Film

Interview: Jacqueline McKenzie and Robin McLeavy on their gripping new thriller Force of Nature: The Dry 2 and surviving the harsh realities of filming

As Force of Nature: The Dry 2 treks its way towards Australian theatres, The AU Review’s coverage of the anticipated thriller continues.  Following on from his interviews with both director Robert Connolly and star/producer Eric Bana, and producer Jodi Matterson and author Jane Harper, Peter Gray spoke with actresses (and Aussie screen royalty, at this…

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Win a double in-season to see Dakota Johnson as Marvel’s Madame Web

Her web connects them all. Thanks to Sony Pictures Australia we have 5 double in-season passes (Admit 2) to see Dakota Johnson as Marvel’s latest superheroine Madame Web, exclusively set for release in cinemas from Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2024. In a switch from the typical genre, Madame Web tells the standalone origin story of…

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Interview: Force of Nature: The Dry 2 producer Jodi Matterson and author Jane Harper on the dense reality of their sequel; “We went into the heart of darkness.”

Following on from his interview with Eric Bana and director Robert Connolly Peter Gray spoke with Force of Nature: The Dry 2 producer Jodi Matterson and author Jane Harper about the dense reality of filming and what they thought of Bana’s embodiment of his character. The film, set for a national release on February 8th,…

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Interview: Eric Bana and Force of Nature: The Dry 2 director Robert Connolly on saving cinema and the pressures of a sequel

In Force of Nature: The Dry 2, when five women take part in a corporate hiking retreat and only four come out on the other side, Federal Agents Aaron Falk (Eric Bana) and Carmen Cooper (Jacqueline McKenzie) head deep into the Victorian mountain ranges to investigate in the hopes of finding their whistle-blowing informant, Alice…

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Film Review: Does the elaborate spy action of Argylle live up to its marketed hype?

The promise of a trilogy based off a series of books that have yet to be released.  A planned spy-centred universe of films that is set to crossover with the similarly themed Kingsman and a yet-to-be-named franchise.  Taylor Swift theorists believing she’s the real mastermind behind it all.  And don’t forget the heavily marketed feline…

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Interview: Argylle director Matthew Vaughn on Henry Cavill’s star power and his film NOT being written by Taylor Swift

Whether it’s a gangster movie, a fairytale, a comic book adaptation, or a spy series, writer/director Matthew Vaughn always makes sure to bend the rules wherever he can.  And after his trio of Kingsman films, the filmmaker is taking on quite possibly his biggest, and most intricate, task yet with Argylle. Based on a series…

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Layla is a film that celebrates one’s identity through a multitude of creative intersections: Sundance Film Festival Review

Thanks predominantly to RuPaul, and, more specifically RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag culture has firmly wedged itself in the mainstream.  It’s always been there, it’s just more readily acceptable, or at least visible, and Amrou Al-Kadhi’s assured debut feature as both a writer and director, Layla, furthers such with its playful, authentic personality that drives home…

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Sebastian is an explorative drama that expresses a healthy relationship with the art of sex work: Sundance Film Festival Review

Though there’s an initial graphicness to the manner in which sex is depicted in the opening minutes of Sebastian, Mikko Mäkelä‘s explorative drama shouldn’t be dismissed as just another recent example of queer cinema that leans into sexual explicitness for the sake of shock or organic representation.  Yes, the sex on hand is a realistic…

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Good One aims for a sense of understated tension across its minimalistic plotting: Sundance Film Festival Review

There’s universally strong performances across the board and lush cinematography throughout, but one can’t help but wish there was more plotting to Good One for the understated drama to truly land the emotional impact it aims for. The set-up in India Donaldson‘s film is simple, with 17-year-old Sam (Lily Collias, an absolute breakout) gearing up…

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Desire Lines is a layered drama that provides trans men with authentic representation: Sundance Film Festival Review

There’s a uniqueness to Desire Lines that writer/director Jules Rosskam (and co-writer Nate Gualtieri) implements to set the film as an open line of communication regarding the LGBTQIA+ community and their placement within their own culture.  A narrative-driven drama that combines documentary pieces and talking head confessionals, the film’s hybrid mentality may not always work,…

