Monday, August 31, 2009

The Changeling

The Changeling (2008)

Actually, this may be the movie that changes my mind about Angelina Jolie. She was good in girl interrupted, but then seemed to do her little action flicks, and rubbish like Mr and Mrs Boring Smith. In this Clint Eastwood directed film, she is indeed the star of the show and has depth and real emotions, which I must say surprised me.

Christine Collins is a single mom, who has to leave her nine year old son alone, while she works a shift as a colleague is sick. When she returns home, Walter is gone. The police seem reluctant to assist her, and only appear when nine months later, they find a boy who says he is her son. She knows however, that it is not Walter, and is betrayed and ridiculed for not accepting him. Fighting for her rights, she is forced to take extrodinary measures to find out the truth.

Anyways she did good, and I enjoyed this little twenties period piece, where truth and justice are explored, without getting all shouty, sentimental and cliched. Bravo Mr Eastwood and Miss In need of some Carbs Jolie. 3/5

Sunday, August 30, 2009

District 9

District 9 (2009)

Well, I guess I am not the intended audience for this movie. I think the 20-40 year old manboys, who love the sci-fi and their playstations may be more the target, rather than me and my posse.

I didn't know too much going in, except it was about aliens as refugees, and was set in South Africa, therefore making not too subtle references to apartheid.

I know coming out of the movies that there was a lot of blood, gore, violence, guns, aliens, loud volume. I closed my eyes 6 times and didn't watch and my friend had to block her ears for about 10 minutes. I also know now, that maybe Fame doesn't look too bad.

I'm sooo sorry, I know it is number one at the box office here, it got 5 star reveiews - but srsly, I can only rouse a 3/5. I know I like a bit of costume drama period pieces, and I do like to think that I am pretty open to anything - however I am thinking you are best to leave this one to the boys. And only go along with your fella, if you can take him to Young Victoria, or BrightStar.

Accidently on Purpose - Mary F. Pols

Accidently on Purpose - Mary F. Pols (2009)

At 39, Mary F. Pols meets a cute guy at a bar, spends the night and then finds herself pregnant. Figuring it may be her only chance, she decides to keep the baby, and to keep the father involved.

A real life tale, this little book was moving without being soppy in telling the story of both her current life and circumstances and her own place within her immediate family. At the same time as having a baby, Mary must deal with both of her partents becoming ill.

The father Matt, seems to be the modern manboy that is everywhere now. The 29 year old bloke, that has never really had a job, can't cook or clean, doesn't want a relationship and quotes from Homer Simpson more than anyone else.

Having reached 40 myself, and without any children, I can relate to Mary and can only wonder how I would manage if it happened to me, and that is I guess the beauty of any little biopic. I must say it with profound jealousy that I read of her job as a film critic. I am sure it is not glamorous, and most likely tedious, especially in the summertime. But how I would love to give up my own job, and be paid to watch movies - Sigh!!! 3/5

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fashion Babylon - Imogen Edwards-Jones

Fashion Babylon - Imogen Edwards-Jones (2006)

With so much name dropping and up to date stories, then this becomes dated rather quickly. Paris Hilton and Madonna aren't the names of the moment, but I did enjoy the celeb slagging off and the shallowness of it all. Not quite the guided tour behind the scenes of high fashion that it advertises on its cover it was just barely mildly amusing tidbits about fashion and the people involved. 2/5 as it is hardly "shock revelations".

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Case 39

Case 39 (2009)

It's all about the Zellweger chick in this movie, oh and the creepy girl she fosters.

I didn't know a think about this movie before agreeing to meet my friends and thought we were off to see a Sci Fi flick.

I am just glad we saw it in the afternoon at the movies, as it is not the sort I want to see at home by myself on a windy night. Yes, it made me jump and I did have to close my eyes at several stages. I quite like the scary stuff, but don't want to see Saw or Hostel or their remakes.

So old Renee was quite good, not too annoying and not too primped to be distracting. 3/5

Girl Friday - Jane Green

Girl Friday - Jane Green (2009)

Why why why do I do this to myself? I know it is going to be predictable, super cheesy and I am going to hate myself for wasting my time. It was predictable cheese, and now I feel dirty.

Kit and Adam are getting divorced. Enter famous local author, hot new boyfriend, newly discovered sister, friendly older neighbour and let the hilarity ensue.

