DVD REVIEW: Moonrise Kingdom  

MOONRISE KINGDOM (PG-13)

94 mins

IT'S hard to describe how a movie about traditional America can break so many rules, but this film does it with style.

I'd love to break it down, frame by frame, to absorb the rich dialogue and nuanced meaning to just about every prop and conversation in this film.

Director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) is a master of intelligent comedy (OK, with a few mistakes, like The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou).

This quaint comedy of a boy who deserts Scout camp to run away with his girlfriend on a New England island is smarter than many movies 10 times its size.

The kids (played by Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) are much smarter than the adults.

The action is non-stop and the adult characters are really caricatures - played to exactness by Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand.

Zany and sweet.

Rating: ★★★★

SEAL TEAM SIX: THE RAID ON OSAMA BIN LADEN

90 mins

THIS National Geographic TV movie starring Anson Mount and Freddy Rodriguez is a solid adventure flick about the raid on Osama Bin Laden's Pakistani complex.

The timeline seems methodical and the characters, while fictional, seem real enough.

Sure, there are a few holes in the story and some situations get scant attention, but for the average movie-watcher it's pretty engaging and entertaining.

I haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty, the Oscar-contender that's supposed to be closer to the truth of what actually happened, but this is certainly a worthy teaser.

Rating: ★★★

360 (MA15+)

106 mins

A POTENT cast and constant action with a strong European flavour, 360 strings together a series of relationships which become complex and interrelated.

The women in the movie are beautiful and the men have to work hard to compete on the screen.

Having said that, everybody is outstanding. Anthony Hopkins brings class to a relatively small role. Jude Law finds himself in trouble as a business executive away on a business trip who books a prostitute then finds himself caught out by a business associate.

Ben Foster, an indie cinema star to my mind, is brilliant as a shaky sex offender.

Ah, but the women: Rachel Weisz is rarely unconvincing and this role is no exception.

She's an adulterer, but confident in her own skin.

Brazilian actress Maria Flor is superlative; Russian actress Dinara Drukarova is so fine; Czech Gabriela Marcinkova is one to watch in the future.

Shot in Vienna, Paris, London, Bratislava and the US, the texture is rich and moving.

Rating: ★★★

BERNIE (PG-13)

104 mins

A TRULY whacky film of Texas truth, this mockumentary of a true story about a funeral director who murders his wealthy widow girlfriend can't help but make you smile.

Director Richard Linklater uses Hollywood talent and locals to paint a twistingly funny story.

Jack Black is at his darkest comic best, and Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey are just as good.

Rating: ★★★

HERE (M)

126 mins

THIS is a slow and beautiful love story. Filmed almost entirely in Armenia, American cartographer Will Shepard (Ben Foster) is on a lonely assignment when he meets a talented and free-spirited photographer (Lubana Azabal) rediscovering her homeland.

The film spends a lot of time showing us the sweeping landscapes of a land forgotten by Western culture. The interplay between Foster and Azabal seems intense, and real. Both are superlative in understated roles.

A sleeper of a good movie.

Rating: ★★★

WINNERS

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World winners are D. Tyrrell, Valentine; A. Milligan, Cooks Hill; L. Murdoch, Beresfield; M. Humphries, Cardiff South; J. Coulton, Mayfield East.

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