movies watched 2008 to 2012

December 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky). I didn’t love this as much as I thought I would. All the so called misfits are far too beautiful. But I did like Ezra Miller a lot.

The Sightseers (Ben Wheatley) This started off well with some very funny scenes, then seemed to run out of steam.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (David Gelb)

Woody Allen: A Documentary (Robert B. Weide)

November 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed (Mark Trevorrow). Loved it!! Definitely one of my top five films this year

The Night Porter (Liliana Cavani) *** DVD. Disturbingly enthralling.

The Cabin In the Woods (Drew Goddard) *** DVD. Written by the director and Joss Whedon. I expected something along the lines of Buffy but it didn’t live up to expectations.

Argo (Ben Affleck)

Crumb (Terry Zwigoff) *** DVD. Crumb was too cool for school. His brothers are/were even crazier than he is. Riveting.

The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson) Really great acting. But did I care about the movie? Not so much.

Diana Vreeland (Lisa Immordino Vreeland & Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt). Penelope Tree is still gorgeous but what happened to Veruschka?

October 2012

Shun Li and the Poet (Andrea Segre). A beautiful Italian film about Chinese immigrants in Venice.

Searching for Sugar Man (Malik Bendjelloul). Excellent documentary about Rodriguez. I’m proud to say I’ve had his music in my collection since 1975

Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik). Very enjoyable. James Gandolfini and Brad Pitt were great. Lots of violence so probably not everyone’s cup of tea.

Hurlyburly (Anthony Drazan) *** DVD. Every single character is despicable. Except maybe Anna Paquin’s.

Scoop (Woody Allen) *** DVD. Maybe I just don’t appreciate “light comedy”

Food, Inc. (Robert Kenner) *** DVD. Does it make me sound shallow if I say this film left me with a serious crush on Eric Schlosser?

September 2012

Chinese Takeaway (Sebastian Borensztein) Same old story in a different setting. Lonely curmudgeon’s path crosses that of a foreigner who inadvertently teaches him to embrace life.

Divine Trash (Steve Yeager) Documentary about the films of the fabulous John Waters.

And If We All Lived Together (Stephane Robelin)

Crude (Joe Berlinger) *** DVD. Interesting but a little heavy handed

August 2012

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Daniel Alfredson) *** DVD

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Daniel Alfredson) *** DVD

Ronin (John Frankenheimer) *** DVD. This was pretty bad really

Blue Velvet (David Lynch) *** DVD. Still one of my favourite films

Intolerable Cruelty (Coen Brothers) *** DVD

Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (Edgar Wright) *** DVD

The Wild Geese (Andrew V McLaglen) *** DVD. So much overacting it was unintentionally hilarious

Blood Simple and Fargo (Coen Brothers) *** DVD. Two of their best films

Falling Down (Joel Schumacher) *** DVD. Michael Douglas is really good, it stands the test of time.

Haywire (Steven Soderbergh)

Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg) I hated it

July 2012

Rumble Fish (Francis Ford Coppola) *** DVD

Kumare (Vikram Gandhi) Fantastic documentary about an American man who impersonates an Indian guru to prove to his followers that they don’t need one. I was totally enthralled when it came time to reveal himself, it seemed such a brave thing to do.

Arrugas (Ignacio Ferraras) I loved this! I wish I could show it to all my patients. So sad and funny and true.

A Royal Affair (Nikolaj Arcel) Anything with Mads Mikkelsen in it has my immediate attention

We Have To Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay) *** DVD

La Delicatesse (David & Stephane Foenkinos)

Tu Seras Mon Fils (Gilles Legrand). Great film about a nasty wine making patriach

Norwand (Philipp Stolzl) Based on a true story about German and Austrian mountaineers attempting to climb the Eiger. Well told but very sad.

W.E. (Madonna) Surprisingly, I rather liked this though I preferred the parts about the original Wallis to the story of her modern day namesake

The Hunger Games (Gary Ross) *** DVD

Get Carter (Mike Hodges) *** DVD

June 2012

American Swing (Jon Hart & Mathew Kaufman) *** DVD

We Were Here (David Weissman & Bill Weber) *** DVD

Ricky (Francois Ozon). I love Ozon’s films. They’re either quirky or creepy and there’s always something unexpected in them.

Prometheus (Ridley Scott). There’s no character development to speak of or even much of a plot really. Then again, I’m not a fan of blockbuster movies. I should have gone to the Sydney Film Festival instead.

The English Surgeon (Geoffrey Smith). Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh is my hero. He travels to the Ukraine every year and operates for free on poor people with brain tumours. He also has the heartbreaking job of telling parents their young children will go blind and die within two years as by the time he sees them it is too late. He does everything with the utmost grace and humility. There was one great success story in this documentary, when he saved a young man, Marian, performing brain surgery on him with power tools purchased in a roadside market. Marian was awake for the whole procedure during which he suffered an epileptic fit. But he survived and was able to live a normal life afterwards.

Marley (Kevin Macdonald). Interesting but at least 30 minutes too long

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (Marshall Curry & Sam Cullman). Interesting and sad.

May 2012

Wish You Were Here (Kieran Darcy-Smith). Australian directors have made some great movies and this is a prime example. Believable script, first rate acting. Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price are so good as a married couple whose lives fall terribly apart after a short holiday in Cambodia.

Sarah Palin: You Betcha! (Nick Broomfield)

Herb and Dorothy (Megumi Sasaki) *** DVD

The Avengers (Joss Wheedon) What can I say? Not really a fan of action movies, but this was a bit of fun.

Deliver Us From Evil (Amy  Berg) *** DVD. Very strong documentary about pedophilia in the catholic church

Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino) *** DVD. Still very watchable after all these years. Apart from the scene where Michael Madsen tortures a police officer to the tune of Stuck in the Middle with You. I had to cover my eyes for that.

This American Life Live (David Stern) The highlight was Tig Notaro. I think I’m in love.

April 2012

This Must Be The Place (Paolo Sorrentino) Well it’s been a long time since I walked out on a film but I couldn’t stand another minute of Sean Penn’s posturing and crazy voice. A self indulgent movie that was trying way too hard to be quirky. And I’m not buying his 35 year marriage to fire fighting Frances McDormand either. Nor her over the top orgasm. I could go on and on about what’s wrong with this movie but in all fairness I will say that the performance piece by Talking Heads was fabulous.

Gosford Park (Robert Altman) *** DVD. A repeat watching but a nice antidote to This Must Be The Place

Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki) *** DVD. Another film I’ve seen before but it’s so fascinating. I still don’t know whether they’re innocent or guilty, but the police work seemed over zealous.

Le Havre (Ari Kaurismaki) Kind of sweet but nothing special. “Little Bob” looks like he stepped straight out of Twin Peaks.

Worried About the Boy (Julian Jarrold) *** DVD. I love Boy George’s voice so was happy to watch this and even happier when I realised Douglas Booth, Mark Gatiss and Richard Madden were in it.

The Guard (Michael John McDonagh) Great little black comedy

March 2012

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky) ***DVD. Saw it at the movies many years ago but enjoyed watching it again. It’s very funny, but perhaps not intentionally so. Lars is less than likeable, and his dad is a bit of a nutter. The shrink has terrible taste in jumpers and gets a retainer of $40,000 a month to help the band members to talk about their feelings.

Headhunters (Morten Tyldum) Hollywood is so going to do a remake of this film. Lots of tension, and a not exactly believable script, but that didn’t stop me enjoying every minute of it. The guy from Game of Thrones plays a mercenary, so that didn’t hurt either.

Fright Night (Craig Gillespie) *** DVD. I watched this with my son and it was ok. Not my usual taste but David Tennant was displaying a bit of chest and Toni Collette is always good value.

