Wednesday, 7 June 2017

What's new in Odeon's this week - Thursday 8th June 2017.

Celebrating its 64th year, The Sydney Film Festival launches on Wednesday 7th June and runs for twelve days up until, and including,  Sunday 18th June. This year features four hundred sessions screened at selected cinemas in and around Sydney and 288 films shown in and out of competition as part of the programme. The Opening Night film is the world premier of Warwick Thornton's 'We Don't Need A Map' in which the film maker investigates our relationship with The Southern Cross as we journey through this five-star constellation's astronomical, colonial and Indigenous history to the present day. The Closing Night film is Korean Director Bong Joon-ho's 'Okja' starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Daniel Henshall and Steven Yuen about a young girl who fights to save her best friend of the past ten years - a giant animal named Okja - from an unscrupulous corporate business that have different plans. Seven recently added films to this years programme come straight from the recent Cannes Film Festival -  including Palme d'Or winner 'The Square', and 'Im Not A Witch', 'Jupiters Moon', 'Good Time' and 'A Man of Integrity'. Of the twelve films in Official Competition, the winning feature film is presented with a AU$60K award in recognition of the most courageous, audacious and cutting-edge new cinema. These films include 'The Beguiled', 'Happy End', 'I Am Not Your Negro', 'On Body and Soul', 'Una' 'The Untamed', 'Wolf and Sheep', 'We Don't Need a Map' and 'Felicity'. For full details of the Festival Programme, go to

This week we have four new movies about to do the rounds, kicking off with a reboot of a successful  ancient Egyptian action adventure franchise of the late '90's/early'00's, but which has its history in the movies going back more than eighty years, then a bio-pic of sorts that shows some poetic license over the real life events that unfolded before a significant turning point in WWII as the British Prime Minister at the time ponders over the go/no go implications of his decision. We then turn to a period piece based on a notable book of 1951 and its last big screen adaptation of 1952, of family intrigue, drama and emotion, before wrapping up with a CG animated action thriller based on a hugely popular shoot 'em up video game that has spawned this third animated feature plus a live action franchise too.

Whatever your taste in big screen film entertainment is this week - be it any of the four as Previewed below, or those as Reviewed and Previewed in previous Blog Posts here at Odeon Online, be reminded to share your movie going thoughts, opinions and observations by leaving your relevant, succinct and appropriate views in the Comments section below this or any other Post. We'd love to hear from you, and in the meantime, enjoy your cinema experience this week.

'THE MUMMY' (Rated M) - this ancient Egyptian action adventure film is a reboot of the late '90's franchise that saw Brendan Fraser portraying the 1923 American explorer Rick O'Connell as  he battles against the revived corpse of an Egyptian Priest, Imhotep, as he rises back into a force to be reckoned with and intent on destroying the world as we know it. That 1999 film Directed and Written by Stephen Sommers went on to spawn two sequels - in 2001, 'The Mummy Returns' and in 2008 'The Mummy : Tomb of the Dragon Emperor'. The three films were made for a combined budget of US$323M and raked in at the global Box Office a collective US$1.42B. These films also saw a spin-off series kick starting with 'The Scorpion King' in 2002 with Dwayne Johnson in the title role and three direct to video follow-ups in 2008, 2012 and 2015. Of course the Mummy has a long history in film lore, going back most notably to 1932's 'The Mummy' Directed by Karl Freund and starring one Boris Karloff as our bandaged from head to toe ancient antagonist. Now in 2017, 'The Mummy' is once again resurrected, dusted off and brought out to play. This time Directed by Alex Kurtzman and Co-Written by David Koepp and Christopher McQuarrie this is the first instalment in 'The Dark Universe' series of films that will subsequently see reboots of 'Bride of Frankenstein' in 2019, 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' also in 2019, 'The Invisible Man' in 2020, 'Van Helsing' and 'Wolf Man' both thereafter.

