Tag Archives: Four and a Half Stars

Film Review: Paddington 2 (UK, 2017) guarantees to put a smile on your face

I don’t know how the first Paddington film became as good as it is. Considering that the trailers made it look awful and the late cast changes in regards to who provides the voice of the titular bear, I was actually expecting the worst. But to everyone’s shock, it turned out to be one of the best family films of that year. Or even one of the best films of that year.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Disaster Artist (USA, 2017) is a profound display of fearlessness

Tommy Wiseau’s laughably bad The Room has such a strong and passionate cult following that the “disasterpiece” is still being discussed, screened and dissected 14 years after its limited cinematic release. There aren’t many films that can boast that kind of staying power, existing in a singular universe where something is so bad it takes on a life that no other film in history (no, not even Troll 2) has, shifting it from self-indulgent melodrama to “quirky new black comedy”. Reframing a film’s genre based on audience reaction is unprecedented; The Room is unprecedented; Tommy himself is unprecedented, so of course when one of The Room’s actor, Greg Sestero, wrote a tell-all book about the bizarre making of this film someone had to come along and adapt it for the world to see.... Continue Reading

Did Netflix just release their first Oscar winning feature film with Mudbound?

Over recent years, we have seen a wide range of films tackle racism across a number of genres, from 12 Years a Slave to The Birth of a Nation, I Am Not Your Negro to Get Out, among many others. While all gained some level of critical acclaim, the former two films came under criticism due to the severity of the violence, which took some of the audience out of the film.... Continue Reading

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