Three and a Half Stars

Leonor Will Never Die is an enjoyably oddball and whimsical ode to cinematic escapism: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 24, 2022

Leonor Will Never Die tells the story of its titular character Leonor Reyes (Sheila Francisco), a once successful screenwriter in the Filipino film industry. Now, she is an aging mother who is struggling to keep her household in check. Desperately trying to recapture past glories as a path to escapism, she discovers a newspaper advertisement […]

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Film Review: 13 Minutes channels your favourite childhood disaster flicks

December 2, 2021

Remember those natural disaster films from the ’90s? You know, Deep Impact? Volcano? Dante’s Peak? Twister? Well, if the recent Amazon hit Greenland has whet your appetite for disaster, then 13 Minutes will also satisfy your urge. Writer/Director Lindsay Gossling has assembled an all-star cast – including Anne Heche (to bring us back to Volcano for a […]

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After Love rises above the sum of its parts to deliver an affecting drama: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 11, 2021

“We all break the rules we set for ourselves in the end.” – Genvieve (played by Nathalie Richard) Joanna Scanlan stars as Mary, a widow who is undergoing a period of grief after the sudden death of her sea captain husband Ahmed (Nasser Memarzia). Going through his belongings to attain some sort of closure, she […]

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The Justice of Bunny King is a stellar directorial debut from Gaysorn Thavat; Essie Davis and Thomasin McKenzie shine: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 11, 2021

“You never even asked me if it was true!” – Tonyah (played by Thomasin McKenzie) Essie Davis stars as the titular role of Bunny King; a poverty-stricken mother of two who is struggling to fight the social system to get her kids back. During her battle, she crosses paths with her niece Tonyah, who is […]

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Film Review: V/H/S 94 gives the franchise a much-needed grisly reboot, with all the right snuff

September 29, 2021

The V/H/S franchise has returned. The franchise revolves around the subgenre of found-footage and is led by the renowned horror genre website Bloody Disgusting. So far, we have had three anthologies headed by numerous acclaimed directors including Gareth Evans, Timo Tjahjanto, Ti West, David Bruckner, Adam Wingard and many more. The critical reception of the […]

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Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is a bewildering but worthwhile genre-mashup: TIFF 2021 Review

September 15, 2021

Set in ‘80s West Java, Indonesia, Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash tells the story of Ajo Kawir (Marthino Lio), a tenacious street brawler who is famous for his fearless attitude. Through his many manly acts of destruction and machismo lies a condition that fuels it all – his sexual impotence. Even with numerous […]

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Film Review: Fatale is an entertainingly frivolous throwback to the cinematic thrillers of the 1990’s

May 10, 2021

Fatale tells the story of Derrick Tyler (Michael Ealy), an eager sports agent who seemingly has the perfect life. A rising business, his loving wife Tracie (Damaris Lewis), immense wealth; it sounds like the perfect success story. However, underneath the façade lies a crumbling marriage on the rocks. Through the behest of his friend Rafe […]

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Film Review: Cliff Walkers is a stylish and visually exciting cinematic chase from acclaimed filmmaker Zhang Yimou

May 3, 2021

Set in Northern China in 1931, Cliff Walkers follows the story of four Soviet-trained Chinese agents who are tasked to find an informer who has escaped from a location that was occupied by the Japanese, who used it for nefarious purposes like torture. Their mission is to evade capture and make it to Harbin so […]

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Book Review: Laura Bates’ Men Who Hate Women is a fiery look at extreme misogyny

April 27, 2021

Laura Bates is an author, educator and the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project. In interviews she states that she’s witnessed a change in the young men she’s been teaching; and that she has more hostility and resistance to her lessons about feminism and sexism. In identifying this, she had the kernels of an idea […]

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Film Review: Sister (China, 2021) is an emotionally stirring & thought-provoking drama

April 22, 2021

Sister tells the story of An Ran (Zhang Zifeng), a nurse who is on a strong career path to become a doctor and move out her home and go to Beijing as a full-time student. She is estranged from her family due to the ongoing fact that her parents always preferred a son over her. […]

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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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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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Sundance Film Festival Review: Try Harder! is a delightful documentary about the high school experience and overcoming impossible expectations

February 2, 2021

Starting on a personal note, when I heard about the documentary Try Harder and its premise, I had traumatic flashbacks to my own time as a student. The relentless studying, the overbearing parenting, the exaggerated expectations, the regrettably embarrassing actions; it all came flooding back. That is when I knew that I had to watch […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Don’t ignore the Knocking! Go see it for the thrills and Cecilia Milocco’s performance!

February 1, 2021

Knocking follows the story of Molly (Cecilia Milocco), a woman who is returning to the outside world after being discharged from a psychiatric hospital after she was admitted due to her involvement in a past traumatic event. She moves into an apartment complex and is starting to experience things that she has not come into […]

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Koko-di Koko-da

Film Review: Koko-di Koko-da is a loopy descent into madness and grief

December 8, 2020

Koko-di Koko-da starts off in an oddly jovial fashion. We are taken into a forest and there is a small troupe of people – visually influenced by nursery rhymes – dancing in unison while singing merrily. Yet not all is as it seems; and it sets the tone for what is to come: an eerie […]

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Nicolas Cage

Film Review: Jiu Jitsu is much like Nicolas Cage; scrappy, eager-to-please and a lot of fun

