Raviv’s Revelation Review 2017: Lazybones

Life is unpredictable and everyone has their own problems to solve. Lazy Bones is an Australian film directed by Michael Jones. Lazy Bones explores the life of main-character Ben who is an aspiring stand-up comedian and also works as an Uber driver.

The thing I liked about this film is the relatability and authenticity of the storyline. I found myself feeling sympathetic for Ben, as I could relate to a lot of the things he was going through during the film. I liked how the story line had a lot of balance. There were comedic scenes which gave contrast to the deep and meaningful ones. I also liked the technical production of the film. The interesting camera views and angles gave the storyline a unique feel.

However, there were some flaws in the film’s production. I didn;t like the shaky camera and some of the framing for the shots. How could the camera shake so much if it was on a tripod? Sometimes the subject was offscreen when it should have been in the middle. While the story is engaging, the plot is unclear and sometimes confusing. For example, all I saw was the story of a man trying to get his life in order. Lazy Bones plot was almost non-existent.

Overall, I really enjoyed this film. Although there were some problems with the technical aspects of the film. The story made me invest in the characters, particularly the main protagonist Ben. 7 out of 10 for me!

RATING: 7/10

Raviv’s Revelation Review 2017: Baxter and Me

 

Dogs are a man’s best friend. And a woman’s best friend. This film follows the journey of director Gillian Leahy, as she faces many adversities throughout her life. The film explores and reflects Leahy’s relationships Leahy shares with her present and past, four legged friends.

I like how the film explores the intimate relationship between Leahy and her current dog, Baxter. From the sentimental scenes of her and Baxter in the house to the hard-felt scenes toward the end, these were the highlights for me. These scenes presented the pure and unconditional love between the two. Another thing that I enjoyed about the film is that the story is very engaging. The film showed many photos of Leahy’s early life and you can see her journey in her life.

 

“Too many dogs died in Leahy’s life. I understand that most of them were accidents, but can she mention some of the dogs that didn’t die!?”

 

This life, however, is not without its faults. The biggest issue is how utterly boring it is. Seriously, it just drags on for so long. It doesn’t help that the story line travels back and forth, between past and present. I think that if the film explored a single interesting part in Leahy’s life, for example, a drama-recreation or a current representation, it would have made me enjoy the film more. Another problem I have with this film is that some of the scenes are not necessary and waste so much screenplay! They do nothing for the story or atmosphere and go on for too long. These drawn out scenes resulted in my lack of understanding of why the scenes were there, as well as whether I should continue watching. Too many dogs died in Leahy’s life. I understand that most of them were accidents, but can she mention some of the dogs that didn’t die!? It’s depressing and it seems like she was cursed. I felt no emotions from hearing Leahy recount the tragic fate of all the dogs because her narration lacked substance.

Overall, I did not like it. If you are a woman and have dogs, maybe you might like it. I certainly did not. 2 out of 10 for me!

RATING: 2/10

Raviv’s Revelation Reviews 2017: Becoming Bond

James Bond is one of the most iconic characters in the world of literature and pop culture. Originally being a series of books written by Ian Fleming, it has turned into a series of films where many actors play the role of Bond. One of those actors is an Australian model called George Lazenby. This film is a documentary-drama on the life of Lazenby before, during and after playing James Bond.

Let me tell you- this film is amazing! I love the way the documentary mixes Lazenby’s interview with the drama re-enactments. One of the best things about this film is how personal it is. In some moments, Lazenby replaces his vocal audio with the audio of the characters which creates a more authentic feel. The film also creates genuine moments where we feel the emotions from the characters. For example, when something happens to the Lazenby character, the “real-life” Lazenby reflects on it.

Everything is beautifully made and authentic. Throughout the whole film, I couldn’t think of anything I disliked. Everything seemed so legitimate, which made it seem so much more believable. In my opinion, many documentaries lack this quality. By showing the ups and downs of Lazenby’s life, it allows the viewer to learn from him and reflect on their life.

Overall, this film is perfect! A must-watch documentary that has elements of re-enactment from actors and news archives. 10 out of 10 for me!

