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.

SXSW Film Review: Introducing, Selma Blair highlights the actress’s wit and charm in the face of her battle with MS

March 18, 2021

As displayed by her effortless wit and charm in the opening seconds of Introducing, Selma Blair, the actress’ own self-awareness has been one of her pillars of strength as she battles multiple sclerosis (MS).  Always aware of her supporting actress stance in Hollywood – the star noting as such throughout – the Legally Blonde alum […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is as uplifting and positive as it is dark and shockingly violent

March 18, 2021

A film that’s as uplifting and positive as it is dark and shockingly violent (at times), Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is a quintessentially British black comedy that roots for the underdog, even when he perhaps doesn’t deserve it. The titular Paul Dood (Tom Meeten) is a bit of a pathetic character, but one who’s […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: The Fallout is an authentic snap-shot of a movie that runs high on emotion

March 18, 2021

A devastatingly topical drama surrounding a school shooting and the emotional and psychological damage such a tragedy can cause for its survivors, The Fallout takes a quieter, more intimate look at the unseen faces – those that aren’t framed in the media as “a survivor”, merely fellow students who are unsure how to navigate their […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Potato Dreams of America tells a bold story in an artificial manner

March 18, 2021

There’s that old chestnut saying that truth is stranger than fiction, and it would appear that no one knows this more than writer/director Wes Hurley.  An autobiographical tale of growing up queer in the USSR in the 1980’s, Potato Dreams of America is an often bizarre, occasionally sad, but completely unique feature that, however trite […]

Read More

Film Review: Crisis details a heavy story without succumbing to its own weight

March 18, 2021

A multi-faceted drama designed in a manner not unlike Steven Soderbergh’s acclaimed, layered Traffic, Crisis‘ own multiple-strand approach to storytelling is understandable, but also can’t help but highlight the fact that director Nicholas Jarecki‘s ambition outweighs his ability to smoothly execute. There’s much to be discussed here, with Jarecki commenting on the many facets of […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Here Before utilises its supernatural premise and twists it when we least expect

March 18, 2021

Creepy children are always good fodder for horror-leaning films, and Here Before, whilst more psychological thriller than all-out horror, is no exception with writer/director Stacey Gregg utilising the premise and twisting it just so. Andrea Riseborough leads the charge as Laura in this small, gradual thriller that focuses on young Megan, a seemingly friendly school […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Recovery adds as much levity as it can to the global pandemic

March 18, 2021

A comedy both made during and about the pandemic that has forever altered the landscape of the world, Recovery adds as much levity as it can to the most devastating of situations.  Written, directed and headlined by the relatable comedy duo of Mallory Everton and Whitney Call (Everton serving as director and co-writer, Call as […]

Read More

SXSW Film Review: Executive Order is an often infuriating and incredibly timely film

March 17, 2021

Literally adopting the phrase “Go back to where you came from” and structuring a thriller-leaning narrative around it, Lazaro Ramos‘s Executive Order is an often infuriating and incredibly timely film given the racial prejudice that has framed the last 12 months. Set in a near-dystopian future in Rio de Janeiro, the film starts on the […]

Read More

SXSW Short Film Review: The Nipple Whisperer maintains a genuine sense of heart amongst its odd temperament

March 17, 2021

Immediately telling from its title, Jan Van Dyck’s The Nipple Whisperer is a bizarre offering, but it’s one that maintains a genuine sense of heart amongst its odd temperament. If you weren’t already privy to the title you’d think Van Dyck’s film was taking on a much more serious subject, with the film’s titular character […]

Read More

Film Review: Unsound is a mostly winning affair that overcomes its narrative simplicities with a queer authenticity

March 16, 2021

A film that takes pride in its conversational awareness of both the LGBTIQA+ and deaf and/or hard of hearing communities, Unsound may not always hit the right notes but there’s plenty of charm in the melody along the way. Centred around deaf Sydney-sider Finn (Yiana Pandelis), a transgender man navigating the complexities of being trans […]

