Canberra International Film Festival

The programme for the 16th Canberra International Film Festival (CIFF) which runs from Wednesday 31 October to Sunday 11 November was published this morning.

This will be my first ever film festival and whilst it is not quite on the scale of either the Sydney, Melbourne and certainly not Toronto festivals, it is something I am really looking forward to. So in anticipation I have spent a bit of time today trying to narrow down the 60 selections to a more manageable 20 or so.  

Unfortunatley due to the wedding of a good friend I will miss the middle weekend but that sill leaves lots of good stuff on offer.  Here is a list of what I have so far.  I would be really grateful for any comments on potential missteps or suggestions for any films I may have missed.  You can check out the full programme at the CIFF website.:-

Opening Night:             Ken Loach’s ‘The Angels’ Share’

Closing Night:              Boyd Hickin’s ‘Save Yer Legs’


Other selections:-

The Hunt

Beyond The Hills


Turn Me On Goddammit

The Imposter

Chasing Ice

Room 237

The Shining


Berberian Sound Studio

The Loneliest Planet

American Mary

I, Anna

Sleepless Night

Like Someone In Love


Love Story

Children Of Sarajevo

Monsieur Lazhar

Rust and Bone

The Week That Was 9 – 23 September

Ok, so I admit I am being a little slack of late, but welcome to another double strength The Week That Was.  Sadly though it is still quite a light read as the Malone household took themselves off for a bit of an Aussie road trip driving from Canberra across country to the wine region of the Barossa Valley, with a quick stop at Adelaide in South Australia.  It was a great trip and our young girls did well being cooped up in the car for just under 3000 ks, mainly as they were  suitably entertained by an iPad mounted between the seats (therefore out of reach of sticky fingers) and loaded with Pixar goodness.  So whilst I haven’t seen a huge amount of late, I have listened to awful lot of colourful cartoon creatures.  I did manage to tick something off the bucket list though.

So here is the tale of the tape from the last two weeks.  As always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here:-

Cinema Screenings

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – The girls and I watched this in a drive in movie theatre, so ticking off a life long ambition.  Just a shame it was with this film.  Pretty standard fare. Skip It (unless you are a little person).

Your Sister’s Sister – Lynn Shelton’s comedy drama about love, relationships and loss.  Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass and Rosemarie DeWitt all deliver cracking performances in this engaging, tightly scripted and beautifully shot tale.   Another film from which I have come out of thinking that Emily Blunt is simply the nicest person in the world.  Watch It.

Ruby Sparks  – Paul Dano stars alongside Zoe Kazan in this touching romantic fantasy about a struggling novelist who creates his perfect soul-mate first through his writing and then in real life  Think Weird Science meets Lars and the Real Girl and you are on the right track.  Great fun, but slightly darker than I expected.  Watch It.

Couch Screenings

Indie Game: The Movie – A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world. Even though I am not much of a gamer this was fascinating stuff, so much so that I found myself googling the developers once the credits rolled, just to check they were ok.   Watch It.

Lockout – Guy Pearce channels his inner Bruce Willis to good effect and appears to be having a great time along the way in this hugely enjoyable cross between Die Hard in space and the Last Boy Scout.  Check out the full review here . Highly Recommended.

Any Questions For Ben  – An Australian tale of a twenty something marketing executive who appears to have something of an early midlife crisis.  Whilst entertaining for the most part it is let down by a clichéd riddled script, undeveloped characters and an ill though through final reel. Australian cinema can do much better than this.  Skip It.

TV Shows

Peep Show – Really enjoyed this British comedy about two flat mates in South London.  Powered through season 1-6 in record time, helped along by only 6 episodes per season each, with a 24 minute running time.  Highly Recommended.

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 39
Couch Screenings – 43
Total (new films) – 91
Re-watches – 38
2012 Total film count – 129
How about you guys, seen anything good?