RATING: 10/10

[REVIEW] Okja

Science Fiction/ Drama (2017)

Director Bong Joon-ho brings a whole lot to the table with his latest Science fiction/ drama; Okja.  As a lover of independent films, this one caught my eye. However, to my surprise, it was filled with many familiar faces from Hollywood. These included Tilda Swinton (Hunger Games), Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad). However, this wasn’t necessarily beneficial for the film. The story follows a young South Korean girl who lives in the mountains with her Grandfather (a farmer) who was nominated to look after a genetically modified Super-Pig as part of a 10-year competition. The Super-Pigs were designed to put a stop to world hunger in an ethical and sustainable way – but is this the case? Okja is taken by the multi-national corporation and Mija begins her rescue mission to save her beloved animal.  The film served as consistent entertainment throughout, from the heartwarming bond between Mija and Okja to the comedy and the shenanigans of the Animal Protection Rescue characters. There were also many various on-edge moments regarding Mija’s mission to save her beloved pig from becoming extremely tasty bacon.  The story was creative and thought-provoking, the cinematography was outstanding. As a viewer the film definitely made me reflect on my own eating habits and the ethics of farming. Not for very long though as I was enjoying various mince filled party pies throughout the viewing (laughs). However, I feel like the most annoying characters in the film were the ones from Hollywood. Jake Gyllenhaal played an estranged animal doctor who only showed his love for animals on camera. Although his character was probably meant to be disliked – it was too much for me. Giancarlo Esposito always does an amazing job of being a villain with untouchable power and Mija’s actor (Seo-Hyun Ahn) honored her career’s debut.

Conclusion:

Okja is a great film for these cold Perth nights. So put on some extra layers and dive into the 2 hour Netflix Blockbuster. Heartwarming but it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Beautiful cinematography 4/5.

[REVIEW] Kung Fu Panda 3

 

Dreamworks is one of the best animation studios in the world. They are responsible for a huge chunk of people’s childhood, especially for me. Dreamworks make great, popular franchises and stay true to their name. From Madagascar to Shrek – they all had great ideas, stories and characters. This is also the case for Kung Fu Panda 3. Kung Fu Panda 3 was directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni and features the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman and many more.

The main thing that makes a good sequel is the ability it has to reflect on the past. Sequels should be able to either explain the events of the previous movies or mention the events of the previous movies. Kung Fu Panda 3 does this right from the beginning. The main plot of the film revolves around Kai, a yak, stealing chi from different masters and turns them into his jade army and it is up to the Dragon Master Po to stop him.

Things that make this film great: 1) Master Oogway is back! 2) It explains a lot of the things that have happened in the first film. So if you have questions after watching the previous titles, this one should answer all of your questions. That is not all! The main antagonist, Kai, is a super-badass! He literally steals the master’s Ki (part of Chinese philosophy and medicine) turning them into fully coated green zombies which are under his control! That is awesome! He is definitely a great villain. Not only that but the humour is great! There were a lot of laughs especially when Po gets shocked that all of his friends and become green only to say to Matis “Except for you Mantis you were already green” was awesome!

Things that I slightly disliked: 1) The Furious Five play a little role in this film except for Tigeress, 2) It still keeps the annoying gimmick of Po being amazed of his powers and 2.5) Jackie Chan’s role in it. I didn’t mind him playing a secondary character in ‘The Karate Kid’ because he had great scenes, but his character of Monkey doesn’t get much exposure in the film.

Other than those things, I really enjoyed it and think it’s the best of the series so far. It has an interesting plot with an awesome villain. I give it 4.5/5!

If you want me to review something please let me know via the comments below or via the Facebook page.

[REVIEW] Captain America: Civil War

By Clinton Little

If we’re talking about dumb shiny action movies, it doesn’t get much shinier or dumber than Marvel Comics Avenger Universe and if you’re looking for 2 & ½ hours of spandex clad fisticuffs, explosions and poorly exposited superpowers then the third instalment of the current Captain America franchise will hit the mark every time.

What’s Good?

Three Words: Robert Downey Junior.

The man can impart more menace and meaning by just standing still and delivering a single line of dialogue than the rest of the cast can achieve by punching their way out of an endless stream of fight scenes.

