Archive | DVD Review

RSS feed for this section

DVD Review : The Gambler

20

The Gambler sees Mark Wahlberg portraying Uni professor Jim Bennett who, in his spare time, loses vast sums of money gambling. He knows he is an addict, he knows this is all going to end in tears and he just could not care any less.

He continues to borrow money from his very wealthy mother Roberta (Lange) and a rather odd assortment of bad guys who, after a time, all want their money back. In fact, when we join Jim’s continuing tale of woe, he has exactly 7 days to pay up. Or else…

Does this halt him on his trail of self-destruction? We would not have a movie if it did.

Continue Reading →

BluRay/DVD Review : The Babadook

3

Amelia (Davis) is struggling to deal with the death of her husband Oskar (Winspear) almost 7 years ago. To add to her struggle, Oskar was killed while driving Amelia to the hospital to give birth to their son Samuel (Wiseman). This has evolved into a very difficult relationship between mother and son.

Amelia is constantly depressed and over-wrought and although she clearly loves Samuel, she is distant with him. He feels this and in return is a needy, highly strung child with a vivid imagination.

There is a creepy vibe, a dark cloud that hangs over this house. They have become rather isolated from friends and family and any interactions with others are awkward and stilted, to say the least.

One day, Samuel finds a book, Mister Babadook. And so mother and son sit down to read it out loud …..

Continue Reading →

17 Again [M]

 

Director : Burr Steers
Starring : Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon, Allison Miller, Tyler Steelman
Running Time : 102 minutes
DVD Release Date : Sometime in 2010

‘Who says you’re only young once’

Mike O’Donnell (Efron/Perry) is 17 years old, a star basketball player with a beautiful girlfriend Scarlet (Miller/Mann) and the world at his feet. On the very day college scouts are at one of his games, Scarlet tells him she is pregnant. In a moment of all consuming teenage passion (ironically, possibly the exact same emotion that got the young couple here in the first place) he promises to marry her.

In the next scene, Mike wakes as a late 30 something man, bunking down with his childhood friend, the now incredibly wealthy and quirkily juvenile businessman Ned Gold(Steelman/Lennon). Scarlet, now his wife has booted him out because she is tired of hearing him complain about what he has missed out on by being with her. Mike goes to his old high school to visit his kids and while there, meets a mysterious janitor who asks if he wishes he was 17 again. Naturally, he says yes.

Mike wakes as his 17 year old self and decides to right the wrongs in his life by living it again. Ned agrees to pose as Mike’s father and he is enrolled in high school. His first day he shows up bedazzled in tacky Ed Hardy attire, complete with sideways facing baseball cap. Ned takes him shopping and a silver sports car, white t-shirt, black jeans and a leather jacket later, Mike is once again the hot, cool kid.

17 year old Mike befriends his kids at school and realises his son is being bullied and his daughter is running a little bit wild. He sees this as a failure on his part as a parent and sets about sorting out their lives.

A chance meeting with his almost ex-wife is memorable because she is immediately drawn to her son’s ‘new friend Mark’ as he reminds her of her husband. Hmmmm I wonder why. The two strike up an awkward friendship with Scarlet confused about her attraction to this ‘boy’ and Mark/Mike trying to conceal the love that is rekindling for his wife. As Scarlet prepares for a date, she and Mark dance together and both get momentarily lost in the moment. Their son walks in confused and the moment is gone. Probably a good thing because it gets a little intense.

Mike has to deal with lustful teenage girls and angry high school jocks as he tries to sort out the lives and relationships of his kids. His daughter is about to throw away her future on her loser boyfriend and his son is awkward and continually bullied.

The sub plot in the movie is Ned’s amusingly geeky seduction of the High School Principal. His pursuit is relentless and when she finally agrees to go to dinner with him, we learn along with Ned that she is a secret geek herself. It is true love. Awwwwwww

This is a great fun movie. It appeals to young and old and everyone in between. It has it’s fun flirty moments but nothing to extreme. It didn’t and was never meant to set the world on fire. Perry is solid and Mann is perfect as the older but still very cute Scarlet. If the role of Scarlet was cast with anyone else, Mann’s scenes with Efron may have seemed creepy instead of wistful and loving as they ultimately played.

17 Again was simply a vehicle to cash in on the immense popularity of Zac Efron who, at the time, was riding high on his High School Musical fame. I suppose it was also to introduce him to more adult audiences and more adult roles. He did very well walking the line between teenager and young man quite nicely. He was still on the nerdy side but was certainly showing he was growing into his looks and maturing as both a person and an actor.

You can probably find 17 Again on the $9 shelves at your local department store. It’s definitely worth a second look.

