Film

Film Review: Coming 2 America is a loving family reunion; warts and all

March 8, 2021

Set 30 years after the events of the original film, Coming 2 America sees Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his true love Lisa McDowell (a spirited Shari Headley) settled in the kingdom of Zamunda with their three daughters, living, as all fairy tale romances go, happily ever after. Prepped to take over the kingdom from […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Raya and the Last Dragon

Film Review: Raya and the Last Dragon is visually rapturous and fun, marking a minor step in representation

March 4, 2021

Raya and the Last Dragon is set in a fantasy world called Kumandra; which was once inhabited by both humans and dragons in a harmonious existence. But, that peace comes under imminent danger when malevolent monsters known as the Druun make their presence known. To stave off the threat and save humanity, the dragons perform […]

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The Walrus and the Whistleblower

Transitions Film Festival Review: The Walrus and the Whistleblower submerges its important issues in water

March 1, 2021

Lots of us know Free Willy but what about Free Smooshi? The latter campaign started after a former trainer at Canada’s Marineland water park went rogue. He took to Twitter to make allegations about animal abuse at his former employer. The documentary, The Walrus & the Whistleblower tells this sad story. Nathalie Bibeau directs this […]

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Interview: Julie Sokolow on her documentary Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story

February 26, 2021

Screening as part of the digital Transitions Film Festival, we caught up with Director Julie Sokolow to talk about her new documentary Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story. What first attracted you to making a film about Mark Baumer? Back in 2016, a friend of mine frequently shared Mark’s videos on Facebook. I finally clicked on […]

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Transitions Film Festival Review: Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story is an inspiring look at an activist who walked to the beat of his own drum

February 23, 2021

Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story was my first introduction to the eccentric writer and eponymous artist. Baumer went viral in 2016 after he embarked on a barefoot walk across America. This documentary takes in various beats along his journey of over 100 days. It’s a portrait that is as rich and detailed as an oil […]

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The Mauritanian confirms Australia and New Zealand release after Golden Globes & BAFTA nominations

February 23, 2021

The Mauritanian, the new highly anticipated thriller by Kevin Macdonald will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in Australia and New Zealand on 24th March. Starring Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Benedict Cumberbatch and Shailene Woodley, the film is based on the best-selling memoir GuantĂ namo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi and follows the inspiring true story of Slahi’s fight for freedom after being […]

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Test your might against the red band Mortal Kombat trailer

February 19, 2021

Warner Bros has dropped its first major Mortal Kombat trailer. The long-in-development reboot promises a film that revels in its violence every bit as much as the video games it’s based on. The Mortal Kombat trailer runs through a laundry list of popular MK characters — Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Kung Lao, Jax, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Exploring the Family Unit in World Cinema: From Dogtooth and Volver to Minari

February 18, 2021

Cinema can be a powerful medium in transporting audiences to other worlds that are brimming with imagination and fantasy. But, it can also be a powerful way to bring audiences into the shoes of people who are dealing with issues and matters that are prescient in the real world. No matter what nationality or gender […]

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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 […]

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Minari

Film Review: Minari is a beautiful family drama that is wholesome, relaxing and heartwarming

February 18, 2021

Minari tells the story of the Yi family, a Korean-American family that has moved from the city in California to a plot of land in rural Arkansas. The patriarch Jacob (Steven Yeun) is optimistic for the move and plans to grow fresh Korean produce and sell them to needy vendors in Dallas, Texas. His wife […]

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The Little Things

Film Review: The Little Things is an underwhelming disappointment; even with three Oscar winners in tow

February 18, 2021

The Little Things follows the story of Joe “Deke” Deacon (Denzel Washington), a world-weary deputy sheriff from Bakersfield, Kern County. He is called to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to collect evidence in relation to a recent murder. Most people are apprehensive of his presence due to the fact that he used to work […]

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Film Review: In Search of Darkness II provides another bountiful smorgasbord for 1980’s horror fans

February 16, 2021

Two years after the first instalment, the search for darkness continues! Director David A. Weiner is back with another entry in examining horror films in the 1980’s with In Search of Darkness Part II. The first film, while very well-received (especially from yours truly), did receive some reserved criticism. One example is the lack of […]

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Film Review: Zappa is a frank & creative look at Frank Zappa’s weirdly provocative genius

February 16, 2021

Zappa is a documentary that feels like one giant motherfucker of a film. At 129 minutes, director Alex Winter (the former lead actor of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) covers lots of ground about this enigmatic genius. They broke the mould when they made Frank Zappa. So, while the proceedings are detailed and capture his […]

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Film Review: A Writer’s Odyssey is a visually astounding fantasy thrill ride

February 14, 2021

A Writer’s Odyssey (formerly known as Assassin in Red) is the latest film from Chinese filmmaker Lu Yang. He is best known for the Brotherhood of Blades films; sterling examples of martial arts pieces that manage to branch out of genre conventions and become something more as they both venture into crime fiction. They were […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 SkĂĄrderud, 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 […]

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Sundance Review: I Was a Simple Man is a beautifully assembled and yet malnourished film

February 11, 2021

Set in the present-day Oahu, Hawaii, the film follows the story of Masao (Steve Iwamoto), an aging patriarch who is spending his serene days in his home, with his vast family who intermittently keep him company. His health is deteriorating and his relationship with his family becomes more and more estranged. When he contemplates his […]

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Sundance Review: We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is an outstanding directorial debut from Schoenbrun

February 11, 2021

Set in present day America, the film follows the story of Casey, a lonely teenager who participates in an online game known as the World’s Fair Challenge; a game that promises to be the scariest game in existence. After starting the game, Casey records videos of herself and posts them online in order to document […]

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Sundance Review: In Prisoners of the Ghostland, Nic Cage’s acting style fits Sono’s direction like a glove

February 11, 2021

When one hears of a collaboration between acclaimed Japanese maverick filmmaker Sion Sono between American’s acting dynamo Nicolas Cage; one cannot help but be intrigued. Even people who dislike their work would love to see the final result of their work just to see what it would be like because the very idea of such […]

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Film Review: Wrong Turn takes a couple of wrong turns and becomes a hodgepodge of horror

February 11, 2021

Wrong Turn appears to be your stock-standard horror which takes a group of young twenty-somethings into a remote rural part of the US for some hiking fun. Although none of it is very fun and absolutely no good times are had. As you might imagine, during the hiking trip, on the Appalachian trail, one of […]

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Win a double in-season pass to MINARI in Australia

February 11, 2021

Thanks to Madman Entertainment we have ten double passes to give away to the upcoming release of the Golden Globe-nominated MINARI, the tender and sweeping story for writer/director Lee Isaac Chung, and starring Steven Yuen. The film arrives in Australian cinemas on February 18th. Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas farm in […]

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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 […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: In the Earth is Ben Wheatley back on maverick, transgressive, genre-shifting form

February 8, 2021

Set in a tumultuous time in the world that is overtaken by a virus, Joel Fry stars as Martin Lowery, a doctor who is tasked on a mission to venture to reach test site ATU327A, a research area that is deep in the Arboreal forest; led by Dr. Wendle (Hayley Squires). Lowery is guided by […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Eight for Silver is an enjoyably gnarly time from director Sean Ellis

February 7, 2021

Set in the late 1800s, a pathologist John McBride (Boyd Holbrook) has been sent to a distant village that has been terrorized by a wild animal, resulting in numerous deaths. He has been sent there to find a missing child; whom the parents (Alistair Petrie and Mary Reilly) presume with utter conviction that he is […]

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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 […]

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