Movies – 297

Red Dog: True Blue

Kriv Stenders’ prequel to 2011’s high grossing Red Dog claims it’s based “on events which may or may not have happened.” Yes, the scene where our canine hero (very wisely) growls at Lang Hancock quipping about his “strange daughter” probably didn’t… Not that credibility matters in a family film whose vast and genuine appeal lies in the soulful eyes of a dog.

The plot concerns a 13 year-old boy Mike (Levi Miller), displaced by family tragedy to a far west cattle station run by his grumpy granddad (played by Australia’s favourite grumpy granddad, Bryan Brown), where he bonds with an abandoned kelpie – who probably later became Australia’s National Pooch, justly famous for his hitchhiking, hefty appetite and foul farts.

Set in the late 60s, the red dirt vistas of the Pilbarra still look sensational in their near-natural state – the mining boom, with all its bitter-sweet impact, lies ahead. Interestingly, the credits list a “dog colourist.” Now that the boom is over, that’s a great job for out of work miners!

PG from Dec 26.

Thanks to Roadshow Films, we have 5 double in season passes to give away. See our Giveaways page for details.

View trailer



It’s unusual to get two fantastic, totally out-of-left field US indies released at the same time. Like Little Men (below), Paterson is like nothing we associate with American cinema.

No surprise that it’s from the achingly cool director Jim Jarmusch, and maybe you’ll get just how different it is from the official synopsis: “Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey — they share the name. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him; he writes poetry into a notebook; walks his dog; stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; goes home to his wife, Laura. Her world is ever changing. Paterson loves Laura and she loves him. He supports her ambitions; she champions his gift for poetry.”

Starring Adam (surely not Hannah’s sleazy boyfriend from Girls!) Driver in a stunning career-best performance, and the enchanting Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. It’s a beguiling and graceful piece of work, and the “coolest” thing Jarmusch has ever done.

M from Dec 22.

Thanks to Madman Entertainment, we have 5 double in season passes to give away. See our Giveaways page for details.

View trailer



Félicie is a young orphan from Brittany with only one passion: dance. With her best friend Victor, who wants to become a great inventor, she devises a madcap plan to escape the orphanage for Paris, the City of Lights where the Eiffel Tower is still being built!

Félicie will have to work like never before to surpass herself and to learn from her mistakes, to make her wildest dream come true: becoming a prima ballerina at the Paris Opera… It’s a delightful and inspiring film all about following your dreams, and voiced by a stellar cast including Elle Fanning, Maddie Ziegler, Dane DeHaan and Carly Rae Jepsen (singer of the hit single ‘Call Me Maybe’).

Sure to be a hit with kids and parents all across Australia, Ballerina dances into cinemas Jan 12.

Rated G

To celebrate the release of this exciting new animation, we have 5 double passes to give away. See our Giveaways page for details.

View trailer


Little Men

Much of Brooklyn is like the Inner West, changing fast as the older migrant families are pushed out by Anglo gentrification, and Ira Sach’s intimate but highly potent new drama takes us to the sometimes brutal, pointy end of that process.

“You’re going to like this area,” 14 year-old Tony tells Jake, who has just moved in with his family. “It’s becoming very bohemian.” That’s a telling line, and most of us in the inner west will know what it means. The two boys form an intense bond – Tony’s mum Leonor (Paulina Garcia) is a Chilean dressmaker who runs an old-style shop, and Jake’s dad Brian (Greg Kinnear) is her new landlord – he’s just inherited the property from his own father. Brian, an actor and his wife (Jennifer Ehle) a psychologist, want the shop to pay rent more in line with the trendy up-and-coming area, a rate Leonor can’t afford.

What transpires is beautifully observed and subtle – this really is a little gem – more a love story really about how relationships are tested by uncontrollable forces. There are no greedy horrid people, no grandstanding, just the deadly, often awkward exercise of money, class and power.

The real stars are two teens (Theo Taplitz and Michael Barbiera), caught on opposite sides of the divide. A must for anyone in Marrickville and Dulwich Hill!

PG from Dec 9. It’s at Dendy (Newtown and Opera Quays) only, and most likely not for long. Be quick…

View trailer


Reviews – Russell Edwards