Movies – 299

Toni Erdmann

Germany’s entry in the 2017 Academy Awards snuck into Sydney unnoticed last year at the German Film Festival, but now its swag of awards, five star reviews and world-wide praise make it one of the most eagerly awaited of all the Oscar contenders.

The US rating warns “graphic nudity” (hey, its German!), and yes – that extended scene at a corporate bonding party is pretty startling, but also one of the funniest things you’ll ever see on screen. And there’s quite a few similar jaw-dropping and hilariously awkward moments as Winifried (Peter Simonischek), a retired teacher and practical joker tries to re-connect with his cool and distant daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller), a corporate high-flyer stationed in Bucharest by butting into her professional life.

Writer/director Maren Ade’s film is both bittersweet and tender in a somewhat un-German way, but edgy and very smart too – slyly revealing the absurdities and cruelties of modern life in the Euro-zone. No wonder the Brits want out!

M from Feb 9.

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

View the trailer here



So soon after Paterson, Adam Driver again turns up in another highly original movie, though it’s his co-star, Andrew Garfield, who gets most of screen time and is picking up most of critical praise. They play two Jesuit missionaries who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden.

Apparently Martin Scorsese, who was raised a Catholic, wanted to film this story for decades (its based on Shusaku Endo‘s acclaimed novel), and vowed to do so if The Wolf of Wall Street was a success. That was, but this is such a difficult project with such harrowing content that you can just picture the suits pleading to the veteran auteur, “Don’t do it Marty, Don’t!”

Fortunately, he did, and produced both a stunning testament to faith, and a powerful challenge to its destructive power.

CTC from Feb 16.

Thanks to Transmission Films we have 5 double inseason passes to give away. See our Giveaways page for details

View the trailer here


Tresspass Against Us

Trespass Against Us had its Australian Premiere at the British Film Festival late last year, and is now getting a welcome run at Palace Norton Street and Chauvel. A must-see for Michael Fassbender fans, this intense family drama is set across three generations of the Cutler clan who live as outlaws in their own anarchic corner of Britain’s richest countryside.

Chad Cutler (Fassbender) is heir apparent to his bruising criminal father, Colby (Brendan Gleeson) and has been groomed to spend his life hunting, thieving and tormenting the police. But with his own son, Tyson (Georgie Smith) coming of age, Chad soon finds himself locked in a battle with his father for the future of his young family.

Directed by Adam Smith and featuring incredible performances – and an astonishing score by The Chemical BrothersTrespass Against Us is at once an exhilarating crime thriller and a profoundly moving story about love and family.

MA15+ from Feb 16. (Unpreviewed).

Thanks to Umbrella Entertainment we have 5 double passes to give away. See our Giveaways page for details

View the trailer here


Manchester by the Sea

It’s always cold in Manchester-by-the-Sea, either snowing or icily grey. The temperature matches the emotional lives of its characters, particularly Lee (Casey Affleck), the damaged, taciturn loner who returns to his home town after the death of his brother.

Kenneth Lonergan puts us through the ringer here, several times, and although not as overwrought or ambitious as his earlier masterpiece Margaret, where he aimed so high he very nearly derailed his career, it’s still brittle, raw and sensational drama.

M from Feb 2.

View the trailer here

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Ok, let’s go somewhere we don’t normally go – where the person sitting next to you will have buckets of popcorn and Coke rather than a polite sav blanc…

Every few years Milla Jovovich teams up with her husband, director Paul W.S Anderson to do battle with the nefarious Umbrella Corp, a callous bunch who accidently engineered the apocalypse and unleashed hordes of mutants and zombies. This is the sixth movie instalment of the second-rate video game – and we hope, as that title suggests – it’s last.

The ultra violent action is super frenetic and eye-blinkingly fast, probably so that its CGI artists don’t have render too much detail to the nasties and Alien-inspired creatures constantly about to slice and dice/disembowel/behead our plucky heroine Alice (Jovovich). Occasionally the pace slows down so that she can deliver a line of dialogue, something like, “Lets get out of here!” (a sentiment the audience may share). Then we get a loud thud, bang or ear-piercing screech just to announce that something hideous is yet to happen.

But just how hideous that might be isn’t revealed until the final frame. MA15+ on now.

View the trailer here

Reviews: Russell Edwards