Film & TV

Darkest Miriam is a captivating drama grounded by the hauntingly beautiful performance of Britt Lower: Tribeca Film Festival Review

There’s a subtlety and quietness to Darkest Miriam that continually laces this sad, yet captivating drama, with Britt Lower‘s haunting central performance adding a poetry to proceedings that beautifully captures those watching. In a Toronto neighbourhood, Miriam (Lower) lives a quiet life as a librarian, seemingly content with her daily routine of shuffling through the…

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Interview: Cora Bora stars Megan Stalter, Jojo T. Gibbs and Ayden Mayeri on connecting with their flawed characters

After premiering at last year’s SXSW Film & TV Festival, the acclaimed Cora Bora is finally introducing herself to the masses; the film is set for a release in theatres in the United States from June 14th. Starring Megan Stalter (TV’s Hacks) as the titular Cora, the film tells of her fear that her relationship…

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Film Review: Cora Bora; Megan Stalter flexes her star presence in tragic, humorous vehicle

Whilst there’s no doubt that Megan Stalter is a talented comedienne (“Hi Gay!”, anyone?), the type of social-media-sketch-performer-turned-feature-actress trajectory isn’t always a guaranteed translation for both their respective humour and an audience’s positive reaction.  Thankfully, her starring role in Cora Bora is a more dramatic transition for the actress, displaying a vulnerable, shaded, even confidence-lacking…

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Bang Bang features a career-best turn from Tim Blake Nelson: Tribeca Film Festival Review

As much as Vincent Grashaw‘s Bang Bang revels in the alpha masculinity that oft dominates the boxing industry and the men it produces, this hard drama laces its narrative with a sadness and humanity that consistently brings the film above its gruff exterior. And much of that belongs to the impeccable Tim Blake Nelson, leading…

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The Outrun; Saoirse Ronan’s detailed performance as a recovering addict may be her finest yet: Sydney Film Festival Review

A character losing themself to nature in order to find solitude or correct the course of their life is not a road seldom travelled on screen.  And in the case of The Outrun, it’s the windswept Orkney Islands off the northeastern coast of Scotland that serve as a place of rejuvenation for Rona (Saoirse Ronan,…

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Daddio is a conversation-sparking drama anchored by the nuanced performances of Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson: Sydney Film Festival Review

The prospect of being stuck in a cab for 90 minutes with a driver that isn’t afraid to wax lyrical about the dynamics of men and women doesn’t exactly sound like the most pleasant experience.  And whilst that it is the entire premise of Christy Hall‘s conversation-provoking Daddio, audiences pre-empting their annoyance at such a…

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Interview: David Hyde Pierce on how his theatre background informed his performance in The Exorcism

A staple of screen, stage and the small screen for five decades now, David Hyde Pierce is one of the most celebrated actors of his time, with his most recognised turn as Dr. Niles Crane on the acclaimed sitcom Frasier (1993 – 2004) lauding him four Emmy Awards and two SAG Awards. His latest role,…

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Film Review: The Exorcism compromises its dramatic intentions with shoehorned horror elements

Whilst it’s understandable that audiences may assume The Exorcism is somehow related to last year’s The Pope’s Exorcist – and given both their closeness in title and sharing of Russell Crowe, you can see why – but Joshua John Miller‘s genre entrant is more a dramatic character study, with many of the horrific elements feeling…

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Interview: Director Chris Sanders and producer Jeff Hermann on bringing The Wild Robot to life on screen

From DreamWorks Animation comes a new adaptation of a literary sensation, Peter Brown’s beloved, award-winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, The Wild Robot. The epic adventure follows the journey of a robot—ROZZUM unit 7134, “Roz” for short — that is shipwrecked on an uninhabited island and must learn to adapt to the harsh surroundings, gradually…

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A Different Man provokes thought but lacks the proper execution: Sydney Film Festival Review

