Good films

The secret river

How good do the previews look for this 2 part historical drama coming soon to the ABC? Adapted from the excellent book by Kate Grenville (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize); directed by Daina Reid (Paper giants; Never tear us apart); stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Sarah Snook (who was amazing in the awesome sci-fi film Predestination) and Tim Minchin (always excellent). Convict  William Thornhill and his free wife Sal are transported to NSW in 1805, where conflict arises between the new settlers and local indigenous people and Thornhill is drawn into an horrific event that will change him forever. “The Secret River  is an epic tragedy in which a good man is compelled by desperation, fear, ambition and love for his family to participate in a crime of inhuman savagery. It allows an audience, two hundred years later, to have a personal insight into the dark heart of our nation’s foundation story” (Richard Finlayson, ABC).


Ex machina

Sci-fi thriller in cinemas now. Directed by author and screenwriter Alex Garland (The beach); stars Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander. A young programmer wins a competition to spend a week at a private retreat owned by the mysterious CEO of his company. He must then participate in an experiment interacting with and evaluating the human qualities of a beautiful female robot, to prove that AI (artificial intelligence) has been born. “Stylish, elegant, tense, cerebral, satirical and creepy” (Dan Jolin, Empire). Rated MA15+.



Me and Earl and the dying girl

Comedy-drama based on the 2012 debut novel by Jesse Andrews. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon; stars Thomas Mann and Olivia Cooke. The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation, winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. Awkward high school student Greg befriends Rachel, a classmate with leukemia. He and his friend Earl make films in their spare time and decide to make a film for her. “Anyone who buys a ticket goes in fully expecting to cry….the surprise then is the laughter: the near-constant stream of wise, insightful jokes that make it so easy to cozy up to characters dealing with a tough emotional situation” (Peter Debruge, Variety). Opens June in the US.



Sci-fi mystery adventure. Directed by Brad Bird; stars George Clooney, Hugh Laurie and Tim McGraw. An intelligent curious girl and a jaded inventor embark on a mission to unearth Tomorrowland, a place that exists in their collective memory. What they must do there changes them and the world forever. Plot details are sketchy, just the way Disney planned it, and no reviews are yet available. Intriguing…Rated PG. Opens 28 May.


Absolutely anything

Sci-fi comedy. Directed and co-written by Terry Jones; stars Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale and the voices of all living Monty Python members – Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Eric Idle and also Robin Williams as the voice of Dennis the dog (sadly his last role). A disillusioned schoolteacher suddenly finds he has the ability to do anything he wants – an ability given to him by a group of power-crazed aliens (the Pythons) who watch him from space. Opens 22 October.


Looking forward to seeing Matilda in Sydney, the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, based on the book by Roald Dahl with songs by the awesome Tim Minchin. “Gleefully nasty, an evening of unadulterated bliss” (The Guardian). “Easily the standout musical of the decade” (Sunday Times). “Hilarious, moving, glorious” (Daily Telegraph). And Les Miserables was superb.


And then there’s Mad Max: Fury Road and The Avengers: Age of Ultron….too hard!

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