The Graduate

The Graduate
Must See film No. 1!

Welcome to my exciting new film blog!

Hello friends and film lovers
After hundreds and hundreds of films over the past 3 decades and much film banter, critique and recommendations, I thought it was about time I started this blog. I will start to list my 'must see films' as well as blog reviews from any film I see from here on. I look forward to your being part of my blog community, your comments and feedback on all things FILM!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Single Man

Most films produced these days for mass audiences have lots of action, crazy effects, high drama or over the top humour. Sometimes the combo is just right (eg The Hangover, Pineapple Express) but mostly 'blockbuster' films spoon feed the audience and sometimes the result for me is much tisking and huffing and puffing due to the cliche and predictability (eg Avatar, Couples Retreat) Anyhoo, A Single Man is at the other end of the spectrum. Immaculately art directed by fashionista Tom Ford, it has elements of Man Men, The Graduate, a pinch of Wes Anderson creepyness and lots of aesthetically pleasing moments. The story is simple, played out over a single day, but alot can happen in a day and our single man experiences intense feelings, numbness, emotions, hypersensitivity, lust, memories, grief, hope and love on this big day. I was completely sucked in and relished every moment of this film. Colin Firth should have got the Big O. And Julianne Moore as always, is elegant and messy all at once - which is a great art to master (I try...) Movies like this don't come along very often so I can't recommend it highly enough. But for those of you who love blockbuster/action flicks and find 'internal' films a bore, give this one a miss. 4/5

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

I think I'll always be smitten by Tim Burton's muse - Johnny Depp - and his wonderful wife - Helena Bonham Carter. They are both so absolutely ego-free and delicious in this flick, as are the effects, costumes and Burton's treatment of the story. The only oddity was Anne Hathaway with her floating arms and unbelievable manifestation of the 'good' queen. Pity I wanted her to end up headless like many of the other victims of the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland. I would love to have Johnny over for goulash some time to just stare at him in wonderment at how he can pull off the characters he does, whilst licking up my paprika sauce. This film was delightful, simply delightful. (Paul: read Awesome) Moving even. But you gotta have a thing for the dark, quirky, slightly unnerving, kinda corny but uplifting films of Tim Burton. 3/5.

The Ultimate Wave Tahiti

If you love to surf, or are a wannabe surfer, if you dig 3D flicks or like well made docos then you'll enjoy this short flick (must see at Imax). My review will be a little skewed as I saw this just after returning from Samoan paradise and this just brought it all back. Plus, watching the Kman sway and gasp when the tubes curled towards us was thoroughly amusing, so that added to my enjoyment. Then there's the piercing blue eyes, 6 pack and elegant style of Kelly, the natural vibe and surf expertise of the family he surfs with and the intimacy this film allows with it's on-the-road-for-The-Search-with-Kelly style. There were some animated bits that were a tad superfluous and interrupted the flow at times. It's hard to imagine that this is how a surfer's life can be, but having just lived it to some extent in Samoa I can tell you, this gets you close to the feeling of the eternal Search and the rewards that come if you wait, wait, wait. See it with a surfer or go and wipe out at Bondi or Tama to get in the zone. 3.5/5

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Addictive TV Series for Rainy Days

Any time it's raining cats n dogs, or you find your best friend is the hot water bottle, there's nothing like a juicy, entertaining series to while the hours away. This is my biggest indulgence, other than my usual dose of movies. Thought I'd share my favourites with y'all to keep in mind when you're hard up. In no particular order:
1. Sopranos
2. Love My Way
3. Curb Your Enthusiasm
4. Man Men
5. Sex In The City
6. Seinfeld
7. Entourage

Grey Gardens

Geez I love a good doco and this is a 'dramatisation' of the making of a 1975 doco about a very unique mother and daughter, so I was immersed and entranced by Grey Gardens from start to finish. Big Edie and Little Edie Beale came from high society so the only way is down once the man of the house bails and Big Edie's kids all move out of home. Little Edie, played with such vigour and not a touch of vanity, by Drew Barrymore, slowly but surely gets sucked into her Mother's needs and lifestyle. And before long the two of them are living amongst raccoons and cats in the family home which becomes so decrepit and disgusting that visitors have to cover their mouths when they enter. Thing is, Grey Gardens is who they are so there'll be no moving these two. They are discovered when a film crew follow their cousin - Jacqueline Bouvier (Kennedy) - who with much horror visits the house and does her best not to puke at the front door. The film makers didn't have to do too much convincing to get the cameras up to the room where the Beales co-existed - Little Edie after 50 years still had dreams of being in showbiz so saw this as her big chance. This movie will put some to sleep, but I found it totally compelling and will be watching the original 1975 doco in the coming weeks if anyone is interested in joining me. 4/5

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Since I'm heading off to Samoa next week (until 19th Feb) I couldn't leave you for so long without posting my first, of what I'm sure will be a very conentious, TOP 20 MUST SEE films. DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind that films are subjective and the viewer upon repeat viewings, or depending on whether one is hormotional at the time, may change their rating at will. Films may also feature in this list because the creator is smitten with one of it's stars. Top 20 films not in any particular order, and not grouped by genre or date of release.
These films all touched me in some way at the time and have certainly left their mark. I have another 50-100 films which I will list in the coming months. This is just to keep you from going crazy staring at the B-grade overnighters when there are such dusty gems waiting to be rescued from the weekly/cult/classic shelves at your local shop. ENJOY! I look forward to your comments.
1. The Graduate
2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
3. Fargo
4. Stand By Me
5. Into The Wild
6. The Year My Voice Broke
7. Once
8. Frida
9. Talk to Her
10. Play Misty For Me
11. Splendour in The Grass
12. Thelma & Louise
13. Dangerous Liaisons
14. BIG
15. Dirty Dancing
16. ET
17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Original)
18. Tootsie
19. Saturday Night Fever
20. Amadeus
*Special Thanks go out to my sister Nadine for her suggestions, Bella and Alice for their 2 cents worth, Sarah for her yet to be properly reviewed list, Tanya my serious film buddy friend and her comprehensive list, Alan for his list and film banter, and finally, my Dad - for nurturing me with classics from a young age and a passion for great films.