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Thursday, December 14, 2017

What’s Hot, What’s Not: with Jim Sherlock


What’s Hot and What’s No tin Blu-Rays and DVDs
FILM: WONDER WOMAN:Genre: Action-Fantasy-Adventure.Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston,  David Thewlis, Ewen Bremmer.Year: 2017.Rating: M.Length: 141 Minutes. Stars: ***½Verdict: Before she was known as Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior, on an island inhabited only be women, but when a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny. Following the triple debacles of Man of Steel (2013), Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), this is the closest to the DC Extended Universe actually, and finally, getting it right. Surprisingly, with this first big screen feature debut of Wonder Woman, Director: Patty Jenkins has moulded together an impressive and hugely entertaining super-hero experience, Wonder Woman has gone a long way since the TV series (1975) with Lynda Carter. The beautiful Gal Gadot is spot on as our saviour this time around, aided by stalwart Chris Pine and along with the equally beautiful Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis and Danny Huston seem to be having fun as the evil villains. Just when you thought hope was lost in this DC Extended Universe, or any other of the recent flood of super-hero movies, the great cast, performances, characters, action, humour, romance, effects and pacing all fall into place nicely, and though too long at 2 hours and 20 minutes and goes a bit over-the-top towards the climax, it can be compared to the genuine surprise that the Marvel Universe created with Captain America: The First Avenger.

FILM: VICEROY’S HOUSE:Genre: Historical/Biographica/Drama.Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Michael Gambon, Simon Callow.  Year: 2017.Rating: PG.Length: 106 Minutes. Stars: ***Verdict: New Dehli in March 1947, Lord Louis Mountbatten, has just been appointed new (and last) viceroy of India by prime minister Clement Attlee, and his difficult task consists in overseeing the transition of British India to independence. Meanwhile, in the staff quarters, a love story is born between Jeet, a Hindu, and Aalia, a Muslim beauty, and things will prove difficult on both on the geopolitical and personal level. Well made and emotionally effective political and personal period drama succeeds due to the sensitive, respectful and delicate handling by writer-director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham, Bride & Prejudice), if not too soft on such a monumental historical event of change. Good solid performance by Hugh Bonneville as Lord Louis Mountbatten, as well as all cast members, but the real standout is Gillian Anderson as the highly independent, respectful and determined, Lady Edwina Mountbatten. Striking period detail and beautifully filmed in actual locations in India, even though it may have served much better as an epic TV mini-series, it is nonetheless a richly textured, fascinating and worthy enough journey to look back on.

FILM: DESPICABLE ME 3:Genre: Animation/Action/Adventure.Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews.  Year: 2017.Rating: PG.Length: 90 Minutes. Stars: **½Verdict: After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru meets his long-lost and more successful twin brother Dru who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist, and who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps to rediscover just how good it feels to be bad. Gru and the Minions and company are all back in this crazy, wildly hyperactive and overall entertaining animated adventure that is sure to thrill the kiddies time-and-time again, though the adults may grow tiresome long beforehand. Slapstick and stupidity rule for the most part, and though the animation is on par with the previously two outings, the film may not the best in the series, but it works for the most part thanks to Steve Carell’s due performance as Gru and Dru and those side-splittingly funny scene stealing Minions., where the laughs that work are the more visual than spoken. Let’s just hope that for the next adventure, if there is a fourth, that more care and attention to characterization, plot and pacing are taken on board. – James Sherlock

Top 10 Lists
THE AUSTRALIAN BOX OFFICE TOP TEN:1. IT. 2. THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD.3. GIRL’S TRIP. 4. AMERICAN MADE. 5. DUNKIRK. 6. THE EMOJI MOVIE.7. ALI’S WEDDING. 8. HAMPSTEAD. 9. ANNABELLE: CREATION. 10. GIFTED.NEW RELEASES AND COMING SOON TO CINEMAS AROUND AUSTRALIA:SEPTEMBER 14: AMAZON ADVENTURE 3D, AMERICAN ASSASSIN, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, MEMBERS ONLY, MOTHER! PATTI CAKE$, RIP TIDE, THE EMOJI MOVIE.SEPTEMBER 21: AUSTRALIA DAY, BEATRIZ AT DINNER, CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE, KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE, MOUNTAIN, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, TOKYO GHOUL.  THE DVD AND BLU-RAYTOP RENTALS & SALES:1. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES [Adventure/Johnny Depp].2. THE MUMMY [Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe].3. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Volume 2 [Sci-Fi/Action/Adventure/Chris Pratt].4. THE SHACK [Drama/Fantasy/Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer].5. JOHN WICK 2 [Action/Crime/Thriller/Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane].6. BECOMING BOND [Biography/Comedy/George Lazenby, Josh Lawson].7. FREE FIRE [Action/Crime/Comedy/Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer].8. WAKEFIELD [Drama/Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Garner, Beverly D’Angelo].9. ALIEN COVENANT [Action/Thriller/Sci-Fi/Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston].Also: FATE OF THE FURIOUS, NORMAN, BAYWATCH, KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, COLOSSAL, THEIR FINEST, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE, A DOG’S PURPOSE, SNATCHED.     NEW RELEASE HIGHLIGHTSON DVD THIS WEEK:WONDER WOMAN [Action/Fantasy/Adventure/Gal Gadot, Chris Pine]. VICEROY’S HOUSE [Drama/History/Hugh Bonneville]. DESPICABLE ME 3 [Animated/Action/Adventure/Steve Carell]. ALL EYEZ ON ME [Drama/Biography/Music/Demetrius Shipp Jr]. NEW RELEASE HIGHLIGHTS ON BLU-RAY THIS WEEK:WONDER WOMAN [Action/Fantasy/Adventure/Gal Gadot, Chris Pine]. WONDER WOMAN 3D + Blu-ray [Action/Fantasy/Adventure/Gal Gadot, Chris Pine]. VICEROY’S HOUSE [Drama/History/Hugh Bonneville]. DESPICABLE ME 3 [Animated/Action/Adventure/Steve Carell]. DESPICABLE ME 3 – 3D + Blu-ray [Animated/Action/Adventure/Steve Carell]. ALL EYEZ ON ME [Drama/Biography/Music/Demetrius Shipp Jr]. NEW & RE-RELEASE AND CLASSIC MOVIES HIGHLIGHTS:BLADE RUNNER 4K + Blu-ray [Sci/Fi/Action/Harrison Ford].E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 4K + Blu-ray [Sci/Fi/Fantasy/Henry Thomas].  NEW RELEASE TELEVISION, DOCUMENTARY AND MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS: GREAT BRITISH RAILWAY JOURNEY’S: Series 1. GREAT BRITISH RAILWAY JOURNEY’S: Series 2. GREAT BRITISH RAILWAY JOURNEY’S: Series 3. FATHER BROWN: Series 5. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Season 4.LETHAL WEAPON: Season 1.ARROW: Season 5.
– James Sherlock

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