Citizenfour – Espionage at its best!

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Every now and then a documentary comes along that is so good that it practically sells itself and then wins the Oscar for best Documentary.

This documentary has it all, power, paranoia and balls. Citizenfour is about former NSA intelligence analyst Edward Snowden who leaks secret documents exposing the US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program. Needless to say Snowden goes on to become one of the greatest whistle-blowers in American history.

Director Laura Poitras documentary shows extensive interviews with Snowden conducted from his hotel room in Hong Kong during 2013 prior to the international public leak of the confidential information. Poitras shows the extraordinary secrecy that went on and around the process of interviewing Snowden. During one scene, when Snowden is talking to Journalist Glen Greewald, the hotels fire alarm goes off and there is a tense moment when you think the gig is up. There is also another scene where Snowden unplugs the telephone in the hotel room and puts a blanket over his head in case someone encrypts his passwords. You think this is extreme, wait till you watch the movie; you’ll be doing the same.

Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, for one year, he is now in an undisclosed location kept secret for security reasons.

This documentary is utterly engrossing. If you own a phone, a TV, a credit card, or even a bus pass, you should definitely watch Citizenfour.

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Is This Where the Saw Boys Cut Ties?

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Article by James
I can barely control my excitement in the lead up to the cinema release of Annabelle. Out October 2nd in Oz, Annabelle is a prequel to last year’s truly awesome The Conjuring, and tells the story of that freaky doll that Ed and Lorraine Warren try to keep locked in a box. If I’ve lost you already, go see The Conjuring.

Anyway, via the online trailer and TV ad, front and centre is “produced by James Wan”, not only the Director of The Conjuring, but co-originator of the Saw franchise with mate, Leigh Whannell. So when I went digging, it seems these dudes who have worked on so many projects together since hitting the U.S. big-time with Saw, may be the draw, but are doing an increasing amount separately.

Wan may be a Producer on Annabelle, but he is one of four. Seems a bit token. And Whannell has nothing to do with it. But that’s it. Directed by John R. Leonetti, who is best know for working closely with Wan on his last 4 projects including 2010’s Insidious and The Conjuring as Director of Photography, this is the closest we get to our Aussie lads, even though Annabelle looks very much like a Wan-Directed film. We’ll see of course, but I did notice the script was by Gary Dauberman who wrote a shite script for 2008’s Swamp Devil, and not a lot else.

But, forget the possible negative, watch the trailer and get excited with me. I have watched it six times already today. Seriously.

Before I go, just back to Mr Wan and Mr Whannell, and their paths separating. Seems Wan is still in production with the seventh Fast & Furious which will be released in 2015 and takes him in a very new direction of big-budget popcorn-fest. And Whannel has popped up as not only starring in a third installment of Insidious set for release in 2015 also which he has again written, but is Directing for the first time. Let’s hope they are simply diversifying.


Get on Up! The new James Brown biopic is here!

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Get on Up, the new and powerful biopic on the Godfather of Soul, James Brown has just been released to decent reviews in the US.

James Brown played by the brilliant Chadwick Boseman channels Brown like it’s no one’s business.

Produced by Mick Jagger, yes that’s correct Mick Jagger, directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) and written by Jez and John Henry Butterworth, Get on Up chronicles James Brown’s rise from extreme poverty to becoming one of the most influential musicians in history.

If you like your funk and soul, you will dig this movie. Go and check it out, cause you know the funk won’t quit!

Scheduled for Australian release early October.


Kill Bill – The Whole Bloody Affair

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The wait could soon be over. Quentin Tarantino has confirmed to Slashfilm that there have been talks with The Weinstein Company to finally release it in limited theatres, maybe as early as next year.

Here is what Tarantino said, (via Slashfilm) when asked about Kill Bill:
What’s going on with that is originally back when Kill Bill was going to be one movie, I wrote an even longer anime sequence. So you see in the movie [O-Ren] kill her boss but then there was that long hair guy… The big sequence was her fighting that guy. I.G. [The Japanese Anime Studio] who did Ghost in the Shell said we can’t do that and finish it in time for your thing. And [plus] you can’t have a thirty-minute piece in your movie. I said okay. It was my favorite part but it was the part you could drop.

