Tag Archives: Four and a Half Stars

SXSW Film Review: Long Strange Trip (USA, 2017) celebrates the magic, myth and madness that is The Grateful Dead

Long Strange Trip is a documentary about the Grateful Dead that feels just like being at one of the band’s concerts. It is a sprawling, swirling psychedelic affair that lives up to its name as it celebrates a band that has notched up over 50 years in the music business as the reigning kings of the counter-culture movement. This documentary occasionally feels like a hagiography but it’s a fun and justified one because it’s ultimately a free-spirited love letter to one crazy, joyful psychedelic band.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Moonlight (USA, 2016) is a stunningly beautiful character study; a modern masterpiece

Two young African American males sit on a beach together, bathed in moonlight. One asks the other: “You cry?”. The other replies, “I cry so much sometimes, I feel like I’ma turn to drops,”. Ripped from the pages of the play Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, this scene for me perfectly sums up everything there is to love about the play’s adaptation, Moonlight: honest, raw, beautiful – this is a stunningly beautiful character study unlike any you’ve seen before.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Edge of Seventeen (M15+) (USA, 2016) is touching and hilarious; a must-see

Teenage films have always been a cinematic staple for me. Whether they are quality films (like Heathers, Stand By Me), plain fun (Mean Girls, Easy A, Say Anything) or just plain silliness (Porky’s, American Pie), I’ve always found enjoyment in both entertainment value and nostalgia.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Disney’s newest heroine Moana (2016, USA) is destined to be a classic

Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) is the spirited daughter of a Polynesian chief, Chief Tui (Temuera Morrison). She’s loveable and affable and Chief Tui is pretty much training her up to be the next big kahuna in her village. Her father has warned her that their village and island paradise is the only safe place for her, and that beyond the reef that surrounds their island, there is darkness and uncertainty.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) (Japan, 2016) will leave you spellbound

The Japanese Anime genre has a long history of producing masterpieces. Makoto Shinkai‘s Your Name is no exception. Ahead of its release in Australia, the film has enjoyed rave reviews around the world – and deservedly so. The film centres on Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) and Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki), two people with nothing in common except a connection through their dreams. Cutting a long story short, a bizarre twist of fate brings them together so they can save each other.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Arrival (M15+) (USA, 2016) is an emotionally immersive film

Grounded by Amy Adams’ breathtaking performance, Arrival is a departure of sorts for director Denis Villeneuve, opting to showcase the lighter sound of humanity here as opposed to the more pessimistic tones he showcased with Prisoners and Sicario.  A film that feels both personal and grand, Arrival intertwines the beginnings and endings of time, creating a sense of intrigue that makes us feel like we are witnessing something that is distinctly life-changing.... Continue Reading