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.

First Impressions: Amazon Prime Video’s Alex Rider embraces spy genre tropes and overcomes them with rugged soul

July 31, 2020

Briefly branding Alex Pettyfer “hot property” off the film’s expected anticipation, and somehow managing to ensemble a cast of such weight as Ewan McGregor, Alicia Silverstone, Bill Nighy and Mickey Rourke, the Alex Rider name was an intended film series that floundered on arrival with the release of Stormbreaker back in 2006. Underperforming in its […]

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What To Watch: Amazon Prime Video’s unmissable new additions this August

July 30, 2020

Let the social distancing binge viewing continue! Winter may be over, but staying on the couch seems like the most reasonable seasonal activity as Amazon Prime Video promises to overload its devoted audience with one helluva line-up. Harley and Katniss and Neo, oh my! Kicking off the month with a bang is everyone’s favourite anti-heroine […]

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The fall, resilience and resurgence of the 2020 Box Office

July 30, 2020

What a year 2020 has been – and we’re only 7 months down! With COVID-19 (still) wreaking havoc on an unsuspecting and, let’s face it, unprepared world, reportings of weekend movie grosses hardly feels necessary.  And yet, as the entertainment industry remains one of COVID’s biggest casualties, it’s difficult not to find importance in the […]

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Film Review: Yes, God, Yes is a quieter, more relatable take on the classic teen sex comedy

July 28, 2020

The teen sex comedy isn’t a rarity within the studio system, but they are often quite outlandish enough that they never entirely ring true regarding the situations they’d like teenagers to relate to.  Weighing down the high concept mentality so often adopted by the genre, Yes, God, Yes is that rare beast that hopes to […]

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Interview: Babyteeth actor Toby Wallace on the challenges and research of creating his unique character

July 20, 2020

On the eve of Shannon Murphy‘s tragic dramedy Babyteeth releasing in Australian cinemas (you can read our interview with her here) we were fortunate enough to chat with the film’s male lead, British-born Australian talent Toby Wallace.  As he stated that being able to talk about the film during COVID-19 is “a breath of fresh […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival launch their 2020 program – MIFF 68 ½

July 16, 2020

In a bid to maintain the state of cinema and reimagine the festival mind-frame, the Melbourne International Film Festival has launch MIFF 68½, an online curated program that’ll allow home-bound Melburnians the chance to experience the festival’s intended 2020 line-up. Running from the 6th-23rd August 2020, MIFF 68½ will showcase 113 films across its schedule – […]

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Film Review: Babyteeth is a human drama that isn’t afraid to be messy, frustrating and darkly comedic

July 15, 2020

Whilst it’s easy to roll your eyes at the almost insultingly familiar narrative Babyteeth works with at its core – terminal ill teenager falls in love with the wrong guy – it somehow manages to avoid most of the genre cliches, thanks to a mindset that isn’t afraid to be messy, frustrating and, at times, […]

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Film Review: The King of Staten Island is a surprisingly grounded film that operates more as a showcase for Pete Davidson’s dramatic capabilities

July 14, 2020

So you should know going into The King of Staten Island that, yes, director Judd Apatow hasn’t changed his aesthetic in terms of narrative length or character ingredients.  A too-long comedic drama (emphasis on the drama here) focusing on a typical man-child who’s failed to launch himself, Staten Island hopes to be more endearing than […]

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Film Review: Waves is both a stirring and sobering experience

July 9, 2020

Despite this year’s Oscars honouring one of 2019’s more diverse offerings (Bong Joon-ho’s Korean black comedy/thriller Parasite), the whitewashing of the event was overwhelming.  In a cinematic year where actors of colour delivered universally-praised performances (see Lupita Nyong’o in Us, Awkwafina in The Farewell, and Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers, for a start), it was disappointing that […]

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Film Review: Dogs Don’t Wear Pants: In case Fifty Shades was too safe for you…

July 1, 2020

In case the filmic version of Fifty Shades of Grey was ultimately a little too safe in its actuality compared to the near-porn mentality of E.L. James’s novel, J-P Valkeapää‘s striking Dogs Don’t Wear Pants stands as something of a reparative.  And as much as the bold, dark comedy intends to shock its audience, this remains […]

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Is Netflix’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga worth watching?

