Tag Archives: Four and a Half Stars

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

Netflix Review: Season 2 of the Wachowski’s Sense8 stays true to itself

Though far from perfect, there was always something special about the first season of Sense8. In line with the Wachowski’s previous efforts, there was nothing quite like it and even when it rambled, it did so in a way that earned your attention (coincidentally, writing about the first season of Sense8 was one of the first things I ever wrote about at The Iris). The series didn’t always work but, when it did, it possessed a kind of unlikely spark that kept you watching.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Innocents (Poland/France, 2016) is a remarkable, must-see film

Films based on true events are often met with a mixed response; audience left to question the validity of the liberties its filmmakers have taken. Though it can render some films as potentially predictable or even unbelievable, others can be inspiring and heart-wrenching. In the case of The Innocents, we find cinema that belongs to the latter camp; quietly powerful, thanks to a subtle approach to storytelling and assured direction.... Continue Reading

Gold Coast Film Festival Review: My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea (USA, 2016) is high school through a kaleidoscope

My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea is a psychedelic trip through four storeys of a floating high school. About as bad of a place as someone would want to take a transcendental journey, but for the main characters it’s an edifying one, filled with colour, strange visuals and awkward relationships.... Continue Reading

Netflix Review: Dear White People (USA, 2017) is a binge-worthy treat

Dear White People directed by Justin Simien, was a 2014 indie hit film that went wild, from word of mouth at Sundance Film Festival. Critics applauded it and it garnered a massive fan base – so why wouldn’t we want to see it back as a hit Netflix series? Well, it’s here and it could be the new generation’s wonderfully culturally divisive version of Freaks and Geeks (cancelled way too soon)!... Continue Reading

Film Review: Colossal (Canada/Spain, 2017) is a miraculous achievement

Nacho Vigalondo has always been an exciting filmmaker for me. Ever since I saw his first feature film Timecrimes, I’ve always wanted to see more of this work. His handling of genre film and melding it with themes of humanity or topical themes has always fascinated and thrilled me.... Continue Reading

Blu-Ray Review: The single disc release of Doctor Strange (USA, 2016) arrives jam-packed

As we now roll into Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe we are pulled to the beginning of one character’s story. Doctor Strange is Marvel’s step back to delivering an origin story for a new superhero but in some ways this film is a giant leap forward in universe building. It’s hard to fathom that we are now at 14 films and the Marvel juggernaut keeps on churning out blockbuster after blockbuster with rarely a falter. This is yet another notch in the belt for the studio as it expands its list of characters and barrels towards the impending Infinity War extravaganza. Go forth for our somehwat slightly spoilery review.... Continue Reading

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