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The Rover Review


Good

While this atmospheric Australian Outback thriller has plenty of edgy action, it's also meandering and arty, refusing to fill in the details until filmmaker David Michod is good and ready. This makes it feel rather slow and uneven, although it's at least consistently fascinating. And as a story of tenacity and survival, it's also a gripping drama.

The story is set 10 years after "the collapse", so there's little sense of law and order in the Outback. When his car is stolen by three outlaws (Scoot McNairy, Tawanda Manyimo and David Field), the strong-silent Eric (Guy Pearce) goes in pursuit. Along the way, he picks up the injured Rey (Robert Pattinson), brother of one of the thugs, who knows where they're headed. As they hit the road, Eric and Rey have a series of encounters with people who are alternatively helpful and menacing, from an inquisitive brothel madam (Gillian Jones) to a nervous doctor (Susan Prior) to an in-over-his-head soldier (Anthony Hayes). There are also plenty of marauding thieves and trigger-happy commandoes who don't hesitate before blowing away anyone who looks odd. But as Eric and Rey begin to bond, they still find it impossible to trust each other.

While the overarching plot is fairly simple, the film plays out in a series of set-pieces as Eric responds a variety of tense situations. The big question hovering above everything is of course why he's so determined to get his car back (the odd answer comes at the very end). Michod's style of filmmaking is more interested in provoking thought than fully satisfying the audience, so scenes are packed with inconclusive twists and turns, vaguely undefined characters and situations, and elements that clearly have some sort of meaning but feel rather impenetrable. Pearce's performance fits this style perfectly; Eric is a man who says very little, letting a steely glare convey more than any number of words would. In jarring contrast, Pattinson's Rey is a hyperactive mess, a simple-minded guy who never stops moving and talking.

Continue reading: The Rover Review

Rover Trailer


'The Rover', directed by award winning director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), is a dystopian crime drama set in the near future, where crime is commonplace and there is no authority to stop it. This has drawn Mad Max comparisons. Michôd wrote the film with Joel Edgerton, who featured in Michôd's highly acclaimed Animal Kingdom. 

Staring Guy Pearce (who's previously worked with Michôd in Animal Kingdom, as well as staring in Memento), Robert Pattinson (Remember Me/Cosmopolis) and Scoot McNairy (12 Years A Slave/Argo). 'The Rover' sees former Australian soldier Eric (Pearce) give up on the world after seeing society fall, but when his only possession is stolen, he sets out to hunt down the ones responsible. Reynolds (Pattinson) was with the thieves, but is abandoned by them in a car accident, so Eric uses him to help track down the thieves. Eric has nothing left to lose and will therefore do anything in his power to retrieve what is precious to him. 

'The Rover' will be released in UK cinemas through Entertainment One on August 22nd 2014. 

Continue: Rover Trailer

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Trailer


The Guardians of Ga'Hoole are sworn to protect the innocent from trouble and vanquish evil. Soren is a young owl who's grown up listening to his father tell the stories of The Gaurdians. His dream is to one day join his heroes and be a part of that noble life he's learnt so much about.

Continue: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Trailer

Two Hands Review


Excellent
Writer/director Gregor Jordan's Two Hands is a brilliant little film; what we Aussies might call a "ripper." Preceding the more sophisticated Aussie thriller Chopper by just a year, it announced the beginning of the Australian film industry's obsession with crime. Not quite as stylish as Dirty Deeds or as hilarious as Gettin' Square, Two Hands deals well in both these traits, adding to the mix grit, suspense, and true romance.

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

Invincible (2001, TV) Review


Terrible
Looking for a wild, kung fu-infused, ass-kicking action movie?

Invincible is about as far from that as you can get.

Continue reading: Invincible (2001, TV) Review

Passion Of Mind Review


Weak
French director Alain Berliner stepped briefly into the limelight a couple of years ago with the impressive Ma Vie en Rose, a colorful look at a young boy who thinks he's a girl. Just as the poor boy's uncertainty tears at his family, Demi Moore's confusion rips her life in half in Berliner's follow-up, Passion of Mind. Her angst and desperation are actually right in step with the audience's feelings, in this aimless, underachieving film.

Moore's character has two lives: Marty lives in hard, bleak New York as a single, nervy, literary agent; Marie is a widowed mother of two in lush, romantic Provence. When she sleeps in one life, she dreams of the other, and yet cannot determine which is real. As Berliner introduces Marty/Marie and her dilemma, it's obvious that Passion of Mind will follow in the thematic footsteps of other similar, bland movies like Sliding Doors. A woman has two parallel lives - what if both are just too flat-out boring to be a movie?

Continue reading: Passion Of Mind Review

Amazing Grace And Chuck Review


Very Good
Feel-good movies starring kids wiser than their parents were a staple of the 1980s, but Amazing Grace and Chuck is one of the most ambitious, with a single child leading the world all the way to total nuclear disarmament. Chuck is the kid, Amazing Grace is a Boston Celtic that helps him out in his quest. Gregory Peck is the president, and the saccharine threatens to choke you at times during the movie, but ultimately Mike Newell (director of Four Weddings and a Funeral) manages to make the film into something worthwhile.

All The Way Review


OK
Dennis Hopper as Frank Sinatra? It's a crazy idea, but not as wild as you might think. From a distance, Hopper bears a striking resemblance to the older, chunkier Frank. And whoever's doing the singing for him reasonably approximates a blend of Hopper's voice with Sinatra's.

Of course, there's a plot you need to suffer through to marvel at the stunt casting, and it involves a presumably true story about Sinatra being wooed to visit Australia in 1974 by a two-bit promoter. Getting him Down Under is only half the fun. Once he arrives, Frank -- in his inimitable way -- insults a reporter (Portia de Rossi) by calling her a whore. Aussie's native sons rise to defend her, and over 100 unions go on strike to ensure Frank won't be able to eat, drink, travel, or take a shower -- much less perform on stage. Hilarity ensues as our promoter friend (Joel Edgerton) tries to patch things back together, dealing with his own love life along the way.

Continue reading: All The Way Review

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David Field Movies

The Rover Movie Review

The Rover Movie Review

While this atmospheric Australian Outback thriller has plenty of edgy action, it's also meandering and...

Rover Trailer

Rover Trailer

'The Rover', directed by award winning director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), is a dystopian crime...

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Trailer

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Trailer

The Guardians of Ga'Hoole are sworn to protect the innocent from trouble and vanquish evil....

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Passion of Mind Movie Review

Passion of Mind Movie Review

French director Alain Berliner stepped briefly into the limelight a couple of years ago with...

All The Way Movie Review

All The Way Movie Review

Dennis Hopper as Frank Sinatra? It's a crazy idea, but not as wild as you...

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