Monthly Archives: December 2013

Review: Sleeping Beauty (2011)

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Lucy sleeping. Yes I know very pleasant on the eyes.

Ok this film is Australian and yes its a good Australian film, although be prepared for something rather offbeat and unusual….

Sort of following the same basic story of Careless Love (which followed the french film Student Services) we meet sweet little Lucy who is a university student working an incredible number of jobs day and night but somehow is flat broke. It is suggested this might be because of her alcoholic mother who rings her up at work on one occasion demanding her credit card number.

In the midst of losing the roof over her head and moving into a clearly more expensive apartment she takes a job as a lingerie waitress for some very strange exclusive parties. This works its way into some work sleeping with old men (not what you think).

An intriguing film right up to the end made ever more watchable by careful frame composition throughout.

Review: West 10 LDN (2008)


The TV series that never made it, so now we’re left with a very watchable mini-movie.

Originally made as the pilot to a TV series by Kidulthood director Noel Clarke; West 10 LDN lays out various characters on an estate in inner city London. Some are involved in crime, some are the victims of crime and others are just trying to survive.

Because it was made for TV it lacks some of the bite of later films like Bullet Boy or Victim which pretty much focus on the same issues, however I’m sure had the series been commissioned (and hence better financed) Noel would have given it a much more gritty edge and gotten to this.

If you enjoy the new wave of Black English inner city drama coming out of the UK its a must watch.

Review: Victim (2011)

Part of the new wave of urban Black English crime dramas coming out of Britain focusing on victim_xlgthe efforts of Ashley Chin to both raise his teenage sister (Letita Wright) and leave a life of crime and really nasty home-invasions behind.

He meets a girl from the country (Ashley Madekwe) and this all seems like becoming possible. Unfortunately circumstances seem to keep dragging him back.

Very powerful performances from all the cast with a small part from Frank Harper showing them how its done!


Review: The Joneses (2009)

Ok I admit it I turned this one off deciding it was American crud, then after reading a bit2010_the_joneses_010 went back and re-watched it!

This movie is really very interesting and says a lot about our consumer culture. It just takes its merry old time getting to that point, if like me you think you’re time is valuable and turn things off after half an hour of sacheriny sweet nonsense..don’t do that with The Joneses.

Demi Moore is one of my least favourite actresses and David Duchovny should have just kept making X-Files episodes I’m afraid. So this film was working hard from the start with me.

I won’t tell you anymore about the plot as I will ruin the surprise, other than to say you will suddenly realize their is something very wrong with this seemingly perfect American family.

Review: On The Buses (1971)


A woman in the kitchen and if Stan and Jacko have their way that’s where she’ll stay…

A film made during the break of filming of the popular seventies British TV program with Stan, Jacko and Blakey the menacing inspector (well I always found him pretty menacing….)

The premise of the film is that after a long ban the depot decides to GASP start hiring women bus drivers. This of course means a shortage of shifts for the regular male drivers and the battle of the sexes is on.

Not much to this film, but I don’t think there was really intended to be, just good fun and lots of laughs, if not perhaps a little politically incorrect in this day and age.


Review: Lipstick (1976)

This was a very controversial film when it first came out and probably still is. Following the lipsticksame themes of the Death Wish series of films, we have a victim failed by the court system who takes matters into her own hands.

Margaux Hemingway plays a highly paid fashion model selling products with her sexuality who lives with her younger sister (played by her real life sister Mariel) who has a crush on her high school music teacher (Chris Sarandon). Mariel brings the teacher to meet her older sister so that he can play her his special type of synthesized music. While the younger girl is away a horrible rape ensues when Margaux just rudely ignores the music the teacher plays to her.

The case goes to court and in a twist reminiscent of The Accused (Jodie Foster) the Jury essentially decides that it was not rape and the Music teacher gets away with it. He later rapes the younger sister at a fashion shoot and by this time Margaux has had enough and blows him away with a hunting rifle.

Sounds, ok to most people I suppose, but the reason this film was so controversial was because it implies that women can and should just take the law into their own hands. It doesn’t really ask questions about the balance between victims rights and justice being observed; just its ok to blow someone away if you don’t like what the courts decide!

It has direct relevance in today’s judicial climate in which more than ever before we are seeing “Justice Shortcuts” being taken in respect of crimes of this type. Certainly in this film there is little doubt that the offence took place, but what about the 22% of sexual offences reported and found to be either unsupported or malicious each year in NSW for example? Somewhere their has to be a balance.

However of course this is just a film and as a film it still stands as a very powerful piece, even if like me you are not nearly convinced about its black and white solution at the end of a gun. I guess it made me think about these issues (which of course is why I am writing about it) and maybe it is not really saying either approach is right, its asking us to be the final judge.


Review: Line of Duty (2013)

Also known as Mission Park, Line of Duty follows the lives of four young boys who involve 507f9_Mission_Parkthemselves in a robbery gone wrong as children.

As their lives unfold they take very different paths with two of them joining the F.B.I. and two of them becoming L.A.’s biggest illegal drug importers. Just as the two graduate from the academy, they are tasked to go back to their old neighbourhood undercover to make a case against their old friends.

An average type of cops and robbers flick with some interesting twists and turns, reminded me somewhat of The Departed without being anywhere near as good of a film. To be honest I found it all somewhat implausible.

Review: Kinjite Forbidden Subjects (1989)

Perhaps one of Charles Bronson’s most sexually explicit/implying films, Kinjite Forbidden kinjiteSubjects takes us into the world of underage prostitution. Bronson plays a cop with of course a teenage daughter who is much the same age as the girls he works to keep off the streets.

Making an appearance is Nicole Eggert as a young prostitute who was briefly famous at the time and doing something of a Miley Cyrus taking on bad-girl movie roles  to harden up her image after playing a cutesy daughter on long running TV show Charles in Charge (of course we all know she finally settled down as she appeared in the very successful…Baywatch TV Series a few years later).

I think thematically Kinjite essentially asks men to consider that this may well be your own daughter and that abusing young girls forced to sell themselves reflects on the customer more than the girls themselves. Bronson says as much when he argues its the “pimps and pushers” he’s really after.

Review: Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)

I’ve been slowly watching my way through the Hellraiser franchise of films and for a while hellraiserhellseekerthere it got very made-for-video and b-grade! I’m pleased to say that Hellraiser: Hellseeker was actually a very watchable film.

Despite also being made-for-video, Dean Winters (of Oz fame) gives a brilliant performance of a man trapped inside the world of the box in this offering. The film entered an almost Bergmanesque world of shifts and changes with us the viewer left constantly dazzled.

I wouldn’t say it is the best film ever made, but its certainly not the worst and if you are a fan of Hellraiser and psychological horror you will enjoy this immensely.

Review: Hard Times (1975)

I watched this film again after its recent release on Blu-Ray and what I’ve been saying for a hardtimes1long while was certainly true: the film looks no better than it did on the screen or even on DVD. This of course is because the source material is the source material and no amount of megapixels is going to change that. Indeed often times Blu Ray films are being made from the identical masters that were used for DVD releases. Blu Ray does nothing for older films that I can see.

Having said that, the film itself still stands up to the test of time with Charles Bronson playing the depression era bare-knuckle fighter that makes his living in thirties America moving from fight to fight. He joins forces with promoter James Coburn to chase a big fight and make some real money.