Tuesday, December 30, 2008


If it wasn't for the young people who hang out at my house raving about this film, I probably would have waited until it came on DVD. They went to see it two nights in a row and raved about the 'Edward' character, at least the girls did... totally smitten. One of them commented that orange (fake tan) is out and white is in, so hopefully that film will be responsible for a reduction in skin cancer with this generation!

I have read the book and found it slow to begin with, but the last chapters were quite gripping. Fortunately the film concentrated mainly on the best bits of the book and I was pleasantly surprised. The natural beauty in the film was amazing. I loved the scenery, the kids were pretty typical of real kids and the film was quite convincing on some levels. The special effects left a little to be desired, but on the whole I enjoyed it.

The friend I went with hadn't read the book, yet enjoyed the film. The critics have been luke warm in their appreciation and it is after all a very teenage story. I like this quote from David Denby (The New Yorker) "A genuine love story might be difficult for a young audience to handle, but this fantasy is blissful madness—an abstinence fable sexier than sex."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Quantum of Solace

There has been a shift I believe. Quantum of Solace is about revenge and is a sequel to 'Casino Royale'. I remember seeing that film at Wollongong in a theatre that had a very filthy ceiling when Andy and I holidayed there in 2007. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Back to this experience though, my son and I discussed how different it was and I think reviewer Noah Berlatsky from the Chicago Reader sums it all up nicely. Having said all that, it was enjoyable if not expected. By the way, really cool is Judi Dench!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Your Hearts a Mess by Gotye (Portable Film Festival animation)

The Portable Film Festival has this animation of my current favourite song 'Your Hearts a Mess'. The Portable Film Festival is a great place to watch all kinds of films from around the world.

I think Gotye is great. I just learnt that he's from Australia and in an article I read about him, he listed Kate Bush's 'Cloudbursting' in his top 10, so I think I'm a fan. Check out his blog.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

August Rush

If you want to be totally transported by a modern fairytale, pick this. Sure it's a huge suspension of reality, but just the kind I love. The music connects the orphan with his talented musician parents, comparisons can be made to the Oliver Twist tale. I really enjoyed it.

I must also confess I find Jonathon Rhys Meyers quite attractive.
As with many films of this nature, critics weren't impressed, but viewers rated it higher.

A suspension of reality in the opposite direction to last night's movie. Balanced me out!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Planet Terror

I loved Deathproof and have only tonight managed to watch 'Planet Terror'. I started to watch it once, but the horror genre is not my thing and I got a bit put off by the zombies. After a conversation with my son, I had another attempt tonight. It was great. I am glad I persisted. The final scene was my favourite though. Great characters as you can expect from Rodriguez.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Marie Antoinette (2006)

Fluffy, light and delicious. Historically innacurate with a great sound track. This Kirsten Dunst film was exactly what I was in the mood for tonight. I love the colour and costume. The food and scenery were great as well. Let them eat cake indeed.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hey Hey it's Esther Blueburger

This Australian film about a teenage girl is great. It is funny and sad and I really enjoyed it. Great actresses and characters I am familiar with.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Waitress

The Waitress is another romantic comedy recommended by a bloke. There are some really funny parts to it and the romance is believable. The misery a little too real for me, however it did have divine pies in it and a happy enough ending. I liked this review, What I Watched Last Night: Waitress.

My favourite part I think was the lack of enthusiasm for the pregnancy, yet the joy at the birth. I think this is sometimes the way it is and yet it's not really an often confessed reaction.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Lars and the Real Girl

This film was recommended to me by two guys and because it's a romantic comedy and I love these men, I couldn't wait to see it. It's not every day men recommend the romantic comedy genre. I should have known there would be a blow up doll involved!

Seriously though, it is a touching story and much more than a funny love story. If only there were communities like that. People that didn't judge or become repulsed by peoples weirdness. Communities that tolerated and cared instead of medicating or ignoring others pain.

It was a beautiful story and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Run Fatboy Run

I would never have picked this DVD if it weren't for my sister's recommendation. The title didn't appeal to me at all. She dropped the names 'Hot Fuzz' and 'Shawn of the Dead' as a comparison and I couldn't resist. This romantic comedy had some very funny moments. It was a little more mainstream than the other two, but still quite funny and enjoyable.

Dennis is not as fat as the title suggests, but quite flabby in the heart muscle, yet completes a marathon to demonstrate an ability to commit to the woman he left pregnant at the altar.

