Reviews

Film Review: Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F is a welcome return to form for Eddie Murphy’s iconic character

After tarnishing the one-two punch of 1984’s Beverly Hills Cop and it’s 1987 sequel with the 1994 threequel – one that even the film’s stars have turned against over the years – the Eddie Murphy-led franchise seemed permanently laid to rest. Though there’s been considerable chatter in the three decades since its release, the third…

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Film Review: Ricky Stanicky; John Cena livens up an otherwise missed opportunity of a comedy

After finding Oscar glory as a solo filmmaker – with arguably one of the more controversial Best Picture wins in the Academy’s history (see Green Book) – there’s a nice sense of coming back home in the case of Peter Farrelly helming Ricky Stanicky. Now, it does pale in comparison to the comedy works he…

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Film Review: The Greatest Love Story Never Told is the most open and vulnerable aspect of Jennifer Lopez’s This Is Me…Now experience

“What is this fucking girl’s problem?” As Jennifer Lopez states in the opening moments of The Greatest Love Story Never Told, she’s highly aware of what the media has pondered about the multitude of marriages (4, to be precise) she’s partaken in over the course of her resilient career. And it’s that self-awareness and hopeful…

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Film Review: This Is Me…Now: A Love Story is a musical experience that earns Jennifer Lopez her flowers as the barrier-breaking entertainer she truly is

“Have you ever heard the story of Alida and Taroo?…” So begins Jennifer Lopez‘s semi autobiographical musical experience This Is Me…Now: A Love Story, a narrative accompaniment to her latest album, This Is Me…Now, an urban pop record that celebrates her reunion with now husband Ben Affleck, following their original romance some two decades prior….

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Series Review: Netflix’s adaptation of Boy Swallows Universe is an extravagantly intimate experience

There comes a point in Boy Swallows Universe – Netflix’s splashy adaptation of Trent Dalton‘s semi-autobiographical novel of the same name – where you beg for the creators to let the show’s lead feature, 13-year-old Eli Bell (a standout Felix Cameron), earn a moment to catch his breath.  Sure, it’d let us as viewers do…

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Series Review: Dr. Death Season 2 proves equally charming and unnerving as it details its sinister surgeon

Given how implicitly we (mostly) trust those in the medical profession it makes sense that such praise could give way to their intentional negligence.  And such is the case with the stories behind Dr. Death, a (now) anthology series that takes its inspiration from the Wonderey podcast that detailed egregious cases of medial malpractice. The…

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Series Review: Reacher Season 2 avoids a sophomore slump thanks to star Alan Ritchson’s humour and huskiness

Whilst it made sense for a character such as Jack Reacher to be opted for big screen treatment, it wasn’t quite as clear as to why he was realised through Tom Cruise.  From an action capability view it worked, and no one could ever question Cruise’s ability to get butts on seats, but the character…

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Streaming Review: The Prince of Egypt is a visual splendour fit for a king

Biblical stories have always been a favourite amongst theatregoers just ask Joseph with his dream coat and Godspell. The Prince of Egypt is no exception. The story – best known as an animated Dreamworks film – also makes for an epic and fun live theatre show, whether you’re watching it on the stage or streaming…

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Film Review: Quiz Lady wins the comedy round thanks to an energetic Sandra Oh

Though she’s known for her dramatic work primarily on television’s Grey’s Anatomy and Killing Eve, Sandra Oh enthusiasts are all too aware that the actress has a serious talent for the comedic flare; The Princess Diaries, anyone? But even still, the absolute let-loose mentality the actress adheres to for Quiz Lady is another level entirely,…

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Film Review: Black White and the Greys encapsulates the emotional push-and-pull we universally experienced throughout the pandemic

With the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements featured prominently, as well as the overall intertwined arc of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black White and the Greys is a film that eerily encapsulates the emotional push-and-pull we universally experienced. A relatable, at-times uncomfortable drama, Black White and the Greys is a collaboration between Marchelle Thurman and…

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Film Review: The Killer is a precise and darkly comedic antidote for genre expectation

With its tried and true premise, and graphic novel origins, one may expect The Killer to fall into the expected traps and tropes of the hitman subsect of the action genre.  And though that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, with David Fincher at the helm, as well as reuniting with his Se7en screenwriter Andrew…

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Film Review: Netflix’s opioid crime drama Pain Hustlers benefits from Emily Blunt’s passionate performance

There’s already been an abundance of films, television series and books that have detailed the greedy, unethical foundations of the pharmaceutical industry in America.  And whilst Netflix’s Pain Hustlers may not be the most investigative and favours entertainment over education, it’s a further insight into the peddling of the opioid crisis and acts as something…

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Series Review: Gen V evokes the unashamed spirit of The Boys whilst forging its own naughty personality

The very idea of The Boys expanding their IP with a spin-off series is almost a move that puts the show at risk of leaning into the Marvel/DC desperation the Eric Kripke-developed program delighted in mocking.  Thankfully, Gen V is much smarter than that, honing a personality that has plenty to say on human nature,…

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Series Review: The Continental: From the World of John Wick relates to the acclaimed action films only by name and not nature

After 4 films that amassed acclaim, both critically and commercially, it only makes sense that the world created within the John Wick films be continued in some form separate from the series itself; even though many are hoping the titular character’s rather definitive send-off in Chapter 4 is somehow retconned. Next year will see the…

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Series Review: Based On A True Story is a darkly comic satire on society’s obsession with true crime podcasts

