Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Based on Stephen Chbosky's novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is likely to strike a note with anyone who ever felt alienated at school.
15 year old Charlie (Logan Lerman) is an outsider, and an introvert. When he doesn't fit in at high school, he figures the time he spends there will be nothing short of horrific. But, when he's taken under the wings of two seniors Sam (Harry Potter's Emma Watson) and Patrick (a scene stealing Ezra Miller), he's introduced into the real world - and suddenly finds that by being an outsider, he actually fits in.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming of age film which fires on all cylinders.
From its strong trio of leads to a brilliant soundtrack of the times, it's likely to connect with anyone who's ever made a mix tape for a wannabe lover or felt a little on the edge of the popular world. Lerman particularly impresses in a performance which packs layers on underneath the awkwardness of being a teen at school; and Watson certainly does all she can to say "Expelliarmus" to her time as Hermione, encapsulating the insecurity of the teenage years. There's a tenderness to Lerman and Watson's relationship on screen and is immediately relatable. Miller is also incredibly good in the outgoing flamboyant role of Patrick, whose bravado masks a secret.
Throw in a hint of sadness, mix in some adolescent angst amongst an occasionally hit and miss script and you're pretty much likely to get one of the best teen coming of age films in a long time. Occasionally nostalgic and totally memorable, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a film which will speak to a generation and is one to be treasured and enjoyed with a cast who impress from the beginning.
Rating: M Released by Universal Home Entertainment Daniel Craig returns for his third outing as James Bond 007 in the Skyfall release.
Tasked with retrieving a hard drive, containing a list of undercover British agents, the pressure mounts for Bond to ensure success in his latest mission. But when it looks like he's about to fail,M (Judi Dench) orders Bond's fellow agent Eve (Harris) to take a shot and take out the man who's stolen the hard drive.
However, the agent accidentally hits Bond and sending him plummeting from the heights of a moving train in Turkey, he's believed dead...
When MI6 comes under attack and M is targeted, Bond decides, out of a fierce loyalty, to come out of his shell to track down the people behind the threat - no matter what the cost.... Skyfall is as thrilling a James Bondyou'd expect to get for the franchise's 50th anniversary - and one from such a director as Sam Mendes.
Tautly pulled together and respectful of the franchise's past, it's a pulse-racing ride - right from the beginning with an opening sequence which takes in rooftop bike chases, street chases, and a crane atop a train in Turkey. The opening packs in as much tension and spectacle as you'd expect from the franchise.
Daniel Craig is very good as a wounded Bond - through his piercing blue eyes and pursed lips, the hurt he conveys after returning from the dead to confront M, says more than any exposition and over-acting could ever do. This is a Bond who's faced a near-death experience, begrudgingly lived to tell the tale and appears slightly resentful of the loyalty he's expected to show. Towards the end, when Bond reveals a little more of his past, it seems to add a level to the agent and give him an emotional resonance which has been missing in previous outings. But, in all honesty, this film truly belongs to an exceptional performance by Judi Dench as M - as her past catches up to her, Dench conveys a whole range of emotions, from haunted to hunted, with a deft turn which commands the screen whenever she appears. That's not to say that Skyfall doesn't have its flaws, though.
After an exceptional start and opening sequence, the very slight story (it's just about revenge, folks) appears to sag slightly during its middle section as the relatively threadbare plot starts to shine through. While it's a relief that the plot's a little lighter after the last Bond Quantum of Solace's muddled bland mess, the 150 minute running time could have been trimmed a little to give it a hint of leanness it needs.
Also, I have to admit, I'm somewhat on the fence over Skyfall's bad guy, Raoul Silva, under-played by Javier Bardem in a blond wig. While he brings some of the unhinged menace, with a hint of sexual ambivalence, he doesn't quite hit the mark as a truly memorable Bond villain in my eyes. (I think in fairness though, everyone, Bond included, are incidental to this film with the whole movie pivoting around Dame Judi's M.)
"Sometimes, the old ways are the best" is an adage quoted a few times in the knowing script - and this in many ways, could be applied to the whole film and franchise itself.
