This quote is the sort of thing that's often used in trailers to sell a film to filmgeeks, and I've included it here because it's just a great piece of dialogue. A review will usually start off with a quote like this because it summarises the film's themes, but in this case I just had to lead with this line because it's cool all on its own. I guess that some of the allure of The Place Beyond the Pines is that it's able to have these quotable film noir moments without losing the wider narrative and themes.
While 2012's Dredd was well received with mostly critical acclaim and modest box office success (in the UK and Australia anyway), a sequel to the film is looking pretty unlikely at this stage. That hasn't stopped multiple fan groups from producing their own efforts.
Judge Minty is the first of these that recently came to my attention via Comic Book Resources.
Troy Billings (Jacob Wysocki) is an awkward, unpopular and overweight school student who decides to end his life by stepping in front of a bus. At the last minute he is saved by Marcus (Matt O'Leary), a homeless ex-student from his school. Marcus talks Troy into becoming the drummer for his punk band, despite the fact that Troy cannot play the drums and has no real interest in music. The two develop an odd friendship, something impeded by Troy's dad's distrust of Marcus and his 'alternative' lifestyle.
Fat Kid Rules the World is very much an indie coming-of-age film, not all that far removed from Jacob Wysocki's other breakout film Terri.
In the grand tradition of many underrated and half-forgotten Hollywood legends, Willem Dafoe headlines this Australian film and gets the chance to play a leading role that fills the whole screen. It's a trend that harks back to the 1980s, when many Australian directors drafted in American actors (Matt Dillon for Rebel, Stacy Keach for Road Games, Steve Railsbeck for Turkey Shoot) to prop up their films.
Mild Spoilers Ahead...
Quirky indie sci-fi... now there's a genre mash-up you don't see very often, but between this and Safety Not Guaranteed maybe the newfound relative cheapness of special effects and digital filmmaking means that we'll start seeing more of it. This film, Robot and Frank, imagines a near future where hipsters have taken over. This means a world of nano-loans, libraries becoming 'cool' again as reimagined spaces without books and sculpted candle shops.
I'm a long-term Clint Eastwood fan but even I approached Trouble With the Curve with some amount of trepidation. After Gran Torino I was under the impression that we wouldn't ever see him in front of the screen again... that film made sense as a swan song and Eastwood seemed to be indicate at the time that he would be concentrating on directing from this point on. But I also got the impression (and I'm sure a few others did too) that Eastwood was still hungry for a Best Actor Oscar.
Lawless has the kind of pedigree that should make any Australian film fan extremely excited. Australian director John Hillcoat and his ongoing-collaborater Nick Cave previously created the films The Proposition and Ghosts of the Civil Dead, and in Lawless they're given access to a Hollywood-sized budget and a big name cast, whilst seemingly also being allowed to create the sort of film that they might have made if they were still back in Australia. It's a dream combination.
The first thing to say is that David Lynch’s movies are not to be understood literally. They are dream-like, nightmarish and often uncomfortable figurative depictions of artifice and disconnection. Any analysis of Mulholland Drive should be no different, however, there is a skeleton to Mulholland Drive from which Lynch’s art has been fleshed out.
The real story in Mulholland Drive begins three-quarters of the way through the movie. It begins when the Cowboy character looks in on the corpse and says, “Hey pretty girl, time to wake up.” The blonde is Diane Selwyn as played by Naomi Watts.
This eye-opening documentary has a simple set up. It focuses on a man who has owned five cameras, each one representing a different 'episode' in his life. These episodes are represented by the footage shot on each camera - covering 5 years of life in the Palestinian village of Bil'in. It sounds fairly innocuous when I put it like that, but imagine if someone inside the Warsaw Ghetto of the 1940s had had a digital camera and filmed the encroachment of Nazi oppression.
1988, Berkeley in California, and polio-afflicted poet Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) is trapped in a body that doesn't work below the neck. Mark finds solace in Catholicism but as he approaches his "expiry date" he begins to worry that he will never know the love of a woman, so he seeks the approval of his priest and friend Father Brendan (William H. Macy) to see a sex surrogate. This leads to a series of "hands-on" sessions with therapist Cheryl Cohen-Greene (Helen Hunt).
The use of grainy TV footage at the beginning puts us in mind that this is based on a true story about a real guy, but what I like most about this film is that it doesn't sensationalise O'Brien's story in any way.