Film & TV

Film Review: Benedetta is a blasphemous, confronting farce from director Paul Verhoeven

December 4, 2021

If there’s one thing director Paul Verhoeven loves to do, it’s poke the bear.  As he has so gleefully outraged audiences and critics across his career, his latest exploitive project – the “based on a true story” nunsploitation drama(?) Benedetta – could easily be dismissed as blasphemous, but there’s also an alarming sincerity to his […]

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December 2021 Australian cinema releases: Five films you need to see

December 3, 2021

For so many of us the theatrical experience remained out of reach for a large portion of 2021.  With cinemas back open and thriving in the wake of a double dosed population, these coming weeks look to end the year that was with a considerable bang. From the much-hyped multiverse tease of (potentially) multiple Spider-men […]

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Film Review: The Card Counter deals a hand that benefits the house more than the player

December 2, 2021

Kenny Rogers so famously told us “You gotta know when to fold ’em”, and in The Card Counter writer/director Paul Schrader seems unsure as to which hand he wants to confidently play.  It’s not that this film is poorly made, nor is his commitment to the representation of desolation anything other than pure, but it’s […]

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Film Review: Dune merges its blockbuster aesthetic with a desolate mentality.

December 2, 2021

Despite reading Frank Herbert‘s 1965 novel many moons ago and viewing David Lynch’s bizarre 1984 adaptation during my youth, Dune was still a title that felt foreign to me when entering the theatre to bare witness to Denis Villeneuve‘s much-discussed imagining.  Sure, I can clearly see the inspiration this operatic story had on the science-fiction […]

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Film Review: Encanto is a visually colourful and energetically paced animated musical about accepting yourself, flaws and all.

November 30, 2021

An ordinary teenager trying to fit into an extraordinary world is not exactly the road less travelled in film, and certainly not in the realms of the animated genre, but it’s where Disney have opted to explore (again) in Encanto. Now, as much as the general plot line of Jared Bush‘s and Byron Howard‘s outing […]

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Interview: Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn writer/director Radu Jude on filming through the pandemic and embracing bad behaviour in his storytelling

November 27, 2021

There are few films that take your breath away in such a graphic fashion as Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn.  The Romanian black comedy (you can read our review here) is now screening in select Australian cinemas, and to coincide with its release our own Peter Gray got to chat with the film’s writer […]

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Film Review: Cry Macho is a meandering drama that suffers from a lack of urgency

November 26, 2021

Though it’s undeniable what a powerhouse actor and director Clint Eastwood is – he won the Best Director and Best Picture Academy Award twice, for those keeping score – Cry Macho is proof that he’s losing his touch. His fourth film in three years – following 15:17 To Paris, The Mule, and Richard Jewell – […]

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Film Review: Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is blackly comic and insultingly confronting

November 25, 2021

Come for the porn.  Stay for the social commentary. A film that very much opts to take no prisoners during its confronting opening minutes of unsimulated sexual activity, Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is at once an enraging drama and a wicked comedy that consistently goes against the grain of what we feel like […]

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Film Review: The Boss Baby: Family Business commits to its ludicrous premise and enjoys playing with its narrative insanity

November 25, 2021

I think it’s a fair assumption to state that not many people expected Tom McGrath‘s 2017 effort The Boss Baby to clear the half a billion dollars it did at the global box office.  It was a bizarre comedy that entirely banked on its central premise – a baby that spoke like an entitled adult […]

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Film Review: Best Sellers is a safe, easy read lightly boosted by the odd-couple pairing of Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza

November 25, 2021

Look, I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but it’s precisely what one will do with Best Sellers, a cliched dramedy that nudges every narrative beat you expect, only mildly saved by the odd-couple pairing of Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza; his cantankerousness at odds with her more manic downtrodden-ness. […]

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First Impressions: Marvel’s Hawkeye sets itself up as a passing of the torch to Hailee Steinfeld’s enthusiastic hero-in-the-making

November 24, 2021

As easy as it is to wax lyrical on the fact that we have yet another Marvel property release in 2021, not to mention the fact that it’s basing itself around a character that never appeared like enough of a stable figure to centre around, the resulting Hawkeye is all the more alarming and engaging […]

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Interview: James Marsden on recording The Boss Baby sequel during a pandemic; “I made a makeshift studio with duvets and pillows”

November 24, 2021

Four years after an infant Alec Baldwin steered Dreamworks’ The Boss Baby to over half a billion dollars at the global box office and an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated feature, the troublesome tyke is back in The Boss Baby: Family Business, and he’s bringing his household along for the ride. Joining Baldwin and […]

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Film Review: Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a riotous and entirely overwhelming sequel

November 23, 2021

Despite the fact that the film was ripped apart by critics and was centred on a character who had previously been brought to “life” in a less-than-well received iteration, 2018’s Venom was a mammoth success.  Pulling in upwards of $856 million worldwide, it was the seventh highest grossing film of that year – beating out […]

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Film Review: The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain is a sucker punch to the gut showing police brutality at its worst

November 22, 2021

The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain is a film that will leave you scared and asking, “How could this happen?” It is based on a true event that took place in 2011. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the continued senseless deaths by racists, it remains an achingly important indictment on society […]

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I’m An Electric Lampshade is a docu-narrative that delightfully blurs the lines between what’s fact and what’s fiction: Los Angeles International Film Festival Review

