A harrowing odyssey to the USA

comment   | print |

The Golden Dream (2013)

Directed by Diego Quemada-Diez 

Who’s in it? Brandon Lopez, Rodolfo Domínguez, Karen Martínez

What’s it about? The Golden Dream (La Jaula de Oro) is Ken Loach prodigy Quemada-Diez’s first full blown solo project after plying his trade for years as the respected and conscientious British director’s camera assistant. The film uncovers the “human warmth, compassion and truth” hidden in the most unlikely of situations, namely modern day Mexico, if you happen to be an illegal migrant looking for a better life in the US. The plot follows three Guatamalan teenagers as they busk their way across the border, hitching a lift on the roof of an obliging train along the way while attempting to stay the right side of traffickers and drug lords, in search of greener grass. Awarded the Best Talent Prize last year at Cannes, Quemada-Diez is undoubtedly a graduate of the Loach school of down to earth… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 30 JUNE 2014

Captain America saves the world. Again.

comment   | print |

Captain America: The Winter Soldier            
Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo     
Starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders       
136 minutes     

While trying to fit into the 21st century, Captain America works for the SHIELD (a military and counterintelligence organization created to protect the world) as sidekick of director Nick Fury. He is still Steve Rogers (his civilian identity), though, and his rigid, old-fashioned moral code leads him to contest Fury’s methods. When Fury suffers a fatal attack at the hand of the mysterious Winter Soldier, Steve starts investigating with the Black Widow, the only person that he can trust... His enemy has taken possession of SHIELD and Captain America is now public enemy number one....

Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) runs marathon distances around the Lincoln Monument with the pace of the runner Usain… click here to read whole article and make comments



A tale of babies switched at birth becomes a parable of fatherhood

comment   | print |

Like Father, Like Son (Soshite chichi ni naru)       
Directed by Hirokazu Kore-Eda      
Starring Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono       
Japanese, 2013, 120 minutes

A Japanese couple, Ryota and Midori, is informed that the six-year-old child they have raised as their own is actually someone else’s son. Six years ago a nurse swapped two babies in their cots for reasons we will discover later. The two families involved, different in walk of life and character, start an uneasy relationship, and the parents begin a journey to discover their "real" son. But other secrets hidden in the past will force Ryota to put his whole life into question ...

What makes you the child of your father? Your blood, your genetic code or the love you have raised him with? Are we really willing to accept the possibility that our child might not meet the… click here to read whole article and make comments



The latest X-Men saga delivers great entertainment

comment   | print |

X Men: Days of future past     
Directed by Bryan Singer   
Starring Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Omar Sy, Evan Peters       
131 minutes      

In 2023 the mutants are almost extinct. They are being hunted down by the Sentinels, robots capable of adapting to their powers in order to destroy them. In a last-ditch effort to save his race, Professor X manages to harness the powers of the mutant Kitty Pryde to send Wolverine (or at least his consciousness) into the past, in 1973, to prevent the war between mutants and Sentinels from beginning. The task of Wolverine is complicated by the fact that Charles Xavier (who later becomes Professor X) has lost confidence in his powers; Magneto is locked up in a maximum security prison; and the dangerous Mystica is haunting… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 13 JUNE 2014

Classic Cinema: Doctor Zhivago

comment   | print |

Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Directed by David Lean

Who’s in it? Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin

What’s it about? Narrowly missing out on the Best Picture Oscar to The Sound of Music, Lawrence of Arabia director David Lean’s multi-Oscar winning adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s Nobel Prize winning novel of love amid the socio-political turmoil of civil war, is another classic from the director’s epic resume. Classy melodrama at its most elegant and affecting, the plot bears witness to the personal impact of Bolshevik Communism leading up to, during and after the Russian Revolution as Sharif’s married poet/physician has an affair with revolutionary's wife Lara (Christie) as the pair come to terms with a frightening new world order.

Memorable Moments? Featuring a Best Original Song Oscar winning main theme, Maurice Jarre’s stirring score for the film mirrors the inner tempests and contextual chaos of the period, tangible in the passionate glances and dialogue… click here to read whole article and make comments



Comedy in the kitchen

comment   | print |

Directed by Jon Favreau     
Starring Jon Favreau, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr     

Creative workaholic chef Carl Casper (writer-director Jon Favreau) is stuck in a rut cooking staid dishes for stuffy fine-dining restaurant owner Riva (Dustin Hoffman). Having lost his wife to a high-flying career and a playboy tycoon, the only sparks in his life come from the sensuous dishes he cooks for the restaurant’s sultry maitre d’ – girlfriend Molly (Scarlett Johansson).  That is, until popular food critic Ramsey posts a stinking online review in which he links Carl’s waistline to “eating all the food sent back to the kitchen”.