Better than Quantum of Solace but not matching the highs of Casino Royale, with crisply lean action sequences, a few knowing quips, some impressive acting and an emotional resonance,Skyfall is perhaps the perfect Bond for a 50th anniversary. It shows the franchise has a life to live and effortlessly demonstrates the best is yet to come. Extras: Shooting of, commentary Rating:
Audiences worldwide are fastening their seatbelts as “Disney’s Planes” prepares to take off this summer. Joining Dane Cook, who provides the voice of Dusty, are Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Cleese, Carlos Alazraqui, Priyanka Chopra, Gabriel Iglesias, Roger Craig Smith, Colin Cowherd, Sinbad, Oliver Kalkofe and Brent Musburger.
Adding some high-flying flair from a classic feature film are Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer.
Inspired by the world of “Cars” and directed by Disneytoon Studios veteran and aviation enthusiast Klay Hall (“King of the Hill,” “The Simpsons”), “Disney’s Planes” is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure about Dusty’s dream of competing as a high-flying air racer—and his decidedly unfortunate fear of heights. The film takes off in theaters in 3D on Aug. 9 2013.
• Stacy Keach (“The Bourne Legacy,” Alexander Payne’s upcoming “Nebraska,” Robert Rodriguez’s and Frank Miller’s “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For”) provides the voice of Skipper, a reclusive old Navy Corsair who takes Dusty’s training to new heights.
• Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life”) lends his voice to fuel truck Chug, Dusty’s buddy, coach and biggest fan.
• Teri Hatcher (“Coraline,” ABC’s “Desperate Housewives”) brings life and charm to the say-it-like-it-is mechanic Dottie.
• Cedric the Entertainer (“Barbershop,” “Larry Crowne, “Madagascar”) as Leadbottom, a puttering old biplane who has no time for Dusty’s far-fetched flights of fancy.
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Seinfeld”) lends her voice to Rochelle, a tough and confident racer who is the pride of the Great White North.
• John Cleese (TV’s “Whitney,” “A Fish Called Wanda”) is the voice of Bulldog, the oldest and arguably wisest racer on the circuit.
• Carlos Alazraqui (James Garcia on Comedy Central’s “Reno 911”) brings to life the intensely charming El Chupacabra, a racer with more dramatic flair than is recommended at high altitudes.
• Priyanka Chopra (“Barfi!”) voices the exotic, mysterious and ruthless Ishani, the reigning Pan-Asian champion from India.
• Roger Craig Smith (Captain America in Disney XD’s “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” voice of Sonic The Hedgehog in “Wreck-It Ralph”) voices world champion racer Ripslinger—wings down, the biggest name in air racing—and he knows it.
• Gabriel Iglesias (Comedy Central’s “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-up Revolution”) provides the voices of both Ned and Zed, two not-so-sharp saboteurs who work for Ripslinger.
• Val Kilmer (“Batman Forever,” “Top Gun”) provides the voice of Bravo, a member of the Jolly Wrenches and a fan of air racing.
• Anthony Edwards (TV’s “Zero Hour,” “Top Gun”) is the voice of Echo, a member of the Jolly Wrenches and a fan of air racing.
• Colin Cowherd (ESPN) gives play-by-play coverage as Colin Cowling, an affable blimp and an eye-in-the-sky reporter for the Racing Sports Network.
• Sinbad (Comedy Central’s “Where U Been?”) brings to life Roper, an irascible race official pitty full of sly remarks and colorful commentary.
• Oliver Kalkofe (“Neues vom Wixxer”) provides the voice of meek German minicar Franz and his brazen airborne alter ego Fliegenhosen.
• Brent Musburger (ESPN, ABC Sports) brings Brent Mustangburger, the excitable 1964½ Ford Mustang sports broadcasting icon, back to the big screen.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
From above the world of “Cars” comes “Disney’s Planes,” an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. “Disney’s Planes” takes off in New Zealand theaters on September 26, 2013.
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, William Hurt, Jake Abel, Emily Browning
Director: Andrew Niccol
Fresh from Twilight Saga writer Stephenie Meyer comes the film version of her novel The Host, her first foray into the world of sci-fi.
An unseen but benign alien invasion force has taken over the Earth - by forming parasitic relationships with humanity and inhabiting bodies while erasing their memories. But a small batch of humans is standing firm in the face of this invasion by stealth and is determined to fight back.
Among their number is Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan), a tough-willed fighter and sister to a younger brother after their father killed himself in the early stages of their coming. However, when she's cornered by the Seekers, she kills herself - only to awake to find a soul is now in her body.
But Melanie is a fighter - and soon there is a conflict within the body for control. And that conflict has implications for what's left of humanity....
So, is The Host movie any good?
