Film Raves – My personal Favourite Films 2014.

  • Films are all released this year 2014 in the Cinema. These are MUST SEE FILMS
  • They are only the films I have loved. I am not a critic. I am a Film Maker.
  • I will add in my rating plus the top Critics rating and Audience Rating  (courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes.)

February 2014

Wolf of Wall Street 

Last nights  I saw The Wolf of Wall Street. This  is a Film about Excess. And it is a blast. imagesIts also meant to be a cautionary tale about  greed.  However, it seems more a tribute to parting to excess. It is a shame that the film forgets to highlight the remorse and  the transformation that Jordan Belfort feels for this crimes.

However, this film is worth seeing for powerhouse performances and Scorsese back to his best.

Rating

  • My Rating is 8 out of 10 
  • Critics Rating  7.5 out of 10 
  • Audience Rating 8.5 out of 10

(Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes)

Martin Scorsese directs the story of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort. From the American dream to corporate greed, Belfort goes from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption in the late 80s. Excess success and affluence with a smorgasbord of sex and drugs  in his early twenties as founder of the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont warranted Belfort the title “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Synopsis and Rating courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer

January 2014 

Saving Mr Banks

imgresI really loved this film and enjoyed the performances of Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson. Its beautifully shot and overall a very entertaining film.

  1. Critics Score overall  –  8 out of 10   
  2. Audience Score overall – 9 out of 10
  3. My Score –  9 out of 10

Source and Synopsis : Rotten Tomatoes

Two-time Academy Award (R)-winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar (R)-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen. When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise-one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against acurmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history. Inspired by true events, “Saving Mr. Banks” is the extraordinary, untold story of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen-and the testy relationship that the legendary Walt Disney had with author P.L. Travers that almost derailed it.

 

Trailer

 

Philomenaimages

starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and directed by Stephen Frears

This film is exceptionally moving and is based on the true life story of an Irish girl who had her child stolen from her by the catholic church.

  1. Critics Score overall  –  9 out of 10
  2. Audience Score overall – 9 out of 10
  3. My Score –  9 out of 10

Source and Synopsis : Rotten Tomatoes

Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, PHILOMENA focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock – something her Irish-Catholic community didn’t have the highest opinion of – and given away for adoption in the United States. In following church doctrine, she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn’t allow for any sort of inquiry into the son’s whereabouts. After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on with her life, Lee meets Sixsmith (Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she decides to discover her long-lost son.

August 2013 

Now you see me. 

UnknownMy Score 8 out of 10 –   Critics 5 out of 10 –   Average Audience 7 out of 10.
Many Critics did not like this film. Audiences responded much better as you see from the score. I very much enjoyed the film and personally found the film very entertaining and compelling. The film had exceptional Film Sets and the cinematography and the editing was at a 10 out of 10 standard. Very enjoyable

 July 2013 

imagesThe Conjuring My score 9 out of 10 85% of Critics loved the film  90% of Audience loved the film. 

This film is Spooky. See it in the cinema if you want to get the full effect. Make sure you are not home alone or every creek in the house will spook you out.

“The Conjuring” tells the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga), world renowned paranormal investigators, who were called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives

Trailer

The Intouchables     10 out of 10     75% of Critics loved this film. 92% of Audiences loved this film.

images-1I loved this Film. This is a very heartwarming film that will have you in a wonderful frame of mind at the end.  I did not get to see this in the Cinema. (Released October 2012) I finally watched it last Sunday Night and I have to give it one  of my rare 10 out of 10 score.

An  uplifting comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility, The Intouchables has broken box office records in its native France and across Europe. Based on a true story of friendship between a handicap millionaire (Francois Cluzet) and his street smart ex-con caretaker (Omar Sy), The Intouchables depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common. — (C) Weinstein

Trailer

To this day I still love movies and I appreciate anyone who is brave enough to make a film. It is always easy to watch movies and exceptionally difficult to make them.  Therefore I have no desire to trash films. If I do not like them, I just will not mention them. Please remember we all have opinions and subjectivity when seeing films. Therefore I take no responsibility if you dislike any of the films on my list. You will see more on colmomurchu.com

June 2013  

The Hunt                    My Score 9 out of 10   Top Critics Rating 9 out of 10 

I saw 7  new released movies in the cinema in June.  My personal favourite was The Hunt.images a Danish Film which I saw at the Dendy Cinema in Newtown. The film is a very compelling story about a man wrongly accused.

Mads Mikkelsen  won the Best Actor Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival for his penetrating portrayal of Lucas, a former school teacher who has been forced to start over having overcome a tough divorce and the loss of his job. Just as things are starting to go his way, his life is shattered when an untruthful remark throws his small community into a collective state of hysteria. As the lie spreads, Lucas is forced to fight a lonely fight for his life and dignity. Yes the film is confronting. However you will never forget this film once you have seen it

The Great Gatsby  My Rating 8 out of 10  Top Critics Rating 5 out of 1011171265_det

This film had divided many viewers and critics alike. It seems that viewers either love or hate the film. It certainly has an operatic feel and the editing at the beginning of  the film was way to fast for me. However, I really enjoyed the film and the visual and musical style. I did connect with this film and therefore, for me,
 it will be a standout film of 2013.

“The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz, bootleg kings, and sky-rocketing stocks. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan(Joel Edgerton). It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without of the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles

Trailer:

 

 

TV DRAMA:  BREAKING BAD

I also finally watched Breaking Bad Series one and two. Yes I am hooked.  I highly recommend that you watch Breaking Bad which you can get on DVD or VOD. Awesome TV drama. Here is a promo for the show.

