exhausted  over man's (a couple, in the throes of divorce) inhumanity to man (their 12 year old son). It is an exquisitely crafted voice with a shrill tone. An unloved only child, Alyosha (Matey Novikov), is not the focus but he is the reason we are given a real sense of hopelessness in a society too caught up in its own uncaring nature to notice the significance of future generations. Co-writer and director Andrey Zvyagintsev is the most powerful cinematic voice shouting out from Russia. The brilliance of his Leviathan (2014) gave the western world a peek at
his insights, Loveless has us staring in disbelief at his new portrait of Russian society.  11GUMS.


Friday, 13 April 2018

No. 29 (2018) Unsane April 7th.

Film No 29 (2018) April 7th.  10:45 AM  LUNA PALACE Leederville . 

"Foy takes us on a new journey, a journey so foreign to her roles as a young Queen Elizabeth it will rock you". (Promotional blurb promoting Unsane).

Steven Soderberg continues to make films even after he swore off his addiction a couple of years ago. That's a good thing, don't get me wrong and his latest, Unsane, takes us on yet another unique, thrilling adventure. Shot entirely on an iPhone to capture the unsettling nature of the plight of Sawyer Valantini (Claire Foy), Unsane is an unnerving watch. Sawyer is committed to a hospital for the psychologically disrupted. It's hard to understand why but she meets an ally, Nate (Jay Pharaoh) who goes some way to explaining her involuntary incarceration. The major tension of Unsane comes via the revelation of the reasons for Sawyer's erratic behaviour. The repercussions of that chapter in her life is alive and well and testing her own sense of reality. Unsane will unsettle those who wish to be unsettled. I didn't like Unsane much but I was in a minority at the preview I attended so go see for yourself. 7GUMS.   

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

No. 28 (2018) Abracadabra April 5th.

Film No. 28 (2018) April 5th.  6:30 PM LUNA Paradiso Northbridge. 

"How do I know if the man I'm with is my husband or the other guy?" (Carmen asks Pepe's mentor for help in her marital matters).

This light, poignant morality tale on marriage has its moments. Some of those moments are laugh out loud scenes with smatterings of physical comedy. Our view of the marriage is told mostly through the eyes of Carmen (Maribel Verdu) as she suffers the abrasive and often uncaring behaviour of husband Carlos (Antonio de la Torre). Then at a wedding reception,during cousin Pepe's (Jose Mota) amateurish hypnotic act, Carlos is invaded by the ghost of a murderous waiter, the change in his personality is surprising for all. Carmen is treated gently and with great thoughtfulness but only sometimes; she decides to seek meaning behind her husbands transformation. Her journey becomes the core of the film. It's original and has a finale which leaves you thinking. But it loses its way at odd times along the way. 8GUMS.


Saturday, 7 April 2018

No. 27 (2018) Aus dem Nichts (In The Fade) April 3rd.

Film No 27 (2018) April 3rd.  2:50 PM  LUNA PALACE Leederville . 

"If they had killed me and my son and my husband lived, he would have done something". (Katja tells her lawyer about an alternative scenario which might have occurred if the outcome of the trial concluded in the same way).

Diane Kruger plays lead character Katja Sekerci in such a mesmerizing fashion it's easy to see why she won best female actor at Cannes in 2017. In The Fade tells the story, in 3 chapters, of a mother so wracked with grief after the death of her son and husband in such a senseless and gruesome manner that she can hardly retain any motivation to live. Our journey, however bleak, is her journey as she tries to cope with heartbreaking grief. The chapters (Family, Justice and The Sea) play like her stages of emotional management. The justice scenes are particularly gripping. Experiencing the German judicial system in this manner was a lesson in law itself. Kruger shines in this gripping tale. Oh, and the final image offers up a puzzle, I'm still unsure its meaning. 10GUMS 



Monday, 2 April 2018

No. 26 (2018) A Quiet Place March 29th

Film No. 26 (2018) March 29th.  6:30 PM EVENT Cinemas Innaloo. 

"Those who survived live by one rule, never make a sound or die." (The Paramount quote accompanying all promotional paraphernalia attached to A Quiet Place).

This taut thriller will likely not create a quiet cinema space during your viewing. The concept of earth becoming a quiet place after an alien invasion is an original idea that adds to the intensity of select scenes and finally the climactic finale. John Kosinski (director, star and assistant writer) and real world wife Emily Blunt play on screen couple Lee and Evelyn adapting their home and surrounds so they and their children survive life on earth. The fact that aliens prowl the earth (without sight but with acute acoustic awareness) paralleled against a family (all individually brave) we root for from scene one, makes for a tight and often frightening 90 minutes. Yes, one of my pet loves, a standard length feature that doesn't waste a scene. If you like a good old fashioned fright in a dark cinema, then don't miss A Quiet Place, it should do the trick. 10GUMS.