Monday, June 28, 2010



Jennifer Lawrence: 17-year-old Ree Dolly
Ashlee Thompson: her 6-year-old sister Ashlee
Isaiah Stone: their 12-year-old brother Sonny
Shelley Waggener: their neighbour Sonya
Garret Dillahunt: Sheriff Baskin
Lauren Sweetser: Ree’s best friend (or sister?) Gail
Cody Brown: Gail’s husband Floyd
Cinnamon Schultz: another neighbour Victoria
John Hawkes: Victoria’s husband Teardrop

This is no walk in the park. For the first fifteen minutes or so you have no idea why we are following the daily activities of some desperately poor people living in the Ozarks Mountains somewhere in Missouri.

The pervasive pale silvery-grey colours set the tone with just a hint of what is to come in this gripping rural crime story. The acting is uniformly first rate although that of Jennifer Lawrence is the best.

for some drug material, language and violent content.

Mention of the fact “he's cookin' again” is not the sort one does at home nor that which takes place in a restaurant: it is the illegal manufacture of the psychoactive stimulant methamphetamine, better known as crystal meth.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Animated adventure

John Morris: 17-year-old Andy
Laurie Metcalf: his mom
Tom Hanks: Woody the Cowboy
Tim Allen: Spaceman Buzz Lightyear
Joan Cusack: Jessie the Cowgirl
Don Rickles: Mr. Potato Head
Estelle Harris: Mrs. Potato Head
Jodi Benson: Barbie doll
Wallace Shawn: Rex the Dinosaur
Blake Clark: Slinky Dog
John Ratzenberger: Hamm the Piggybank
Ned Beatty: Lots-o-Huggin’ Bear aka “Lotso”
Michael Keaton: Ken
Teddy Newton: Chatter Telephone
Emily Hahn: Bonnie
Timothy Dalton: Mr. Pricklepants
Kristen Schaal: Trixie the girl Dinosaur

Although less witty than the first two installments and without the double entendre for “adults only” it more than makes up for these shortcomings with a more interesting story, one filled with adventure, comedy and romance.

As usual the animation is nothing short of perfection, something we’ve come to expect from Pixar Studios.

One caveat: the garbage collection center sequence may be too scary for some kids but it’s hard to tell for sure in a darken movie theatre: if so, they all seem to have recovered by the time the end credits appeared.


Save yourself some money and don’t bother seeing it in 3-D as there only one or two scenes where it adds anything to the viewing experience and as with all 3-D it suffers from a less brilliant palette than in the traditional format.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Science fiction

Adrien Brody: genetic researcher Clive Nicoli
Sarah Polley: his associate and girlfriend Elsa Kast
Brandon McGibbon: Clive’s brother lab technician Gavin
David Hewlett: their boss William “Bill” Barlow
Simona Maicanescu: Joan Chorot, head of the pharmaceutical firm
Delphine Chanéac: Dren

This updated “Frankenstein” tale of two scientists working with gene-splicing technology to create new species has a twist: the result of their efforts might have beneficial pharmaceutical implications. But maybe not.

The CGI is pretty seamless and the use of gore to shock is done sparingly although there are moments when turning the head aside seems the best course of action, certainly for the squeamish like me.

The acting is fine and the leads do a credible job of being “a almost married couple”. Certainly not for everyone, but those who are into this sort of thing will find it mildly entertaining.

for disturbing elements including strong sexuality, nudity, sci-fi violence and language.

Saturday, June 5, 2010



Ronald Pickup: King Sharaman of Persia
Jake Gyllenhaal: the King’s adopted son Prince Dastan
Richard Coyle: the King’s eldest son and heir Prince Tus
Tony Kebbell: the King’s second son Prince Garsiv
Ben Kingsley: Nizam, the King’s brother and most trusted adviser
Gemma Arterton: Princess Tamina
Alfred Molina: Sheik Amar, an ostrich race promoter

This big-budget fantasy adventure is an action-oriented romp through ancient lands. There's never a dull moment despite the fact a lot of what transpires makes little sense. Trying to keep track of the good-guys and bad-guys takes some effort as does the time-travel aspect from the mystical dagger.

What with all the running around and fighting, acting really takes a back seat amidst all the special effects. It is a moderately entertaining time out from reality although the target audience of young teens would certainly disagree.

for intense sequences of violence and action.

Friday, June 4, 2010



Russell Brand: rock star Aldous Snow
Rose Byrne: his girlfriend Jackie Q
Jonah Hill: Aaron Green, employee of a record company
Elisabeth Moss: Aaron’s live-in girlfriend medical intern Daphne Binks
Sean “Diddy” Combs: Sergio Roma, executive with Pinnacle Records
and others no doubt

Raunchy comedy is not for everyone: characterised by its sex-oriented theme and reliance upon the frequent use of the f-word instead of intelligent dialogue it is replete with lots of partying, drinking and doing drugs.

The “humour” includes explicit reference to certain body parts, projectile vomiting, lots of carnage and mayhem, various sex acts, speeding cars and fast women. In a word, anything that might provoke some mirth from the target audience.

I could not wait to walk out.

for strong sexual content and drug use throughout, and pervasive language.

While laying in bed Daphne’s ID card changes position between shots despite the fact she remains on her back with her arms at her side. It does the same thing when she and Aaron are having a coffee in the hospital’s cafeteria.