Read More

Latinx culture and community are celebrated in new In The Heights trailer

March 15, 2021

As 2021 slowly finds its footing in navigating the pandemic, there appears to be no better time than now for a celebration of unity.  Dropping a beautifully colourful trailer in the lead-up to its June release, In The Heights, from director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), promises an honouring of all Latinx culture in […]

Read More

Interview: Ruby Rose and Tom Hopper for SAS: Red Notice, the comforts of the action genre and their character’s morality

March 14, 2021

Arriving March 16th in the US on demand and digital, SAS: Red Notice (read our review here) is a slick actioner led by Australian actress Ruby Rose.  In the lead-up to the film’s debut, Peter Gray chatted with Rose and her co-star, Black Sails actor Tom Hopper, about the comforts of the action genre and […]

Read More

Film Review: SAS: Red Notice is a disposable but supremely entertaining actioner

March 14, 2021

Perhaps something of an unofficial audition for the next post on the 007 roster – or maybe that’s second audition, given he was a name suggested around the same time as Daniel Craig secured the role – Sam Heughan does his best secret agent impression in SAS: Red Notice, a disposable but supremely entertaining actioner […]

Read More

MQFF Film Review: Cicada tackles uncomfortable subjects in an organic, understated manner

March 13, 2021

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 […]

Read More

MQFF Film Review: My Fiona is an emotionally excruciating navigation of mourning and self-discovery

March 12, 2021

The framing of My Fiona‘s opening scene is laced with a certain tension that very much clues the audience in on the fact that the film’s protagonist, Jeanette Maus‘s Jane, is about to have her life horrifically shattered.  It’s an emotional, painful way for us to bond with a character, but it immediately establishes a […]

Read More

Film Review: Come True is ambiguous, menacing material undone by an unearned climax

March 12, 2021

The type of indie horror flick that has a lot of promising-enough elements for it to earn audience investment, Come True may ultimately culminate in disappointment – in fact, it’s downright frustrating – but an atmospheric dread and hauntingly effective score keep Anthony Scott Burns‘s intense feature on a more upward trajectory overall. At the […]

Read More

Film Review: Judas and the Black Messiah delivers with heart and valorous conviction

March 10, 2021

After proving a formidable plot point in last year’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 – however secondary it may have been – the killing of Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton in 1969, at the age of only 21 years, is given the right, timely treatment in Shaka King‘s equally impactful (perhaps even more so) […]

Read More

Australian director Shannon Murphy amongst BAFTA’s Best Director nominees for Babyteeth

March 10, 2021

Taking last year’s criticism on board for its predominant exclusion of people of colour and women in the majority of its categories, the British Academy of Film and  Television Arts (BAFTA) has overhauled its 2021 voting process with a far more inclusive mindset. Continuing to throw the eventual Oscar nominations into chaos, this year’s BAFTA […]

Read More

Film Review: French Exit is quirky, controlled chaos primarily designed as a showcase for the glorious Michelle Pfeiffer

March 10, 2021

Towards the beginning of French Exit, Azazel Jacobs‘s at once tragic and surreal comedy, Michelle Pfeiffer‘s initially icy New York socialite Frances Price seemingly mocks the romantic uncertainty of her adult son, Malcolm (Lucas Hedges).  “Menstruating?”, she asks when he refuses to divulge any type of answer to his sullenness, confirming screenwriter Patrick deWitt‘s penchant […]

Read More

Blu-Ray Review: Possessor blends the psychological and visceral effects of proposed technological voyeurism

March 7, 2021

Opening with one of the most violently stunning set pieces witnessed in cinema in recent memory, Possessor suggests something of a techno-thriller is to follow in the 100-or-so minutes.  But, almost to be expected given it has the Cronenberg name attached to it, the rug is more than swept out from underneath us as the […]

