Thursday, August 26, 2010

In Cinemas This Week

Piranha 3D - (pick of the week) Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) returns to familiar gory ground with this remake of the 1978 killer fish epic, Piranha, in eyeball gouging 3D! The trailer is grizzly, cheesy excess, so I am hopeful this new re-telling has all trashy hallmarks that made the original (and its James Cameron sequel) such fun. The fantastic cast of b-movie regulars includes Jerry O'Connell (Sliders), Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future), Elizabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction) and a cameo by Richard Dreyfuss in very special nod to Jaws. Let this one sink its teeth into your eyeballs this weekend at a cinema near you!

Avatar 3D: Special Edition - As if James Cameron didn't make enough money off it the first time, an extra eight minutes has been added to Avatar's already weighty run-time. It's really unclear what this extra footage is going to add to the story or if it's just more beautiful scenery and eye-popping cinematography of sci-fi/fantasy flights of fancy. I guess this one is for those who like a bit of completeness in their movie-going.

Beneath Hill 60 - Australian war-time drama, based on the true story of Oliver Woodward, who finds himself on the Western Front in WWI, despite having no training. The Queensland miner is torn from his life & family and forced to confront the horror of wartime carnage and the bleak claustrophobia of the trenches. He and his comrades must defend the labyrinthine tunnel system from approaching enemies by packing it with highly charged explosives. Directed by Jeremy Sims (Last Train To Freo), starring "name" Australian actors Brendan Cowell (Noise), Steve Le Marquand (In The Winter Dark) and newcomer Harrison Gilbertson.

It's A Wonderful Afterlife - Indian/U.K co-production from Gurinder Chadha, the director of Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice. This comedy centres on an Indian-Punjabi widow who is trying to set up her suicidal daughter with eligible bachelors. The guys all prove unworthy so she schemes a plan to kill them all off with curries. Surprisingly, the ghosts of the men come back to haunt her, unable to be reincarnated until their murderer dies. Sounds like it might be an original concept and screenshots of the film itself look interesting. Bollywood style shenanigans always look fun, so this should be a hoot.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work - Grand ol' dame of stand up, Joan Rivers, was followed by a small crew documenting her 75th year. The result is a hilarious wrenching insight into the cruelty and pain of showbiz in the modern world. A hit at this year's New Zealand International Film Festival and with many of her fans, this documentary apparently gives a lot of insight into the life of this complex woman who many have accused of being "one-note" in her approach to stardom. Fascinating stuff.

Predicament - Another fresh pick, directly from the New Zealand International Film Festival, is Jason Stutter's (Tongan Ninja) highly anticipated adaptation of Ronald Hugh Morrieson's (Came A Hot Friday) last novel to be filmed. This small town caper novel set in the 1930s involves a teen who hires two misfits to blackmail adulterous couples in the township. Stars Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), Rose McIver (The Lovely Bones), Heath Franklin (The Ronnie Johns Half Hour), and a great cameo from singer Tim Finn.

Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue - Disaster strikes as Thomas' friend Diesel finds himself in danger on the edge of a cliff top. Thomas saves Diesel and, as a reward for his daring rescue, gets to visit the mainland - his first trip off of the Island of Sodor. But when the raft carrying Thomas becomes separated from its tugboat, he ends up stranded and alone on the mysterious Misty Island... (Screening exclusively at Hoyts Cinemas)

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