Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Moonlight Convergence

There are a couple weeks left to the Moonlight Cinema in the Botanic Gardens. Tonight’s feature is The Blues Brothers, back from the days when Saturday Night Live movies were funny. Plus it features my hometown of Chicago – most of which is destroyed throughout the film.

Relive the days of shady Lower Wacker Drive, Illinois Nazis, and awesome rhythm and blues. Plus, if you get good at saying, ‘It’s a hundred and six miles to Chicago. We’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses’ (mp3) you can do a pretty good impression of my accent* for your friends.

And won’t that be the highlight of your evening?

If you’re not into awesome 80s movies, Romulus, My Father (5/3), Sweeney Todd (7/3) and Juno (8/3) are also playing this week. If you’re just not into awesome movies at all, The Jane Austen Book Club is playing on the 6th. It was playing on my flight back here – painful.

Hey, if you go see Juno, you can experience Minnesota, which is where I went to uni. Amazing. You can stalk my previous homes, which – if you’re going to stalk – frankly, I much prefer.

And, actually, my father has a small part in Blues Brothers, which is why we’re going tonight. So if you hear someone shout, “That’s my dad!” feel free to come on over and say hi.

* – My accent’s actually not that bad, though I do say ‘gad’ instead of ‘god.’ It gets more Jake and Elwood if I’ve been drinking…

Nissan Moonlight Cinema
Moonlight Cinema FAQ

Victoria’s Drive-In Cinemas

drivein.JPGStill own a car? The planet says, ‘boo,’ but drive-in cinemas say, ‘yay!’ And who do you care about more, really?

Drive-ins Downunder has listings for all of Victoria’s (and Australia’s) drive-ins, but of special note are the three that are still operating in our area today. Coburg, Dandenong, and Dromana all feature old-style, open-air viewing.

The listing for the Coburg Triple Drive-In, Australia’s largest, are here, though it appears you might have to refresh that each week. And the movies they’re showing are a bit… well, I’m not sure how much they’re charging – since I can’t seem to book it online – but any amount for Rambo is too much. Better luck next week…

If you’re too into saving the planet to attend a session, reading up on the history of these yesteryear hangouts is still pretty fun.

No word on whether the owners are still on the lookout for you heavy petting types in the backseat. (Good luck, though!)

h/t to Effigy2000 and his MeFi writeup.

No sympathies, but R.I.P anyway


This isn’t really Melbourne-related news, but Australian news nonetheless.

So Heath Ledger’s found dead. I was stunned for a few seconds – memories of his squirting gun incident, his marriage to beautiful Michelle Williams and his stunning role in Brokeback Mountain seemed to happen just yesterday – but reality set in.

No excuses there Heath. But you fucked up.

Moonlight Cinema

Tonight kicks off Melbourne’s Moonlight Cinema season. ” Nissan Moonlight Cinema is an open air cinema screening latest release, contemporary, cult and classic movies on the sweeping lawns of the lush Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.” You can take a picnic, a bottle of wine or whatever. I would recommend bringing something to sit on such as a bean bag although you can rent bean bags when you are there. Their website is quite impressive as it displays the temperature next to the upcoming movies.

Also in the outdoor films genre is the Rooftop Cinema located atop the roof in 252 Swanston Street. The Rooftop Cinema tend to play older movies instead of the fairly new releases the Moonlight Cinema show. Both are great places to watch movies and to have a drink.

Moonlight Cinema

Royal Botanic Gardens,Melbourne

Rooftop Cinema

252 Swanston St., Melbourne

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SAW Made in Melbourne?

I like movies but on the whole I’m a movie Luddite, especially when they are trilogies, tetralogies, and pentalogies. I have never seen any of the Rocky, Godfather, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and as of last night, SAW movies.

SAW IV was good, although I would have appreciated the film more if I had seen the previous SAW movies rather than a 30 second synopsis from my friend.

Flashback four years ago where the film makers James Wan and Leigh Whannell, fresh out of RMIT and broke, created a script for this clever horror film. It was pitched to producers in the U.S. and made on a $1 million dollar budget, which is fairly cheap these days. SAW was an instant hit and grossed over $102 million dollars worldwide.