New Year’s Eve [M]

 

Director : Garry Marshall
Starring : Hilary Swank, Robert De Niro, Hector Elizondo, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jon Bon Jovi, Zac Efron, Jessica Biel, Abigail Breslin, Seth Meyers, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Josh Duhamel
Running Time : 118 minutes
Release Date : Out on DVD now

‘Let love be your resolution’

It’s New Year’s Eve 2011 in New York City. This movie gives us a snapshot of just a few hours in the lives of a variety of people as they go about their day during the last moments of the year. The ensemble cast is a veritable who’s who of acting talent, from the most revered and respected (De Niro) to the child star (Breslin) blossoming into a young woman.

The movie comprises a series of vignettes that ultimately interconnect in some way. There is the story of 2 couples about to have a child, vying for the $25000 prize money given for the first child born in the New Year. An aging rock star, maybe not at the top of his game but far from the has been pile yet, trying to woo back his one true love.

We have a dying man, desperate to reconnect with his estranged family and see the great crystal Time Square ball drop one last time. A frumpy, dowdy woman has been pushed to the end of her quietly unravelling tether and is shown a glimpse of herself she could only ever imagine. A young man, utterly self-absorbed, learns that giving someone else their dreams can fulfil dreams of your own. A girl on the verge of womanhood tries desperately to escape the overprotective clutches of a mother trying just as desperately to hang onto her child.

The young and the old, the happy and the sad, the beginning and the end all meet, mix, meld and mould into each other as the movie progresses. We start to see the connections as the stories naturally progress. There are a few twists but nothing too dramatic.

The movie is also a story of New York City. More specifically New York City on New Year’s Eve. A night (or day depending on where you are in the world) when the eyes of the world turn to this city that pulses and vibrates on the energy of it’s millions of inhabitants and visitors, all keen to share in this special event. We see the inner workings of the famous crystal ball that descends each New Year’s Eve and the behind the scenes work that goes into making this all run smoothly.

This movie has all the elements of a great movie. A wonderful Director, an unrivalled cast, great setting, fantastic city, a pivotal event most of us can relate to and feel excited about. But there is something lacking. Perhaps it is because it is so very similar to Marshall’s last Director’s outing, Valentine’s Day. I loved Valentine’s Day. I watch it every time it’s on Foxtel. Okay so I don’t sit down and watch it but I have it on in the background and glance at it as I do other stuff….like write movie reviews.

This movie just lacks the zing of Valentine’s Day. Maybe because it has been done before and this one tries just a little too hard.

I think there are just too many stories so you never get the chance to really relate to the characters. The setting and scenery is spectacular. New York City at night is beyond magnificent. There is nothing wrong with the acting…..okay there is one thing. Jon Bon Jovi, I love you. I have loved you since I was a teenager. You are an okay actor. You are. But you should never, ever, ever again accept a role in a movie starring the likes of de Niro, Pfeiffer or Elizondo. It’s just not a good idea. Strut your stuff on stage and sing your heart out. It’s what you do best.

I loved this movie more when I saw it at the cinema but in hindsight that may have had more to do with the circumstances than the actual movie. Now when I watch the DVD, I only like the movie. It is not a bad movie, not at all. It’s just not a really great movie. You will get a few laughs, shed a tear or two, have a couple of nawwww moments and a few scenes are really great. Pfeiffer and Efron dancing during the credits is truly a delight.

New Year’s Eve is a great DVD to rent on a cold rainy night and watch while snuggled under a blanket.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoS7Tlz-lBg

New Year's Eve [M]

 

Director : Garry Marshall
Starring : Hilary Swank, Robert De Niro, Hector Elizondo, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jon Bon Jovi, Zac Efron, Jessica Biel, Abigail Breslin, Seth Meyers, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Josh Duhamel
Running Time : 118 minutes
Release Date : Out on DVD now

‘Let love be your resolution’

It’s New Year’s Eve 2011 in New York City. This movie gives us a snapshot of just a few hours in the lives of a variety of people as they go about their day during the last moments of the year. The ensemble cast is a veritable who’s who of acting talent, from the most revered and respected (De Niro) to the child star (Breslin) blossoming into a young woman.

The movie comprises a series of vignettes that ultimately interconnect in some way. There is the story of 2 couples about to have a child, vying for the $25000 prize money given for the first child born in the New Year. An aging rock star, maybe not at the top of his game but far from the has been pile yet, trying to woo back his one true love.

