Two and a Half Stars

Film Review: Burnt (USA, 2015)

October 22, 2015

If you’re the kind of person who loves, without a doubt, the idea of work-life balance, this is not the film for you. If you’re easily upset at the sight of workplace bullying, or stress caused by an unstable manager and a professional environment that breeds unhealthy well being choices, this is not the film […]

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DVD Review: The Rewrite (USA, 2014)

October 11, 2015

The Rewrite is a film that should heed its own advice. It’s a derivative and forgettable rom-com that is in desperate need of a re-working or two. The film is redeemed in part by a strong and likeable cast of actors that will be familiar to audiences, but this is not enough to get it […]

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DVD Review: Jurassic World (M, USA, 2015)

October 9, 2015

It’s been 22 years since Jurassic Park, and long have us fans of that very first film waited for a sequel that was worthy and lo we finally have it in Jurassic World. We can now safely relegate those other two films into extinction and rest assured that this is now an honourable contender for […]

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Film Review: Everest (M, UK/USA/ICELAND, 2015)

September 16, 2015

There are some movies that you need to see on a big screen, that their scale can’t be contained or properly appreciated on a small screen or even on your own home theatre system. Everest is one of those films because it can take your breath away with how visually stunning it is. But the […]

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DVD Review: Boychoir (USA, 2014)

September 16, 2015

The illegitimate child of an alcoholic mother and an absent father preoccupied with his pre-existing family, youngster Stet (Garrett Wareing) spends most of his time in detention, acting out. However, he has tremendous musical talent, in which Ms. Steel (Debra Winger) recognises, and organises for him to audition for the ‘Boychoir’, fronted by the great […]

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Film Review: Trainwreck (USA, 2015)

August 12, 2015

Amy (Amy Schumer) is a writer for a men’s magazine, along with her friend Nikki (Vanessa Bayer). One morning, they sit in adjacent cubicles of their office bathroom, comparing Johnny Depp(s) from different films based on their fuckability. They aim for the funniest answers, such as: Edward Scissorhands (1990) because you’d always have a great […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival Review: The Diary of a Teenage Girl (USA, 2015)

August 11, 2015

We open in San Francisco in 1976. Minnie Goetz (Bel Powley) has just had sex for the first time. With Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård), her mother’s (Kistin Wiig) boyfriend. Based on Goets’ graphic novel memoir of the same name, The Diary of a Teenage Girl charts a dark and disturbing journey of a young woman, going […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival Review: 7 Chinese Brothers (USA, 2015)

August 6, 2015

Larry (Jason Schwartzman) is on the road to nowhere in notoriously chillaxed Austin. He’s just lost his job for a string of misdemeanours, and his only friends appear to be his very beloved French Bulldog Arrow (Schwatrzman’s pet in real life), a prescription medication dealer and aged carer, Norwood, and his grandmother (Olimpia Dukakis), a […]

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TV Review: Wayward Pines (USA, 2015)

July 28, 2015

Whether we’re talking about the impressive work that Neil Marshall has done on Game of Thrones or the Wachowski’s ambitious Sense8, it’s becoming clear that a lot the directors that cross the line from Hollywood to TV bring their reputation with them. And love him or hate him, M. Night Shyamalan is a director with […]

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Film Review: The Gallows (USA, 2015)

July 22, 2015

Another entrant in the found-footage genre of horror that might have reached its expiry date. The Gallows would have had to do something exceptional (and exceptionally different) to tear it apart from the usual suspects. This all started with Blair Witch Project, reprised by the Paranormal Activity franchise, and many many others that never saw […]

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Film Review: Self/Less (M, USA, 2015)

July 21, 2015

Mankind’s eternal search for the fountain of youth has seen Hollywood explore more than one scenario where immortality is a reality, always at some morally reprehensible dystopic expense. Films such as Elysium,The Island, Transcendence or more recently Chappie have approached the idea from different angles with great success. Whether director Tarsem Singh’s (The Fall, Immortals, […]

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Film Review: Terminator Genisys (Rated M – USA, 2015)

July 1, 2015

Yes, Terminator Genisys is a robotic movie in more ways than one, often confusing as it appears to be a prequel, a sequel, and a reboot, often all at once. Alan Taylor, the director behind Thor: The Dark World, gives us an inconsistent new entry into this iconic sci-fi film franchise, taking contrived stabs at […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Madame Bovary (USA, Germany & Belgium, 2014)

June 5, 2015

Madame Bovary is a pleasant film but it’s an unnecessary adaption. The iconic novel by Gustave Flaubert has been adapted multiple times for film and television over the past few years. But what distinguishes this latest offering is that it is the first one to be directed by a female (Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls)). Here, […]

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Film Review: Entourage (MA15+, USA, 2015)

June 4, 2015

At the height of Entourage’s TV fame, the world was a different place. We hadn’t yet been exposed to the juggernaut that was to become the Kardashian’s reality TV popularity, and, if truth be told, we were still watching bloody The Hills for our reality TV fix. There were still remnants of Paris Hilton floating […]

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Film Review: San Andreas (M, USA, 2015)

May 27, 2015

San Andreas is a fault line that extends through a large majority of California and is overdue for a BIG earthquake. “It’s not a matter of if but when” is the premonition that Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) a professor of seismology gives his class at Caltech, and after years of research into the prediction of earthquakes, […]