It’s also quite funny. Despite its flaws Civil War retains a sense of humour about itself and manages to deliver some laughs, most of which come out of left field from the inclusion of Spiderman and Ant Man. However it’s a casting move that seems driven by franchise building motives that has an unexpected comedic payoff.

What’s Bad?

Civil War suffers from a serious case of overkill. With a cast of super characters that includes  Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Ant Man, Spiderman, Scarlett Witch, Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, Black Panther and Falcon to name but a few, the movie labours under the weight of giving each one enough screen time.

Chris Evans is adequate as the leading man but lacks the gravitas required for a viewer to actually care if he lives or dies. He’s handsome(ish), he’s gym buff(ish) and has clearly had enough fight training to be believable in a fight scene but when he shares the screen with the likes of Robert Downey Jr. he is seriously beige.

Back to what’s good?

Less is sometimes more. When there are a dozen superheroes on screen in a battle to the not quite death it’s hard to know where to look. The overstuffed Avenger battles are impressive but it’s when the action is paired down to the central characters that Civil War redeems itself

Should I bother buying a ticket?

Do…but don’t expect a standalone cinema experience. If you’re familiar with the $10 Billion and counting Marvel movie universe then Civil War is the popcorn movie for you.

Just don’t over think it.

3/5

[REVIEW] London Has Fallen

Hello everybody! My name is Raviv Mezhubovski and I will be bringing you film and TV reviews. The old, the new, and even the ones you request. First up is London Has Fallen, a recent film I watched.

London Has Fallen is directed by Babak Najafi and stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman. The film revolves around the antagonist, Aamir Barkawi who is planning a revenge attack on London after the Western Intelligence bombed his family, which he survived with his sons. So how does he attempt to get revenge? Simple! Arrange a fake funeral and kill everyone in London, the President and civilians. This entire film is one huge explosion, after explosion, after explosion.

The one thing that fascinated me is how much the film was able to keep me engaged. The action sequences often came out of nowhere, with the protagonists questioning themselves and their abilities to survive, this worked to keep me watching. The conflict is very understandable and logical with the ending being a satisfying one. Because of this, it managed to hold my attention from one explosion to the next.

However, one weakness is that the film is literally just one huge explosion. The entire movie is basically a representation of a Michael Bay sweet dream. The main storyline has also recycled a lot from past films. A terrorist organisation attacked a place, it is then the job of one badass American to save the world and stop the bad guys from killing innocent lives. We have seen this plot again and again.

Overall, the film was basic and the story was easy to understand but overused in the genre of action. The explosions kept the story intriguing but that was literally all the movie was. So I will give the movie a 5 out of 10. It is an average movie but still very cliche and generic.

Stay tuned for more film and TV reviews!

[REVIEW] Advanced Style

By Cecilia Allen

Dismiss any conventional ideas you have about beauty, style, fashion and aging in Advanced Style. Director Lina Plioplyte and street photographer Ari Seth Cohen’s warm-hearted documentary showcases an array of New York women who express themselves through their proud and unique individualistic styles. Ranging in age from 60 through to 90 and from majestic to harlequin like flamboyance, these ladies illustrate the benefits of aging without abandoning their unique style or fundamental approach to aging.

Western culture’s increasing obsession with youth and beauty is large on scale. Cohen poses the question “Why do we only look towards young people as our fashion and beauty icons? Why not older women?”

Based on his own Grandmothers unique style and vibrant approach to aging, Cohen set out to prove to the world that aging can be anything but daunting. “These women really challenge our notion of getting older, they really embrace their age, feel good about themselves; and every time they leave the house, they look and feel their best,” he says.

The old saying age before beauty implies one is exclusive of the other, but the woman photographed and written about by Cohen in his famed blog Advanced Style and consecutive book of the same name dismiss the conventional ideas about beauty and ageing and show us, that with age comes grace and confidence.

The film delves into the lives of seven New York women, these women are not the rich upper class women with wardrobes full of designer labels that you would expect – apart from one woman who promises her granddaughter she will inherit a collection of Chanel handbags – instead these are women from across different lines of wealth and ethnicity. One of the glamorous ladies says it might take years to fully complete one outfit, from finding the right set of earrings to a hat that matches.

