Two and a Half Stars

Film Review: Love Again is everything that is expected from a rom-com that is all coming back to us now, for better or worse

May 11, 2023

Love Again tells the story of two intrepid, lovelorn strangers who find themselves back into the spotlight of love. Mira (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) is a talented children’s author/illustrator who is undergoing a time of grief after the untimely passing of her loving fiancé John (Arinze Kene). She becomes inconsolable that her grief affects her work […]

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Film Review: Men is a frustrating horror experience that is as meretricious as it is malleable

June 17, 2022

Men tells the story of Harper (Jessie Buckley), a distraught woman who is caught in the aftermath of her husband James (Pappa Essiedu), who had tragically committed suicide after a marital dispute. She takes it upon herself to grant herself a holiday by taking refuge in a manor by a countryside village by housesitting it. […]

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Maika is a flawed family film that has plenty of energy and charm but not enough innovation: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 28, 2022

Maika tells the story of Hung (Truong Phu), an 8-year old boy who is grieving over the loss of his mother who had died almost a year ago due to a severe illness. One would think that this type of emotional baggage is bad enough. However, it not only rains but it pours. His best […]

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There is Something in the Dirt from Benson and Moorhead, but it doesn’t amount to much: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

Set-in present-day Hollywood Hills, Something in the Dirt tells the story of two neighbours Levi and John (Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead), who both meet after Levi had recently moved into an apartment, following a large amount of predicaments. The two strike up a quick camaraderie as they exchange life stories, intimate secrets and their […]

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Alice fails to marry its ambitions satisfyingly; despite Keke Palmer’s standout performance: Sundance Film Festival Review

January 25, 2022

Alice tells the story of its titular character played by Keke Palmer, a slave who has spent her entire life enslaved in a rural Georgia plantation. Like many of her family members, she yearns for freedom. Her recently wedded husband Joseph (Gaius Charles) plots an escape for the entire plantation but the plan backfires due […]

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True Things is a diverting yet ultimately inconsistent look into the allure of physicalised love and self-discovery: TIFF 2021 Review

October 3, 2021

True Things is the sophomore effort from filmmaker Harry Wootliff, whose first film was Only You (not the film with Marisa Tomei); a romantic drama about the trials and tribulations of a couple who have to contend with adulthood, parenting and generational differences due to their distance in age. For her latest film, Wootliff is […]

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Book Review: Andrew Mackie’s The Tour is marketed as a treat for fans of The Crown, but does it measure up?

March 2, 2021

In 1954, the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II undertook a royal tour of the colonies to meet her new subjects. She was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, and the usual bevy of ladies in waiting and staff. The Tour, the debut novel by Transmission Films producer and film distributor Andrew Mackie fictionalises this journey […]

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Sundance Review: I Was a Simple Man is a beautifully assembled and yet malnourished film

February 11, 2021

Set in the present-day Oahu, Hawaii, the film follows the story of Masao (Steve Iwamoto), an aging patriarch who is spending his serene days in his home, with his vast family who intermittently keep him company. His health is deteriorating and his relationship with his family becomes more and more estranged. When he contemplates his […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: The Blazing World is a tarnished world of immense beauty

February 2, 2021

The Blazing World is the type of film where the ideas of logic, plot or conventional storytelling need not apply; and that is absolutely fine with the story it is telling. Expanded from a short film of the same name, it is the feature-length directorial debut from established actress turned writer/director Carlson Young. The short […]

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Film Review: Bombshell lacks the power of its namesake as it pulls its punches

January 16, 2020

Ever since the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the world had drastically changed and stories of sexual violence have gone through the roof; exposing all the reprehensible actions that have been swept under the rug for decades in the entertainment industry. Since then, the boom has reached worldwide, exposing other horrific stories in the process. What is […]

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Film Review: The Gentlemen is a film that should’ve minded its manners

