Tag Archives: Four and a Half Stars

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: 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

Netflix Review: Murder Mystery Alias Grace Is A Gripping Character Study

Alias Grace is a Netflix Original Series inspired by the historical true story of Grace Marks, a convicted murderer, and is based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. The six episode miniseries is written and produced by Sarah Polley, directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho), and stars Sarah Gadon (11.22.63) as Irish-Canadian immigrant Grace Marks. The series follows Grace (Gadon) who in 1843 was convicted of the murders of her employer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross) and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin). Grace was subsequently sentenced to life in prison for her alleged crimes where she is visited by Dr Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft) who seeks to understand exactly what happened the day of the murders, but in order to get to that day he must listen to her story from the beginning.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Thor: Ragnarok (USA, 2017) may be the best entry into the MCU yet

Thor: Ragnarok hits Australian cinemas tomorrow, and by now you’ve heard that this Marvel series’ third instalment lives up to expectations. Helmed by the great Kiwi director Taika Waititi, who assembled a cast of returning favourites and a few excellent additions from his own repertoire, Thor: Ragnarok takes the Marvel Cinematic Universe to new heights, delivering what may be the most entertaining, funny and well balanced entry yet. So you can tell this review isn’t going to differ much from what you’ve heard already. But I do want to delve into a few key reasons why this film succeeds above some stiff competition.... Continue Reading

Netflix Review: Mockumentary American Vandal is the surprise of the season

When spoofing a film or television series, one could create a shot-for-shot parody of the source material, or merely utilise its formula. The latter approach is the preferred option for many, but that brings with it a need to produce original, compelling material that is worthy of viewing in its own right.... Continue Reading

TV Review: Fire reigns in epic Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 “The Spoils of War”

In a move to rival the sheer scale and CGI glory of “Hardhome”, Game of Thrones have just presented what is probably its most epic battle yet, even outranking the “Battle of the Bastards” in some ways by pitting Jamie, Bronn and the Lannister forces against Dany, Drogon, and the Dothraki army. Like all of these “big battle” episodes it was preceded by quite a few major happenings outside of the fiery clash, but not even one of the show’s most emotionally weighted reunions could quite compare to the last 20 minutes of “The Spoils of War”, a spectacle that easily primes this show for its rumored (and to be frank, necessary) feature-length episodes.... Continue Reading

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