New Films In The ACT

The Canberra International Film Festival is in full swing with strong crowds enjoying a wide variety of different films.  The Festival  culminates this weekend with another strong programme including Rust and Bone, Smashed, The Impostor, Room 237, The Loneliest Planet and Save Yer Legs. If you are in Canberra or the region than I would strongly recommend trying out at least one screening at CIFF as it is a real experience and not to be missed.

But for those not in a festive mood there is plenty on offer elsewhere this week, such as:-

The Master – This hugely devise Paul Thomas Anderson film finally makes it to the ACT.  But be warned, it is certainly not for everyone. I almost certainly will not get round to this, so I recommend reading Andy Buckle’s thoughts over at The Film Emporium.   Playing at Manuka and Dendy

The Sessions – A man with an iron lung intent on losing his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate in order to fulfil his dream.  By all accounts this is both a moving and inspiring film.  Playing at Manuka

Seven Psychopaths – You know what film this is which is apparently best seen with as little previous knowledge as possible.  Playing at Dendy and Hoyts

Alex Cross – The reboot of the detective Alex Cross books written by James Patterson. I used to be a big fan of the books and didn’t mind that original films, but this is supposed to be shocking. However I will probably still give it a go, but probably on rental.  Playing at Hoyts.

Blu Ray: A Turnaround In Perspective

One of my very first posts of this site was DVD or Download where I summarised that I could remember the exact moment that I moved from buying films on DVD to purely downloading films instead.  The moment in question was when my eldest daughter managed to figure out how to open the DVD player.  That was game over for the DVDs there and then.

Over recent months though I have had gradual change of heart.  As I mentioned in the earlier post scrolling through a screen has none of the tactile attachment of films on a shelf and indeed almost none of the extras that come with disks.  This has lead me to feel increasingly detached from my movie collection and as I watched the ever lowering price of Blu Rays and indeed Blu Ray players I began to question my original decision.

So as I was strolling around JB Hi-Fi yesterday I came across a region free Blu Ray player for a smidgen over $100. This was very tempting. Region free is very important to me as even though I live in Australia most of my library comes from when I was in the UK, therefore  I need one player to play everything.  As I looked around the store I also noticed the plethora of Blu Rays for $15, as well as deals such as 2 for $20 and 2 for $30.  These prices were cheaper than download, better quality (1080 v 720) and come with all the extras.  A light suddenly came on in my head and the next thing I knew money was exchanged and out the shop I strolled with my shiny new region free Blu Ray player under my arm.

So onto yet another platform it would appear.   This is always a dangerous time for me as there is the constant temptation to update your collection in its entirety.  Luckily though the new player will also play and upscale DVDs which should help to resist much of the temptation, but even so I will still need to stick to the strict rules which are:-

– Only new films can be bought on Blu Ray

– The only exception to rule one are films listed in my personal top 20. These can be upgraded as I think it is important to try and own the best quality you can for your favourite films.

– TV shows cannot be bought on Blu Ray; DVD versions are more than adequate for this.

– I need to figure out a why of hooking up  a shelf to ensure the new player is out of reach of sticky fingers.

If I keep to the above then I should be fine.

So the only thing left now was to celebrate and what better way than by christening the new player.  But what film was it to be? Which film would be my first ever Blu Ray purchase?  As you tell from the picture up top I went for the anniversary edition of Jaws which is probably my favourite film of all time, therefore in full accordance with the rules laid out above.

A Question of Dates

As part of my Letterboxd addiction I have begun compiling my best of list for 2012.  Now herein lies the question.  Here in Australia we get movies slightly later than most, but just occasionally earlier (like The Avengers for instance).  Films like The Descendent’s and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for instance were all given January 2012 release dates here in Oz, so theoretically making them eligible for all 2012 lists.  However as they opened in the US and Europe in late 2011 they are officially categorised as 2011 films. Another example is Steve McQueen’s Shame, which was released in the US in December but not till March down under.  All three of these films would probably make a best of list, but for what year?  Therefore should a best of list be based on the official release date by the studio or on the date of release in the country the individual lives?  Thoughts anyone?

Movie Questionnaire Blog-a-thon

I have never done a blog-a-thon before, but I am trying to be a little more proactive in things lately so here goes.

