The Week That Was 23 – 31 September

Welcome to another Week That Was.  Quite a lot has happened over the last seven days, so lets get straight into it.

First off the Canberra International Film Festival which runs from 31 October – 11 November was officially launched.  The programme is varied with a mixture of strong Australian films alongside plenty of international fare.  I spent a good part of Monday trawling through the programme and even though I will miss out on the middle weekend I reckon I can still get in 20 films.  You can see my provisional schedule here.

Secondly, as you can tell from the rather natty new red badge on the sidebar, I officially became a member of the Large Association of Movie Blogs or The Lamb for short.  I have been reading other Lamb blogs for a couple of years now so it feels good to finally (and officially) be part of the flock.

And thirdly but most importantly, my youngest turned three this week which we celebrated with a Tinker Bell themed birthday party and a trip to see Tinker Bell: The Secret Of The Wings at the cinema.  Having 18 kids round for the party was truly exhausting, but worth it.

In amongst all of this I managed to get back into the cinema again, so here is the tale of the tape from the last week.  As always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here:-

Cinema Screenings

Beasts Of The Southern Wild  – I went in with very high expectations after reading nothing but glowing reviews for this gritty, intelligent and highly emotional drama about a family in the Southern Delta dealing with all that life and Mother Nature has to throw at them.  I am pleased to say that this held up incredibly well to its billing and will no doubt be in my top ten of the year.  Highly Recommended

The Expendables 2  – Exactly the opposite to the above.  I went in with very low expectations after reading nothing but damming reviews of this sequel to the 2010 ensemble 80s action reunion, but this time with added Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme.  Unfortunately this also lived up to its billing with a script full of badly timed puns and cringeworthy cliches, which when coupled with badly executed and over the top action set pieces, produces a film very wide of the mark and not even close to the classic action films it is trying to imitate.  Jean Claude Van Damme was great though.  Approach With Caution

Looper – An intelligent and highly entertaining sci-fi  drama which just about stays on the right side of believable.  Look out for the review later this week. Still can’t believe how good Emily Blunt was, this woman can do no wrong.   Highly Recommended 

Tinker Bell: The Secret Of The Wings – Part three in the Tinker Bell story and this time Tinkers gets all rebellious and crosses the border to the winter side.  Don’t worry she doesn’t go all Darth Vader like but manages to get into a few scrapes along the way.  Another fun and really quite watchable tale which went down a storm with the girls.  Watch It 

Couch Screenings

Jeff Who Lives At Home – I didn’t like this Duplass brothers film about a stay at home Jason Segal who after being sent on an errand by his mother embarks on a journey to try and find his own destiny.  I just couldn’t connect (or care about) any of the characters and the plinky plonky (attempting to be ever so indie) score, alongside the awful script almost had me tearing my hair out.   Approach With Caution.

The Loved Ones – Well, was this a surprise on the same level as Holy Motors from a few weeks back.  Went in knowing nothing about the film except that it was an High School Aussie film which I assumed was going to be a comedy drama type thing.  Oh no, not even close.  This turned out to be an exploitation flick, which bordered on torture porn on occasion, about how far a young girl and her father will go if you turn down an invitation to the prom.    Probably great if you like that type of thing; me not so much.  Approach With Caution (quite literally)

TV Shows

Nothing new started this week.  Trying to narrow down what my next series will be.  I suspect either season 4 of Breaking Bad or Season 5 of Dexter.

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 43
Couch Screenings – 54
Total (new films) – 97
Re-watches – 38
2012 Total film count – 135
How about you guys, seen anything good?

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