Tag Archives: Four and a Half Stars

Film Review: A Quiet Place (USA, 2018) is masterful genre filmmaking that soars leaps and bounds above expectation

Even when working off a plot device that doesn’t exactly test the limits of originality, a clever script and utter dedication from its workers can transform the familiar to something beyond our expectations.  Such is the case with A Quiet Place, an impossibly eerie chiller that presents civilisation as a fallen project, and those who have survived must exist in a plane of silence.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: Ethan Hawke’s Blaze (USA, 2018) is a powerful and effective tribute to a musical great

In the first scenes of Ethan Hawke’s new film Blaze, a biopic about oft Austin based, relatively obscure American musician Blaze Foley, we find out that this story doesn’t have a happy ending. Foley’s life was one cut violently short. It’s a choice that Hawke said was made to keep the film from being emotionally manipulative, and the result is a stroke of genius. The film is one not of his death, but a life cut too short, and the music he made along the way.... Continue Reading

DVD Review: The Handmaid’s Tale first season hooks you in and keeps you wanting more

The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a dystopian future unlike those we are used to seeing. There aren’t any flying cars or amazing technology that you’d assume to see here. There is nothing but solid regression, simplifying life back to its roots. In fact, it appears that everything has gone backwards in the worst possible way.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: The World Before Your Feet (USA, 2018) is like the greatest ever walk in the park

Ringo Starr told people to stop and smell the roses. Ferris Bueller also reminded us that life moves pretty fast and encouraged us to stop or we’d miss it. Matt Green is someone who is doing just that. This 37-year-old former engineer is walking every street in New York City’s five boroughs. It’s a journey of over 12,875 km and the documentary, The World Before Your Feet is an uplifting film that captures and celebrates part of this insanely beautiful journey.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: American Animals (USA, 2018) is a masterful, original take on the heist & true crime genres

American Animals is the scripted film debut from writer/director Bart Layton, who walked away with a BAFTA for his debut effort, the documentary The Imposter. Knowing he comes from a documentary background is unsurprising when you see this film, which screened at Sundance earlier this year to a good deal of critical acclaim, and continued its festival run tonight at SXSW ahead of a US release in June.... Continue Reading

TV Review: Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Impresses With Ample Comedy, Horror, and Absurdity

Ash vs Evil Dead has returned for its third season, proving that this classic franchise still has a lot left in it as long as Bruce Campbell’s Ash is blasting away Deadites. When this season opens, Ash, Kelly, and Pablo have been somewhat moving on with their lives since supposedly ridding the world of evil, but it isn’t long before this same evil catches up to them and brings everyone together for another Deadite-killing adventure. Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago of course return as Kelly and Pablo to kick some more demon ass, and so does Lucy Lawless as the conniving Ruby who I just love to hate. This season also sees the inception of a couple of new faces who bring a breath of fresh air to Elk Grove and may or may not play a major part in the series going forward.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Phantom Thread (USA, 2017) is a romantic comedy disguised as a period drama

I must be a really bad film critic since I have realised another error of my ways. After other mistakes, like never seeing a Agnes Varda film before until Faces Places, here’s another I must confess and rectify: I have never seen any of the works of Daniel Day-Lewis.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Shape of Water (USA, 2017) is a breathtaking, big screen spectacle

At the Golden Globes last weekend, Director Guillermo Del Toro accepted a long overdue Best Director trophy for his latest effort The Shape of Water, which has been something of a surprise award season favourite around the world, topping both the Globes and BAFTA nominations lists (among others). In the speech, which brought the film’s stars Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer to tears, Del Toro summed up his career – and the spirit behind his latest film – better than I ever could,... Continue Reading