The King of Kong (Seth Gordon) *** DVD. Some of the best documentaries I’ve watched have been about subjects I thought I had zero interest in: When We Were Kings (boxing), Murderball (wheelchair basketball), Touching the Void (mountain climbing), Senna (formula one racing) and now The King of Kong (competitive video gaming). I was rooting for Steve Wiebe as Billy Mitchell appeared to be such a badass loser. Wikipedia tells me that Steve has since released an album of christian songs and had his score beaten by a plastic surgeon named Hank. I wonder if it’s the same surgeon who augmented Billy’s wife’s breastages to the size of zeppelins. The world turns in mysterious ways.

A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg). Oh David, I like your old stuff so much better than your new stuff. Interesting enough but it was just another love story really. Michael Fassbender was ok and so was Viggo Mortensen but Kiera Knightley’s Russian accent was wholly unconvincing.

February 2012

The Boys (Rowan Woods) *** DVD. I watched this film for the second time after seeing the theatre production recently. It’s such a powerful story and the characters are really frightening. David Wenham is particularly chilling as the psychopathic eldest son in a dysfunctional family. Supposedly based on events leading up to the Anita Cobby murder.

American Grindhouse (Elijah Drenner) *** DVD. Lots of film clips from great exploitation movies – I wish they had been longer. Not enough Russ Meyer.

Arj Barker: Balls (Jim Hare) *** DVD. I love Arj Barker, funny as hell and sexy to boot. And after watching this the only things I can think about are his balls.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin). Stars an Olsen who can really act.

Vacancy (Nimrod Antal) *** DVD. This is one of my son’s videos that I watched one night because I felt like lying on the couch and not doing much. Way scarier than I expected.

The Colour Purple (Steven Spielberg) *** DVD. I enjoyed the book years ago but never saw the film. Now I know why. It’s mawkish, sentimental and overly long. Whoopi and Oprah are surprisingly good but the script is lousy.

Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child (Bob Smeaton)

Cocaine Cowboys (Billy Corben) *** DVD. Fascinating. I was riveted by Rivi.

Shame (Steve McQueen)

Touching The Void (Kevin Macdonald) *** DVD. I saw this at the movies when it was released several years ago. It was nail bitingly good and well worth watching again.

January 2012

The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock) *** DVD. A great movie to start off the new year. Lots of overacting and scary scenes. Loved Tippi Hedren’s green suit.

The Iron Lady (Phyllida Lloyd) Meryl Streep is astonishing

Confetti (Debbie Isitt) *** DVD. Rather a sweet mockumentary. The gay wedding planners really steal the show.

Who Is Harry Nilsson? (John Scheinfeld) A talented troubled man with an alcohol problem makes for a sad documentary. Happily, his third marriage was a loving and successful one, producing six children. Lots of interviews with those who knew him, Mickey Dolenz was particularly interesting.

Page One: Inside the New York Times (Andrew Rossi). Gotta love a good documentary.

Autoluminescent (Richard Lowenstein & Lynn-Maree Milburn)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson)

Weekend (Andrew Haigh)

December 2011

Here I Am (Beck Cole) *** DVD. There were some very tender moments in this film about Aboriginal mothers and daughters.

Restless (Gus Van Sant). Dennis Hopper’s son stars in this film along with Australian actress Mia Wasikowska. It was okay but not Gus Van Sant’s best film by a long shot

The Happening (M. Night Shyamalan) *** DVD. This film is excruciatingly awful

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson) *** DVD Quirky and sweet. I think Wes Anderson and the crew had a lot of fun making this.

Jean de Florette (Claude Berri) *** DVD. An oldie but a goodie. Gerard Depardieu is so young, Yves Montand is a handsome old rogue and Daniel Auteuil is just very strange. Now I’ll have to watch Manon des Sources again.

The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodovar) A slow start, but it really picks up in the second half. Loved it.

November 2011

Scream 4 (Wes Craven) *** DVD. Yes, okay, I admit I watched this. Guiltily.

Bill Cunningham’s New York (Richard Press). What a lovely man Bill Cunningham is and Editta Sherman is fantastic too

The Ides of March (George Clooney)

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector (Vikram Jayanti) *** DVD. Fascinating documentary with great archival footage. He really was a musical genius.

October 2011

The Hunter (Daniel Nettheim)

The Station Agent (Thomas McCarthy) *** DVD. I’d seen this before but it was well worth watching a second time

Foo Fighters: Back and Forth (James Moll)

Hoop Dreams (Steve James) *** DVD

Source Code (Duncan Jones)

Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols). I wanted to like this but it was just too slow. Good acting by the two leads but it wasn’t enough to sustain my interest.

A Life Apart (Menachem Daum & Oren Rudavsky) *** DVD

Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen). Sweet enough but not memorable

September 2011

Life in a Day (Kevin Macdonald, Natalie Andreadis, Joseph Michael)

Pretty Baby (Louis Malle) *** DVD

13 Assassins (Takashi Miike) Another Samurai film, nothing special about it.

Submarine (Richard Ayoade) All around me in the theatre people were laughing and this film certainly has its comic moments. But it’s bitter sweet and it made me cry. I’m not having a very good week.

Secrets of State (Philippe Haim) *** DVD

The Big Lebowski (Coen Brothers) *** DVD

I Spit On Your Grave (Steven R Monroe) Violent and horrific

August 2011

The Conspirator (Robert Redford) I don’t know how close to the truth this was, but I found it enjoyable

The Invention of Dr Nakamats (Kaspar Astrup Schroder) *** DVD. Hilarious

Children of Heaven (Majid Majidi) *** DVD I’d seen it before but still enjoyed watching it a second time. Zahra is adorable.

Senna (Asif Kapadia) I had no interest in Formula One but this documentary was fascinating from start to finish, including the race sequences. So sad to watch his worried face in the final trials when he knew the car was not handling at its best. The rivalry between Senna and Prost was also interesting, especially as Prost was one of his pall bearers and is involved in the NGO founded by Senna’s family after his death. Highly recommended!

Burlesque (Steve Antin) *** DVD. Gorgeous costumes and Alan Cumming. What more can I say?

Notes on a Scandal (Richard Eyre) *** DVD. Seen it before but Judi Dench is so deliciously nasty I had to watch it again

July 2011

The Trip (Michael Winterbottom) Very very funny, I laughed till I hiccupped.

Manhattan (Woody Allen) *** DVD. One of his best!

The Adjustment Bureau (George Nolfi) The concept was good but the silly hats annoyed me

The Lincoln Lawyer (Brad Furman) Ok but a bit too much like a telemovie

Win Win (Thomas McCarthy) Kind of sweet

Jane Eyre (Cary Fukunaga) I don’t know how many versions of Jane Eyre I’ve seen, but this would be up there with the best of them

June 2011

Budrus (Julia Bacha) Great documentary showing how non violent protests saved a Palestinian village from Israeli occupation. I especially liked it when Israeli activists also joined the Palestinians in their stand.

Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Robert Altman) *** DVD. An early Altman film adapted from a play. It has a very stagey feel to it, but seems to have stood the test of time. Love the final scenes of the abandoned store twenty years later.

Snowtown (Justin Kurzel) I need time to process this excellent and horrifying film about one of Australia’s worst serial killers. The depiction of life in a housing commission suburb is way too real for comfort. Lucas Pittaway as one of the young accomplices probably has a great future ahead of him.

Tabloid (Errol Morris) Excellent!

Aeon Flux (Karyn Kusama) *** DVD Not the sort of movie I usually watch but I liked it. Mainly because the costumes were great and Charlize Theron was so damn gorgeous

City of Life and Death (Chuan Lu) One of the best war films I’ve seen

May 2011

Witness for the Prosecution (Billy Wilder) *** DVD An oldie but a goodie

Feux Rouges (Cedric Kahn) *** DVD

The Short Films of Francois Ozon *** DVD The first film, See the Sea, is intriguing, stylistic and horrifying. I watched it again straight away. La Petit Mort was also very interesting, all the films are beautifully shot.

