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.

Film Review: Emma. is further proof that a fresh coat of paint can reinvigorate even the most familiar of structures

February 13, 2020

Similar to how Greta Gerwig‘s Little Women proved that we did indeed need another adaptation of Louisa May Alcott‘s classic novel, Autumn de Wilde‘s Emma. (yes the period in the title is deliberate) is further proof that a fresh coat of paint can reinvigorate even the most familiar of structures. Arriving some 25-years after both […]

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SXSW 2020 adds Janelle Monae, Julianne Moore, and Kim Kardashian West to its final round of keynote and featured speakers

February 12, 2020

South by Southwest (Austin, Texas, March 13th-22nd 2020) has announced the last round of Keynotes and Featured Speakers to be added to the 34th edition of its annual Conference, which celebrates the convergence of technology, film, and music industries. Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe-winning composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have been added to the […]

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The Academy Awards 2020: #OscarsNotSoWhiteAfterAll

February 11, 2020

When the 92nd annual Academy Award nominations were announced, it was difficult to not note the elephant in the room.  Within moments, #OscarsSoWhite was trending and more memes than you could possibly create were birthed making a mockery of the Academy’s decision to snub people of colour and women in a majority of categories; despite […]

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Film Review: Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) continues DC’s self-assured story telling temperament

February 6, 2020

Where does one start with Birds of Prey? With so much vibrancy packed into its 109 minute running time it’s probably best to follow the advice of the film’s queen bee, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and start at the beginning. And though a product like Suicide Squad (2016) shouldn’t be considered the strongest launching pad […]

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Seberg

Film Review: Kristen Stewart’s commanding performance overcomes Seberg‘s narrative flaws

January 29, 2020

Only one week after elevating the B-grade material of deep-sea thriller Underwater, Kristen Stewart further proves her innate ability of hoisting what little she has to work with on a script page to something of sublime quality in Seberg.  A biographical drama detailing a specific time period in the life of American actress Jean Seberg […]

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February 2020 Australian cinema releases: Five films you need to see

January 28, 2020

2020 is primed to be a big year for cinema, both in the realm of big-budget blockbusters and under-radar indies. Each month we’re going to be taking a look at five upcoming films that you need to see in cinemas, encouraging Aussies to get out and experience these stories on the big screen. February brings […]

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SXSW 2020 Film Festival to include movies from Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish and Judd Apatow

January 16, 2020

The SXSW Film Festival is often seen as a launching pad for major studio releases, as well as smaller independent titles and buzz-worthy TV ventures, and this year’s edition looks to be no exception with the features, episodic premieres, and opening night film announced. Running from March 13-21st this year, the 27th SXSW Film Festival […]

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Interview: Craig Robinson on the ease of voicing his character in Dolittle and if he’s actually met any of his co-stars

January 16, 2020

On the eve of the release of Robert Downey, Jr.’s passion project Dolittle (originally titled The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle) arriving in Australian cinemas, The AU Review’s Peter Gray chatted with one of the film’s multitude of voice talents, Craig Robinson, to discuss the isolating process of vocal recording and whether or not he’s actually […]

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Film Review: Dolittle; at least it’s better than Cats!

January 16, 2020

After the colossal misfire that was Cats, audiences may not be ready for another round of CGI-rendered animals.  But, despite none of us really asking for it, Dolittle is here, and we can at least be thankful that it’s not the cinematic car-crash it very easily could have been – at least in comparison to […]

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Re-Discovery: 20 films you might have missed over the last decade

December 31, 2019

The last decade of cinema has brought with it some favourites you might have missed along the way. Here are 20 films you need to discover (or re-discover) from 2010 to 2019. Submarine (UK, 2010) Richard Ayoade‘s directorial debut. Adapted from Joe Dunthorne’s 2008 novel of the same name, Submarine follows the story of the […]

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Film Review: Jumanji: The Next Level avoids serious franchise fatigue by adopting just enough freshness

