When an alien lifeform crashed to Earth decades ago, no one noticed. When his own kind came after him, the fate of the world was threatened. When he saved mankind, they looked up to him like a God. But times have changed, and people have died since his arrival. The world has had enough of the "false God" Superman (Henry Cavill), but there is already another hero in the world. In Gotham City, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) has spent years and billions of dollars making himself into the greatest detective and the finest crime fighter. But the Batman knows that one does not simply arrive to a thunderous applause. He has earned his role as judge and jury, and it is up to him to stop the Man of Steal.
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
In 2005, Australian author Tim Winton collected a series of 17 short stories and published them under the title 'The Turning'. The stories revolve around the character Vic Lang (Dougie Baldwin, Richard Roxburgh, Josh McConville, Casey Douglas and Dan Wyllie), with themes involving companionship, sentimentality and drug abuse. The book received multiple awards for the stories, and went on to become a part of the Western Australian English curriculum in schools. In 2013, the book was turned into a movie, nominated for numerous awards at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.
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Life-changing moments feature in each of the nine short films in this Australian anthology, and each is told with remarkable artistry and sensitivity. While the filmmakers use different styles of filmmaking, there's a clever connection between the shorts, as themes of inner longing are made resonant by earthy honesty. So even if each brief segment film feels like just a fragment of an idea, taken together the film is remarkably moving.
It opens and closes with the animated "Ash Wednesday", using the T.S. Elliot poem to explore the idea of communal memory. From here a variety of mini-stories unfurl, often using the same character names even though the films are dramas, comedies or documentaries, and many have no dialogue at all. The lighter clips include "Reunion", in which a couple (Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh) are surprised that spending Christmas with his mum isn't as awful as expected. "Cockleshell" follows a young guy (Toby Wallace) who's obsessed with the girl (Brenna Harding) next door. And both "Big World" and "Boner McPharlin's Moll" take lively kaleidoscopic looks at how reality is often nothing like our idea of how things should be.
Other segments are dark and provocative, including "Aquifer", about a man (Callan Mulvey) who is pushed by a news headline to recall a painful childhood memory. Two young boys (Jakory and Jarli-Russell Blanco) have a creepy adventure while on a beach day out with their dad and uncles in "Sand". The most moving film is "Commission", in which a young man (Josh McConville) drives to the outback to tell his estranged dad (Hugo Weaving) that his mother is dying. The best performance comes from Rose Byrne in the eponymous "The Turning", as a trailer-trash wife and mother whose friendship with a rich woman (Miranda Otto) sparks a religious epiphany. And the most unforgettable short is "Long, Clear View", impressively directed by Mia Wasikowska, which follows a young boy (Matthew Shanley) playing with his dad's rifle.
Continue reading: The Turning Review
Ever had one of those teachers that simply will not tolerate bad behaviour? Well, elementary school teacher, Miss Meadows (Katie Holmes) is one of those teachers. Miss Meadows is a pillar of society, and acts with a certain sense of grace and elegance that delights her friends and neighbours. But Miss Meadows’ extra-curricular activities are certainly not on the usual syllabus, as she tracks down and kills unsavoury members of the community. But when an investigation begins into an unknown vigilante that ended the life of a multiple murderer, Miss Meadows realises she is being sought by the law she has worked tirelessly to protect.
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Steve Rogers has awoken after a deep sleep lasting 70 years following his fight with Nazi adversary the Red Skull during World War II. Things are a lot different now, however, which is more than enough for him to contend with, but when he is forcibly enlisted in the superhero group S.H.I.E.L.D. by the morally questionable Nick Fury, he soon finds himself in immediate danger once again. Unable to trust most of the people around him, he finds comfort in his S.H.I.E.L.D. cohorts, namely Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow and Sam Wilson AKA Falcon. Together, the group set out to tackle the world's latest threat, but when one member of S.H.I.E.L.D. is targeted and attacked in mysterious circumstances, they start to wonder if they are getting the whole picture. With assassins on Rogers' tail incessantly, he starts to uncover the planet's real menace in the form of the legendary Winter Soldier.
