One and a Half Stars

Book Review: Christine Féret-Fleury’s The Girl Who Reads on the Metro fails to adequately celebrate the magical power of books

December 27, 2019

For a book that attempts to celebrate the magical power of the medium, The Girl Who Reads on the Metro is certainly underwhelming. Although written by a prolific French author, the results appear lost in translation. What could have been an exciting and energetic meditation on the restorative power of these delightful things, is instead, […]

Read More

Film Review: Terry Gilliam’s passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (UK/France/Spain, 2018) is surprisingly void of any heart

April 10, 2019

“And now…after 25 years in the making…and unmaking” So says the wry on-screen text preceding Terry Gilliam‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a near-three decade trek for the eccentric filmmaker whose hope of bringing his off-kilter adventure-comedy to fruition has languished in development hell since its beginnings in 1989. Once intended to be a […]

Read More

Film Review: Night School (USA, 2018) is a film that will have you begging for an expulsion

September 27, 2018

Night School is a film with a very well-worn premise that has been done many times before (Billy Madison and Old School to name a few), but there factors here that could make the film transcend my meagre expectations. One is the paring of Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, two of the biggest comedy stars right […]

Read More

Film Review: The Mountain Between Us (USA, 2017) is a romantic survival tale submerged in cheese

October 12, 2017

WARNING: This review may contain heavy traces of cheese. Before I start off this review, let me just make this one thing clear. I do like romantic films. This year alone, we have great films like Their Finest, The Big Sick, Our God’s Country and Call Me By Your Name. As much as I cannot […]

Read More

Film Review: Paris Can Wait (USA, 2016) proves a dull exercise of endurance

July 20, 2017

When it comes to names in the film industry, none are more venerable than that of the Coppola’s. Illustriously crafting some of the greatest films in history, from Francis exalting works such as Apocalypse Now to The Godfather and more recently with his daughter’s Sofia success at Cannes with The Beguiled, the name brings an […]

Read More

Sydney Film Festival Review: A Modern Man (Denmark/Germany, 2017) leaves you asking, “Who is Charlie Siem?”

June 10, 2017

A Modern Man is a documentary about a handsome, contemporary classical violinist named Charlie Siem. But who is Messer Siem? Unfortunately that question is not really answered in this film because this British-Norwegian musician puts up a wall that is largely impenetrable. This film is directed by Eva Mulvad (The Good Life). It begins with […]

Read More

Film Review: Below Her Mouth (Canada, 2016) is a steamy lesbian love story

April 26, 2017

Put in simple terms, Below Her Mouth is a story about a girl meets a girl except that the latter is engaged to a boy. It’s a tender lesbian romance that showcases the sexual awakening of one of its lead characters. But it’s also one that could do with a lot more conversation and a […]

Read More

Film Review: Rings (USA, 2016) is dead on arrival

March 5, 2017

After spending the better part of two years playing musical chairs with the release schedule, Rings arrives with a considerable thud to remind us how unnecessary certain sequels are. Presenting a messy storyline that wants to both adhere to the formula of Gore Verbinski‘s (supremely superior) 2002 original The Ring and place its own stamp on […]

Read More

Film Review: XXX: The Return of Xander Cage (USA, 2017) comes up short in nearly every aspect

January 28, 2017

“Kick some ass, get the girl, and try to look dope while doing it” That inane piece of dialogue is essentially what xXx: The Return of Xander Cage bases its existence on. Never a film that was going to be considered good, but at the very least could have been fun, this useless threequel comes […]

Read More

Film Review: Collateral Beauty (USA, 2016) wastes a phenomenal cast

January 8, 2017

With Christmas time comes awards season, and every so often a film comes along that attempts to tackle both markets – deliver a heartfelt drama set around the holidays that will bring people into the cinema after they’ve finished exchanging gifts; while voters cast the film on their award season ballot. Such a forced ploy […]

Read More

DVD Review: Take Down (USA/UK, 2016) is a contrived thriller that tries too hard to be Brat Camp meets Hunger Games

January 4, 2017

Take Down (aka Billionaire Ransom) is what you would get if you made cardboard cut-outs characters and put them in a world that was like Brat Camp-meets-The Hunger Games. The film is a thriller that is short on character development and suspense. It means that what ensues feels rather slow, tedious and contrived. The story […]

Read More

DVD Review: Knock Knock (USA, 2015)

December 15, 2015

It’s a real shame that Keanu Reeves opted to follow-up his acclaimed actioner John Wick with Knock Knock, a deliriously campy, sexed-up thriller that could quite possibly be the most embarrassing feature Reeves has had the displeasure of involving himself with. Toeing the camp line is always a risk with any given actor but, let’s face […]

Read More

Film Review: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (USA, 2015)

November 4, 2015

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse Director Christopher Landen is perhaps best known for writing four back-to-back films in the now thankfully defunct (apparently) Paranormal Activity franchise (he also directed The Marked Ones). Knowing that, you’d be forgiven for going into this horror-comedy with low expectations, even when considering the film’s title and trailer. It’s […]