December 19, 2019

The hybrid reboot/sequel that was 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a mammoth success that I suspect not even Sony was anticipating.  Sure, they threw considerable weight behind the project but in the wake of Star Wars: the Last Jedi‘s release, a near billion dollar haul worldwide was an unprecedented outcome, to say the […]

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Film Review: 2019’s Black Christmas attempts to be more than just your straight-forward slasher

December 11, 2019

Released in 1974 and oft considered the original slasher film, Bob Clark’s Black Christmas has rightfully earned cult status over the years after initially being passed over for that other genre staple, John Carpenter’s Halloween. Clark’s film is a unique take on the stalk-and-kill mentality that the slasher subsect is known for given that it […]

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Film Review: Mirren and McKellen keep The Good Liar afloat in spite of its plot failures

December 5, 2019

As legends of both the stage and screen, the idea of Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen combining their respective talents for a project is an enticing one, to say the least.  And whilst The Good Liar hands them roles that they each indulge in with an against-type glee, the film itself isn’t the first class […]

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Track of the Day: Dos Dos feat. Joey Legit “Some” (2019)

November 28, 2019

After twelve months of honing his craft and using his current base of Brisbane to test the waters on his new experimental sounds, New Zealand-born, self-produced rapper Dos Dos has signalled something of a career rebirthing with the release of his new single, “Some”. Raw, unfiltered lyrics – an ode to overcoming struggle – sit atop […]

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Film Review: Judy & Punch is a nasty, inconsistent tale aided by two strong central performances

November 20, 2019

A peculiar film aided by two strong central performances but a distinct nastiness that keeps it from maintaining consistency, Judy & Punch is a brave debut feature from Australian actress-filmmaker Mirrah Foulkes.  Unsure if it wants to be a dark comedy or something more horrific – it sadly lacks orderly humour or thrills to be […]

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Interview: Last Christmas director Paul Feig on creating his new festive classic and why he champions female-driven stories

November 7, 2019

As Last Christmas merrily makes its way to cinemas (read our review here), the film’s director, Paul Feig, brought his own cheer to Australia as he enthusiastically discussed making a new (hopeful) seasonal classic. The AU Review’s Peter Gray sat down with the filmmaker to learn about how Emma Thompson’s George Michael-inspired script came to […]

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Film Review: Last Christmas wears its tinsel-laced heart on its sleeve with an unashamed abandon

November 6, 2019

As much as Last Christmas is selling itself on the notion that it’s “inspired” by the musical catalogue of the late, great George Michael – or more specifically the Wham! festive classic that this film’s title has lifted as its own – it’s ultimately not as formidable as it wishes to be. That’s certainly not […]

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Film Review: Terminator: Dark Fate is enjoyable surface-level fodder that’s unable to bring anything new to the genre table

October 30, 2019

The release of Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 1991 was proof that the oft-expected “inferior sequel” is a projection able to be shattered. It surely helped that that film was helmed by the original director, James Cameron, and in bringing the visionary filmmaker back on board for this fifth sequel, there’s somewhat of an expectation […]

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Film Review: Strange But True is an ambitious neo-noir thriller

October 16, 2019

When Rowan Athale‘s ambitious neo-noir thriller Strange But True opens on the sight of a panicked Nick Robinson running from an unseen threat – with a broken leg, of all things – there’s an immediate sense of intrigue that settles in. Just what he is running from is gradually revealed when the film takes us […]

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Film Review: Judy is as heartbreaking as it is joyous

October 11, 2019

There’s at least one Oscar-grab movie released every year designed with the intent on pushing its lead performer to the front of the nominee queue.  Judy appears to be that movie for 2019.  And that’s certainly not a criticism against the film as it’s a fine biopic in its own right, but Renee Zellweger‘s dedicated […]

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Paul Feig is coming to Australia to promote his George Michael inspired feature Last Christmas

