Saturday, 18 August 2018

'Mission: Impossible - Fallout'


'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' is the same old, same as, when Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) accepts another impossible mission, this time to retrieve stolen Plutonium cores from a group of anonymous gangsters referred to as the Twelve Apostles.

The usual spectacular chases through the streets of Paris and London and stunning mountain locales in Norway doubling in this instance for Indian Kashmir are a feature.

If you have seen the earlier episodes, you know what to expect.

✮✮✮½

Friday, 17 August 2018

'The Long Forgotten Dream'

(Sydney Theatre Company)

Jeremiah Tucker's daughter returns for a lengthy overseas trip with the news that she has discovered the location of his grandfather's remains and has organised for their return home to Australia for an appropriate burial and memorial service.

The news and the preparations for the welcome to home stir up memories and questions of the past.

'The Long Forgotten Dream' is a wonderful new play by H Lawrence Sumner. The mostly indigenous cast and performers bring the story to life in an inventive staging.

Highly recommended.

✮✮✮✮

Thursday, 16 August 2018

'Skyscraper'


'Skyscraper' is a 21st Century updating of 1974s box office hit 'The Towering Inferno' although its plot does depart from the earlier disaster epic. The setting has moved from San Francisco to Hong Kong and this skyscraper is a cover for all manner of gangster hijinks.

The opening scenes reveal a hi-tech building with features that just for one brief moment gave me hope that this was going to be an unexpectedly superior disaster feature. That hope was quickly scuttled as the film descended into ludicrous activity.

Dwayne Johnson maintains a surprising level of dignity despite his character's ever more cartoonish acts of heroism.

✮✮

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

'A Taste of Honey'


A single mother and her teenage daughter lead a love/hate struggling life finding solace and disappointment in each other and in the men in their lives.

'A Taste of Honey' was a first play hit from Shelagh Delaney in 1958 and again in the subsequent film version but has rarely been performed since.

Now staged by Belvoir St Theatre this production has been transplanted to an Australian setting whilst seemingly retaining much of its original regional British character.

✮✮✮

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

'Gloria'


Young 'wannabes' in a Manhattan magazine office chat, gossip and compete. As diverse as they may be one thing they are in agreement is that their colleague 'Gloria' is an oddball. Someone who no-one seems to like very much.

Their ethics are stretched following a tragic event.

Apparently this play, regarded as a satire and drama, was a finalist in the Pulitzer Prize. I don't see that merit myself. The cast worked hard to squeeze humour from dialogue that was fairly predictable at the outset. Several twists lifted the plot briefly but still left the play limping to its abrupt end.

✮✮

Monday, 13 August 2018

'On Chesil Beach'


Florence (Saoirse Ronan) and Edward (Billy Howle) have arrived at their beachside hotel to commence their honeymoon. Both are nervous and inexperienced making their first steps into marriage a painful affair. Flashbacks show their courtship conducted despite the constraints of differing social backgrounds.

I think that the intention is to present 'On Chesil Beach' as a great romance albeit one tinged with sadness. However as portrayed in this film the best I can feel is sorry for this couple rather than sadness.

Some nice scenery.

✮✮½

Sunday, 12 August 2018

'The Wife'


Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce) learns that he has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. His wife Joan (Glenn Close) accompanies him to Stockholm for the award ceremony and related celebrations during which, and through flashbacks and action, her true role in her husband's success is revealed.

'The Wife' is a slow burn with the prime drama surfacing at the end.

✮✮✮✮