Rose Byrne and Mark Wahlberg in Instant Family.
Rose Byrne and Mark Wahlberg in Instant Family.

Netflix and chill? What to watch this weekend

THE ONE THAT GETS PARENTAL AS ANYTHING

INSTANT FAMILY (PG)

***

FOXTEL GO, AMAZON

First impressions here point to an amiable, if ineffectual middle-of-the-road comedy. Nothing wrong with that.

If you're in the mood, a second, slightly serious movie also sneaks in here through a side door, and makes itself perfectly comfortable inside your head without you ever really noticing. This is the (based on a true) story of Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne), two busy house flippers who are beginning to regret they never made the time to have children when they had the chance.

After learning a little about the number of children abandoned by their parents each year, the couple dive big-time into a new life as foster care providers by taking on three sparky siblings at once.

Overall, Instant Family offers an open, inviting and illuminating window into the foster care process.

Not just from the perspective of rookie foster parents, but also from that of children who unfortunately can call themselves veterans of the system.

Co-stars Isabela Moner, Octavia Spencer.

 

Wayne Gardner (left) with a childhood friend and his first motorbike.
Wayne Gardner (left) with a childhood friend and his first motorbike.

THE ONE YOU'LL LOVE FOR REVVER

WAYNE (M)

***

FOXTEL GO, STAN

This enjoyable documentary on pioneering Australian motorcycle racing ace Wayne Gardner is not exactly a classic of the form, but remains a fitting tribute to a bloke who rode as fast as he bloody well could, and had a blast while doing so.

What the doco does very well is chart the immense distance - both literally and metaphorically - Gardner had to traverse to become the first Australian to win the coveted 500cc World Championship.

A Wollongong boy through and through, Gardner first connected with his need for speed as a teenager, after buying a rundown ride for five bucks at the local wreckers.

Inside a decade later, Gardner had slowly ascended through the ranks - cheating death, courting luck and flouting convention along the way - to become top dog in one of the most dangerous competitive sports on the planet.

Especially in the mid-1980s, where on-track safety and off-track lifestyle choices were not, ahem, quite as evolved as they are today.

Directed by Jeremy Sims (Last Cab to Darwin).

 

Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty and Mark Wahlberg as Fletcher Chase.
Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty and Mark Wahlberg as Fletcher Chase.

THE ONE WHERE A RICH TYCOON WON'T PAY HIS WAY

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (M)

***1/2

NETFLIX, STAN

In 1973, oil billionaire J. Paul Getty (a magnificent performance from Christopher Plummer) was not just the richest man in the world. He was the richest man in the history of the world. Now imagine you are J. Paul Getty III, the tycoon's grandson. While on holiday in Rome, you've been kidnapped by Calabrian gangsters, who have issued a ransom demand of 17 million dollars for your return.

You know this amount should be pocket change for your grandpa. Old J. Paul will pay off those pesky perps, and have you home safely in a day or so, right? Wrong.

So begins All the Money in the World, a truth-is-far-freakier-than-fiction affair that takes a long sequence of agonising actual events, and lets their sheer strangeness speak for themselves.

Incredibly, it takes over six months for this saga to reach its infamous boiling point (don't look on the internet to see how it ends, whatever you do). Never will you see a man worth so much behave so cheaply.

Co-stars Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg.

 

Elizabeth Banks and John Cusack in Brian Wilson biopic Love and Mercy.
Elizabeth Banks and John Cusack in Brian Wilson biopic Love and Mercy.

THE ONE SAVING A PRIVATE BRIAN

LOVE AND MERCY (M)

***

FOXTEL GO, SBS

TV has already had a few cheesy dips at the story of Beach Boys singer-songwriter Brian Wilson.

While this feature-film biopic brings higher aspirations to the table, it doesn't always rise to the occasion demanded by its fascinating subject.

The story switches between the 1960s with Wilson (played in this decade by Paul Dano) at the peak of his pop-tastic powers.

Meanwhile, in the 1980s (John Cusack), a life lived in the spotlight has taken a heavy mental toll on Wilson.

 

Maggie Naouri as Anu Singh behind Jerome Meyer as Joe Cinque in film Joe Cinque's Consolation. Picture: Supplied
Maggie Naouri as Anu Singh behind Jerome Meyer as Joe Cinque in film Joe Cinque's Consolation. Picture: Supplied

THE ONE DECODING A CRYPTIC DEATH

JOE CINQUE'S CONSOLATION (M)

***1/2

ITUNES

An unsettling Australian crime drama based on a disturbing case that transpired in Canberra in the late 1990s.

There is no disputing the life of Joe Cinque (Jerome Meyer) was cut tragically short.

His girlfriend, law student Anu Singh (Maggie Naouri) planned his death with chilling precision, administering a fatal dose of heroin.

More a work of disturbing suggestion than direct investigation, which may alienate some viewers.

Nevertheless, the strongest scenes will leave a scattered trail of scars on the memory.

 

John Cassisi, Jodie Foster and Scott Baio in Bugsy Malone.
John Cassisi, Jodie Foster and Scott Baio in Bugsy Malone.

THE ONE WHERE ORGANISED CRIME IS CHILD'S PLAY

BUGSY MALONE (G)

***

SBS ON DEMAND

There has never been a kids' movie like this, before or since.

Jodie Foster and Scott Baio head up a gangster-themed musical comedy with a difference, worth seeing purely for the sequence where the pre-teen Mafioso open their violin cases and pull out machine guns that fire nothing but cream pies.

A true original from 1976.

 

Darren Gilshenan as Orry-Kelly in Women He’s Undressed.
Darren Gilshenan as Orry-Kelly in Women He’s Undressed.

THE ONE WHERE THE CLOTHES MADE THE MAN

WOMEN HE'S UNDRESSED (PG)

***1/2

FOXTEL GO

From the outset of this fascinating documentary, decorated Australian filmmaker Gillian Armstrong is a woman on a mission.

The way Armstrong sees it, the name Orry-Kelly has been lost to obscurity for far too long. Now is the time for one of this country's most vital and intriguing cinematic talents - a three-time Oscar-winner for Best Costume Design in the 1950s - to be rightly recognised and celebrated.

Just why Orry-Kelly (born Orry George Kelly in Kiama NSW in 1897) has never loomed large in our filmic folklore is merely the start point of Armstrong's lively investigation here. Turns out that this remarkable man lived just as colourful a life off-camera as his vividly inspired creations on the silver screen.

Across a prolific, classic-studded career (including Casablanca), a love of the drink, a reputation for speaking his mind, and many complicated friendships with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood often made Orry-Kelly his own worst enemy.



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