Last night we trundled off to the Astor to see the magnificent restoration of Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece Metropolis.

While the film was stunning, the restoration work of the highest order and the new Dolby Digital score most impressive the highlight of the night came from the early-20-something pretentious inner urban sophisticates directly behind us who talked all the way through the film. (As Rae said “for a silent movie, it sure had a lot of talking in it.”)

At the conclusion of the film one of the more enlightened members of the group couldn’t wait to share his depth of insight with his fellow critics.

“It’s a bit dated.”

DVD News To Make Your Heart Sing!

Indiana Jones on DVD!Indiana Jones is coming to DVD!!!

November 4 – four disc set! Remastered visuals and audio. It’s a dream come true. Rae will be beside herself as these are some of her all time favourite movies. Having seen an incredibly bad print of Raiders at the Astor recently I can appreciate what a huge task restoring these films has been. November, it won’t come quickly enough.

All information at the Indiana Jones Official Site.

Walt Tarantino

While checking out Mary Poppins (imdb | buy @ Amazon | netflix) on DVD for Phee’s birthday I noticed they were advertising Reservoir Dogs (imdb | buy @ amazon | netflix) on the same page.

Now this is an odd combination if I ever saw one.

Mr Blonde : “Who the **** is that laughing?”
Mary : “Why, it’s Uncle Arthur.”
Mr Blonde : “Well if he don’t shut the **** up he’s gettin more than a ****in spoon full of sugar.”

Village Cinemas Strike Again

Remember our expidition to see Road to Perdition?

Rae wrote a lovely letter of complaint to the cinema. Today we received a reply.

Village, please note when trying to win back disenchanted customers :
a) Her name didn’t change between you writing the address and you writing the salutation.

b) At least use the spell check.

Thanks for the comp double pass though.

What Should Have Been A Movie Review

Village claim this is how you will feel when you ‘enjoy’ a movie at their cinemas :

Not What It Is Like At Village.

This is what it is actually like :

Village Sunshine

We were supposed to be seeing and listening to Road to Perdition at Village Sunshine.

Apparently this is the same Village Sunshine where ‘all theatres have the latest technology with Dolby Digital Sound. Large capacity auditoriums with stadium seating and wall to wall mega screens.’

Okay. The sound – the first half of the first reel was in some form of surround (maybe DDS) and then it began to splutter in and out before finally settling on a lifeless stereo mix. After The Important Bit At The Start That Sets Up The Rest Of The Movie I went searching and found a worker bee who happened to be standing next to someone who appeared to be in charge. I pointed out the problem and the Guy Who Appeared In Charge told Worker Bee Boy to run upstairs and turn the volume up. What a solution – make it louder and no will notice the difference.

This really gets to me – we each pay $13.50 for a ticket, then god forbid you should be thirsty ’cause that will set you back $4.40 for a bottle of water you can get for $1.00 just across the road – and I’ve refused to buy food/sweets at a cinema for so long now I couldn’t even guess how many times you’d have to mortgage your house to get a small popcorn. We then have to sit through twenty minutes of ads before even getting to the start of the movie and then they can’t even be bothered screening it properly.

I’ll stop now before I start on dull projection, the seat that was broken when I sat in it and the mysterious square of light dead bang in the middle of the screen for most of the last reel.

Please Village stop treating your customers with such contempt. I love the movies, I love going to the movies but you’ll lose me if you keep this up. Maybe you should keep in mind that for the price of two adult tickets I can purchase the DVD and I know at home the sound and vision will be right. Or I can wait to see it at The Astor, a place that cares about movies. They have more people working at a one screen cinema than Village appeared to have at their 17 screen ‘megaplex’ and what’s more The Astor has a truly large screen.

(btw, really liked the film)


Quick Review : Ignore them. They will go away.
Not So Quick Review (That Gives Away The Ending) : Mel Gibson stars as an ex-priest who rediscovers his faith after invading aliens are defeated when someone spills a glass of water on them.

Village Sunshine, Cinema 19, D 17

Rae told me I wasn’t allowed to give away the ending but I don’t care. Films such as this don’t deserve the cone of silence. Oh god this was bad. If you thought it sounded silly from the NSQRTGATE above then you are 100% correct. A movie that tries to be a serious examination of faith is so mired in silly sci-fi hokum (and I love my sci-fi, I truly do) that all you can do is ask for your money back at the end.

You’ll spend all your time wondering if Mel Gibson was awake at all as he acted, if Rory Culkin is just a clone of Macaulay and why Joaquin Phoenix is spending all that time in the cupboard.

You’ll jump because the music gets loud, you’ll sigh when the music is soft. This film that references War of The Worlds (click to listen to the Orson Wells broadcast) , Close Encounters, Aliens – even Predator should have concentrated on telling its own story. M N Shyamalan can make great films – we all know that. Go rent that, then rent Close Encounters of The Third Kind on DVD to see how to make gloriously perfect sci-fi movies.
Continue reading “Signs”

About A Boy

Quick Review : A major charm offencive wins on all fronts, especially for Hugh Grant.
No So Quick Review : Another Nick Hornsby book turned into another charming film. About A Boy is cleverly made to have you leaving the cinema humming along with a smile on your face.

Hoyts High Point, Cinema 6, No seat numbers

It had been a month since I’d been to a movie and even though we watched Fight Club on DVD last night (god bless home cinema and surround sound) it was great to go to a cinema. It was a Hoyts cinema which just reinforced why I will go out of my way to always go to Village but it was worth the over priced drinks ($4.10 for a bottle of water!), lack of cleaning and uncomfortable seats to see this film.

It’s a wonderful story of a man whose self centred life is slowly turned around by a lonely boy. The humour isn’t forced, the changes take time, the story is interesting and Hugh Grant is superb. You’ll love this film, no matter who you are. Go and see it.

Can’t let the music go by without a mention either. Badly Drawn Boy‘s soundtrack will be great cafe music for years to come.

Phee’s Latest Disney Idol

Phoebe has a new Disney idol. And who would this lovely little six year old spend every waking hour obsessing over? The beautiful Snow White, the noble Lion King, the charming Little Mermaid?

Nope, not our little gal. It’s Maleficent – the evil queen from ‘Sleeping Beauty‘.

Rae and I were sitting in the kitchen last night when we hear Phee yell out ‘Noooooooo’. Rae gets up to investigate and comes back with the news that Phee was very upset – she wanted the dragon to win, not the Prince.

Bend ’em Like Beckham

Quick Review : If you have a heart, it will be warmed.
Not So Quick Review : The story of a young woman in Indian family in England who want to play soccer. When all that matters is marrying the right man what is she to do?

The Rivoli, Cinema 1, L20

A great little film from England. Just as Australians do ‘quirky’ better than anyone the English seem to be able to turn out these heart warming comedies in a class of their own.

This story of a young girl, Jess, who lives in a traditional Indian family environment whose one wish is to play soccer. You can guess the twists and turns as she secretly joings a girls team, falls for the coach and her sister’s marriage is arranged for the day of the big match.

No great plot surprises but it’s the people that make this such a joy to watch. Young Jess, her equally as soccer obsessed friend Jules, their coach Joe and Jess’ family. Their intertwining lives will give you two hours of care free fun.

Not a must see at the cinema, you can put it off until DVD.