Three Stars

Film Review: That’s Not Me (Australia, 2017) is a feel good film about disappointment

September 20, 2017

Riding on their wave of festival success, filmmaking couple Alice Foulcher and Gregory Erdstein’s debut feature film That’s Not Me shows just what you can achieve with a low budget and bucket loads of passion. Shot on a budget of $60,000, That’s Not Me follows the day to day slog of Polly (Alice Foulcher), a […]

Read More

Film Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (UK, 2017) is an enjoyable ride but does it overstay its welcome?

September 20, 2017

When Kingsman: The Secret Service debuted in 2015, it became a critical darling and surprise commercial hit due to strong word of mouth, and a truly original and exciting approach to the spy (and in many respects, the superhero / comic book) genre. Funny, irreverent and wholly memorable, it stands apart as one of the […]

Read More

Film Review: American Assassin (USA, 2017) doesn’t break convention but it gets the job done

September 14, 2017

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A loose cannon who doesn’t play by the rules, but dammit if he doesn’t get the job done, is recruited by the CIA to assist in taking out some “very bad people who plan on doing some very bad things“… American Assassin is not the type of film […]

Read More

TV Review: Amazon gives The Tick a taste of the modern day Superhero

September 5, 2017

Attention Planet Earth: The Wild Blue Yonder has arrived; The front line in the seemingly endless list of franchises that fate and television executives have seen fit to revive. Amazon Prime subscribers, you face … The Tick!

Read More

Review: Marvel’s Inhumans may be game changing for IMAX, but is it a missed opportunity?

September 1, 2017

At the end of this month, Inhumans, the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe will kick off as a television series on ABC TV in the US – the home of the successful Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series, which will enter its fifth season later this year. Today, Inhumans – the third ABC studios series […]

Read More

Film Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard (USA, 2017) is a funny, familiar buddy-cop ride

August 29, 2017

Sometimes it’s not always necessary for a film to be unique or spectacular or innovative for it to be enjoyable. Sometimes all we need is for it to be fun and ridiculous and easily digestible for it to provide that escapism. The Hitman’s Bodyguard brings together two particular Hollywood actors who have their own distinct […]

Read More

Film Review: Maudie (Canada, 2016) is a colourful portrait which proves that love & talent can be found in unlikely places

August 21, 2017

If Forrest Gump where a female, Canadian folk artist you would get Maudie. This film is a biopic about the late artist, Maud Lewis who was born a “little different” and whose story is one that is likely to charm some theatregoers. This movie is ultimately a rather romanticised view of her creative and impoverished […]

Read More

Film Review: The Dark Tower (USA, 2017) is tolerable for casual viewers but disappointing for die-hard King fans

August 17, 2017

Full disclosure, I have not read any of the Stephen King The Dark Tower series of books. As somebody who is unaware of the source material, I was going into the film adaptation of The Dark Tower with the simple expectation of wanting to enjoy a film, to be transported to another place, be invested […]

Read More

Film Review: The Time Of Their Lives (UK, 2017) is a pleasant road trip & light comedy about two unlikely friends

August 7, 2017

The Time Of Their Lives is a film about two unlikely friends getting a second chance at life. It’s one where you feel like if it had had its own second chance it could have been excellent, but instead will have to settle for being just good. This is ultimately a light, comedy caper and […]

Read More

Film Review: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (FRA/USA, 2017) is pure visual escapism but hampered by unconvincing casting

August 7, 2017

When visionary filmmaker Luc Besson first picked up a copy of the French graphic novel series Valerian and Laureline by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres he was inspired to bring that story to cinema screens and has been working towards that goal for most of his life. Coincidentally Mezieres was hired by Besson to assist […]

Read More

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 5 “Burning in Water…” introduces a new conflict

June 26, 2017

Coming off one of their strongest episodes, the self-contained “100” with the focus solely on a returning Daniel (Rubén Blades), Fear the Walking Dead pull us back into life at the supposedly safe Broke Jaw Ranch where Madison is holed up with Nick and Alicia, trying to prove their value to the suspicious community. “Burning […]

