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Master Harold... and the Boys [ Hits:5172 ]
Review: Master Harold... and the Boys is an adaptation of Athol Fugard's acclaimed stage play about a young boy wrestling with his convictions when it comes to his father and his caretaker in 1950s South Africa. The era, known for its discriminatory racist government policies, separated South Africans and created barriers preventing black South Africans from enjoying equality and the same level of privileges as their white counterparts. This tense atmosphere fuels the drama of Master Harold... and the B...

The Conspirator [ Hits:3612 ]
Review: They say film-makers need a point-of-view. Well, Hollywood actor-turn-director Robert Redford has made this a cornerstone of his directorial career. Best known for starring in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, the on-screen veteran has followed a similar trajectory to Western icon, Clint Eastwood, taking his experience behind the camera. While his directorial debut began in 1980 with Ordinary People, he's racked up a collection of quality films including: A River Runs Through It,...

Water for Elephants [ Hits:6049 ]
Review: Water for Elephants is a ridiculous title. Although it makes more sense when you realise that it's a crossover of two cinematic achievements of the 20th century... namely Titanic and Dumbo. Titanic in the way that this epic romance drama has been constructed, and Dumbo in the subject matter, story and special effects. Lavish, historic sets filled with extras in accurate costume and circus animals form the backdrop to this swirling romance about a young man, who happens to jump a circus train, be...

Barneys Version [ Hits:3850 ]
Review: Paul Giamatti is Barney Panofsky, the title character of Barney's Version, a biographical dramedy based on the novel by Mordecai Richler about an impulsive, rude yet endearing TV producer. After watching Barney's Version, it's difficult to imagine anyone else doing the part justice. Giamatti is fascinating to look at, charming enough to win our hearts and funny enough to keep us laughing. Audiences love watching characters, who while flawed are essentially good when it comes down to it. We relis...

Somewhere [ Hits:3489 ]
Review: Somewhere is somewhere between the vapid neon encounter that is Lost in Translation and the decadent, sprawling nothingness that is Marie Antoinette. All of these films were directed by Sofia Coppola, daughter to legendary The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola. She’s quickly making a name for herself as one of Hollywood’s finest art directors, with Oscar nominations to boot and a controversial Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for Somewhere… and it’s no Lost in Translation...

The Fighter [ Hits:4167 ]
Review: Boxing is one of those sports that has fascinated Hollywood for ages... It's easy to see how the blood, sweat and tears shed in the boxing ring could inspire films like Raging Bull and Rocky. Yet, the real drama happens outside the ring in preparation, training, media speculation and in betting circles. Corrupt officials, match-fixing and personal afflictions are where the real action is and it's these themes that make sports movies great.Rooting for the underdog is a popular theme for sports m...

127 Hours [ Hits:7792 ]
Review: Would you cut your own arm off to save your life? That's what it all boils down to in 127 Hours, an adventure-thriller and drama starring James Franco and directed by Slumdog Millionaire's Danny Boyle. The film is an adaptation of Between a Rock and a Hard Place, a biographical account of now famous adventurer Aron Ralston, who did exactly that. After a solo mountain climbing expedition accident, Ralston was pinned by a boulder and eventually resorted to desperate measures in order to survive.Th...

The Kings Speech [ Hits:7671 ]
Review: The British royal family have had their fair share of embarrassments through the ages: Richard III's bloody coronation, Queen Victoria's "wicked uncles", rumours that Prince Albert Victor was in fact Jack the Ripper, Prince Charles, his ears, Camilla Parker Bowles... the list continues. One such national embarrassment was The Duke of York, whose futile military exploits inspired this song..."Oh, the grand old Duke of York,He had ten thousand men; He marched them up to the top of the hill, And he...

Love and Other Drugs [ Hits:4616 ]
Review: Anne Hathaway is a lady. One of those well-to-do women, who lifts her pinkie when she drinks tea and waves like the Queen. She’s fit for royalty, blessed with great beauty, intelligence and a coy smile. So it was quite something when she just whipped out a boob in Love and Other Drugs. Unveiling a spider bite in the doctor’s rooms, sure – it’s better than a nubbin, but is revealing a pockmarked fairy cushion of artistic merit or just gratuitous “boobage”? Most guys and some girls won...

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger [ Hits:4272 ]
Review: You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger is as mystical as its title. You'd usually hear the line when having your palm read in a jocular manner and who better to do it than Woody Allen? The writer-director has discovered a niche for intricate relational comedy dramas with a twist. Whatever Works paired Woody Allen with Larry David as the two concocted a "romance" story about interconnecting relationships and love in all its forms. You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger is similar, except darker, represen...