December 31, 2019

British director Guy Ritchie has had an interesting career trajectory over the years. He started off with his calling card film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; a crime comedy that put him on the map thanks to his humour poking fun at geezery [sic] gangsters in Britain, the extreme political incorrectness and his energetic […]

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Film Review: Ad Astra will prove to be one man’s wonder to another’s waste

September 19, 2019

The effects are seamless.  The acting is introspective.  The emotional undercurrent aims for supremacy. It’s an operatic space venture that defiantly refuses to adhere to cohesiveness on a narrative level.  And it’s because Ad Astra flirts with moments of greatness only to stubbornly stifle them that James Gray‘s ambitious drama will prove to be one […]

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Album Review: Devin Townsend’s Empath is an observation on the weight of genius

March 31, 2019

Devin Townsend is a mainstay in metal circles, with an almost three-decade long career spanning industrial, speed metal, rock, ambient and even novelty projects. Empath, his 25th album and the 13th under his own name, sees him solidify the presence he has built up in the progressive metal genre over his last few projects. Epic is often […]

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Film Review: Amma Asante’s passion project Where Hands Touch (UK, 2018) falls frustratingly short

March 29, 2019

The year is 1944. Leyna (Amandla Stenberg), the teenage daughter of a white German factory worker (Abbie Cornish) and a black Senegalese soldier, is dubbed a “Rhineland bastard” and flees for Berlin, hoping to find anonymity and safety in the larger city. But, after she is kicked out of school and is forced to falsify […]

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Book Review: Art dealer-cum-detective Alex Clayton returns in Katherine Kovacic’s Painting in the Shadows

March 5, 2019

Art dealer Alex Clayton is back, and conservator best friend John Porter and faithful hound Hogarth aren’t too far behind either. Invited to preview a new exhibition at the Melbourne International Museum of Art, they’re present to see museum staff unveil a supposedly cursed painting. But when one of the workers collapses and damages the […]

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Film Review: Mortal Engines (NZ/USA, 2018) suffers from an ensemble cast who fail to elevate the stereotypical material above expectation

December 6, 2018

As much as Peter Jackson‘s name is plastered all over this, Mortal Engines is in fact NOT a Jackson joint. Yes, the Lord of the Rings helmer is the most likely reason this film was greenlit (he serves as both co-producer and co-writer) but long-time Jackson collaborator Christian Rivers, who served predominantly as a visual […]

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Film Review: The Children Act (UK, 2017) is a middling drama enlivened by a powerhouse performance from Emma Thompson

November 22, 2018

This may be a bold statement to make but it must be said: every film out there would kill to have the presence of Emma Thompson. Whether it is for her acting capabilities like she can elevate even the most fluffiest of films like the rom-com Love Actually with her fantastic acting chops; or it […]

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Book Review: Rachel Cassidy’s Stalked shows some of the human costs associated with this heinous crime

November 20, 2018

Rachel Cassidy has inadvertently become an authority on stalking. The CEO of the Anti-bullying Council and charity worker was once stalked. So she decided to write a book to shine a light on these issues to ensure that victims might not feel alone. Cassidy thus proves that the victims of this crime are not always […]

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Film Review: Bohemian Rhapsody (USA, 2018) is as spirited as it is sterilized

November 1, 2018

Biopics are a dime-a-dozen these days. And when one considers the marketable possibilities about them, it’s not hard to see why there are so many of them. Particularly when the subject of the biopic revolves around the entertainment industry. In the case of the music industry, we have had so many biopics revolving around that […]

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Film Review: Ideal Home (USA, 2018) is an average comedy with some chuckles, thanks to the leads

June 26, 2018

Considering the political climate that were in, you figure a mainstream comedy like Ideal Home, a film about two gay fathers that borders on stereotypes would be a bad idea. At least, that’s what people have been saying out there, due to impressions from the trailers and the posters. But considering that this is a […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Seagull (USA, 2018) is a charming bore