Read More

Sydney Film Festival Review: Phantom Boy (France, 2015) is oddly engaging and effortlessly weird

June 19, 2017

Whilst animation in film has evolved immensely over the last 20 years, there’s something immediately charming about Phantom Boy‘s deliberately flat and simple palleted aesthetic.  It may lack the emotional weight of the technically more refined Pixar offerings, but this film’s distinct look feels organically melded to its somber mentality. Coming courtesy of French directing […]

Read More

Film Review: Rough Night (USA, 2017) brings plenty of laughs from a strong cast in a disjointed dark comedy

June 15, 2017

Lazily touted in headlines as “The Hangover for women” by writers who couldn’t possibly find another film to compare it to from the last decade (Bachelorette or Bridesmaids immediately come to mind, both of which were also compared to The Hangover at the time of release – hell, even Bad Moms was!), Rough Night is […]

Read More

Sydney Film Festival Review: To Stay Alive – A Method (Netherlands, 2016) is a quiet and thoughtful piece with Iggy Pop & Michel Houellebecq

June 14, 2017

Some people subscribe to the theory that you’ve got to suffer for your art. Two such individuals include the Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop and the best-selling French novelist, Michel Houellebecq. In To Stay Alive – A Method the pair share a meeting of minds in a film that is artistic, experimental and semi-autobiographical and […]

Read More

Sydney Film Festival Review: The Public Image Is Rotten (USA, 2017) is a thorny look at the love & defiance of Johnny the PIL

June 11, 2017

This is not a love song- it’s a review of Public Image Limited’s (PiL) documentary. The film, The Public Image Is Rotten is one that focuses on John Lydon AKA Johnny Rotten AKA the band’s one mainstay (just like The Cure’s Robert Smith). It shows an outspoken and spiky man who has tempered through age […]

Read More

Sydney Festival Film Review: Axoltl Overkill (Germany, 2017) burns up Berlin with heavily stylised hedonism

June 11, 2017

Adapting her own novel for the big screen, German author-director Helen Hegemann makes a polished feature debut with Axolotl Overkill. Pulse firmly on the rapid strobe-lit streets of Berlin, the film is very much a muse on teenage excess and independence, as self-destructive as in can be, with an assured sense of style and impressive […]

Read More

Sydney Film Festival Review: Spookers (NZ/AUS, 2017) finds therapy under a mask of terror

June 9, 2017

Kiwi filmmaker Florian Habicht jumps from making documentaries about Pulp and demolition derbies to modestly prodding around the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest horror theme park with Spookers, a stylish 85-minute piece that manages to weave together stories of exploitation and therapy amongst a whole heap of (fake) blood, guts and playful vignettes. It’s clear Habicht and […]

Read More

Sydney Film Festival Review: Game of Death (Canada, 2017) Is Bloody, Forgettable, Fun

June 8, 2017

Right at home in the “Freak Me Out” strand of this year’s Sydney Film Festival, Game of Death is probably more-or-less exactly the film you expect it to be. It’s a simple but fun romp that manages to eke out the most from its wacky premise, despite being held back by structural shortcomings and uneven […]

Read More

Sydney Film Festival Review: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (USA, 2016) is about one woman’s intriguing fight to preserve New York

June 7, 2017

The prospect of watching a documentary on town planning probably won’t have people tripping over themselves to watch it. But when you realise that the subject of the film, Citizen Jane: Battle For The City helped preserve some significant parts of New York, it’s a different story. This film is a brief but intriguing look […]

Read More

Film Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (USA, 2017) flies with half sails

May 25, 2017

In the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales, we return to the seas on another adventure with our ridiculous Captain Jack Sparrow. This time pairing up with a new bickering couple of non-pirates, and being chased down by his old frenemy Captain Barbossa and his even older […]

Read More

Film Review: Handsome Devil (Ireland, 2016) is a pleasant but predictable coming of age story

