It's the late 80s and Vicki Maloney is on her way home from a party after sneaking out earlier in the night. Soon she is picked up by a friendly, seemingly normal Australian couple who offer her a life in their car. Little does the teen know, however, that she's about to suffer the most nightmarish experience of her life. The couple, John and Evelyn White, are serial killers who track down young girls to rape and murder them. It seems that John is at the forefront of the abuse, while Evelyn has been manipulated into such a lifestyle from a very young age. It's Vicki's perception of the dynamic of this couple that allows her to try and turn the pair against each other, and ultimately encourage Evelyn to let her go. Meanwhile, her divorcing parents and boyfriend Jason are scouring the neighbourhood for her, armed only with a vague clue left by the victim.
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When Set brutally murderers his brother, Osiris the great deities of ancient Egypt are upset, non-more so than his wife Isis. Piecing her husband - and fellow god - Osiris back together, she manages to resurrect him for long enough to conceive Horus. So begins a lifetime of battles for the Kingdom.
Set, the brother of Osiris and god of storms, disorder and violence on one side and Horus, the son of Osiris on the other. When Set and Horus go head to head in combat, the mortal citizens of Egypt hope for one victor (Horus) but in a moment of weakness, Set makes his move and steals the eyes of Horus.
Soon after the downfall of Horus, Set takes over Egypt and enslaves the mortals, knowning there's little hope of being saved, one mortal hero decides to help steal the eyes of Horus back in order to gain the trust of the cast out god. To take the kingdom back (and save Bek's love), he and Horus face vast armies of mortals and immortal demons cast under Set's spell.
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The true story behind this movie just about makes up for its oddly flat tone, which never quite captures either the grandeur of the Australian Outback or the deeper emotions of the people on-screen. The acting is superb, but director John Curran (The Painted Veil) opts for a warm, slick style when something much spikier was called for.
It's the story of Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska), a young woman who in 1975 decided to walk nearly 2,000 miles from Alice Springs to the western coast as a way of connecting with her explorer father, who vanished on a similar trek. She needs at least three camels to carry her supplies, so she spends nearly a year working for camel dealers (Rainer Bock and John Flaus) learning how to care for the animals and earning cash to buy them. She also gets sponsorship cash from National Geographic magazine, which sends photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver) along to document the trip, which is a series of amazing encounters, beautiful landscapes and colourful local customs.
Wasikowska is superb as the plucky young woman who drops out of society to take on this mind-boggling challenge. In a nicely understated performance, she conveys Robyn's steely courage and tenacity, as well as her reluctance to accept the help she needs. The most inspiring aspect of the story is Robyn's ultimate observation: "I'd like to think an ordinary person is capable of anything." So it's a bit frustrating that Curran keeps trying to turn her into a movie heroine, complete with sun-drenched childhood flashbacks and a tetchy romance with the always-terrific Driver.
Continue reading: Tracks Review
Robyn is a free spirit with an unusual, not to mention dangerous, ambition to cross the 1,700 mile Australian desert from Alice Springs to reach the Indian Ocean accompanied by four camels and a dog. Mocked at by the Alice Springs locals, she starts to train camels on a farm and learn about survival in the wildnerness. By the time she is ready to embark on her journey, she is well equipped with the knowledge and tools of basic survival in a scorching desert. Before her trip, she meets a National Geographic photographer named Rick Smoland who promises to fund her trip as long as he can visit her on her journey to take photographs. Robyn's loneliness starts to overwhelm her and she has a brief romance with the photographer, but the real revelations are what she learns about herself along the way.
'Tracks' is based on the true memoirs of the same name written by the real Robyn Davidson who spent 9 months crossing the barren Australian sands. The movie has been directed by John Curran ('The Painted Veil', 'We Don't Live Here Anymore', 'Stone') and written by Marion Nelson, and it was nominated for awards at the Venice Film Festival and the London Film Festival last year. It is set for UK release on April 25th 2014.
Far better made than it has any right to be, this cheesy 70s-style thriller is given a thoroughly engaging kick by veteran filmmaker Hackford working outside his usual dramatic genre. It's predictable and far too long, but Hackford grounds everything in gritty reality, avoiding obnoxious effects work while indulging in entertaining innuendo and riotously nasty action sequences.
None of this is much of a stretch for the cast, and Statham's Parker is essentially the same character he always plays: a ruthlessly efficient, indestructible criminal with a conscience. After a gang of thugs (including Chiklis and Collins) betrays him following a fairgrounds heist, Parker miraculously recovers from his hideous injuries and heads to Florida to get revenge. He uses local estate agent Leslie (Lopez) to find the gang's lair, and she's instantly attracted to the way he fills out his designer suit. Living with her soap-addict mum (LuPone), Leslie is looking for a wealthy man to rescue her. And she's already too involved when she realises that Parker isn't who he seems to be.
There isn't much to the plot, which is packed with contrived twists and turns and never follows through the intriguing possibilities along the way. At least the film avoids the usual action cliches, as Hackford sharply orchestrates each fight sequence to make it both lucid and startlingly brutal. This earthy approach keeps things relatively believable, until Parker emerges with yet another serious injury that doesn't slow him down at all. Meanwhile, Hackford injects plenty of eyebrow-raising flirtation that keeps us smiling. Statham and Lopez may not be stretching themselves as actors, but they clearly have a lot of fun circling around each other like dogs on heat.
Continue reading: Parker Review
Parker is a skilled thief with a very specific moral code; never kill anyone who doesn't deserve it and never steal from those with little money. Other than that, he is brutal, doing anything it takes to seize his target along with his so-called loyal team. However, one day he finds that his accomplices are not the people he thought they were when they stab him in the back and leave him to die. As single-minded as ever, Parker assumes the new name and identity of Texas guy Daniel Parmitt and sets out to destroy his former allies for what they did to him seeking an unusual partnership with Leslie: a local resident of Palm Beach who has inside information on Parker's targets and agrees to help him despite having reservations about his plan to murder every last one of them and take the loot from their latest robbery.
'Parker' is a crime thriller based on the novel 'Flashfire' by Donald E. Westlake. It has been directed by the Oscar winner that is Taylor Hackford ('An Officer and a Gentleman', 'The Devil's Advocate') and written by John J. McLaughlin ('Black Swan', 'Hitchcock') and will be released in cinemas across the UK from March 8th 2013.
Director: Taylor Hackford
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When Set brutally murderers his brother, Osiris the great deities of ancient Egypt are upset,...
The true story behind this movie just about makes up for its oddly flat tone,...
Robyn is a free spirit with an unusual, not to mention dangerous, ambition to cross...
Far better made than it has any right to be, this cheesy 70s-style thriller is...
Parker is a skilled thief with a very specific moral code; never kill anyone who...