November 22, 2021

Billed as a docu-narrative, indicating that both fact and fiction will be blended throughout, I’m An Electric Lampshade is a bizarre take on the age-old “It’s never too late to follow your dreams” tale, focusing on the unlikeliest of pop star wannabes. Doug McCorkle is the most basic of nondescript American men.  60-years-old, with the […]

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First Impressions: Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time is an intricately-plotted fantasy series that should satisfy genre fans

November 19, 2021

Although the fantasy genre had always had a dedicated fanbase, one could argue that it wasn’t until the filmic adaptations of the Lord of the Rings in the early 2000’s that it truly became a classification known and embraced by a mainstream audience.  Second to that, in a more culturally relevant manner, Game of Thrones […]

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Film Review: Zola is an exhilarating crime-comedy about the nature of exploitation; told with striking style and sharp humour

November 18, 2021

Zola tells the story of the burgeoning relationship and eventual disintegration between Aziah “Zola” King (Taylour Paige), a confident yet downtrodden waitress and part-time stripper and Stefani Jezowski (Riley Keough), an unreserved and blundering stripper. They serendipitously meet one another in the restaurant where Zola works and the two become fast friends through many shared […]

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Interview: Last Night In Soho‘s Thomasin McKenzie on collaborating with Edgar Wright, researching horror, and who she’d like to work with next

November 17, 2021

At just 21 years of age, New Zealand-born actress Thomasin McKenzie has amassed quite the career since her 2012 debut.  In the last few years alone she has worked with the likes of Taika Waititi (on the acclaimed Jojo Rabbit), M. Night Shyamalan (on his recent hit Old) and Jane Campion (The Power of the […]

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Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer teases the multiverse but still omits Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield

November 17, 2021

Once it was revealed that Spider-Man: No Way Home would be exploring the multiverse and introducing a slew of characters that appeared in previous Spider-Man films separate from the current slate, fans were convinced that both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield would be making return appearances as the respective web-slinger from their own films; Maguire […]

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King Richard is a crowd-pleasing drama featuring a career-best turn from Will Smith: AFI Film Festival Review

November 16, 2021

As much as King Richard has all the trappings of a biopic – and a sports drama, for that matter – it’s a testament to everyone involved that it manages to entirely transcend expectation and feel like something that’s so much more. It’s easy to wax lyrical about the fact that we’re getting a film […]

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Film Review: Last Night In Soho is a demented, musical-inspired trip that delights in nightmarish nostalgia

November 16, 2021

A gorgeously rendered, lovingly crafted, maybe slightly messy, giallo tribute drenched in 1960’s London culture, Last Night In Soho is the type of film one wishes to dissect and divulge in intimate detail.  But that would entirely undo any service to writer/director Edgar Wright, who has implored audiences the globe over to keep their mouths […]

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Red Rocket is a naturalistic dark comedy elevated by an astonishing, career redefining performance from Simon Rex: AFI Film Festival Review

November 14, 2021

When we are first introduced to Red Rocket‘s lead subject – washed-up porn star Mikey (Simon Rex) – writer/director Sean Baker frames him in such a manner that alludes to him being one of those scrappy anti-heroes whose undeniable charm is enough for us to forgive his indiscretions. And indeed, Mikey is that (in a […]

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The Eyes of Tammy Faye is an uneven, yet entertaining biopic driven by a show-stopping Jessica Chastain: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 13, 2021

A film that’s likely to resonate with, or at least feel more familiar to American audiences, The Eyes of Tammy Faye does its best to clue in local Australian viewers as to just who was the larger-than-life personality Tammy Faye Bakker Messner.  An only-in-America type tale, Tammy Faye’s small-time Minnesota upbringing, where she “found Jesus” […]

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Film Review: Home Sweet Home Alone is a new form of punishment for naughty children this Christmas season

November 12, 2021

There’s a moment during Home Sweet Home Alone where two characters are watching a remake of the fictional “Angels With Filthy Souls” – you know, that quotable film within a film that Macaulay Culkin used in a manner to frighten the pizza delivery boy (“Merry Christmas ya filthy animal) – and comment on why studios […]

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The Power of the Dog marks a triumphant return to cinema for acclaimed filmmaker Jane Campion: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 12, 2021

“He’s just a man, Peter. Only another man.” – Rose (Kirsten Dunst) Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons star as Phil and George Burbank; brothers who work as reputable cattle ranchers. George is a simple, upstanding and honest man while Phil is boastful, malevolent and manly. While Phil is happy with their routine of continuing the […]

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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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Win 1 of 5 Blu-ray copies of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

November 11, 2021

Witness the origins of a new MCU superhero when Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrives on Blu-ray™, DVD, 4K Ultra HD™ and Digital November 12th, 2021.  To celebrate the release, we have 5 copies up for grabs! Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who […]

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Memoria is one of 2021’s best films thanks to its undeniably immersive nature that is cinematic morphine: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 11, 2021

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” – Anonymous According to writer/director Apitchatpong Weerasethakul’s latest film Memoria, the answer to the question above is a resounding yes. The acclaimed filmmaker is best known for works including Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His […]

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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: No Time To Die is an emotional swan song for Daniel Craig’s 007

November 11, 2021

Although it leans into the tropes of what we come to expect from the institution that is a James Bond film, and in some ways this 25th entrant is possibly the most self-aware of the pack, No Time To Die keeps largely in tune with the mentality of the wave of Daniel Craig-led films; the […]

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