Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sandra Bullock and romantic comedies appear to be perfectly matched. With her cute pixie looks and gift for comic timing, her somewhat limited range has found a safe haven in many fluffy outings. It's just as well she's a success with those, as her more dramatic roles have caused unintentional amusement. Happily for her fans, The Proposal finds her doing what she does best with her charms elevating a reasonable effort. Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is a feared editor of a book publishing firm. Used to treating her underlings with icy discipline, her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) knows what a she-devil she can be. When the Canadian born Margaret is told she will be deported due to visa problems, her tactical mind devises a plan. Forcing Andrew to marry her, she has to then meet his parents in order to show the immigration officials of their undying love. Mixing it up with the folk in his home town, her formidable demeanour slowly diminishes as she and her stubborn fiancé trade non-matrimonial barbs. There are those who adore this genre and others who find them insufferable. Whilst I can usually be found with the latter category, The Proposal is better than most due to its approach. Often a lot of these films have added fantastical elements to their romances taking away that vital trace of believability. Without this hint of realism it's very difficult to fully engage with the main leads. Certainly The Proposal does indulge in a few outlandish moments with requisite clichéd stereotypes intact. What makes it enjoyable are the fine cast and enough fun moments grounding proceedings with genuine authenticity. Wisely the film realises the importance of having good leads with Bullock and Reynolds generating fine chemistry. Reynolds in particular has developed into appealing leading man material using an old fashioned charm seldom used. His scenes with Bullock create valid sparks with their dialogue utilising some witty repartee to good effect. It's interesting how deceptive the screenplay is, as the initial love story gives way to a story about cherishing familial bonds despite the sometimes uncomfortable periods a large family can bring. This aspect brings the whole film up a notch as it shows effort has been made to create an actual story than relying too heavily on stock standard situations. The Proposal may have the usual scenes of spousal humiliation and bickering, but it reasonably tries to develop new ideas in a stale format. This is one of those films that you may forget once you've seen it, but its attempts to emulate the romantic comedies of old is admirable without any of the cynicism devaluating such overripe sagas. Movie Review Rating 5 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore The Proposal Official home page click here If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review The Proposal Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.

Australia's vast landscape has been witness to many popular films. Whilst some have been clunkers, each has the common thread of the beautiful vistas the sometimes harsh countryside can project. Last Ride's stunning cinematography perfectly unifies its splendour with the ugliness of the main characters. That their personas can be influenced by their surrounds shows how the environs can shape our daily lives. On the run after a bloody crime, Kev (Hugo Weaving) and his son Chook (Tom Russell) hit the road. Journeying through outback Australia in various stolen cars, their relationship is fraught with tension. Used to a cycle of violence from an early age, Kev's outlook threatens to darken his son's positive personality. As they attempt to form a bond, past actions are explored with regret and ongoing aggression potentially limiting their futures. Working from a very thin premise, Last Ride examines what legacies family ties bring. Being a victim of an abusive father, Kev's cruelty towards his son unearths a destructive familial cycle threatening to consume him. Director Glendyn Ivin's skills surface in assisting the viewer to understand Kev's actions making him a sympathetic figure. His often spiteful deeds may be shocking, but his attempts at showing compassion become moving as they show the person he possibly could have been. Chook, as he witnesses his father's behaviour, has to decide if he joins him on his path or to create one free of the negative emotions carried through the generations. Blending these elements with some magnificent imagery, Last Ride's strength is occasionally its weakness. This comes apparent towards the end where the sparse story seems to run out of dramatic weight. The gradual reveal of the characters backgrounds are interesting, it's that there are a few scenes where proceedings threaten to stop at a standstill. Despite this the acting by Weaving and Russell remains compelling and proves Weaving's tenacity in developing his talents in challenging ways. Filmed on a low budget, the scenery used is priceless with some truly stunning shots wiping the floor over anything generated by CGI. There have been a number of high quality local films so far this year showing the industry apparently crawling out of a self-inflicted slump. Last Ride may not be quite a startler but the acting and panoramic views certainly show why our backdrop is still a cinematic drawcard.  