Well, if you can get past some of the soapy teen / slightly horrific love story contained inevitably within Host author Stephenie Meyer's writing, then there lies an interesting sci-fi movie cum meditation / philosophical piece on the soul and how we see our place in the world.
Kiwi Director Andrew Niccol's brought us a sterile world which is all starched whites, sheens, silvers and where the bad guys drive pristine silver Lotus while pursuing the bad guys. He's also managed to make some incredible use of the landscape scenery on offer - with the wilds of the countryside and the stark harshness of the buildings occupied by the invaders providing a nice contrast to each other.
But he's also managed to stick to some clunky dialogue, so redolent of Meyer's writing. Lines like "When you touch me, I don't want you to stop" litter parts of the movie and drag it down a little as it plays out. Why those couldn't be jettisoned I'm not too sure - even though it's young adult, and aimed at an audience, they still stand out a mile off.
Saoirse Ronan manages an evocative turn, eliciting an ethereal otherworldly feel at times as this dissertation on the soul and faith goes on. She even succeeds in scenes of interacting with herself as Melanie within comes to the fore (achieved by an echoing voice-over) which teeters just on the right side of not managing to be annoying / awkward. However, her male counterparts / love interests don't fare quite as well, seeming relatively anodyne and bland as the love story plays out. Diane Kruger brings an almost Terminator-like doggedness in her pursuit of the Melanie / Host hybrid, while William Hurt has a quiet reverence as the man in charge of the freedom fighters.
There's a haunting and elegaic feel to The Host movie, and it's certainly one which evokes feelings within as it ends - but there's also a bit of confusion over some of the characters' motives (even the final explanations still provide a touch of "Huh?") which nag during the film's quieter moments. This is not an alien invasion film with heaps of action and chases; in fact, it's the very opposite - a grown up meditation of the spiritual, which has moments of serenity within - despite a quite ludicrous love story being wrapped around an occasionally logic-lacking tale.
Released by Sony Computer Entertainment
Kratos is back.
And he's as angry as ever.
This latest release in the God of War series is a prequel to all that has gone before for the whitened Spartan but is also an evolution with the addition of the multiplayer option. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet, in case we get smacked down by the Blades of Fury.
I have to confess - as I did when I took some to time to preview God Of War: Ascension - that the God Of War series was not one which I'd played a lot prior to this latest release. But based on the single player campaign (which some critics have claimed is not as good as previous releases) I'd be willing to dabble my skull smashing sword into others.
Giving Kratos more of a back story and torturing him with three Furies, the stage is set high within the realms of an alternative Greek mythology.It starts with Kratos bound and chained by all his limbs in part of a coliseum in some kind of prison area. Taunted by a tentacled Fury (like a spider thing with stacks of legs slashing at Kratos), you're thrown straight into the game as the Furies make their presence known to Kratos. Swirling cameras and panoramic shots give you the feel of the arena - and it's huge. Immediately, it's upto you to sway and avoid the slash attacks, and by gradually mastering these moves, Kratos becomes freed. From there on, it's up to you as Kratos to hack and slash away at hordes of baddies as you try to escape from the Prison of the Damned and get back at the creature which imprisoned you in the first place and reclaim your sanity, which has been sorely shaken by Ares.
Visually, God of War: Ascension is nothing short of epic and gory as hell. From twisting turning corridors, to walls being torn asunder as you try to negotiate them, it's got it all. In terms of the combat moves and the visuals, there's seamless integration of the various slashing moves as well as the additions of a few new tricks up Kratos' sleeves. As you attack the creatures heading your way, you build up what is in your Rage meter by combo attacks (with grading going on similar to what was recently seen in Devil May Cry). This fuelling up leads to unleashing of new attacks from Kratos himself and is a cool touch as opposed to having to wait to find a power up point in a level or purchase new powers as the game level concludes. It's also a great incentive to beat the stuffing out of anything which comes your way. Powering up via red orbs, collecting health power ups and magic, there's plenty of incentive to build up the beefcake's arsenal and a good reason to generally increase the fighting skills on offer. Kratos' fighting prowess is also seamless - from grappling, grabbing and generally getting hands on with his enemies, there are some bloody pay-offs with heads being ripped off and kills showing off the gore quotient. It's the first half which is more of a hack and slash game, as you muscle your way through, take on rafts of enemies and kill everything in your way. After a showdown with an Oracle, you end up receiving an amulet of Uroborus, which changes the dynamic of the game somewhat.
