Rachel Hurd-wood

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Tomorrow, When the World Began Review


Good
Based on the first in John Marsdon's bestselling seven-novel series, this film is essentially an Australian version of 1984's Red Dawn. It's rather big on explosive action and short on real characterisation, but it's gripping and engaging.

Ellie (Stasey) is a typical 17-year-old in small-town Wirrawee, begging her parents to let her and her pal Corrie (Hurd-Wood) take a weekend camping trip to an isolated valley called Hell. They assemble a group with Corrie's boyfriend Kevin (Lewis), prankster Homer (Akdeniz), posh girl Fiona (Tonkin), Thai prodigy Lee (Pang) and good girl Robyn (Cummings). After a great few days, they come home to find their hometown overrun by an invading Asian army, with their family and friends being held in a prison camp. Now what? Do they run, hide or fight back?

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Picture - Rachel Hurd-Wood Sydney, Australia, Sunday 8th August 2010

Rachel Hurd-Wood Sunday 8th August 2010 The premiere of 'Tomorrow When The War Began' held at Event Cinemas Sydney, Australia

Dorian Gray Review


Weak
Oscar Wilde's classic novel is turned into a schlock horror movie, totally engulfed by gloomy atmosphere and over-the-top filmmaking. It's watchably cheesy, but completely lacks Wilde's incisive wit or observation.

Dorian (Barnes) is an orphan who inherits a sprawling mansion when his tyrant grandfather dies. Young and eligible, he's quickly taken under the wing of Lord Henry (Firth), who introduces him to the licentious ways of late 19th century London. But the sex and drugs sabotage his relationship with an innocent young actress (Hurd-Wood), and Dorian pledges his soul to the devil in exchange for eternal youth. Now instead of aging, a portrait painted by his friend Basil (Chaplin) shows the scars of his depraved life.

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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Review


Terrible
Like chugging a $200 bottle of pinot noir while feeding a steady methamphetamine habit, Tom Tykwer's take on Patrick Suskind's perverse classic Perfume takes out all the novel's dark teases and replaces them with his patented conniption-fit editing streaks and flashy color sweeps.

Since birth, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (newcomer Ben Whishaw) has had a curiously strong sense of smell, bordering on superhuman. Born and continuously dropped-off under bad signs, Jean-Baptiste eventually makes his way to Paris where he becomes the apprentice of Baldini (Dustin Hoffman), an elderly perfumer who was once famous for his flourishing scents. Baldini wants to be able to compete with modern perfumers, but Jean-Baptiste has loftier ambitions. After murdering a young fruit girl, Grenouille becomes obsessed with cultivating the scent of women by any means possible. He leaves Baldini and heads for Grasse, the supposed kingdom of scent, where he encounters Antoine Richis (Alan Rickman) and his fiery, redheaded daughter (Rachel Hurd-Wood). It is here that Grenouille perfects away of capturing the scent of women and begins collecting the 12 women that will compose his ultimate scent... by paying with their lives.

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An American Haunting Review


Unbearable
Before my showing of An American Haunting, there were projector problems. Ninety-five minutes later, rolling my eyes like Marty Feldman on airplane glue, I felt I would have been much happier if the repairs had never been made. It was like spending an afternoon in the world's lamest haunted house.

The movie covers the only recorded event of a human being dying from a spirit, which took place in Red River, Tennessee in the early 1800s. The events unfold after John Bell (Donald Sutherland) is cast off by his church for committing usury. The victim of Bell's shady business practices, an alleged witch, then threatens Bell: "I swear a dreadful darkness will fall upon you, and your precious daughter, too." That statement, by the way, should be amended to include the audience.

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Peter Pan (2003) Review


Essential
The time is right to rekindle our relationship with J.M. Barrie's perpetually adolescent adventurer, Peter Pan. By now, you've probably forgotten Disney's 50-year-old animated adaptation of Barrie's work, and many of us are still trying to purge Steven Spielberg's hollow update Hook from our minds. We adults need a refresher course, and a new generation of whimsy-challenged kids needs a proper introduction to the happy-go-lucky joys of Pan.

Though it goes against everything he stands for, this rejuvenated Pan actually shows signs of growth and maturity. Special effects advancements help Peter and his cohorts pop off the screen. Cinematographer Donald McAlpine expands the rich color palette he utilized in such vivid films as Moulin Rogue and Romeo + Juliet. And director P.J. Hogan slips in subplots of unrequited love, develops pangs of loneliness, and mixes fleeting flights of happiness with his heroism.

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Peter Pan Review


OK

In an era of severely dumbed-down children's movies, the first live-action "Peter Pan" picture since the silent era does something extraordinary -- it un-Disneyfies the story, revives the deeper themes of J.M. Barrie's original book and play, and emerges as an appropriately wily family-fare delight.

From its exquisite, Maxfield-Parish-inspired Neverland of golden sunlight, lush green forests and cotton-candy clouds to the quintessently pubescent and enigmatically tingly chemistry between Peter (the strangely pretty 14-year-old Jeremy Sumpter) and Wendy (the even prettier 13-year-old Rachel Hurd-Wood), the film is a vivid and surprisingly visceral experience.

Director P.J. Hogan ("My Best Friend's Wedding") evokes the true wonder of childhood in the eyes of his young stars as Peter Pan, the mythical leafy-clad boy who refused to grow up, hovers with the power of happy thoughts and fairy dust outside the third-story window of Wendy Darling on a snowy night in 1900s London, engrossed in the stories of adventure that the girl spins with wide-eyed zeal for her little bothers John and Michael.

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Rachel Hurd-wood

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