Wednesday, 27 September 2017

What's new in Odeon's this week : Thursday 28th September 2017.

The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were held at The Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California on Sunday evening 17th September and hosted this year by American comedian, actor, writer and television host Stephen Colbert. For the full list of the winners & grinners from this TV night of nights, simply Google Primetime Emmy Awards 2017. For the abridged list of those celebrating their win, see below :-

* Winner Outstanding Comedy Series : 'Veep' (HBO Production).
* Winner Outstanding Drama Series : 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Hulu Production).
* Winner Outstanding Limited Series : 'Big Little Lies' (HBO Production).
* Winner Outstanding Television Movie : 'Black Mirror' (Netflix Production).
* Winner Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series : Donald Glover for 'Atlanta'. (Glover became the first African American to win).
* Winner Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series : Julia Louise-Dreyfus for 'Veep' (Dreyfus won a record sixth consecutive award for the same role in the same series).
* Winner Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series : Sterling K. Brown for 'This Is Us'.
* Winner Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series : Elizabeth Moss for 'The Handmaid's Tale'.
* Winner Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie : Riz Ahmed for 'The Night Of' (Ahmed became the first Asian and the first Muslim to win the award).
* Winner Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie : Nicole Kidman for 'Big Little Lies'.
* Winner Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series : Alec Baldwin for 'Saturday Night Live'.
* Winner Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series : John Lithgow for 'The Crown'.
* Winner Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series : Anne Dowd for 'The Handmaid's Tale'.
* Winner Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie : Alexander Skarsgard for 'Big Little Lies'.
* Winner Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie : Laura Dern for 'Big Little Lies'.
* Winner Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series : Donald Glover for 'Atlanta'.
* Winner Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series : Reed Morano for 'The Handmaid's Tale'.
* Winner Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series or Movie : Jean-Marc Vallee for 'Big Little Lies'.
All up, 'Big Little Lies' and 'The Handmaid's Tale' walked away with five award wins apiece from their eight and seven nominations respectively, HBO had ten wins, Hulu five, and Netflix four.

This week, there are four new movie releases to tease you out to your local independent picture house or multiplex cinema. We start off with a biographical sports retelling of a much hyped and groundbreaking tennis match staged back in 1973 between two greats as they face off both on-court in the public arena and off-court coming to terms with their own unfolding turbulent lives. We then move to a Sci-Fi sequel that takes us to the edge of death and beyond only to return to face the paranormal demons of the past; before another historical biographical drama of a groundbreaking dancer that became the darling of late 19th Century Paris; before winding up with a tale of four Indian woman rebelling against their religion and their culture from behind a veil of secrecy.

Whatever your taste in big screen film entertainment is this week - be it any of the four new release films as Previewed below, or those doing the rounds currently on general release and as Reviewed and Previewed in previous Blog Posts here at Odeon Online, you are here warmly invited 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 meanwhile, enjoy your big screen Odeon experience during the coming week.

'BATTLE OF THE SEXES' (Rated PG) - Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris this biographical sports comedy drama film is based loosely on the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Riggs had been one of the world's top tennis players in the '40's and had previously held the top ranking and had won six major titles during his career. After retiring from professional tennis in 1951, he remained a master promoter of the game and indeed himself. In 1973, he openly speculated that the female game was inferior to the male game and that even at his then current age of 55 he could still beat any of the top female players. He initially challenged Billie Jean King, but when she declined, Margaret Court stepped in. At the time in 1973, Court was 30 years old and the top female player in the world. On the day of their match on May 13, Riggs beat Court convincingly 6-2, 6-1 to propel himself back into the national limelight. Subsequently, with his new found sense of pride and purpose, Riggs taunted all female players which prompted King to accept a lucrative challenge with a purse of US$100K and a nationally televised game which was dubbed 'The Battle of the Sexes'. Played out at the Houston Astrodome on 20th September 1973 in front of a worldwide audience of ninety million, King (who was 29 at the time) won in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, and her victory is considered to be a milestone in the acceptance of women's tennis.