2/5 - and I must remember, avoid the chick lits, at least for a while.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Dvd (2008)

I wasn't compelled to see this one when it played at the movies. Brad Pitt, well he doesn't really do much for me, as in making me want to buy an overpriced movie seat ticket. I did however look forward to this dvd, when I picked it up from the library. However when I went to sit down and watch it, they'd left the security tag on, so my night on the couch was delayed!

I think as a whole the movie was beautifully styled with sweeping scenes and many differing locations with lots of shots of Cate or Brad moving through different places and eras in time. Benjamin Button is a man who is born old and ages backwards, and throughout his life loves a girl he meets, the dancer Daisy. Daisy however has to age the usual way, and it is only in the middle that they are really able to be together.

I just wish that the emphasis had been more on the story rather than the scene setting the special aging effects. It suffered I felt from a lack of chemistry between the two characters. Cate Blanchett was luminous, and I enjoyed her character much more than Brad Pitt who seemed a bit wooden, and without a sparkle in his eye.

3/5 and make a large bowl of popcorn, it's a long one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rescue Me - Series 2

Rescue Me - Series 2 (2005)
Ok, this might be the reason I haven't read much. I am so in love with Rescue Me at the moment and sadly this is the last series the library has. I might have to resort to the video shop, which charges crazy prizes for tv shows. But, I must keep watching! I HATED this show when I saw it on the telly, so I never watched more than one episode. Now it is worth a 4/5

So, back to the reading for a while, and in fact am off to scrub my face, brush my teeth and move the cat. Oh and choose my next book.

Cleopatra's Daugher - Michelle Moran

Cleopatra's Daughter - Michelle Moran (2009)
Michelle Moran is gathering steam as a great historical fiction author. I had visited her website after finishing 'The Heretic Queen', I learnt that her new book was soon to be published and was about Cleopatras daugher. So I rushed to the local library site in March and now in August, I got to touch the virgin book (untouched by any others).

The story is compelling. After the death of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra by their own hands, their three children are captured in Alexandria, and taken to Rome to be paraded by their captors. Twins Selene and Alexander, are bought up by Caesars family, and are kept under their watchful eyes, least they escape back to Egypt.

I love the story, and the period, but I found I struggled a bit with the book. Taking a long time to finish it. This may be because I have had a busy time at work, and have not been sleeping well. Certainly worth a 3/5, and I will be waiting for the next novel.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Love

I am in love with this song. Also - so proud that I figured out how to post youtube videos onto the blog.

Pia, seeing you are my only reader, I thought you might like this song too!! Thanks for visiting!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Never Say Die - Chris O'Brien

Never Say Die - Chris O'Brien (2009)
Chris O'Brien was a head and neck surgeon, with 30 years experience working at the Royal Prince Albert Hospital in Sydney. In the 1990s they started a show called RPA, which followed real patients around the hospital. Chris was one of the likeable, personable doctors who inspire you with their calmness and confidence.
In this autobiography, he mainly writes about both his career and his family life. Also about how in 2006, after a series of headaches, it was discovered he had a GBM brain tumour. Having to give up medicine, this doctor then becomes a patient. Interesting and readable this book doesn't fall into the sappiness or endless boredom or many biographies. 3/5

Anyone But You - Jennifer Cruise

Anyone But You - Jennifer Cruise (1996)
I was on a day off, in the library. I read the blurb, which sounded predictable. 40 year old divorcee meets handsome 30 year old doctor, who lives downstairs. Uses new clueless dog to arrange meetings. Will they, won't they? You know the rest.

I walked away, read lots of covers of clever modern novels, and then went back and grabbed it. At least it was a quick read, only a couple of hours. 2/5

Monday, August 10, 2009


The final of ER is starting tonight. How I love this show. It is soooo much better than House and Greys, and has the feeling of real hospital staff and a real working environment.

In Greys they swan around, making out in cupboards and behave like they are in high school, when most of them are in their 30s. Where are the doctors who are struggling with student loans, raising children, or are actually in a long term relationship. House is well , just so unbelievable and is 5 parts annoying to one part entertaining.

So ER, I am beginning to mourn you, before you have even gone. TV will never be the same.

