We catch up with the acapella comedy PITCH PERFECT (that we had to skip last week because of time), Karl Urban’s chin is the star of the new comic book adaptation DREDD 3D and we also go SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN.
Can I have a quick word with you about forgiveness? Not for me, you understand — I’ve nothing to apologise for — but the forgiveness we show to films we love, forgiveness for cinematic transgressions that would kill our enjoyment for lesser works. Let’s take as an example Wayne Blair’s The Sapphires. The storytelling is occasionally clunky — important plot points are delivered by telephone or messenger like a helpful deus ex machina — and some of the supporting cast don’t appear to know what movie they are in. Its ambitions push hard at the seams of the budget constraints and occasionally burst them revealing the thin lining inside. But the film has such a big heart and so much love for its characters that those flaws are easy to overlook and getting swept along on seems like the easiest and best option.
It’s 1968 and war is raging in Southeast Asia while the American civil rights battle is tearing America apart. Meanwhile in sleepy Cummeragunga NSW, the aboriginal McRae sisters sing country and western standards to unappreciative white pub audiences and dream of fame and fortune in the big city. Discovered by failed cruise ship entertainments officer Dave Lovelace (Chris O’Dowd), they set their sights on entertaining the troops in Vietnam but to do that they have to embrace some soul roots and get over some long-suppressed family issues.
Half way through Winter’s Bone I found myself thinking, “So, this is what the Western has become?” The best Westerns are about finding or sustaining a moral path though a lawless frontier and the frontier in Winter’s Bone is the hidden world of the rural poor and the path is a strange and terrifying one.
In the rough and remote Ozark Mountains, teenage Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) is single-handedly bringing up her two young siblings while caring for her emotionally damaged mother. One cold morning the Sheriff turns up with the news that her father, Jessup, used their house as his bail bond and unless Ree can find him and persuade him to turn up for Court, the family will lose everything.
Jessup is (or maybe was) what we would call a ‘P’ dealer — the only economy in the area showing any kind of growth. But the company he was keeping were the meanest of the mean and to find her father Ree must venture into dangerous territory.
In anticipation of the release at Christmas this year of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek XI (back to before the beginning with a new cast including Karl Urban and Simon Pegg) and because I really don’t have enough to do (ahem, that would include Downstage, Capital Times, Latin American Film Festival, Wellingtonista, 48HRS, Newtown Athletic and the commencement of a Post Graduate Diploma in Business and Administration at Massey) I hereby embark on my longstanding plan to watch all the Star Trek episodes and movies in chronological order.
And when I say chronological order I mean in story order which, according to this Wikipedia entry, starts with “Enterprise” set in 2151 and ends with Nemesis in 2379. Ever the iconoclast, however, I intend to start tonight with First Contact which, despite featuring the TNG crew of Picard, Data, etc. contains Zefram Cochrane’s first warp flight, thus leading to all the other stories. Then to Season One of “Enterprise” and onward, hopefully arriving at the end before I have to review Star Trek XI this time next year.
I won’t be reviewing every entry because, frankly, who cares?
Wish me luck. Live long and prosper.
Or should I say: Resistance is futile.