Incendies (Denis Villeneuve) It’s an intriguing story but there are an awful lot of coincidences in it. Some horrific scenes of what people are capable of when fighting a religious war; great Radiohead soundtrack. I guessed the surprise ending about halfway through but judging from the gasps in the cinema not many others did.

Talhotblond (Barbara Schroeder) *** DVD A true and scary cautionary tale about the lies people tell online. Featuring the mother from hell.

Por Tu Culpa (Anahi Berneri) Thought I didn’t like this film, and certainly didn’t like any of the characters, but it prompted such an intense discussion between my friend and I later that I half changed my mind. If a film makes you reflect upon and question your beliefs then it’s worth the price of the ticket.

Mr Death ( Errol Morris) *** DVD. I’d seen this documentary before but it was well worth watching a second time

April 2011

Barney’s Version (Richard J Lewis) I’d actually bought tickets to see Biutiful but went into the wrong cinema by mistake and saw this instead. It’s surprisingly good and very funny/sad. Dustin Hoffman’s son looks so much like his father and the use of Leonard Cohen’s song “I’m Your Man” was an excellent touch.

I’ve Never Been Happier (Alexander Adolph)

Shallow Grave (Danny Boyle) *** DVD. One of my favourite black comedies from the 1990s

Heartbeats (Xavier Dolan) I wasn’t very impressed with the first hour of this film but it all seemed to come together in the last 20 minutes. The director also wrote the script and played a starring role and he’s only 22! Great costumes and excellent soundtrack

Up in the Air (Jason Reitman) *** DVD

Biutiful (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu) Beautiful indeed

A Film with Me in It (Ian Fitzgibbon) “Nobody dies by chandelier Mark”

How I Ended This Summer (Aleksei Popogerbsky)

Communion (Philippe Mora) *** DVD Truly awful, as is Christopher Walken’s hair. And yes, he did mange to do a little dance.

Melinda and Melinda (Woody Allen) *** DVD

Demonlover (Olivier Assayas) *** DVD

The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson) *** DVD

March 2011

I Love You Phillip Morris (Glenn Ficcara & John Requa) Based on an extraordinary true story – I really wanted to like it but Jim Carrey just couldn’t convince me. Or maybe it was his horrible haircut that was too distracting

Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell) I know it’s only March but this may be my Film of the Year.

The Loved Ones (Sean Byrne) The horror movie to end all horror movies! Don’t watch this in the dark alone.

Last Days (Gus Van Sant) *** DVD. There are some beautiful scenes in this film, especially towards the end. Not a lot happens though, you probably need to be a fan of Gus Van Sant to appreciate the subtlety.

Office Killer (Cindy Sherman) *** DVD. I liked this better the first time I saw it. Still funny and macabre, it does feel a little dated now.

Ticked Off Trannies With Knives (Israel Luna)

Planet Terror (Robert Rodriguez) *** DVD Schlock horror, not really my thing

February 2011

Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky) Usually I love his films but this was really disappointing. I got so sick of close ups of Natalie Portman’s face. Okay she’s beautiful – I get it, but as Shaw says, beauty is all very well but who looks at it after it’s been in the house for three days?

The Fighter (David O Russell) Watch Christian Bale act his socks off.

Team America (Trey Parker) *** DVD

Into Thin Air (Robert Markowitz) *** DVD. The book was fantastic, this made-for-television movie was only soso.

Nowhere Boy (Sam Taylor-Wood) *** DVD. I really liked this film, felt so sad for John Lennon, though I think he was probably a bit of a prick in real life.

January 2011

Dark Habits (Pedro Almodovar) *** DVD. Lesbian nuns take drugs and raise tigers

Day Zero (Bryan Gunnar Cole) *** DVD

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (Edgar Wright)

I Think We’re Alone Now (Sean Donnelly) I watched this film at Sydney’s best underground cinema, the Mu Meson Archives. This documentary has got everything; failed pop stars, deluded fans, transgendered runners, conspiracy theories, tinfoil hats, true love with a twist….. tragic, funny and ever so slightly scary.

Law Of Desire (Pedro Almodovar) *** DVD

Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier) *** DVD When I first saw this in 1996 I thought it was the best film of the decade. After re-watching it tonight I find my opinion hasn’t changed.

Somewhere (Sofia Coppola) Unbearably dull. Stephen Dorff has no charisma whatsoever.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy) *** DVD. I usually hate musicals but I’ll make an exception for this beautifully stylised film. The colours and the French wallpapers are amazing.

Another Year (Mike Leigh) Sofia Coppola should take lessons from Mike Leigh. This is a film where not a lot happens but it’s still completely engrossing. Excellent.

December 2010

Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock) *** DVD. Grace Kelly is so beautiful in this film it’s hard to take your eyes off her. Edith Head did a sensational job with the costumes too

The Brothers Bloom (Rian Johnson) *** DVD

Gangs of New York (Martin Scorsese) *** DVD. How long is this film?????

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr Hunter S Thompson (Alex Gibney) *** DVD. He may have been crazy as a cut snake but I still harbour a crush on the late great Hunter S Thompson

Love and Other Drugs (Edward Zwick)

What Have I Done to Deserve This? (Pedro Almodovar) *** DVD

Life During Wartime (Todd Solondz) Not as good as its prequel, Happiness, but still weird enough to be enjoyable. No one makes films about paedophilia quite like Todd Solondz.

November 2010

Brighton Rock (John Boulting) *** DVD. Richard Attenborough is pretty menacing as the psychopathic teenage thug. Interesting how Graham Greene always manages to bring catholicism into all his stories. Apparently this film has been remade with Helen Mirren and Sam Riley. He’ll have big shoes to fill.

Antichrist (Lars Von Trier) *** DVD. I have no idea what to say about this film. A beautiful opening sequence followed by some ridiculous dialogue, strong acting, over-the-top torture porn, amazing cinematography. At times I was bored and almost turned it off. Strange, ugly, maudlin and occasionally beautiful film.

Gainsbourg (Joann Sfar) I didn’t really like this film much. But I was amazed at how much Laetitia Casta resembled Brigitte Bardot

The Social Network (David Fincher) This story behind the creation of Facebook is fascinating

A Crude Awakening (Basil Gelpke & Ray McCormack) *** DVD

Circo (Aaron Schock)

The Brave One (Neil Jordan) *** DVD

Taken (Pierre Morel) *** DVD. Entirely predictable

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik) Excellent! Great acting with seriously scary people. And I have an official crush on John Hawkes

October 2010

Clash of the Titans (Louis Leterrier) Awful. Even Mads Mikkelsen couldn’t save it. And I counted at least 6 different accents; weren’t they all supposed to be Greeks?

Serenity (Joss Whedon) *** DVD. Ok so I’ve seen this movie at least three times now but it never really grows old. Plus I needed a quick antidote to Clash of the Titans.

Pornography: A Thriller (David Kittredge) The advertising for this film was “If you’re looking for a gay David Lynch-styled film this is it”. I wanted to like it but I was just too confused and it didn’t live up to the DL comparison.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodovar) *** DVD Funny in an over-the-top Spanish kind of way.

The Town (Ben Affleck)

The Laramie Project (Moises Kaufman) *** DVD

Wild Palms (Peter Hewitt) ***DVD. Yet again, a cover blurb which compares it to Twin Peaks. Yet again, it doesn’t even come close.

Intermezzo (Gregory Ratoff) *** DVD. So melodramatic. And the two adulterers sleep in separate rooms – to keep the censors of 1939 happy I suppose. No matter, Ingrid Bergman is still simply luminous.

Noel (Chazz Palminteri) ***DVD. Jut how bad can a movie be if it stars Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz and Alan Arkin? Very very very bad indeed.