To say society has a fascination with true crime would be putting it mildly.  No longer just contained to a select audience who got their grisly fix on news-skewered programs, true crime – or, more specifically, murder – is now a multi-million dollar business in itself, cornering the market on books, podcasts, docuseries’ and the…

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Series Review: Appetite delivers insight into the dark side of the gig economy

Short-form series Appetite, the only Australian production to be selected for in-competition screening at Canneseries, starts an important conversation on the effects of the gig economy through its bite-sized episodes. The mystery-comedy follows a group of housemates turned food-delivery riders who find themselves at the centre of a conspiracy as they unravel the truth behind…

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Series Review: Bupkis is a semi-autobiographical comedy series that defines the charm of creator Pete Davidson

Whilst some could accuse Pete Davidson of repeating (or, re-Pete-ing, sorry) himself in Bupkis, given that he already gave us an “inspired by” piece in 2020’s The King of Staten Island, his 8-episode dramedy series at least gives the actor/writer more breathing room to delve into what makes him tick and heighten the situation accordingly….

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Series Review: Dead Ringers is a deliciously depraved thriller led by a stunning, dual Rachel Weisz

You have to hand it to the creative team behind the new series Dead Ringers for having the gumption to remake a piece that was birthed from the mind of one David Cronenberg.  The darkly-driven filmmaker’s 1988 psychological thriller – which followed his 1986 horror success The Fly – starred Jeromy Irons in a dual…

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TV Review: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 remains richly addictive but feels lost in elaborate subplots

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has returned for its fifth and final season, after an uneven yet still charming fourth iteration, which left us with a slightly hopeful ending—Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) staring up at a snowy billboard featuring ‘The Gordon Ford Show’. For my first impression of this season, I watched the first four…

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First Impressions: Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies doesn’t quite ascend in the manner akin to the original musical

There’s something kind of ironic in Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies aiming to ramp up the female empowerment.  As seems to be the norm now for familiar property, the creators of this prequel series have essentially refashioned it for modern audiences and, in the process, made it feel like a separate entity entirely to…

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First Impressions: Rabbit Hole; Kiefer Sutherland’s ever-twisted action series provides effortless binge service

Flirting with the type of action-heavy chaos that served his character for 9 seasons on the surprisingly resilient 24, Kiefer Sutherland embraces coincidental lunacy and a healthy supply of narrative twists for Rabbit Hole to deliver on its promise on the type of genre fun born from political thrills and double-crossing intent. Given just how…

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TV Series Review: Class of ‘07 is a refreshing and riotously funny celebration of female friendship

Class of ‘07 is an apocalyptic comedy set during a ten-year reunion at an all-girls high school, which soon becomes the only surviving part of a sunken Sydney. It could have easily been terrible. The eight-episode Prime Video series had big ambitions, with an ensemble cast, multiple complex storylines, flashbacks, and an end of the…

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Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn: A Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special: Harley pushes love to the limit in this rip-roaring DC Valentine’s special

Harley Quinn : A Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special follows from the third season of Harley Quinn, airing on Binge in Australia and HBO Max in the USA. It’s a show that has prided itself on being outrageously vulgar, taking beloved DC characters and pushing them to the limit of adult animation humour. But they’re…

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Teen Wolf

Film Review : Teen Wolf: The Movie is back for one more bite!

It’s been five years since we said goodbye to the residents of Beacon Hills and the majority of its cast moved onto bigger projects allowing them to become household names. Bringing all these characters together again and having them moved from teens to adulthood was a big gamble to see if fans would return and…

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TV Review: The Last of Us is the perfect video game adaptation

Translating a video game to screen is no easy feat. There have been so many examples of terrible franchises that companies try to cross over and while some work (Sonic, Detective Pikachu) more often than not they fail spectacularly (Resident Evil on Netflix, Monster Hunter, Silent Hill). What these adaptations fail to understand is an…

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First Impressions: National Treasure: Edge of History needs to uncover more excitement in order to match the spirit of its filmic predecessors

Though it’s created by Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, the screenwriters of the two National Treasure movies, and has links through the casting of guest-spotted performers Harvey Keitel and Justin Bartha, National Treasure: Edge of History has very little of the ultimate charm and adventurous spirit of its predecessors. The films – 2004’s original and its…

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Tim Minchin

Digital Review: Tim Minchin: Back delivers on the old songs, new songs and f**k you songs

Chameleon comedian and musician, Tim Minchin has had some busy years working in theatre and on films. After an eight-year break away from live touring, he returned to the live stage with his show, Back, only for Covid-19 to hit. Filmed live at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in the UK, Back is a clever blend…

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Six episodes in, is The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power worth watching?

If you have been glued to Amazon’s new show The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power each week, you wouldn’t be alone. The first five episodes have firmly established the Second Age setting, filled with a lot of back story and establishment of Numenor, Southlands, Khazan-dum and Lindon. It feels all of this…

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First Impressions: Amazon’s The Rings of Power is a sensual feast of Tolkien goodness

Set in the middle age of Middle Earth, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and the One Ring, Amazon Prime Video’s new series The Rings of Power. After watching the first two episodes, it is clear the studio squeezed every cent out of the reported $465 million dollars for its first season…

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TV Review: This is Going to Hurt is hilarious, dramatic & pain-free

There aren’t many shows that can successfully straddle the lines between comedy and drama. But This is Going to Hurt is not most programs. The British dramedy based on Adam Kay’s memoir will dazzle audiences with its sharp writing, humour and pathos. Ben Whishaw stars as a young doctor working for the National Health Service….

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