Tag Archives: Three and a Half Stars

Film Review: Alexander Payne thinks a bit too big with Downsizing (USA, 2017)

There is no escaping a society defined by over-consumption, over-population, excessive stress and glaring inequality as Alexander Payne delivers a big message with a small scale, working his surrealist charm and far-flung sense of adventure into Downsizing. The long-gestating project, directed by Payne and written with frequent collaborator Jim Taylor, is a grand, and at times unfocused, tale that has a lot to say but very little time to say it.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Just To Be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un doute) (France, 2017) is a fun & whimsical little farce

Just To Be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un doute) is a French comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It deals with some important and weighty issues like: family, identity and roots but handles these in a quirky and funny way. What could have been a self-proclaimed neo-Greek tragedy actually turns out to be a fun and whimsical little farce.... Continue Reading

Film Review: In This Corner of the World (Japan, 2016) is thought-provoking anime for older audiences

Similar to the majority of other anime titles on offer, In This Corner of the World is suitably aimed at older audiences.  Whilst the animated medium usually suggests family-friendly viewing, Sunao Katabuchi‘s thematically heavy drama is more thought-provoking than visually reliant.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Wonder (USA, 2017) overpowers the negativity of bullying with its heart and pluck

As easy as it would’ve been for writer/director Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) to nail Wonder‘s sentimental subtext into the ground – those grand old morality notes like “beauty is only skin deep” and “never judge a book by its cover” are covered here nicely – there’s something alarmingly non-saccharine about the way this relevant tale presents itself.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Justice League (USA, 2017) is a fun yet inconsistent ride that breezes by on the charm of its cast

It’s been something of an arduous trek but the Justice League have finally made their way to the big screen.  Long before Joss Whedon earned the tick of approval from comic enthusiasts the world over with his take on The Avengers, George Miller (Mad Max, Happy Feet) was planning on brining the titular crew to cineplexes in an ambitious actioner where the likes of Armie Hammer and Megan Gale were to play Batman and Wonder Woman, respectively.  The 2007-2008 Writers Strike and multiple delays regarding shooting locations ultimately led to the film’s demise, and DC threw their weight behind the remainder of Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight trilogy, leaving the proposed Justice League little more than a pipe dream.... Continue Reading

AMW Film Fest Review: Take Me To The River (USA, 2015) is a soaring celebration of blues, rap and soul music

If American music has a heart and soul then you would find it nestled between Memphis and the Mississippi Delta. The documentary film, Take Me To The River realises this and pays homage to the soul men and women that created those passionate and influential hits for the likes of Stax Records and their ilk. This film is an absolute joy that shows the passing of the baton between some legendary and contemporary artists who work together to make beautiful music.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Bad Moms 2 (USA, 2017) is not for the taint-hearted

Ahh yes, the cinematic comedy sequel. These past several years, we have gotten many comedic sequels, whether they were made by popular demand, the means of nostalgia or the fact that Hollywood is running out of ideas.... Continue Reading

Byron Bay Film Festival Film Review: An American In Texas (USA, 2017) is a film for the disenfranchised

It’s a hard fought ninety-seven minutes for the protagonists in An American in Texas, but it’s a fight they could never really win. In Anthony Pedone’s latest, it’s the early 90’s and the U.S has its sights set on a war in the Middle East. As the effects of the conflict settle across the States, we meet a group of friends looking for their way out of small town Texas.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Happy Death Day (USA, 2017) survives on the strength of its sense of humour

As varying subsets of the horror genre have forged ahead in 2017 as some of the year’s biggest successes (Split, Get Out and It remain three of the most fruitful ventures), it only makes sense that the slasher genre attempt the resurgence it so desperately deserves. It simply isn’t enough however to let a film coax by on familiarity, especially in the horror field where most audiences are too smart to let the simplicity of a masked killer with a penchant for stalking young females be readily accepted.... Continue Reading