November 20, 2020

Jiu Jitsu stars Alain Moussi as Jake Barnes, an amnesiac military man who is on the run from an unseen force that is attacking him. Sustaining a severe head injury in the process, he is taken in and nursed back to health by the military. He is interrogated severely by Myra (Marie Avgeropoulos); who believes […]

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Film Review: Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) is a genuine crowd-pleaser of a LGBTIQ rom-com

November 19, 2020

Sophie Hawkshaw stars as Ellie, a high school student captain who has a healthy relationship with her overprotective mother Erica (Marta Dusseldorp) and feels content with her existence via her good grades and her source of inspiration through her subject for her assignment Faith Underwood (a cameo by Chiara Gizzi). The main thrust of the […]

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Film Review: The Broken Hearts Gallery is a predictable yet winning rom-com with a star performance from Geraldine Viswanathan

October 9, 2020

Romantic comedies are a bit of a conundrum in terms of execution. In comparison to other genres (and oddly enough, the action genre), it has gone through the most criticism. While people can get into the fantasy of said genre, others criticize the genre for its lack of realism and plausibility. Case in point, The […]

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TIFF Review: Director Francois Ozon returns to his roots with Summer of 85

September 24, 2020

Queer cinema has come through quite well over these past few years. We have had great examples like Call Me By Your Name, Love, Simon and Moonlight; foreign entries like BPM (Beats Per Minute), the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman and BAFTA-winning The Handmaiden and hidden indie gems like Princess Cyd, Beach Rats and God’s Own Country. All of these films have had critical acclaim and they […]

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TIFF Review: Those who are adventurous horror seekers would do quite well with Violation

September 21, 2020

Trigger warning: Sexual abuse One of the reasons why cinema is so well received is that it can figuratively transport you into another world. In addition to that, it can be a way of wish fulfilment. Who wouldn’t want to be a kick-ass hero? Who would not want to be in a fairy tale romance? […]

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In The Time of Foxes

Book Review: Take a trip around the world in Jo Lennan’s In the Time of Foxes

September 3, 2020

A film director in Hackney with a fox problem in her garden; an escapee from a cult in Japan; a Sydney cafe-owner rekindling an old flame; an English tutor who gets too close to an oligarch; a journalist on Mars, face-to-face with his fate. These are just some of the characters and situations which readers will […]

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Book Review: Return to Bronwyn Eley’s stunning fantasy world with Riven

August 6, 2020

With Lord Rennard dead, Kaylan is on the run. Bound to a powerful Relic she has little control over, she’s headed for Stynos, the one place she might find an ally, and someone who can help her manage this dark and dangerous power. But with Edriast guards on her tail, restless rebels watching from the […]

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Album of the Week: The Beths take the plunge on Jump Rope Gazers (2020 LP)

July 9, 2020

  When The Beths released their debut album Future Me Hates Me in 2018, I thought they were one of the more refreshing and interesting bands of the past couple years. With harmonies aplenty, soaring guitars and ever-so-wordy and clever lyrics, the New Zealand four piece were seemingly bound to become everyone’s second favourite band […]

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The Way Back

Film Review: The Way Back is a great showcase for Ben Affleck

March 5, 2020

The sports drama formula in cinema has been the most overused and non-innovative formula in cinema lately. Ever since the early 2000s, Walt Disney Pictures have made a long string of films with a fixed formula: inspirational movies about triumphing over adversity that are mostly based on true stories. Despite the critical reception of the […]

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Altered Carbon

Netflix Review: How does Altered Carbon Season 2 compare to the first?

March 4, 2020

Back in February 2018 Netflix launched the streaming series adaptation of Richard K Morgan’s novel of the same name, Altered Carbon. We called it a nuanced and detailed Blade Runner for the small screen. The series sees humanity’s evolution into a digitised age, where memories and human consciousness can be backed up onto a digital […]

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Film Review: Richard Jewell is a mostly successful return to form for Eastwood as Hauser shines

February 13, 2020

There are few better ways of getting audiences into the cinema than to provide an underdog story. Even superhero films such as Avengers: Endgame (2019) are in their very nature an underdog story; triumphing over adversity and injustice. But the icing on the cake for such stories is that if the film is based on […]

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Turn Left At Venus

Book Review: Explore the secret life of an author in Inez Baranay’s Turn Left At Venus

January 30, 2020

Ada is dying. Watched over by her new nurse, Jay, Ada is preparing for the end. Ada has lived all over the world. Sydney, Bali, San Francisco. And the Old World she doesn’t remember, save for the boat journey as a child when she first met Leyla. But, Jay has no interest in Leyla, because […]

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Sydney Festival Live Review: Poof! Secrets of a Magician proves James Galea is a card boasting humour that is far from sleight

January 23, 2020

Magic is so often about secrets, smoke and mirrors, but James Galea also adds a dash of silliness to the mix. The hip youngster projects a cool and calm exterior that is so charming. He also has an irreverent sense of humour; his tongue is placed firmly in cheek. In Poof! Secrets of a Magician […]

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Fujifilm X-A7 Camera Review: The Best Value Entry Level Mirrorless

January 19, 2020

Fujifilm’s X-A7 may be intended as a step up from smartphones for new photography enthusiasts, but it goes so far beyond just being a phone alternative. With a fully articulating large screen, lightweight body, mic input and face and eye detection autofocus, it’s a strong contender for an affordable and effective content creator’s or vlogger’s […]

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