Read More

Film Review: Nomadland is an emotionally-charged masterpiece

March 4, 2021

The opening of Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland opens with a sobering statistic.  In Nevada, a small town – Empire – has essentially become a ghost town due to the local Gypsum plant closing down amid the recession.  The Empire residents, most of whom lived in company-owned homes, had to vacate in masses, deactivating the town’s zip […]

Read More

Interview: Melanie Bracewell on Season 3 of Wellington Paranormal and how no idea is ever too crazy to pitch

February 24, 2021

As season 3 of Wellington Paranormal arrives on screens (February 24th at 8:30pm on SBS VICELAND), we chatted with writer and producer (and all around funny girl) Melanie Bracewell to discuss the process of pitching outlines for such a show and how no idea is ever too crazy. The episodes I caught were hilarious, I […]

Read More

Sydney Film Festival moves to August for 2021 season only

February 18, 2021

After a successful Summer Season at the State Theatre and a sold-out Wong Kar Wai retrospective, Sydney Film Festival is excited to announce the 68th edition will take place 18-29 August 2021. The shift will allow the Festival to continue to include films from major international festivals (in addition to Australia’s best new feature films […]

Read More

Eric Bana and The Dry director Robert Connolly to reunite for Tim Winton’s Blueblack

February 18, 2021

With The Dry fast approaching the $20 million mark at the Australian box office – now one of the most successful Australian films of all time – the appetite for local material is at an all-time high. Looking to emulate that success, The Dry director Robert Connolly is reuniting with leading man Eric Bana for […]

Read More

Interview: Ahmet Zappa on new documentary Zappa and how it’s honouring the legacy of his father, Frank Zappa.

February 18, 2021

As Alex Winter’s acclaimed documentary Zappa arrives in cinemas (read our review here) to both introduce and re-establish Frank Zappa as one of the music industry’s late, great geniuses, the musician’s son – and Zappa producer – Ahmet Zappa is talking about the labour of love that is the film.  Peter Gray spoke with Ahmet […]

Read More

Aussie thriller The Drover’s Wife joins SXSW Film Festival as full lineup revealed

February 13, 2021

The 2021 SXSW Film Festival has revealed its full line up for its 28th edition for SXSW Online, running March 16th-20th, 2021.  The previously announced Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, a hard-hitting documentary covering the personal and professional life of the pop star, including her fatal near-overdose, will serve as the festival’s opener, whilst […]

Read More

Film Review: I Care A Lot is further proof of Rosamund Pike’s devilish star quality

February 12, 2021

Given just how maliciously magnetic she was in Gone Girl, it makes sense that devoted fans would be awaiting another Rosamund Pike performance that allows the actress to delight in all the dark ambition so evident in her Oscar-nominated turn. That’s certainly not to say she hasn’t been delivering the goods in the years since, […]

Read More

Film Review: Another Round overcomes its farcical premise with an organic honesty

February 11, 2021

You’d be forgiven for reading the plot outline for Another Round and assuming wacky comedic hijinks would ensue.  Based around a surprisingly real theory put forward by Norwegian psychiatrist Finn Skårderud, who suggested that humans could operate at their best with a consistent blood alcohol level of .05%, Thomas Vinterberg‘s dramedy is occasionally humorous as […]

Read More

Film Review: Long Story Short expresses the importance of time and relationships without resorting to emotional manipulation

February 10, 2021

The tried and true formula of the “time loop” sub-genre in film has been adopted many a time; the Happy Death Day films, Edge of Tomorrow, the recent Palm Springs, and the seminal Groundhog Day being arguably the prototype for such offerings.  For Long Story Short, the sophomore effort from Australian writer/director/actor Josh Lawson (The […]

Read More

Film Review: Bliss is heavy on ideas but light on execution

February 5, 2021

A science fiction film dealing with the powers of telekinesis and virtual reality, and starring Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek for good measure, Bliss is heavy on ideas but light on execution as Mike Cahill‘s ambitious outing takes only mere minutes to fall apart at its artificial seams. Wilson headlines as Greg, a supposed biggish […]

Read More