KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES
2016 | M | Action, Comedy
A suburban couple becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors are government spies.
Reviewed by Naomi
Estranged twins Maggie and Milo (Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader) reconnect after they independently have near death experiences but they are not happy to see each other. As the movie progresses and their present day trainwreck lives are explained, we gradually find out what led to their estragement.
It’s a pretty full on viewing and definitely well made, great script, great acting, but it’s not a feel-good indie movie. I usually like indie films for their bitter-sweetness, but this one erred on the side of bitter more than sweet. Having said that, there’s some great moments where the chemistry between Wiig and Hader is genuinely indearing and reminds me of the best kinds of adult siblings relationships.
If you’re an indie fan.
There was a lot of life decisions to cringe at. I cringed a lot.
Review by Naomi
Yes and no.
Catching Milat is a mini-series following the police task force who investigated and ultimately apprehended Australian serial killer, Ivan Milat, for the murders of seven backpackers found murdered in Belanglo State Forest. No spoilers there, it’s one of the most famous series of murders in Australian history and I well remember the huge television news coverage during the investigation in the early-mid 90s. Malcolm Kennard played a truly menacing Milat, depicted as a man of few words but menacingly so. The story unfolds at different timelines, revealing incidents out of chronological order, but in order of their discovery by police. This thriller does have a heaping helping of suspense, I honestly wondered if he was going to get away with it, even though I know the true story.
In the second half of the mini-series, the focus is on Detective Paul Gordon in the task force who continuously disregards orders from his superiors on how to carry out the investigation, jeopardising the case a few times – this was a tiring story arch. He was arrogant and had no apparent reason to take the case so personally. Perhaps the reason this didn’t ring true is because it wasn’t, it is factually incorrect. This detective was not as involved in the real life investigation as the mini-series portrays but poetic licence is always a possibility in true crime adaptations. For the most part it was well shot, but the overused slow motion used during the arrest scene and other scenes right at the end lacked substance – there wasn’t enough going on to justify such a long sequence. Yes it was the resolve of the investigation, but it was hardly climactic.
…you like true crime.
No hitch hiking for me!
Reviewed by Naomi
No, not really.
I was a captive audience for Into The Storm, I watched it on a 10 hour flight. It’s true, I did select the movie but I was hoping for a ‘popcorn’ movie – a bit of blockbuster entertainment where I could check my brain at the door pass a few more hours of my flight. It had all the right ingredients: decent special effects and a storyline to tie the big dramatic storm footage together but it lacked tension. The story centres around a small-town which has an onslaught of countless tornados in one day. There’s the storm chasers with their armed truck, the mother meteorologist guiding them and the school principal who has family problems following the death of his wife, struggling to hold his family together while also saving the school from the storms. This movie is hard work. I actually turned it off, but then turned it back on because I wanted to see what happened. The predictability of the storyline killed all tension, nothing was a surprise except for guessing who they would kill off next and how. I wanted to like this, I really did!
…you like a good disaster movie like Twister, 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow.
Storm chasing is not for me.
Reviewed by Naomi
Leaning towards no.
The dialogue was a little wooden and self-conscious or choreographed, quite like a play. In fact, a lot about it reminded me of a play like The Importance of Being Earnest. That the actors and the story were being paraded in front of the camera aware they are part of a trifling diversion.
Magic in the Moonlight is about an English magician who is called upon to attempt to unmask a young woman claiming to be a spirit medium. Starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, whose work I generally enjoy, I didn’t like this much. Apart from the wooden dialogue, there were scenes which would have benefited from some brevity and someone to like among the characters.
…I guess if you like plays?
…that Colin Firth is old enough to be Emma Stone’s father. Why do they keep doing that in movies!