The idea of wearing a mask – physical or metaphorical – can so often be used to uncover a psyche within the realms of dark storytelling, and for Aaron Schimberg‘s chaotic A Different Man a literal representation is at the core.  There’s an undeniably captivating and thought-provoking narrative at play, but the execution feels ultimately…

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My Old Ass is a supremely charming affair that values the importance of familial connection: Sydney Film Festival Review

Though there is a high-concept present in the narrative forming of My Old Ass – shroom induced time travel could be the easiest elevator pitch summary (so, a high-concept if ever there was one) – Megan Park‘s deliriously sweet, always charming, oft-hilarious venture is, at its core, an uncomplicated affair that simply wants to make…

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Problemista; Tilda Swinton’s erratic brilliance saves absurdist comedy: Sydney Film Festival Review

There’s a sense of too many eggs in one basket present in Problemista, a loaded-with-ideas, absurdist comedy from comedian Julio Torres who treats his first-time feature as if he may not get the chance to do a second. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with the ideas that Torres – a former Saturday Night Live scribe,…

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Kinds of Kindness is a blackly comic, absurdist, and boundary-pushing surrealist drama that will test audience limits: Sydney Film Festival Review

As Yorgos Lanthimos built up his profile with more mainstream-inclined audiences over the years – blending his unique storytelling vision with noticeable, A-list talent – the filmmaker viscerally tells them to essentially f*ck off with Kinds of Kindness, a 164-minute blackly comic, absurdist, and boundary-pushing surrealist drama that makes his previous oddity, last year’s award-winning…

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Hunting Daze is blackly comic and consistently unnerving: Sydney Film Festival Review

Men behaving badly is at the core of Annick Blanc‘s Hunting Daze, a surreal visualisation of toxic masculinity that refuses to ever pigeonhole itself into one category.  It’s horrific without ever devoting itself entirely to that genre.  It’s blackly funny, though never satirical.  And it’s always engaging, even if the extreme manner in which Blanc…

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Thelma is a sweet, poignant affair that reinvents the action/comedy: Sydney Film Festival Review

Though it leans into the action/thriller genre with a supreme wink, Thelma, Josh Margolin‘s frequently hilarious, always poignant ode to his own grandmother (and, clearly, a love of the action genre), is never spoofing the films it so evidently is earning its laughs from; and it’s that sweetness and keen sense of reinvention that helps…

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The Moogai‘s emotional and psychological terror elements find unrest: Sydney Film Festival Review

The controversial historical treatment of Australia’s native people by white settlers and the continuing generational trauma within the Indigenous communities weigh heavy on the narrative themes of Jon Bell‘s The Moogai.  There’s a ripe premise to lean into horror genre sensibilities – “moogai” is the Bundjalung language for a malevolent child-stealing entity that is the…

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Interview: Joshua John Miller on writing and directing The Exorcism; “I was not prepared for this experience.”

Russell Crowe stars as troubled actor Anthony Miller, who begins to unravel while working on a supernatural film. His estranged daughter wonders if he’s slipping back into his past addictions or if there’s something more sinister at play. Such is the logline for The Exorcism, a new dramatic horror film from writer/director Joshua John Miller,…

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Film Review: Hit Man; Netflix’s sexy actioner is a much deeper, more philosophical outing than expected

The blending of genres isn’t as easy as Richard Linklater makes it look in the deliciously fun Hit Man, a-sexy-romantic-comedy-cum-philosophical-action-film that the School of Rock helmer and lead charmer Glen Powell have co-scribed together in a seamless fashion. Given that Linklater has so often deviated from the expectation put forward in some of his films…

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Film Review: Am I OK? is a delicate journey navigated through the grace that is Dakota Johnson

There’s something of a full circle moment experienced with Am I OK?, Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne‘s co-directorial feature debut.  The real-life couple, who met on the set of a Sundance selection title (2013’s In A World…), returned to the festival as married women detailing their own journey of self-discovery and acceptance with a film…

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Film Review: The Watchers is a tense, though questionably executed chiller

Given M. Night Shyamalan‘s penchant for banking the majority of his theatrical narratives on “the twist ending”, it’s understandable to walk into his daughter’s feature directorial debut with the same type of expectation. Whilst I can’t personally speak to whether or not the A.M. Shine novel Ishana Night Shyamalan has adapted is faithfully recreated here…

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Film Review: I Used To Be Funny offsets its humorously-adjacent title with a dark, heartbreaking temperament.