October 10, 2019

Christmas comes early this year as director Paul Feig has been announced to tour Australia to unveil his new romantic comedy, Last Christmas. Universal Pictures announced today that the director will visit Sydney and Melbourne between November 4th and 6th, 2019 for a series of press opportunities. Feig is a writer, producer and director whose […]

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Renee Zellweger to visit Australia for Judy in October

September 25, 2019

Shout hallelujah c’mon get happy because Renee Zellweger is coming to Australia! Universal Pictures has announced that the Academy Award winning actress will visit Melbourne and Sydney this October to celebrate the highly anticipated release of Judy, the Judy Garland biopic from Rupert Goold. Zellweger’s portrayal of the legendary star has been widely predicted by […]

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Fantastic Fest Review: Koko-di Koko-da should satisfy enthusiasts of surreal horror films

September 24, 2019

What a strange little arthouse horror flick Koko-di Koko-da is.  What starts out as a relatively straight-forward tale of a once-happy family trying to maintain a sense of worth before breaking down entirely, quickly descends into an experiment of madness, one that is often repetitive and unlikeable but no less inherently fascinating. The aforementioned once-happy […]

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Film Review: The Dead Don’t Die is disappointingly void of humour and scares

September 24, 2019

Whilst I’m sure the plethora of talent on hand here had an absolute ball making The Dead Don’t Die, Jim Jarmusch‘s deadpan (emphasis on the dead) zombie comedy fails to translate that suggested fun to its audience. Set in the fictional mid-American town of Centreville – the epitome of smalltown USA where there isn’t much […]

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Film Review: Ad Astra will prove to be one man’s wonder to another’s waste

September 19, 2019

The effects are seamless.  The acting is introspective.  The emotional undercurrent aims for supremacy. It’s an operatic space venture that defiantly refuses to adhere to cohesiveness on a narrative level.  And it’s because Ad Astra flirts with moments of greatness only to stubbornly stifle them that James Gray‘s ambitious drama will prove to be one […]

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Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon to deliver keynote and everything you need to know about the first SXSW 2020 announcements

September 12, 2019

Former Sonic Youth bassist-singer Kim Gordon, pop musician-producer-songwriter Benny Blanco, and actor-comedian Cheech Marin have been announced, among others, in an initial line-up regarding keynote and featured speakers for the 34th annual South By Southwest Conference and Festival (March 13-22 2020). “We’re kicking off the 2020 season with a captivating group of speakers. From Keynotes […]

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First Impressions: Netflix’s Unbelievable is a consistently engaging drama that stays true to the sensitivity of the case at its core

September 10, 2019

Despite prominent billing, Toni Collette and Merritt Wever are both absent for the first hour-long episode of Unbelievable, Netflix’s latest limited series that centres itself around a serial rapist and the duo of hardened detectives that investigate.  Instead, Kaitlyn Dever, as arguably the series’ most sympathetic character, earns our attention as Marie, a troubled teen […]

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Film Review: Tabernacle 101 is a frustrating experience that never feels remotely organic

September 4, 2019

Watching a film like Tabernacle 101 is a frustrating experience.  On the one hand, the Australian-made, low (and I mean low) budget sci-fi piece deserves some admiration for the mere fact that it has managed to snare itself a US theatrical release, however limited it may be (it played the first week in September in […]

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Film Review: Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw crackles with energy

July 31, 2019

It’s hard to believe that a franchise that started out as little more than a soft remake of Point Break, pinning Vin Diesel and his disposable crew against low-rent law enforcement with the street racing scene as its background, has transformed itself into a billion dollar commodity where secret agents take on international terrorists.  And […]

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Film Review: Toy Story 4 tailors its heart and humour to audiences across the board

June 19, 2019

If you’ve asked yourself why Disney and Pixar bothered making Toy Story 4, you are not alone. With 2010’s Toy Story 3 serving as the perfect ending to the series, this fourth go-around felt more like a cash-grab than an organic continuation, and though the series as a whole has been that rare breed of […]

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