Author: Fergus Halliday

Film Review: The Big Sick (USA, 2017) Makes The Case For Big-Screen Romance

August 1, 2017

It sometimes feels like today’s romantic-comedy films have become a little of out of sync with the rest of the modern blockbuster landscapes. You just don’t see as many being made these days. There’s an easy argument to be made that the audience for these kinds of stories have largely migrated to TV shows like […]

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What we learned from Kumail Nanjiani and Emily S. Gordon at the Sydney Q&A for The Big Sick

July 30, 2017

Upcoming big-screen romantic comedy The Big Sick is set to debut to Australian audiences on August 3rd. However, that didn’t stop Kumail Nanjiani and Emily S. Gordon from dropping into an early Sydney screening of the film for a quick Q&A session with Rove McManus. If you’re still holding out to see the film, it […]

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Film Review: A Monster Calls (USA, 2017) Strikes At Your Heart

July 24, 2017

It would be a mistake to write A Monster Calls off as ‘just another one of those’ modern young adult bestsellers that’s gotten the Hollywood treatment. Sure, the narrative of the film is propelled forward by the on-screen performance of an emerging child actor (Lewis MacDougall) and the CGI-performance of a big established figure (Liam […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves (Canada, 2017) is unwieldy but compelling

June 16, 2017

Audacious is definitely the right word to start with when it comes to describing the Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie-directed Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves. At 180 minutes, it’s a leviathan of a film that often comes across as equal parts provocative and indecipherable. The central narrative here centers on […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Ingrid Goes West (USA, 2017) Savages Social Media

June 11, 2017

At first glance, the logline for Ingrid Goes West can sound a bit twee, tacky or hyperbolic. In the wrong hands, this feels like a film that could easily have come off the wrong way. However, it’s to the credit of director Matt Splicer that it feels less like a lecture from your parents more […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: You Have No Idea How Much I Love You (Poland, 2017) Gently Taps Into The Tragic

June 11, 2017

At first glance, I’m tempted to drum up some connection or parallel between You Have No Idea How Much I Love You and last year’s Europe, She Loves. Both are European documentaries that engross themselves utterly in their subjects and return with captivating insights into modern humanity. However, aside from the size of its ambitions, […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Game of Death (Canada, 2017) Is Bloody, Forgettable, Fun

June 8, 2017

Right at home in the “Freak Me Out” strand of this year’s Sydney Film Festival, Game of Death is probably more-or-less exactly the film you expect it to be. It’s a simple but fun romp that manages to eke out the most from its wacky premise, despite being held back by structural shortcomings and uneven […]

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Netflix Review: Season 2 of the Wachowski’s Sense8 stays true to itself

May 7, 2017

Though far from perfect, there was always something special about the first season of Sense8. In line with the Wachowski’s previous efforts, there was nothing quite like it and even when it rambled, it did so in a way that earned your attention (coincidentally, writing about the first season of Sense8 was one of the […]

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TV Review: Girls‘ sixth & final season bows out with unexpected grace

April 20, 2017

Though it started on what seemed like uneven ground, the final season of HBOs Girls manages to not only pull the series strengths together and end on a high note but also manage to do so while remaining as imperfect and messy as it’s ever been. Even if Lena Dunham’s voice is not “your” voice, […]

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Film Review: Going In Style (USA, 2017) Doesn’t Quite Land, Even If It Looks Good

April 19, 2017

In some ways, it feels like Zach Braff’s involvement with Going In Style is the most interesting thing about it. Braff, now almost a decade after his tenure on Scrubs, hasn’t exactly had a perfect hit rate on the big screen. It’s not that he’s not an untalented filmmaker, it’s just his previous movies have […]

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Review: Netflix’s second season of LOVE rarely delivers a dull moment in its earnest adventure through modern romance

March 7, 2017

The first season of Judd Apatow‘s LOVE wasn’t the most hyped series of Netflix’s roster, but regardless it proved a refreshing take on what a romantic comedy series could be. For the most part, it leaned away from the tropes and kept the focus not on this idealised way we expect romance to be, but […]

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First Impressions: Girls still has a lot to learn in its sixth & final season

February 6, 2017

The fifth season of HBO’s Girls – in many ways – raised the bar for the popular but divisive series. Both as a writer and an actress, Lena Dunham cleverly and effectively built on all the aspects of the show that have worked in the past and dropped what didn’t. Efforts by everyone involved helped […]

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How TV Culture Got Big: Breaking Down The Golden Age Of TV With Christopher Borelli

December 20, 2016

Going into Sydney’s inaugural Bingefest, Christopher Borelli wasn’t exactly the fan-favorite. He’s not attached to a hugely-popular TV series, podcast or website. “My thing is to not have a thing. I’ve never really had a beat,” he says. Still, a lot of people came out of his talk, “When TV Got High“, pretty excited. At the ‘When TV […]

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What We Learned Surviving The Writers’ Room At Bingefest

December 19, 2016

On paper, Bingefest’s Writers’ Room handily emerged as parhaps the most uncertain-yet-unmissable event on the weekend’s lineup (that doesn’t involve Shia LeBouf). Bringing together Community-creator Dan Harmon, Please Like Me’s Josh Thomas and Rosehaven co-creators Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola under the guidance of Gretel Killeen to develop a concept for a TV show sounds […]

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Bingeing With The Best: Talking TV With The AV Club’s Laura Browning

