Wednesday, 8 November 2017

What's new in Odeon's this week : Thursday 9th November 2017.

The 7th AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) Awards takes place in Sydney on 6th December this year, with the who's who from the world of cinema and television, in front and behind the camera all vying for awards recognition. The official list of nominees was announced last week, and in terms of the film industry, in competition for the major prizes are :-

* BEST FILM : 'Ali's Wedding', 'Lion', 'Berlin Syndrome', 'Jasper Jones' and 'Hounds of Love'.
* BEST DIRECTION : 'Jeffrey Walker for 'Ali's Wedding', Garth Davis for 'Lion', Cate Shortland for 'Berlin Syndrome' and Ben Young for 'Hounds of Love'.
* BEST LEAD ACTOR : Osamah Sami for 'Ali's Wedding', Sunny Pawar for 'Lion', Stephen Curry for 'Hounds of Love' and Ewen Leslie for 'The Butterfly Tree'.
* BEST LEAD ACTRESS : Helana Sawires for 'Ali's Wedding', Teresa Palmer for 'Berlin Syndrome',  Emma Booth for 'Hounds of Love' and Sara West for 'Don't Tell'.
* BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR : Don Hany for 'Ali's Wedding', Dev Patel for 'Lion', Hugo Weaving for 'Jasper Jones' and Jack Thompson for 'Don't Tell'.
* BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS : Frances Duca for 'Ali's Wedding', Nicole Kidman for 'Lion', Susie Porter for 'Hounds of Love' and Jacqueline McKenzie for 'Don't Tell'.
* BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY : 'Ali's Wedding', 'Hounds of Love', 'The Butterfly Tree' and 'The Death and Life of Otto Bloom'.
* BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY : 'Lion', 'Berlin Syndrome', 'Jasper Jones' and 'Don't Tell'.
* BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY : Greig Fraser for 'Lion', Michael McDermott for 'Hounds of Love', Stefan Duscio for 'Jungle' and Geoffrey Hall for 'Red Dog : True Blue'.
* BEST VISUAL EFFECTS OR ANIMATION : 'Deepwater Horizon', 'Doctor Strange', 'The Lego Batman Movie' and 'Game of Thrones : The Spoils of War'.
You can go to the official website at : for the full run down on this years nominees in every category, and more.

Turning to this weeks current release movies coming to a big screen somewhere near you, we have an all star cast in this lavish remake of a classic whodunnit 1930's novel set aboard a train, that sees this fourth screen adaptation of this famed story; then we have a BioPic about an inner city riot of fifty years ago that went down as one of the worst in American history; then another BioPic about an intrepid amateur explorer who gets lost in the remote South American jungle and his struggles too survive; followed by another BioPic about a man and the two women in his life who together create the first female Superheroine (that we know and love to this day) almost eighty years ago; before wrapping up with a tale of man who thinks little of himself and his journey of discovery to realise that he is worth a whole lot more.

Whatever your taste in big screen film entertainment is this week - be it any of the five latest 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 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 in the meantime, enjoy your big screen Odeon experience during the coming week.

'MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS' (Rated M) - the classic 1934 Agatha Christie murder mystery novel upon which this film is based has been committed to the big and small screens a number of times over the years, most notably in 1974 as Directed by Sidney Lumet and starred an ensemble cast. That film was nominated for six Academy Awards and won one - for Best Supporting Actress going to Ingrid Bergman. It was also nominated for ten BAFTA's and walked away with three  for Best Supporting Actor and Actress to John Gielgud and Ingrid Bergman respectively, and Best Music. All up the film won nine awards and received a further sixteen nominations, and at the Box Office returned US$36M from its US$1.4M budget outlay. The films cast included Albert Finney as the super sleuth gentleman detective Hercule Poirot, Sean Connnery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Michael York, Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Vanessa Redgrave and Jacqueline Bisset. In 2001 a made for television movie was released of the same name, featuring the same storyline, and the same title but set in the present day and starring Alfred Molina as Hercule Poirot, Peter Strauss and Leslie Caron. Then in 2010 the popular long running television series 'Agatha Christie's Poirot' with David Suchet as the detective aired in Season 12, Episode 3 'Murder on the Orient Express' which featured the acting talents of Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Chastain, Barbara Hershey, Toby Jones, David Morrissey, and Eileen Atkins. There has also been a BBC Radio 4 serialisation of the book and a video game adaptation over the years too.

And so now in 2017 we have this latest lavish reiteration of Christie's famed novel with Kenneth Branagh on Directing duty and starring as the hirsute Belgian detective Hercule Poirot with a ensemble cast for this production that takes in Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Olivia Coleman and Lucy Boynton amongst others. The film was released in the UK last week, and goes on wide release in the US and Australia this week. The storyline, as if you need reminding, is that set sometime in the 1930's famed detective Hercule Poirot is taking a well deserved rest in between super sleuthing on the Orient Express train. While on board he meets an interesting array of international and multi-cultural characters, one of whom is Samuel Ratchett (Johnny Depp) who pleads with Poirot to act as his personal bodyguard while travelling on the train for fear of his life. Poirot cordially declines the invitation, and the next morning winds up dead - stabbed to death. When the train is caught in a snow blizzard and the journey is halted, Poirot goes into unexpected investigative mode as the clues begin to mount up, everyone is a suspect and time is running out before the killer potentially strikes again.