Fans of the 2007 Spartan war romp 300 probably won't care that this spin-off is even more chaotic and much murkier to look at. It still features armies of scantily clad muscle men grunting idiotic declamatory dialogue as they charge into cartoon-style battles against all odds. No, this isn't particularly subtle filmmaking: it's loud and brutal. And good for an unintentional laugh.
At the same time as Spartan King Leonidas (a briefly glimpsed Gerard Butler) is leading his 300 men to battle against Xerses (Santoro), Greek General Themistocles (Stapleton) approaches Leonidas' wife Gorgo (Headey) for help facing Xerses vengeful military commander Artemisia (Green) on another front at sea. Themistocles' main officers are Aesyklos (Matheson) and Scyllias (Mulvey), whose son Calisto (O'Connell) secretly joins the army as they set sail for an epic ship-based battle against Artemisia's fearsome forces. And there are two more watery conflicts to come, each more outrageous than the one before, as Artemisia taunts Themistocles seductively while dispensing fiery death and destruction at every turn.
The addition of two strong women adds a bit of interest here, but the focus is still on the bare-chested men, even if only three or for of them actually emerge into proper characters. Headey's chief contribution is a rambling voiceover narration explaining everything for us, while Green's wry smirk and momentous glower let her steal every scene. By contrast, the men seem rather feeble. Stapleton is manly and commanding, but not hugely charismatic. Rising-star O'Connell barely gets two decent scenes. Santoro is hilariously grouchy eye candy. And everyone else is clearly expendable.
Continue reading: 300: Rise of an Empire Review
When Leonidas and his valiant army of 300 Spartans were wiped out by the vast forces led by Persian God King Xerxes, the rest of Greece now feel that their country has gained honour following their tragic loss. However, their battle is not over yet as Persia is rapidly sailing in for another invasion. Rival cities Sparta and Athens are forced to set aside their bitterness towards each other if they have any hope of victory - though with Xerxes on their tail with immortal power, their lives teeter on the edge. Nonetheless, the Greeks remained filled with a fierce determination following Leonidas' heroism and so Themistocles of Athens leads his naval fleet to war while Sparta's army prepares for another fight. How can they survive against a seemingly impervious God King and his female ally, the just as ruthless, sword-wielding Artemisia? Outnumbered and overpowered once again, there is still hope.
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Following Leonidas' honourable though inevitable death alongside his Spartan army of 300 at the hands of Persian God King Xerxes, the rest of Greece cannot help but feel a certain pride at the valiant effort. Now, with Persia quickly threatening invasion, rival cities Sparta and Athens must throw aside their differences and rally together to defeat their forces - but with an all-powerful king like Xerxes, their chances of survival look minimal. Nonetheless, filled with a newfound determination after Leonidas' heroic venture, Athens' naval fleet led by the admiral Themistocles set out to bring Persia down, as Sparta's army prepares another brave attack. They may be outnumbered yet again, but hope is the last thing Greece is going to give up.
Following events during World War II and his confrontation with Nazi adversary the Red Skull, Steve Rogers awoke 70 years later to find that the world had changed almost beyond recognition. He is now reluctantly a part of superhero law enforcers S.H.I.E.L.D., led by Nick Fury who more than once makes Steve question the ethics of the group and epitomises the blurred line between good guys and bad guys. There are people he can trust though, namely Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow; a fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. spy who embarks alongside him on a mission to tackle the latest global threat. However, when a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. is attacked, they find themselves in mysterious circumstances and start to wonder if someone's keeping something from them. As Rogers fights off a myriad of assassins, the real threat starts to surface in the form of the Winter Soldier.
'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' is the sequel to 2011's 'Captain America: The First Avenger'. Based on the Marvel comics by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, it has been directed by Primetime Emmy-winning brothers Anthony Russo, Joe Russo ('You, Me and Dupree', 'Community') with a screenplay by collaborative writing duo Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely ('Thor: The Dark World', 'The Chronicles of Narnia', 'Pain & Gain'). It is set to hit the UK on March 28th 2014.