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.

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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Film Review: Almost Love (aka Sell By) overcomes genre unoriginality with a strong ensemble and an honest voice

April 3, 2020

Best not to be fooled by Almost Love‘s incredibly generic title (its alternative UK/international moniker Sell By isn’t much better either) as Mike Doyle‘s interconnected relationship drama plays stronger than it deserves to, thanks in large part to an ensemble cast that are allowed to play to and with their own respective strengths. Set in […]

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Come To Daddy

Film Review: Come To Daddy is a pitch black comedic thriller bathed in gory oddity

March 30, 2020

If we have learnt anything throughout cinema’s depictions of estranged families, it’s that the more alienated you are from one another, the more unpredictable your journey will be. This proves especially true in Come To Daddy, a pitch black comedic thriller that director Ant Timpson bathes in gory oddity. There’s an unease immediately present from […]

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First Impressions: Shudder’s Cursed Films should satisfy those that appreciate horror as both a genre and a temperament

March 27, 2020

As horrific as some things are on screen, behind the cameras can be even worse.  Supernatural forces at bay have proven to be more than just fictional fodder if the lore of horror set stories are anything to go by, and Shudder’s own Cursed Films docu-series sets out to prove whether it’s fact or fiction […]

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Film Review: Swallow is a slow-burning thriller that transcends its potentially nauseating premise

March 22, 2020

On paper, the premise for Swallow sounds almost too-grotesque to be relayed without resorting to some type of gimmick.  In reality, Carlo Mirabella-Davis‘s slow-burning thriller transcends its potentially nauseating core to deliver a deep, at times dark tale that wholly understands and respects its unique subject matter. The film surrounds the delicate Hunter (Haley Bennett), […]

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SXSW Film Review: Make Up is a self-discovery tale dressed up like a psychological thriller

March 20, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. Perhaps diving a little too heavily into the metaphorical stance on storytelling, Claire Oakley‘s Make Up is a self-discovery tale dressed up like […]

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SXSW Midnight Shorts: Five short films that make us want more

March 18, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. The Midnight Shorts Competition has long been an audience favourite at SXSW.  A bite-sized marathon of twisted ideas that usually fuses gore, overt […]

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SXSW Film Review: The Surrogate is a realistic drama unafraid to be uncomfortable

March 18, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. Detailing a tragic situation with a sobering, uncomfortable realism that has the potential to test even the most patient of viewers, The Surrogate […]

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SXSW Short Film Review: Single is a biting commentary on living with a physical disability

March 18, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. Proof that more than enough can be conveyed in a fraction of the time of a standard feature, Ashley Eakins‘ short-feature Single is […]

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SXSW Episodic Pilot Program Review: Everyone Together (Episode 1) hones a snappy, dark-leaning sense of humour

March 17, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. The description outlined for the comedy series Everyone Together sounds rather typical.  Dysfunctional families from two very different cultural backgrounds subsequently bond and […]

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SXSW Film Review: Shooting Heroin is a noble idea marred by melodramatics

March 17, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. A noble idea marred by melodramatics that often take away the importance of the film’s message, Shooting Heroin can’t help but feel like […]

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SXSW Film Review: Audiences with a penchant for the abstract are likely to enjoy The Carnivores

March 15, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. You can love your dog, and then you can love your dog.  And whilst Caleb Michael Johnson‘s bizarre effort The Carnivores wouldn’t be […]

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5 movies not to miss at SXSW Film Festival 2020

March 4, 2020

This year’s South By Southwest is fast approaching (March 13th 2020, y’all!), and with that haste comes a schedule of cinematic treats for the masses to feast on.  Of course with 250 projects to fill the time, getting to each and every screening will be an impossible task, so we’ve compiled our look at 5 […]

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Film Review: The lavish costuming of Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears can’t compensate for its distinct lack of energy

February 27, 2020

Having never read any of Kerry Greenwood‘s historical Miss Fisher mystery novels, nor seen the television program that was birthed from them, I can only judge Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears as someone entering blindly.  And whilst I’m unfamiliar with the show, I’m aware of its structure, and I would assume that a […]

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