Author: Peter Gray

Film critic with a penchant for Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, Michelle Pfeiffer and horror movies, harbouring the desire to be a face of entertainment news.

Interview: Director Frank Marshall on the emotional journey of telling the story of The Bee Gees in How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

December 2, 2020

Frank Marshall is one of the film industry’s most prolific producers.  Having founded Amblin Entertainment in 1981 with Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, he has been at the forefront of blockbuster studio making for the past four decades; Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and The Bourne Identity just some of the franchises he’s contributed […]

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Film Review: The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart is an emotional tribute to one of the music industry’s most celebrated acts

December 1, 2020

The musician documentary is one that can easily be an exhausting experience.  Any form of relative success and cultural impact often results in a film being made about whichever artist, and the ones worthy of the subject’s talent are few and far between.  This is what makes The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a […]

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Film Review: The War with Grandpa is a battle with no winners

December 1, 2020

Originally scheduled for release in 2017 (what a simpler time that was), The War with Grandpa is finally seeing the light of day – in the middle of a global pandemic, no less.  Whether it be a case of Tenet-like confidence, knowing self-sabotage, or a strategic move to claim its monetary underperformance is solely on […]

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Acclaimed Australian drama The Furnace to premiere at Perth Festival

November 25, 2020

Fresh from its triumphant world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Roderick MacKay‘s acclaimed debut feature The Furnace will have its Australian premiere during the Lotterywest film season in the lead up to the Perth Festival (5th – 28th February, 2021). Starring Australian screen legend David Wenham, rising star Jay Ryan (It: Chapter Two), and […]

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Interview: The Croods: A New Age director Joel Crawford on finally getting a sequel off the ground and the coup of the original cast returning

November 25, 2020

To coincide with the US release of the hotly anticipated sequel The Croods: A New Age (set for a North American date of November 25th), our own Peter Gray caught up with the film’s director, Joel Crawford, to discuss the coup of reuniting the original cast and furthering the emotional aspect of the original story. […]

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Film Review: Let Him Go is a western-slanted revenge thriller that’s an odd mixture of subdued quietness and unnerving thrills

November 25, 2020

Despite Kevin Costner and Diane Lane perfecting the kindly rural American in Man of Steel, in no way should they be confused with the kindly rural Americans they embody in Let Him Go.  Superman’s parents they are not in Thomas Bezucha‘s slow-burn thriller, a 1960’s set, western-slanted revenge piece that takes a little longer than […]

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Amazon Studios acquires Coming 2 America from Paramount Pictures

November 22, 2020

With the landscape of cinema seemingly forever changed, thanks to a certain pandemic, streaming services have become the new go-to for major studios to offload certain staple titles in a parallel act opposing the alternative of simply delaying the release. The latest title to find a new home outside of the theatre is Coming 2 […]

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Film Review: All My Life has enough appeal and charm to offset its overtly sugary packaging

November 20, 2020

Likely to appeal to the Nicholas Sparks crowd, All My Life is a particularly sweet (almost too much so for its own good) true story-inspired tearjerker that, in many ways, gets away with being so cookie cutter because – as we are informed in the opening monologue – we only remember the most beautiful and tragic […]

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Film Review: Palm Springs delights in pushing the limits of its comedically fantastical premise

November 19, 2020

Most films that play with infinite time loops as their narrative hook inevitably find themselves compared to 1993’s much-loved Groundhog Day.  And though such films since then have broken the mould as much as they can regarding the premise on hand – the Tom Cruise actioner Edge of Tomorrow and the horror/comedy Happy Death Day […]

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Film Review: Freaky is a crowd-pleasing horror/comedy that’s deeper and funnier than it has any right to be

November 12, 2020

Coming off of such aggressive roles in features as Dragged Across Concrete and Brawl In Cell Block 99, the thought of Vince Vaughn flailing his arms and strutting with the poise of a flustered teenage girl is one that’s all the more appealing when you view it in its actuality.  And it’s the hulking 6’5 […]

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Interview: Freaky star Kathryn Newton on swapping bodies with Vince Vaughn and her love of the horror genre

