Tag Archives: Four Stars

Film Review: Whitney (UK/USA, 2018) is a bittersweet love letter celebrating the enigmatic star’s rise & tragic downfall

Whitney may not be the most necessary film but it’s certainly an entertaining one. This documentary comes hot on the heels of Whitney: Can I Be Me, but where this latest offering differs is in its unprecedented access to Whitney Houston’s family and friends. The result is an intimate and bittersweet portrait of her meteoric success and her equally tragic downfall.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again (UK/USA, 2018) will have audiences chanting I Do! I Do! I Do! to this joyful sequel

If there was one sequel this year that people did not see coming, it’s Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again. The sequel to the 2008 blockbuster hit has the entire original cast reprising their roles and we have welcome newcomers into the mix like Cher, Andy Garcia and of course, Lily James.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp (USA, 2018) is the perfect antidote from the doom and gloom of Avengers: Infinity War

The superhero film boom continues! After the gloom-and-doom of Avengers: Infinity War, we now have the sequel to the miniature superhero franchise, Ant-Man and the Wasp. Free from the shackles of predetermined disappointment after the absence of original director Edgar Wright from the first film, returning director Peyton Reed and lead actor/co-writer Paul Rudd truly have the reigns to go where they want to go.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: BlacKKKlansman (USA, 2018) sees Spike Lee channel his frustration for one of his finest films to date

Spike Lee is quite clearly fired up as he scatters sharp, defiant dialogue all through BlacKKKlansman, his first feature film since 2015’s good-but-uneven Chi-Raq and without a doubt one of his best works to date. That is no overstatement either, with Lee directing a big middle finger to the racism both explicit and implicit, by care of lead John David Washington, who plays an African-American police officer conning his way into the inner-circle of the Colorado Springs chapter of the Klu Klux Klan. ... Continue Reading

Film Review: Brothers’ Nest (Australia, 2018) is a tight, well paced pitch black comedic thriller

If you thought the family in Animal Kingdom had problems, wait until you meet Australia’s newest dysfunctional family. In the new film from Director Clayton Jacobson, starring both himself and his brother Shane Jacobson, we spend some time getting to know the real life brothers as they play fictional brothers Jeff and Terry – reuniting the pair 11 years after their hit film Kenny.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: McQueen (UK, 2018) is a heart-breaking work of staggering genius

Fashion designer (Lee) Alexander McQueen was a true artist. He would say, “If you want to know me, look at my work.” The documentary, McQueen captures some of his enigma by looking behind-the-scenes at his extraordinary talent and story. While you get some sense of what this artistic genius was like you also get the feeling that some things will be unknowable.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post (USA, 2018) is a sensitive, frank, funny and remarkably inclusive coming-of-age LGBTIQ film

For those who have read my glowing review of American Honey, I praised the main actress Sasha Lane for being a natural on-screen and a talent to look out for. Flash-forward to almost two years later, we have her on-screen again in the comedy-drama The Miseducation of Cameron Post and that had me excited. But fortunately, that’s not the only reason. The film is directed by Desiree Akhavan, who had directed the acclaimed romantic comedy Appropriate Behaviour, which dealt with its subject matters of gender roles and cultural perspectives very well. That point alone makes it highly appropriate that she is directing The Miseducation of Cameron Post.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Piercing (USA, 2018) is a sadistic screwball macabre comedy with two fantastic lead performances

Before I start this review, it has to be said that this writer has a sick and depraved sense of humour. So stepping in to watch this sadistic horror/comedy film Piercing for Sydney Film Festival 2018, my expectations were sky-high.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Incredibles 2 (USA, 2018) brings more laughs than the original as the cast shines

It has been a very, very long 14 years, but the long-awaited sequel that many were asking for is finally here. Toy Story 4 Incredibles 2 has finally arrived! The first film was branded as the Fantastic Four film that people deserved and it catapulted the career of director Brad Bird to new heights, including live-action ventures like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Jirga (Australia, 2017) is a humane look behind the curtain of war

That Jirga is quiet and understated is the film’s biggest strength, consciously moving away from the lurid details of your typical war blockbuster and presenting something of a bare-bones human story about redemption and forgiveness. When Director Benjamin Gilmour and actor Sam Smith, both Australian, spent 20 days shooting this film they did so at great risk to their own lives. It was made in secret, shot on a camera bought at a Pakistani shopping mall, amidst all the storied dangers of a country like Afghanistan, mainly the risk of being taken hostage by ISIS or killed in a suicide bombing. Smith reportedly slept with a knife in his hand under a pillow while staying in a hotel room with a broken lock, and one of the Afghani actors carried a handgun as security.... Continue Reading