Big Eyes (2014) Film Review


Margaret(Amy Adams) has escaped a bad marriage with her daughter and suddenly falls for charming and charismatic fellow artist Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz). Before she knows it, they are married, and Walter has started taking credit for Margaret’s popular Big Eyes paintings He markets her art like no-one has before, with prints, posters, postcards – anything the masses can provide. And as they become wealthier, she becomes more unsatisfied and he becomes more abusive until finally she breaks, chosing to stand up for herself, her daughter and her art.

It’s a mysterious one – I wanted to like it, as it is a great story, and based on truth as well. But I felt little chemistry between the two initially as they fell in love and I just couldn’t get into the story. I didn’t find any emotion, I couldn’t car what happened, and it mostly even lacked the beauty of artistry that is typical of Tim Burton.

Big Eyes won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Amy Adams) and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Christoph Waltz) and Best Original Song – Motion Picture (Big Eyes)

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Musical Chairs by Kinky Friedman



Kinky’s visited by one of his old bandmates, but within no time, he’s dead in Kinky’s shower. Then, one by one, his bandmates turn up dead. Using all of his detectiving skills, along with his friends and colleagues, Kinky sets out to put things right… before it is too late.

This was my first dip into Kinky Friedman waters and wow. It’s so funny, with lines that chew up the page and spit it out. I found the end almost a let down, but given how much I enjoyed the writing, I could forgive a late and short ending. Will I read more Kinky? Yes, oh yes I shall indeed.

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Dior and I (2014) Film Review


Raf Simons is a designer recently moved to Christian Dior and preparing for his first haute couture show. The process is long and stressful and involves all kinds of hard work from some people and wandering around looking at things for others.

If you like fashion, this is probably a must see documentary. If you don’t like fashion, you may well be like me and quite enjoy this. What did I like? I found it fascinating to see what goes in to one of these shows – even if I don’t care about the show or the fashion or the scarily thin and creepy looking models or the massive amounts of money that go into this kind of stuff. I quite liked the people involved, although the artistic temperament of Raf made me most grateful I wasn’t working under him… And yet, at the culmination of all the work, the ridiculous show, I was totally with him.


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The Gift (2015) Film Review


Top job on the writing and directing, Joel Edgerton! I shouldn’t be surprised, he’s one hell of a talent who has been around for ages, and needs to come into his own.

So, The Gift. This is a film where you do not want to reveal much, because it is such a well-paced, well-told story. Let’s just say that when Simon (Jason Bateman) and his wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall) move back to near where Simon grew up and he accidentally reconnects with a schoolmate, Gordo (Joel Edgerton), things do not go the way anyone expects.

I was totally with the characters, and while I wondered why some decisions were being made, I went with it. I was scared, I was confused, I hated each of them at different times, and I was magnificently relieved when it ended.

Don’t read anything about it. Just watch it.


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Sideways (2004) Film Review


Miles (Paul Giamatti) is a depressed wine lover who is struggling to get past his divorce, even after two years. Jack (Thomas Hayden Church) is an actor who never really made it, and is about to get married. Miles takes Jack on a wine-tasting week away expecting lots of drinking and golf, but Jack is more keen on getting laid – and getting Miles laid. Then there are the ladies that they meet – but I don’t feel like mentioning them given that the only role they have is to be sex objects and to be treated poorly.

I don’t get this film. I don’t really understand why it was so highly lauded. Perhaps it is that we don’t see a lot of films of middle-aged men having breakdowns. Do we? I just found it boring, both the men had appalling attitudes toward woman and towards life in general. There were several scenes that seemed totally implausible, and really, just annoyed me.

Sideways won an Oscar for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Thomas Hayden Church), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Virginia Madsen), and Best Achievement in Directing (Alexander Payne).



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Paper Planes (2014) Film Review


Dylan (Ed Oxenbould) lives with his dad, Jack (Sam Worthington) in a small country town. His dad doesn’t do much, struggling to even get up off the couch. Dylan’s school participate in a paper plane contest and he wins, forcing his Dad to get up and take him to Sydney. Then, if he can win, he’s got the chance to go to Tokyo.

Eugh, I have to stop. I need to remember that this is a kids film, and as a kid, perhaps I would have liked it. But it was just so awful, I found it so hard to suspend my disbelief for everything. Even the fact that this small country primary school had two male teachers – what world are they living in? If you are a kid, I hope you enjoy it. For me, I just can’t do it. Actually, no I slightly need to review this. What I liked was that when Dylan was getting picked on, he didn’t shy away into his shell, but spoke up. More films should depict kids standing up to bullies, showing that sometimes it is not that hard to call them out for being mean. That is the good lesson from this film.

Also,  I have been making a few paper planes recently and gee, when you get a good throw on – that is satisfaction. Now, if I could just get my kite to fly…

Film Review, Paper Planes Review, Ed Oxenbould, Sam Worthington

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Tomorrowland (2015) Film Review


Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) is a pretty feisty chick – she is fed up with being told how bad the future is, what with environment destruction, wars, etc. etc. What’s more, her dad (Tim McGraw) is an amazing scientist, but NASA is pulling apart their space program, and then he will be unemployed. Then there is an old bloke, Frank Walker (George Clooney) who once went to a secret part of Disneyland (called Tomorrowland) where things were ace. But now he’s old and bitter, though surrounded by amazing gadgets and the like. And a little creepy girl, Athena (Raffey Cassidy) turns up and they need to save the world. Oh, and Hugh Laurie is there too, fabulous as always.

I enjoyed this so much more than I expected. I thought I’d like it, but I did not expect to like it as much as this. It’s fun, it’s exciting, heaps happens and the gadgets. Oh, the gadgets! They are just gorgeous!

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