Category Archives: Reviews

Film Review: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (USA, 2017) is a family treat for the senses

DreamWorks Animation is back with a new film, and what can we say about this little animation company, soon to celebrate a successful 20-year run? They’ve come an exceedingly long way since their first animated feature, Antz, in 1998, a film that felt so forced to catch up with Pixar (who released A Bug’s Life around the same time amid a feud between the two companies) many wrote them off before they’d barely begun. The Prince of Egypt didn’t do them any favours at the time either, though both were commercial successes (not the same could be said for The Road to El Dorado, however). It wasn’t until their first stop-motion animation, 2000’s Chicken Run, where the tide seemed to turn.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (UK, 2017) is an enjoyable ride but does it overstay its welcome?

When Kingsman: The Secret Service debuted in 2015, it became a critical darling and surprise commercial hit due to strong word of mouth, and a truly original and exciting approach to the spy (and in many respects, the superhero / comic book) genre. Funny, irreverent and wholly memorable, it stands apart as one of the most entertaining films of the last few years. It’s unsurprising then that the surviving members of the cast – of which there were admittedly few – as well as director Matthew Vaughn (who was previously best known for another brilliant adaptation, Kick-Ass) have quickly reunited for a sequel, The Golden Circle, which hits cinemas today.... Continue Reading

OzAsia Film Review: Pop Aye (Singapore/Thailand, 2016) is an amiable, bittersweet and surprisingly surreal piece of work

Although I am a fan of all film genres, I have an affinity for the human-fantasy friendship trope. Whether it’s between a human and a horse (War Horse), a human and a robot (The Iron Giant), a human and a mutant super-pig (Okja) or a human and a Totoro (My Neighbour Totoro), a strong bond is a strong bond, no matter how bizarre the circumstances are.... Continue Reading

OzAsia Film Review: Villainess (South Korea, 2017) brings video game violence to the big screen

Villainess doesn’t waste any time, giving the audience exactly what they came for; a full on, bloody action movie. And boy does it deliver exactly what it promises. The whole premise – a story about an assassin out for revenge – comes with big expectations of huge action sequences and lots of knives, and with a 10 minute opening scene dedicated to our assassin, Sook-hee (played by Ok-bin Kim), violently cutting through a building full of men while she’s on a warpath to find the person she holds responsible for the death of her father, there isn’t any doubt Villainess plans to deliver on every bit of violence that earned it an R18+ rating.... Continue Reading

Film Review: I Am Not Your Negro (USA/France, 2016) is a powerful and evocative look at the Civil Rights Movement

America has long been a country divided, afflicted by the separation between white and black men and it still continues to this day. I Am Not Your Negro is a unique documentary that is an analysis of the civil rights movements of the 50’s and 60’s right through to the current Black Lives Matter movement. But also an insight into the very personal dealings of African American essayist, playwright and social critic James Baldwin with his friends and civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. ... Continue Reading

Film Review: mother! (USA, 2017) will test even the most stern of viewers

Where does one even begin to describe the demented deliciousness that is mother!?  Despite the film’s rather studio-heavy calibre of talent on board, Darren Aronofsky‘s latest cinematic insanity is anything but an audience-friendly affair.  The mysterious marketing campaign has wound up viewer interest (and rightfully so), and I would wager many will be entering theatres under the falsest of pretences, but that is all part of mother!‘s twisted plan – to lure you in, only to strike you down when you least expect it.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Patti Cake$ (USA, 2017) constantly subverts our expectations

Patti Cake$ is the kind of movie that could have gone horribly wrong. The story of an overweight, white (trash) suburban girl gunning for glory in the hip-hop scene isn’t the most accessible story, nor is it culturally appropriate. Thanks to the wit of writer/director/composer Geremy Jasper though, Patti Cake$ disarms any of these potential hot buttons by addressing them with a sense of casual frankness; “Why don’t you act your age?” Patti (Australian find Danielle Macdonald), real name Patricia Dombrowski, asks her lush of a mother, Barb (Bridget Everett). “Why don’t you act your race?” is Barb’s snappy retort.... Continue Reading

Film Review: IT (USA, 2017) is exactly as scary and as fun as you hoped it would be

In the early part of a person’s life, there is always that one scary story, whether it takes the form of a book, a campfire tale or a film, that will inherently scar a person for life when experienced. In my case (and that of many others), that story is Stephen King‘s IT. Continue reading Film Review: IT (USA, 2017) is exactly as scary and as fun as you hoped it would be