This magical talisman gives you the chance to decay or repair objects, which leads to a series of puzzles being thrown up in your way as you negotiate the final levels of the game. It's a welcome breather from the frenzied fighting but it is one which you will need your thinking cap for. Solutions, once they present themselves are obvious but they take a little time to get there - and it can lead to a bit of a frustrating ride. While the single player campaign is good, it's the multiplayer option which really adds a new welcome element to the God Of War franchise. Heading online you get to take part in a series of online challenges, teaming up with buddies or unknowns - and it's a lot of fun as you race around trying to complete your quests, curry favour with the gods and generally killing for points. Modes are Team Favour of the Gods, Capture the Flag, Trial of the Gods and a every man for himself Match of Champions. There's certainly a lot of fun to be had taking part in the multiplayer online co-op and it really does mean that if you're stuck scratching your head trying to solve a problem, you've got a chance to vent some of that frustration by cracking some skulls. Overall, God of War: Ascension is hellishly enjoyable - it mashes together the best of the mythology that so captivated my uni years and pulls together a range of gameplay which is engaging, enthralling, gory and a bloody good time. Rating:
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, Jonathan Pryce, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Arnold Vosloo
Director: Jon M Chu
The GI Joes are back in this film, which has been slightly delayed by 9 months in arriving on our screens.
When the GI Joes are tasked with getting back a nuclear weapon by the US President, they find themselves thrown into a conspiracy when they're framed for crimes against the country.
As their mortal enemies Cobra try to take advantage of the power hole, it's up to Roadblock (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) and his team of two surviving Joes to expose the conspiracy, save the day and the world...
GI Joe 2: Retaliation is all guns, gadgets and gung-ho. As you'd perhaps expect from a film based on a toy franchise.... And yet, the first half of GI Joe 2 is a great mix of seriousness and excellently put together action sequences. One such set piece, atop mountains and scaling Himalyan cliff faces, is simply one of the best bits of choreographed kick-ass fight scenes committed to celluloid in a long time. Director Chu uses the 3D so cleverly during it that you get a real scale and sense of depth as it plays out its thrilling premise and set piece.
But, that's the thing with this film - for the most part, with good solid characters, bad guys a-plenty and blockbuster thrills, it really does up its game and give you a damn entertaining popcorn treat.
Which is why it's a real shame to note that in the last 30 minutes, the goofiness and cheesy one liners which have been so absent from the start, are thrown willy-nilly into the mix amid a hail of bullets and explosions as a new Hasbro line of GI Joe action vehicles are launched into the collective cinema conscience. Well, what would you expect from a film where the characters are lumbered with such monikers as Roadblock, Lady Jaye, Snake Eyes and Zartan? Dwayne Johnson does ok as Roadblock - he desperately needs a foil as his early scenes with Channing Tatum show - and even when Bruce Willis as General Joe is introduced into the piece later on, the pair is not given enough scenes together to build on the initial banter and humour in amongst all the quasi-seriousness on display. Jonathan Pryce has a whale of a time playing a bad president, letting loose quips and comments like :"You know what the best thing about being President is? I get to blow things up." His best line though is a stinging put down of Fox News, telling a dolled up Friday Night Lights' star Adrianne Palicki, who's claiming to be a reporter from there, that is "why you look so fair and balanced." Characterisation is secondary to the action in G.I. Joe Retaliation - and once you're willing to sacrifice that and go with the action, then this piece of high class hokum with its first rate action sequences will keep the big kid in you entertained for a couple of hours.
There's a school of thought which says that the old ways are still the best ways.
This could be the case with Capcom, who celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. Rather than resting on their laurels, the company is moving forward and giving us a nostalgic look back at how so many of us so tragically lost so much of our money in our younger days - on their arcade machines...
The Capcom Arcade Cabinet is out now to download from the PlayStation network store and every couple of months, we get a retro blast from the past with a batch of some of the old school games.
One of the latest to be unveiled for a relative pittance is Pack 2, which includes a game which decimated my savings and destroyed my gaming prowess - Ghosts'n'Goblins. (Also released in the pack are Gunsmoke and Section Z)
The thing with these releases is that basically they transport you back to that fevered time when an arcade hall was a heady mix of fizzy drinks, bags of lollies and freshly minted body odour. While these games (thankfully) do not offer that experience, they are extremely faithful ports of the originals - right down to their game play.
