8:00 PM, 28th October, 2011
Following in the existential and philosophical tradition of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, celebrated filmmaker Terrence Malick’s latest opus is a musing on the meaning of life and existence. Within the narrative of a Midwestern family and their struggles in the 1950s, the film interweaves an epic account of the beginning of the universe and life on Earth, addressing the human condition with the emotion and poignancy people have come to expect from Malick.
Sean Penn plays Jack O’Brien, a man undergoing a deep existential crisis while trying to repair a strained relationship with his father (Pitt). His memories of his childhood and the contradictory natures of his parents make up much of the narrative. His mother, played by Jessica Chastain, is a creature of grace, carefree and empathetic, whereas Jack’s father follows the way of nature: a stern man convinced of the need for fierce will to survive. Both occupy Jack’s world as he tries to make sense of his place after losing the innocence of childhood.
The Tree of Life has been overwhelmingly applauded for its technical and artistic quality: Alexander Desplat’s score adds a melancholic, wondrous tone to the imagery on display, ranging from incredible shots of nature, to cosmic images of the universe’s creation and the mundane beauty of the O’Brien suburban home.
A definite contender for next year’s Oscars, The Tree of Life has already won the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year and is a must-see for any cinemagoer.
10:33 PM, 28th October, 2011
Four ghosts decide to have a little fun at the expense of professional "Ghostbusters" Mickey, Donald and Goofy. This was made at the height of the Disney characters' popularity, and it's great fun, with every character (even the ghosts) contributing to the wacky silliness.
10:42 PM, 28th October, 2011
The Lamberts have just moved into a big new house. Renai (Byrne) is a stay-at-home mum and part-time composer, while Josh (Wilson) is a teacher; together they have three children, including a newborn. After a few strange noises on the baby monitor, along with some creaking ceilings and one comatose child, their nice life begins to unravel...
After I saw this, I described it to friends as a cross between The Sixth Sense and Paranormal Activity, with a little bit of Poltergeist and The Orphanage thrown in. Such a description demonstrates that there isn't much original here, but it's still a lot of fun, particularly if you like atmospheric thrillers filled with creaking doors (honestly, don't they have WD-40 over in America?) and empathic scores. There's also some unintentional fun; with former 90s ABC Saturday morning "Recovery" classmates Leigh Whannell (who wrote the screenplay) and Angus Sampson appearing as two Ghostbusters-like paranormal agents, and a demon who looks too much like Darth Maul to be taken seriously.
Created by Whannell and Wan (the Aussie team behind Saw), and produced by Oren "Paranormal Activity" Peli, Insidious has enough boos and jumps - as well as an interesting-enough explanation towards the end that doesn't unravel that much under scrutiny - to be worth a scary night out at Coombs.