Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marley The Definitive Story

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Featuring: Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Chris Blackwell, Cindy Breakespeare, Lee Perry, Danny Sims, Allan Cole, Rita Marley, Lee Jaffe, Constance Marley.

A thorough (2 hours plus) look at the life and music of reggae icon and Jamaican legend, Bob Marley. Plenty music to illustrate the biography of this 20th century hero. Masterfully collated archival footage and still photos provide insight into the life of a mixed race boy that began in the mountain village of St Ann in the Jamaican hinterland, conquered the world of music, yet ended tragically in the US when he was only 36. The movie’s best moments come from the touching account of friends and extended family highlighting the essence of a quiet Rastafarian whose life-long commitment to optimism and faith resonated with millions. Worth waiting for the closing-credits alone.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The cabin in the woods

Director: Drew Goddard

Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams

Horror film involving five college students Dana (Kristen Connolly), Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Marty (Fran Kranz), and Holden (Jesse Williams) who innocently attempt to enjoy a vacation at a remote cabin in the woods. Unbeknown to them they are being watched by technicians in a sophisticated industrial facility. Like guinea pigs in a laboratory experiment the innocents are part of a dastardly plan. Loaded with all sorts of references and in-jokes for horror buffs, this is Big Brother meets the Evil Dead and what follows is not pretty but will suit fans of the torture porn horror genre. A big yawn from me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Le Chef (Comme un chef)

Director: Daniel Cohen

Starring: Jean Réno, Michaël Youn, Raphaëlle Agogué

An odd-couple comedy set in the restaurant kitchen of Le Cargo Lagarde. Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Réno) is the chef keeping the multi-starred bistro afloat but when the owner insists on cost cutting and updating the menu then the comedy begins. Lagarde’s reputation as Master Chef is dependent on the restaurant keeping its Michelin star. Enter Jacky Bonnot (Michaël Youn) the maverick sous-chef with aspirations but keeps getting fired from kitchens. The dynamic duo must compromise in preparation for a visit from the critics. If a good laugh is on your menu then this is an enjoyable French Comedy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Anton Chekov's The Duel

Director: Dover Kosashvili
Starring: Andrew Scott, Fiona Glascott, Niall Buggy, Mislav Cavajda, Tobias Menzies

English-language adaptation of Chekhov's novella about love and lassitude set in 19th century Caucasus. Russian bureaucrat, Laevsky (Andrew Scott) has run off with Nadya ( Fiona Glascott), another man's wife, hoping to start a new life. Instead he spends all his time drinking and playing cards with the local low life. Now out of love with Nadya he fails to tell her she has become a widow for fear of her wanting him to marry her. Bored and neglected the flirtatious Nadya teases the local men including the desperate police captain Kirilin (Mislav Cavajda). When Laevsky discovers a sexual tryst in desperation he confides in his friend the doctor, Samoylenko (Niall Buggy), about the best way to extricate himself from a relationship with a woman he says he no longer loves. All of the above is being watched dispassionately by the zoologist Von Koren (Tobias Menzies), who is eventually compelled to challenge the dispicable Laevsky to the titular duel with unforeseen consequences. Strikingly shot but too wordy even for Chekov.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Dictator

Director: Larry Charles
Syarring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Fred Melamed, Sir Ben Kingsley, Adeel Akhtar, John C Reilly, Kevin Corrigan, Kathryn Hahn

Admiral General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen ) rules the North African country of Wadiya which is oil rich. Whilst in New York to address the United Nations there is an unsuccessful attempt of the dictator’s life masterminded by his right-hand man, Uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley) who plans to sell the country’s oil to the West. In fear of his life and friendless he shaves off his beard and goes to ground as Allison Burgers aided by a spunky feminist, Zoey (Anna Faris). Meantime there is a simpleton body double intent on signing a contract that will make Wadiya a democracy. Can Aladeen stay alive long enough to stop this, well you will need to see the movie to find out. This is a very funny farce in a Cohen cringe worthy way. Completely non-pc and sure to offend everyone but I would defy anyone not to find to a belly laugh in it somewhere. If you liked the previous movies then this is considered to be Cohen’s best effort to date. Keep your eyes peeled for the star cameos.

Careless Love

Director: John Duigan

Starring: Peter O'Brien, Nammi Le, David Field, Andrew Hazzard, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Penny McNamee, Ivy Mak

Linh (Nammi Le) is from Vietnam studying social anthropology at an Australian university in Sydney. When her father is retrenched she clandestinely works as a part-time escort to help payment with the family mortgage. By night Linh and her Thai co-worker, Mint (Ivy Mak), are driven from job to job by Dion (David Field), a genial character who briefs them on the tastes and expectations of each client and remains nearby in case there's trouble. One of her favourite regulars is an American called Luke (Peter O'Brien) who despite being a ruthless dealer is kind and considerable to her. Whilst she manages to keep her two lives separate when she meets and falls for a fellow student, Jack (Andrew Hazzard), her worlds collide and she must deal with the emotional chaos that follows. Low budget but well shot, performances are generally average in rather exploitative movie.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Craig Lahiff's Swerve

Director: Craig Lahiff

Starring: Jason Clarke, Emma Booth, David Lyons, Travis McMahon, Vince Colosimo, Robert Mammone, Chris Haywood, Roy Billing, Greg Stone.

