All posts by Fergus Halliday

Film Review: The Big Sick (USA, 2017) Makes The Case For Big-Screen Romance

It sometimes feels like today’s romantic-comedy films have become a little of out of sync with the rest of the modern blockbuster landscapes. You just don’t see as many being made these days. There’s an easy argument to be made that the audience for these kinds of stories have largely migrated to TV shows like You’re The Worst and others. Why watch a two hour romantic comedy when you could spends seasons getting to know the characters?... Continue Reading

Film Review: A Monster Calls (USA, 2017) Strikes At Your Heart

It would be a mistake to write A Monster Calls off as ‘just another one of those’ modern young adult bestsellers that’s gotten the Hollywood treatment. Sure, the narrative of the film is propelled forward by the on-screen performance of an emerging child actor (Lewis MacDougall) and the CGI-performance of a big established figure (Liam Neeson) in much the same way as something like The Golden Compass. ... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves (Canada, 2017) is unwieldy but compelling

Audacious is definitely the right word to start with when it comes to describing the Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie-directed Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves. At 180 minutes, it’s a leviathan of a film that often comes across as equal parts provocative and indecipherable.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Ingrid Goes West (USA, 2017) Savages Social Media

At first glance, the logline for Ingrid Goes West can sound a bit twee, tacky or hyperbolic. In the wrong hands, this feels like a film that could easily have come off the wrong way. However, it’s to the credit of director Matt Splicer that it feels less like a lecture from your parents more like a cautionary tale that feels only a few steps away from the everyday. ... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: You Have No Idea How Much I Love You (Poland, 2017) Gently Taps Into The Tragic

At first glance, I’m tempted to drum up some connection or parallel between You Have No Idea How Much I Love You and last year’s Europe, She Loves. Both are European documentaries that engross themselves utterly in their subjects and return with captivating insights into modern humanity. However, aside from the size of its ambitions, You Have No Idea How Much I Love You emerges as a very different film.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Game of Death (Canada, 2017) Is Bloody, Forgettable, Fun

Right at home in the “Freak Me Out” strand of this year’s Sydney Film Festival, Game of Death is probably more-or-less exactly the film you expect it to be. It’s a simple but fun romp that manages to eke out the most from its wacky premise, despite being held back by structural shortcomings and uneven dialogue.... Continue Reading

Netflix Review: Season 2 of the Wachowski’s Sense8 stays true to itself

Though far from perfect, there was always something special about the first season of Sense8. In line with the Wachowski’s previous efforts, there was nothing quite like it and even when it rambled, it did so in a way that earned your attention (coincidentally, writing about the first season of Sense8 was one of the first things I ever wrote about at The Iris). The series didn’t always work but, when it did, it possessed a kind of unlikely spark that kept you watching.... Continue Reading

TV Review: Girls‘ sixth & final season bows out with unexpected grace

Though it started on what seemed like uneven ground, the final season of HBOs Girls manages to not only pull the series strengths together and end on a high note but also manage to do so while remaining as imperfect and messy as it’s ever been.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Going In Style (USA, 2017) Doesn’t Quite Land, Even If It Looks Good

In some ways, it feels like Zach Braff’s involvement with Going In Style is the most interesting thing about it. Braff, now almost a decade after his tenure on Scrubs, hasn’t exactly had a perfect hit rate on the big screen. It’s not that he’s not an untalented filmmaker, it’s just his previous movies have this pretentiousness and overwhelming naivete to them that really hinders them.... Continue Reading