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Cinema ian 3/24/2015

Now showing at Cronulla Cinemas…

Focus

Now ShowingA seasoned con man (Nicky) takes a young woman (Jess) under his wing and becomes romantically involved with her. When she gets too close, he abruptly breaks up with her. Three years later, Jess, now an accomplished con artist herself, shows up in Buenos Aires posing as a billionaire international race car owner and throws a loop into Nicky's latest, very dangerous scheme.

Starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie. MA 15+ 105 minutes

What We Did On Our Holiday

Doug and Abi are taking their three children on a trip to Scotland for a big family gathering. They are in the midst of a difficult divorce, and have asked the kids to keep it a secret from their extended family. But as the inevitable feuds kick in, a completely unexpected turn of events involving the children causes further tensions to rise to the surface. And with the repercussions that ensue - hilarious and emotional in equal measure - the family are forced to put aside their differences and work together or else risk losing what they hold most dear.

Starring David Tennant, Rosamund Pike and Billy Connolly. PG 95 minutes

Big Eyes

Now ShowingThe true story of American artist Margaret Keane who became famous in the 1960s for her paintings of children as large-eyed waifs. Her husband, Walter took credit for her work.

He lived the high life while she toiled in relative anonymity in the Bay Area, until Margaret experienced a personal awakening due to the feminist movement and sued for the right to use her own name on her artwork.

Starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. M 106 minutes

Chappie

After being kidnapped by two criminals during birth, Chappie becomes the adopted son in a strange and dysfunctional family. Chappie is preternaturally gifted, one of a kind, a prodigy. He also happens to be a robot.

Starring Hugh Jackman, Sharito Copely and Sigourney Weaver. MA 15+ 120 minutes

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold HotelNow that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy—posing a predicament for fresh arrivals)—Sonny (Dev Patel) has his eye on a promising property for expansion.

Starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel and Richard Gere PG 122 minutes

That Sugar Film

One man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. This is a documentary by Damon Gameau that follows a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body. He consumes only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. It’s an entertaining and informative journey that highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry and where sugar lurks on our supermarket shelves.

Home (2D and 3D)

Now ShowingAfter an alien race called the Boov invades Earth to make it their new home, a resourceful human girl named Tip avoids capture and embarks on the road trip of a lifetime with a banished Boov named Oh.

Starring Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez. PG 94 minutes.

Insurgent (2D and 3D)

Set in the ruins of a futuristic Chicago, Tris and Four fugitives on the run, hunted by the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite. Racing against time, they must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them.

Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet. M 119 minutes

Rydges Cronulla is right next door to Cronulla Cinemas for all your accommodation needs or a pre/post movie meal, drink or snack. Accommodation and movie packages are available.

Cinema ian 2/18/2015

With the Oscars just around the corner there are some excellent movies now showing at Cronulla Cinemas. There is also one that will never be nominated for an Academy Award but can provide a delightful, if a tad confronting, distraction and a break from the real world for a couple of hours. That one is Fifty Shades of Grey (MA 15+, 125 minutes) which has been breaking box office records to mixed critical reviews.

Now ShowingAmerican Sniper (MA15+, 132 minutes) is a bit more macho and ‘traditional’ in its violence. It could also win a Best Actor Oscar for Bradley Cooper and Best Picture. Another Best Actor contender is Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything (PG, 133 minutes) and that one is also a Best Picture nominee.

Other movies showing include Wild (MA15+, 115 minutes) with Reece Witherspoon nominated for Best Actress, The Imitation Game (M, 114 minutes), also up for Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Best Picture and Birdman, also up for Best Picture and Best Actor for Michael Keaton. My pick - Birdman for Best Picture and Bradley Cooper for American Sniper in the tightest tussle in years.

If you are visiting Cronulla, Rydges Cronulla, right next door to Cronulla Cinemas, can look after all your accommodation needs.

Cinema ian 1/19/2015

Movie classification can be confusing, especially when it comes to ‘comedy’. There are two movies currently classified as comedy at Cronulla Cinemas but moviegoers looking for lots of out-loud laughs should approach Birdman with caution.

Dumb and Dumber ToWith the other comedy it is pretty obvious what you will get… Dumb and Dumber To aims to please those who enjoyed the first Dumber and Dumber. There are plenty of laughs and lots of silliness from Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels but you won’t come away feeling like you’ve just had dinner with Stephen Fry at his witty best…it is crude slapstick stupidity that will totally hit the spot with fans.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), on the other hand, almost defies classification but ‘very dark comedy’ could be close. It is a satire but not ‘comedy’ for those looking for a light and fluffy distraction. Some will find it disturbing and confronting – and some may find it disappointing, especially if they go anticipating an action-packed superhero movie. It is an intense portrayal of a man battling a number of inner demons who like getting the upper hand.