Carl, new to social media, gets a crash course in Twitter from pre-teen son Percy and whistles an insult back, unaware that there’s no such thing as a private tweet. Predictably, he receives an equally blunt response from Ramsey that’s read by many… click here to read whole article and make comments



The Amazing Spider-Man 2

comment   | print |

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Directed by Marc Webb
Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field and Paul Giamatti
142 minutes

Peter Parker returns to wear the Spiderman’s suit and to try to reconcile his fight against extraordinary crime with fairly ordinary problems: graduation, taking care of his aunt and protecting his girlfriend Gwen. Still recovering from the death of captain George Stacy (which happened in the first movie), Peter decides to break up with Gwen; meanwhile, Harry Osborn is back in Manhattan and has inherited the entire Oscorp empire. However, he is also dying of a hereditary illness, which seems to have no other cure than Spiderman’s blood. Scared of how horrible its side effects could be, Peter refuses to comply. In the midst of all of this, a new terrible enemy threatens the city: Electro… 

The Spiderman saga may not be… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 23 MAY 2014

Hollywood sticks to the script of ancient Rome

comment   | print |

Take one brooding hunk, enslaved as a gladiator after the brutal slaughter of his family, who seeks revenge against the evil Roman empire. Lay on plenty of set-piece spectacular arena battles through which your hero, and his African rival-turned-comrade, can win fame and the love of the people. Throw in a crazed Roman emperor-figure, with more than a touch of camp, some spectacular sets and costumes, a chariot race or two, a love interest, and ramp up the tension before an explosive finale.

These are the cinematic ingredients that Hollywood throws together, time and again, when it turns to ancient Rome. The recent Pompeii film follows a very similar recipe to Gladiator (2000) – albeit less skilfully executed – while also drawing heavily on more recent films like Centurion (2010) and The Eagle (2011) in its depiction of the northern frontiers of the… click here to read whole article and make comments



Cinema Classics: To Kill a Mockingbird

comment   | print |

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Directed by Robert Mulligan 

Who’s in it? Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Philip Alford

What’s it about? The archetypal courtroom drama, To Kill a Mocking Bird immortalised the character of Atticus Finch (embodied superbly by Gregory Peck) as a bastion of moral integrity, putting his reputation on the line to defend an innocent black man from prejudice in rural, depression-era America. Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, the film faithfully recreates the subtle nuances and small town details of the book but it is Peck’s Oscar winning performance which makes this adaptation extraordinary, making the character of Atticus (voted by the American Film Institute the greatest movie hero of the 20th century) warm and relatable, giving the sense that, as Harper Lee herself said of the actor, “Atticus Finch gave him an opportunity to play himself."

Memorable moments? The courtroom drama genre is synonymous with the figure of Peck as Finch… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 12 MAY 2014

Cinema classics: Life is Beautiful

comment   | print |

Life is Beautiful (La Vita E Bella, 1997)

Directed by Roberto Benigni

Who's in it? Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi

What's it about? Winner of three Oscars including Best Actor for director Benigni (who also stars) and Best Foreign Language Film, as well as the Grand Prix at Cannes, Life is Beautiful is a charming, funny and moving account of one man's optimistic attitude to life and his courage in passing his joie de vivre to his son, even in the face of unspeakable evil. The film follows the story of happy-go-lucky book shop owner Guido as he and his son find themselves in a concentration camp together and must use their imagination to survive. A powerful and life affirming tale of perseverance, even joy, in adversity, the film is at times sorrowful and sobering but never depressing, fizzing with the irrepressible spirit of its larger than life message of hope… click here to read whole article and make comments


Page 2 of 7 :  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›

Popcorn is MercatorNet's funky blog about what's hot and what's not in the world of cinema. Feel like contributing? Contact us at popcorn@MercatorNet.com. Feel like commenting? Sound off beneath the posts. 

rss PopCorn RSS feed

Follow MercatorNet
subscribe to newsletter
Sections and Blogs
Family Edge
Sheila Reports
Reading Matters
Demography Is Destiny
Conniptions (the editorial)
our ideals
our People
Mercator who?
partner sites
audited accounts
advice for writers
New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2
5 George Street
North Strathfield NSW 2137

+61 2 8005 8605
skype: mercatornet
© New Media Foundation 2015 | powered by Encyclomedia | designed by Elleston