After showcasing her stellar comedic delivery across 2022’s Bodies Bodies Bodies and last year’s Bottoms, Rachel Sennott continues her dominance as one of the industry’s most exciting talents with a more dramatic flex in Ally Pankiw‘s I Used To Be Funny, which offsets its lead’s comedic capabilities and humorously-adjacent title with a dark, heartbreaking temperament….

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Film Review: Bad Boys: Ride or Die honours series nostalgia as much as it creatively projects forward

Whilst this is a franchise that has indulged in its fair share of overtly-violent set-pieces for close to three decades now, there’s something to be said for the fact that Bad Boys: Ride or Die – the fourth in this surprisingly resilient series – is determined to keep the action on hand ageing gracefully. Yes,…

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Interview: Ishana Night Shyamalan on her new horror film The Watchers; “It was always my intention from the very beginning to play with restraint as much as possible”

From producer M. Night Shyamalan comes The Watchers, written for the screen and directed by Ishana Night Shyamalan and based on the novel by A.M. Shine. The film follows Mina (Dakota Fanning), a 28-year-old artist, who gets stranded in an expansive, untouched forest in western Ireland. When Mina finds shelter, she unknowingly becomes trapped alongside…

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25 years on, South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut remains one of the best movie musicals and as timely as ever

Feeling old, buddy? This month, the big screen adaptation of South Park, South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, celebrates its 25th anniversary. Debuting at the end of June 1999, the film was amongst the most controversial of a year filled with controversial but successful, MPAA R-Rated films. You had The Matrix, which had been an…

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HOYTS announce $10 Sunday movie tickets for June

Embrace the winter chill with a cinematic treat that won’t freeze your budget. From June 2 to June 30 at HOYTS, movie-goers around Australia can grab $10* movie tickets for sessions commencing before noon on Sunday mornings. The Sunday Sessions $10* ticket offer will apply to all guests, not just HOYTS Rewards Members, and will…

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Amy Poehler lights up Vivid Sydney with exclusive Inside Out 2 first-look

In a Vivid Sydney exclusive, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress and comedian, Amy Poehler has taken part in a special Vivid Ideas event at the Sydney Opera House this past Monday, the 27th May. Poehler, who is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and sought-after talents, with credits including actress, writer, director, producer, and…

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Win tickets to see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Whatcha gonna do? Thanks to Sony Pictures Australia we have 5 double in-season passes (Admit 2) to see the return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys: Ride or Die, the fourth instalment in the Bad Boys series, in Australian cinemas from June 6th, 2024. This year, the world’s favourite Bad Boys are…

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Film Review: The Garfield Movie hates its audience as much as its lead feline hates Mondays

Similar to the disdain many had when it was announced that Chris Pratt would be voicing Mario for last year’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, the actor’s involvement as Garfield hasn’t assisted in warming him to the masses that have seriously turned on him in a manner many never saw coming after his winning work…

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Film Review: Night Shift; Singular location chiller proves a serviceable genre entry

Perhaps because we’re simply used to his New Girl persona, or that even in the realms of a horror setting he’s playing with a little uncertain levity, Lamorne Morris‘ presence in the opening moments of Night Shift suggest that The China Brothers (filmmaking duo Benjamin and Paul China) may be preparing their audience for a more…

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Interview: Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Zac Manuel on what truly surprised him when working on the Lil Nas X documentary, Long Live Montero

Directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Carlos López Estrada and Academy Award nominated director and cinematographer Zac Manuel, Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero follows the Grammy-winning and trailblazing, rapper, singer, songwriter, Lil Nas X, over 60 days as he embarks on his first ever tour across North America on his debut album tour Long Live…

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