From the moment G'n'G began, I was taken back and could remember the places I'd died as I tried to kill zombies and rescue the princess. Graphically they accurately recreate the games and don't stray from the original format. Initially that'd be a frustration given that you are still prone to dying in the exact same spots, but given they come with a casual mode (ie easier) and don't require any cash, endless play is a joy.
It's perhaps frustrating there is no midway save in the middle and each time you turn off you have to start all over again, but this is to be expected, given how faithful they are. And when could you ever save anything on the arcades when you were out there?
If you're after a nostalgic blast from the past and some side scrolling action, then the Capcom Arcade Cabinet is a fun way to relive your past. Essentially bubblegum gaming and one that's more fun for now than fun for a long, long time, the one real saving grace is that you pay once only for the game, rather than pumping aeons of loose change into a machine as you did back in the 1980s. With the likes of 1942 and Commando due in further DLC releases, you've pretty much got the whole Capcom back catalogue wrapped up - and that's no bad thing at all.
Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Antonia Zegers
Director: Pablo Larrain
It's to 1988 we go with this official entrant for the 2013 Oscars from Chile.
Bernal plays Rene Saavedra, an ad man brought in to try and help ensure the oppressed people of Chile vote No in a referendum called by Augusto Pinochet. The referendum is urging the people to vote Yes to allowing Pinochet to stay in power, as calls grow outside of Chile to get him out of government and to free the people.
But Saavedra helps concoct an advertising campaign through the 15 minutes the opposition is allowed nightly on the TV during the 27 days campaigning window.
However, as Saavedra and his team, with limited resources, manage to start to get the message of No out there, the net around them grows tighter as intimidation and scare tactics really kick in. But, with an apathetic populace, can Saavedra and his campaign manage to do for Chile what's not been done for years?
No is a curious beast of a film.
Shot on a 1983 U-matic video camera, it certainly evokes the era, with its grainy fuzzy visuals and browns and drab colouring. It also takes a little while to get used to such a look but given that it's mixed with action from the 80s, it's a bold directorial choice and one which does stand out.
In among the commercials of the time (some of which are quite comical), there's the real sense of the birth of dirty politics and marketing tactics to sway a populace and it's a fascinating document on that and potentially the start of viral marketing in many ways.
But No is also a slow, long and at times, laborious film which could have lost some of its overall run time. Bernal spends a lot of the time looking a little aloof and it takes a while to warm to his character - not through any acting issues but simply because the film's not really a character piece at all, more an examination of what happened.
A few powerful moments shine through - such as a group of mothers who sing and dance while intoning their sons are among the "disappeared" - and there's a complex but realistic relationship between Saavedra and his politically opposite counterpart who happens to be his co-worker in an ad agency.
All in all, No is worth a watch - but it never quite gets under your skin in the way you'd expect - but as a document of the time, it's a morally interesting debate and a fascinating examination of how governments should never underestimate the power of the people when it comes to politics.
Celebrate Spring with an Enticing Subscription Offer and Brand New Content Heading to PlayStation®Plus This April
Get 90 extra days free when you sign up for a year’s subscription this April and enjoy all of the exciting new titles available on PlayStation®Plus
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has today announced the April line-up for PlayStation®Plus (PS Plus) subscribers with favourites such as Okami HD, Lord of the Ring: War in the North and The Cave arriving just in time for spring. On top of this, SCEE will also be offering newcomers 90 extra days free with the purchase of a one year subscription to the service.Fans that already have a current PS Plus membership can still take advantage of this deal and extend their membership by stacking on top of their current membership.
Grab your celestial brush and take on the role of Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu in Okami HD where you’ll use her magic to restore the world to its previous glory and defeat the destructive demon. Or test out the strengths of Farin, Andriel or Eradan as you battle through the iconic Middle-earth universe in Lord of the Rings: War in the North. If you’re still hungry for adventure, descend into the ancient and mysterious depths of The Cave and embark on an epic journey to discover where the most desired treasures can be found. All three titles will be available to play from 3rd April onwards.
To take advantage of the fantastic offer, which allows you to buy a year’s subscription and get 90 days for free, fans can redeem a one year PS Plus subscription online or in store between March 20th and April 10th. New subscribers will automatically get an additional 90 days membership at no extra cost and existing members can also take full advantage of the offer by stacking on top of their current membership.
