The Babadook (iMDB rating 6.9) – While it opened in only a couple of cinemas over the weekend, this is the most interesting new film of the weekend for mine.
Firstly, because this horror film about a mother & son being terrorised by a monster in the house has been getting some notable critical acclaim. No less than William Friedkin declared on Twitter it to be the most terrifying film he’d seen. And the NY Film Critics Awards gave their Best First Film feature to its writer/director Jennifer Kent.
But it’s also of interest to me because it’s an Australian film and despite getting good reviews when it was released here earlier in the year, it made relatively little impact at the box office. Ironically it’s box office prospects are likely to be much better overseas with reportedly it taking more money in its opening UK weekend than it did in its entire run in Australia.
Why is this you may ask? Most likely because Australian films have for numerous years had a terrible reputation amongst local audiences, having been burned too many times by lousy films and/or films overpraised by parochial criticals. As a result, even films like this fail to find an audience. But happily it looks like it will be getting plenty of attention in the coming weeks.
Penguins Of Madagascar (7.3) – For multiple reasons I have largely zero interest in mainstream animation so I’m not particularly sure whether this is a sequel to Madagascar, some animated film involving penguins, or all of the above. In anycase, it seems to have less celebrity voices in the cast than usual although it does have flavour-of-the-month Benedict Cumberbatch who seems to be in a new film every week…
The Imitation Game (8.4) – I take that back, Cumberbatch is associated in two new releases this weekend! But this WW2 spy movie based on real events is much more significant, with much critical acclaim and Oscar talk surrounding it. Looking at the trailer. it seems to have some rather corny elements but it’s a great story with much potential interest so I’ll be looking to catch it when it opens here in Oz.
Horrible Bosses 2 (7.1) – Not surprised at all this sequel largely bombed over the weekend. Sure, the original was a surprised hit but few regarded it as a great comedy and it came at least a year (probably two) too late to take advantage of the heat of the original.
Women Who Flirt (6.8) – Chinese romantic film about… well the title pretty much gives it away.
Antarctica: A Year On Ice (7.4) – Nature documentary with self-explaining title that has received some good critical notices and awards
Touch The Wall (6.3) – Documentary about champion US swimmer Missy Franklin. As an aside, swimming has always been a popular event in Australia and 10-15 years ago with several great swimmers around, it was absolutely huge. It wasn’t uncommon for trials for the Olympics to dominate in primetime. Would any other country have loved swimming that much?