'DETROIT' (Rated MA15+) - this historical biographical crime drama film is Directed and Co-Produced by Kathryn Bigelow and Written by Mark Boal with whom the Director collaborated on two of her previous films - 2008's 'The Hurt Locker' and 2012's 'Zero Dark Thirty'. The film is based on the 1967 Detroit Riot (aka The 12th Street Riot) and research tells us that this was one of 159 race related riots that swept across the USA throughout the 'Long Hot Summer of 1967'. This riot was a violent public disorder that turned into a civil disturbance in Detroit, Michigan. It began in the early hours of Sunday July 23, 1967. The catalyst to the event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar just north of the corner of 12th Street and Virginia Park Avenue, on the city's Near West Side. Police confrontations with customers and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in the history of the United States, lasting five days. To help bring an end to the disturbance, Governor George W. Romney ordered the Michigan Army National Guard into Detroit, and President Lyndon B. Johnson mobilised both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. The result was 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings trashed. Furthermore, The Algiers Motel Incident occurred in Detroit, during the night of July 25–26, 1967 during the racially fuelled 12th Street Riot. At the Algiers Motel, approximately one mile east of where the riots began, three teenage civilians, all black, were beaten and killed by police. Nine others, comprising two white females and seven black males were badly beaten and humiliated by members of a riot task force composed of the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police, and the Michigan Army National Guard. The incident occurred after reports were received that snipers, a gunman, or group of gunmen had been seen at or near the motel. This is the foundation of the film, starring John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor, Anthony Mackie and John Krasinski. The film opened in the US back in late July, cost US$34M to make and has so far recovered US$22M and has received generally positive Reviews, and there is even early Oscar buzz around the film.

'JUNGLE' (Rated M) - here we have a biographical jungle survival drama film Directed by Aussie Greg McLean whose previous credits include 'Wolf Creek', 'Wolf Creek 2', 'Rogue' and the recently released 'The Belko Experiment'. The film is based on the book 'Jungle : A Harrowing True Story of Survival' by Yossi Ghinsberg an Israeli adventurer, author, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and motivational speaker now living in Australia. Ghinsberg is most known for his survival story when he was stranded in an uncharted part of the Bolivian Amazon jungle for three weeks in 1981. Teaming up with some unknowns that Yossi (here portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe) meets in La Paz, Bolivia to begin a trek into the heart of the Amazon rainforest in search for an alleged lost Indian tribe. Their journey turns into a nightmare as the darkest elements of human nature and the deadliest threats of the untamed jungle force them to fight for survival. Also starring Alex Russell, Thomas Kretschmann, Joel Jackson and Yasmin Kassim the film Premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival back in August and now goes on limited release.

'BRAD'S STATUS' (Rated M) - Directed, Written, Co-Produced and also starring Mike White, this film tells the story of Brad Sloan (Ben Stiller) a middle aged guy living in a comfortable Californian home, with a comfortable job, and a loving comfortable wife Melanie (Jenna Fischer). His reality does not, however, quite match up with his career expectations and his life goals when he graduated from College back in the day. He keeps reminding himself of what might have been and he often compares himself to his four College buddies who have gone on to be successful, well paid career professionals. When Brad takes his teenage son Troy (Austin Abrams) on a tour of New England Colleges, he is forced to reconnect with his former College buddies, one of whom especially he is seeking to leverage a favour from - a teacher at Harvard, Craig Fisher (Michael Sheen). The experiences with his friends and his road trip with his son, compel Brad to re-evaluate the choices he made in life and whether or not he is in fact the failure he thinks he is, or he is the most successful in the group. Also starring Luke Wilson, Jermaine Clement and Mike White as Brad's three other College friends. The film Premiered at TIFF in early September, went on general release across the US the following week, has so far grossed just US$3M, and has received generally positive Reviews.

'PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN' (Rated MA15+) - here this historical biographical drama film Written and Directed by Angela Robinson takes us back to the very creation of the female Amazonian superheroine 'Wonder Woman' in the early '40's. Make no mistake about the title though - this is no extension of the DC Extended Universe, but an insight into what inspired and motivated the creator of this hugely successful comic character, William Moulton Marston (played here by Luke Evans). A Harvard psychologist and inventor Dr. Marston is working with his wife Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall) on the invention of the lie detector. When William hires a new Assistant Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote) to complete work on the lie detector, in time Olive falls for both William and Elizabeth, and eventually moves in with them, breaking off her engagement in the process. With two inspirational women in his life, he creates one of the most loved comic book characters of all time, although the road to fame and fortune is not without its challenges along the way. The film Premiered at TIFF in early November, was released Stateside in mid-October, has so far taken just US$1.5M and has garnered generally favourable Reviews noting in particular the performances from the three principle leads.

With five new release films this week to tempt you out to your local Odeon, taking in a remake of a classic 1930's whodunnit; a historical retelling on an inner city Riot; another historical BioPic about a guy lost in the jungle; and another historical BioPic of the man who created the first female Superheroine; and a journey of self awareness and discovery for a man and his son. Remember to share your movie going thoughts with your other like minded cinephiles afterwards here at Odeon Online, and meanwhile, I'll see you sometime somewhere in the week ahead at your local Odeon.

-Steve, at Odeon Online-

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