June 28, 2020

Given the state of the world right now, a little comedy would be the perfect antidote to distract us.  And, on paper, a satire-cum-love-letter surrounding the Eurovision Song Contest starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as a duo of Icelandic popstar-wannabes desperate to win said contest sounds like a potential winner. The reality, unfortunately, is […]

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Interview: Irish actor Michael Smiley on his macabre new role in Acorn TV’s Dead Still

June 24, 2020

After an enormously successful launch in the United States and Canada, Acorn TV has arrived in Australia and New Zealand.  A predominantly British-centric service that showcases the best drama the UK has to offer, one of the instantly accessible series on the “Netflix for Anglophiles” is Dead Still.  Set in 1880’s Ireland, the comedically macabre […]

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Film Review: Darkness Falls is a hollow thriller that doesn’t rise above its B-grade sensibility

June 15, 2020

At just over 80 minutes, Darkness Falls (which is also known as Anderson Falls in other regions) understands the importance of not overstaying its welcome.  It’s a lean, tight running time for a serial killer thriller, one that opens with a particularly harsh sequence where the predators murder their prey by forcing them to digest […]

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Track of the Day: Dos Dos “No Time” (2020)

June 3, 2020

In a climate where addressing one’s own identity has never felt more important, independent Australian rapper and producer Dos Dos has released his first major single of 2020, “No Time”. An unfettered reflection of an artist’s struggle with identity and depression, “No Time” – over a subtle base and hip-hop-inclined beat – comments on the […]

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Win the 6th Season of Schitt’s Creek on DVD and enjoy the final 14 episodes

June 1, 2020

And so my dear Bébés, it’s time to say goodbye. After 6 seasons, 80 episodes, countless nonsensical European-inflected ramblings, and, surprisingly, only two “Ew, David”‘s, Schitts’s Creek has come to and end. In the series’ swan song, the Roses (co-creators Eugene Levy and Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Annie Murphy) are achieving success in their careers and […]

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Film Review: End of Sentence transcends its predictabilities thanks to a little Irish charm

May 28, 2020

End of Sentence treads a familiar path.  And, initially, Elfar Adalstein‘s father-son-centric drama is a particularly downtrodden affair that audiences may not believe they’ll warm to.  The film’s lead characters don’t come off as the most inviting either – Logan Lerman‘s fresh-out-of-prison Sean and his doormat dad, Frank, played by John Hawkes – and their […]

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Is Netflix’s The Lovebirds worth watching?

May 22, 2020

Not unlike fellow Netflix offering Murder Mystery, The Lovebirds adopts the tried and true premise of regular-folk-get-mixed-up-in-a-major-crime and hopes it has enough of a strong centre to overcome any unoriginality.  And whilst the screenplay from Aaron Abrams (a sometimes-actor whose credits include Resident Evil: Apocalypse and The Open House) and Brendan Gall (TV’s Blindspot) doesn’t […]

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First Impressions: Amazon Prime Video’s Little Fires Everywhere overcomes its melodramatic state thanks to nuanced performances from Witherspoon and Washington

May 22, 2020

Perhaps as it should, Little Fires Everywhere does indeed start with a fire.  “There are little fires everywhere”, a fire marshal relays to a distraught Reese Witherspoon and a concerned Joshua Jackson, as they stare at their sprawling suburban home engulfed in flames.  The marshal’s statement indicates this was intentionally lit, setting up an immediate […]

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Interview: Australian director Gregor Jordan on adapting Tim Winton’s Dirt Music and how the global pandemic is altering the industry

May 21, 2020

  The latest film from acclaimed Australian director Gregor Jordan (Two Hands, Ned Kelly), Dirt Music is a gritty, sexy drama with a haunting love story at its heart set against the powerful backdrop of Western Australia’s evocative landscape.  Based on the novel by Tim Winton, the cinematic adaptation will be coming to Australian cinemas […]