September 2010

Out of the Blue (Robert Sarkies) *** DVD. Based on the true story of the Aramoana murders. It happened very close to where I grew up.

Boy (Taika Waititi) I loved loved loved this film. Funny and sweet and sad with the best accents in the world.

Yojimbo (Akira Kurosawa) *** DVD. It’s very theatrical like all Kurosawa’s films. The music and cinematography are great.

Ugetsu (Kenji Muzoguchi) *** DVD. Another Japanese film with beautiful cinematography.

Please Give (Nicole Holofcener) I love films about flawed characters living in New York. Catherine Keener is so watchable.

Winnebago Man (Ben Steinbauer) *** DVD. Ummm…. interesting enough but not very satisfying

The Disappearance of Anna Creed (J Blakeson) Scary edge of your seat stuff. I like Martin Compston a lot

The Reluctant Infidel ( Josh Appignanesi) Worst film I’ve seen this year

August 2010

Inception (Christopher Nolan)

Mr In-Between (Paul Sarossy) Hammy acting, bad script. The book it was based on might be ok though as the story had potential.

Big Fish (Tim Burton) *** DVD. Lots of people love this film but it’s too cheesy and Hollywood for me. I’m sick of Helena Bonham Carter turning up in every Tim Burton movie. Billy Crudup has nice freckles.

Blind Flight (John Furse) *** DVD. I read An Evil Cradling several years ago and was fascinated and appalled by what Brian Keenan and John McCarthy endured when they were kidnapped and held prisoner in Beirut for nearly five years. The film captures much of the tension and emotion of the book, it’s surprisingly good.

Exit Through the Gift Store (Banksy). I don’t know if Thierry Guetta is real or just a figment of Banksy’s imagination but in this documentary he’s a tosser who makes unoriginal art and sells it for thousands to gullible he appears to be a tosser who sells unoriginal art to celebrity chasers. Fun film though and Banksy probably had a good time making it.

The Killer Inside Me (Michael Winterbottom) Ok it’s pretty violent and won’t be to everyone’s taste but I loved this film. Winterbottom has only made one bad movie (9 Songs) and Casey Affleck can do no wrong. Kate Hudson didn’t seem right in her role but Jessica Alba burns up the screen.

Mesrine Part 2 Public Enemy (Jean-Francois Richet) *** DVD Ever since I saw Part 1 I’ve been desperate to watch Part 2; it’s every bit as good as the first film. And Vincent Cassel really knows how to rock a pair of sideburns

July 2010

The Runaways (Floria Sigismondi)

Rendition (Gavin Hood) *** DVD

Lila Lila (Alain Gsponer) *** DVD

Monkey Grip (Ken Cameron) *** DVD. I still like this Australian film from 1982. Noni Hazelhurst, Colin Friels and Alice Garner are all so young! The lifestyle reminds me a lot of my own hippie years in share houses

A Single Man (Tom Ford) It was ok but I didn’t love this film as much as everyone else seemed to

Andrew Jenks, Room 335 (Andrew Jenks) *** DVD. This is a small but moving documentary about what it’s like to be in an Assisted Living facility. The young film maker and his camera crew move in for a month and get to know the elderly residents in ways that will charm and surprise you.

The King and the Clown (Jun-ik Lee) *** DVD. Apparently everyone was bloodthirsty and wore crazy hats in 15th century Seoul. They laughed at strange jokes and had gender issues and mother complexes. Much like today but even more incomprehensible.

The Deep End (Scott McGehee & David Siegel) *** DVD. I first saw this film at the Angelika Film Centre in NYC just after September 11. At the time I thought it was absolutely gripping and watching it again now I was just as enthralled. Tilda Swinton is spellbinding and Goran Visnjic makes me weak at the knees.

Teeth (Mitchell Lichenstein) *** DVD. Part cult horror, part satire, this is kind of silly but I laughed and squawked in horror once or twice. A great song by Chuck Prophet plays over the credits at the end.

Greenberg (Noah Baumbach) Great characters and great dialogue. I want that neurotic Ben Stiller in my bed tonight.

La Chambre Des Morts (Alfred Lot)

Taken (Pierre Morel) *** DVD. So predictable

June 2010

Wordplay (Patrick Creadon) *** DVD I really enjoyed this documentary, nerds are such endearing people. Yay for crosswords!

Your Friends and Neighbours (Neil LaBute) *** DVD LaBute writes about nasty people doing nasty things. Catherine Keener is good in this but everyone else gave me the shits

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold) Great film and I now have a major crush on Michael Fassbender

The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski)

Exam (Stuart Hazeldine) *** DVD

We Own the Night (James Gray) *** DVD

The Last Station (Michael Hoffman)

Loft (Erik Van Looy) *** DVD

Easy Virtue (Stephan Elliott) *** DVD

May 2010

44 Inch Chest (Malcolm Venville) I would watch Ian McShane in anything!

The White Ribbon (Michael Heneke) Heneke’s work always enthralls me. I loved Funny Games and Hidden and this film is every bit as good

The Concert (Radu Mihaileanu) There are so many farcical moments in the first hour of this film that I almost walked out – the Russian wedding scene was embarrassingly overdone. But the music was beautiful and I unexpectedly shed a tear towards the end. It’s not as good a film as I’d been led to believe by others who’d seen it first; I’ll have forgotten all about it by tomorrow whereas I’m still thinking about The White Ribbon

Tristram Shandy (Michael Winterbottom) *** DVD

Death Race 2000 (Paul Bartel) *** DVD Crazy cult movie with Stallone hamming it up and Carradine showing quite a bit of chest. Well that’s one reason to watch it, the cheesy music and crap continuity are two more. It’s so bad it’s good.

The Notorious Bettie Page (Mary Harron) *** DVD Gretchen Mol is great as Bettie; loved the 50s costumes by John Dunn who also worked on Mad Men

Animal Kingdom (David Michod) Wow – this Australian crime drama really blew me away, I was on the edge of my seat during a couple of scenes. Jackie Weaver and Ben Mendelsohn playing a nasty matriarch and her sociopathic son deserve AFI awards

April 2010

Death to Smoochy (Danny de Vito) *** DVD. Awful

Real Women Have Curves (Patricia Cardoso) *** DVD

What About Me (Rachel Amodeo) *** DVD

Who The #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? (Harry Moses) *** DVD

The Quiet American (Phillip Noyce) *** DVD I’ve seen this before but it’s a lovely film and the cinematography is gorgeous so I was happy to watch it again

Wonderland (James Cox) *** DVD

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Niels Arden Oplev) I really liked this film and its two protagonists though there were some unexpected Hollywood moments. And I was somewhat surprised that someone who was sentenced to 6 months in jail was allowed to travel from Sweden to Australia to carry out an investigation, maybe their laws are different to ours.

Get Ready To Be Boyzvoiced (Espen Eckbo & Henrik Elvestad) *** DVD This Norwegian satire is hilarious. Espen Eckbo plays four different characters as well as writing and directing, it’s like a “boy bands” version of This Is Spinal Tap only the songs are funnier!

Champion (Mark Robson) *** DVD

The Day Will Come (Susanne Schneider) A relentless daughter tracks down her ex terrorist German mother who has created a new life for herself in France

March 2010

L’ennemi Intime (Florent Emilio Siri) *** DVD. Film about the French-Algerian war, sad and brutal.

The Road (John Hillcoat) I really have to start watching more comedies

Bliss (Ray Lawrence) *** DVD

The Holiday (Nancy Meyers) *** DVD. Why do I always feel dirty after I’ve watched a chick flick? This was the usual corny mush with pretty stars. The normally charming Kate Winslett looked like she could do with a good shampoo. How is it possible to have a bad hair day for an entire movie?