If that isn’t enough you can grab your PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) and enter a game of life or death in the novel-style title Zero Escape: Virtues Last Reward, which will be available on PS Plus from 10th April, or try using your magical skills to help characters find their way in Thomas Was Alone, narrated by Danny Wallace and available from the 24th April.
PS Plus subscribers receive an array of exclusive features and access, including 2GB cloud storage (1G for PS3 & 1G for PS Vita ) for game saves which will be welcomed by members keen to take advantage of the Instant Game Collection. Automatic update and beta access, as well as a huge collection of exclusive dynamic themes and PlayStation®Network avatars, makes PS Plus the place to be in 2013.
PS Plus is now available on PS Vita, extending the service to two platforms for a single price of $89.95 for a one-year subscription or $24.95 for a 90 day subscription will give users the same fantastic features including exclusive access, special features and huge discounts.
Rating: M Released by Madman Home Entertainment Monsieur Lahzar arrives on New Zealand screens after a solid performance at the New Zealand International Film Festival earlier last year. This Canadian/French drama won an Oscar nod and features some of the strongest ever performances by child actors I've ever seen. It centres on a Bashir Lazhar (Mohammed Felag), an Algerian immigrant and teacher, who comes to an elementary school after one of the teachers hangs herself in the classroom. Lazhar has his own demons to deal with as well - with family killed in attacks back home. But gradually, Lazhar heals as do the children in his care who are deeply traumatised and repressed after the hanging. Fighting the school at every level, Lazhar encourages the children to open up to heal their hurt - but with his attitudes at odd with the school's official line, how long will it be before the ethical clash becomes too much....
Enormously affecting, Monsieur Lazhar deals with grief, hope and offers a picture of healing which many will latch onto. The two child leads who play the kids who find the teacher hanged simply blow the adults off the screen with their simple, honest acting being a real tour de force set of performances. Some may see echoes of Dead Poets Society within, but it's a much stronger outing than that, with frissons of sentiment and proof of how important teachers can be. Felag commands the screen, but to be honest, it's the child actors who really dominate this drama. Sensitive, deeply affecting and utterly riveting, Monsieur Lazhar is well worth your time.
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts
Director: Jacques Audiard
Screened to critical acclaim at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Rust and Bone now arrives on NZ shores.
It's from the director of the wonderful A Prophet and stars Marion Cotillard as Stephanie, an Orca trainer at a local Marineland Water Park. A chance meeting at a club one night means she meets drop out Alain (Schoenaerts) who's penniless and landed with his 5 year old son.
Despite Alain's attempts to hit on Stephanie failing miserably, the two are forced into each other's respective paths after an accident at the Water Park cuts short her career. Alain is a semi drifter, interested only in one night stands and a lack of real commitment, as opposed to Stephanie's warmer approach to life.
Faced by a life changing situation, Stephanie finds that Alain's aloofness is suddenly engaging and the pair form an unlikely relationship.
Rust and Bone is about two people dealing with their inner demons, and whilst it's been critically acclaimed, it is, in parts, somewhat aloof.
Cotillard is sensational as the trainer who finds she needs unexpected support - her restrained and subtle performance conveys every necessary nuance and emotion without being showy or over-sentimental as these films occasionally have a tendency to be. Likewise, Schoenaerts' dropout may be lacking a lot of emotion and living only from day to day via violent or sexual interactions, but he's the perfect foil to Cotillard; a brutal yet downbeat man, who's trying to make his way in the world. Initially, it's hard to fathom why Stephanie calls but in the slow reveal of the film, it's abundantly clear that Audiard is once again reuniting with his themes of two disparates who find their lives intertwined.
There are a couple of gasp aloud moments within the film, which shock and rock, but there are also swathes of slow patches too. But it's a potent mix, firing together a dramatic cocktail worth drinking down - even if the narrative choices at the end are a little lacking the punch needed for a more satisfying resolution.
Ultimately, Rust and Bone is engrossing cinema, anchored by a stunning performance from Cotillard.
And as if that wasn't exciting enough, the Japanese trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness has 15 seconds more footage - here it is...including a rather worrying homage to Star Trek The Wrath of Khan - is this where we see the demise of Zachary Quinto's Spock???
Star Trek Into Darkness synopsis
In 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness.
When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.
As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
Returning again will be NZ’s own Karl Urban, along with a cast that includes Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Star Trek Into Darkness: releases in NZ on 16 May 2013.