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Film Review: The Assistant is uncomfortable but necessary viewing

May 19, 2020

Though disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein does not physically appear in The Assistant, nor does his likeness or even his name, this quietly disturbing drama from Australian filmmaker Kitty Green very much has him in mind. There’s a humiliation and systemic mentality that rings true throughout the film’s brisk 85 minute running time as it […]

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MIFF introduce Digital Film Festival 68½

May 7, 2020

In the face of the global disruption to the entertainment market, the film industry is finding new and innovative ways to keep cinema enthusiasts connected, and today the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) announced MIFF 68½ – a reimagined celebration of film online. Following the festival’s cancellation, MIFF Artistic Director Al Cossar and his team […]

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First Impressions: Netflix’s second season of Dead To Me continues to complement its comedic personality with a wealth of emotion

May 7, 2020

*This review will contain spoilers pertaining to Dead To Me’s first season* It goes without saying that if you haven’t finished season one of Netflix’s deliciously comedic Dead To Me (or watched it all, shame on you if so), this second season is not for you to play catch up.  And after the unexpected note […]

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Film Review: 1983’s Ozploitation classic Hostage is little more than a Lifetime movie with sporadic moments of exploitation thrown in

May 5, 2020

Given the fact that Hostage has something of a reputation for being one of Australia’s biggest Ozploitation films, you’d be forgiven for assuming it would live up to its supposed status.  And whilst the opening credits suggest the film to come will be one heavy on uncomfortable violence – there are sudden, furious flashes of […]

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TV Review: Amazon Prime Video’s Upload is a thought-provoking comedy on the realities of the afterlife

May 1, 2020

As easy as it is to compare Upload to a program such as The Good Place – given that both series’ deal with the afterlife – Greg Daniels‘ romantic-comedy-cum-mystery is more a commentary on capitalism, a topic it tackles as successfully as it does ineffectually. Set in the not-too distant future (2033, to be exact), […]

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Film Review: The Flood overcomes its melodramatic narrative thanks to topical sensitivity

May 1, 2020

The opening scrawl of The Flood states that at least 18,000 people who have been displaced by persecution, conflict and violence in their own habitats around the world have died in the last 5 years alone in their bid to reach Europe.  It’s a shocking statistic regarding those trying to enter another country, but in […]

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4K Ultra HD Review: 1917 is visually spectacular and undoubtedly a polished feat of filmmaking craft

April 22, 2020

Given 1917‘s rather simplistic plot – a pair of infantrymen having to cross the treacherous No Man’s Land in order to prevent a doomed attack during the height of World War 1 – it makes sense that director Sam Mendes (Skyfall) would opt for a more complex manner to detail the story.  Single camera shots […]

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TV Review: The Chosen is a faith-based series that deepens with interest the further it goes along

April 16, 2020

I’ll admit that faith-based material isn’t always the most attractive prospect for me.  Sure, you have your Last Temptation of Christ‘s and your Passion of the Christ‘s, but His story is one that doesn’t particularly entice me; most likely born from my personal relation to religion as a whole. That being said I certainly won’t […]

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Film Review: Come As You Are provides the jolt the road-trip-comedy model so desperately needs

April 13, 2020

Though the blueprint behind Come As You Are is quite insultingly familiar – three sexually-charged men on a road trip that’s as heavy on situational humour as it is on their own self-discovery – director Richard Wong proves that appearances are indeed deceiving. The core structures of the road-trip-comedy are in place, but Come As […]

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Tribeca Film Festival Review: A Better You is a charming, self-reflective look on the social-media age

April 8, 2020

*Due to the current global crisis the planned 2020 Tribeca Film Festival has been postponed. The AU Review has been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. A commentary on the so-called perfection of social media, Eamonn Murphy‘s quirky short A Better You is […]

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Tribeca Film Festival Review: Query addresses the social norms of sexuality in a disarmingly comfortable manner

April 5, 2020

*Due to the current global crisis the planned 2020 Tribeca Film Festival has been postponed. The AU Review has been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. Much like the recent slate of short films that were intended for this year’s SXSW Film Festival, […]

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