November 10, 2020

Christopher Landon‘s self-described “batshit crazy” body-swap horror movie Freaky is getting ready to be unleashed in Australian cinemas this week, and to coincide with its impending release The AU Review’s Peter Gray was fortunate enough to chat with the film’s lead actress, Kathryn Newton.  After the Big Little Lies alum noted that making scary movies […]

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Nicole Kidman to star and executive produce adaptation of award-winning play Things I Know To Be True for Amazon

October 29, 2020

Australian playwright Andrew Bovell‘s award-winning theatre production Things I Know To Be True has been acquired by Amazon Studios and Nicole Kidman‘s production banner Blossom Films. Set to premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video across 240 countries and territories worldwide, Kidman will topline the series set around the the resilience of an enduring marriage and […]

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Film Review: The Craft: Legacy respects its source material whilst placing its own individual stamp on the familiar narrative

October 29, 2020

Written and directed by an openly gay man and fronted by a quartet of women – one of whom a woman of colour – 1996’s supernatural teen horror film The Craft was, in retrospect, ahead of its time.  2 years before witchcraft would become weekly viewing on the television series Charmed, and over a decade […]

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Interview: The Craft: Legacy writer/director Zoe Lister-Jones on the importance of inclusivity and the authenticity of portraying witchcraft

October 28, 2020

On the eve of the release of The Craft: Legacy, writer/director Zoe Lister-Jones spoke to Peter Gray regarding the distinct feminine energy brought to the narrative, how inclusivity was an important factor, and the authenticity adhered to in her portrayal of witchcraft. When I first heard about The Craft: Legacy I assumed it was a […]

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Film Review: Rams will appear to the older crowds who appreciate undemanding, inoffensive cinema

October 28, 2020

Despite being a reimagined take on the 2015 Icelandic drama of the same name, Rams feels distinctly Australian.  The brotherly rivalry between its lead characters – symbolised by their opposing sheep flocks – offset by the wonderfully captured Western Australian backdrop gives Jeremy Sims‘ occasionally amusing drama a homegrown identity, despite the fact that it’s […]

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Interview: Rams director Jeremy Sims on reinterpreting an Icelandic drama and the importance of his casting

October 28, 2020

With the imminent release of Rams set for Australian audiences, director Jeremy Sims has been discussing the film and what brought him to reinterpret the original Icelandic drama.  Our own Peter Gray chatted with Sims, learning of his approach to directing, how he has found the film’s reception so far, and why he had to […]

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Film Review: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm thrives more as a real-world commentary than it does as a crude comedy

October 22, 2020

Whilst the novelty of the original Borat film has indeed worn off, this surprise sequel showcases creator Sacha Baron Cohen‘s twisted mindframe still has a place in an America, a country that sadly has only deteriorated since he last held up his own dirty mirror to their mentality. A few weeks ago none of us […]

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Interview: Kajillionaire writer/director Miranda July on creating such a distinctive film and how her cast imprinted on the material

October 22, 2020

As her critically acclaimed film Kajillionaire arrives in Australian theatres (read our review here), writer/director Miranda July spoke to our own Peter Gray about what drew her to create such a distinctive film, how star Evan Rachel Wood imprinted on the material, and the irony of releasing such a thematically anxious film in 2020. Kajillionaire […]

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Film Review: Honest Thief fails to make even the most generic genre tropes engaging

October 22, 2020

Given how many lightweight actioners Liam Neeson has aligned himself with in the last decade or so, you’d be forgiven for not being able to differentiate them from one another given how they have all basically bled into each other.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with this late-in-the-game career change for the gruff Irish actor – […]

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Win a double pass to see Rams in Australian cinemas

October 21, 2020

We have ten double passes to give away to the upcoming release of the Australian comedy Rams, starring Sam Neill, Michael Caton, and Miranda Richardson. In remote Western Australia, two estranged brothers, Colin (Sam Neill) and Les (Michael Caton), are at war. Raising separate flocks of sheep descended from their family’s prized bloodline, the two […]

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Film Review: Kajillionaire is an emotional coming of age story masked underneath an exaggerated comedic premise

