Tag Archives: Three Stars

Film Review: Funny Cow (UK, 2018) sees Maxine Peake delivers heart and humour

I’m going to throw out a hot take – It’s tough to be a woman in comedy these days. Late night talk shows and weekly round ups are still dominated by male comics, you try to put out a new-take on an old concept with an all-female cast and unearth the wrath of legions of loyalist fans behind keyboards. You try to unearth why the numbers are so skewed and are met with that classic comeback- “women aren’t funny”. And that is in 2018. So, imagine, then, how tough it was for women in the 1970s.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Skyscraper (USA, 2018) delivers lunacy and ridiculous physic-defying stunts in spades

Is there anything Dwayne Johnson can’t overcome? Earthquakes, tsunamis, oversized gorillas, Vin Diesel’s ego…the hulking man mountain has tackled them all and emerged victorious.  For his latest spat with big screen-worthy roadblocks, the man no longer credited with his “Rock” moniker faces his biggest challenge yet – a skyscraper some three-times taller than the Statue of Liberty that’s been overtaken by a group of throwaway terrorists hellbent on burning it to the ground.... Continue Reading

Film Review: I Feel Pretty (USA, 2018) proves that beauty is only skin deep

The average woman is said to criticise herself around eight times each day. It is in this headspace and society that a rom-com like I Feel Pretty exists. The film had the best of intentions and tries to tackle some complex topics like how hard we women can be on ourselves and the feelings of being racked by self-doubt and self-criticism. It does this in a light way but its plodding nature and problems with its execution often mean that the opposite point is made instead of the one that it was always trying to make.... Continue Reading

DVD Review: Sweet Virginia (USA, 2017) is a suspenseful and absorbing thriller

Mild-mannered Sam (Jon Bernthal) is a retired rodeo champ living a quiet existence as a motel manager in a quiet Alaskan town. We get the impression that he’s not asking for much – just a space to live out his days as peacefully as he can, perhaps get to know Bernadette (Rosemarie DeWitt) a little better. The ripple in the very calm pond in Sam’s life comes in the form of intensely furious Elwood (Christopher Abbott), who befriends Sam and sets off a chain of events that will disturb Sam’s peace and those around him.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Mary Magdalene (UK, 2018) does little to cement itself as a worthy biblical epic

Mary Magdalene extends the long list of biblical film adaptations, and with it, brings a competent yet flawed look at one of the most scrutinised and controversial figures surrounding the life of Jesus Christ. While Mary Magdalene brings some refreshing aspects to the table, it also becomes the victim of its own ambition, sacrificing any deep character development in order to focus on the misunderstood relationship between Mary and Jesus.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Divine Order (Die göttliche Ordnung) (Switzerland, 2017) is a spirited ode to the Swiss suffrage movement

Suffragette was a film that covered the British women who protested in order to gain the right to vote. The Divine Order (Die göttliche Ordnung) is a film that covers things from a Swiss perspective. Whereas the suffrage movement happened in the UK in the early 20th century, for Switzerland it was 1971 before the women’s right to vote was subject to a referendum and legalised. The Divine Order is a sweet, easy to watch and feel-good story about a fictional grassroots movement that achieved big things in a small provincial town.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: Alt-Right: Age of Rage (USA, 2018) is a brutal documentary about a divided US

In Australia we had John Safran playing provocateur and spending time with white nationalists in his book, Depends What You Mean By Extremist. In the US, a SXSW documentary takes a similar approach with filmmaker, Adam Bhala Lough embedding himself with some representatives from political extremes in Alt Right: Art of Rage. The film ultimately looks at a modern-day oxymoron, a divided United States where the alt-right and left are clashing in one huge, cultural melting pot. The result is quite a visceral documentary that is bound to divide opinions.... Continue Reading

Transitions Film Festival Review: Big Dream (USA, 2014) is a call to arms for young women interested in STEM careers

Microsoft have asked us, “Where do you want to go today?” The answer can be found in their new slogan, “Empowering us all” and in the film, Big Dream, which they helped fund. This documentary draws together the stories of several inspiring young women who are challenging the male-dominated STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) industries with their ambitions, ideas and hard work. The result is an important film that should encourage a new generation of women to get involved in these areas.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Michael Haneke punishes the self-indulgent in Happy End (France/Germany, 2017)

Fans of Michael Haneke and, in particular, his earlier works should take a swift and immediate liking to Happy End and stick with the patient-testing film throughout. It’s a cynical, pointed and rather sharp jab at the hypocrisy, selfishness and tragedy of droll middle-class life; well-made, beautifully acted and painstakingly (sometimes painfully) complex, although the auteur’s characteristic nihilism can be suffocating at times when it’s not grimly mocking and somewhat endearing. The title is a misnomer of course; happiness in a Haneke film is so rare that it feels like the director has re-done 2012’s Armour but squeezed out all the life and empathy out so all he’s left with is a bleak, grey reflection of death and desire.... Continue Reading