Movie: Juno

This is a movie of soft surprises and gorgeous nudges. This is a movie about not being quite as smart as you think you are. This is a movie made with love - it shows in every frame, every scene, each line. The characters are woven together with ties that bind - generously, purely, wonderfully, rarely, unconditionally. We should all be so lucky. Go and see this movie.
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Movie: Cloverfield

On our way to pick up our tickets, we overheard a group of 4 young men coming down the escalator from the upper movie floors at Hoyts in Melbourne Central "We have to tell everyone" they were saying "Do not to see this movie!" they raised their voices "People need to be warned!" I chuckled and wondered to Fox if they were referring to Cloverfield. Standing on the "Red Carpet" to pick up our tickets, we heard them again, this time the comments were seeded with the name of the film "I KNEW you were talking about Cloverfield!" I pointed hard at them, catching their eye. They came over to us "Are you here for Cloverfield?" "Do NOT see this movie!!" they were quite enthusiastic and implored us not to see 27 Dresses instead. "It's the worst film I've ever seen!" one of them explained. "C'mon.. how bad can it be?" we asked. The tallest young man said "Look, put it this way: do you *like* movies??" I suggested it could hardly be the "worst movie" he'd ever seen, had he not seen Phantom of the Opera. One of the young men thought a moment and then said "Ok, Cloverfield isn't' *that* bad." And it wasn't that bad. If you've been following the viral trail Cloverfield has been tracking over the internets, you too will have been hanging out for today and to see the film in cinemas. I suppose the thing that surprised me most about this movie was it's lack of answers. It is not the culmination of the viral campaign, it is part of it. It's another, albeit big, clue in the Cloverfield puzzle. While I am not sure this movie will go down in history as one of cinema's great achievements, I do think it's going to be a great big smash hit and a shining example of how to blend media (communication channels? technologies? streams?) to create a movie experience that bleeds well and truly off the edges of the cinema screen.
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Movie: Noise

I'm not a very good movie reviewer - you know that. My movie "reviews" are more like a recommendation at best, and long (almost) pointless ramble at worst. I really want to write about the movie I saw the other night: Noise - but I'm unsure how to start or what to say once I get going. There are points I want to cover, of course. They include:
  • Cinematography: Just.plain.beautiful. Every shot was rich in the details of ordinariness (is that a word?) and saturated with everyday colour and light. Characters were often placed in such a way to give me a real sense of the space they occupied.
  • Sound: OMG - this movie is soaked in sound - sound has double-billing with the main character. The sound we hear is what he hears inside his head - the sound built tension and caused us both stress and got on our nerves and I can't even think of an instance where sound has been used so effectively. It was freakin' awesome.
  • Performances: Outstanding, authentic characterisations. Solid, grounded, endearing, subtle *excellent* work, people. In an age where movies are built around big movie stars so they never have to act as anyone but themselves, there does exist layers of hard working, talented, genuine actors making amazing film experiences for us that have the legs to go the distance.
  • Plot: Intriguing, fascinating, mysterious - no spoon-feeding here, so pay attention.
  • Pace: Time moves in an everyday way in this movie - like it does for you and for me on a normal day - not on those terrible bad work days when it drags, or those wonderful sunshine "in love" days when it flies, but those ordinary, everyday days when stuff takes time to happen. This isn't Hollywood-movie time, and I thank the movie gods for that!
If you like seeing movies that are well made, interesting, make you think, and think, and figure, and search the interwebs afterwards, and which stay with you that night and the next day and you make you need to talk to others who've seen it and ask questions about the details and you really think you need to see it more than twice just to make sure or confirm or experience it again, Noise is the movie for you. Man, when Aussies get it right, they really hit the nail on the head.
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