October 21, 2020

When you realise that ageing grifters Robert and Teresa Dyne (Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger) named their daughter Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood) after a lottery-winning homeless man, you immediately learn everything you need to know about the swindling couple.  They thought the name would secure them inheritance of some sort, but instead they live […]

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AFI Fest Review: Sound of Metal is an already astonishing film elevated by Riz Ahmed’s uninhibited performance

October 20, 2020

After his standout turn opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in 2014’s disturbing neo-noir thriller Nightcrawler, Riz Ahmed seemed destined for greatness on the big screen.  And thankfully, after years of slumming it in supporting roles in Hollywood blockbusters that have all wavered in their quality (Jason Bourne, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Venom), he’s finally been […]

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AFI Fest Review: Shadow in the Cloud in an off-kilter, bi-polar horror film that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before

October 19, 2020

As evident in fellow AU critic Harris Dang’s TIFF review of Shadow in the Cloud, this film’s connection to disgraced screenwriter Max Landis is understandably a hot-button subject.  Whilst I won’t go into the necessary detail, I’m certainly not making light of the allegations brought towards him, but given the fact that co-writer/director Roseanne Liang […]

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AFI Fest Review: The Boy Behind the Door is a ruthless, taut thriller that benefits from its uncomplicated narrative and daringness to place children at its centre

October 18, 2020

Without so much as letting us settle into our seats, The Boy Behind the Door announces itself as a relentless piece of cinema within seconds of its starting time.  This is harrowing, unbearably suspenseful storytelling, with first time directors David Charbonier and Justin Powell plunging headfirst into thrilling territory, seemingly unafraid to tackle upsetting material […]

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Film Review: Irresistible is a witty political comedy for equal opportunists

October 14, 2020

If there’s anyone who would be secure enough to make a film based around politics, Jon Stewart would arguably be one of the most well suited.  Whilst not quite as politically savvy as one might expect, given his penchant for satire, Irresistible is nonetheless a sly, consistently witty affair that wisely doesn’t exactly choose a […]

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Film Review: Miss Juneteenth‘s familiar narrative is overcome by Nicole Behari’s stunning central performance

October 7, 2020

A portmanteau of June and nineteenth, Juneteenth is an American-specific holiday predominantly observed by African Americans celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.  The importance of this day serves as the backbone for Channing Godfrey Peoples‘ Miss Juneteenth, though it never hits as hard as one might expect, offering […]

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Film Review: Invasion Planet Earth is bizarrely entertaining for all the wrong reasons

October 5, 2020

There’s a certain unique devotion that the sci-fi genre attracts that sets it apart from other thematic classifications within the realms of cinema.  And given just how much effort Invasion Planet Earth managed in order to be finished and released – 20 years of production, seven crowdfunding campaigns, and hours of pro-bono work from filmmaker […]

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Film Review: The surface-level attractiveness of Dirt Music is unable to distract from its lack of narrative depth

October 2, 2020

With so much talent involved it’s a real shame that Dirt Music is unable to chart above underwhelming mediocrity, framing its narrative around a far more interesting back-story that is only sporadically hinted at. Based on the best-selling novel by Australian scribe Tim Winton, and adapted for the screen by Jack Thorne (Enola Holmes, TV’s […]

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Queer Screen Film Fest Review: Cicada is a beautiful and tragic film that wisely doesn’t preach to its audience

September 19, 2020

Given how authentic this “based on real events” tale proves to be, it’s safe to assume that writer/director/actor Matthew Fifer is baring a healthy portion of his soul and experiences in Cicada.  Likely to ring true with queer audiences – especially gay men – the film tackles uncomfortable subjects and presents promiscuous sex in an […]

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Queer Screen Film Fest Review: Stage Mother is an entertaining yet forgettable affair

September 18, 2020

In 2020, a movie detailing the drag scene and the straight Texan mother who comes to embrace it following the death of her queer son should be something worth remembering.  Even more so when said mother is portrayed by a seasoned performer like Jacki Weaver.  Sadly, as well-intentioned as Stage Mother is, it’s a forgettable […]

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