Read More

Sydney Underground Film Festival Review: Yakuza Apocalypse (Japan, 2015)

September 21, 2015

Director Takashi Miike is a workaholic, with 98 credits to his name on IMDb since 1991. A genre master, he has a devoted fan base; a group to which I admit I don’t belong, not because I’m not a fan, but simply because I’ve only seen one other of his films, Ace Attorney (2012), which […]

Read More

Film Review: Kill Me Three Times (USA, 2014)

September 7, 2015

Kill Me Three Times is a black comedy/thriller that sees professional assassin Charlie Wolfe (Simon Pegg) tangled up in a web of deception tying together the rural lives of a dentist (Sullivan Stapleton), a bartender (Callan Mulvey) and his lover (Alice Braga) in Western Australia. Unfortunately, despite the messy fun of this premise and the […]

Read More

Film Review: Seventh Son (M) (USA, 2015)

March 5, 2015

Adapted from Joseph Delaney’s book The Spook’s Apprentice the first book in The Wardstone Chronicles this film provides yet more YA fantasy fodder, but sadly doesn’t live up to any promises. It’s not for lack of trying but more that its sheer ridiculousness is just all too much to bear in one film. Master Gregory […]

Read More

Film Review: The Wedding Ringer (USA, 2015)

January 22, 2015

The Wedding Ringer is a kind of terrible fun. The film has a direct-to-DVD feel that isn’t as enjoyable as The Wedding Singer but it’s also not as torturous as seeing your enemy get married. Ultimately, it’s a high-octane series of silly shenanigans that help redeem some of the film’s flatter moments. The movie is […]

Read More

DVD Review: Imaginaerum by Nightwish (Finland & Canada, 2012)

November 21, 2014

The film Imaginaerum is like opening the doors of perception and entering a music video by Finnish metal band, Nightwish. The movie is based on their seventh studio album and concept record. Imaginaerum seems to have the same trappings as most rock operas once they are adapted for the screen. That is that while the visuals […]

Read More

Film Review: Hector & The Search For Happiness (UK, Germany, Canada & South Africa, 2014)

October 13, 2014

Hector & The Search For Happiness is about a psychiatrist who sets out on an overseas journey in order to find joy. The idea is hardly a new one, especially as the self-help genre has already seen the likes of Eat Pray Love and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, among others. Unfortunately, Hector’s story […]

Read More

Film Review: Sex Tape (MA15+) (USA, 2014)

July 17, 2014

High-concept films are so called because they have a premise that can be easily summed up (and sold) in one sentence or so, and many of the most successful comedies of recent years fall under that banner. A group of friends must retrace their drunken night in order to find their missing friend. A laidback […]

Read More

Blu-ray Review: 9 Songs (UK, 2004)

July 13, 2014

Director Michael Winterbottom is no stranger to showcasing sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll in his work, as one of his most famous films to date is 24 Hour Party People. Four years after that was released came 9 Songs, a movie once described as the most explicit one in British film history. The controversial […]

Read More

TV Review: True Blood Season 7 Episodes 1 and 2 (USA, 2014)

July 2, 2014

So we have come to the end of what was once one of the most popular cable shows on TV. Over the years, the quantity of viewership has regressed right along with the quality of writing, with the show’s relevance relying too much on it’s often likable characters to carry some ridiculously lame plots. Over […]

Read More

Film Review: Sex After Kids (Canada, 2013)

May 22, 2014

There was a recent study which found that newborns often cry during the night because they’re trying to prevent their parents from reproducing again. This is the same sort of environment that the light comedy, Sex After Kids with tag line, “By any means necessary” comes from. This film explores sexuality and the social issues […]

Read More

Film Review: Scarecrow (MA15+) (USA, 2013)

March 16, 2014

Scarecrow is another disenchanting cookie cutter, urban legend based horror TV movie, in a long list of similar movies under Director Sheldon Wilson’s belt. It’s not that the actors aren’t semi-decent, in fact there are some familiar names amongst the cast, Lacey Chabert from Party of Five anyone? Or that the special effects aren’t top […]

Read More

Film Review: 47 Ronin (M) (USA, 2014)

January 19, 2014

It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen Keanu Reeves in a Hollywood blockbuster; it’s been even longer since he’s been in a decent film. Reeves’ famously silent, wooden way of acting has always been strangely endearing, but in Carl Rinsch’s 47 Ronin, his presence is lacking as he quietly broods throughout the film, occasionally […]

Read More

Film Review: R.I.P.D. (M) (USA, 2013)

September 16, 2013

What do you get when you mash up a classic buddy cop duo film with some sci-fi supernatural elements and the director of a comic book spin-off film? You get R.I.P.D. which is basically like Men In Black, Ghostbusters and aforementioned director’s comic film Red but sadly doesn’t come anywhere near the quality of any of those. When I saw the […]

Read More