So we dropped it and then later when I.G. heard we were talking about doing Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair — they still had the script so without even being commissioned, they just did it and paid for it themselves. It’s really terrific. Anyway, The Weinstein Company and myself were talking about actually coming out with it sometime, not before the year is out, but within the next year with limited theatrical engagement as well.

Now, I don’t want to get too excited as we know Tarantino has confirmed that that he will proceed with filming the Western, Hateful Eight next year, but it will surely be worth the wait to see this project come to fruition…..I’m a tad more than excited to say the least!


Mad Max is back with Fury Road!

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Its back folks. The Mad Max franchise is on its way to Comic-Con on July 26.

It has been revealed that Australian actor Hugh Keays-Byrne will reprise the role of prime villain Toecutter. Also along for the ride are Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Both the original and new adaptation has been directed by George Miller. Miller confessed that the movie will feature very little CGI (thank god) with most of the shots capturing natural executed stunts (now were talking).

The seven month shoot took place in the hot outback of Australia, Tom Hardy confirmed that the shoot was “mental in a brilliant way” as the desert was completely dead and parched which proved to be both taxing and rewarding on the actors.

The shoot took 116 days and features very little dialogue, sounds interesting?

Max Max: Fury Road will hit theatres on May 15th, 2015!


The Outback Can Be Crazy This Time of Year!

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This is the tag line to what I believe, is the WORST idea to ever have been made into film. Released Feb 20th, we have a new instalment of legendary Aussie horror flick, Wolf Creek.

Wolf Creek 2. Yes, Mick Taylor is back causing more havoc, and apparently with more laughs… I do find it odd (not funny), that I keep reading that. Wolf Creek 2 has a lot more laughs. I assume uncomfortable and presumably sick, but really? I’m not sure why I feel so compelled to complain about this sequel being made when we live in a world where Saw had 17 sequels (sic), and Jaws had 15. Don’t get me started on Paranormal Activity.

So before I rip it to shreds not having seen it, seems Writer and Director of both WCs, Greg Mclean, has waited 8 years for this sequel to be released, amid funding issues a few years back. Reviews so far have mostly been positive and Aussie TV stalwart John Jarrett is back in the lead as Mick. Nothing about this says it will be good, let-a-lone great.

But, (breathe), for someone who was extremely impressed with the original made on a relatively small budget, I will try and reserve judgment on what number 2 has in store. With a budget close to 6 times the original, let’s hope the drive to make something exceptional from little, hasn’t been lost on what looks like blowing a lot more sh#t up…


The New Batman!

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Much has been said already re the new Batman being Ben Affleck. And most talk is negative. But what about the dodgy idea of Batman Vs. Superman – released in 2015. Why aren’t people talking more about that? Did no one learn from the debacle that was Freddy Vs Jason? Ha,ha,ha…

I get it people. I think Affleck is hardly the Dark Knight, and with ridiculous rumors swirling (via publicists I imagine)… Justin Bieber playing Robin… and even a silly blurb about Justin Timberlake playing The Riddler… I think someone is trying to divert the backlash. But he has signed on, so deal with it. I too thought Michael Keaton was an awful choice in Tim burton’s view of Gotham in 1989 and 1992, but he turned out to be surprisingly good. Though, George Clooney and Val Kilmer’s turn as the caped crusader turned out to be as horrifying as expected in the years that followed.

Personally I think all hope is in the Writer, David S. Goyer (safe), and Director Zack Snyder’s (not always safe) hands. Considering Mr Christopher Nolan is not producing as he did the recent Batman Trilogy and also last year’s Man of Steel Superman reboot, I think blame not Affleck. Blame the cash-cow-sausage-factory that is so often Hollywood.

