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BY JACOB ZHIVOV
December 30, 2003
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Hi!! It's Serena here, the office assistant at McGinaly's!
some of you will have noticed that there hasn't been much new cool
stuff on the site lately, but that's becuse the guys have been taking
a bit of a break over the holiday season. Dave said "it's ok,
nothing happens between november and Australia Day anyway!" and
Jake agreed. But there were still some hot films coming out in that
time, so Jake went and saw them and wrote reviews. Usually Dave edits
and does the web work but he called from Byron and told me how 2 update
the site myself, which is cool because i did take this job 2 learn
some new skills anyhow! There's a couple fiddly bits which I couldn't
get 2 look quite right but i think it's not bad considering this is
my first go hey!!! :-)) Hopefully next year I might get the chance
2 write some fun artciles of my own design, like the one about sandals
which ive been plotting out for ages! Anyway, here's Jake with your
new hot flix!:
In the film industry it is sometime necessary to schmooze
the people who run cinemas as well as a few other important people,
these events are called 'Trade days'. I had the pleasure of being
invited to one of these 'trade days' and so gentle reader, I thought
it would only be fair if I reviewed the whole event.
The day started at 10am where I had to get my name badge
(so the important people could identify me and probably avoid me)
then I was treated to a free muffin and "nudie juice." This
was quite good as I didn't get to have breakfast, the muffin and juice
were quite nice.
Onto the first film - Big Fish. Big Fish is a story
about Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) and his amazing adventures as a
young man (Ewan McGregor). Bloom is a teller of "tall tales"
and his uncanny ability to embellish and exaggerate what has really
happened to him in his life, charms all around him - except his son,
William (Billy Crudup). After a long estrangement, William returns
home after hearing his father is to die. He is desperate to unravel
the truth from the legend as he comes to terms with his father's great
feats and great failings.
Tim Burton whose films like Batman and Edward Scissorhands
are more thought to be of a darker tone seems to have a lot more fun
with Big Fish. The film does give off this fairy tale feeling whenever
Bloom goes into one of his story and this really allows Burton to
go wild with his sets. It felt very reminiscent of his previous films
in those scenes.
The ensemble cast who includes Ewan McGregor, Steve
Buscemi, Danny DeVito really do help bring these tales to life.
I really like this movie and I think Burton has done
a great job bringing to life the stories told.
After Big Fish we were invited to partake in some lunch.
Now lunch at these things is always good - Sandwiches, fruit and lots
of free drinks. Here is spoke to some of the other reviewers who I
always seem to speak to at these things, we spoke about the usual
crap, ate some food and then went back in for our second movie for
the day - The Missing.
While we were waiting for The Missing to start everyone
was offered a choice of choc-top. Now to explain how big this event
was, every flavour of choc-top was available including Boysenberry,
how cool is that. Anyway onto to the movie.
The Missing is the story of Maggie (Cate Blanchett),
a young woman raising her two daughters in an isolated and lawless
wilderness. When her oldest daughter Lily (Evan Rachel Wood) is kidnapped,
Maggie is forced to reunite with her long estranged father (Tommy
Lee Jones), who left her family to join the Apache, to rescue her.
Like many of Ron Howard's films The Missing is based
around a core group of characters and follows their struggles. This
does make a good film but at times I did feel that the pace of it
was dragging but that could've just been me. What I did like was the
way the scenery was shot and even the small touches of swearing in
Apache was used.
The Missing although a bit long for my likes is overall
a good film.
Many of us probably remember the Disney animated film
version of J M Barrie's play , Peter Pan, I know I do. So it's good
to see that P J Hogan and some very imaginative people have put together
a film that has the feel of an animated feature in a live action version.
Our tale revolves around Peter Pan (Jeremy Sumpter),
a boy who decides to never grow up, he also happens to live in Neverland
a place that allows him to do so. Each night Peter leaves Neverland
to hear the stories Wendy Darling (Rachel Hurd-Wood) tells her brothers
and then brings these stories back to his companions. One night he
decides to bring back Wendy as well her brothers so she can tell the
stories in person. But Neverland is not an entirely safe place. As
well as Peter resides the Pirate Captain James Hook (Jason Isaacs),
Peter's eternal enemy. While Peter revels in the fantasy world of
fairies, mermaids and Indians, Wendy is torn by her family's desire
for her to grow up and deal with more than just adventure and the
world of Neverland.