My favourite review is Claudia Puig's.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Adelaide December 2007

Arriving in Adelaide the weekend before christmas. I wasn't expecting rain as I disembarked from the Indian Pacific.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In Bruges

This black comedy was a very hilarious watch. It is definately for a mature audience, with lots of swearing, killing, drugs and a little sex. It's funny and dark and I really found myself feeling a lot of affection for the child murderer, which is the last thing I would expect from myself. It was full of random little amusing surprises, even if predictible in it's plot at times. I'm really not even sure what it was that endeared him to me....

My favourite review is by Tasha Robinson.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

There Will Be Blood

This film is great without a doubt. There are wonderful scenes and remarkable scenery and Daniel Day Lewis does a fine job. I marvelled at how the baby in the beginning scenes survived in such a polluted environment.

My favourite review is by Richard Schickel in Time. Not many negative reviews to be found on this one.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

In the beginning I felt this is a silly film, but not really silly enough to be truly funny most of the time. Interesting yet not totally convincing characters. I couldn't actually concentrate on it. It annoyed me some of the time. Most used word itinerary. Not one of my favourite words.
Then I was drawn in and it began to get me in. It became more interesting and plausible. Then enjoyable.

My favourite review is Roger Ebert's.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Carla Bruni - L'Amoureuse

I like this music video. French sounds great to me. I don't understand a word of it, I just like the sound of it!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sunday at Mt Baw Baw #1

Visiting Mt Baw Baw with Mexican Visitors on Sunday 27th July 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

This was a dark and facinating film. The characters, all despicable strangely sad due to their desperation. They made a bigger mess than you could see a way out of. The actors were great and the film well made. Not for the kiddies I might add.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kate Bush Under Review

This British documentary about Kate Bush, was a series of interviews with both the artist and four 'experts' as well as partial clips of her more recognised songs. She came across in the interviews as humble and I enjoyed watching my favourite artist speak about her work over the years. I find her music endlessly facinating and moving.

This film will be shown at the MIFF again. Check the program for details. Parts of it are also available on Youtube.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Downtown Albury on a Saturday Night

July 2008 standing in the middle of the road in Albury looking toward the monument.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm Not There

Todd Haynes ambitious portrait of the many lives of Bob Dylan is facinating if only for the device he has used. I enjoyed each of the characters depicted. It's worth watching. Realistically I think you would need more than 6 characters to make up the lives of anyone, yet I guess as public persona's go, this is acceptable. I enjoyed the music and the acting. Aussies Kate Blanchett and Heath Ledger take on a character each.

I recommend it.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Painted Veil

This film was the kind of love story you can believe, complete with human frailties and errors. I want to read all W.Somerset Maugham's books now. It was so beautiful. The setting was great. It was set in China. The political and historical background was interesting. I loved the scene where the Nationalist soldier was negotiating/interpreting with the local warlord. It was clever.

I read 'The Moon and Sixpence' a couple of years ago and found it so rich in it's characters and their transformations and I found this story to be similar. They are very authentic....touching, human and moving.

I recommend this film. I totally enjoyed it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

TED: Chris Jordan: Visualising Excess

I love these kinds of visual displays. Chris Jordan makes a great pictorial display to question some of the paths Americans take. His musings could be applied equally here in Australia. I loved it. I showed it to a class on the last day of school and whilst they were working on other things - it had an impact running away in the background as it was. It stimulated some interesting discussion. Just the way I like it....

The Kite Runner

I loved the book 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini, it was a great insight into human nature and the changes that have occured in Afghanistan. The film adaptation was great. I expected it to be more visually stunning though to be honest. The scenes I was looking forward to, the Kite festival and the Pomegranate tree, were not as vivid as I had imagined them, yet isn't that always the way when you read a book and furnish it with your imagination, the film usually disappoints in some way.
It has subtitles and was in all very enjoyable. I found the book illustrated more depth in the relationships as well.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Into the Wild

I absolutely loved this film. Sean Penn did the screenplay and directed it. It's based on a true story about a young man who adventures out into the world leaving behind comforts to travel and survive on his own smarts. It's a beautiful film, revealing natural and human treasures.
'Into the Wild' tells the story of my favourite kind of people. Self sufficient adventurers, I find very attractive. I highly recommend it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sex and the City

Went to see 'Sex and the City' tonight with a couple of girl friends. There was one man in the cinema. I felt sorry for him. It was very much like the TV show, I've watched enough random episodes to know who was who. It was light entertainment and I laughed a fair bit.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Ageist Press

Every review I've read about the latest Indiana Jones film has made comment about the age of Harrison Ford. So what! I haven't seen the film myself, but my son and his mates went last night. They liked it. It was different, he said, possibly due to the aliens.