Here we see Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) in the present day as a marauding soldier of fortune plundering ancient artefacts for sale to the highest bidder. When things go awry for Nick and his partner somewhere in the Middle East as a result of uncovering an ancient tomb housing Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) - a betrayed Egyptian Princess who has been mummified and entombed for thousands of years, and has grown mightily pissed off during that time. Once resurrected from her forced incarceration, she sets in motion a plan to make the world her own by destroying everything that mankind has built up in the ensuing couple of millennia. Only Morton and his cohorts, it seems, can save the world from this evil no good monster as the action and adventure takes us from the ancient ruins of Egypt to the streets of modern day London. Also starring Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, Courtney B. Vance, Jake Johnson and Annabelle Wallis. The film Premiered in Sydney on 22nd May, goes on general release in the US and Australia this week, and cost US$125M to bring to our screens.

'CHURCHILL' (Rated M) - here Australian Writer and Director Jonathan Teplitzky, whose previous credits include 2013's 'The Railway Man' with Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, once again turns his hand to historical drama, based on a story written by British historian and author Alex von Tunzelmann. Set during the four days in the lead up to the Allied Invasion of the Normandy D-Day landings of June 6th 1944, here the film centres on Winston Churchill (Brian Cox) trying to reconcile the demons of the ill fated Gallipoli landings in 1915, before making any rash decisions to go head to head against the German forces on the beaches of northern France. Approaching 70 years of age, Churchill here wants his legacy to be that of a war hero, a great historical figure, the mastermind behind Britain's greatest wartime victory, rather than the man who orchestrated the mindless and needless slaughter of thousands of young men. With General Dwight Eisenhower (Tony Slattery) and Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery (Julian Wadham) growing increasingly frustrated and impatient with Churchill's indecision to mount an attack or not, as the long pre-determined date approaches, it seems that only his wife Clementine (Miranda Richardson) has the presence of mind to steer Churchill to the best course of action and halt his physical and mental collapse after years of war mongering and political uncertainty. Also starring James Purefoy as King George VI.

'MY COUSIN RACHEL' (Rated M) - based on the Daphne du Maurier book of the same name first published in 1951, this is the first big screen adaptation of that novel since the 1952 film of the same name starring Richard Burton as Philip Ashley and Olivia de Havilland playing Rachel Ashley. Here Roger Michell wrote the Screenplay and Directs this latest adaptation with Rachel Weisz as Rachel and Sam Claflin as Philip who plots revenge against his beautiful cousin for allegedly murdering his guardian. But as time wears on Philip finds himself drawn to the mysterious Rachel as he falls under her charming spell and his feelings toward her become ever more complicated. Also starring Iain Glen and Holliday Grainger, this film is released in the US and the UK this week too.

'RESIDENT EVIL : VENDETTA' (Rated MA15+) - this Japanese 3D animated action-thriller film is part of the 'Resident Evil' franchise, and takes place in the same dimension (unlike the live action offerings starring Milla Jovovich) as the hugely popular and successful video games series. The film features the principle characters Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman), Leon S. Kennedy (Matthew Mercer) and Rebecca Chambers (Erin Cahill) and is the third CG movie, after 2008's 'Resident Evil: Degeneration' and 2012's 'Resident Evil: Damnation' and was Written by Makoto Fukami and Directed by Takanori Tsujimoto. Set sometime between the events of 'Resident Evil 6' (the action adventure third person video game) and 'Resident Evil 7' (the survival horror first person video game) here Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance agent Chris Redfield enlists the support of American government agent Leon S. Kennedy and Professor Rebecca Chambers to halt Glenn Arias (Alexander Polinsky), a death merchant who is on a mission of vengeance, from spreading a new deadly zombie virus on New York City. The film was released in Japan at the end of May, and goes on release in selected Australian cinemas this week and likewise in the US as of 19th June.

Once again, there are four very different movie offerings released this coming week, three of which tender something historical - fantasy adventure, fictional drama and poetic license biographical, and the fourth, futuristic video game action thrills. Whatever your taste is over the following seven days, be sure to share your film going musings with your like minded cinephiles here at Odeon Online. Meanwhile, I'll see you sometime, somewhere in the week ahead at your local Odeon.

-Steve, at Odeon Online-

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