Movie Review Rating 7 / 10  
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
 The Last Ride Official home page click here
The Last Ride released in Australia on Thursday 2nd July 2009.
 If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review The Last Ride
Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.
Daniel Jacob Radcliffe was born on July 23rd, 1989 to Alan Radcliffe and Marcia Gresham. He began performing in small school productions as a young boy. He had the title role in David Copperfield (1999) (TV) and later as Mark Pendel in The Tailor of Panama (2001), the son of Harry and Louisa Pendel (Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis). Lee Curtis had indeed pointed out to Daniel's mother that he could be Harry Potter himself. Soon afterwards, Daniel was cast as Harry Potter by director, Chris Columbus in the film that hit theatres in November 16, 2001, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001). He was recognized worldwide after this film was released. Pleasing audiences and critics everywhere. Filming on the sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), commenced shortly afterwards. He continued to be in the role of Harry in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) directed by Alfonso Cuarón, and then in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) directed by Mike Newell. Shortly afterwards, he finished filming December Boys (2007) in Adelaide, Australia, Kangaroo Island, and Geelong, Australia which began on the 14th of November, 2005 and ended in December. Dan reprised his famous character again for the next instalment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007). In February 2007 he took on his first stage role in the West End play Equus to worldwide praise from fans and critics alike. He finished filming the TV movie My Boy Jack (2007) (TV), which aired on 11 November 2007 in the UK.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Original Release date 16 November 2001 Harry Potter is an eleven-year-old boy. As a baby, he had been attacked by Lord Voldemort who killed his parents; his survival brought unknown fame to Harry. He was taken by Hagrid to live with his aunt and uncle. Eleven years later, Harry enters his first year of Hogwarts along with his new friends Ron and Hermione. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Original Release date 15 November 2002 Harry, Ron, and Hermione return to Hogwarts for their second year, which proves to be more challenging than the last. The Chamber of Secrets is opened, leaving students (and ghosts) petrified. Harry learns that he can speak parseltongue which leads to many students believing he is the heir of Salazar Slytherin. Near the end of the year Harry, Ron and their new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Lockhart, discover the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. There he battles the young memory of Lord Voldemort (Tom Marvolo Riddle) and his basilisk. During the battle, Godric Gryffindor's sword appears out of the sorting hat (brought by Fawks), which we later learn from Dumbledore that the sword would have only appeared for a true Gryffindor. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Original Release date 31 May 2004 Harry's third year truly begins when the Hogwart's express stops moving, a Dementor attacks Harry and is dispatched with the help of new professor, Remus J. Lupin. The Dementor flees but not before it causes Harry to faint. A prisoner named Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban prison; he was incarcerated there twelve years previously for apparently aiding Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Harry, believing it was Black who caused his parent's deaths, finds out at the end of the year the truth. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Original Release date 18 November 2005 Harry's fourth year begins with him having a nightmare about Frank Bryce being killed by Voldemort. At Hogwarts, there is a new professor, Alastor Moody, Hogwarts is hosting the Triwizard Tournament, a dangerous tournament between three schools of magic. Fleur Delacour, Viktor Krum and Cedric Diggory are the three champions. However, Harry's name appears out of the Goblet of Fire making him a fourth champion. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Original Release date 11 July 2007 Harry's fifth year begins with Harry being attacked by Dementors in Little Whinging. He finds out later that the Ministry of Magic does not believe that Voldemort has returned and is in for a hard year. Professor Umbridge, a representative of Cornelius Fudge, is the new Defence against the Dark Arts teacher, and the rebellion between the students of Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic begins. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Original Release date 15 July 2009 Harry believes that Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape are up to something. Harry falls in love with Ginny Weasley, Ron's sister. Towards the end Professor Dumbledore and Harry face an army of Inferi and return to Hogwarts to find that Death Eaters have attacked. The film is due for release 15 July 2009. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry, Ron, and Hermione's quest to find all of Voldemort's remaining horcruxes begins. It is meant to be Harry's final year at Hogwarts but Voldemort's rise to power prevents him from attending. The trio undergo a long adventure to destroy Voldemort for the last time. The film will be split into two parts; the first part is due for release in 19 November 2010, the second part in 15 July 2011.

