Tag Archives: Four and a Half Stars

Film Review: Dunkirk (USA/UK, 2017) may be the most spectacular war film ever produced

When the name Christopher Nolan is attached to a film, you know you’re in for a blockbuster by any standards. Whether it’s a big budget sci-fi epic (as in Interstellar) or a comic book trilogy (The Dark Knight) to rival any of the genre, Nolan’s work has been virtually unmatched by any of his contemporaries. This week, the latest addition to his stand out filmography hits cinemas, Dunkirk, which sees the writer and director travelling to World War II with a telling of the story of Operation Dynamo and the “Miracle of Dunkirk”.... Continue Reading

TV Review: The first season of American Gods revels in its weirdness

In our first impressions piece of American Gods we examined why this show even in its first episode had the makings of being one of the hot new television series for 2017. Adapted from the Neil Gaiman book of the same name, helmed by showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green and starring a ridiculously talented ensemble cast, the show had all the hype at the end of 2016. Thankfully the first season has been able to live up to that and bring us an imaginative, challenging and visually beautiful series to watch.... 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

Sydney Film Festival Review: Call Me By Your Name (Italy/USA, 2017) is a near-flawless picture that celebrates the universality of love

Thoroughly engaging, immensely poignant, and remarkably evocative, Call Me By Your Name functions as both a coming-of-age tale and a love story, likely to surprise viewers as to where it travels on both accounts.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Better Watch Out (Australia, 2016) is a brilliant twist to the home invasion thriller

You may want to walk away from Better Watch Out during its first half. For the first 30 minutes Chris Peckover gives us a Christmas-themed home invasion thriller that is sorely lacking in originality and only manages a few mild chuckles, upheld by teenage actors who are clearly struggling with the seemingly insipid material script. That’s only the first 30 minutes though. Though Peckover and fellow screenwriter Zack Kahn may initially appear to have given us a middling and slow-moving slice of generic “horror”, they manage to pull off a genuinely shocking and unexpected twist, flipping the whole thing on it’s head and progressing to the point of no return. I felt like a fool for thinking I had wasted my time with this innovative, quirky and very self-aware horror.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Sami Blood (Sweden, 2016) highlights the brutality of extreme prejudice

Fundamentally there is much about Sami Blood that cinema has seen many times over, though for her debut feature writer-director Amanda Kernell has delivered a uniquely complex and painfully relevant coming-of-age while also shedding light on the largely unknown indigenous population of Swedish Lappland. A film of cultural identity and great pain, the prodigiously talented director paints a picture so real this feature almost feels like a documentary, one with a brutal touch and an unflinching sense of cruelty so as to ensure it never downplays the effects of extreme prejudice.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Ellipsis (AUS, 2017) is an intimate and beautifully real film

There’s a lot that can happen in 24 hours, and unless you stop and take a moment to let it sink in, you might just miss something magical. From acclaimed actor David Wenham comes his feature film directorial debut with Ellipsis, a film that came together under unusual circumstances but the end result is something truly special. With a tight budget and an even tighter shooting schedule of eleven days, Wenham and his small crew have created a film that feels intimate and real.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: In My Own Words (Australia, 2017) is an inspiring documentary about a program we should all support

Imagine living in a world where you found it impossible to understand your bills, where you couldn’t text people and you had difficulty getting a driver’s licence because you couldn’t pass the Ls test. For around 40-65% of Indigenous Australians this is a reality because they are functionally illiterate. The documentary film, In My Own Words is an uplifting story about an excellent program that takes on this sobering statistic and works hard to bridge the gap.... Continue Reading