A thriller set in rural Australia. Ex soldier Colin (David Lyons) comes across an accident in the desert on his way to Broken Hill. He finds a suitcase full of money which is next to one car with an apparent dead occupant and proceeds to take the driver of the other car, blonde and distressed Jina (Emma Booth), back to her house just outside of Neverest. Unbeknown to Colin the suitcase contains drug money from a deal that went wrong and Jina was the cause the accident when the deceased driver swerved (hence the title) to miss her on his hasty retreat from a dodgy deal. Colin hands in the case to the local policemen, Frank (Jason Clarke), never realizing Frank is Jina’s husband. They offer him hospitality while his car is being repaired but Colin soon finds out a sinister undercurrent to their relationship. The couple meantime regards the contents of the suitcase as a saving grace to their troubles but someone violent is looking to reclaim his cash with menaces. Some highs and lows in this movie but the killer blow is the film noir style pot-boiler lacks strong characterization. Pity cause the cinematography is good and shot around the rocky, heat-baked Flinders Ranges in South Australia.

God Save My Shoes on iTunes

God Save My Shoes (Unrated)by Julie Benasra. God Save My Shoes is the first documentary to explore the intimate relationship that ties women to their shoes. To understand why shoes are the most addictive and seductive fashion accessory, God Save my Shoes journeyed into women's psyches and closets, examining the psychological, sociocultural, and erotic significance of shoes. The quest to decipher why shoes trigger such passion among most women (and quite a few men) took the production to New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Toronto, Milan, and Florence to interview all those who play a role in the global shoe phenomenon: extreme shoe-lovers and everyday women, fashion historians and editors, psychologists, sex experts, as well as shoe fetishists… Witty, glamorous, insightful and sassy, this film brings an offbeat and captivating answer to the universal relationship between women and their shoes. (Includes French with English Subtitles)

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download this movie.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Declaration of War

Directed : Valérie Donzelli
Starring : César Desseix, Valérie Donzelli, Jérémie Elkaïm, Gabriel Elkaïm, Brigitte Sy, Elina Lowensohn, Michèle Moretti, Philippe Laudenbach, Bastien Bouillon, Béatrice de Staël , Anne Le Ny, Frédéric Pierrot and Elisabeth Dion.

Based on a true story this is a bitter-sweet movie about dealing with a family tragedy and how illness can dominate the life of caregivers. Juliette (Valerie Donzelli) and Romeo (Jérémie Elkaïm) discover their toddler Adam (César Desseix) requires surgery because he has a dangerous tumor pressing upon his brain stem. Their ordinary lives are put on hold. Nothing has prepared them for this and despite strong support the couple become more desperate eventually losing their jobs and eventually having to sell their apartment and move into quarters for parents at the hospital. Despite the trials and tribulations which follow eventually there is light at the end of the tunnel. Good performances in this inspiring story of two people who transform fear into action.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

God Save My Shoes

Director: Julie Benasra

“Fuck – I just had to have them!”

This documentary is a beautiful expose of shoes and the people who love them. Taken from the perspective of many shoefiles from across the globe the movie gives fascinating sociological insights into the allure of fashion accessories and how much they mean to their owners. Shoe addiction is commonly dismissed as a petty aberration but the fashion shoe business is massive and exists because customers have a weakness for expensive footwear. No one is sure what the attraction is but it does exist and this documentary explores the phenomenon in an informed and entertaining way. Love it, and if Ferragamo’s and Manolo Blahnik’s are in your mind, then this is a must see doco.

Much anticpated God Save My Shoes DVD, documentary about women and shoes, will release in the US and Canada on May 8th. The film will be available across more than 30 VOD and pay-per-view platforms including Time Warner Cable, iTunes and Dish Networks. The complete list of VOD partners will be available on God Save My Shoes website . A special edition of the DVD, including the feature film and over 30 minutes of select interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, is also available exclusively from the God Save My Shoes website on May 8th. For each DVD sold Soles4Souls will donate a pair of shoes to someone in need. To celebrate the release, everyone who joins the God Save Shoes e-mailing list from the website, will receive an electronic goodie bag containing the film’s official soundtrack, various images and wallpapers for your mobile, and a 20% discount to purchase the DVD.