The 68th Berlin International Film Festival (aka 'Berlinale') took place between 15th and 25th February this year, with German filmmaker Tom Tykwer acting as Jury President. With an average 300,000 tickets sold and half a million admissions each year, it sees the largest public attendance of any annual film festival. Up to four hundred films are shown in several sections across cinematic genres. Around twenty films compete for the festival's top awards, the 'Golden Bear' and several 'Silver Bears'.
This year there were nineteen films in main competition for the Golden Bear including 'Damsel' an American comedy western period film Directed by David and Nathan Zellner with Robert Pattinson, Robert Forster and Mia Wasikowska; American comedy drama 'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot' Directed by Gus van Sant with Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Jack Black and Rooney Mara; and 'Isle of Dogs' as Written and Directed by Wes Anderson and as Previewed below, for which Anderson was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director. The winning film for this year was Romanian entry 'Touch Me Not' by Director, Writer and Actress Adina Pintilie and is an experiment between fiction and documentary, and examines the prejudices of people related to human sexuality.
Five films screened out of competition including terrorist hijacking crime drama '7 Days in Entebbe' Directed by Jose Padilha and starring Rosamund Pike, Daniel Bruhl and Eddie Marsan; historical thriller 'Black 47' Directed by Lance Daly with Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox and Barry Keoghan; and Steven Soderbergh's psychological horror thriller 'Unsane' starring Claire Foy, Matt Damon, Juno Temple, Amy Irving, and Joshua Leonard.
This weeks four new release movies coming to an Odeon near you, kick off with a stop motion animated film from an acclaimed Director and featuring an all star voice cast telling the story of dogs banished to an island prison to see out their days when salvation arrives in the form of a young lad seeking to rescue his pet guard dog. This is followed up by a marauding monster silverback gorilla, a giant wolf that flies and a gigantic crocodile all subjects of a mystery experiment gone horribly wrong and only one man who cave save Planet America from destruction. Then we turn attention to a black British comedy about a dinner party that goes horribly wrong and the fall out from it as witnessed by the seven guests involved; before wrapping up the week with a supernatural horror offering that just might be your downfall unless you tell the truth, or accept and carry out a challenge.
Whatever your taste in big screen film entertainment is this week - be it any of the four latest release new 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 cordially 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 outing during the coming week.
'ISLE OF DOGS' (Rated PG) - Wes Anderson has been Directing, Producing, Writing and at times Acting in films since 1996 when he launched himself onto the movie making world with 'Bottle Rocket'. Since then there has been 'Rushmore', 'The Royal Tenenbaums', 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou', 'The Darjeeling Limited', 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', 'Moonrise Kingdom', 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and now 'Isle of Dogs' on which he Directs, Co-Produces, wrote the Screenplay and came up with the original storyline in tandem with Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola. The film was in competition at the recent 68th Berlin International Film Festival where it was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director, before going on limited release in the US in late March before its much wider release this week, and here in Australia too. The film has been universally acclaimed for its stop motion animation, storyline and deadpan humour. It has so far taken US$18M at the Box Office.
Starring an all star cast of voice talent, the film here centres on a dystopian near-future Japan, in which a dog flu virus spreads throughout the canine population. When, by executive decree, handed down by the ruthless new Mayor of Megasaki City, Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura), all dogs are exiled to a vast rubbish tip called Trash Island. 12-year-old Atari (Koyu Rankin) sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop aeroplane and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots (Liev Schreiber) who was the first dog to be banished there. With the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban), Duke (Jeff Goldblum), Boss (Bill Murray) and Chief (Bryan Cranston) he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate of the dogs and the future of the entire Prefecture. Also starring the voices of Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Ken Watanabe, Fisher Stevens, Roman Coppola, Anjelica Huston, Courtney B. Vance and Yoko Ono.
'RAMPAGE' (Rated M) - here we have another marauding genetically modified monster Sci-Fi offering from Director and Co-Producer Brad Peyton whose previous Directorial credits include 'Journey 2 : The Mysterious Island' in 2012 with Dwayne Johnson, 'San Andreas' in 2015 with Dwayne Johnson and 'Incarnate' with Aaron Eckhart in 2016. Here Peyton teams up with his go-to action adventure hunk of beef-cake Dwayne Johnson once more, as Johnson stars as Davis Okoye, a primatologist who shares a unique bond with a super intelligent albino silverback gorilla called George, whom he has raised and cared for since birth. When Okoye discovers that his beloved gorilla has been infected by a mystery experiment that turns the gentle gorilla into a giant aggressive beast, together with a grey wolf and a crocodile also infected by the same experiment with similar consequences, so he must team up with discredited genetic engineer Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomi Harris) to save George and prevent the mutated wolf and crocodile from going on the proverbial rampage, running amok and laying the good ol' USofA to waste, whilst also finding the perpetrator of the infectious experiment. Also starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello and Malin Akerman. The film goes on general release in the US this week too, and Peyton is teaming up with Johnson for a sequel to 'San Andreas' also.
'THE PARTY' (Rated MA15+) - this black British Comedy was Written and Directed by Sally Potter and Premiered in competition at the Berlin Film Festival way back in February 2017 after which it did the festival circuit gaining its UK release in October last year, its US release earlier this year and only now does it arrive in Australian cinemas. Starring an ensemble cast of just seven Actors, the story surrounds Janet (Kristen Scott Thomas) who is hosting an intimate get together with her closest friends in her London home to celebrate her rising up the political ladder and her promotion to the shadow Minister for Health for the party in opposition. After her acerbic best friend and others arrive, some with dramatic news to share, an announcement by Janet's husband Bill (Timothy Spall) provokes a series of revelations. As the sophisticated soiree starts to unravel, a night that began with champagne soon ends up with arguments, raised voices and a pointed pistol. The others in the party are Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy and Cherry Jones. The film has been well received by Critics and audiences alike.
'TRUTH OR DARE' (Rated M) - you know the game we all played at some point in our childhood, well here we have a supernatural horror take on that same game that turns ugly for those innocent young adult players when someone or something with sinister deadly intentions in mind, begins to punish those who don't tell the truth or refuse to carry through with their dare. Directed and Co-Written for the screen by Jeff Wadlow (best known for Directing and Writing 'Kick-Ass 2') the film stars Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Sam Lerner, Sophia Ali, Hayden Szeto, Landon Liboiron and Aurora Perrineau and is released Stateside this week also.
With four new release films out this week to tempt you out to your local Odeon, remember to share your movie going thoughts with your other like minded cinephile friends afterwards here at Odeon Online. In the meantime, I'll see you sometime somewhere in the week ahead at your local Odeon.
-Steve, at Odeon Online-