Disney Princess Film Festival – Event Cinemas

 

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Do you remember the first Disney Princess you wanted to be? I do….

Cinderella.

It is a tale that had me spellbound. I guess it still does.  It has the rest of the world spellbound too because it is one repeated in movie after movie after movie. Of course, these days Cinderella is likely to be a struggling Uni student and Prince Charming is the local butcher who searches the world…. or at least Facebook ….. until he finds her. But the story is the same…true love and a kind, pure heart can conquer all.

*sighs*

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Movie Review : We’re the Millers

 

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David (Sudeikis) is a small time drug dealer who lives a seemly content if meaningless existence in an inner city apartment building as…. well as a small time drug dealer. His neighbour Rose (Aniston) is a stripper who is about to be evicted. Rose’s boyfriend owes David money….. she has no intention of paying. Things between the two are tense.

Kenny (Poulter) is another tenant. He is a naive but big-hearted kid of 18 who is desperate to befriend David. Kenny is ignored, until the day he steps in to rescue the homeless Casey (Roberts) from a group of thugs.

Things suddenly take a turn for the worse for David and he has no choice but to do a drug run from Mexico to the US for his sleazy drug boss Gurdlinger (Helms). He hits upon the idea that a family vacationing in Mexico is far less likely to attract attention than a man travelling alone.

And so the Miller family is born ……

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Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines

 

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Director : Derek Cianfrance

Starring : Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Emory Cohen, Dane DeHaan, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Mahershala Ali

Running Time : 140 minutes

Release Date : In cinemas now

 

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WOW!

This movie is so much more than you see in the trailer or have read about in the media releases. So much more….

Luke (Gosling) is a stunt motorcycle rider who drifts aimlessly with a carnival. On a visit to a town he worked in over a year ago, he is visited by an ex fling, Romina (Mendes) and discovers he has a baby son. The trouble is Romina is married to another man Kofi (Ali) and together they are raising baby Jason. Luke decides he wants to be a father to Jason and with the help of his new friend Robin (Mendelsohn), starts robbing banks.

 

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The trick to robbing banks and getting away with it, according to Robin, is to not get too greedy. So when Robin has had enough, Luke embarks on the robberies alone and ends up being pursued by ex-lawyer rookie cop Avery (Cooper). Avery loves being a cop and is determined to work his way through the ranks. Being the son of a respected local judge, and with a wife Jennifer (Byrne) and a baby son of his own, his future is all but set in stone. However, when he encounters the shadier side of the force and is confronted with corruption, his future is no longer straightforward or bright and shiny.

 

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The meeting of cop and robber is to have far-reaching and devastating effects for both men and their sons. The words of Shakespeare ‘ the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children’ comes to mind time and again during this movie. We are also left wondering who are the bad guys and who are the good guys. Bad guys can do bad things for good reasons and good guys can do bad things because they can.

As in a Shakespearian play itself, this movie has definite ‘acts’….

Act 1 is for Luke

Act 2 is for Avery

Act 3 is for their sons Jason and AJ, at whose feet the legacy of their father’s sins are laid.

 

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This movie is amazing. It is a slow, thoughtful piece set among the gorgeous and lush surroundings of Schenectady, New York. Director Cianfrance’s most notable other work is Blue Valentine, also starring the spectacularly gifted Gosling. As with Blue Valentine, the Director manages to elicit so much from quiet, subtle performances. Gosling, as we are all aware, is beyond talented and Cooper, who is proving himself to be a future leading man of substance, gives a nuanced and deeply moving performance as a man torn apart by what he has done, what he knows and what he wishes to become.

 

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But the performance that stays with you is the young DeHaan, who I have seen run around as a panther in HBO’s True Blood and then steal the show in a movie I reviewed last year Chronicle. De Haan is where Gosling was about ohhhhhh 12 years ago, taking roles that allow him to work alongside talented Directors and actors. This is a young man to watch. You mark my words…..

This is a lengthy movie but worth every moment. I cannot recommend it enough and for anyone who wants to watch a riveting, drama/crime/thriller with a heart and soul, this is one not to miss.

I wish to thank The Tower Cinemas in Newcastle for their hospitality this afternoon. It was, as always, a pleasure to visit and chat with the gorgeous staff before and after my movie.

 

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Love Flick xx

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: The Big Wedding

 

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Director : Justin Zackham

Starring : Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Topher Grace, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Ben Barnes, Robin Williams, Patricia Rae

Running Time : 89 minutes

Release Date :   In Cinema Now

 

It’s never too late to start acting like a family

Alejandro(Barnes) and Missy (Seyfried) are getting married. Alejandro’s adopted parents Don and Ellie (De Niro and Keaton) have been divorced for years and Don is living with Bebe (Sarandon). Alejandro has managed to keep this secret from his ultra- conservative Colombian birth mother Madonna (Rae). But Madonna has decided, much to everyone’s surprise, to attend the wedding.

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This news throws the entire family into chaos and it is decided that Don and Ellie will simply pretend to be married for the weekend that Madonna is visiting. As the family, including the almost 30 year old virgin Jared (Grace) and the recently separated Lyla (Heigl) begin to descend on the family home for the upcoming nuptials hilarity, as they say, ensures.

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The opening scenes of the movie between Ellie, Don and Bebe are hilarious and raunchy. De Niro as the funny guy still amazes and delights me, Keaton’s character is not as uptight as she usually plays and Sarandon is, as always, simply glorious.

This family is quirky and dysfunctional in a very ordinary way. The dynamics would be familiar to many of us …..  from the daughter still angry at her father for having an affair to the new in-laws desperate to impress. The young soon to be married couple watch their families seemingly spiral out of control and in trying to keep everyone else happy, find themselves at odds with their own wedding.

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There are lots of laughs to be had with some tender, touching moments as well. This is not a thigh slapping, in your face comedy, it is clever comedy. Sure, some of the jokes fall flat but I never thought I would be spending 90 minutes laughing either. The dramatic moments are just enough… nothing too deep but enough to engage you.

The moments shared between Alejandro and his 3 mothers are the best in the movie. He is after all, for the weekend at least, the centre of this entire, crazy family. Although very different, his relationships with each of these women are very special and wonderful to watch.

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In contrast, his sister Lyla’s relationships with the men in her life….. her father, husband and brother …. are markedly different. They are also less engaging. But perhaps that has more to do with Heigl than anything else. For the most part, as an actress, I find her particularly dull and a little off-putting. Strange because I loved her in Gray’s Anatomy.

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When we throw into the mix Missy’s uptight parents, who have a few secrets of their own and Robin Williams as the local Catholic priest, this movie is for the most part great fun. It’s a nice comedy drama that, even though predictable in parts, is still entertaining. To be honest, with a stellar cast such as this movie boasts, I was expecting much more. The large ensemble cast movie, so popular in recent years, can be a hit or miss affair and while this is a hit, it is only just. I think that’s the problem, I expected too much.

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So I suppose you should walk in with no expectations, take the movie for what it is and just enjoy.

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A big thank you to Event Cinemas and Chicks at the Flicks for your hospitality

Love Flick xx