May 23, 2017

Handsome Devil is cut from the same cloth as Sing Street and Dead Poet’s Society, but it also leaves a few things deliberately ambiguous. This is a pleasant, coming-of-age tale set in a private, all-boys boarding school in Ireland. The story ends on an encouraging and positive note where you should be yourself because it […]

Read More

Film Review: Ridley Scott tugs on existential threads with Alien: Covenant (USA, 2017)

May 11, 2017

2012’s Prometheus marked the beginning of a franchised prequel to Ridley Scott’s original Alien, not only taking fans back to the origins of this iconic sci-fi franchise, but diving deeper into the meaty philosophies such a concept brings, finding purpose with the motif of creation. The introduction of synthetic android David (Michael Fassbender) emerged as […]

Read More

Gold Coast Film Festival Review: The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One (Australia, 2016) is Star Wars on a shoestring

May 1, 2017

In ninety-five minutes, The Osiris Child recreates the past twenty years of sci-fi. It’s a fast blend of genre styles new and old, reaching screens in the format of a graphic novel and touching bases with every ‘humanity in crisis’ story ever told. While never profound, The Osiris Child achieves its vision, but the lack of […]

Read More

TV Review: Netflix’s Girlboss sees a caustic hustler-turned-throwaway-fashion success story

April 20, 2017

Girlboss is a series that may leave viewers feeling conflicted. While it’s great to see an underdog making good and pursuing her passion it’s also hard to root for a lead character who is so inherently unlikeable. This Netflix series is ultimately like a fun ball of fairy floss, it’s pleasant enough at first bite; […]

Read More

Film Review: Dance Academy: The Movie (Australia, 2017) still knows how to create great teen drama

April 5, 2017

Dance Academy was one of the shows that defined by teenage years. I was by no means a dancer; yet the representation of real, raw teenage issues was presented in an Australian spotlight – especially on a network that was rather lukewarm at the time (ABC3, now branded as ABCME) was addictive for an entire […]

Read More

Film Review: Ghost In The Shell (USA, 2017) is a visual spectacle, but lacks original storytelling

March 30, 2017

The first scene of Ghost In The Shell is incredibly haunting, as a crimson-hued setting features a fresh, human brain being delicately placed into a robotic body. It’s an uneasy mixture of human and AI – and according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk – it is a reality that’s not too far into the future, once […]

Read More

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 15 “Something They Need” sets things up nicely for the finale

March 27, 2017

“Something They Need” wrapped up everything the way you would expect, setting some final pieces in place for the inevitable showdown in next week’s finale. The problem with this is that the absence of anything unexpected, outside of some nice bits of drama over at The Sanctuary, resulted in a clean episode that lacked any […]

Read More

Film Review: Life (USA, 2017) hits all the beats we’re used to but in a more polished container

March 23, 2017

One day Hollywood might be able to come up with a new science fiction movie that has us discovering a fluffy cute adorable friendly alien. One day Hollywood might be able to come up with a group of characters who actually have character development, prior to being ruthlessly dispatched. One day Hollywood might be able […]

Read More

Film Review: The Eagle Huntress (G) (UK/MONG/USA, 2016) follows an inspiring subject

March 18, 2017

I have to admit, I don’t watch a lot of documentaries, but I’ve loved the ones I’ve seen. Some of them haven’t felt like documentaries at all, mainly because the stories behind them are a little too one-sided or hard to believe. Films like Super Size Me and Bowling for Columbine have been accused of being false, manipulative […]

Read More

AF French Film Festival Review: Daguerrotype (France, Belgium, 2016) has its flaws, but creates the perfect eerie atmosphere

March 12, 2017

Best known for his contribution to Japanese horror, director Kiyoshi Kurosawa brings an interesting take on a ghost story. Daguerrotype (Le Secret de la Chambre Noire) follows a Parisian named Jean (Tahar Rahim) who is hired to be an assistant to the elusive photographer Stéphane (Olivier Gourmet). With Jean’s help, they create heart-stopping daguerreotypes, an old form of permanent […]

Read More