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Film Review: Cold Copy aims for entertainment value as it details the cutthroat world of journalism and media

Diving both into the cutthroat world of journalism and the medium’s potential to garner fame off the back of manipulation and obsession, Roxine Helberg‘s Cold Copy, whilst not necessarily reinventing the wheel, still manages an air of tension throughout as it details the power dynamic between a journalism student and the media professional she aspires…

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Interview: Writer/director Roxine Helberg on exploring the power of truth in journalism in her film Cold Copy

Following its world premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival, Cold Copy is gearing up for its international roll-out, with the tension-filled dramatic thriller first arriving in North American theatres and On Demand this week. Marking Roxine Helberg’s feature film directorial debut, Cold Copy tells the story of two driven women pushing the boundaries of…

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Exhibiting Forgiveness is a thought-provoking drama that bides its time in surrendering to its emotional explosiveness: Sundance Film Festival Review

The complexities of forgiveness and accountability against a familial backdrop laced with tension, regret and one’s own personal demons, Exhibiting Forgiveness is a thought-provoking drama, and one that bides its time in surrendering to its emotional explosiveness. Written and directed by Titus Kaphar, marking his feature debut, Exhibiting Forgiveness focuses on Tarell Rodin (André Holland),…

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The Moogai‘s important message clashes with shaky horror execution: Sundance Film Festival Review

The controversial historical treatment of Australia’s native people by white settlers and the continuing generational trauma within the Indigenous communities weigh heavy on the narrative themes of Jon Bell‘s The Moogai.  There’s a ripe premise to lean into horror genre sensibilities – “moogai” is the Bundjalung language for a malevolent child-stealing entity that is the…

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Watch Jake Gyllenhaal batter and bruise in first Road House trailer ahead of SXSW debut

Following on from yesterday’s poster debut, Amazon MGM Studios have released the first full-length trailer for Doug Liman and Jake Gyllenhaal‘s Road House, an adrenaline-fueled reimagining of the 80s cult classic, about an ex-UFC fighter who takes a job as a bouncer at a Florida Keys roadhouse, only to discover that this paradise is not…

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Kidnapping Inc. blends farce, politics and stark Haitian reality: Sundance Film Festival Review

Though its working with the elements of a dark comedy, a political thriller and topical social commentary, Bruno Mourral‘s Kidnapping Inc. manages to navigate its multiple themes and transition quite successfully from its farcical opening to its more stirring, sobering close. Set in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince (the film utilising both the Creole and…

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Film Review: The Color Purple is a lively and important, yet unbalanced musical story

Though it’s an at-times lively and emotionally affecting tale, with a slew of stand-out performances across the board (Taraji P. Henson and the rightfully Oscar-nominated Danielle Brooks, for starters), the reimagined The Color Purple can’t help but catch itself between honouring its source material (Alice Walker‘s 1982 novel and the original 1985 film) and the…

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Jake Gyllenhaal “takes it outside” in Easter egg-filled first-look poster for Road House

Expect the unexpected. Take it outside. Be nice. These are the 3 simple rules of Road House, and just a slew of the Easter eggs and throwback references to the Patrick Swayze original that the freshly unveiled one-sheet for Doug Liman and Jake Gyllenhaal‘s reimagining is teasing ahead of its global release on Prime Video…

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Win a double in-season pass to see Henry Cavill and Dua Lipa in Argylle

Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia we have 5 double digital in-season passes (Admit 2) to see Matthew Vaughn‘s razor-witted, reality-bending, globe-encircling spy thriller Argylle, starring Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, John Cena, Dua Lipa, and Samuel L. Jackson. Bryce Dallas Howard is Elly Conway, the reclusive author of a series of best-selling espionage…

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Brando with a Glass Eye is a bizarre hybrid of a movie that dares to go against the grain: Slamdance Film Festival Review

There’s a lot at play throughout the 122 minutes of Antonis Tsonis‘ Brando with a Glass Eye, a bizarre hybrid of a movie that deserves recognition for so confidently going against the grain, even if it doesn’t always successfully lands its execution. It’s offbeat – to say the least – and the opening minutes very…

