This Month’s Films (March 2015)

B-Lines and Felines: This Month's Films

Tracks (2013)Tracks

Australian adventure drama directed by John Curran and starring Mia Wasikowska. Feeling estranged from the Australian urban culture, Robyn Davidson (Wasikowska) embarks on a trek over the harsh and arid landscape of the outback from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. Accompanied only by four camels and her dog, she meets a number of people along the way including Mr. Eddy (Roly Mintuma), an Aboriginal man who imparts some important local wisdom to her, and Rick Smolan (Adam Driver), an ambitious National Geographic photographer who is asked to document her journey for the magazine…

Verdict: 7/10

KaliforniaKalifornia (1993)

A writer (David Duchovny) and his photographer girlfriend leave New York to drive to a new life in California, taking in several Southern States so that they can visit murder sites for their new book on serial killers. Along the way they pick up two hitchhikers, one of whom (Brad Pitt) could provide an interesting case study for their research… Also starring Juliette Lewis.

Verdict: 7/10

The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)The Chronicles of Riddick

Vin Diesel reprises his role as night-eyed antihero Riddick in this big-budget sequel to the 2002 sci-fi action film ‘Pitch Black’. In an attempt to evade the mercenaries after him, Riddick escapes to the distant planet of Helion – only to find himself caught in the middle of a violent and bloody intergalactic conflict between two opposing forces: the Elementals, led by Aerion (Judi Dench) and the Necromongers, led by the bloodthirsty Lord Marshall (Colm Feore).

Verdict: 6/10

LimitlessLimitless (2011)

Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro star in Limitless, a paranoia-fuelled action thriller that’ll blow your mind. Unsuccessful writer Eddie Morra’s life is transformed by NZT, a top-secret “smart drug” that allows him to use 100% of his brain and to become the perfect version of himself. But when Eddie’s enhanced abilities attract unwanted attention from the rich and powerful alike, he soon realises they’ll stop at nothing to uncover his secret.

Verdict: 7/10

Rules of Engagement (2000)Rules of Engagement

An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a third world country.

Verdict: 6/10

Oh! What a Lovely WarOh! What a Lovely War (1969)

It was the War to end all wars – well not quite. For with the ricochet of one bullet, the entire course of human history was changed forever…Now, for the first time, Academy Award®-winner Richard Attenborough’s directorial debut is available on DVD. Based on the stage musical by the same name, Oh! What a Lovely War features a stellar cast that includes Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, John Mills, John Gielgud, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Ian Holm, Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York. By fusing the surreal with the factual and juxtaposing savagely funny satire with quiet sorrow, Attenborough has created the oddest and most outstanding film ever made about the “game” that became World War One.

Verdict: 6/10

Walkabout (1971)Walkabout

A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to exist in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg (Dont Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth). Along the way, they meet a young aborigine on his walkabout, a rite of passage in which adolescent boys are initiated into manhood by journeying into the wilderness alone. Walkabout is a thrilling adventure as well as a provocative rumination on time and civilization.

Verdict: 7/10

The ColonyThe Colony (2013)

Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), Bill Paxton (Aliens) and Kevin Zegers (Dawn of the Dead), headline an all-star cast in this savage and unrelenting thriller about mankind’s greatest enemy: himself. As an endless winter engulfs Earth, humans struggle to survive in remote underground outposts. When Colony 7 receives a distress call from a nearby settlement, Sam (Zegers) and Briggs (Fishburne) race through the snow on a dangerous rescue mission. What they find at the desolate base could mean mankind’s salvation—or its total annihilation. Terrifying discoveries will unfold that will change the rules of survival forever.

Verdict: 3/10

Europa Report (2013)Europa Report

When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean could exist underneath Europa’s icy surface and may contain single-celled life, Europa Ventures, a privately funded space exploration company, sends six of the best astronauts from around the world to confirm the data and explore the revolutionary discovery. After a near-catastrophic technical failure that leads to loss of communication with Earth and the tragic death of a crew member, the surviving astronauts must overcome the psychological and physical toll of deep space travel, and survive a discovery on Europa more profound than they had ever imagined.

Verdict: 6/10

DianaDiana (2013)

Celebrated and adored by millions, she was the Queen of people s hearts, yet the bittersweet story of the last man to truly capture hers has never before been told. Princess Diana (Naomi Watts), at one time the most famous woman in the world, inspired a nation with her generosity, compassion and kindness and ultimately, in her final years, she would meet the man who inspired her. In a story that is as heartbreaking as it is uplifting, DIANA reveals a period in the Princess s life that was uniquely important in fulfilling her search for true happiness and sealing her legacy.

 

Verdict: 3/10

Transsiberian (2008)Transsiberian

Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer) are the perfect American couple traveling from Beijing to Moscow on the legendary Trans-Siberian Express train. The two strike a bond with another couple, Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Abby (Kate Mara), who are not exactly as they appear. Unwittingly, Roy and Jessie are caught in a web of drug trafficking and murderous deceit when all four become targets of ex-KGB detective Grinko’s (Ben Kingsley) investigation.

Verdict: 7/10

DefianceDefiance (2008)

Daniel Craig (James Bond: Quantum of Solace) stars as Tuvia Bielski, an ordinary citizen turned hero, in this action-packed epic of family, honor, vengeance and salvation. Defiance is a riveting adventure that showcases the extraordinary true story of the Bielski brothers, simple farmers –outnumbered and outgunned- who turned a group of war refugees into powerful freedom fighters. Tuvia, along with his unyielding brother, Zus (Liev Schreiber, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), motivate hundreds of civilians to join their ranks against the Nazi regime. Their “Inspirational story”* is a true testament to the human spirit.

Verdict: 6/10

Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)Hiroshima Mon Amour

A cornerstone of French cinema, Alain Resnais’ first feature is one of the most influential films of all time. A French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada) engage in a brief, intense affair in postwar Hiroshima, their consuming fascination impelling them to exorcise their own scarred memories of love and suffering. Utilizing an innovative flashback structure and an Academy Award-nominated screenplay by novelist Marguerite Duras, Resnais delicately weaves past and present, personal pain and public anguish, in this moody masterwork.

Verdict: 8/10

RangoRango (2011)

Rango is an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff.

Verdict: 7/10

Born into Brothels (2004)Born into Brothels

A tribute to the resiliency of childhood and the restorative power of art, BORN INTO BROTHELS is a portrait of several unforgettable children who live in Calcutta’s red light district, where there mothers work as prostitutes. Spurred by the kids’ fascination with her camera, Zana Briski, a New-York-based photographer living in the brothels and documenting life there, decides to teach them photography. As they begin to look at and record their world through new eyes, the kids, who society refused to recognize, awaken for the first time to their own talents and sense of worth. Filmmakers Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski capture the way in which beauty can be found even the seemingly bleakest and most helpless of places, and how art and education can empower children to transform their lives.

Verdict: 8/10

DreamgirlsDreamgirls (2006)

A trio of black female soul singers cross over to the pop charts in the early 1960s, facing their own personal struggles along the way.

Verdict: 8/10

Closer (2004)Closer

A witty, romantic, and very dangerous love story about chance meetings, instant attractions, and casual betrayals. CLOSER is director Mike Nichols’ critically acclaimed look at four strangers—Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen—with one thing in common: each other.

Verdict: 6/10

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2 (2014)

Joe Cross examines how to make healthy habits last. Joe meets with experts who present realistic solutions to make long-term sustainable improvements to eating behaviors and overall health.

Verdict: 6/10

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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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