Victor Rebikoff Welcome to the movies at PS News.
   Each week, PS News's film critic Victor Rebikoff will highlight the latest offerings from the silver screen and share his expert commentary for our information and guidance.

Julie & Julia
   Director: Nora Ephron, Columbia Pictures, Rated PG, 123 mins

Nora Ephron, the renowned director of the smash hit Sleepless in Seattle has produced a ‘delicious’ comedy about two women from different time periods who both have a fascination with gourmet cooking.
   Based on two true stories, Ephron adapted the script from two sources: Julia Child's published 2006 memoir My Life in France and Julie Powell's entertaining memoir -from which the movie gets its name – a recounting of the year Powell spent cooking every recipe in Child's 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
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   In Julie & Julia legendary actress Meryl Streep (who recently starred in the highly entertaining musical Mamma Mia) plays Julia Child, an eccentric six foot American woman who moves to France in the late 1940s with her diplomat husband Paul (Stanley Tucci-also appearing with Streep in The Devil Wears Prada).
   Here she learns to become a connoisseur in French cooking and ends up co-writing her famous book, detailing all her recipes.
   The parallel story to Child’s character is that of Julie Powell, played by the delightful Amy Adams (also starring with Streep in Doubt), whose character appears some 50 years later as a Government employee who is looking for a challenge.
   She decides to replicate all 574 recipes in Child’s book and writes a blog about each experience-much to the chagrin of her long-suffering husband, Eric (Chris Messina).
   Ephron displays a considerable degree of finesse in the use of parallel story lines (as she did in Sleepless in Seattle), especially in steering the audience through the movie's shifts between time periods and the city that each character inhabits.
   Furthermore, Stephen Goldblatt's lavish cinematography is complemented by some fine acting by both Streep and Adams.
   One reservation is that that Child’s eccentricity tends to engender some aversion towards her character especially during her mood swings including when she becomes critical of Powell’s memoir.
   Julie & Julia will certainly have a particular appeal with female audiences as it is essentially a story of the cooking prowess of two women.
   The film also allows the audience to experience a fascinating insight into a number of delicious recipes that are served up, making this movie a ‘delicious’ comedy-but one that may not be to everyone’s taste!

VIC'S VERDICT:       3 ½ Rubber Stamps


DVD Releases
Hanna Montana: The Movie
   Release Date: 21 October 2009
   Director: Peter Chelsom, Rated G, 102 mins

Disney’s DVD Hannah Montana: The Movie is a wonderful family movie that will have a particular appeal to pre-teen girls and young women.
   Based on the popular television series, Hannah Montanna, the story focuses on a young girl, Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) and her trials and tribulations of growing up as a normal child while juggling a secret career as Hannah Montana, a young pop star.
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   The movie follows on from the TV show and comes at a time when her celebrity character threatens to consume her life.
   Her father Robby Ray (real-life dad Billy Ray Cyrus) whisks Miley home to Tennessee to visit her grandma, where she learns a few lessons about what really matters most in life.
   As she struggles to reconcile fame with normality, she tussles with a decision that could see her give up her celebrity life for good.
   Brought to the screen by respected British director Peter Chelsom, the man behind the successful romantic comedy Serendipity, Hannah Montana: The Movie is an inspirational film and one that the whole family will enjoy.
   Disney’s 3 disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, 2 Disc and single DVD include the following bonus features:
  • New music video
  • Find your way home –with Miley, Emily, Billy Ray and other cast members sharing ‘their’ hometowns and favourite places
  • I should have gone to film school- Jason Earles, who plays Miley’s big brother on TV interviews cast and crew-providing a behind the scenes look at how this movie was made
  • Bloopers
  • Deleted scenes with director commentary
Additional bonus features include:
  • The HoeDown ThrowDown home experience- with famed choreographer Jamal Sims and some Hannah Montana cast members showing how to do the dance
  • 7 music videos
VIC'S VERDICT:       3½ Rubber Stamps

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