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Thelma is a sweet comedic gem (and the unlikeliest action vehicle) bolstered by a wonderful June Squibb: Sundance Film Festival Review

Though it leans into the action/thriller genre with a supreme wink, Thelma, Josh Margolin‘s frequently hilarious, always poignant ode to his own grandmother (and, clearly, a love of the action genre), is never spoofing the films it so evidently is earning its laughs from; and it’s that sweetness and keen sense of reinvention that helps…

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Control dares to upset your emotional state with its surprising sense of humour: Slamdance Film Festival Review

Whether it’s something we admit to or discuss or not, the idea of how one might kill themselves and the practical considerations that follow is something I’m sure we’ve contemplated.  However morbid it may be to even suggest, pondering what you might jot down in a suicide note or even how many people would come…

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Young People, Old People & Nothing In Between is an affecting short that makes for a large impact: Slamdance Film Festival Review

An emotional expedition outlaying the effects of dementia on both the mind its crippling and the hearts of those baring witness, Parida Tantiwasadakran‘s Young People, Old People & Nothing In Between is an affecting short that makes for a large impact. At the centre of the film is young Juice (Deedee Piamwiriyaku), 7-years-old and full…

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Interview: Australian screen visionary Natalie Miller on opening Melbourne’s newest theatrical experience, FoMo Cinemas

Melbourne’s new next-level cinema experience is unveiled today, with FoMo Cinemas opening its East Brunswick doors. A haven for cinema and food-lovers alike, FoMo Cinemas brings together the best of the silver screen with an elevated in-cinema food offering in a first for Australian movie-goers.  Housed in the newly opened East Brunswick Village precinct by…

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Jennifer Lopez’s heart and soul dance to their own beat in full-length This Is Me…Now trailer

Following on from last year’s announcement of the “This Is Me…Now” musical experience, which encapsulates both her forthcoming album and the visual film inspired by the music, Jennifer Lopez has released the This Is Me…Now full length trailer ahead of its anticipated February 16th global release on Prime Video. This Is Me…Now: A Love Story…

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Film Review: The Iron Claw; Zac Efron’s transformative performance dominates tragic, powerful true story

For his debut feature, 2011’s Martha Marcy May Marlene, writer/director Sean Durkin specified that the actions that unfolded weren’t moulded after any one specific cult – the film centred around a young woman suffering from delusions and paranoia after returning to her family from an abusive cult in the Catskill Mountains – and that he more based his narrative after his…

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Film Review: All of Us Strangers is a filmic experience that’s as comforting as it is distressing

As someone who lost their father at a young age, and therefore never had the conversation regarding my sexuality (and all that could possibly entail), the thought process throughout and inability to hold back my emotions during All of Us Strangers was palpable. Adapted by writer/director Andrew Haigh (Looking: The Movie) from Japanese author Taichi…

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Interview: AACTA Festival ambassador Chris Alosio; “It’s our opportunity as artists to reflect the life and times that we’re living in now.”

In December last year, The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) proudly announced the debut of the AACTA Festival, a four-day celebration of Australia’s vibrant screen industry that promises an immersive experience for all, from industry professionals to film enthusiasts, school-leavers, families, and aspiring creatives.  The festival, including the AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Group, will be…

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Film Review: Role Play; Kaley Cuoco steadies familiar action narrative with proven enthusiasm

It goes without saying that the premise for Role Play is one that has been explored on multiple occasions.  The marriage-on-the-rocks-is-rocked-even-further-by-realising-one-half-is-an-assassin is a narrative utilised by such stellar genre examples as True Lies, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Nobody, and to less grand effect in Apple TV’s recent misfire The Family Plan.  Role Play sits…

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Meet Abigail in the first trailer for Radio Silence’s vampiric thriller

Children can be such monsters. After a group of would-be criminals kidnap the 12-year-old ballerina daughter of a powerful underworld figure, all they have to do to collect a $50 million ransom is watch the girl overnight. In an isolated mansion, the captors start to dwindle, one by one, and they discover, to their mounting…

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