Category Archives: Reviews

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

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 script fails to deliver anything other than predictable melodrama.... Continue Reading

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

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 Kills), it was his critically acclaimed turn behind the camera with last year’s Hacksaw Ridge that has seemingly voided his pariah status in the industry.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Netflix’s Mudbound (USA, 2017) is a breathtaking film that is persistent in its treatment of a difficult subject

Despite being associated with Netflix, Mudbound is no made-for-streaming affair.  Premiering to rave reviews in the earlier half of the year at Sundance, Dee Rees‘s film was snapped up by the media service after surprising snubs from the other major studio players.  Rees is arguably having the last laugh though as this film more than deserves the awards chatter its currently garnering, with her transforming Hillary Jordan’s novel into an exquisitely made picture featuring career-best performances from its well-rounded cast.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Justice League (USA, 2017) is a fun yet inconsistent ride that breezes by on the charm of its cast

It’s been something of an arduous trek but the Justice League have finally made their way to the big screen.  Long before Joss Whedon earned the tick of approval from comic enthusiasts the world over with his take on The Avengers, George Miller (Mad Max, Happy Feet) was planning on brining the titular crew to cineplexes in an ambitious actioner where the likes of Armie Hammer and Megan Gale were to play Batman and Wonder Woman, respectively.  The 2007-2008 Writers Strike and multiple delays regarding shooting locations ultimately led to the film’s demise, and DC threw their weight behind the remainder of Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight trilogy, leaving the proposed Justice League little more than a pipe dream.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Borg vs McEnroe (Sweden, 2017) is an uneven film that never feels complete

Borg vs McEnroe feels like a film more tailored for the streaming services market.  A minor feature that’s likely to only really be of interest to tennis fanatics, and even then they might prefer a more traditional documentary, Janus Metz Pedersen‘s drama never feels like a complete production, despite its substantial focus on Bjorn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and his intensely monitored childhood.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Blade of the Immortal (Japan, 2017) shows that excess and overkill are good things

Takashi Miike, back in the V-cinema (straight-to-video) era, was a complete madman. Not in a human state (or maybe he is, who the hell knows?), but in his creative state, as the images and ideas he comes up with can only come from a man who is completely bonkers.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Lucky (USA, 2017) is an affecting swan song for the late Harry Dean Stanton

Very few actors have been afforded a send-off as fitting as Harry Dean Stanton has in Lucky.  Throughout his 6 decades of working across both film and television, Lucky, next to his most substantial screen-time turn in 1984’s road movie Paris, Texas, stands as a true showcase for the actor; regardless of the film arriving after his death, it would still be deemed a milestone in his career.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Kathryn Bigelow doesn’t hold back in Detroit (USA, 2017)

Kathryn Bigelow has already proven a competent and imaginative voice when tackling tough, complex subjects featuring the kind of gutsy brutality that doesn’t need excessive gore or sci-fi elements. She’s much more concerned with real-world situations, exploring human nature as a function of and reaction to extreme pressure; in some ways, it’s similar to the approach Peter Berg has taken with his last three films; although Berg seems to fall short when it comes to character. The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty were both great, thought-provoking films, both of which made enough of an impact to position Bigelow as one of the most anticipated directors of the past decade, for both film buffs and people who usually don’t give much thought to the director of a film.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Murder On The Orient Express (USA, 2017) beautifully captures the essence of Agatha Christie’s material

With its classic style, striking ensemble, and lack of action-heavy set pieces, Murder on the Orient Express may be a little too refined for modern audiences versed in the ways of today’s distraction-centric filmmaking where bigger and louder equals better.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (USA, 2017) has such a compelling bond between the three leads, it will tie you in knots

Biopics these days feel like forced Oscar Bait; as though the formula for an award, on behalf of the actors, is to talk in a funny accent or shout. To truly nail a true character, there’s more to it than just imitation. Films like Patch Adams, Diana and even A Beautiful Mind fail to succeed from a filmmaking standpoint, due to sappy music, biopic cliches and lacking in exploration of the spirit of the subject, to name but a few. They also contain performances that come off as a collection of “tics”, rather than a true embodiment of the subject that they are playing.... Continue Reading