Five Minutes of Heaven (Oliver Hirschbiegel). Wow – I left the cinema feeling like I’d been through the wringer with this one. Hirschbiegel directed Downfall so I already knew he was good. He really really knows how to build tension and Liam Neeson excels in his portrayal of a man living with thirty years of guilt.

The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow) Yeah it’s good, but I don’t know if it deserved all those Oscars.

February 2010

Nine (Rob Marshall) I lasted 90 minutes so no one can say I didn’t give this a fair go. But seriously….. what a lot of self indulgent codswallop

Edge of Darkness (Martin Campbell)

Precious (Lee Daniels) I loved the book and I loved this film

Empire of the Wolves (Chris Nahon)*** DVD

Un Prophete (Jacques Audiard)

Blueprint (Rolf Schubel)*** DVD

Grey Gardens (Michael Sucsy) *** DVD. Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange are extraordinary in their portrayal of Big and Little Edie. Amazing resemblance and the accents were perfect. Almost as riveting as the original documentary

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese)

January 2010

Los Abrazos Rotos (Pedro Almodovar) I love all his films and this one was no exception. Penelope Cruz was gorgeous as usual.

Fantastic Mr Fox (Wes Anderson) Adorable!

Wah-Wah (Richard E Grant) *** DVD This film caught me by surprise. Having been married many years ago to an alcoholic, it was a little too close to home, all those horrible nights of drunkenness followed by mornings of remorse and broken promises. Nicholas Hoult is terrific, so is Gabriel Byrne and the rest of the cast. I spent the last half hour in tears, watching a much loved man die of cancer is, again, too close to real life for me.

The Lovely Bones (Peter Jackson) I liked this a lot more than I expected to. It’s hard to make a film from a novel especially when what goes on in the protagonist’s mind is so important and I think Peter Jackson has done as good a job as anyone could with that difficulty. The cinematography is lovely, the acting is good and the choice of This Mortal Coil’s version of Song to the Siren is very apt. If you’ve seen and liked Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures you’ll probably like this too

The French Kissers (Riad Sattouf)

Margot at the Wedding (Noah Baumbach)*** DVD What a strange little film, full of brittle characters. Zane Pais as Nicole Kidman’s son was very good.

The Nines (John August) *** DVD I hated Part 1 of this film, but it started to come together in Part 2 and by Part 3 I liked it. Interesting script.

December 2009

Cat O’ Nine Tails (Dario Argento) *** DVD

Gone (Ringan Ledridge) Sure to scare a few British backpackers off coming to Australia)

Away We Go (Sam Mendes) Oh Sam, Sam, what happened between Revolutionary Road and this piece of sentimental tripe?

Jamaica Inn (Alfred Hitchcock) *** DVD Not one of Hitchcock’s best

The Invisible Circus (Adam Brooks) *** DVD

Mesrine: L’instinct de mort (Jean-Francois Richet) I love Vincent Cassell even or maybe especially when he’s playing a bad guy. And Mesrine was a very very bad guy indeed. Fascinating film.

Russian Dolls (Cedric Klapisch) *** DVD

Sherlock Holmes (Guy Ritchie)

November 2009

Things We Lost in the Fire (Susanne Bier) *** DVD

The Box (Richard Kelly) I spent the entire film wondering what was wrong with Cameron Diaz’s face

Salute (Matt Norman)

A Serious Man (Coen Brothers) So Jewish, so black, so dry… what’s not to like?

The Boys are Back (Scott Hicks)

Fahrenheit 451 (Francois Truffaut) *** DVD

October 2009

Che: Part One (Steven Soderbergh)

Lonesome Jim (Steve Buscemi) *** DVD I loved this melancholy little film. And I think I’ve got a crush on Casey Affleck.

Moon (Duncan Jones)

Departures (Yojiro Takita) A lovely meditation on death, music, food and love

Grey Gardens (David & Albert Maysles) *** DVD. Fascinating documentary about “Big” and “Little” Edie Beale. Dysfunctional doesn’t even begin to describe their relationship

Whatever Works (Woody Allen) I love Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm but this movie Did Not Work for me. Whatever.

The Mirror (Andre Tarkovsky) *** DVD The imagery that Tarkovsky uses is indescribably beautiful; my favourite Russian director ever

Trouble (Harry Cleven) *** DVD

An Education (Loni Scherfig) Carey Mulligan is gorgeous

September 2009

Taking Woodstock (Ang Lee)

The Young Victoria (Jean-Marc Vallee)

Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino) I guess it was funny enough but did it have to be so long…… I mean really Quentin, two and a half hours?

The Damned (Joseph Losey) *** DVD The British made some awful films in the 60s and this is one of them. Oliver Reed was such a ham actor.

Blessed (Ana Kokkinos) I cried. Then I came home and cried some more. Very sad film.

Right Hand of the Devil (Aram Katcher) *** DVD

August 2009

Obsessed (Steve Shill)

Kleine Fische (Marco Antoniazzi)

Murderer (Roy Chow Hin-Yeung) Wonderfully over the top Chinese horror comedy. I screamed out loud twice in the first hour then spent the last hour laughing my head off

Perfect Stranger (James Foley) *** DVD

The International (Tom Tykwer)

Le Code a Change (Daniele Thompson)

Bronson (Nicolas Refn) Oh my. What to say about this dramatised biography except I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. Horribly compelling.

District 9 (Neil Blomkamp) Scary, gory and a lot of fun

Beautiful Kate (Rachel Ward)

July 2009

The African Queen (John Huston) *** DVD Am I the only who thinks this film is terrible? Katherine Hepburn is great but Bogie’s performance made me cringe. And what’s with his terrifying tombstone teeth?

Coco avant Chanel (Anne Fontaine)

Vesnicko Ma Strediskova (Jiri Menzel) *** DVD. Another of the Czech films lent to me by a patient, not as good as Divided We Fall, but sweet and interesting. I think the Czech style of comedy takes a bit of getting used to.

Noodle (Ayelet Menahemi) A lovely little Israeli film

Another Day in Paradise (Larry Clark) *** DVD

Bruno (Larry Charles) After enjoying Borat I was disappointed and bored with what is basically just a series of linked sketches. The Palestine-Israel segment was embarrassing and all of the film’s funny bits can be seen in the trailer. What’s good about it? Bruno does have gorgeous arms, I’d like to lick them.

Winged Creatures (Rowan Woods)

Two Lovers (James Gray)

The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch) I know this film won’t be for everybody as it has no real plot but for me Jim Jarmusch can do no wrong. I loved it.

June 2009

Maria Full of Grace (Joshua Marston) *** DVD I’d seen this film before but it was well worth watching again

Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone) Violent but engrossing. I also really liked the soundtrack.

Horem Padem (Jan Hrebejk) *** DVD One of my Slovakian patients lent me this strange little fim.  I’m not sure whether it was a comedy or a drama, but it’s very black. Quite odd but I liked it.

Divided We Fall (Jan Hrebejk) *** DVD Another film by the same director, this one was even better. With a twist.

Sunshine Cleaning (Christine Jeffs) I loved this film. Great acting, great story and a fabulous New Zealand director

Katyn (Andrzej Wajda) I’m ashamed to say I fell asleep in the middle of this film. I know it was a worthy film but I just couldn’t engage with the characters. Would have preferred to watch it as a one hour documentary rather than a two hour dramatisation.

12 and Holding (Michael Cuesta) *** DVD Really enjoyed this, the young actors were fabulous and the story sad but so engaging

The Mother (Roger Michell) *** DVD Have seen this film before and was no less uncomfortable watching it a second time. Everyone in it is so self centred, it’s like watching a car crash and you just can’t turn away. Daniel Craig is excellent as the handyman all the women fall for. Anne Reid’s role as the mother made me cringe. I hate watching women who try to smother a man with love and barter for his affection

Disgrace (Steve Jacobs) I loved this book but something about the film really alienated me. Critics are raving about John Malkovich’s performance but I thought his character abrasive and unsympathetic.

