Movie Review: The Martian

‘The Martian’ is the latest Ridley Scott scifi film to hit cinemas.

It’s certainly a big budget blockbuster in characteristic Scott-style – yet unlike his newer scifi thrillers ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Exodus’, it takes more of a straightforward, less ‘dressed up’ approach.

 

‘Prometheus’ was a thrilling adventure film with a dose of horror throw in for good measure.

 

On the other hand, ‘Exodus: Gods & Kings’ was all bold sets and big scenes – reminiscent of the old biblical films that I grew up on.

 

Matt Damon shines as stranded astronaut, Mark Watney, who’s painstaking and methodical survival through extreme conditions on Mars is balanced with a good dose of humour.

 

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The movie was filmed on a series of 20 sets built on a massive sound stage in Budapest, with outdoor scenes shot in the UNESCO heritage protected desert of Wadi Rum in Jordan.

 

Supported by a strong cast of Sean Bean, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Pena – there’s dramatic tension but a noticeable lack of any real villain – again, a departure from Scott’s usual approach.

 

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The storytelling (Drew Goddard) is laced with wit, energy and smarts as the world’s finest face unsolvable problems to bring Watney home.

 

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The film has a longer running time, but it’s pacing, plot and performances kept my wholehearted attention right until the end.

 

It’s not Mr Scott’s usual nail-biting thriller, but nonetheless a solid, beautifully filmed science fiction film and well worth seeing.

 

 

Danny Collins: Movie review

‘Danny Collins’ is the latest movie from Al Pacino, who stars as washed-up, doped-up, 1970s rocker, Danny Collins.

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Loosely based on a true story, the film follows Collins journey to change his life course after receiving a heartfelt letter from John Lennon – 40 years after it was sent.

Pacino gives a star performance in this redemptive film, with plenty of fire power from a strong supporting cast that includes Christopher Plummer, Annette Benning, Jennifer Garner and Bobby Cannavale.

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This film was deeper and more emotionally authentic than expected, and Pacino manages to expertly navigate some of the schmultzier moments with a blend of pizzazz and old school charm.

There’s a great soundtrack of Lennon music and some fun eye candy; including a couple of slicko cars and a private jet.

I recommend this film if you’re a Pacino fan or looking for something with a little depth.

It’s still playing at the local cinemas, and here’s the official trailer for you to check out:

 

THE LUNCHBOX: MOVIE REVIEW

‘The Lunchbox’ is a lovely independent film with a clever plot, great characters and excellent performances.

Set in Mumbai, this heartfelt film moves effortlessly between a blend of hindi and english and centres around the cities legendary lunchbox delivery service – and specifically around the relationship between two complete strangers who connect over a misdelivered lunchbox.

This film is a process geek’s dream come true, with detailed footage of a complex food delivery system that accurately delivers food daily from wife to husband in a city of 13 million.

 

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Lovingly shot by Director, Ritesh Batra, it this movie was a time of day it would be a sweet summer’s afternoon.

You can access it on Netflix, and here is the official trailer to give you a taste of the film.

 

Burlesque Assassins #1

I had the good fortune recently of being a 50s dance extra on the set of a locally-made film called Burlesque Assassins.

(You can find out more about this movie here:      http://www.facebook.com/pages/Burlesque-Assassins/195377843827439?sk=wall    )

It was a lot of fun and although there was a number of highlights, one of them had to be the vintage cars that they brought it in for the street scene.

I took a real shine to this old Dodge and snapped a few photos I thought I would share with you.

On a side note, the owner of this car had been the owner of the vehicle since he was 18 years old and it was absolutely immaculate inside!

And here’s that same beauty with a bit of film glamour: breathtaking!!

Fame. Remember my name.

Fame! You know the one.

I’m gonna live forever
I’m gonna learn how to fly

It’s 1980. Big Hair. Leg warmers with Attitude. Coco, Doris, Montgomery and Raul talking singing fighting dancing their way through their Manhattan Performing Arts School. I can still see Coco dancing on the table tops in her leg warmers. She made it all look so.. glamorous and easy.

The true mark of talent – making the impossible look easy. Not only did Irene Cara (Coco) star and dance in Fame, but she also sung the theme song and then went on just two years later to win an Oscar for the Flashdance hit “What a Feeling’.

Yesterday I saw a Young Lady out in a very 80s banana-yellow cotton dress with heels and leg warmers on. But despite her style I somehow doubted that she had ever seen this old gem of a movie and experienced that thrill of a flick that was bold and experimental and not afraid to go for it and make it’s mark on the world.