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Film Review: Poltergeist (USA, 2015)

May 23, 2015

While not exactly a shot-for-shot re-make, Gil Kenan’s version of classic supernatural-horrorPoltergeist sticks fairly close to the original, at least when it charges into the brunt of the action. The 1982 original, from horror masterminds Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg, has been cemented into popular culture so the story should be familiar to most. You […]

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Film Review: A Royal Night Out (UK, 2015)

May 12, 2015

Girls just wanna have fun. Except that in the film, A Royal Night Out, those two ladies are Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret at ages 19 and 14, respectively. The film is a fun and warm-hearted historic romp that does feel like it’s being played a little too safe at times. On V.E. Day (8 […]

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DVD Review: Goodbye World (MA15) (USA, 2013)

April 27, 2015

There’s a lot that worries us today. Whether it be terrorism, the rising cost of living, disease or the scary advances in technology, the threat of a dystopian world has been explored in countless films and television programmes. This is the jumping off point that director Denis Hennelly presents us in Goodbye World, where old […]

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Film Review: Boychoir (USA, 2014)

April 7, 2015

The illegitimate child of an alcoholic mother and an absent father preoccupied with his pre-existing family, youngster Stet (Garrett Wareing) spends most of his time in detention, acting out. However, he has tremendous musical talent, in which Ms. Steel (Debra Winger) recognises, and organises for him to audition for the ‘Boychoir’, fronted by the great […]

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Film Review: A Little Chaos (M) (UK, 2015)

March 24, 2015

17th Century France brings to mind a number of words, opulence, beauty, indulgence, but it was also when the Palace of Versailles and its gardens blossomed under the reign of Louix XIV and the design and construction of André Le Nôtre. But in this film with some slight tweaks on the truth, we meet Sabine […]

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Alliance Francaise French Film Festival Review: Saint Laurent (MA15, France, 2014)

March 23, 2015

Late in the film, iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent is rumoured to have died. A few opportunistic journalists decide to get a head­start on the obituary. They discuss their angle: take it easy on the drugs, alcohol. They agree he was a visionary, that he transformed fashion. They say they ‘liked’ him. Maybe they mean ‘admired’, since […]

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SXSW Short Film Review: Le Pédophile (Canada, 2014)

March 22, 2015

Le Pédophile is a confronting short film about a young girl’s abuse. It is Montreal writer and director, Ara Ball’s third short film. Ball has been previously nominated for Canada’s annual cinema award, the Jutra. But this film is much darker and harder than his previous work. The short is provocative in its portrayal of […]

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Film Review: Manny Lewis (Australia, 2015)

March 11, 2015

It’s lonely at the top and much-loved Australian comedian, Carl Barron is all too aware of this. In his feature film debut he takes a leaf out of his book of life spent on the road for the past two decades. The film is brave and has an interesting enough premise, but it is let […]

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Film Review: Focus (MA15) (USA, 2015)

March 5, 2015

Sometimes in a film, particularly when it’s about con artists and heists a case of less is more is a better approach. Focus manages to start off interesting but ends up becoming a little too convoluted and confusing along the way. Providing us of too much of some things and not enough of others. Nicky […]

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DVD Review: Plus One (USA, 2013)

March 3, 2015

+1 or Plus One is the sci-fi horror brainchild of Dennis Iliadis. Though its original release flashed by us at the 2013 SXSW festival, Illiadis felt the production was rushed for festival screening and has since tweaked it for international release. The story takes a rapid-fire spin on horror films and the concept of identity. […]

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TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 10 “Them” (USA, 2015)

February 18, 2015

How longer can the group sustain themselves while on the road? And is there a point? With two big losses recently and a metaphorical storm surrounding them, that was the big question of “Them”. After the art-driven direction of last week’s excellent (and depressing) episode we were given something which very much resembles 2009 film […]

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DVD Review: The Culture High (USA, 2014)

January 27, 2015

The Culture High takes one side of a polarising, public debate. It argues that marijuana should be legalised. This crowd-funded documentary is from the makers of The Union: The Business Behind Getting High and takes up where the latter one left off by giving a detailed but rather weighted perspective. Director Brett Harvey shocks us […]

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Film Review: The Quarantine Hauntings (Australia, 2015)

January 22, 2015

The Quarantine Station in North Head, Manly, is known, internationally even, as one of spookiest places ever. When it was used as a quarantine station between 1833 and 1984, over 5000 people lost their lives from diseases like the Bubonic Plague (the freaky one where you bleed from your eyes or something) and Smallpox. Rather […]

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TV DVD Review: The Simpsons – The Complete Seventeenth Season (USA, 2014)

December 29, 2014

The Simpsons is one great but frustrating TV show. The animated series about our favourite dysfunctional family and the other characters that inhabit Springfield is now in its 26th series. The DVD releases are a little delayed with season 17 (which aired in 2005) only just being released. In the style of the more recent […]

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Film Review: Love is Now (Australia, 2014)

December 7, 2014

Love is Now is ultimately a testament to DSLR film making, with striking photography and some superb production coming together to ensure the film never dips below a certain visual standard, playing out as something photographers the world over will herald as a marvel achievement. Backed by Nikon Australia, the film succeeds at capturing the […]

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