If you prepare yourself for wall-to-wall coarse language and adult themes you, like me, may well be swept away by the fabulous performances from Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton and Zach Galifianakis as well as the amazing direction from Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu. You will be aware of him manipulating time and space with what looks like the one take for 98% of the movie but that can be part of the reward. The movie is nominated for nine Oscars - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Cinematography.

Rydges Cronulla is next door to Cronulla Cinemas for all your accommodation needs.

Cinema ian 12/19/2014

There are a number of great holiday movies at Cronulla Cinemas over the festive season. Mind you, there are a few that aren’t actually suitable for the kiddies…

Movies currently showing include Nightcrawler (MA15+), Exodus: Gods and Kings (M), The Water Diviner (M), Interstellar (M), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (M), Annie (PG), Penguins of Madagascar (G) and the oddly titled Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (PG).

For session times, click here.

A couple of recent releases include:

Holiday MoviesHorrible Bosses 2

The comedy stars Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine & Christoph Waltz.

Dale, Kurt and Nick decide to start their own business but things don't go as planned because of a slick investor, prompting the trio to pull off a harebrained and misguided kidnapping scheme. MA 15+ for strong sex scenes, sexual references and coarse language. Runs 108 minutes.

Paddington

And one very good flick for the children (and the young at heart). This family film runs 95 minutes. A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realise that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist (a villain role for Nicole Kidman!)

For all your accommodation needs Rydges Cronulla is right next door to Cronulla Cinemas and handy to all the main attractions.

Cinema ian 11/1/2014

Most people going to see the movie John Wick at Cronulla Cinemas will know what to expect. Violence in spades and Keanu Reeves dealing it up a treat. Having said that, if naïve moviegoers plan to share their popcorn with the sequel to Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit, they may be pleasantly seduced by this beautifully crafted, hi-action, frenzied and bloody genre. It is somewhat predictable, but we feel comfortable in the manipulation. Keanu takes us on a ride that we want to go on with him, especially because of the circumstances that drive him to take the ride…

No spoiler alert because the plot isn’t the driving force, it is simply the reason for the force. In a nutshell, John Wick was once a notorious hitman. He ‘retired’ for a quiet life with the love of his life… who, sadly, dies. She knows the depth of John’s love and arranges for a puppy to be delivered after her death to help with his grief, which indeed it does. The only other ‘love’ in his life is his 1969 Ford Mustang. So when the nasty buggers take the only two good things that remain in his life, it is time for revenge. In spades.

There’s a lovely rhythm to the movie – the violence is strong but delightfully choreographed and there’s some charming black humour to give the film some light, shade and depth. One reviewer said that Reeves was a 21st century Errol Flynn and that’s pretty accurate – it is a modern swashbuckler with the buckles swashed in blood. While Reeves steals the movie, the casting is excellent. A quick mention to one of the minor characters, the Russian, Victor. He is played by Aussie actor Toby Leonard Moore who learnt (fluent) Russian for the role! Expect to see a lot more of him.

John Wick is now showing at Cronulla Cinemas. It is rated MA15+ and runs for a well-paced 96 minutes. Rydges Cronulla is right next door for a pre or post-flick drink or meal and, indeed, all your accommodation needs.

Here is the official trailer for John Wick.

Cinema ian 8/19/2014

We highly recommend The 100 Foot Journey at Cronulla Cinemas. The movie is an absolute joy. It’s about food and it could be called a cinematic version of comfort food. You don’t have to analyse or think too hard, just take an enjoyable journey. To continue the analogy, it is more like well-cooked lamb shanks with mashed potato than a Heston Blumenthal seaweed and sand concoction. It is a somewhat predictable story but that is part of the joy, watching it unfold and enjoying the nuances.

The Hundred Foot JourneyIn a nutshell, Papa Kadam (Om Puri) decides that the family should leave India for other pastures – England looks a little cold so they choose to move to a delightful village in the south of France, buy a derelict building and turn it into an Indian restaurant. His son, Hassan (Manish Dayal), is a fabulous chef. Across the road, one would guess at about 100 feet away, is a celebrated Michelin-starred French restaurant, owned by the icy Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). She wants this unwanted irritation shut down – cultures and personalities clash – and without spoiling it, Hassan also has a passion and a talent for French cuisine… you have probably guessed the rest of the director’s recipe anyway…

The movie has a lovely script by Steven Knight, based on Richard C. Morais’ novel… it is directed by Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog, Chocolat)… produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake… and the cast is perfect. Not sure who ‘owns’ the movie – both Helen Mirren and Om Puri have great screen charisma but Manish Dayal is a charming scene stealer, as is his love interest, Marguerite, played by Charlotte Le Bon (you might have also guessed that she works in the French restaurant)…

The word of mouth must be travelling nicely because it is rare that a nice little movie like this thumps a blockbuster like The Expendables 3 at the box office as it did last weekend. The rating is PG and it is 122 minutes in duration. If you are in the mood for a couple of hours’ enjoyable diversion and entertainment, you won’t be disappointed.

