Sunday, August 3, 2014

Arriving in Theaters and on DVD, VOD and Digital on August 5th -- "Around the Block," Starring Christina Ricci

Disclosure:  I was sent a screener copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.



“Energetic, fearless, and informed by Spillane’s personal experiences.” – Toronto Film Festival
“Christina Ricci brings edge to…Around the Block in Australian debut.” – Sydney Morning Herald
“A feel-good flick with heart and soul.” – FilmInk

"Random Media and Cinedigm (NASDAQ: CIDM) are releasing AROUND THE BLOCK on Theatrical, DVD, VOD and digital platforms in August. AROUND THEBLOCK debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013 and hit Australian theatres in June 2014. Theatrical opening will be August 1st, followed by VOD, DVD and Digital platforms on August 5th.

From Australian writer/director Sarah Spillane, AROUND THE BLOCK was an Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival 2013 and was also featured at the Beijing International Film Festival and the Newport Beach International Film Festival in April 2014, where Sarah Spillane received honors for Outstanding Achievement in Directing. Spillane also won an Australian Directors Guild Award for her screenplay of Around the Block before filming even began. Starring Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Christina Ricci, AROUND THE BLOCK is an inspirational drama that explores themes about breaking cycles and building dreams.


American drama teacher Dino Chalmers (Christina Ricci) moves to Sydney's Redfern district to be with her fiancĂ© and is hired by the local school in what may be the school's final term. Dino's passion for Shakespeare drives her vision of producing a school play as part of the Indigenous cultural program, and finds that 16-year-old Aborigine Liam (Hunter Page-Lochard) has a natural gift for performance. But there is a shadow over Liam's life, with his father in jail and his older brother determined to avenge the death of his uncle. With Dino’s encouragement as she faces tough choices in her own life, Liam confronts his past and eventually takes control of his future."


My Thoughts:

There is something about Christina Ricci that I find intriguing.  Maybe because she is not the norm in Hollywood.  But, whenever I see her in movies and television, I can't help but stop and take notice.  I do have to admit that I will always remember her in Casper, Now and Then, Addams Family and Mermaids, from back in the day, I do have to say that it was a nice surprise to see her pop up on television and star in "The Good Wife" and Saving Grace.  If it wasn't for her photo on the front on this DVD, I think I would have passed it up.  

Just by reading the synopsis, i thought it was going to be another teacher mentors lost soul and brings out the best of them, while watching the student struggle with inner demons or forces from the outside pulling them in the other direction.  There have been many movies like this, that have fallen short and left me wondering why I wasted a couple hours watching them. And, because my time is limited now that I have children, I try to make a point to screen movies out and watch ones I know I will enjoy and not wonder what else I could have been doing instead of watching this movie.

I have to admit, that while I enjoyed this movie, it was hard at firs to get my head around the stories of the two characters.  Their unique stories alone could have made great movies in and of themselves. Also, I really couldn't picture Christina Ricci as a teacher, and thought the tough looking students were going to cause harm to her, instead of stop and want to learn from her.  

The movie at times seemed to fizzle out or be slow moving, but I found myself tearing up and feeling proud of Liam's accomplishments and how far he came as he took in front of the students and recited Hamlet.  

Overall, if you are a fan of Christine Ricci, or simply like stories about teachers helping shape their students lives and bringing out the best of them, while teaching them to dream big, then you will enjoy this new movie.  I know I will watch it again, and when it arrives on TV, will stop and watch it whenever I find myself flipping through the channels for something to watch.

Disclosure:  I was sent a screener copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :

  1. I thought Christina Ricci was so good in the Addams Family movie. I would love to see her in this movie it sounds pretty good.
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