Two Stars

Necessary People

Book Review: Necessary People is an underwhelming portrait of ambition and jealousy in the world of TV news

June 18, 2020

Anna Pitoniak’s new novel Necessary People has a blurb quote from Stephen King on its front cover, and one from Lee Child on its back. In fact, the first couple of pages of the book are devoted to quotes from publications like Refinery29 and Marie Claire, exclaiming how much their reviewers loved this book. Yet Pitoniak’s second […]

Read More

Film Review: The Call of the Wild is a call not worth answering

February 20, 2020

The 1903 book The Call of the Wild is considered classic literature for young children. So much so, that it has been adapted on-screen multiple times as a silent film, an anime film and through multiple attempts in Hollywood; including a 1996 version starring Rutger Hauer that is considered by some to be the most […]

Read More

Film Review: Midway crashes and burns as it can’t meet its ambitions halfway

February 1, 2020

Bombastic blockbuster filmmaker Roland Emmerich has been on a bit of a downward spiral lately. He started off quite well with projects from his home of West Germany; until he worked in America; making entertaining efforts like Universal Soldier and Stargate that succeeded well at the box office. But few had expected his next effort […]

Read More

Film Review: Nothing will prepare you for the experience that is Cats

December 20, 2019

Horror films have had a banner year in 2019. They crept under the audience’s skin, lingering in the mind long after the credits had stopped rolling. But none of them seemed as haunting as the first theatrical trailer for Tom Hooper‘s Cats. When the trailer was released, the public opinion was overwhelmingly negative. Many viewers were […]

Read More

Vivid Live Review: Spunk Records 20th Anniversary ft. The Middle East – Sydney Opera House (24.05.19)

May 25, 2019

Vivid Live has always had the ability to pull off some major coups when curating their line ups. Their 2019 edition was no different. In celebration of Spunk Records’ 20th Anniversary, enigmatic Townsville act The Middle East made their return to the stage after an eight-year absence. While there were some magic moments in the […]

Read More

Film Review: Green Book (USA, 2018) is a film about racism told by white people, and it really shows

January 28, 2019

Do good intentions make a good film? That is the question that has popped up in my head through the many recent films over the past year. Whether the film is about the commentary on major issues like racism, sexism and discrimination, the film itself still has to be well-executed in all areas in order […]

Read More

Film Review: Instant Family (USA, 2018) is an instant failure, despite the likable cast

January 13, 2019

Family films have been a very mixed bag with me. While there are some films out there that really capture the spirit of what makes a family come together in both cinematic terms and emotional terms, most of the family films out there are incredibly cynical in how they are made i.e. a checklist of […]

Read More

Film Review: The School (Australia, 2018) goes for broke in its bid to provide escapism within the Australian horror landscape

December 6, 2018

It’s rather unfortunate that Australian cinema really doesn’t have the greatest reputation. It’s not that we aren’t capable of delivering quality homegrown productions, it’s just that we so seldom do, so when something like The School comes along, you can’t help but feel both a sense of disappointment and expectation. To be fair to writer/director […]

Read More

Film Review: Mile 22 (USA, 2018) succeeds as an unintentional comedy instead of an action film

August 30, 2018

Oh, look! We have another Berg-er joint coming in cinemas! Mile 22 is the fourth collaboration between actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg after the three dramatic films that were based on true stories i.e. the biographical war drama Lone Survivor, the disaster film Deepwater Horizon and the crime drama Patriots Day. All of […]

Read More

Film Review: Truth Or Dare (USA, 2018) is a cinematic game best left unplayed

April 12, 2018

Before Truth or Dare even begins, you know exactly what kind of movie you’re about to see.  Hoping to be some sort of new-era Final Destination, but failing miserably in the process, Truth or Dare follows every beat you expect it to, and it’s in this predictability that the film succeeds in being a massively entertaining ride for all the […]

Read More

Alliance Française French Film Festival Review: Rodin (France, 2017) is a dull & inert bio-pic