And for a pre-movie or post-movie drink, snack or meal or all your accommodation needs, Rydges Cronulla is only a 100 foot journey from Cronulla cinemas.

Here is the official trailer.

Cinema ian 6/26/2014

There is a smorgasbord of holiday movies at Cronulla Cinemas for families and teens, sci-fi action fans, and comedy or drama lovers.

Tinker Bell: The Pirate Fairy (G)

The title and the rating pretty much says it all – it’s a cinema outing for families with littlies who just need an entertaining animated diversion. Naturally it is from Disney and it runs 78 minutes.

Maleficent (M)

Also from Disney, this one is a tad darker in themes and is a great Mum and teen daughter flick. Apparently it is Angelina Jolie’s biggest box office success to date and could be one that sees her winding up her acting career as she moves to the other side of the script and camera, writing and directing. It runs 97 minutes

Holiday MoviesHow to Train Your Dragon 2 (PG)

This one gets its PG rating because of mild fantasy themes and violence… a nice animated adventure for the family. It runs 102 minutes.

Blended (PG)

This one’s PG is for sexual references and crude humour. Nice to see the chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. After a bad blind date the man and woman find themselves stuck together at a family resort and the relationship grows. Running time 117 minutes.

The Fault in Our Stars (M)

This one is sad/uplifting and a real tear jerker. Your blogger’s teenage daughter saw it and was still reaching for the tissues a couple of hours after. For many it will be the most memorable movie of the year. 126 minutes.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (M)

Probably not big on the ‘memorable’ movie scale for plot and character development BUT big budget action for 165 minutes on the ‘rollercoaster’. Fans know what to expect and they get it in spades

Holiday MoviesEdge of Tomorrow (M)

This one is a real sci-fi ‘action’ blockbuster with Tom Cruise driving the plot – a soldier in a war against aliens find himself in a time loop of the last day in the battle – but when he returns each day, he has more skills. M for science fiction violence and infrequent coarse language and runs 133 minutes.

The Trip to Italy (M)

This one is an Italian road-trip – part documentary and part comedy that relies on the charisma and chemistry of the two leads, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, 103 minutes.

22 Jump Street (MA)

This is the surprise package for mine – a sequel that beats the original and nothing gets in the way of milking a joke. Great work from the lead duo Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum – it deserves the MA+ for the frequent strong coarse language and sexual references and if you like this genre, you’ll have a nice cinematic romp for 112 minutes.

Grace of Monaco (PG)

Not wonderful reviews and it certainly nowhere as bad a movie as some have made out – it’s a chic-biopic that has a couple of fine performances, one of them being Nicole Kidman staring as Princess Grace of Monaco - and as the Sydney Morning Herald said, it’s a Disney princess flick for grown-ups. 103 minutes.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (M)

Any movie that has Hugh Jackman with a fist full of steel can’t go wrong for fans of sci-fi action. Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Jennifer Lawrence round out an excellent cast. 131 minutes.

Rydges Cronulla is next door to Cronulla Cinemas for a pre-movie drink, meal or an overnight stay.

Here's the 22 Jump Street trailer (also rated MA+):

Cinema ian 6/11/2014

There’s certainly something for everyone with the movies at Cronulla Cinemas this weekend.

There’s Disney’s Maleficent – it might be a bit dark for some littlies but it’s a nice Mum and daughter movie that features Angelina Jolie’s giving a strong performance, supported by her impossibly wonderful cheekbones.

And I will give another plug for The Grand Budapest Hotel because it is still fresh in my mind several weeks after seeing it.

There’s also the guaranteed heart-string-pulling-tear-jerker The Fault in Our Stars.

We have Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman doing battle under the same roof again – Tom in the mega-million dollar blockbuster, Edge of Tomorrow and Our Nic as Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco. Nicole hasn’t fared well with the critics but fans should enjoy it. Looks like Tom will come out best because according to Rotten Tomatoes it looks like Tom is driving a winner and Nicole is driving badly down a winding road. The ‘Tomatometer’ (critics) give Tom’s flick 95% and Grace of Monaco just 4%.

Also showing – the action movies X-Men: Days of Future Past and Godzilla, the pleasant comedy The Trip to Italy and the gross but funny Bad Neighbours. And speaking of gross/funny...

One I haven’t but is almost tempting me is Seth McFarlane’s raunchfest, A Million Ways to Die in the West. Blood, guts, bodily fluids, foul language and bad taste have a place in movies and I am curious to see whether it is rewarding or revolting. The trailer below pretty much sums it up I guess, but I’m wondering if it is a teaser or the deliverer of best bits. A wee warning, the language in the trailer may render it not fit for work or with the kiddies in the room.

