Four and a Half Stars

Alliance Francaise French Film Festival Review: Revenge is a beautifully realized and pointedly subversive piece of exploitation

March 2, 2019

It isn’t hard to figure out that the reason why a lot of people watch movies is because of wish fulfillment. Who wouldn’t want to be in a fairy tale romance? Who wouldn’t want to be a kick-ass hero? But another level of wish fulfillment is to see people get revenge on those who have […]

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Album of the Week: Pond – Tasmania (2019 LP)

February 27, 2019

We’re a matter of days away from the release of Pond’s eighth studio album, Tasmania. Pond declares Tasmania something of a sister missive to their critically acclaimed 2017 album The Weather. The thematics of both albums are kindred in many respects. Tasmania explores place, history, hints of colonialism, and nature’s unfortunate submission towards humans – themes that […]

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Live Review: The Cat Empire + The Meltdown – Zoo Twilights, Melbourne (15.02.19)

February 17, 2019

After a short run with the resident DJ, The Meltdown opened the evening’s affair, with a funk driven soul bias the multi-piece band a perfect thematic warm up for genre-vague Cat Empire. Their music was fun, but in a more muted way than what the Cat Empire provided, allowing for the crowd to ease into […]

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Album Review: Mavis Staples – Live in London (2019 LP)

February 8, 2019

As a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Kennedy Centre Honoree and with seventy years of performing under her belt Mavis Staples has in my opinion well and truly reached ‘National Treasure’ status in the United States. She is also one of the few remaining living links to the Civil Rights Movement, and a period […]

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Live Review and Photo Gallery: Soccer Mommy + Kelso – Howler, Melbourne (07.01.19)

January 9, 2019

Falling in with the other major internationals on sideshow duty Soccer Mommy finished the Melbourne; and final show of her two leg Australia tour. The show was filled with many fun moments as well as Soccer Mommy’s (Sophie Allison) appreciation towards her Melbourne fans who filled the Howler in Brunswick for the near sold out […]

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Live Review: Beyond the Valley Day Four – Lardner Park (31.12.18)

January 3, 2019

The final day of Beyond the Valley continued the trend of an eclectic festival focussing on the enjoyment of all the participants with countless acts across multiple genres as electronic heavyweights Duke Dumont, Dom Dolla and Yotto stood alongside Indie rock juggernaut The Kooks and Australian sweethearts Ball Park Music. The final day hit the […]

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Live Review: Polish Club tears up the Gasometer stage for their closing show in Melbourne

December 17, 2018

Saturday night was the concluding show for Polish Club‘s ‘Get Some Clarity’ tour and there is no doubt that the boys wholeheartedly went out on a high. In October, the rock duo (David Novak and John-Henry Pajak) released the first glimpse of their forthcoming second album with their latest single ‘Clarity’ – a mammoth track […]

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Live Review: Holy Holy + Clews + Bri Clark – Mojos, Fremantle (29.11.18)

December 2, 2018

Thursday evening saw Holy Holy’s Faces tour hit Western Australia, with a show at Fremantle’s Mojo’s, the first of three in the state. Joining the band were Sydney indie rockers Clews and Perth local Bri Clark.  The evening kicked off to a rather muted start with Bri Clark taking to the stage, armed just with […]

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Album Review: Muse’s Simulation Theory (2018 LP) is a masterful sensory sledgehammer

November 11, 2018

There’s an indescribable level of anxiety that comes with being a Muse fan any time a new album is announced. It’s the heady mixture of excitement, overwhelmingly peppered with fear of the unknown. It’s been a divided fandom for as far back as I can recall, with old-school versus the progressives, and there’s no shortage […]

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Album Review: Oh Pep! – I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You… (2018 LP)

November 1, 2018

Melbourne Duo Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs, known as Oh Pep!, are back again. Since they first met in a performing arts school in 2009, the girls have brought out two EPs, one full-length album, and concluded several international tours. Now the duo follow on from their critically acclaimed debut Stadium Cake with I Wasn’t Only […]