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps [ 2010 ] [ Hits:3827 ]
Review: Money, money, money, MONEY... watching Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps may remind you of Donald Trump. That's because it's like Donald Trump... full of swagger, big talk, power suits, business tycoons, a young apprentice, a smug look and the stock exchange... it all feeds back to the mantra "Money Never Sleeps" as uttered by Gordon Gekko in the original Wall Street. The first Wall Street film identified a culture, introduced a new wave of technology and embraced the love of money as something of...

Maos Last Dancer [ 2009 ] [ Hits:3872 ]
Review: Mao's Last Dancer, finally - a dance film where the story line is just as fantastic as the dancing - and true! The extraordinary biography of Li Cunxin makes a graceful leap from autobiography to film under the watchful eye of Australian-born director, Bruce Beresford (Paradise Road, Driving Miss Daisy) and screenwriter, Jan Sardi (Shine). The tag line for Mao's Last Dancer is 'Before You Can Fly, You Have To Be Free', an underlying theme throughout the drama with sharp contrasts between America...

Please Give [ Hits:4252 ]
Review: Please Give starts with a series of boobs... breasts, jugs, chesticles etc. It's quite an introduction for a coming-of-age comedy drama with Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet. Now this isn't a flattering set of shots, but more of a flattening one as ordinary breasts are compressed for mammograms. Is it justified exposure... the jury is still out and this intro ranks alongside A Touch of Spice, that spicy Greek film that starts with a baby breastfeeding on a full-screen...

Broken Embraces [ 2009 ] [ Hits:3841 ]
Review: Penelope Cruz starred in Pedro Almodovar's Volver and the two have collaborated once again in Broken Embraces, a drama about infidelity and redemption. This Spanish film is told from the perspective of Harry Caine, a blind writer, who is forced to deal with past pains 14 years earlier when he was directing what was to be his last film.Broken Embraces is a character-driven drama starring Lluís Homar, Blanco Portilla, José Luis Gómez, Rubén Ochandiano and Penélope Cruz. The film's narrativ...

The Boys Are Back [ 2009 ] [ Hits:3880 ]
Review: Scott Hicks has directed such soul-stirring classics as Shine and Billy Elliot, and it's been quite some time since he ventured into romantic comedy terrain with No Reservations. The Boys Are Back falls somewhere between the majestic emotional journey of films like Shine and the quiet reserved power of Hearts in Atlantis, once again focusing on a central parent-child relationship. The Boys Are Back is no different - based on a true story, written as a novel by Simon Carr and lovingly adapted to ...

The Maid [ 2009 ] [ Hits:3789 ]
Review: The Maid aka La Nana, is a Chilean domestic drama about a lonely woman trying to hold onto her household position after more than 20 years of service to an upper middle class family in Chile. Kids, teenagers and even parents need looking after... especially in this day and age when work and play don't seem to leave much time for chores. The housework and even the daycare is now considered to be part of a full-time maid's job. Their job title may not extend beyond a clean kitchen and tidy house, ...

A Serious Man [ 2009 ] [ Hits:5072 ]
Review: The Coen brothers have made some pretty crazy films over the years... focusing on dark comedy, adventure and more recently delving into the uncharacteristic domain of drama and thriller in their Oscar-winning, No Country for Old Men. Now as accurate as that Oscar contender adaptation was, I felt the Ethan and Joel Coen were on an Oscar mission rather than delving into a passion project. After all, how often do dark comedy crime adventures win Oscars? A Serious Man is another departure from their...

Taking Woodstock [ 2010 ] [ Hits:3439 ]
Review: Taking Woodstock is an account of how one Elliot Teichberg (Martin) inadvertently set the wheels in motion for Woodstock, the generation-defining concert of 1969. However, this is not a docudrama about the festival, it's an emotional journey and coming-of-age drama as young Elliot matures into a man. Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee, composes a textured drama about the prolific 3-day music festival taken from the perspective of one "square" young man. Elliot's Russian immigrant ...

The Last Station [ 2009 ] [ Hits:4171 ]
Review: The Last Station is a period piece drama aligning itself with the last days of Leo Tolstoy. Writer-director, Michael Hoffman, repeats history with another biographical history drama after Restoration, which also managed to catch the attention of the Academy. However, The Last Station was acknowledged for its performances rather than its art direction and costumes, which are simply beautiful, rather than lavish. The Last Station initially primed Oscar veterans Anthony Hopkins and Meryl Streep to...

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire [ 2009 ] [ Hits:3739 ]
Review: Precious is the story of an overweight, illiterate 16-year-old girl who, pregnant with her second child enrolls at an alternate school to point her life in a new direction. The title character, Precious, played by Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe in her debut role, leads a troubled life as a teen shackled by sexual, physical and verbal abuse. Her size, teen pregnancy and abusive mother, played to perfection by Mo'Nique, hold her back from reaching her dreams. However, she pushes on... fighting for a bett...

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