Lockout (2012)

  • Director – James Mather and Stephen St Leger
  • Starring – Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace and lots of others that I won’t spoil…
  • Written – James Mather, Stephen St Leger and Luc Besson
  • Year – 2012
  • Running Time – 96 mins

Die Hard in Space 

Ok, so lets begin with the plot, as much as it is.  It is the year 2079 and criminals from all nationalities (however still under the watchful eye of the USA) are now being locked up in space on board vessels such as Maximum Security 1 (M.S.1).  The most serious criminals are kept in stasis for the length of their sentence. For some inexplicable reason the US Secret Service lets the President’s daughter  Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) visit M.S.1 as part of a research project into the potential adverse affects of stasis.  During her visit the prisoners escape and she gets Taken (see what I did there…..) hostage.  In swoops Guy Pearce, a CIA agent who has been wrongly accused of espionage and given the opportunity to break into M.S.1, free Ms Warnock and clear his name all in one fowl swoop. Game on.


The Week That Was (2 -9 September 2012)

A bit of a light week this week, mainly due to a Mrs Malone bagging most of the nights out this week, leaving me home looking after the wee ones.  Therefore I only managed to get in five films, all watched from the comfort of my couch.  This has to be the first week in a long time that I haven’t made it to the cinema, I try and not let this happen too often.

So here we go with the tale of the tape this week, as always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here:-

Cinema Screenings

None  🙁  

Couch Screenings

Domino – Watched as part of my research for an upcoming Tony Scott top ten list.  Squasher88 over at Film Actually warned me via twitter in advance that it wasn’t Scott’s finest hour and boy was he right.  An incredibly over-exposed, fast edited mess of a film which tries (and fails) to tell the story of Domino Harvey, a British-born bounty hunter.  Skip It.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey – The heartwarming tale of Kevin Clash, the main force behind Elmo, the cute furry red puppet off Sesame Street. This has received some real critical praise and in parts rightly so, I however was not quite as sold as others.  But then again the Muppets did very little for me as well.  Watch It.

Punch-Drunk Love – Paul Thomas Anderson gets a career high performance out of Adam Sandler.  Click here for the full review.  Highly Recommended.

Juno – Jason Reitman’s 2007 first tie up with Diablo Cody is still as fresh and watchable as I remembered.  What I didn’t remember was Rain Wilson (US Office – Dwight Schrute) turning up in the first 5 minutes.  Seeing him with Ellen Page again reminded me of Super (Shut Up Crime) which I have a bit of a soft spot for.  Highly Recommended. 

Up In The Air – The second half of my Jason Reitman double-bill and probably my favourite of his to date.  George Clooney, Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga all deliver top notch performances in this highly engaging and ultimately touching drama about letting go and indeed being let go.  Highly Recommended.

TV Shows

Peep Show – My new obsession.  How can I be British and not seen this already?  Halfway through season two, luckily there are seven seasons.


TIFF – The Toronto International Film Festival kicked off this week with an opening night screening of Looper.  It seems that my twitter feed is full of bloggers descending on Toronto for some film festival goodness.  I am enjoying this vicariously through Toronto residents Ryan McNeil from The Matinee, Corey Atad from JustAtad and after flying in from Melbourne, temporary Torontonian  Tom Clift who is on part one of a North American cinematic adventure. Have a great festival guys, really enjoying your coverage.

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 36
Couch Screenings – 49
Total (new films) – 85
Re-watches – 38
2012 Total film count – 123
How about you guys, seen anything good?



Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

  • Director – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Starring – Adam Sadler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Written – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Year – 2002
  • Running Time – 95 mins

They say that every one has a book in them.  If that is true then I reckon every movie star has at least one good film in them and Punch-Drunk Love is Adam Sandler’s one good film.  I remember listening to UK film critic Mark Kermode before he planned to watch Sandler’s horrendously double-acted Jack and Jill, he stated that as low as Sandler has sunk of late he still goes into each of his new releases remembering that Sandler was in Punch-Drunk Love.  This gives him hope, for a short time anyway. (more…)