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Book Review: Jessica Townsend throws open the doors to the Wundrous Society in Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow

November 1, 2018

After escaping Jackalfax for good, and discovering her powers as a Wundersmith, twelve-year-old Morrigan Crow is excited to finally be starting her training at the elite Wundrous Society. But, others within the Society are convinced Morrigan is dangerous, and with Wunsoc members going missing, her patron Jupiter North doesn’t have time to help her navigate […]

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Album Review: Thelonious Monk – Mønk (2018 LP)

October 30, 2018

2018 really has been the year for Jazz treasure hunters, with the release of not one, but two, previously unreleased recordings from jazz’s most influential artists – John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. Back in June we saw the release of Coltrane’s Both Direction at Once: The Lost Album; and now we have Mønk – a […]

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Film Review: Teen Titans GO! To the Movies (USA, 2018) is the breath of levity DC needs right now

September 9, 2018

There are children’s animated movies made exclusively for kids, which generally lead to a rather torturous experience for parents and caretakers alike (I’m looking at you, Hotel Transylvania 3). Then there is something deceptively ingenious and utterly delightful as Teen Titans GO! To the Movies, which successfully entertains both young and old, whilst also offering up a […]

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DVD Review: Why Australia needs more shows like Mystery Road

August 21, 2018

The secret’s out about the excellent drama/thriller series, Mystery Road. It’s actually a gripping, Australian detective story that sees the character, Jay Swan reprised from Ivan Sen’s films, Mystery Road and Goldstone. This time around the crime takes place in the small outback town of Patterson where the locals are elusive and tight-lipped about what […]

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Book Review: Adam Hills’ Best Foot Forward proves that he is an elder statesman of comedy

August 20, 2018

Adam Hills is the nicest guy in comedy. Thanks to his memoir, Best Foot Forward, he can also claim to be a “top bloke” in the world of publishing. In this book he reflects on both his personal life and his career, offering up lots of funny anecdotes and inspirational stories. As with his stand-up, […]

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Book Review: The True Colour of the Sea is a remarkable new collection from Australia’s master of the short form

August 14, 2018

Fans of Robert Drewe are in for a treat, with his newest collection, The True Colour of the Sea, published late last month by Hamish Hamilton. The eleven stories, all themed around coastal living, the ocean and the Australian fascination with it are all written in Drewe’s signature style. Each one showcases that Robert Drewe […]

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Film Review: Summer 1993 (Spain, 2017) is an illuminating and nuanced look at the mindset of a child in mourning

August 1, 2018

It is perfectly reasonable to believe that the majority of the world sees cinema as a temporary reprieve of the burdens of the outside world. We all see enjoyably bombastic things that would never occur in real-life like dragons, magic, aliens, sea creatures; features that are proven to provide examples of powerful cinema. But on […]

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Film Review: Her Sound, Her Story (Australia, 2018) is an eye-opening look at women in Australian music

July 16, 2018

In the nineties, The Go-Betweens’ Lindy Morrison made the documentary, Australian Women In Rock & Pop Music- Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves. Fast forward to 2018 and the film Her Sound, Her Story documents many of the same issues that are still relevant. Gender disparity in the music industry is a pervasive issue with […]

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First Impressions: ABC’s Mystery Road is your new favourite police drama & one that will leave you on the edge of your seat

May 9, 2018

Airing on the ABC next month, Mystery Road is a six part crime series and spin-off of Ivan Sen’s excellent films, Mystery Road and Goldstone. The show looks poised to be our new favourite mystery/thriller and a highlight of 2018’s programming. The show sees Aaron Pedersen reprise his role as the cowboy detective known as Jay […]

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Film Review: A Quiet Place (USA, 2018) is masterful genre filmmaking that soars leaps and bounds above expectation