And so history lesson over, this film centres around that very public, media grabbing on-court 'Battle' with Billie Jean King played by Emma Stone and Bobby Riggs by Steve Carell, as off-court each player was fighting more personal and complex conflicts. With her husband urging her to fight for equal pay, the private Billie Jean was also struggling to reconcile her own sexuality as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) develops, whilst Riggs gambled his reputation and his legacy in a bid to revive the successes and fame of his by gone days, at the expense of his family and his wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Also starring Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming, Sarah Silverman, and Jessica McNamee as Margaret Court. The film was released in the US last week following its World Premier at the Telluride Film Festival earlier in September, and has received generally positive Reviews.

'FLATLINERS' (Rated M) - this 2017 'Flatliners' Sci-Fi psychological horror drama film is a sequel to the cult 1990 'Flatliners' that back then was Directed by Joel Schumacher and starred the young up and coming talents of Keifer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt amongst others, and grossed US$62M off the back of its US$26M budget. This sequel is Directed by Danish Niels Arden Oplev whose previous credits include the Swedish version of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', episodes of 'Under the Dome' and 'Mr. Robot' and various films in his native Denmark, and is released in the US this week too, at a cost of US$20M to bring to the big screen. Telling the story some twenty-eight years after Nelson Wright (Keifer Sutherland reprising his role as an older, wiser former medical student) lived to tell the tale of his near death experiments, so a group of young medical students attempt the same procedure by enlisting the help of a promising doctor and medical theorist Courtney Holmes (Ellen Page). Triggering near death experiences by stopping the heart beat for short period of time, leads them to become more bold and brazen with their journeys to the other side to see what lies beyond life. As their experiments progress they are confronted by sins they have either committed of have had committed against them in the past which begin to manifest themselves in physical form. To overcome these they must face the paranormal consequences of visiting the other side as they dive deeper into their death experiences to find a cure. Also starring Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons.

'THE DANCER (Rated M) - this French biographical drama film is Directed by Stephanie Di Giusto in her Directorial debut, is based on the novel 'Loïe Fuller : Danseuse de la Belle époque' by Giovanni Lista, was screened in the Un Certain Regard category at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and only now gets its limited Australian release. The film cost US$8M to make and has so far recovered just US$2M, and tells the real story of legendary late 19th Century dancer Loïe Fuller (SoKo, aka Stephanie Sokolinski) who gave up her mid-west American home to become the toast of Paris for her revolutionary 'serpentine' dance act. A chance meeting with Isadora Duncan (Lily-Rose Depp, the eighteen year old daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis), a beautiful young prodigy hungry for her own fame and fortune that threatens Loïe and everything she has worked for.

'LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA' (Rated MA15+) - Written and Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava this Indian black comedy film was released in India at the end of July and in the US earlier this month to both critical acclaim and commercial success. It has done the rounds across 35 film festivals earning eleven international awards before its official release. The story here surrounds four women living in the crowded streets of Bhopal, in India, each going in search of a little freedom in their daily lives. A burkha wearing college girl struggles with issues of cultural identity and her dreams of becoming a pop singer; a young two-timing beauty therapist, is looking for a way out of her claustrophobic small town existence; a down trodden housewife and mother of three, lives an alternate life of an enterprising saleswoman, and a 55 year-old widow rediscovers her sexuality through phone sex with a young swimming coach. Trapped in their worlds, they claim their desires through secret acts of rebellion - with the red lipstick connecting them all as a sign of the underlying freedom that every woman seeks.

With four new release films this week to tempt you out to your local Odeon, taking in true story of an on-court battle royale between two tennis greats; a Sci-Fi sequel taking us close to death, but not quite; another true story here featuring a late 19th Century dance pioneer; and a film of four women trapped by their religion and cultural beliefs determined to find a way out, even if only briefly. Remember to share your movie going thoughts with your other like minded cinephiles afterwards here at Odeon Online, and the meantime, I'll see you sometime somewhere in the week ahead at your local Odeon.

-Steve, at Odeon Online-

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