Friday, July 3, 2009


This Week


Weeks in release

Last Weekend ($)

Total Gross ($)


Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen





The Proposal





The Hangover





Hannah Montana : The Movie





Year One





Terminator Salvation





Night at the Museum 2





Coco Avant Chanel





Land of the Lost





State of Play





Angels & Demons










New York





I Love You, Man





Star Trek




The Australian Box Office figures include the previous weekend from the day of release to the next week day eg Thursday to Wednesday.
When Hollywood makes a block buster - the dollars flow through the box offices. Here are the Top Ten as at June 2009.
1. Titanic (1997) $1,835,300,000
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) $1,129,219,252
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) $1,060,332,628
4. The Dark Knight (2008) $1,001,921,825
5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) $968,657,891
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) $958,404,152
7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) $937,000,866
8. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) $922,379,000
9. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) $921,600,000
10. Jurassic Park (1993) $919,700,000
Whenever John Malkovich's name is mentioned it creates a mixed reaction. There are those fascinated by his intense performances and others finding him off-putting. What can't be disputed is the passion and energy he infuses into anything he does, resulting in some memorable roles. By utilising these unique qualities, Disgrace's exploration of a man confronting his actions benefits from his typically brooding but always interesting presence. Based in Cape Town South Africa, university professor David Lurie (John Malkovich) is an empty shell of a man. Drifting through his existence with pious authority, his insular life has gained few friends. After seducing one of his students, the consequent uproar finds him failing to defend his actions. Escaping to his daughter's, Lucy (Jessica Haines) farm, he hopes to find some time for contemplation. Unfortunately his solace is shattered by a violent home invasion forcing him to face his prejudices against the backdrop of a changing landscape. Disgrace's central figure is difficult to like. Played with Malkovich's usual steely resolve, his remote demeanour hides someone ashamed of his actions and eager to grab any morsel of self-respect. That's perhaps one of the most valuable commodities one can have, with the 'disgrace' of the title referring to someone seemingly unwilling to accept personal change. Interestingly David's salvation occurs due to an event where a personal violation mirrors that of his seduction of his student. This punishment to a former aggressor unexpectedly drags him out of his stupor slowly enabling him to connect with his daughter and those around him. More than an individual parable, the story also reflects on the decade’s long tenure of South African apartheid. Steve Jacobs' direction attempts to show how the spectre of past deeds has created a generation indoctrinated to violence and using this as motive for a spate of revenge attacks. This change in the country's character imitates David's private adjustment, as both entities attempt to discard their capacity for physical and emotional violence. These elements are very well conveyed by a fine cast with fantastic cinematography capturing a raw harshness in the landscape matching those of the actors. Disgrace may sound hard going, but those willing to last the distance will be rewarded with a fine account of redemption. It certainly makes a change from the almost romanticised view of African life in films from over thirty years ago, with current cinema eager to examine the dubious legacy left behind from a government's extreme practices. Movie Review Rating 8 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Disgrace Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.
When a reviewer sees a film, they do so in the hope of an enjoyable and enlightening time. If it fails to materialise, the gloomy descent of disappointment becomes palatable. This is exactly what occurred after seeing Year One. Devoid of wit, intelligence, style and anything remotely amusing, this mindless claptrap made one wonder if its neanderthal characters also directed this lame duck mirth fest. At the beginning of time, two tribesmen, Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera), continue creating chaos. After devouring an apple from the sacred tree of knowledge both are banished from their tribe and forced to fend for themselves. Determined to prove their worth, they set on a journey to explore their world in the hope of finding their life purpose. Encountering biblical icons and amorous maidens, their travels carve an odd footnote in history books. Bad comedy may be easy to muster, but good ones are harder to create. This is a lesson that director Harold Ramis should have learnt having crafted such classics as Caddyshack and Groundhog Day. Regrettably his ignorance of past triumphs helps destroy any semblance of humour in this pretty terrible film. There is simply no excuse for him to have relied on lewd gross out gags for laughs that are structured around the limpest of plots. Each episodic sequence is lumped together without any form of reason with historical accuracy a no-show in this strange hybrid of religious imagery. You have to feel sorry for the actors, who are clearly doing this for the cash. One would assume they didn't do it for the script, with their desperation in raising the film's energy levels painful to watch. Jack Black and Michael Cera's performances are nothing new though, and they only have themselves to blame for their poor choices and failure in taking risks than lazily portraying their usual personas. The downbeat filming does proceedings no favours whilst the use of rap music on the soundtrack adds to the enterprise's bizarre unevenness. Whilst some of its scenes may offend, Year One's main offence is its shortage of hilarity. Movies featuring cave dwellers rarely work and this is no exception with its clumsy handling of thin material making Year One an eternal endurance test. If this is how humankind spent its first year on earth, one could only marvel at how it survived such alarmingly infantile beginnings. Movie Review Rating 0 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore Official Movie Year One Homepage click Here If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Year One Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.