We have a dying man, desperate to reconnect with his estranged family and see the great crystal Time Square ball drop one last time. A frumpy, dowdy woman has been pushed to the end of her quietly unravelling tether and is shown a glimpse of herself she could only ever imagine. A young man, utterly self-absorbed, learns that giving someone else their dreams can fulfil dreams of your own. A girl on the verge of womanhood tries desperately to escape the overprotective clutches of a mother trying just as desperately to hang onto her child.

The young and the old, the happy and the sad, the beginning and the end all meet, mix, meld and mould into each other as the movie progresses. We start to see the connections as the stories naturally progress. There are a few twists but nothing too dramatic.

The movie is also a story of New York City. More specifically New York City on New Year’s Eve. A night (or day depending on where you are in the world) when the eyes of the world turn to this city that pulses and vibrates on the energy of it’s millions of inhabitants and visitors, all keen to share in this special event. We see the inner workings of the famous crystal ball that descends each New Year’s Eve and the behind the scenes work that goes into making this all run smoothly.

This movie has all the elements of a great movie. A wonderful Director, an unrivalled cast, great setting, fantastic city, a pivotal event most of us can relate to and feel excited about. But there is something lacking. Perhaps it is because it is so very similar to Marshall’s last Director’s outing, Valentine’s Day. I loved Valentine’s Day. I watch it every time it’s on Foxtel. Okay so I don’t sit down and watch it but I have it on in the background and glance at it as I do other stuff….like write movie reviews.

This movie just lacks the zing of Valentine’s Day. Maybe because it has been done before and this one tries just a little too hard.

I think there are just too many stories so you never get the chance to really relate to the characters. The setting and scenery is spectacular. New York City at night is beyond magnificent. There is nothing wrong with the acting…..okay there is one thing. Jon Bon Jovi, I love you. I have loved you since I was a teenager. You are an okay actor. You are. But you should never, ever, ever again accept a role in a movie starring the likes of de Niro, Pfeiffer or Elizondo. It’s just not a good idea. Strut your stuff on stage and sing your heart out. It’s what you do best.

I loved this movie more when I saw it at the cinema but in hindsight that may have had more to do with the circumstances than the actual movie. Now when I watch the DVD, I only like the movie. It is not a bad movie, not at all. It’s just not a really great movie. You will get a few laughs, shed a tear or two, have a couple of nawwww moments and a few scenes are really great. Pfeiffer and Efron dancing during the credits is truly a delight.

New Year’s Eve is a great DVD to rent on a cold rainy night and watch while snuggled under a blanket.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoS7Tlz-lBg

Big Mamma’s Boy [PG]

 

Director : Franco di Chiera
Starring : Frank Lotito, Holly Valance, Carmelina Di Guglielmo
Running Time : 94 minutes
DVD Release Date : Out now

‘A comedy about life, love and lasagna.’

Rocco (Lotito) is a 35 year old Aussie man of Italian descent still living at home with his mother (Di Guglielmo). Although he is a successful Real Estate Agent and could well afford to live on his own, he stays at home. Mamma does everything for him. She cooks, cleans, makes his lunch…..she even makes sure his little red sports car is buffed to perfection. Then Rocco meets and falls for Kate (Valance) and she challenges him to live on his own to win her heart. And hilarity ensues…..right?

Ummmmm…..

The idea behind this movie is actually a great one. Australia is a multi-cultural society and many of us, especially those of a certain age, know these Mamma’s boys. It is quite a, dare I say it, foreign concept to a large segment of the Aussie population that a grown man would have no inclination to leave home. Of course, with the economy the way it is now, this attitude has altered slightly. But you stay at home between houses or jobs. Or to save for a house of your own. You don’t stay at home just because you can.

You can read the rest of my review at Beauty and Lace http://entertainment.beautyandlace.net/dvd-review-big-mammas-boy-pg

Big Mamma's Boy [PG]

 

Director : Franco di Chiera
Starring : Frank Lotito, Holly Valance, Carmelina Di Guglielmo
Running Time : 94 minutes
DVD Release Date : Out now

‘A comedy about life, love and lasagna.’

Rocco (Lotito) is a 35 year old Aussie man of Italian descent still living at home with his mother (Di Guglielmo). Although he is a successful Real Estate Agent and could well afford to live on his own, he stays at home. Mamma does everything for him. She cooks, cleans, makes his lunch…..she even makes sure his little red sports car is buffed to perfection. Then Rocco meets and falls for Kate (Valance) and she challenges him to live on his own to win her heart. And hilarity ensues…..right?

Ummmmm…..

The idea behind this movie is actually a great one. Australia is a multi-cultural society and many of us, especially those of a certain age, know these Mamma’s boys. It is quite a, dare I say it, foreign concept to a large segment of the Aussie population that a grown man would have no inclination to leave home. Of course, with the economy the way it is now, this attitude has altered slightly. But you stay at home between houses or jobs. Or to save for a house of your own. You don’t stay at home just because you can.