February 27, 2018

Auguste Rodin was a renowned French sculptor who produced works like “The Thinker” and “The Kiss”. Some people even declare this artist a genius. But the same cannot be said about his eponymous bio-pic. This French film manages to make this famous man’s life seem so hollow and pedestrian that there is more life emanating […]

Read More

Film Review: Insidious bows out of the modern supernatural horror genre with The Last Key (USA, 2018)

February 8, 2018

As inconsistent and creaky as the old floorboards of this film’s generic haunted house, Insidious: The Last Key is a tired though mildly inspired jolt to a franchise that could never quite match the far superior universe of The Conjuring. The fourth entry, and supposed swan song, for the Insidious series hinges itself firmly on […]

Read More

Film Review: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (USA, 2017) looks like a fun videogame, but plays like a cheat

December 22, 2017

It’s quite amusing that films based on videogames like Assassin’s Creed, Max Payne, Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter are complete rubbish and yet films that revolve around videogames or reflect the videogame aesthetic are a different story. With films like David Cronenberg‘s sci-fi body horror film eXistenZ (which is a spiritual followup to Videodrome), […]

Read More

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 8 “How It’s Gotta Be”

December 11, 2017

I’m not quite sure what I just watched, and I find it hard to imagine a team of writers turning that script in and thinking that it would make for a satisfying, entertaining or even reasonable Mid-Season Finale. I love The Walking Dead, honestly, but “How It’s Gotta Be” was truly poor form for a […]

Read More

Film Review: Wonder Wheel (USA, 2017) sees Woody Allen & cast over promise and under deliver

December 6, 2017

On paper, Wonder Wheel seems to have all of the right credentials. It’s a dramatic film set in the 1950s so it’s bound to look great. It stars Kate Winslet and is directed by Woody Allen. It is also set at the Coney Island Amusement Park. But even with all of this stuff on offer, […]

Read More

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 6 “The King, The Widow and Rick”

November 27, 2017

“The King, The Widow and Rick” is an episode title that suggests a clear and deep focus on all three leaders of the war against Negan and The Saviours. I mean, at least that’s the logical interpretation, right? Wrong. This sixth episode in The Walking Dead’s eight season took certain liberties to slow things down […]

Read More

Film Review: The Butterfly Tree (Australia, 2017) is visually lush but fails to produce a story to match

November 23, 2017

Given how lush Priscilla Cameron‘s debut feature The Butterfly Tree appears, it’s a real shame that the material at hand doesn’t match its aesthetic.  With its jazz-influenced pop soundtrack and Baz Luhrman-like colour pallet, there’s no denying how visually appealing the film is, but it becomes strikingly evident that it’s all for show when Cameron’s […]

Read More

Film Review: Daddy’s Home 2 (USA, 2017) is an unnecessary sequel constricted by its family-friendly mentality

November 22, 2017

Who ever would’ve thought the day would come that Mel Gibson would be re-established enough to earn himself a prime role in a family-aimed comedy?  Whilst the controversial figure has been steadily working over the least few years, either headlining under-seen projects (Get The Gringo, Blood Father) or co-starring in ensemble pieces (Expendables 3, Machete […]

Read More

DVD Review: A Family Man (USA, 2017) is a dull, cliché-ridden family drama

October 15, 2017

A Family Man is a film about an ambitious, corporate-type who is forced to reassess his priorities. Sound familiar? It’s because this road to redemption is a well-trodden one. A Family Man continues along this journey of clichés without offering anything particularly original or endearing through the process. Gerard Butler (300) stars as Dane Jensen […]

Read More

Film Review: Wakefield (USA, 2016) is a dull character study about a mad man

October 2, 2017

Wakefield is a long, drawn-out rendering of a short story. It shows one man’s descent into madness and how he becomes a voyeur of his own family. The film is a dramatic one and while the central idea seems original enough, it’s something that was better in the written format than in a full-length, feature […]

Read More

Netflix Review: Death Note (USA, 2017) has good intentions, but fails in the process

