Category Archives: Reviews

Film Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (USA, 2017) is a triumphant return to form

By the conclusion of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the character and lore behind it had lost all sense of vigour on screen. The film was tired, painful and offensively deplorable, so much so it managed to master what many would consider near impossible — it made the promise of future instalments as something to dread rather than anticipate. Who could imagine that could be the state of a property as beloved as Spider-Man. So perhaps due to the disappointment of previous outings does Spider-Man: Homecoming feel like such a crowning achievement. Ebullient and refreshing, Homecoming differs from previous iterations by positioning Peter Parker as a high school student who adores his alter ego rather than loathe his inner duality. It is a coming of age drama masquerading as a superhero film, and Homecoming proves as effervescent as the titular protagonist himself.... Continue Reading

Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: Play Your Gender (Canada, 2016) is an inspiring music documentary that encourages female producers & engineers

Artists like Madonna, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are some of the biggest names in the music industry. But in the shadows of these successful women you will see lots of men. When you look behind-the-scenes at the music business it is one big old boys’ club but does it have to be this way? The documentary, Play Your Gender asks why there aren’t more female producers and sound engineers and answers this in a very interesting, well-constructed and engaging way.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Monsieur Chocolat (France, 2016) (France, 2016) is the less colourful counterpart to Moulin Rouge!

Breathtaking and magical, Monsieur Chocolat (directed by Roschdy Zem) is one to watch if you want to experience a Parisian night. Immerse yourself in the world of 19th-century French circus and follow the biopic story of Chocolat (Omar Sy). He journeys from a performer acting as the “cannibal” to a more respected position as a clown in a duo with Foottit (James Thiérrée). Together, they reach fame but things start to fall apart when Chocolat wishes to be more and ambitions clash.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Vaya (South Africa, 2016) is a brutal coming of age story set in an unforgiving Johannesburg

Like it’s Tsotsitaal namesake meaning “to go”, Vaya, Directed by Akin Omotoso, literally begins on the move. Opening on a train bound to Johannesburg Vaya follows the intertwining paths of three young South Africans journeying from their rural homes in Kwazulu-Natal to eGoli, the city of Gold. All three are tasked with their own promises to fulfil not only to themselves but to their home towns. Unfortunately this living breathing city, a character in it’s own right, tempts them away from their honourable duties as soon as they disembark the train.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: The Beguiled (USA, 2017) is a worthy remake with an excellent cast and crew

Apart from Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette, I haven’t seen much of director Sofia Coppola‘s work. Known for her filmmaking approach to humanize her subjects with unorthodox methods like gentle pathos, looking through different character points-of-views outside the norm and the use of anachronisms, Coppola has achieved a reputation of being a director that is both rebellious and restrained.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Transformers: The Last Knight (USA, 2017) is a nonsensical, explosion littered mess

It’s gotten to a point now where it doesn’t matter what you think. 2014’s soft reboot Transformers: Age of Extinction was a woeful film, torn apart by critics and made its predecessors look like Citizen Kane in comparison. And yet, it grossed over $1 billion worldwide. It maintains a spot in the top 20 highest grossing films of all time. After four films, I guess you couldn’t blame Michael Bay and Paramount for simply phoning it in for their next sequel. And they did. Oh they so did. In fact they texted it in.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Detour (UK, 2016) tells its simple story with a violent edge and an air of unpredictability

Having made something of an underground name for himself in the horror genre with such European productions as Creep, Triangle, and Black Death, British filmmaker Christopher Smith opted out for a brief moment to helm some TV work and an out-of-character holiday-themed comedy; Get Santa with Jim Broadbent and Warwick Davis, for those playing along at home.... Continue Reading

DVD Review: A Cure For Wellness (USA/Germany, 2016) discovers glee in its unrestrained European sensibility

Returning to the genre that arguably brought him to fruition, Gore Verbinski’s (The Ring) A Cure For Wellness is a decidedly morbid slice of cinema that revels in its own jarring weirdness. Here’s a film that has considerable monetary backing (something of a surprise for a particularly eerie horror experiment) yet comes off more like a pet-project-come-cult-classic-in-waiting.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Okja (USA/Korea, 2017) delivers an exhilarating, heartfelt ride from a master filmmaker

Okja is a film involving a giant mutated pig. What more do you want? But seriously, in order to understand the hype of the film, you have to know the filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho.... Continue Reading