Saturday morning TV in the 1970's were owned by two companies. Where Hanna-Barbera handled the cartoon side with Scooby Do, Sid and Marty Krofft specialised in wacky live action antics. Creators of the colourful classic H.R. Pufnstuf to the infamous Brady Bunch Variety Hour, their garish taste proved immensely popular. Based on their 1974 series, Land of the Lost's pre-historic setting updates the concept only a huge budget would allow. Sadly the end result is a clunker making one wish H.R. Pufnstuf's wicked witch Witchiepoo would cast it away with one of her psychedelic spells. Scientist Dr Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is a fearless believer in his own amazing studies. When he champions a theory regarding outer dimensional portals, his reputation is ruined by his fellow eminent brethren. One still having faith is student Holly (Anna Friel) who insists he attempt to put his ideas into practice. This he does to startling affect as they, along with helper Will (Danny McBride), are transported to another world. Filled with dinosaurs and other weird creatures, this land of the peculiar becomes a place of peril from which the intrepid trio attempt to escape. Part homage and part parody, Land of the Lost eventually becomes all travesty. Like many remakes it makes the mistake in thinking audiences want to see a mega-buck spectacle version of a beloved TV show. In this case the opposite is true as the original series was great because of its cheapness. The smaller budget forced the creators to craft spellbinding stories allowing for more creativity in engaging the viewer's imagination. There's nothing funnier than seeing an alien made out of tinsel and string than the CGI beasties here. Having taken away this fun element, the actors are forced to do the heavy lifting, unfortunately coming to nothing due to an atrocious script. Will Ferrell can be amusing, although occasionally succeeding in his arrogantly self-aware role, even he seems confused by its uneven tone. This is clearly apparent in its use of endless sexual innuendo at the expense of any exciting adventures, going against the spirit of its forebear. This is a lazy way in concocting a story where imagination is sacrificed for cheap jokes. Ultimately its chief crime is that it isn't very funny in spite of some potentially hilarious moments, losing its way towards a rambling conclusion. Films like Land of the Lost should have a 'beware' sign attached for those of an age wanting to relive childhood memories. This is an appalling desecration of a charming children's show which, in its efforts to be edgy and hip, falls hopelessly flat. Hopefully no more Krofft cross-overs from small to big screen occurs, as any more disasters like this would be too much to take for their trippy fanbase. Movie Review Rating 1 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore Official Land of the Lost Homepage Click here If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Land of the Lost Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.
Las Vegas has enjoyed the dubious honour of being America's 'City of Sin'. Deemed party central for those wanting all types of entertainment, its notoriety has made it a household name. The Hangover's leading gentlemen learn the hard way of the after-effects of indulging in its many vices. That Vegas still reels them in despite their mishaps show the addictive allure of this very adult playground. Celebrating his last night of freedom before his wedding, Doug (Justin Bartha) takes his three mates to Vegas. Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) are more than willing to help. Unfortunately their debauched behaviour haunts them the next morning when they find Doug missing and a massive memory suppressing hangover. Attempting to unravel what happened, a tiger, police car, gangsters and strippers hold the key in lightening the heavy mood of the morning after. Crude, lewd and outrageously rude, The Hangover is also very funny. Due to an adventurous cast and a simple plot, the gags come thick and fast after a rather hellish buck’s party. The attraction for this type of film is how far they push the envelope in raging against political correctness. Thankfully the humour is more hit than miss as director Todd Phillips handles the increasingly farcical situations with skill. Using the well used device of piecing together events, he allows the audience to go on the madcap voyage of discovery of the leads thereby giving immediacy to their dilemmas. Like many recent comedies, the protagonist’s earnest desperation in solving their problems provides genuine laughs. The personalities drive the humour rather than vice versa. In the main leads we have the archetypical jock, nerd and hippie and, although the characters may seem clichéd, they come to life due to a realism the actors bring. This believability makes the comedy work no matter how ridiculous the circumstances with the rhythm and timing equally crucial. The Hangover does this in spades, with the most recalcitrant people hopefully raising a reluctant smile at its antics. This 'boys behaving badly' flick may not do Vegas' reputation any good, but one wonders whether it had any in the first place. There will be those who'll dismiss this outright due to its topic, which is fair enough due to its very adult humour. But for others not adverse to some mindless and occasionally shocking absurdities The Hangover should prove a good antidote to those fluffy romantic comedies that would drive anyone to find escape. Movie Review Rating 7 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore For the Official Web Site click here If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review The Hangover Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