Breaking Bad Season 2 Trailer

May 2013 

11170594_detIronman 3     My score 8 out of 10  Top Critics 8 out of 10

I believe it is well worth seeing .  I really enjoyed this film. Very entertaining and awesome visuals. All the money is on the screen. Great performance by Robert Downey.  The Critics loved it too with an average score of 8 out of 10 from top critics.  Here is the trailer and Rotton Tomatoes synopsis.

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man? (c) Disney

Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy  Shane Black

 Shane Black, Drew Pearce $337.7M

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11166900_detRust and Bone   My Score 8 out of 10 Top Critics 8 out of 10

 

A struggling single father helps a beautiful whale trainer recover her will to live following a terrible accident that leaves her confined to a wheelchair. Lonely and destitute, Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) leaves the north of France for his sister’s house in Antibes after becoming the sole guardian of his estranged five-year-old son Sam. When Ali lands a job as a bouncer in a nearby nightclub, things quickly start to look up for the itinerant father and son. Then one night, after breaking up a fight in the club, Ali meets the radiant Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), and slips her his number after dropping her off safely at home. Though Stephanie’s position on the high end of the social spectrum makes romance an unlikely prospect for the pair, a tragic accident at Marineland robs her of her legs, and finds her reaching out in desperation to Ali. Her spirit broken by the same tragedy that took her legs, Stephanie gradually finds the courage to go on living trough transcendent moments spent with Ali — a man with precious little pity, but an enormous love of life. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

R, Mystery & Suspense, Drama   Jacques Audiard    Jacques Audiard,Thomas Bidegain.

 

 

Film Review 2012: My Top 8 

Well it is nearly Christmas again and the new year beckons. Over the Christmas break, you may like to catch up on some movies and are looking for some suggestions. If you have not seen these films, see some of them over the Christmas break. However, I do warn you that you may not like every film I love. We all have different tastes and sensibilities.

In order of their release the following list is my Top 8 Films of 2012.

1 The Descendents  George Clooney  – (89% Approval by Critics) –  My score 9 out of 10  – Oscar Nominated 

From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family’s land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries

If you like a solid drama that is highly emotional and moving,  you will love this film.

 

2 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoe – 86% Approval by Critics –  My Score 9 out of 10 – Oscar Nominated and won for Best Edit  –  My favourite Thriller

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures’ three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.

I loved the mood of this film. It takes a while to get into the film but once you get there, it is an engrossing story. It is not for the faint hearted but it is an exceptional work from David Fincher ( Seven , Fight Club) The film is set in Sweeden and you certainly feel the grim Sweedish winter.  If you liked Seven or Fight Club, you will love this film. I prefered this version to the original Sweedish version.

 

3 Salmon Fishing in Yemen (70% Critics approval) I gave this film 8.5 out of 10 My favourite Rom Com

When Britain’s leading fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is approached by a consultant (Emily Blunt) to help realize a sheikh’s (Amr Waked) vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert, he immediately thinks the project is both absurd and unachievable. But when the Prime Minister’s overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) latches on to it as a “good will” story, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible.

I really liked the script and the dialogue was snappy and witty. If you like Woody Allen films, you will love this charming romantic comedy. Well worth a look over Christmas

 

4 Get the Gringo 80% Score from the Critics I loved it 9 out of 10   ( exceptionally entertaining) 

Mel Gibson finds new life in a Mexican jail after getting caught at the border with $4 million dollars of Mobster money in this production from former first assistant director turned helmer, Adrian Grunberg

I really thought that Mel Gibson returned to top form with this film. Due to Mel’s fall from grace the film was not seen by audiences. See this film as it is a very enjoyable film.

 

 

5  The Dark Knight Rises  87 % Critics Approval –  My Favourite Action Film 9 out of 10 

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane..

If you have not seen this film yet, make sure you see it this Christmas. The Director Christopher Nolan is the best Action Director in the world. What I love about this film is that there is actually a script and a story at the core of this film.

 

 

6 Arbritage  –   85 % Critics Approval – My score  8 out of 10  A look at the Finance World and Big Business 

When we first meet New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere) on the eve of his 60th birthday, he appears the very portrait of success in American business and family life. But behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is in over his head, desperately trying to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before the depths of his fraud are revealed. Struggling to conceal his duplicity from loyal wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon) and brilliant daughter and heir-apparent Brooke (Brit Marling), Miller’s also balancing an affair with French art-dealer Julie Cote (Laetetia Casta). Just as he’s about to unload his troubled empire, an unexpected bloody error forces him to juggle family, business, and crime with the aid of Jimmy Grant (Nate Parker), a face from Miller’s past.

This film is gripping. If you have not seen it , I am sure you will love it . Richard Gere returns to form.

 

7  Argo 95 % Critics Approval  My score 9.5out of 10 Awesome and the best film of 2012 in my humble opionon.

Based on true events, Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis-the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA “exfiltration” specialist named Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.

Just see this film. I hope I have not overhyped it. I saw it and loved the film. My personal Favourite

 

8 The Sessions 93 % Critics approve My score 8 out of 10  My favourite Art House Film. 

Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, The Sessions tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined – at age 38 – to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.

This is a confronting film that examins the sex lives of the disabled.  Yes this sounds off putting but I think if you give this film a chance, its emotional punch will leave you moved. This is a film that you will remember years from now.

 

Not in my Top 8 But worth a mention

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Mission Impossible 4
  • The Iron Lady
  • Margin Call
  • The Sapphires
Just as a reminder please look at our Film Schools and start the new year the best possible way.
Till 2013, have a great Christmas 
Colm O’Murchu – Director Australian Film Base.
Colm O’Murchu owns International and Australian Film Base. He produces and directs independant film productions and teaches emerging film makers to make their very own professional films.

 

 

 

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