Movies – 221


Admirers of the lusciously rounded nudes celebrated French impressionist Renoir devoted his late career to will find much to enjoy in Gilles Bourdos’ dreamy biopic.

The painter (Michel Bouquet) was wealthy by 1915 and surrounded and looked after by beautiful women; some were his former models, many ex-bed mates. And like his son Jean (Vincent Rottiers) we may find it hard to divert our gaze from those women, especially flame-haired beauty Andrée (Christa Theret), a strong-willed working class girl who both energises the Renoir and shakes up the cosy household arrangements.

Clearly this radiant actress needed little wardrobe help, she rarely has anything on! Though Bourdos really is concerned with inspiration and appreciation of beauty, and takes only sideward glances at Jean and Andrée’s difficult romance and the personal tragedy the Great War.

Aided by ace cinematographer Mark Ping Bing Lee, whose sun-dappled scenes on the Riviera are almost too beautiful to take in, Renoir looks just stunning – as gorgeous and sensual as the artist’s greatest works.

M15+ from Oct 24

* Thanks to Transmission Films we have 10 double in-season passes to give away. See our Giveaways page for details on how to enter.



movies-machetekillsMachete Kills

There’s almost as much flesh on display in Robert Rodriguez’s (Sin City) latest B-movie/exploitation/fantasy as in Renoir (opposite) though the two movies couldn’t be further apart.

Given that many of Machete’s assassins, cartel warriors and double-crossing agents are women who seldom feel the need to dress in anything more than the skimpiest of leather bordello-wear, there’s plenty here to keep adolescents males (of all ages) interested while they chortle along with the comic action. And there’s lots of that supplied by an all-star cast including Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Vanessa Hudgens, Amber Heard, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr, Mel Gibson and even Lady Gaga.

Danny Trejo returns as the invincible Machete himself, surely cinema’s worst-looking leading man. Carlos Estevez (aka Charlie Sheen) is the US President (of course he is!), a brilliant leader who has restored the US economy by legalising dope in 48 states. The plot (something about a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer) is as absurd as its cast. And just as much fun.

MA15+ from Oct 24.

* Thanks to Icon Films we have 10 double in-season passes to give away. See our Giveaways page for details on how to enter.



DVD: Bounty Killer

movies-bounty-killerOn ABC’s Q&A recently, environmentalist David Suzuki said he wanted to jail “climate change criminals.” To his credit, Tony Jones looked bemused… but why?

We can all think of penalties for corporate greed, and so can the appropriately named Mary Death (Christian Pitre), the scantily clad and tough as nails heroine of Henry Swain’s fantasy-action flick. It’s set in the future (the one that Suzuki claims is already here) after “the Corporate Wars” when big business has taken over world governments.

Bounty killers like Ms Death and Drifter (Mathew Marsden) are hired by a shadowy council to punish white collar criminals, which they do, graphically and with great gusto by blowing off heads and severing limbs.

It’s ludicrous fun and wears its B-movie vibe with pride. A “guilty pleasure” no doubt, but sure beats tweeting Q&A!

* Thanks to Transmission Home Entertainment we have 5 DVDs to give away. See our Giveaways page for details on how to enter.




Captain Phillips

The pride the Somalia pirates feel after they capture an American container boat is shortlived. No one, and especially not poor black people from the world’s most desperate country, messes with the US of A, and here’s Hollywood to remind us!

Yet despite the dodgy politics, Paul Greengrass’s version of this real 2009 incident is pretty exciting. Neither the pirates’ nor the captain’s (Tom Hanks) tactics go right during the high-jack, and their see-sawing fortunes during the tense and drawn-out stand-off give us some of the most nail-biting moments cinema can deliver. Yo ho, rah rah!

M15+ from Oct 24.



ReviewsRussell Edwards

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