Furry red monsters. Super-powered Zebra-men. The apocalypse.
No, I haven’t been driven mad by lack of sleep. These are all things that made appearances in the films I’ve been watching over the last four days, along with a butt-naked warlord, a disgraced New York politician and about half the population of Earth. And although the days have begun to blur together as the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) rapidly approaches its [...]
Taking the recent wave of movies depicting “realistic” vigilantes to new and twisted heights, James Gunn’s Super tells the cautionary tale of a downtrodden citizen with apparent psychological disorders who decides to don a mask and take on crime, with less than heroic results. Perverse, violent, inappropriate and bizarre, the film — to take an oft-repeated comparison — plays like a more cultish and extreme version of Matthew Vaughn’s [...]
A gentle film about a gentle man, Our Idiot Brother is a warm and very funny comedy from director Jesse Peretz about family, honesty and sublime stupidity. Headline by the always endearing Paul Rudd, the film is packed with a pitch-perfect cast of under-rated actors and actresses all working from a clever, laid back script written — rather fittingly — by Peretz, his sister and her husband. The result is [...]
Joshua Milton Blahyi a.k.a General Butt Naked: one of the most ruthless, sadistic warlords of the Liberian Civil War. His humourous moniker does little to offset the severity of his crimes – which included murder, torture and the recruitment of child soldiers – and neither does the documentary film that chronicles his return to Liberia as an evangelical Christian preacher trying to make amends. Exploitative and preachy, The Redemption of [...]
If you can’t beat them, join them. That’s the approach sensationalist documentarian Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?) takes in his latest project, a film all about advertising and product placement. The gimmick this time around is that the entire film was funded by, and is brimming with, product placement and advertising. Revelling in its own ridiculousness, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever [...]
It’s hard to imagine that I’ll see many other films this year as morally complex or achingly real as Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation [Nadir and Simin, A Separation]. Winner of Best Picture Awards at numerous international film festivals including Sydney, Berlin and Fajr in its native Iran, the film is an intimate drama about conflict within and between two families of vastly different social and economic standings. Superbly written, acted [...]
Exhausting. That’s the word I’d use to describe my weekend. At this point I’m roughly half-way through my Melbourne International Film Festival experience, with the six festival films I saw over the past two days (five of them in the span of less than twelve hours!) bringing my grand total to an even sixteen overall. So without further adieu, let’s dive in to what I’ve been up to.
When you [...]
In this sweet and very funny coming of age story from Norway, we are introduced to thirteen year old Jo, played by young actor Ask von der Hagen. Prone to elaborate and extremely pessimistic flights of fancy – often spurred on by his overprotective mother, or after receiving ‘special attention’ from the school bully – Jo’s life is thrown into further turmoil with the arrival of Mari, a pretty young [...]