Backstage (Emmanuelle Bercot) *** DVD These people all deserved each other. Except for the baby, she didn’t deserve any of it.

May 2009

Eagle Eye (D J Caruso) *** DVD Anyone who knows me knows that this dvd was not my choice but I gave it my best shot. Preposterous.

Mary and Max (Adam Elliot) Clay animation at its best. I loved the quirky characters, especially Mary’s mother as played by Renee Geyer

The President’s Last Bang (Sang-su Im)

Samson and Delilah (Warwick Thornton) Fabulous, fabulous film.

The Home Song Stories (Tony Ayres) *** DVD I didn’t see this at the cinema when it came out which is a shame as the suburban shots would look great on a big screen. A sad story told well, Joan Chen is beautiful as the tragic mother, but the little boy steals the show.

Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman). Mesmerising. Can’t say that I understood it, though it seemed to be saying life is sad and then you die. I cried.

What Just Happened? (Barry Levinson) I read the book earlier this year and was irritated by the restaurant conversations that bookended the story. Thankfully they were missing from the film which is pretty funny and has revived my crush on De Niro.

Manderlay (Lars von Trier) *** DVD

My Year Without Sex (Sarah Watt)

Pups (Ash) *** DVD

April 2009

Of Time and the City (Terence Davies)

Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt)

Layer Cake (Matthew Vaughn) *** DVD

A Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami) *** DVD I was initially confused by this Iranian film but it stayed in my head for a couple of days and made me want to see more of the director’s work

The Portrait of a Lady (Jane Campion) *** DVD I’m not a fan of Nicole Kidman but I love Henry James and this novel of his makes a great film

Tulpan (Sergei Dvortsevoy) I loved this film. Why anyone would want to tend sheep and live in such a windy place as Kazakhastan is beyond my comprehension. The scene with a veterinarian is pretty funny and the kids are adorable. Just wish the little girl didn’t sing so much.

MARCH 2009

The Hard Word (Scott Roberts) *** DVD

Dean Spanley (Toa Fraser)

Suburban Mayhem (Paul Goldman) *** DVD  Second time I’ve seen this movie and I still think it’s great. Emily Barclay is the wickedest sexy psychopath you never want to cross paths with.

Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson) Not usually a fan of the vampire genre but I think this is my favourite film of the year so far. The beautiful imagery reminded me of the films of Tarkovsky and the two child stars are just so good. I have a small issue with one scene towards the end which verged on farcical but otherwise it was nearly perfect 5/5

Red Eye (Wes Craven) *** DVD Too farfetched, Cillian Murphy looked ridiculous, don’t know how he played it with a straight face.

Duplicity (Tony Gilroy) Well I was mightily confused for most of the time but it was still enjoyable. Clive Owen is delectable.


Doubt (John Patrick Shanley)

Revolutionary Road (Sam Mendes) Such a beautiful but sad movie

Levity (Ed Solomon) *** DVD

Entre les murs (The Class) (Laurent Cantent) I LOVED this film

The Reader (Stephen Daldry)

The Changeling (Clint Eastwood). Too long, but I liked this film more than I thought I would.

Frozen River (Courtney Hunt) Excellent. Melissa Leo should have won the Oscar for this.


A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (Dito Montiel) *** DVD

Bad Education (Pedro Almodovar) *** DVD I first saw this on a huge screen at an outdoor theatre with a view of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge but it didn’t lose any of its magic watching it again on DVD. My favourite Almodovar film and that’s really saying something

Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg) *** DVD I’ve also seen this movie before but Cronenberg is always rewarding and Jeremy Irons has nice legs

Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard) My first trip to the cinema for 2009 was a great way to start the year. Even knowing in advance how the interviews turn out doesn’t stop this film from being suspenseful right to the end. Frank Langella is amazing as Nixon. And the makeup artist deserves an Oscar too.

City of Ghosts (Matt Dillon) *** DVD

Rogue (Greg McLean) *** DVD

The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky) Micky Rourke proves he’s still got balls

Clockwatchers (Jill Sprecher) *** DVD (A strange little film – definitely not the comedy it was billed as)

Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood) I don’t usually like CE but this was a very good movie. Loved the scene where Clint and his barber friend teach the Hmong boy how to talk like a man.

Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle)

Milk (Gus Van Sant)


Roman De Gare (Claude Lelouch) Farfetched but who cares? I loved it anyway

Gypo (Jan Dunn) *** DVD Do British hooligans really assault female Czech refugees in the street? I found this kitchen sink drama hard to watch, even with Paul McGann (Withnail and I) in it. Maybe I just don’t want to believe that people can behave this badly.

Em 4 Jay (Alkinos Tsilimidos) *** DVD Can’t imagine a lot of my readers wanting to watch this film because of its subject matter (junkies) but the acting is superb and the downward spiral so believable. Totally realistic and great soundtrack from the Black Keys.

I’ve Loved You So Long (Philippe Claudel) Kristin Scott Thomas is fabulous but the story is not very believable

Hairspray (Adam Shankman)*** DVD

Hairspray (John Waters)*** DVD I watched these two dvds back to back. they’re both fun but there’s no one quite like John Waters. Or Divine.

The World’s Fastest Indian (Roger Donaldson) *** DVD

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody Allen)

Memoirs of a Geisha (Rob Marshall) *** DVD


Burn After Reading (Coen Brothers)

Clean (Olivier Assayas) *** DVD I wanted to like this but I just couldn’t

Celebrity: Dominick Dunne (Timothy Jolley & Kirsty De Garis) I love a good documentary and this one had the extra bonus of lots of Hollywood gossip and a villain or two as well)

Hunger (Steve McQueen) Fantastic film, great acting, great directing. I found it immensely moving but you’ll need a strong stomach for the violence depicted in the jail)

The Wackness (Jonathon Levine) I loved this film!!!!!

Let the Music Play (George Scott) Interesting but ultimately sad documentary about the life and music of Barry White. His death was particularly tragic with his family being denied hospital visitation rights by his partner at the time who had just given birth to a child. Many biographical sources on the net still list Barriana as one of his daughters but DNA testing later proved this to be incorrect.

American Teen ( Nanette Berstein)


Final Cut (Ray Burdis and Dominic Anciano) *** DVD

This Filthy World (Jeff Garlin) *** DVD (John Waters always makes me laugh)

Jesus Camp (Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady) *** DVD

Towelhead (Alan Ball) (Some great acting in this film and Summer Bishil is a joy to watch too)

After the Wedding (Susanne Bier) *** DVD

Man on Wire (James Marsh)

How to Eat your Watermelon in White Company (Joe Angio) *** DVD (Great documentary about Melvin Van Peebles. Maybe if he was still working on the stock market it would be in better shape :-))

The Chumscrubber (Arie Posin) *** DVD


The Visitor (Thomas McCarthy)

Kurosawa (Adam Low) *** (DVD)

He Was a Quiet Man (Frank Cappello) *** (DVD) (very very weird film. but still intriguing)

Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman) I LOVED this film

The Page Turner (Denis Dercourt) *** (DVD) I’m a sucker for slow French films with ambiguous endings

Two English Girls (Francois Truffaut) *** (DVD) Not one of his better films

Bitter and Twisted (Christopher Weekes)

In Bruges (Martin McDonagh)

Caramel (Nadine Labaki) Too saccharine for my taste


Up the Yangtze (Yung Chang)

The Bank Job (Roger Donaldson)

You, the Living (Roy Andersson)

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? (Morgan Spurlock)

Team America (Trey Parker) *** DVD

Look Both Ways (Sarah Watt) *** DVD


Finding Forrester (Gus Van Sant)

The Orphanage (Juan Antonio Bayona)

Untraceable (Gregory Hoblit) *** DVD – Nasty

21 (Robert Luketic) *** DVD – So predictable, there were no surprises at all in this formulaic plot

Happy Go Lucky (Mike Leigh) – I loved this movie

Married Life (Ira Sachs)

The Savages (Tamara Jenkins)


Musica Surfica (Mick Sowry) *** DVD – One of the best things about blogging is that you ‘meet’ people you would never otherwise find. Mick sent me a copy of his doco after reading a comment I left on sexwax blog. his film is a fantastic mix of surfing (on finless boards) and ‘classical’ music arranged by the hugely talented violinist and surfer, Richard Tognetti. Highly recommended!

