Tag Archives: Three and a Half Stars

Sydney Film Festival Review: Yellow Is Forbidden (China/NZ, 2017) is an intimate slice of fashion gold

Colours have different meanings. In Imperial China, yellow was reserved for the emperor. It was believed to be the centre of everything because it generated yin and yang. For fashion designer, Guo Pei it is a colour that has become a signature part of her colour palate. If you don’t believe us, you need look no further than Rihanna’s 2015 Met Gala dress that broke the internet. Yellow Is Forbidden is a fly-on-the-wall documentary that goes behind the seams to examine this fascinating artist and fashion designer.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Colin Minihan overindulges in tension with What Keeps You Alive (Canada, 2018)

Not truly knowing your significant other post-marriage must be a terrifying thought, and it’s one that grounds Colin Minihan‘s What Keeps You Alive in a genuinely frightening premise. Lock that idea up and throw it into a cliche cabin-in-the-woods scenario and you have yourself a fun horror film that’s intriguing and entertaining, if not a bit drawn out and tedious.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Holiday (Denmark, 2018) is an shocking, brutal and unforgettable experience… if you can stomach it

Have you ever seen a film that was so unexpected in its brutality and its disturbing content that you found it unforgettable? Well, one such example screening as part of Sydney Film Festival is Isabella Eklof‘s Holiday. Judging from the poster, you would expect some sort of exploitative saga about a woman in trouble, but through Eklof’s eyes, it is nothing like that at all, and that is what makes it all the more haunting than one could ever imagine.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Beirut (USA, 2018) is an absorbing thriller that doesn’t break convention

Aided by a sense of retro charm and bathed in a yellowy hue that appears to be the go-to filter for Hollywood’s take on anything Middle East, Brad Anderson‘s Beirut is an absorbing thriller that doesn’t break convention, but manages a certain robustness that keeps it sailing along with intrigue.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Ocean’s 8 (USA, 2018) proves acceptable escapism that’ll steal your attention during its running time

Whilst it may not quite boast as impressive an ensemble as the original Ocean’s trilogy managed to concoct (George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts to name a few), Ocean’s 8 still steers ahead on charm and glamour, proving that an octet of women can do anything just as capable as an eleven-strong crew of men, if not more so.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Super Troopers 2 (USA, 2018) is mostly an enjoyably goofy, charmingly raunchy affair

First and foremost it must be noted that Super Troopers 2 is indeed a film made for a particular audience. The original 2001 comedy came and went theatrically without much notice, but over the years it earned rightful cult status as its receptive audience came to appreciate its random, low brow humour. As successful as the film became (its minuscule budget essentially guaranteed it to turn a profit) a sequel was never guaranteed, and even though the rowdy lads behind it – the quintet collective known as Broken Lizard – delivered further productions that failed to match the success of Super Troopers, a re-visit seemed unlikely.... Continue Reading

Perth Festival Film Review: Under The Tree (Iceland, 2017) is a masterclass in neighbourly mutually assured destruction

Neighbourly disputes are really not all that uncommon in the real world, but in Under the Tree, the third feature film from Icelandic director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigur∂sson, a relatively minor disagreement between two suburban neighbouring families over a tree and the shadow it casts morphs into an ever escalating case of mutually assured destruction culminating in a truly hyperbolic and deadly finale.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: ¡Las Sandinistas! (USA/Nicaragua, 2018) restores some important women to Nicaragua’s history books

The original Sandinistas (AKA the Sandinista National Liberation Front) were a group with the odds stacked against them. By their own admission, they were a bunch of “Poorly armed kids.” But they successfully overthrew the Nicaraguan president in 1979. A large number of the Sandinistas were women. Society had expected these women would marry and tend to domestic duties and some received no education or schooling whatsoever, but these girls had other plans. This group achieved some remarkable things but for too long the contributions of the women involved have been erased from the history books and the focus has instead been on the contributions of a few key men. The documentary film, ¡Las Sandinistas! attempts to redress this wrong by focusing squarely on these fearless women and their fight from the front lines.... Continue Reading

Film Review: 12 Strong (USA, 2018) is as dynamic as it is earnest

Depending how you look at it, 12 Strong‘s insistence on bypassing the usual heavy-handed political messages and overt emotional punches that pertain to war genre films will either be a welcome or rejected additive.  It’s a film that’s pretty standard (at least in comparison to genre greats like Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down), but by no means does this indicate a sub-par production as the ensemble on-hand elevate their characters beyond the limitations of what the script affords them.... Continue Reading