Tag Archives: Three and a Half Stars

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

Film Review: Ben Affleck’s Live By Night (USA, 2016) is a visually stunning yet slow running 1920s gangster film

Based on the 2012 novel by Dennis Lehane of the same name, Live By Night is set in the prohibition era across the 1920s and 1930s. The man at the centre of the story, Joe Coughlin, is played by Ben Affleck, who brought this adaptation to life. He directed, wrote and produced the film, which ended up being an (only slightly) above-average addition to his quality catalogue.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Passengers (M) (USA, 2016) is far from the grand space opera many will be expecting

Similar to how the recently released Allied arrived in cinemas preempted by an action-heavy advertising campaign that proved somewhat misleading, Passengers is far from the grand space opera many will be expecting.  Instead of a sci-fi outing that’s more brawn than brains, Morten Tyldum‘s intriguing film is surprisingly simple, personal, and (mostly) effective.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Sing (G) (USA, 2016) is a pleasant outing for families this holiday season

Stacking itself plentiful with a heft of pop songs ranging from the classic sounds of Lennon & McCartney to the modern screech of Lady GaGa, Sing is a jukebox musical of sorts that’s suitably bold and bright. Seemingly content not reaching for critical acclaim in the same vein as recent animated offerings like Zootopia, this somewhat old-fashioned tale isn’t a musical in the traditional sense, but allows plenty of showy numbers to liven up the relative two-dimensionality of it all.... Continue Reading