Surfwise (Doug Pray)

Annie Leibovitz: Life through a Lens (Barbara Leibovitz)

Enquete (Franck Mancusco)

The Counterfeiters (Stefan Ruzowitzky)

Vantage Point (Pete Travis) *** DVD I watched this on the plane to Barcelona – the worst film I´ve seen since I Am Legend. To be avoided.

Cleaner (Renny Harlin) *** DVD

Charlie Wilson´s War (Mike Nichols) *** DVD

Lisbon Story (Wim Wenders) *** DVD


This Divided State (Steven Greenstreet) *** DVD

Edge of Heaven (Fatih Akin)

Taxi To the Dark Side (Alex Gibney) – engrossing and deeply disturbing

Deception (Marcel Langenegger)

Que Tan Lejos (Tania Hermida)

Un Secret (Claude Miller)

Monique (Valerie Guignabodet) *** DVD


The Shining (Stanley Kubrick) *** (DVD)

Lars and the Real Girl (Craig Gillespie)

Breach (Billy Ray) *** (DVD)

Crush (Alison Maclean) *** (DVD) – truly awful, to be avoided)

Hana-Bi (Takeshi Kitano) *** (DVD)

Hollywoodland (Allen Coulter) *** (DVD)

Gone Baby Gone (Ben Affleck)

Infamous (Douglas McGrath) *** (DVD)

The Music of Chance (Philip Haas) *** DVD

You Are Not Alone (Bernd Bohlich)

Stay (Marc Forster) *** DVD

Special Escort (Maggie Peren)


In the Valley of Elah (Paul Haggis)

Gerry (Gus Van Sant – there is a retrospective of his films showing in sydney at the moment. I missed this one the first time round, was good to finally see it)

There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson)

La Maison (Manuel Poirier)

Apres Lui (Gael Moral)

In the Shadow of the Moon (David Sington)

Stranger Than Fiction (Marc Forster)*** DVD

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Sidney Lumet)

The Other Boleyn Girl (Justin Chadwick)


Lust, Caution (Ang Lee)

Sweeny Todd (Tim Burton)

Shelter (Jonah Markowitz)

U & Me & Tennessee (Paul Birchard)


Into the Wild (Sean Penn)

No Country for Old Men (Coen Bros)

Atonement (Joe Wright)

I’m Not There (Todd Haynes)

I Am Legend (dull dull dull – I don’t know why I let myself be persuaded to see this)

The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson)

The Kite Runner (Marc Forster)

Narco: The Adventures of Gustave Klopp (Tristan Aurouet & Gilles Lellouche) *** (DVD)

2 Days in Paris (Julie Delpy)

Juno (Jason Reitman)

Published on January 5, 2008 at 12:22 am  Comments (80)  

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80 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Will these all be films you see at the cinema this year, or will older films on dvd also be included?

  2. I think I’ll just do cinema films. but you never know… if I watch a particularly good dvd it might get included.

    I’ve changed my mind and included dvds as well because I watched so many when my internet connection was down for a whole month!

  3. have you ever watched “THe Night Listener?” One of the best movies I’ve rented and had never even heard of it.

  4. no I haven’t but I looked it up on imdb and am interested. plus I love toni collette. thanks for the recommendation

  5. Check out She Loves Me She Loves Me Not or , in the original French “À la folie… pas du tout” with Audrey Tatou – I think you will enjoy … don’t read the reviews to the end though in adavnce of watching – it will spoil a greta last scene!

  6. I’ve seen that and it’s good. have you seen Enduring Love? similar subject matter. great book too.

  7. Do you recommend The Darjeeling Limited? It’s one of the few (three) films being shown here in English.

  8. yes, it’s got a lot in it and is very funny in places. I just wish wes anderson had ended it after the funeral (I’m not giving anything away by mentioning a funeral – it’s not one of the main character’s)

    go see it and tell me what you think

  9. I Am Legend… Dull? What about the great ending? You know, where God saves us all from the Evil Scientists. Just like in the original story. Oh… it wasn’t in the original? You’re kidding!

    I saw Sweeney Todd last night. It’s not too bad all things considered. I’m devastated that they removed the main song, but otherwise – Grand Guignol plus. So. Much. Blood.

    A musical with blood. What could be better?

  10. now reverend you know I abhor musicals as a rule (except for Get Ready to be Boyzvoiced) but I’m going to make another exception for Sweeney Todd.

    It’s on the very top of my list

  11. Boyzvoiced is a classic, but on the whole musicals suck. I’m waiting for Juno to hit dvd, it should be funny.

  12. yeah boyzvoiced is not really a musical and it is really really funny isn’t it?

    I wish I had a copy

  13. No country is a great movie, Atonement excellent as well, but the topper is There will be Plasma( I think that’s the title……) and D.D.Lewis is simply the best actor of the year maybe the best single role in 10 years! That’s a go see don’t miss and don’t wait for the home screen, see it in a theater…..

  14. There Will be Plasma is second on my list. hope it’s better than anaglyph’s recommendation. Even Johnny Depp couldn’t save Sweeny Todd for me.

    I’d go see “Plasma” today but the Mardi Gras Film Festival is on so I’m going to watch gay boy sex instead of the history of oil.

  15. Not to change the subject, but The Kiwi leaves our shores in a couple of days. I think he’ll be up your way in April…..;-)

  16. I’ll be here 🙂

  17. You must read the book The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin — can’t decide whether to recommend you read it before or after the movie … I read it before. Oh, and I managed to watch Sweeney Todd to the end despite all the blood! My son who hates musicals actually enjoyed it. Well, not enjoyed so much as got involved in the plot, and “appreciated its mood and artistic merits”, he said, expressing surprise that actors can actually sing!

  18. I think I’d rather read it first. if I see the movie first I’m less inclined to read the book.

  19. Spent a freezing Saturday watching DVDs: The Jane Austen Club, the happy ending of which made me cry and the crying made me realize how lonely I am. Then I watched Lust Caution and realized that some things are lost to me forever. Have a wonderful time in Spain.

  20. Lust Caution had the same effect on me 😦

  21. Just caught Surfwise…..good flic. Doc has some interesting philosophies. Think I’ll pick up his book…

  22. yeah it was certainly interesting. don´t know about doc and his wife having sex in the same room as their children every night though…..

  23. You haven’t listed July movies yet……but I just saw Mongol. Loved it.

  24. surftwin I couldn’t find any cinemas playing english language films in spain but now that I’m back home I’ll be doing a lot of catching up…..

  25. Hi
    thanks for commenting my blog, i just came to your page and have to say it is rare to find such a visually unique, stylish blog amongst the mess of uninteresting dreary pages you usually find. It is practically a work of art in itself!
    Anyway i just want to recomend a film- have you seen Breaking the waves?
    It is a bit of a tragedy. It looks like the most boring film you could imagine from the cover, but it will totally take you by surprise.

  26. I loved that film! Lars Von Trier is one of my favourite directors

  27. My son gave me a DVD of “California Dreamin'” (note the dropped ‘g’), a Romanian film. The young director died in a car accident before it was finished but it is an amazingly complete movie anyway. You would love it. Maybe you saw it last year — 2007? It’s not on your list.