In these harsh times its nice knowing Michael Bay still believes in opulent excess. Every frame of his latest directorial effort oozes his gargantuan style for bigger and astounding effects, with a particular point known as a story studiously ignored. Occasionally this isn't such a bad thing as, for all its faults, Transformers 2 is entertaining nonsense most 80's raised children should enjoy with nostalgic relish. Despite winning the battle, the war between the Autobots and Decepticons rages. After evil Megatron is resurrected by a magical device, he plots to destroy his enemy Optimus Prime. His latest scheme involves The Fallen, a legendary figure that has an earth based sun destroying machine capable of maintaining their power source. With the help of Sam (Shia LeBeouf), Mikaela (Megan Fox) and a hoard of 'robots in disguise', it’s up to Optimus to protect the earth from droids who have more than meets the eye. Everyone knows these films aren't high art, and certainly this sequel is pretty slack in offering anything new. This could be due to the small break between films, with this short respite perhaps reflecting on the scripts' rushed feel. Although calling it a script would be insulting as what plot there is seems very threadbare to cover its incredibly long running time. So many characters are crammed in that there's little time to form any connection with the reliance of laughs over tension seriously affecting the great CGI and tongue in cheek acting. Thankfully Transformers 2 isn't a total waste, as the energy level and cinematography are a marvel to observe. You could be forgiven thinking you're watching a remake of Top Gun, as Bay's constantly roving camera seems to conduct a love affair with various military hardware on display. Every human character is shown in broad comic strip poses with the colour never descending below its bubble gum origins. Whilst the pacing often suffers, there's always another scene ready to replace a lesser one within an instant. It's this ongoing movement that is its main plus and it can't be accused of not offering bang for the price of a movie ticket. If you want an action spectacle, it's all here with the creativity and imagination in showing the various battles worthy of admiration. Transformers 2 is a huge and bombastic popcorn blockbuster steadfastly unapologetic for what it is and does what it sets out to do very well. It isn't a crime to occasionally enjoy these mindless films and it's good to see trashy escapism hasn't totally vanished from the gloom of everyday drudgery. Movie Review Rating out of 6 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore Transformers Revenge of the Fallen released in Australia on Wednesday 24 th June 2009. If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Transformers Revengs of the Fallen Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Official Homepage click here