December 19, 2016

“There is an unreasonable amount of TV” was exactly the right declaration to open The AV Club‘s “All The TV You Should Have Watched By Now” panel at Sydney’s inaugural BingeFest. Over the course of the following session, the three representatives from the popular online TV criticism website pitched a member of the audience on why […]

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Unpacking “Binge-Worthy Journalism” With Julie Snyder At BingeFest 2016

December 18, 2016

The true crime genre has experienced a really extraordinary revival following the arrival of the hugely-popular podcast Serial. However, two years later, the only question bigger than whether Adnan is guilty or not is whether or not Serial might actually eclipse the rest of podcasting as a medium when it comes to raw popularity. Sarah originally […]

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Everything You Missed At The Harambe Memorial Service

December 17, 2016

The cavalcade of emotional, digital, political and cultural disasters that have hit the internet in 2016 ended up being so numerous that it’s hard to look back and take stock of things. Still, someone’s got to do it. At least, that was the idea behind Bingefest’s Harambe Memorial Service. After all,  if you’re going to […]

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TV Review: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (USA, 2016) first season is too mad to miss

December 11, 2016

Among the landscape of the dark and ever-grim golden age of TV, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency deserves to be called nothing short of a caper. Based on the books by Douglas Adams (which I regretfully have not read) and brought to life by showrunner Max Landis, the series is a riff on the classic […]

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First Impressions: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (US, 2016) sets a new benchmark for weird

November 14, 2016

Based on the premise and casting alone, it’s easy to jump to conclusions with Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Like a certain other series, it’s a modern take on a British detective and his sidekick solving the seemingly unsolvable. With the similarities even extending to the former-Hobbit filling that role of assistant, it’s easy to think you’ve […]

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99 Homes, The Beautiful Lie and more win top prizes at the 2016 APRA Screen Music Awards

November 8, 2016

The leading figures within the music, media and cultural worlds gathered tonight at the City Recital Hall in Sydney for the 2016 Screen Music Awards. A byproduct of the efforts of both the APRA AMCOS and the AGSC (Australian Guild of Screen Composers), this year’s event saw both established talent and rising stars recognised by […]

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Film Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) proves a predictable, dry and by-the-numbers sequel

October 19, 2016

Based on the 18th book in the series by Lee Child and a follow-up to 2012’s Jack Reacher, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back sees the titular brooding anti-hero (Tom Cruise) roll into DC for a date with Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) only to find her imprisoned on espionage charges. Before long Reacher, Turner and […]

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Director Billy O’Brien talks about his new film I Am Not A Serial Killer (In Cinemas Thursday)

September 27, 2016

Out on Thursday, the new film I Am Not A Serial Killer has been a hit of festivals around the world throughout the year, including at the Sydney Underground Film Festival. This Thursday the film will enjoy a limited cinematic release around the country. We caught up with the film’s director Billy O’Brien to talk […]

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SUFF Review: I Am Not A Serial Killer (Ireland, 2016) leaves an impression

September 12, 2016

I Am Not A Serial Killer is very much a tale of two sociopaths. On one hand you’ve got the young John Wayne Cleaver (Max Records)  and on the other you’ve got the looming murderer (Christopher Lloyd) on the loose in the small midwestern purgatory of Clayton. It’s as much a coming of age story […]

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Film Review: Blood Father (MA15+) (France, 2016) is a tight action flick with strong performances

September 2, 2016

One of the first thing that Blood Father makes clear is that John Link (Mel Gibson) is over being a flashy action hero type. It’s old hat to an ex-con like him and he doesn’t want anything to do with it. However, don’t be fooled, Gibson himself seems to be having a hell of a […]

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Breaking down Season 2 of Better Call Saul with Rhea Seehorn and Peter Gould

August 26, 2016

These days especially, it’s rare to find a prequel to anything – be it a film, TV show, movie, comic or game – that lives up to its legacy. However, AMC’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed Breaking Bad might be that rare exception. Better Call Saul is more than just a spin-off to Walter White’s […]

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Blu-Ray Review: Gods of Egypt (M) (USA, 2016)

July 30, 2016

Gods of Egypt isn’t bad – but it certainly feels out of place. It feels like an effects-heavy blockbuster from a time before superheroes ruled the box office. With no spandex in sight, the movie stands out like a sore thumb. While this does the movie some favors, there’s plenty of other missteps which act as […]

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DVD Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (USA, 2016)

July 20, 2016

At first glance, it seems a little odd to see Batman headlining the follow up to 2013’s Man of Steel. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an undeniably clunky title but, having seen it, it feels surprisingly fitting. It’s far more of a Batman film than it is a Superman one. There’s a lot going on here and while […]

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Four ways the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice makes the movie better

July 14, 2016

Though the additions made in the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman are in some ways small,  there’s little room for doubt when it comes to their impact on the film. Zack Snyder‘s vision of the DC universe still falls a little short of its ambitions but it’s much easier to stomach what he’s trying to […]

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Film Review: Our Kind of Traitor (USA, 2016)

July 12, 2016

There’s something an uncanny quality to Our Kind of Traitor. It looks like cold war thriller, sounds like a cold war thriller but, when you get down to it, it’s not. Not really. It wears the trappings of the genre with pride but, by taking place in modern times, fails to do much beyond wear them. […]

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DVD Review: London Has Fallen (USA, 2016)

July 1, 2016

American nationalism is back on-screen once again in full display in the action sequel to Olympus Has Fallen. On a minor note, Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and others from the previous film are back as well. But seriously, the first film, by director Antoine Fuqua of Training Day fame, was a […]

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