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Archive for October, 2013

Vegan Special, With steak; Rare – The Family movie review


the family


PLACE: Hoyts, Woden

PIC: The Family

PEEPS: Six present.

The winter PillowTalk ad, plus one for a club and another for a builder/developer. Oh, and how Army officer training teaches women to walk backwards and do quick changes. Previews for Bad Grandpa (an old codger and a small child engage in some of the imbecility that has made Jackass into a franchise, but failed to turn Johnny Knoxville into an actor), Insidious 2 (a horror film, with shocks and surprises for anyone who has not previously seen such a movie) and Thor: The Dark World (Our Chris, as I should now call him, given that he’s a star and all, saves the world from CGI). The previews created the faintest possibility of a movie about relationships, with suspense and violence.

The Family attempted to deliver on this promise, but the chasm between the safer ground of any of its possible genres was too great for its flabby direction and rote performances by the leads. It fell, like Wile E. Coyote when he realises he has blown up the narrow spit of cliff that connected him to the heights and is plummeting to a desert floor accompanied by an anvil.

The set up is simple. Giovanni Manzoni (Robert de Niro), his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeifer) and children Belle and Warren (Dianna Agron and John D’Leo) are in a cute little village in Normandy*, masquerading as an American family called the Blakes. They are there because Giovanni was a serious mafioso who ratted on the Mob and now has a price on his, and his family’s, heads. They are protected by FBI Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) and a couple of other affable agents who really never get a scene going. They have had to skip in a hurry from other places of refuge, because they persist in acting like serious mafiosi**, or maybe just Americans, and they resume the pattern in their new home. Amusant, non? Well, some of it is, and some of it is just laboured and repetitive. Inevitably, things go bad, but mostly for innocent bystanders (and they’re mostly French, anyway), so that’s ok.

This could have been funny or cleverly plotted, but it’s far more witless than Witness. It’s a mess of attempted humour and excessive violence; the family that slays together, stays together. De Niro, Pfeiffer and Jones pretty much phone it in, and we’ve all seen (for example) De Niro as a hardass and Jones as a weary, decent man before. The younger roles require a bit more, and mostly Agron and D’Leo deliver; it’s not Agron’s fault that she gets cheesy lines and some hammy situations***.

Two lukewarm flat whites.


* – which we are told a few times is Normandy, France. Just in case one might confuse it with Normandy, Missouri, which would be quite possible, because almost everyone speaks English, albeit with a French accent.
** – you know the sort of thing. Lots of talk about being disrespected, followed by brutality without warning or limit.
*** – but as part of a bur

Win tickets to the 2013 Japanese Film Festival

This month sees the return of the Japanese Film Festival which is now in its 17th season, and Two Flat Whites in association with the Japan Foundation Sydney are giving our lucky readers the chance to win 1 of 5 Double passes to the event (excluding opening night).

There are some fantastic movies at this year’s festival across all genres, including, the latest Takashi Miike (13 Assassins) offering ‘Shield of Straw” and Hideo Nakata (The Ring) latest movie “The Complex”.

To enter the competition, just head to our Facebook page and follow the post.

The 17th  Japanese Film Festival is on:

  • Broome: 17 Sep – 18 Sep
  • Perth: 23 Oct – 27 Oct
  • Hobart: 13, 14 & 16 Oct
  • Canberra: 30 Oct – 3 Nov
  • Townsville: 26 Oct
  • Sydney: 14 Nov – 24 Nov
  • Cairns: 3 Nov
  • Melbourne: 28 Nov – 8 Dec
  • Brisbane: 16 Oct – 20 Oct
  • Darwin: TBC

For more info on the festival click

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