Tag Archives: Three and a Half Stars

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 14 “The Other Side” hits the right emotional beats

As we near an obvious showdown between Negan and team Rick we continue season 7’s clumsy attempt to atone for a defining sluggish pace and what has been the series’ most inconsistent show of quality since the first half of season 2. Thankfully, like last week’s enjoyable “Bury Me Here”, the show continues in the right direction with “The Other Side”.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: California Dreams (USA, 2017) should be called “California Delusions”

With La La Land having recently dominated the Oscars, its story about 2 hopefuls trying to make it in Hollywood uncomfortably lingered in the back of my mind while watching California Dreams. Both La La Land and California Dreams share a similar premise of “dreams are built on sacrifice”, however the films attack their subject matter of struggling actors in entirely different ways. While La La Land shimmers with the temptation of nostalgia, love and the greediness of having your cake and eating it too, California Dreams explores sacrifice when you can’t even afford the ingredients to make that proverbial cake.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: Pornocracy (France, 2016) is a sad indictment on the big business that is the ever-growing porn industry

Porn is a big business. In just six years the planet has watched over a million years’ worth of videos and 100 billion pages are visited and streamed annually. But is there a dark side to the industry? Ovidie, a French journalist and former porn-star attempts to answer this question in her documentary film, Pornocracy, which will have its world premiere at SXSW.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: Through The Repellent Fence (USA, 2017) uses art to make an important political statement

As Donald Trump continues promoting his idea of building a wall between the US and Mexico it’s heartening to see that there are some people taking a different approach. Through The Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film is a documentary about a land art installation that attempted to reinforce the notion that borders are an arbitrary idea and that some fences cannot divide people. This is ultimately an insightful and hopeful tale about an important and relevant issue in politics.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: Barbecue (Australia, 2017) is food porn with a good back story

If there was one thing Jiro Dreams of Sushi did, it was set a precedent that documentaries can be about literally anything. The evidence is in cable broadcasting and the phenomena of reality TV series. There are entire channels dedicated to reality TV programs, filling endless time slots with narratives on cat trainers or house flippers; subjects that conventionally wouldn’t make good viewing.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Rachel Perkins’ adaptation of Jasper Jones (Australia, 2017) finds strength in its cast

We don’t get many films set in small Australian towns in the mid-60s, and though this is the era applied to the story of Jasper Jones, what unfolds is far from exclusive to any one period. Through a cleverly winding and well-paced tale, adapted by director Rachel Perkins from Craig Silvey’s best-selling novel, Jasper Jones reveals an overlapping hotbed of hypocrisy, xenophobia and sexual abuse through the wide-eyed and inquisitive Charlie Bucktin (Levi Miller) and the film’s eponymous character, an indigenous outsider played with a potent mix of strength and fear by Aaron L. McGrath.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Silence (MA15+) (USA/JAP/TWN, 2016) not one of Scorsese’s best, but an illuminating experience

If there’s one filmmaker who, in my opinion, hasn’t made a bad film, that filmmaker would be Martin Scorsese. Venturing from genre to genre with ease (who else can go from the family fantasy Hugo to the dark comedy The Wolf of Wall Street just like that?) and always applying professional care and passion within his projects, Scorsese is a filmmaker whose work I will definitely watch, no matter its subject matter.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Winter at Westbeth (Australia, 2016) is a love letter to the power of creativity & pursuing your passion.

Winter at Westbeth is a film that’s all about “the art.” And celebrating it at every age. This documentary looks at three young at heart, elderly, American artists who live in a vibrant, housing complex called Westbeth Artists Housing in New York. It is ultimately a film that is like a love letter to the power of creativity and pursuing your passion.... Continue Reading