This Movie Questionnaire blog-a-thon was started by Cinemanic Reviews which I picked up from Andy Buckle’s Film Emporium.


1.  What is your favourite movie?

True Romance


2.  Least favourite movie?

Love’s Kitchen – utterly inedible.


3.  Name one movie you loved upon initial viewing but eventually grew to hate (or vice versa)?

As much as I hate to admit it, the more I think about it the more I don’t think I like The Avengers.  I liked it in the cinema, but a subsequent watch at home left me feeling quite cold.  Not hate, but definitely going downhill.


4.  Name your biggest guilty pleasure.

Titanic (I know, I know)


5.  Favourite quote from favourite actor or actress (and must be a line in a movie)?

Steve Martin – I couldn’t be a woman, I’d stay home and play with my breasts all day – LA Story


6.  Favourite quote from a favorite actor/actress (and must NOT be a line from a movie)?

Everything is within walking distance, if you have time – Steven Wright (I love his deadpan humour)


7.  Three favourite movie scenes?

A little tricky this one.  The first three that come to mind are:-

a.  Brad Pitt as the stoner in True Romance (makes me laugh every time)

b.  Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken in True Romance (one of the best pieces of writing QT has done)

c.  Anything from LA Story.  (Steve Martin at his best – every scene is magical)


8.   Four films that should NOT have won Best Picture?

Shakespeare in Love

Forrest Gump

Dances with Wolves

Driving Miss Daisy


9.  Top five of the year (currently)?

Take This Waltz

The Dark Knight Rises

The Hunger Games




10.  Bottom three of the year (currently)?

I tend to not see too many bad movies so this is a little difficult, but if I had to chose then:-

The Campaign

Man on a Ledge (purely final the cringe inducing final reel)

Iron Sky


11.  What film gets your vote for the worst or most pointless remake?

Nightmare on Elm Street


12.  Is there any film you think is actually desperate for a remake?

I have highlighted on my site a 2010 film called Chatroom by Director Hideo Nakata who is best well known for Ringu.  There is a potentially really strong film hidden away here about internet chatrooms and the dangers they can bring.  Whilst Nakata portrays the internet interaction in a really interesting way, this fascinating premise is lost beneath a terrible script and an appalling final third.


13.  Name your three favorite film heroes.

Maverick, Lloyd Dobbler and Hans Solo


14.  Name your three favorite film villains.

The Joker, Hans Gruber, Tomy Devito (Joe Pesci in Goodfellas)


15.   Best sequel?

The Bourne Supremacy took things to a whole new level.


16.  Worst sequel?

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – honourable mention to Grease 2 (Lets bowl, lets bowl, lets rock ‘n’ roll)


17.  Best trilogy?

Hard to look past Toy Story.  Three films that fit together perfectly.


18.  Worst trilogy?

Transformers – if you willingly chose to pay your own money to watch them, its partly your fault.


19.  What’s your favorite word to use in a movie review (if your film blog does not feature reviews, substitute “review” with “-related post”?)

Looking back through some of my reviews, I seem to have a compulsion for the word captivated.  Think I might be overusing it.


20.  Anything else?

Don’t forget to look for the fun in movies first; fault finding should come second.

And we’re back

So where was I?  Sorry about that everyone.  Bit of a strange few weeks, but now that I have full dexterity back in both hands there is nothing stopping me climbing back onto the blogging horse.  So where do we start, what did I miss?  Anything good?

Whilst I haven’t been able to type very much I have been enjoying reading the other blogs that I regularly subscribe to.  It was good to just sit back and read again for a while.  I really enjoyed both Andy Buckle’s  and Alex Thomas’s MIFF coverage, marvelled at Ryan over at 5 Word Movie Reviews edge towards day 250 in his truly epic movie marathon, managed to get myself onto the Reel Insight Wednesday’s Movie Mash Up Leaderboard, welcomed the return of Stevie Taylor at Cinematic Paradox and enjoyed listening to Ryan and Lindsay discuss the delights of the Step Up franchise over at the Matineecast. All in all it was a very informative few weeks.

I also managed to get a fair few films in which I will cover tomorrow in a full strength The Week That Was.

Its good to be back.  Cheers Will.