With a sweeping, picturesque setting and emotive performances, this dramatic epic will appeal to moviegoers who enjoy beautiful imagery and weepy romance. On the other hand, those who get easily annoyed at melodrama will find all of this a bit thin and pushy. Still, no one will deny that it looks gorgeous, and that the cast performs with raw emotional intensity.
Set just after the Great War, the film follows shellshocked veteran Tom (Michael Fassbender), who has taken over the job as the lighthouse keeper and sole resident of the tiny island of Janus, where the Pacific and Atlantic meet. In the nearest town, 100 miles across the sea, he meets the beautiful Isabel (Alicia Vikander), marries her and moves her to the island with him. But their blissful happiness is shaken when she suffers two harrowing miscarriages. So it seems like fate is intervening when a boat washes ashore with a crying baby, which Tom and Isabel secretly adopt and pass off as their own daughter. Then a few years later Tom discovers the baby's real mother Hannah (Rachel Weisz) in town, and they're forced to grapple with the moral issues.
Tom, Isabel and Hannah all face increasingly difficult decisions as this story unfolds, and the events push every button carefully, removing much of the complexity from the situation. It's painfully clear what must happen, and many scenes are darkly disturbing as a result, especially as characters turn on each other, making some very selfish choices and showing unexpected compassion and understanding. Nothing that happens here is easy, and the actors invest the characters with plenty of passion, plus the complexity that's lacking in the script. Fassbender is stoic, Vikander is wrenching and Weisz trumps them both with her sympathetic yearning. There's also a terrific scene-stealing turn from the young Florence Clery as the daughter in question.
Continue reading: The Light Between Oceans Review
When Set brutally murderers his brother, Osiris the great deities of ancient Egypt are upset, non-more so than his wife Isis. Piecing her husband - and fellow god - Osiris back together, she manages to resurrect him for long enough to conceive Horus. So begins a lifetime of battles for the Kingdom.
Set, the brother of Osiris and god of storms, disorder and violence on one side and Horus, the son of Osiris on the other. When Set and Horus go head to head in combat, the mortal citizens of Egypt hope for one victor (Horus) but in a moment of weakness, Set makes his move and steals the eyes of Horus.
Soon after the downfall of Horus, Set takes over Egypt and enslaves the mortals, knowning there's little hope of being saved, one mortal hero decides to help steal the eyes of Horus back in order to gain the trust of the cast out god. To take the kingdom back (and save Bek's love), he and Horus face vast armies of mortals and immortal demons cast under Set's spell.
Continue: Gods Of Egypt Trailer
Charlie Wolfe (Simon Pegg) is a professional hit man. Living in Australia, he take the odd job here and there, killing people for money. One day, he is asked to find proof that a man's wife is cheating on him and, not knowing that it will change his life forever, he accepts. Wolfe finds the evidence he needs and receives his payment, but then accepts a job from the same client, who now wants him to kill the wife. The catch? She's just run away with the money that the client intends to pay him with. When Wolfe discovers that he's not the only person hunting for the money, things start to get weird, and Wolfe discovers that his job may not be as simple as he first thought.
Continue: Kill Me Three Times - Red Band Trailer
After staying away for 20 years, Ned (Mendelsohn) drives his young financee (Dermody) into the middle of nowhere to meet his family. She's clearly out of place in such a rural environment, and being reunited with his younger sister (Griffiths) and wheezy dad (Brown) isn't exactly comfortable for Ned, as skeletons come tumbling from the closet. As a boy (Gill then O'Donnell in flashback), he was unnaturally close to his twin sister Kate (Burner then Lowe), whose early death is also entangled with the death of his older brother (Binks then McFarlane).
Yes, this is a fairly heavy and bleak story, but actress-turned-filmmaker Ward gives it a raw beauty that keeps us gripped, darting back and forth in time to fill in key details as Ned dredges ever deeper into his memory. Ward shoots and edits the flashback scenes with particular skill, really getting into the mind of this confused boy as his closeness to Kate takes an inappropriate turn. And the moods and attitudes are razor sharp.
Meanwhile, the cast members create vivid characters that are utterly consistent even with two or three actors in various eras of each role. All of them have a haunted quality that draws us in, although as the story gets increasingly intense our ability to identify with the characters diminishes. As Kate, Lowe haunts the film beautifully, rather like she haunts everyone's memories.
Continue reading: Beautiful Kate Review
At 165 minutes, Australia is ambitious to a point -- and then, to a fault. You can actually point to two movies jockeying for position on screen (well, one full story and the seeds of another). And while I quite liked the primary story, the third-act coda struck me as fodder for a potential sequel I wasn't prepared to sit through at the time.
Continue reading: Australia Review
Jimmy (Heath Ledger) works as a doorman at a strip club in the infamous Kings Cross area of Sydney. "The Cross" is the kind of place where trouble of the criminal kind is perfectly unavoidable, and Jimmy has trouble avoiding it. When asked by crime kingpin Pando (Bryan Brown) to deliver $10,000 to a unit in Bondi, Jimmy sees himself moving up in the world. When he loses the money on a disappointingly unromantic errand and it is stolen by a pair of Dickensian street kids, Jimmy knows he is a dead man. His only chance is to hook up with his dead brother's ex-gang and rob a bank to make the money back. As Pando's goons, including Acko (David Field) and Wally (Tom Long), hunt Jimmy down, the film races tensely to a climax that will decide his fate.
Continue reading: Two Hands Review
The story of an ex-G.I. (Cruise) who can't get a job in the Manhattan business world and turns to bartending to make his fortune is as a bartender, pouring with style, jumping on the counter, and spouting poetry. The love story with rich girl Elisabeth Shue is hilarious -- but watch for Kelly Lynch and Gina Gershon, both unknown at the time, in small tryst roles.
Continue reading: Cocktail Review
Heavy stuff, and though most of the based-on-a-play Morant plays out in holding cells and the courtroom, as a court martial determines the guilt of Morant and two of his compatriots (including Brian Brown in an early role), it's still compelling and fascinating stuff. Morant is a genuine bastard, but he's just following orders and trying to win a war. It's the same argument that we'd see in umpteen Nazi films (and understanding the intricacies of the Boer conflict is probably a fool's errand), but Woodward's Morant makes for a troubling and complex anti-hero. He's aided amicably by Jack Thompson, playing the three lieutenants' good-hearted but ultimately ineffective attorney. (Also of note, this film was director Bruce Beresford's big break. He'd come to Hollywood shortly after Morant hit.)
Continue reading: 'Breaker' Morant Review
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