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 production set to ramp up in Australia as Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis gets underway in Queensland

September 10, 2020

“We’re back to, as Elvis liked to say, ‘taking care of business’”. And with that statement, Oscar-nominated director Baz Luhrmann once again controls the reins of Elvis, a musical drama detailing the life and music of the iconic Elvis Presley. After an unexpected delay in filming due to the unprecedented world events, cameras will roll […]

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Film Review: Bill & Ted Face the Music is a genuinely joyous slice of nostalgia that proves worth the wait for long-standing fans

September 8, 2020

As someone who was a kid when the first two Bill & Ted films were released (Excellent Adventure in 1989, Bogus Journey in 1991), and watched them on a regular basis throughout my childhood, I’m very much in the target demographic for the unexpected sequel that is Bill & Ted Face the Music.  As 1980’s-leaning […]

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Film Review: Buffaloed is a vehicle for Zoey Deutch’s star quality and infectious enthusiasm

September 7, 2020

Zoey Deutch is a star, and as her infectious enthusiasm and penchant for live-wire-fuelled comedy proves in Buffaloed, the world is simply waiting to catch up to her.  In the same manner as someone like Anna Kendrick, Deutch does so much with so little, going-for-broke with a fearlessness that often elevates both the material she’s […]

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The mission that changes everything begins in latest No Time To Die trailer

September 4, 2020

There’s been a bit of radio silence on the 007 front ever since No Time To Die was one of the first major studio releases to react to the coronavirus pandemic and shifted its original April release to November 2020.  Now that the film’s local November 12th date seems locked and loaded, the promotional trail […]

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Film Review: Mulan opts to be more than just a carbon copy of its animated counterpart

September 4, 2020

Given that the character of Hua Mulan has long been one depicted in poetry, novels, and film for almost as long as she has been a Chinese folklore figure, it’s wiser to view Mulan as another variation of her story, rather than a direct remake of Disney’s 1998 animated favourite. Whereas recent Disney live-action overhauls […]

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TV Review: Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys Season 2 is just as foul and bombastic as its predecessor

September 2, 2020

For the majority of the first episode of this second season helping of The Boys, Karl Urban‘s mouthy, unpredictable Billy Butcher is largely absent.  And it’s with his absence from the titular crew – which also consists of Jack Quaid‘s Hughie, Laz Alonso‘s Mother’s Milk, Tomer Kapon‘s Frenchie, and Karen Fukuhara‘s Kimiko – that the […]

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Film Review: The Eight Hundred is at once a distinctive yet conventional entrant in the war film genre

August 31, 2020

We’re twenty minutes into Hu Guan‘s epic The Eight Hundred before the credits cease on screen.  Then the film informs us that we are on Day 1 of what is to be a four-day siege – not to mention a further 2 hours in its running time. The titular Eight Hundred refers to the 400 […]

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Film Review: Tenet is an ambitious, visually stunning, inherently interesting, mind-numbingly confusing tale

August 22, 2020

There’s a scene relatively early in Christopher Nolan‘s ambitious time-bending actioner Tenet where Clemence Poesey is explaining to John David Washington‘s confused character – known only as The Protagonist – about the supposed science behind his forthcoming operation; “Don’t try to understand it” she assuredly states. And it’s that advice that audiences best take when […]

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Film Review: Sequin in a Blue Room is a risqué but nonetheless important teen-aimed drama

August 19, 2020

A cautionary tale about the thrills and perils of recreational sex in the digital dating world, Sequin in a Blue Room is a risqué but nonetheless important teen-aimed drama that offers something of a safe space for queer or questioning audiences regarding the nature of their sexual selves. An erotic film without being overtly explicit […]

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TV Review: Amazon Prime Video’s World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji takes a more grounded, inspiring approach to the reality TV format

August 14, 2020

“671 kilometers of jungles, rivers, ocean, and swamp.  And it is…brutal” So says World’s Toughest Race host (and producer) Bear Grylls to an accumulative 66 teams as they gather patiently to learn just what they’re in for over the course of the next 11 days.  And if there’s anyone who knows the extremities of the […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Black Bear is a chaotic, relentless experience grounded by a mesmerising Aubrey Plaza

August 12, 2020

There are some films you just can’t quite pick. As much as Lawrence Michael Levine‘s Black Bear stays relatively true to its basic plot logline – “A filmmaker at a creative impasse seeks solace from her tumultuous past at a rural retreat, only to find that the woods summon her inner demons in intense and […]

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Mobile-first entertainment platform QUIBI launches in Australia

August 11, 2020

Quick bites.  Big stories. Designed specifically to engage the masses in the smallest of time frames, Quibi produces fresh, original content in bite-sized portions so you’re entertained at any given second. After successfully launching across the US, where their short-form, mobile-specific content proved a viable alternative to the predominant lounge-room streaming of Netflix and Amazon Prime […]

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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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