Friday, April 4, 2014

6 Intriguing Films to Watch Out For

For this month and next, there are no shortage of new film releases - from main stream special effect flicks to brilliantly casted comedy dramas. Here are my picks.

#1 The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune - all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

An awesome cast line up in this film with snappy humour that will keep you engaged from start to finish. Just in case you don't recognise your favourite characters, the poster below should help. By the way, The Grand Budapest Hotel does not exist in real life. As for the location for the interiors, Wil Anderson together with production designer Adam Stockhausen (12 Years a Slave) picked the Gorlitzer Warenhaus, an empty, run-down, Art Nouveau department store located in the small East German city of Gorlitz.

When: From April 10, 2014 at The Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne
Directed by: Wes Andersen
Cast: Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Owen Wilson
Length: 100 minutes
Official Website & Trailer

#2 The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman marks Ralph Fiennes’ second outing as director, while also starring as the complex figure, writer Charles Dickens. In 1857, at the height of Dickens’ career, he pursued a love affair with a young actress, Nelly Ternan. She remained his muse for the rest of his life, but their relationship was kept secret, even after Dickens’ separation from his wife. As a result, Ternan’s story is one of someone who almost wasn’t there; her story very nearly disappearing from the record for good. Claire Tomalin’s pioneering biography of Dickens has been adapted by British screenwriter Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, The Hour). The Invisible Woman is an elegant recreation of the times, featuring superb performances.

An intense love story but without the same passion or intensity as say the film Titanic or the BBC series, Pride & Prejudice (the one with Colin Firth) where you could feel the passion between the two admirers from glances and gestures, without any touching. Story is interesting though.

When: From April 17, 2014 at The Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne
Directed by: Ralph Fiennes
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas
Length: 111 minutes
Official Website & Trailer


#3 Living is
Easy with Eyes Closed | Spanish Film Festival

Spain 1966. John Lennon was determined to leave the Beatles to become an actor, and arrives in Almería to shoot How I Won the War, his first and only non-musical role. Antonio (played brilliantly by a heartfelt Javier Cámara I’m So Excited, A Gun In Each Hand, SFF13 Talk To Her), is a school teacher in the small Spanish town of Albacete, who uses Beatles lyrics to teach his students English. When Antonio learns that Lennon is visiting, he decides to undertake the journey to meet his hero. On his way, Antonio meets two runaways; Juanjo (Francesc Colomer Barcelona Summer Night SFF14), a 16-year-old boy who is escaping his home and suffocating father, and Belén (Natalia de Molina), a 20-year-old pregnant girl reluctantly planning to go home to her mother.

Together they travel in Antonio’s Fiat across the stunning backdrop of Franco’s sun-drenched Spain to reach a destination where they will learn more about themselves and one another than they could have imagined.

Part road-trip, part coming-of-age tale, this charming, whimsical story will make you laugh while tugging at your deepest heartstrings with outstanding performances from the entire cast. The title Living is Easy with Eyes Closed comes from John Lennon’s enigmatic song (penned in Almería) Strawberry Fields which, like the film, once played is not easily forgotten.

When: From April 29, 2014 (Opening Night) at Palace Cinemas
Directed by: David Trueba
Cast: Javier Camara, Natalia De Molina, Francesc Colomer, Ramon Fontsere
Length: 108 minutes
Website: The Spanish Film Festival

#4 Witching & Bitching | Spanish Film Festival

Director Álex de la Iglesia (As Luck Would Have It, SFF opening night 2012) returns with a wild dose of dark humour to guarantee an unforgettable festival closing night. This high-octane, crowdpleasing ride recently won eight GOYA awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Terele Pávez, Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects.

Wildly fleeing toward France through the impenetrable Basque forest after a jewel heist, a hapless band of robbers runs afoul of an evil coven of witches led by Marichu (the mighty Terele Pávez), her daughter Graciana (Carmen Maura, Volver), and granddaughter Eva (Carolina Bang). The robbery is masterminded by José (Hugo Silva, The Body, SFF13), a down-on-his-luck divorced dad who, due to his custody schedule, is forced to bring his eight-year-old son to the robbery. When the
plan goes awry, José, along with his half-wit sidekick Tony (played by heartthrob Mario Casas, I want you, SFF13) hijack a taxi-driver. A violent and frenetic car chase ensues into the depths of witchterritory and from here things take a sharp turn towards the macabre.

A reckless “battle of the sexes”, de la Iglesia enhances his vision with top-shelf production, resulting in a fast-paced, zany spectacle of a film, which will shock audiences into laughter and leave them breathless.

When: May 18, 2014 (Closing night)
Directed by: Alex De La Iglesia
Length: 112 mins
Cast: Hugo Silva, Mario Casas Carmen Maura, Terele Pavez, Carolina Bang
Website: The Spanish Film Festival

#5 Chef

This film is for all those foodies out there.

CHEF serves up a delectable feast of drama and laughs with an all-star cast, including Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downing Jnr, Dustin Hoffman and Jon Favreau, in this charming film that follows a prestigious chef who loses his passion, but finds it again in the food truck business. When temperamental Carl Casper (Favreau) falls from grace in the culinary world, he agrees to accompany his ex-wife Inzez (Vergara) and son to Miami to escape the bad publicity after a public argument with a food critic. As his passion for cooking begins to reignite, an opportunity to start up a food truck business presents itself and Carl begins to re-establish his artistic promise and at the same time, reconnect with his family.

When: In cinemas from May 8, 2014 in Palace Cinemas, Sydney
Directed By: Jon Favreau
Cast: Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downing Jnr, Dustin Hoffman & Jon Favreau

COMPETITION: Follow See.Taste.Do on Facebook and Instagram for upcoming details on giveaway double passes to see this film.

 #6 The Amazing Spider-Man 2

And for those who like comics, fantasy, action and special effects…

We've always known that Spider-Man's most important conflict has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin. It's great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there's no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp. Directed by Marc Webb. Produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. Screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner. Screen Story by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner and James Vanderbilt. Based on the Marvel comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. (c) Columbia

When: From Apr 17, 2014
Duration: 2 hr. 32 min.
Directed By:
Marc Webb
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Chris Cooper,
Paul Giamatti, Felicity Jones, BJ Novak
Official Website & Trailer

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