The Kissing Gates - Mackenzie Ford

The Kissing Gates - Mackenzie Ford (2008)
The premise, or so it says on the cover is "One woman. Two lovers. And a wartime secret that will change their lives for ever". So in other words, during the christmas truce of 1914, a German officer gives an English officer a photo of his peacetime girlfriend. English officer gets injured, makes contact with girl, doesn't tell her about meeting. They become involved, but you know a meeting with the German chappie is looming.
I don't know, I struggled with this book. I felt the characters were lacking in charisma, and seemed a bit weak. I also thought that it was a modern story that was made to fit into the time period. I know that even in the 1970's couples living together seemed a big scandal in the neighbourhood. It just seemed all a bit convienant to have the main characters be involved with such progressive ideas or large circumstances like the Christmas truce, relatives who die on the Titanic, be present at the Treaty, become involved in psychology, be around at the development of blood transfusions, etc.... To me it was all a bit Clan of the Cave Bear stuff, you know that one person was unlikely to be present at the dawn of domesticating animals, developing language, inventing the wheel, the sewing machine etc...
It also felt drawn out and a bit overstuffed with too many scenes and trying to fit in too many ideas. I guess I should have stopped and put it down. 1/5


Milk - Dvd (2008)
I guess I was drawn to Milk by Sean Penn, and this movie was a great showcase for him. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay American voted into office. Charismatic and politically motivated, Harvey Milk helped to strengthen the gay movement in the 1970s, and give it a face. A good little biopic, that was suprisingly sweet. 3/5

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

It Sucked and Then I Cried - Heather B. Armstrong

It Sucked and Then I Cried - Heather B. Armstrong (2009)

Heather Armstrong is the author of Dooce, the most famous blog of them all, you can find her here Her book, honestly the funniest read I have read in a long long time. I love her blog, I think she is possibly the best writer out there, and after being bombarded at the movies and on television with so much manboy humour, it is great to hear from a chick, who loves her husband, loves her two children, tolerates the dogs and the rest of the family, and battles with depression.

However this is not a depressing book, as even in her darkest moments, she still finds something to laugh about. I had to stay up and read this in one go, I haven't done that in a while. But it was hard to put down, and the tele was rubbish. I think if only I could win Lotto, this book and all the next series of rescue Me on DVD, a few cocktails and a beautiful beach I would be sweet. 5/5

Cold Plague - Daniel Kalla

Cold Plague - Daniel Kalla (2008)
It seemed like a great idea, and I like that the author writing it understands about the science involved. Basically a huge lake is discovered under the antartic surface. This water, has been untouched by pollution, making it the purest water in the world. So of course greedy scientists must extract it and sell it for a gijillion bucks a bottle to the rich and botoxed.

Meanwhile in France a cluster of patients have presented with a rare form of vCJD, and have all had rapidly progressive symptoms before dying within a couple of weeks. Sent to investigate, a team finds itself involved in trying to find out who is responsible for the outbreak.

Typical stuff, and as usual the beginning was interesting, but then I found myself scimming the ending. 2/5

Monday, August 03, 2009

Rescue Me

Rescue Me - Series One, DVD - (2004)
Rescue Me, I think I love you. I tried to watch one episode when it started here years ago, but for some reason didn't enjoy it. Now that whole series are coming out on DVD, I am enjoying that experience a lot more. It lets you watch the whole thing and allows you to follow the story line.

So because the weather and the tv were rubbish for most of the weekend, I stayed up late and enjoyed this crazy, loud, rude and 16+ show. Awesome. Have already booked series two!! 5/5


Premonition- Dvd (2007)
So Sandra Bullock marries Dr Troy, has two cute kids in an even cuter house. Then she starts having dreams about him dying, then he dies, then he is alive again, then he is getting buried, then he is alive again. I think it was trying to be a clever Groundhog Day, but I got lost and didn't know who why or when at all. 1/5
Everlasting Moments (2009)
This was the last of our film festival films, and we were sad that it was over. We were still waiting for a dud, but that was only because my friend had not been to see A Christmas Tale .

This was a gentle film, based on the true life of a Swedish family, starting in 1907. Maria Larsson is married to a trouble making, alcoholic womaniser and is left to bring up the children and patch up the pieces. Once she pulls out an old camera, and discovers her talent at taking pictures, her life slowly changes. Friendship with the local photography studio owner allows her to take pictures of her family and neighbours, and her confidence grows.

I enjoyed this film, I loved it's graceful style and beautiful images. 4/5

Pia - have you seen it? What did you think?

So, goodbye film festival. See you next year!!