As a last minute rant I would like to say… I do think it unfair that Henry Cavill, who will reprise his role as Superman, is barely being spoken about in all this discussion. And what I have read are dismissive phrases such as, “Cavill will return with his unremarkable portrayal of Superman”. The man was given a role to play one of the most recognized characters in pop culture, and he did it with subtlety. As the role demanded in this new vision. Deal with it!

Seriously, some people need to get a life! What’s next! I hear there’s a new Bridget Jones book out. If RS decides they are offering her enough money again and she decides to resurrect the series and stack on with maccas, will the net erupt with talk of how fat she is or isn’t? Well, we all know the answer to that one. Sad as it is…


The Girls Can Do It… But, the Boys Usually End Up Fugly!

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Article by James
I have to admit that this little path to a blog started with me going, “what the hell does Minka Kelly actually do?” I mean I know she’s hot, and I first got whiff of her name when she starred in the ill-fated (and atrocious), TV re-boot of Charlie’s Angels. But after a “shout-out” in a season of TV’s Entourage, and numerous tabloid pics, what does this actress do? Seems she does do TV that doesn’t have much of an impact in Oz. If any.

And then I noticed she has a film in post-production with a tentative release date in 2013. The World Made Straight is directed by David Burris, on-going Producer (of varying descriptions) on 101 (sic) seasons of American reality TV juggernaut, Survivor. Not exactly worthy of seeking out. And here’s the synopsis; “In a rural Appalachian community haunted by the legacy of a Civil War massacre, a rebellious young man struggles to escape the violence that would bind him to the past.” Gripping…

So imagine my surprise when I noticed that this rebellious young man is played by no other than the kid from 1999’s The Sixth Sense! You know him! Haley Joel Osment. And he ain’t pretty as an adult. This kid had the world at his feet after landing his first major role in 1994 as Forrest Gump’s son, then global recognition with a riveting performance in the much applauded (and rightfully so) The Sixth Sense. Seriously under-rated performances in big-budget films such as 2000’s Pay It Forward, and the 2001 Spielberg-Directed epic mess, A.I. followed, but due to box-office miss, the little boy who could see dead people, sank from public view. So after spending most of the “noughties” doing video game voice work, and perhaps finishing school, he has four films due for release this year. Unfortunately with the same Survivor pedigree. Stinking of “straight-to-dvd” – if! It gets a distribution deal outside of the US. Or Canada where one was made and funded.

Let me know if I’m wrong, but is Drew Barrymore the only child actor that grew up to be not only cute, but also successful? I mean I know she’s had her share of troubles and flops, but she has seriously made good. Let us know your thoughts.


Joel Edgerton is a Weirdo!

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Our favourite local boy Joel Edgerton is set to direct his first project simply titled Weirdo.

Word is that Joel not only wrote the film but will also take a supporting role. Here’s what Joel he had to say about his new project to ScreenDaily at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival “Weirdo is about a guy who is forced to face the past when it comes back in the form of an old school friend. But he continually lies about it (the past) and it haunts him in a bad bad way.” It’s a smaller film, which is why Edgerton decided to make it his first film, “Weirdo is a very contained film: five or six locations and six characters. We have people interested in financing subject to casting and we’re playing that game now. I’ll play a supporting role and I will bring the post home.”

We will keep you posted on all things weird!


Breaking News!

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Article by James
It is extremely upsetting to hear that the scorching Monica Bellucci has confirmed her 14-year relationship with French Actor/Director, Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), is over.

I weep with and for her. But, apparently speculation has been rife for quite some time as both have been living increasingly separate lives, and in different countries no less. Also, the public statement is that it was a mutual decision. The marriage did produce two daughters as well, so we all must be kind and respectful as divorce is always most traumatic on the kids. Well, that’s what they say, yeah.

I say six months is ample time for the entire family to move through issues before they move on. They are actors though, so things do tend to escalate. Six weeks? Done; I will wait six weeks until I give her a buzz and see if she wants to go grab a margarita. See-ya b’atches, I’m heading to Rome!

You fool Vincent Cassel! You FOOL!