May 11, 2006

This Week in Australian Cinemas

Time for me to tell you what we're getting in our cinematic junk boxes this week. We have some true unmitigated trash this week, but mostly it's a collection of smaller arthouse releases including yet another self-funded and self-distributed Australian film - a trend that is becoming more and more common these thats (two in three weeks just recently).

The Benchwarmers, dir. Dugan
Director Dennis Dugan's name may not be at the forefront of your memory bank but for me he is one of my arch enemies. You see, apart from directing Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, Beverley Hills Ninja and Evil Woman he directed what I consider to be one THE worst movie ever made. Any number of Ed Wood productions cannot amount to half of the anger I felt while watching National Security. That despicable piece of garbage is just revolting. I hated every single second of it. It's racist, sexist, frustrating, stupifying and most of all supremely unfunny (Martin Lawrence calling Steve Zahn a "nazi" because he saw Martin sticking his hand inside a car window, ugh). So, naturally, Benchwarmers isn't right at the top of my must see list. It also doesn't help that it stars Rob Schneider (only below Martin Lawrence in terms of woefullness), David Space and Napoleon Dyn- I mean Jon Heder. It irks me that they're not even disguising the fact that Heder is doing Napoleon again. They shoulda just given him curly hair and called it a sequel.

Two for the Money, dir. DJ Caruso
*sigh*. Earlier this year I discussed how Jodie Foster rips through her delicious part in Inside Man. Well, apparently Al Pacino does the exact same thing here... except the movie is about one twelfth as good. Why do you do this to me Al? Add to that Matthew Macononononoaughanoanaughey doing his smarmy thing again but this time with disgusting slicked back hair (!!!) and Rene Russo continuing her descent into "Where are they now?" territory. Armand Assante, Jeremy Piven and Jamie King also appear. I want to die.

Love in the First Degree, dir. Egan
An Australia self-funded production that, much like Lost & Found a couple of weeks ago, is going the self-distribution way due to lack of interest. This film (I don't know why it's called Straight to You on the IMDb link) is an Australian Romantic Comedy. If you take out titles such as Muriel's Wedding which technically it's a rom-com, Australia doesn't really make any of this genre. Here we have a low-budget one that I can't say enthuses me. It's been getting slightly positive marks and leading lady Joy Smithers is apparently very good (possible AFI Best Actress nomination?). This film is slowly making it's way around the country from today - good on director Michael Egan and writer Bernie DeLeo for getting it out there.

Where the Truth Lies, dir. Egoyan
The controversial Atom Egoyan movie finally makes it's way to our shores. I'll end up catching this on DVD I think. The cast is intriguing (I loved Alison Lohman's few performances from 2002), as is the plot and it's R18+ rating purely on the basis of sex scenes is funny. But, much like The White Countess from a couple of weeks back it has ingredients that look great but not enough spark to interest me enough to part with my money.

Neil Young: Heart of Gold, dir. Demme
Jonathan Demme continues his odd career path by making this Neil Young concert film. I can't say I know any of Young's music so the film doesn't interest me in the slightest. However, apparently, fans of Young are not going to be disappointed.

Slow week. Last week the box-office went something like this (weeks of release in brackets).

1. Mission Impossible 3 (1)
2. Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (5)
3. Eight Below (3)
4. Final Destination 3 (2)
5. The World's Fastest Indian (5)
6. Scary Movie 4 (4)
7. Kokoda (3)
8. American Dreamz (2)
9. The Ringer (2)
10. Failure to Launch (4)

Mission Impossible does even worse here comparatively than in the states. Ouch. The rest is all pretty standard however, three movies moved UP the charts despite having takings go lower. The World's Fastest Indian, Kokoda and The Ringer. Fastest Indian is a true success story here like it was in New Zealand - it's passed the $5mil mark this week (and jumped from #11 last week to #5 this week), which is a great effort especially considering it looks horrible. Kokoda passed the $2mil mark which sadly makes it one of the most successful Aussie films in a while (true). And Ice Age 2 continues to be much more successful here than in the states ($23mil atm). Hidden recorded the countries best Per Screen Average while Block Party and New World fizzle, debuting at #16 and #20 respectively. Bah to lame audiences!

That's all for now folks.


Ali said...

Definitely save Where the Truth Lies for video. A real disappointment, especially considering it was directed by Egoyan. And Alison Lohman, who has been terrific in everythin else so far, is totally lost here.

Cal said...

Who on earth is going to see The World's Fastest Indian? It looks the most sickly sweet hideous film ever made.