I find it kind of sad that the media has to make a big deal about the age of an actor in a film. I mean, big deal!

I will probably watch it on DVD in a few months time.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tropfest Channel

Nine MSN and Tropfest have a site where you can watch this years films online. Watch the winning film "Marry Me" a love story. I liked it.

The Junior Tropfest winner is also accessible on this site.

Entries are open for Tropfest 2009.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pangea Day

Saturday May 10th is Pangea Day. Watch films made by the world for the world. An amazing range of films that might just change your world. Get behind it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Queenscliff Early Morning

Dawn at the Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia back balcony of the Queenscliff YHA.  

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Golden Compass

'The Golden Compass' is based on the fantasy novel 'Northern Lights' by Philip Pullman. It is the first in the trilogy 'His Dark Materials'. The production of the other two will apparently depend on the success of the first. People who have read the book are apparently displeased with the film. I am not one of them. I intend to read the book one day though.

I enjoyed the film. The acting and settings were great. I liked the fast pace and variety of action. I especially loved the song 'Lyra' written and performed by Kate Bush.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I enjoyed Juno. The characterisations were refreshing. I liked seeing the Paulie character, shy and railroaded by a stronger Juno. It was realistic of many young men at that age. The characters were well written.

The relationships were lovely and not stereotypic, yet more real than many screen relationships we've viewed.

For example the following dialogue:

Ultrasound Technician: I'm an ultrasound technician, maam.
Bren: Well, I'm a nail technician and I think we both ought to just stick to what we know.
Ultrasound Technician: Excuse me?
Bren: Oh, you think you're so special because you get to play Picture Pages up there? Well, my five year old daughter could do that and let me tell you, she's not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed. So why don't you go back to night school in Mantino and learn a real trade.
Juno MacGuff: Bren! You's a dick! I love it!

For once a step mother that doesn't suck!

For more great dialogue IMDB

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Pick for Top Gear Australian Audition

I am not into cars for the record. Quite impressed with Michael's clip. He's come a long way since "Carpark".

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tank Girl 1995

One of my favourite films 'Tank Girl'is based on a comic book by the same name. I showed some parts of it to my students in the last week of term as we were studying another film 'O Brother Where Art Thou' and looking at the similarities between 'The Odyssey' and these derivatives. It was fun, and she's an interesting female protagonist.

'Tank Girl' has a great sound track and is visually interesting. The setting 2033, a future where water has become a big issue was quite plausible to the students as well and the film has much to enjoy and muse upon.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dan in Real Life

'Dan in Real Life' was an enjoyable romantic comedy about a guy who falls in love with his sisters girlfriend at a family gathering. I loved the family stuff in it most. Large family cultures are wonderful to me. As exasperating and trying as they can be to the family members, there is a real comfort and warmth that I experience in the large families I have belonged to.
I also enjoyed the 'single parent' with teenage daughter interactions. It successfully captured the awkwardness of a parent trying to work out the balance between putting your kids first and managing to have a personal 'grown up' relationship.
It's a truly funny and warm film, I recommend it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Little Children

I'd heard nothing about this film, yet from the opening scene, I felt drawn into it. The thoughts of this mother and the narrators summation of the situations were effective in creating a remarkable clarity of storytelling. It was at once emotionally engaging and quite human.

I recommend 'Little Children' and I imagine this film will stay with me for quite a duration. It was quite an experience.

Rotten Tomatoes
has a range of reviews.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Footy Legends

'Footy Legends' is a light uplifting story about the rise to self esteem for a bunch of unemployed young men. It's another Australian film and I enjoyed it. Urban Cinefile has a good review by Louise Keller. I am not really a football fan and have very little understanding of the game as played in this film. I enjoyed the story though.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Noise is tense. It's Australian and I liked it a lot. I liked it at the start when I realised it was made in Melbourne. Then the characters made me really intrigued. I thought I knew who was good and bad, then I was confused. Mostly I was surprised and that's what I always like in a film. I want those refreshing surprises in my entertainment. Those glimpses of the ordinary that seem honest if somewhat unattractive.

There are some really interesting scenes, like the conversations between the fiance of one of the victims and the policeman. The film revealed the characters quite thoughtfully and I was frequently startled by the action of the film, the twists and turns of the plot, the emotion shown by the male characters, the language used and the heavy smoking. There was actually a really clear shot of a brand of cigarettes at one point and this surprised me as well. I would love to know what the cigarette company paid for that advertising.

Tinnitus is horrible and if you've never had that annoying ringing in your ears, check out this film to get an idea of how harsh it is.