The women, of whom the film focuses, speak openly about their lives, their experience of aging and their style. Some of the women have partners or families but a number of them are single and openly admit that finding love or having children was not a priority. One of the interviewees, Tziporah Salamon, quite simply says “My hats and bags are my children.”

Among the most captivating interviewees is Jacquie “Tajah” Murdock, who started out at 17 as one of the original Apollo Theater dancers in Harlem and at 82 landed an ad campaign for Lanvin. She recalls that in her era people dressed to the nines to hit the town on Friday and Saturday nights even if they were domestic workers.

The documentary is sweet and funny with just an occasional hint of melancholy. The pace of the film seems too quick for any of the subjects to leave a strong impression and also raises some questions which could have been explored further. Among the films strengths is its democratic embrace of woman from different backgrounds and the message it sends to its audience. The women in this film prove style is ageless and with age come grace.

3 out of 5 stars.

[REVIEW] The Double

Jessie Eisenberg stars as both Simon and James, government workers that share the same face but have polar opposite personalities, in The Double. Based on a Russian novella and directed by The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade, this film follows timid, lonely and ignored Simon as he fixates on his co-worker Hannah (Mia Wasikowska) and finds his world unraveling when the charismatic James arrives and starts to take over his life.

There have been many films about doppelgängers in the past yet here it doesn’t feel like it is being used as a gimmick. This fresh and original take on the subject is mainly due to Eisenberg’s performance and the way Ayoade skillfully frames his shots to provide a sense of claustrophobia and to document the intense feelings of neuroticism that Simon experiences. Eisenberg brilliantly pulls off the tricky task of playing two separate characters who manage to both be pretty unlikable but still utterly absorbing. Whether I was cringing at Simon’s telescopic spying, a la Rear Window, or cursing James’ ill intentions, I found myself holding my breath and waiting for the inevitable downfall of Simon or James. Eisenberg delivers a convincing, if unnerving, performance that shines, particularly when Simon starts to spin out of control.

The drab, monochromatic and surreal reconstruction of our world and the presence of heavy industrialism in Simon’s life serve to provide a comment on modern business life, such as the disappearing sense of self that can occur, and effectively creates a strong sense of melancholy at such a familiar universe. However, this film may not be for everyone. It is certainly not a lighthearted or uplifting movie that will give you the ‘warm fuzzies’. Instead it deals with the increasing sense of isolation one may feel in today’s world and the familiar divide and conflict between who you are and who you want to be. Yet there are some moments of dark comedy sprinkled throughout the film which does break up the serious and intense moments and I did surprisingly find myself laughing on a number of occasions. Ayoade is able to balance these moments by the successful control of the musical score, which perfectly ebbs and flows with scenes of increasing uneasiness. Ayoade’s direction over this film, combined with an excellent cast and musical score, provides us with a movie that is beautifully haunting and will leave you questioning your own feelings towards modern industrialized life and the accompaniment of isolation.

4 out of 5 Stars

The Double is currently showing at Luna Leederville

[REVIEW] Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent, an international brand that became famous from humble yet not so humble beginnings. This luxury fashion house is among some of the most famous labels to date; Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Louis Vuitton. The brand is now at the heart of fashion, embraced by editors, bloggers and society at large. Today many endure to be part of the beauty that was the oeuvre of the late designer Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent.

Yves Saint Laurent was and still is referred to as “The Prince of Fashion” and a “fashion prodigy,” He was a soul that knew about “beauty.” Beauty that amazes, beauty that is worn, beauty that hypnotizes the masses, and beauty that becomes a multi-million dollar brand. This movie is an exploration into a time when recognition of such beauty not only came with inevitable criticism but also a psychological battle on personal circumstances. It is a buoyant vision trying to understand where the humble beginnings of this fashion house came from and a treat when the secret to the success is subtly revealed. It is only a glimpse but worthwhile, for 110 minutes you will be lost in a world of French where comprehension will come from a mutual love.

3.5 Stars

Words by Sameera Afzaal