Film re­view

How can it be the silly sea­son al­ready? Let’s cel­e­brate the silli­ness with plenty of rea­sons to seek the peace and calm of a cin­ema dur­ing the hol­i­days. Here are my Top 5 picks...

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - DESTINATION - With KATE RODGER

Mor­tal En­gines

2D & 3D (De­cem­ber 8) Writ­ten and pro­duced by Peter Jack­son. Di­rected by Chris­tian Rivers. Star­ring Hugo Weav­ing and Hera Hil­mar. Sir Peter Jack­son didn’t di­rect this, but as writer and pro­ducer his DNA is all through Mor­tal En­gines and will be well worth see­ing on the big screen. The Philip Reeve books the film is based on are a crack­ing read and while they tar­get the Young Adult au­di­ence, the film skews a lit­tle older. This is a fu­ture world where the re­main­ing cities – trac­tion cities – roll around the bar­ren land­scape on the hunt for smaller cities they must de­vour to en­sure their own sur­vival; the big­gest and hun­gri­est of them all is Lon­don. But a re­bel­lion is afoot, soon led by a mys­te­ri­ous young woman called Hester Shaw. There are plenty of big-ticket themes to pon­der here – cli­mate change and con­sumerism just two of them – but at it’s heart this just looks like a rol­lick­ing ad­ven­ture tale.

Aqua­man

2D & 3D (Box­ing Day) Di­rected by James Wan. Star­ring Ja­son Mo­moa and Am­ber Heard. The DC Uni­verse con­tin­ues its box of­fice war with Mar­vel and Aqua­man is their lat­est salvo. Forged in the fiery pits of Game of Thrones and in­tro­duced as Aqua­man in the heav­ily de­rided Jus­tice League, Ja­son Mo­moa head­lines this spinoff op­po­site Am­ber Heard, Ni­cole Kid­man and our own Te­muera Mor­ri­son. Ar­guably one of the few high­lights of Jus­tice League, fans will be cling­ing to the hope that Mo­moa will bring the same hu­mour and light touch to his own movie. I look for­ward to be­ing con­vinced. The Favourite (Box­ing Day) Di­rected by Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos. Star­ring Olivia Col­man, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. Fans of Greek film­maker Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos (The Killing of a Sa­cred Deer/The Lob­ster) will be gird­ing their cin­e­matic loins for this lat­est out­ing with awards buzz al­ready swirling around the per­for­mance of Bri­tish ac­tress Olivia Col­man. If the early trail­ers are any­thing to go by this will be an­other darkly satir­i­cal and enor­mously en­ter­tain­ing tale and a right royal romp as Col­man takes on the role of an ail­ing Queen Anne. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone play in sup­port as friend and ser­vant, but the am­bi­tions of both will af­fect the bal­ance of power among all three women, and I can­not wait to watch this tri­umvi­rate of supremely tal­ented pow­er­house ac­tresses go head to head. The Hate U Give (Jan­uary 10) Di­rected by George Till­man Jr. Star­ring Amandla Sten­berg, An­thony Mackie and K.J. Apa. I re­cently saw an early show­ing of The Hate U Give with zero clue what the film was about. Two hours later I left the cin­ema in floods of tears and feel­ing fun­da­men­tally al­tered. This film is based on the New York Times best-seller and is the story of high school stu­dent Starr Carter (Amandla Sten­berg). Starr has a dou­ble-life in a way, liv­ing with her fam­ily in a mostly poor, mostly black neigh­bour­hood, but go­ing across the city each day to a mostly rich, mostly white high school. She learns to oc­cupy both ver­sions of her­self with ease un­til the one day when ev­ery­thing changes. She is forced to con­front the very thing that makes her who she is, and her per­sonal jour­ney to find the courage to use her voice has more power to in­form and change ra­cial prej­u­dice than any­thing else I can re­call ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in mod­ern day cin­ema. Ur­gent, es­sen­tial view­ing. Mary Pop­pins Re­turns (New Years Day) Di­rected by Rob Mar­shall. Star­ring Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Lin-Manuel Mi­randa and Colin Firth. Are we ready for the re­turn of Mary Pop­pins? It ap­pears we are. The role made fa­mous by Julie An­drews here goes to the mar­vel­lous Emily Blunt, as our favourite nanny drops in on the Banks sib­lings to help out with Michael’s chil­dren. I have to con­fess I never stepped on the orig­i­nal Mary Pop­pins train so I’m not com­ing to this one with a tonne of emo­tional ex­pec­ta­tions. One thing I do know, how­ever, is Mary Pop­pins and her su­per­cal­ifrag­ilis­tic­ex­pi­ali­do­cious sound­track are adored across the world and hold a spe­cial place in many hearts, so this se­quel had bet­ter de­liver!

Mor­tal En­gines Aqua­man The Favourite The Hate U Give Mary Pop­pins Re­turns

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