June 9, 2018

Despite scene-swallowing work from Annette Bening (fabulous, as to be expected), the quiet mastery of Saoirse Ronan, and a brilliantly comical Elisabeth Moss, Michael Mayer‘s The Seagull (adapted from Anton Chekhov‘s classic play) fails to deliver them material worthy of their considerable talent. The story has all the right ingredients to be a farce of […]

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Film Review: A Wrinkle in Time (USA, 2018) aims valiantly for the stars, but falls flat on its face

March 28, 2018

Fantasy films aimed towards children can be a very tricky proposition. Usually, films of this type aim to entertain the entire family but for ones that specifically aim for children, how does one critique a film like this? Judge the film for what it is? Or judge the film through the eyes of a child? […]

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Film Review: Pacific Rim: Uprising (USA, 2018) is a glorified B-movie that’s entertaining in all its wild stupidity

March 22, 2018

Given his penchant for dark, more gothic views on material, Guillermo del Toro‘s foray into big budget filmmaking – 2013’s Pacific Rim – always seemed a little odd.  Capable of delivering so much more than what that film ultimately was able to, del Toro may have injected some of his usual fantastic-ness into proceedings, but […]

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Alliance Française French Film Festival Review: Rock’n Roll (France, 2017) is an uneven mockumentary dripping in silliness & excess

February 27, 2018

Rock’ n Roll is a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The same can also be said about the film’s star, writer and director, Guillaume Canet. The result is an uneven French comedy and a satire that examines the worst of Hollywood and show business ego, and while it deserves points for originality, the […]

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Film Review: Den of Thieves (USA, 2018) is a competent homage to Michael Mann’s epic heist saga Heat

February 2, 2018

Heist films are a dime-a-dozen these days. They’re the ones that fit the “put people on a mission” genre, starring a well known ensemble cast, who have been given an exciting plot where cast chemistry, filmmaking chops and fun storytelling mix together to make an entertaining night out for cinemagoers. If you think of the […]

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Film Review: Borg vs McEnroe (Sweden, 2017) is an uneven film that never feels complete

November 15, 2017

Borg vs McEnroe feels like a film more tailored for the streaming services market.  A minor feature that’s likely to only really be of interest to tennis fanatics, and even then they might prefer a more traditional documentary, Janus Metz Pedersen‘s drama never feels like a complete production, despite its substantial focus on Bjorn Borg […]

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Film Review: Jigsaw (USA, 2017) attempts to piece together the Saw franchise

November 2, 2017

Was rebooting the seven-film-deep Saw franchise seven years after the abysmal Saw 3D really necessary? No, not really. The gore-porn films have always been enormously successful despite a substantial drop in quality from the first two entries, so financially there’s little to lose, but the story of the “Jigsaw Killer” really has nothing left to […]

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Greek Film Festival Review: Mythopathy (Notias) (Greece, 2016) is a coming-of-age story that should appeal to Greek audiences

October 16, 2017

Mythopathy (Notias) is a film about a boy. Except he’s not just any old kid. This child is one that experiences heartbreak in a novel way. When it happens, he looks towards ancient Greek mythology and stories and he changes aspects of these to suit his own narrative. This coming-of-age story is emotional and imaginative […]

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Cunard British Film Festival Review: That Good Night (UK, 2017) is a dull adaption of a stage play that grapples with morality

October 16, 2017

That Good Night is a film that could be been called “The Last Night.” This is because it’s a drama about second chances and forgiveness. This handsome film is the last one that the late Sir John Hurt acted in and while it has some intriguing moments, it ultimately suffers from being a play that […]

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Film Review: Flatliners (USA, 2017) shows very little signs of life

October 1, 2017

When a film isn’t pre-screened for media or has its review embargo lifted on the same day of release, you know that the studio isn’t confident in the quality of their product. And this is what happened with the latest remake (although, in recent reports, it is claimed to be a sequel) of Flatliners. At […]

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