You can read the rest of my review at Beauty and Lace http://entertainment.beautyandlace.net/dvd-review-big-mammas-boy-pg

Submarine [M]

 

Director: Richard Ayoade
Starring: Craig Roberts, Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, Yasmin Paige
Running Time : 97 minutes
DVD Release Date: TBA

‘Most people think of themselves as individuals, that there is no one else on the planet like them.’

Oliver Tate (Roberts) is a very ordinary 15 year old boy living in a very ordinary Welsh town. He lives with his depressed father (Taylor) and his repressed mother (Hawkins). He falls for the darkly mysterious Jordana (Paige) and embarks on an awkward relationship with her with a few unexpected twists and turns. He spies on his parents, routinely searching their bedroom for indicators of how healthy their relationship is and when an old boyfriend of his mother’s returns, his obsession increases.

This movie has lots of things I love about movies. It’s an indie with a first time director…..so no one is demanding or expecting anything. It looks and feels quirky…nobody does quirky quite like the Brits. It has an unknown as it’s lead actor…again, no expectations. It has an incredible support cast, most notably the ever versatile and unafraid Australian Taylor (and you all know how I love me some Aussie actor!) and the divinely nuanced Hawkins.

submarine

 

You can read the rest of my review at  Beauty and Lace http://entertainment.beautyandlace.net/dvd-review-submarine-m

Footloose [M]

 

Director : Craig Brewer
Starring : Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid, Miles Teller
Running Time : 108 minutes
DVD Release Date : 9 February 2012

“There comes a time to cut loose”

Okay, I need to start by saying I am not a big fan of studios remaking MY beloved 80’s movies…especially the feel-good dancing ones. So when my editor asked me to review this movie, I did actually think about it before saying yes. She trusted me so this would be a good test of my ability to be objective in reviews. Right?

The day before the DVD arrived, the original Footloose was showing on Foxtel so I took it as a sign and watched it. Yep still as cheesy and as 80’s and as fantastic as ever! Oh dear….

For those who don’t know, Footloose is the story of a small town that has outlawed dancing after the death of 5 teenagers in a car accident. Ren (Wormald) a young rebel from Boston arrives to live with relatives after the death of his mother. He is immediately drawn to Ariel (Hough) the local preacher’s daughter, who is herself rebelling against her father and the town’s ultra-controlling ways. He decides to take a stand against the city elders and, with the support of his family and the local kids, goes about getting his graduating class a prom to remember. Dancing included!

footloose

The movie begins with a bunch of teenagers jumping and dancing and singing their hearts out to the original Kenny Loggins version of ‘Footloose’. As they should! It’s a GREAT song that has stood the test of time. My inner 80’s child sneered but I smiled just a little. Then an homage to the dancing feet opening credits of the original movie began and I smiled a little more.

You can read the rest of my review at Beauty and Lace http://entertainment.beautyandlace.net/dvd-review-footloose-m

Peep World [MA15+]

 

Director: Barry W. Blaustein
Starring: Michael C Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Ben Schwartz, Ron Rifkin, Judy Greer
Running Time: 79 minutes
DVD Release Date: Out Now

‘All your family’s dirty little secrets. Now a #1 best seller ‘

Nathan Meyerwitz (Schwartz) is the youngest of 4 siblings and has written a #1 best seller exposing his family in all it’s dysfunctional glory. He has not seen any of his family since the book’s release and ensuing success and, as the family gathers for their father’s (Rifkin) 70th birthday dinner, tensions and insecurities unfurl and threaten to explode.

I had never even heard of Peep World, so when it arrived on my doorstep and I took a look at the cast, I was VERY excited. Michael C Hall (most notably of Six Feet Under and Dexter fame) is Jack, a self-employed architect and eldest of the siblings. Judy Greer (an actress I adore, usually cast as the supportive friend/girlfriend/wife and always brilliant) is his wife Laura, 7 weeks away from giving birth to their first child.

Sarah Silverman (hilarious comedienne/actress/writer who got her start on SNL) is Cheri, the only sister and a struggling, manically neurotic actress. Rainn Wilson (of the US Office TV series acclaim) rounds out the siblings and is the family screw up……well every family has it’s black sheep and he is it.

Also in the cast are Lesley Ann Warren, Kate Mara and Alicia Witt. I waited patiently for Xmas to be over so I would have a chance to sit down and watch this movie. I was expecting great things indeed!

You can read the rest of my review at Beauty and Lace http://entertainment.beautyandlace.net/dvd-review-peep-world-ma-15

Pin It
%d bloggers like this: