- Lucy Lawless joins Darren James
- Marcia Hines releases 'Amazing' new album
- Hey Dad! cast feeling 'a little numb'
- Dan Sultan releases 'Blackbird'
- Secret revealed: how to deal with rude customers
- I'm not a look-alike!
- Melissa Doyle releases 'Alphabet Soup'
- Petula Clark: 'I want to get better'
- RSS Syndicate this blog (XML)
What we're talking about
- CJG on New release movie reviews - April 1 Gareth Edwards is the director of Godzilla, not Gareth Evans. more
- Like Kisses of thread on New release movie reviews - April 1 The director attached to the Godzilla film is actually Gareth Edwards, not Gareth Evans.Lazy. more
- Spaghetti on New release movie reviews - April 1 No big deal, unless you're them, surely, but Gareth Edwards is directing Godzilla. more
- Barney on Denis's 'Meat Free Week' blog Denis. have you heard of the kick start diet or the soup diet. you eat their recipe of vegetable soup for a number of ... more
- ian on Kate Ceberano shares her story Has she got an New Release coming out.????? more
- Milton on Denis's 'Meat Free Week' blog Good luck with that one Denis:) more
- Jodi V on Victoria's oldest Ironman competitor Well done Mr Barnes. I remember you from high school running. So inspiring to see you are still at it. Jodi more
- Martin on Model sacked, told her bum's too big Ms Nicole is perfect, when will these designers realise men want meat not sticks. more
- Tracy Johnson on Austin Powers joins Friday Lunch Mark Andrew is one of a kind.With all is characters is best known for Elvis,in my views he is the best. more
- ian on Austin Powers joins Friday Lunch I had seen Mark on several occasions and to tell you he is great more
- Robert Rich on Back to the future for Moomba This is a joke !!!!!!! more
- Heather on Back to the future for Moomba Oh so wrong!!! Am sick of Bert being treated like a demi god. He's had his turn and would have thought he would do decent ... more
- CHRIS WATTS on Back to the future for Moomba once was enough,BUT not twice....why do we need to pamper this old tv worker.......Abbott is going back to the Howard days, ... more
- Jane on Back to the future for Moomba Oh spare me. Newton again. "Clown" hall does it again. How about honouring the CFA instead or someone like Moira Kelly for ... more
- ian on Back to the future for Moomba This would have the worst decision since the people voted Gillard in a P/M. more
- Jill on Back to the future for Moomba I would rather applaud our CFA during the Moomba Parade, than Bert Newton. Maybe we can applaud Bert Newton come Logie time. more
- Christine on Back to the future for Moomba You've got to be kidding ! more
- Alison Horner on Around the home with Shannon Lush Hi Shannon could you please advise washing microfibre cleaning cloths indicate no softness or bleach products to be used. ... more
- Craig on Chuck Berry takes a dive Ummmm.. Looks like he had a parachute on too... Nothing to see here. more
- ian on Mum furious: A stranger smacked my child Any witnesses. more
New release movie reviews - 7 December
TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE *** (111 minutes) M
With his old-man grumble and cynical grizzle in fine form, Clint Eastwood plays Gus Lobel, an aging old-school baseball scout whose use of instincts to pick prospects grinds against the computer-based methods favoured by his team's management. With his contract about to expire and a neglected lawyer-daughter (Amy Adams) joining him on a one-last-chance-to-prove-yourself road trip, it's not hard to see the cornball coming. Still, seeing new-millennium yuppies - what shall we call them? Nuppies? - with their iPhones and statistical breakdowns doing battle with Gus and his gut feelings is admittedly fun. Justin Timberlake is also along for the lesson-learning ride. Director Robert Lorenz - a long-time Eastwood producer having his first crack - does a proficient, if unremarkable job corralling all the cliches into a pleasing, predictable package, with its old-ways-is-best-ways message. (The film acts as a neat companion piece to Brad Pitt's Moneyball, which pushed the opposite philosophy.) Now 82, this is the first time since In the Line of Fire (1993; directed by Wolfgang Petersen) that Eastwood has acted in a film he didn't direct, and his first screen appearance since Gran Torino (2008). The work Eastwood is doing now behind the camera - knocking out great films at a rate of about one a year (Invictus; Hereafter; J. Edgar; Million Dollar Baby; Mystic River, etc) - is the best of his eight-decade career. Still, there's no denying the powerful presence he commands when he comes into frame, even when he's in the service of easily digestible multiplex mulch such as this. And let's face it, nobody serves out a big, well-deserved dose of comeuppance like Clint. Even without a gun.
PITCH PERFECT *** (112 minutes) M
There's girl-bonding aplenty in this upbeat comedy about a high-school a capella competition in which voice-only singing, envy and vomiting play key roles. Though designed as a starring vehicle for the icy charms of Anna Kendrick (Twilight; Oscar-nommed for Up in the Air) the cast is full of scene stealers. There is Australia's comically redoubtable Rebel Wilson - brandishing her own accent, no less - firing zingers all over the campus. As Aubrey, the strict leader of the group, Anna Camp (Mad Men; True Blood; The Good Wife; The Help), proves the most interesting character, having to reclaim her reputation after a mid-performance chundering incident that went viral. Intended as a compliment, Pitch Perfect is Glee with extra sass, a younger cousin of those 1980s films where "crews" would breakdance to see who's best. Elizabeth Banks, who plays a funny cameo as an contest commentator alongside John Michael Higgins, was one of the film's producers, and it is noteworthy to reflect on how rare a girl-lead movie comedies were before Bridesmaids. Even more noteworthy, though, is how the young people in the film regard the 1985 John Hughes film The Breakfast Club as an inspirational classic full of depth and meaning.
HERE COMES THE BOOM *** (105 minutes) M
The highly likeable Kevin James (The King of Queens; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; The Dilemma) headlines a highly likeable school/sports comedy lark in which he again plays a lovable oaf. Co-written by James and produced by the Adam Sandler hit factory (despite Jack and Jill and That's My Boy falling flat with fans), it's a by-the-numbers number about the importance of teachers, especially those in crummy schools where they're needed most. When funding cuts threaten the music program run by Henry Winkler's devoted teacher, James' biology teacher has to pull his thumb out of his behind to raise the money needed. So he becomes an extreme fighter, with the help from a wannabe citizen (played by real extreme fighter Bas Rutten). With Salma Hayek providing comically solid, not-quite-romantic support - and looking beautiful despite the film's muddy shot-on-video look - Sandler house director Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer; The Waterboy; Click; Zookeeper) keeps the pace and physical gags going just fast enough to paper over the predictability. And, to his credit, the final cage smackdown has an undeniably effective Rocky feel to it. Don't be hard on yourself if you get misty eyed.
THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS *** (95 minutes) MA
The fists, feet and digital blood go flying in this enjoyable, frenetic, largely forgettable chop-socky extravaganza about, well, about a man with iron fists who gets into lots of fights in old 19th century China. Produced by Quentin Tarantino and directed by first-timer RZA - the hip hopper musician and Wu-Tang Clan maestro - the film embellishes the old grindhouse style with nifty touches of new-century panache; the camera swirls through all the elaborate fight sequences and digital visuals add zest to all the casual carnage. Acting-wise, the best thing about the film is the inestimable Russell Crowe, who plays the girl-loving British soldier Jack Knife with a dash of posh understatement designed to be at odds with everything else in the film.