With the days getting shorter and colder a bit of cinematic escapism a great way to spend a couple of hours and Cronulla Cinemas is next door to Rydges Cronulla for a pre or post-movie drink, snack or meal.

Cinema ian 1/16/2014

Next door to Rydges Cronulla there is currently a cinematic smorgasbord at Cronulla Cinemas with movies for all ages and tastes.

…One for the kiddies, rated G is FreeBirds – with the tagline ‘The Greatest Turkey Movie of All Time’, two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks put aside their differences to team up to travel back in time and change the course of history… and rated PG there’s the Golden Globe winning Frozen, the super realistic Walking with Dinosaurs and Saving Mr Banks­. This one is arguably the pick of the family movies - Tom Hanks is excellent as  Walt Disney, negotiating the movie rights to Mary Poppins with Australian author P.L. Travers, played by Emma Thompson.

Also rated PG but much, much darker is The Book Thief, featuring another great performance from Geoffrey Rush. The story focuses on a young girl, Liesel, who finds solace in WWII Germany by stealing books and sharing them with others, including a Jewish refugee who is being sheltered under the stairs by her adoptive parents (trailer below).  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is also rated PG but both will go over the heads of some children.

Philomena is one of those gems that only the Brits can make a movie and it is brilliant – humour abounds in a rather dark plot as we follow the journey of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) to search for the child she was forced to give up for adoption some fifty years before. Gripping, moving and memorable - rated M.

The other movies rated M include Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Anchorman2. These are sequels so fans will know what to expect and will be rewarded as they are all good.

Three other movies that pack a punch, albeit in different ways, are the very moving Railway Man (M), the very funny American Hustle (MA) and the very tight family comedy/drama with Merryl Streep and Julia Roberts, August: Osage County.

If you would like to combine your movie entertainment with a night at Rydges including breakfast, check out this package.

Here is the official trailer for The Book Thief:

Cinema ian 9/25/2013

One Direction is in Australia and tens of thousands of screaming, crying teenage girls are beside themselves – which makes the din twice as loud. Makes one wonder if they would even notice if the boys hit any bad notes.

If you haven’t got tickets to the live Sydney shows at Allphones, second prize will have to be the movie, One Direction: This Is Us. The documentary is now playing at Cronulla Cinemas. In a nutshell – it is slick, fun and rewarding for the fans. The lads have heaps of energy, enthusiasm, charm, warmth and, dare I say, talent. Non-fans will stay away in their droves and there won’t be any Oscars up for grabs but the loyal fan base alone will ensure a commercial success.

The band has certainly headed in only one direction since winning X-Factor in the UK – up – but, as they say, what goes up, must come down. I’m not being pessimistic for the boys, just realistic methinks – but you can’t knock them - they really are at the top of their game at present.

Cinema ian 1/23/2013

Django Unchained, now showing at Cronulla Cinemas (right next door to Rydges!)

The 'D' is silent. Payback won't be.

I guess some people have to be a Quentin Tarantino fan to enjoy his work. Your humble blogger became one during Pulp Fiction and cemented that 'fanship' with Kill Bill.

Too much violence? Maybe.

Over the top? Absolutely.

Brilliant? You bet.

To me Tarantino looks on filmmaking as art as well as craft. When you see a good Spielberg movie you nod and acknowledge his amazing film craft. It’s not ‘art’. Tarantino could sign his movies bottom right corner and whack them in a frame. Except that he’d probably sign it top left corner just to be different. Here are reviews of Django Unchained from some of the top print critics in the United States…

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Like "Inglourious Basterds," Django Unchained is crazily entertaining, brazenly irresponsible and also ethically serious in a way that is entirely consistent with its playfulness. (A.O. Scott, New York Times)

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In "Django," Tarantino is a man unchained, creating his most articulate, intriguing, provoking, appalling, hilarious, exhilarating, scathing and downright entertaining film yet. (Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times)

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The most consistently entertaining movie of 2012. It's 165 minutes long and shouldn't be a minute shorter, a film of surprises, both in story and in casting, and of moments of agonizing, teased-out tension. The dialogue is dazzling. (Mick Lasalle, San Francisco Chronicle)

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The film doesn't play it safe, so neither will I. Instead, I'll say that it finds Mr. Tarantino perched improbably but securely on the top of a production that's wildly extravagant, ferociously violent, ludicrously lurid and outrageously entertaining, yet also, remarkably, very much about the pernicious lunacy of racism and, yes, slavery's singular horrors. (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal)

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The movie Quentin Tarantino has written and directed is corkscrewed, inside-out, upside-down, simultaneously clear-eyed and completely out of its mind. (Wesley Morris, Boston Globe)

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