This is a much darker film than the happy Disney version
but that should be expected as that version was made a good fifty
This film is visually spectacular from the brightly
coloured skylines of Neverland to Captain Hook's ship this film makes
you believe that Neverland could exist. The script is also clever
and uses good humour to lighten some of the darker scenes.
Adults will enjoy this as much as the kids they will
most likely take.
Boxing Day will be known to many of you as the day you
try to go see Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, but in case you
haven't already gotten your tickets for the first week of its release
here are some really good films on that are great alternatives to
the fun and hi-jinxs of Middle Earth.
In Lost In Translation, Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is
an American film actor, far past his prime. He visits Tokyo to appear
in commercials, and he meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johannson), the young
wife of a visiting photographer, who is looking for "her place
in life." Bored and weary, Bob and Charlotte make ideal if improbable
travelling companions. Both separately and together, they live the
experience of the American tourist in Tokyo suffering confusion and
hilarity due to the cultural and language differences between themselves
and the Japanese. As the relationship between Bob and Charlotte deepens,
they come to the realisation that it must soon end.
Sofia Coppola's seems to make films about characters
coming of age in once sense or another. In her 1999 film The Virgin
Suicides the story revolved around a group of boys obsession with
a group of five sisters and their eventual group suicide. In Lost
in Translation, the story revolves around our two characters, Bob
and Charlotte, who both are looking for direction in their lives and
their meeting in a Japanese Hotel bar seems to save them from their
boredom of the trip they are on.
This film is a nice insight into what you may see as
a tourist in Japan but also has some really funny scenes with Bob
trying to understand the Japanese director of the commercials he is
doing. Also look for some quite amusing scenes with Anna Farris who
make a brief appearance as a movie star on a press junket.
Overall this film is funny and sweet and if you're looking
for a good film over you long weekend and you don't want hobbits in
it this may make a good alternative.
Set almost entirely in London, England during five frantic
weeks before Christmas, Love Actually follows a web-like pattern of
inter-related, losely related and unrelated stories of a dozen various
individuals with their love lives, or lack of them. Our characters
include the new bachelor prime minister David (Hugh Grant) who cannot
express his growing feelings he feels for his new personal assistant
Natalie (Martine McCutcheon). The prime minister's older sister Karen
(Emma Thompson) slowly grows aware about her husband Harry's (Alan
Rickman) flirtation with an office worker named Mia (Heike Makatsch).
Karen's friend Daniel (Liam Neeson) who is a recently widowed writer
whose 11-year-old step son asks for love advice to attract a girl
he has a crush on. Meanwhile, Jamie (Colin Firth) is another writer
who leaves his girlfriend after catching her cheating on him and travels
to France to write a novel where he persues a possible romance with
his non-English speaking Portuguese maid Aurelia (Lucia Moniz). Also,
Harry's American secretary Sarah (Laura Linney) questions a romance
she persues with the office hunk Karl (Rodrigo Santoro), but her personal
family problems get in the way. Other parts of our story involve a
photographer who persues his best friend's new wife Juliet (Keira
Knightley), a pair of movie stand-ins, named John (Martin Freeman)
and Judy (Joanna Page), who grow closer after their simulated love
scenes, a libious chum who wants to travel to Wisconsin, USA to score
with women; and a burned-out former rock star named Billy Mack (Bill
Nighy) who decides to be honest with the world, while promoting his
new Christmas song and trying to get it to number one on the charts.
Sounds like a really complicated film that you won't be able to understand
because of the many storylines that are barely related to each other,
doesn't it? Well it's not, Richard Curtis has done an really good
job at trying to make all these different stories that only seem to
have in common that they are about love intertwine really well.
Love Actually, is quite funny and sweet and with a great ensemble
cast it is really a good film to watch. It has some really funny parts
and some really sweet ones to, overall it will probably make some
of you cry as well.
It goes to show that the English film industry still does have some
great talents and can still make great films
Big Fish releases nationally on February 5 2004
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange,
Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito
Run Time: 125 minutes
The Missing releases nationally on March 4 2004
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Tommy Lee Jone
Run Time: 139 minutes
Starring: Jason Isaacs, Jeremy Sumpter, Rachel Hurd-Wood,
Lynn Redgrave, Richard Briers, Olivia Williams, Geoffrey Palmer, Harry
Newell, Freddie Popplewell
Run Time: 113 minutes
Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johannson
Run Time: 101 minutes
Starring: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Emma
Thompson, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon,
Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson
Run Time: 110 minutes