Have you got your tickets yet for the Brisbane International Film Festival? If not, why not? I won’t be doing it for you. Get to the BIFF website and secure your tickets before its too late. The festival kicks off this Thursday and runs for 11 days.

I don’t usually go along to opening night (too busy, too expensive) but I’m making an exception this year to check out An Education, the new film from writer Nick Hornby (About A Boy, High Fidelity, Fever Pitch). The reviews have been terrific and all the buzz has been around the performance of 24-year-old Carey Mulligan. My favourite awards site,, has listed Mulligan as the only actress so far this year to have turned in an Oscar worthy performance.

Mulligan will be at Thursday night’s screening and its great to have her here in Brisbane.

I’ve booked tickets to 11 films in total – 1 each day on average. I might add a few more to the list depending on how I feel. It can a draining experience and it’s best not to go too hard too early.

Toomey Award Winners

The winners for my 10th annual Toomey Awards have been unveiled. You can view the full list at -

The Wrestler took the top prizes for best film and best director. It also won best actor for Mickey Rourke. It was well and truly my favourite film over the past 12 months.

The other two films to take home three awards were Persepolis (the only other A+ from me in the last year) and Revolutionary Road.

3D – Here We Come!

It’s been spoken about for decades but 3D technology is starting to take off in movie theatres. We’re seeing more 3D movies than ever. The problem is that many cinemas are cash strapped at the moment and can’t afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on special 3D digital projectors.

The film which may break this technology wide open is James Cameron’s Avatar. It’s been shrouded in secrecy for some time but finally, footage has been seen by the general public at the Comic-Con in San Diego. Columnist Jeffrey Wells, who is usually a cynic (it’s why I like his style), had this to say – “I was transported, blown away, melted down, reduced to adolescence, etc. I mean, I saw some truly great stuff.

What has intrigued me most about the whole project is how James Cameron hasn’t made a single film since Titanic in 1997. He made the highest grossing motion picture in the history of cinema. It made $600m in the United States – a record that still stands today, despite inflation. He could have done anything in the wake of Titanic. Instead, he sat back and waited for this. It’s the most anticipated movie of the year for me. The release date is 17 December 2009 here in Australia. Bring it on!

If you’re wondering what it’s about, here’s the quick blurb from the IMDB – “In the future, Jake, a paraplegic war veteran, is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture.”

Are We Over Harry Potter?

The box-office results from the weekend made for interesting reading. Harry Potter fell 61% and now sits in the number 2 spot behind G-Force. What’s interesting about the series is that it was the first film which made the most money - $317m in total in the U.S. Usually, it is the sequels which reap the big dollars – once the public has been caught up in the series and needs to know more. I still suspect this 6th film will finish with around $270m but judging from some of the lukewarm responses, I’m not convinced that the series will finish on a high in 2010 and 2011.

You can read an interview with director David Yates at where he talks about the next two films. He answers the question about why the last film has been split into two parts. He also talks about how he plans to give part one of the Deathly Hallows a very different look to part two. Maybe there’s hope for David Yates yet.

See you at BIFF!