I have heard a few people say something along the lines of the filming location being Melbourne and even filming the movie in the basement of RMIT. For anyone who has been to the basement (or lower floors) of RMIT, it does remind one of a set from a scary movie. After a bit of research, it appears that the film was made entirely in Los Angeles. The link to RMIT is that both film makers attended RMIT (media studies) and were friends. When pitching the movie to the U.S., the guys made a 9 minute short film (included on the SAW DVD) to show a bit of what they wanted to do with the movie and to show James Wan’s directorial style. This short was filmed in a hospital basement near Leigh Whannell’s house in Melbourne.

So there ya go. The short that inspired the making of the film was made in Melbourne but the rest was done in Hollywood.

Movies filmed in Melbourne

Wikipedia: SAW (The Short)
Wikipedia: SAW
Wikipedia: James Wan
Pollystaffle: Breaking Into Hollywood
Youtube: Saw (The Short)
IMDB: SAW (Filming Locations)

Picture via Sahlan Hayes / SMH

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Australian Malaysian Film Festival

Anyone planning on visiting the Australian Malaysian Film Festival, now that the Melbourne International Film Festival itself has officially ended? Its at the ACMI, which is conveniently next to Federation Square, and on August 18-19, showing 3 films, for fairly reasonable pricing (concession rates do apply, if you qualify).

I’m thinking of going, does anyone want to tag along? Tomorrow’s launch party looks most interesting, with food, music, the film, and well, maybe the welcome speeches ;)

Read about the films, and when they’re in Malay, be prepared to read the English subtitles (I know I will be).

Charity screening of “Serenity” on Saturday, the 23rd June

“Firefly” fanclub Can’t Stop The Serenity Melbourne is holding a sepcial event for all feminists and Joss Whedon fans: they are holding a special screening of the sci-fi movie Serenity at RMIT’s Kaleide Theatre, 360 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Tickets cost $14 online, and will be $15 at the doors (which open at 6:30, Saturday the 23rd June – thats one week away). As well as the movie itself, they will be showing a Canadian fan-made parody of the Firefly TV series, called “Mosquito”, and you’ll get to see previews for a Melbourne-based fan project. Proceeds from the event will go towards the international feminist lobby group Equality Now, which campaigns on Womens Rights issues around the world (from discriminatory laws to stoning to FGM – and if you don’t know what that stands for, go to the website now…).

*Serenity Charity Screening website
*Joss Whedon blogging on the absolute need for feminist action

300 & Spiderman 3 at IMAX

I’m a big fan of IMAX but Melbourne rarely plays any mainstream movies. Well, I can only hope they got the message from my previous post, as they are showing 300 and starting this Thursday, Spiderman 3.

From one of our readers, Pierrotee:

I went to see a film in IMAX last weekend and was blown away by how much it enhances the cinema experience. I would suggest everyone try to take advantage of this amazing technology we have here in Melbourne. While they are at it, the can take in a trip to the Museum adjacent. One small plea though, if you are planning on seeing a movie at IMAX, like any other cinema, please arrive in time to get a seat and shut up once the lights go out!

Bonus, buy a museum admission for only $3 more and see the Great Wall of China exhibit.

Imax Melbourne

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Ghost Rider in Melbourne

niccage.jpg Photo taken from
If you’re sick of seeing movies that are set in New York and LA, why not go see the new Nicolas Cage movie Ghost Rider and catch a glimpse of our beautiful city? For six months in the first half of 05′, the movie was shot on a Docklands film studio, but 80% was shot around the city. Apparently you’ll see Telstra Dome, Southbank, the showgrounds, the Melbourne cemetery, Melbourne Uni and the Treasury Gardens – although the movie is set in a “nondescript town in Texas.”
Cage plays an Evil Kenivel type stunt bike rider who gives up his own soul to save someone he loves.
It is the most expensive movie ever to be shot in Melbourne (with a budget of 150 million), and is opening two days earlier than it’s US release.

Free Hugs in Melbourne

We all know the free hugs campaign that was made famous by the Sick Puppies. Someone tried doing the free hugs thing in the Bourke Street mall and the results were quite good. He even managed to hug our friend Eduord and his girlfriend. I prefer this video as the song is one of my favourites from Hunters and Collectors.

Youtube: Free Hugs Campaign, Melbourne, Australia
[via Ward of Sky]

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