This film was a 2007 official selection Sundance Film Festival. It was popular,the following are a random sample of positive reviews Stale Popcorn, Aint it Cool and Applebox.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Great Ocean Road

Driving along Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia, January 2008.  
Formats available: Microsoft Video (.avi)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

27 Dresses

Went to flicks with my mum to see '27 Dresses' last night. It was light-hearted entertainment. Typical feel good romantic comedy. As one who has been a bridesmaid only 5 times and had thought that excessive, I could relate more to the cynical journalist than the constant bridesmaid.

I laughed a lot during this movie and that's got to be good for you. The critics may mock and demean such movies as frivolous and fluffy, but laughter is the result I look for. It was a pleasant experience.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

About Heath Ledger....

I have no idea how or why. Obviously - I don't know Heath Ledger. I admire and respect his art. I loved the characters and his playing in 'Two Hands', 'Ned Kelly', '1o Things I Hate About You', 'A Knights Tale' and others.

I felt he was a good person as far as I could see from such a great distance. I feel sad about his loss for his family, friends and for film. I appreciate the work he did and am grateful for that. I hope the media is kind to those close to him.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Music and Lyrics

I have to admit Hugh Grant plays characters that I find very likeable. I wasn't expecting much from this film and I was pleasantly surprised. It was true to its genre as a romantic comedy, I felt good after watching it.

I liked the way the 'pop' star was exposed as such a fraud too, with her spiritual 'glitter', yet underneath she thought the Dalai Lama was a llama. I liked the exposure of the 'famous' intellectual author as well.

It was just what I needed to watch last night.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Changes to Media Diet

Two articles today have drawn my attention to the fact that I don't listen to the radio or watch television any more. This statement comes from RIP Radio? an article today about podcasting growth, in 'The Age':
"He sees this streaming of genres, or "Foxtel for radio stations", as the future of radio. "Unless traditional radio stations look at these models, they will quickly find that they are irrelevant because young people just don't listen to the radio any more.""

The second article, Local TV to Profit from Writers Strike from 'The Australian', sounds like a boon for Australian Television Production, but this quote is telling :
"Mr Mitchell said this could lead to an Australian season of "repeats versus repeats", leaving networks with lower costs: "Presumably, they'd charge no less in ad rates." But he cautioned against taking viewers for granted. "People could
gradually drift away from free-to-air TV to pay-TV if it happened over a period of time," he said."

My son dropped our TV whilst I was on holidays. It died. He was stressed and thought I'd be upset, I wasn't. Possibly due to the way he framed the news.

Son: I've got some really bad news.

Me(interstate): Oh no, something really bad has happened....think recent teenage rampage in NarreWarren.... Just spit it out, tell me.

Son: I've killed the TV

Me: What in some freak underage drinking gathering?

Son: No, I was vacuuming and tried to move it and it fell off the stand.

Me: Really, that's it.

Son: True

Me: Thank God.

It could have been some other activity rather than vacuuming I guess, but, I really didn't care. He wanted to rush out and replace it before I got back, but we decided to use his small TV from his room, cause he rarely uses it and do some research before buying another.

He brought the TV downstairs and put it where the old one had been. I've watched a couple of DVDs on it, but I haven't even plugged the aeriel in. I don't listen to the radio in the car now that I have my iPod. I have an adapter I use. I download ABC radio and other podcasts. I buy DVD's of my favourite TV series and watch them as I want. I go to the cinema. I hire DVDs. I watch advertising on Duncans TV AD Land. Come to think of it I don't buy any print media except the occasional specialist magazine, I read enough online. Same goes for newspapers. Anyone else notice a change in thier media consumption?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Last night I went to the Cinema with my mum to watch 'Atonement'. When it ended I felt I'd been too emotionally drained. It was an intense film and although the room was packed full, I frequently felt that shifting in my seat was too noisy due to the absolute stillness in the cinema.

I rushed outside and lit a cigarette, the main characters smoked mercilessly throughout the film and my addicted brain craved that kind of interuption to the tragedy unfolding before me.

With a bit of space between the experience and myself I must say it was a very well made film and delivered a real emotional punch. Kiera Knightly's acting with her grace and beauty were breathtaking. The green dress has to be seen. It was vivid and so realistic I had to turn away from many of the war scenes.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Amazing Grace

I wanted to see this film at the Cinema. Today I watched it on DVD. It was an experience. I was totally inspired by the story of William Wilberforce and his passionate life, devoted publicly to abolishing slavery and privately to fully experiencing life. It is a film containing many exquisite moments. I especially enjoyed Richard the Butlers relationship with William the politician and his quotes.
There is much to see and learn in this film and I highly recommend it.