  28. No Daisy, I haven’t seen it. Maybe next time I come to melbourne we can have a dvd night?

  29. better make that soon, havent seen you in yonks 🙂

  30. how about a movie marathon on new years eve? we could stay in and spoil ourselves? I’ll book a plane if you’re going to available then…

  31. available on NYE????? to stay in instead of raging?? what an absolutely aspiffing idea.

  32. As a former evangelical Christian, and a recovering Pentecostal, Jesus Camp is a chilling, and shockingly familiar, tale . . .

  33. And I loved Lars and the Real Girl. If there’s a right way to live out your faith, that movie captures it . . .

    You’ve seen a bunch of my favorites. Cool . . .

  34. Jesus Camp freaked me out…..

  35. How come you were silent on what you thought of Burn After Reading? It was so much fun watching all those actors having the time of their lives, especially Brad Pitt. Oh and I finally managed to see The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in our local arthouse series, which, although poignant, also had a certain French arrogance which saved it from being maudlin. And just wait till you see the stockpile of DVDs we can choose from on NYE.

  36. Oh I liked it, but not as much as No Country for Old Men. Great acting and pretty funny but ultimately not memorable enough for me.

    ooooh – a stockpile – how exciting!

  37. Gypo is a really cool choice
    Nice movie

  38. I was not too keen on Bad Education in comparison to Almodovars other films. I’ve always been partial to his film Live Flesh and Kika was fun. All About My Mother is a good one too.

    Loved Dead Ringers. Cronenberg seems to have moved away from horror these days. Still a great director.

    Must see The Wrestler, Frost Nixon and Gran Torino.

    I think I have clockwatchers on DVD somewhere buried. It does capture the horrendous nature of office work. Scored it for dirt cheap years ago. Great little film.

  39. hey ricardo – nice to see you on this page. All About My Mother is a VERY close second for me – wonderful film.

    I love the earlier Cronenberg, am one of the few who disliked History of Violence with its cartoon characterisations of bad guys. though I thought Maria Bello was excellent in it and Viggio can do no wrong.

  40. History of violence was a bit lopsided. It couldn’t figure out if it wanted to be a comic book or serious crime drama. It was an odd hybrid. I love The Fly and Videodrome. But even some of his really early stuff like Shivers and Rabid are fun in a B movie way. Marilyn Chambers on the motorcycle at the beginning of Rabid is HOT!

    I think Maria Bello is great and I know many women love that Viggio. Some men too I’m sure.

  41. Wow you see so much! More scribbling in my notebook.

    Lars and the Real Girl is my favourite on your list.

    Make sure you see The Complete History of my Sexual Failures! Reverend Anaglyph took me to it and I KNOW you will love it.

  42. Lust, Caution was my favourite film of 2008. so far this year it’s been The Class.

    your recommendation looks fabulous Pil!

  43. Hi Nurse Myra!

    I hope this finds you, and everyone you’re working with – *WELL*, busy and cheerful. My name is Paul Birchard – I’m the fellow who made the movie

    U & ME & TENNESSEE – an American romance…

    which I think you saw as part of the 2008 Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney…
    I hope you enjoyed the picture, and Thanks for the listing on your EXCELLENT Antipodean blog! Yours aye, – Paul Birchard

  44. Thanks Paul, I did enjoy your film 🙂

  45. I loved “A Taste of Cherry”, but I went and saw it because I had previously seen Kiarostami’s masterpiece (IMHO) “Through the Olive Trees.” In fact, I’ve seen TTOT about 3 times. It gets better with each viewing, a couple of years apart.

  46. another one to add to my ever growing list…. unless you have a copy? have you watched Abigail’s Party yet?

  47. I’d forgoten “Divided We Fall.” Thanks for reminding me. I remember watching it in the cinema feeling that it was too lightweight, but I remember it with clarity and now realise that it was masterfully directed. I had expected a “Schindler’s List” experience but the lot of small town people in WWII was more mundane, more human than that. Captured with real insight in this lovely film.

    I will definitely watch Horem Padem!

    Have you seen “Burnt by the Sun”?

    • No I think I missed that one, are you recommending it?

  48. Yes. Burnt By The Sun is a wonderful Russian film. Beautiful, violent, lyrical, moving, shocking – so many layers. I think it won an Oscar for Best Foreign film? But interestingly a Russian acquaintance at a party said that Russians themselves don’t like the film because they think it was deliberately made for a Western audience.

    • ok I’ve put it on my list

  49. I want to know when Bran Nue Dae is coming to the USA.

    • I’ll ask missy if she knows…..

  50. ooo, what was wrong with Cameron’s face????

    • It was a sort of mottled brown as if she were wearing really bad fake tan or had a pigment problem like chloasma. I also think she’s had some sort of cosmetic work, she just looks weird….

  51. I’ve just received “Children of Heaven” on DVD from Amazon. Have you seen it? Iranian film from about 10 yrs ago.

    I loved it so much when I saw it in the cinema – I wanted to see it again.

    Movie night???

    • Yes, I loved Children of Heaven and I’m always up for a movie night at The Castle

  52. The director of Children of Heaven also made “Baran”. Have you seen that?

    It is so wonderful, so hard to describe. A masterpiece.

    I should just have a massive Iranian movie night here at the Castle.

    • I preferred Children of Heaven to Baran. Got any Kiarostami?

  53. Nurse M. this is currently showing here (NZ) and it is IMHO, a MUST SEE.

    “AN Education”. 5 stars.

    • Yeah, I saw it in October. It was pretty good, Carey Mulligan was fabulous

  54. The only reason I watched GONE was because Amelia Warner was in it. And so were her lovely tits, which was an added bonus. One of the most beautiful women alive. *swoon*

    • she is pretty gorgeous – she reminds me a lot of my younger son’s girlfriend

      • Amelia Warner is hot.

        And a nice pair of tits she has got.

        If I were her man

        They’d be cupped in my hands.

        But alas, I am sad, cuz I’m not.

  55. I loved The Hurt Locker.

    And I think it was Oscar worthy. I felt GOOD seeing an honest, well made film with solid acting and story and emotion and restraint.

    It made me think a little of The Deer Hunter (though that was pure genius).

    Maybe I’m just grateful that Avatar didn’t win.

    • It’s a well made film queenie but still too Hollywood for my tastes. Two of the other films I saw this month (L’ennemi Intime and 5 Minutes in Heaven) were much more powerful with an emotional kick up the arse

      • I bow to your extra-watching-ness.

      • We need to have another video night soon 😉

  56. haha, WHY did you watch The Holiday?

    The King and I saw it on Valentine’s Day, and this is the result:

    The King: “Jude Law is unbelievably good looking”.

    Me: “Not as beautiful as you, Your Majesty.”

    We couldn’t think of anything else to say.

    • Jude Law has nothing on The King. Nothing. Mads Mikkelsen however….. *sigh*

  57. Boyzvoiced is the best!

    • It’s hysterically funny isn’t it? And the songs are priceless.

  58. The King likes to sing the Father Christmas song on Xmas day.

    • Tell him to practice “Twelve Year Old Woman”. I’ll expect a rendition when we’re sitting on the Dordogne river bank trying to catch our dinner

  59. Glad Greenberg was good. I’ll check it out.

  60. I read An Evil Cradling when it first came out too. Very powerful memoir. Didn’t know there was a film. Might be too distressing….

  61. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: just saw this, really good. Have you seen the sequel?

    • Not yet, doesn’t it start this week? I think I saw it advertised at the Dendy

  62. I saw Intermezzo as a teen, and was captivated by how romantic it was. I LOVED it. I saw it again about 5 years ago, and found it ludicrous.

    Is it me? Is it the times I live in? Is it the change in our concept of romance and sexual thrill?

    I don’t know.

    • It’s worth it to see Ingrid though…..

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