April 4, 2018

Even when working off a plot device that doesn’t exactly test the limits of originality, a clever script and utter dedication from its workers can transform the familiar to something beyond our expectations.  Such is the case with A Quiet Place, an impossibly eerie chiller that presents civilisation as a fallen project, and those who […]

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SXSW Film Review: Ethan Hawke’s Blaze (USA, 2018) is a powerful and effective tribute to a musical great

March 24, 2018

In the first scenes of Ethan Hawke’s new film Blaze, a biopic about oft Austin based, relatively obscure American musician Blaze Foley, we find out that this story doesn’t have a happy ending. Foley’s life was one cut violently short. It’s a choice that Hawke said was made to keep the film from being emotionally manipulative, […]

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DVD Review: The Handmaid’s Tale first season hooks you in and keeps you wanting more

March 23, 2018

The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a dystopian future unlike those we are used to seeing. There aren’t any flying cars or amazing technology that you’d assume to see here. There is nothing but solid regression, simplifying life back to its roots. In fact, it appears that everything has gone backwards in the worst possible […]

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SXSW Film Review: The World Before Your Feet (USA, 2018) is like the greatest ever walk in the park

March 14, 2018

Ringo Starr told people to stop and smell the roses. Ferris Bueller also reminded us that life moves pretty fast and encouraged us to stop or we’d miss it. Matt Green is someone who is doing just that. This 37-year-old former engineer is walking every street in New York City’s five boroughs. It’s a journey […]

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SXSW Film Review: American Animals (USA, 2018) is a masterful, original take on the heist & true crime genres

March 10, 2018

American Animals is the scripted film debut from writer/director Bart Layton, who walked away with a BAFTA for his debut effort, the documentary The Imposter. Knowing he comes from a documentary background is unsurprising when you see this film, which screened at Sundance earlier this year to a good deal of critical acclaim, and continued […]

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TV Review: Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Impresses With Ample Comedy, Horror, and Absurdity

February 28, 2018

Ash vs Evil Dead has returned for its third season, proving that this classic franchise still has a lot left in it as long as Bruce Campbell’s Ash is blasting away Deadites. When this season opens, Ash, Kelly, and Pablo have been somewhat moving on with their lives since supposedly ridding the world of evil, […]

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Film Review: Phantom Thread (USA, 2017) is a romantic comedy disguised as a period drama

February 2, 2018

I must be a really bad film critic since I have realised another error of my ways. After other mistakes, like never seeing a Agnes Varda film before until Faces Places, here’s another I must confess and rectify: I have never seen any of the works of Daniel Day-Lewis. Considered to be the best actor […]

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Film Review: The Shape of Water (USA, 2017) is a breathtaking, big screen spectacle

January 16, 2018

At the Golden Globes last weekend, Director Guillermo Del Toro accepted a long overdue Best Director trophy for his latest effort The Shape of Water, which has been something of a surprise award season favourite around the world, topping both the Globes and BAFTA nominations lists (among others). In the speech, which brought the film’s […]

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Film Review: Call Me By Your Name (USA, 2017) is a loving and fruitful experience

December 19, 2017

As of writing this review, the Australian Parliament has passed the law, allowing same-sex marriage. What great timing, right? Anyway, Call Me By Your Name. This film has been gathering up critical buzz ever since it made its premiere splash at Sundance back in January. Then it showed at many other film festivals like Toronto […]

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Film Review: Paddington 2 (UK, 2017) guarantees to put a smile on your face

December 14, 2017

I don’t know how the first Paddington film became as good as it is. Considering that the trailers made it look awful and the late cast changes in regards to who provides the voice of the titular bear, I was actually expecting the worst. But to everyone’s shock, it turned out to be one of […]

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Film Review: The Disaster Artist (USA, 2017) is a profound display of fearlessness

December 12, 2017

Tommy Wiseau’s laughably bad The Room has such a strong and passionate cult following that the “disasterpiece” is still being discussed, screened and dissected 14 years after its limited cinematic release. There aren’t many films that can boast that kind of staying power, existing in a singular universe where something is so bad it takes […]

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