August 28, 2017

Whitewashing! Americanized! Lack of ethnicity! Yeah, I’m gonna talk about that in great detail, just to make that clear. Anyway, a lot of negative buzz has been going around this project due the things mentioned above and it definitely is a valid argument since the source material is distinctly Japanese. So to retroactively set the […]

Read More

Film Review: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (USA, 2017) might have been saved by Donald Trump

August 8, 2017

Donald Trump could have saved An Inconvenient Sequel. If Al Gore is the John Wayne of climate activism, as directors Bonni Cohen and John Shenk would have you believe, then Trump is Lee Marvin (AKA Bad M.F). This time it’s personal, as they say. As it turns out, we get very little Truth To Power, […]

Read More

Sydney Film Festival Review: Song to Song (USA, 2017) is a soulless endurance test with no plot or point

June 19, 2017

A song is as song except when it’s a Terrence Malick film. The famous director’s latest experimental offering is an absolute waste in that it is all show and no substance. It weaves together cameos from famous A-list creatives and a cast of Hollywood’s finest actors and then it does nothing. Absolutely nothing. For 129 […]

Read More

Film Review: All Eyez on Me (USA, 2017) is not the biopic Tupac Shakur deserves

June 14, 2017

In the years leading up to release, slipping out of John Singleton’s reliable hands and finding a way to Benny Boom didn’t inspire much confidence in All Eyez On Me, the long-gestating biopic of seminal emcee Tupac Shakur. Long before Straight Outta Compton chewed up the box office charts, those inside and outside of the […]

Read More

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 3 “TEOTWAWKI” sheds more light on Broke Jaw Ranch

June 12, 2017

Last week’s odd decision to kill off the show’s strongest and most interesting character in a very off-hand fashion was a bold move. Fear the Walking Dead’s writing team has to date proven to be inconsistent, impatient and unable to squeeze the horror-survival for all the juicy potential it has, but there have been moments […]

Read More

Sydney Film Festival Review: Maliglutit (Canada 2016) is made with skill, but proves a sporadically stirring thriller

June 7, 2017

There is certainly something splendid somewhere within Maliglutit, the first collaboration between directors Zacharias Kunuk and Natar Ungallaq, unfortunately, it is all but concealed. The distinguished pair have taken on the task of adapting classic material, and despite the endeavour of imbuing the film with idealism and vigour, Maliglutit can never amount to anything significantly […]

Read More

Film Review: Baywatch (MA15+) (USA, 2017) is campy fun, but wipes out on the comedy wave early on

May 31, 2017

Ever since the first trailer was released, Baywatch has always been self-aware. The wind in a golden-blondes hair as she runs down the beach (obviously in slow motion) in the iconic red bathing suit is an image the new reboot has embraced, but it doesn’t fare well in a feature length film. To put it […]

Read More

Film Review: Wilson (USA, 2017) lacks both pattern and personality

May 25, 2017

After showcasing his worth as a filmmaker to keep an eye on with 2014’s The Skeleton Twins, Craig Johnson sadly suffers a sophomore slump with Wilson, an episodic dramedy that proves to be too far removed from Johnson’s directorial capabilities. It’s not that he is unable to guide dark material to fruition – something he […]

Read More

Film Review: Don’t Tell (Australia, 2017) doesn’t serve its source material justice

May 16, 2017

May I set the scene? On a farm in Queensland, 22-year- old Lyndall (Sara West) is talking to lawyer Stephen Roche (Aden Young) about her willingness to face the might of the Anglican Church in court over the abuse she suffered in boarding school. She asks about Bob Myers (Jack Thompson), the barrister who would represent her […]

Read More

Film Review: Snatched (USA, 2017) is an uneven caper with more faces than a hundred watches

May 15, 2017

A more appropriate title for the film Snatched would be “Botched” because this was a wasted opportunity. The movie is an uneven one starring comedian Amy Schumer and Hollywood’s own, the truly wonderful Goldie Hawn making her silver-screen comeback after a 15 year hiatus. It’s one that has some decent-enough ingredients but the overall combination […]

Read More