Tag Archives: Three Stars

Film Review: Ridley Scott tugs on existential threads with Alien: Covenant (USA, 2017)

2012’s Prometheus marked the beginning of a franchised prequel to Ridley Scott’s original Alien, not only taking fans back to the origins of this iconic sci-fi franchise, but diving deeper into the meaty philosophies such a concept brings, finding purpose with the motif of creation. The introduction of synthetic android David (Michael Fassbender) emerged as the vehicle for this great change in shift and tone; however, not granting this character believable motivations, and creating dynamics between him and the film’s human characters that felt contrived at best, spoiled what was otherwise an intriguing build-up to the Alien universe. Alien: Covenant could be seen as Scott attempting to correct the ills that weighed Prometheus down, while giving us the same enhanced visual experience the 2012 film became known for. ... Continue Reading

Gold Coast Film Festival Review: The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One (Australia, 2016) is Star Wars on a shoestring

In ninety-five minutes, The Osiris Child recreates the past twenty years of sci-fi. It’s a fast blend of genre styles new and old, reaching screens in the format of a graphic novel and touching bases with every ‘humanity in crisis’ story ever told. While never profound, The Osiris Child achieves its vision, but the lack of storytelling stunts the potential of the Aussie sci-fi flick.... Continue Reading

TV Review: Netflix’s Girlboss sees a caustic hustler-turned-throwaway-fashion success story

Girlboss is a series that may leave viewers feeling conflicted. While it’s great to see an underdog making good and pursuing her passion it’s also hard to root for a lead character who is so inherently unlikeable. This Netflix series is ultimately like a fun ball of fairy floss, it’s pleasant enough at first bite; but it’s also a little bit throwaway and lightweight.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Dance Academy: The Movie (Australia, 2017) still knows how to create great teen drama

Dance Academy was one of the shows that defined by teenage years. I was by no means a dancer; yet the representation of real, raw teenage issues was presented in an Australian spotlight – especially on a network that was rather lukewarm at the time (ABC3, now branded as ABCME) was addictive for an entire generation of Australian school kids.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Ghost In The Shell (USA, 2017) is a visual spectacle, but lacks original storytelling

The first scene of Ghost In The Shell is incredibly haunting, as a crimson-hued setting features a fresh, human brain being delicately placed into a robotic body. It’s an uneasy mixture of human and AI – and according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk – it is a reality that’s not too far into the future, once considered pure science fiction that was featured in Ghost in The Shell‘s 1995 anime by Mamoru Oshii.... Continue Reading

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 15 “Something They Need” sets things up nicely for the finale

“Something They Need” wrapped up everything the way you would expect, setting some final pieces in place for the inevitable showdown in next week’s finale. The problem with this is that the absence of anything unexpected, outside of some nice bits of drama over at The Sanctuary, resulted in a clean episode that lacked any sort of dynamism or excitement. I have no doubt that this is largely due to what’s been plaguing this season of The Walking Dead, in that the writers have overindulged in bottle episodes and refused to be more economical with their large cast, which has forced them to speed up certain sequences that need to be longer to at all be believable, like this week’s visit to Oceanside.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Life (USA, 2017) hits all the beats we’re used to but in a more polished container

One day Hollywood might be able to come up with a new science fiction movie that has us discovering a fluffy cute adorable friendly alien. One day Hollywood might be able to come up with a group of characters who actually have character development, prior to being ruthlessly dispatched. One day Hollywood might be able to stop cloning itself and come up with some new, fresh and original ideas. But today is not that day. So if you are OK with the idea of something that’s a bit like Alien meets Event Horizon meets Gravity then you will probably enjoy Life.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Eagle Huntress (G) (UK/MONG/USA, 2016) follows an inspiring subject

I have to admit, I don’t watch a lot of documentaries, but I’ve loved the ones I’ve seen. Some of them haven’t felt like documentaries at all, mainly because the stories behind them are a little too one-sided or hard to believe. Films like Super Size Me and Bowling for Columbine have been accused of being false, manipulative as well as misleading. I start off with this because the documentary, The Eagle Huntress, which is released in select cinemas this week, has been accused of being staged, scripted and even acted. But even factoring all of this, does that clench the final verdict that the documentary is a bad viewing experience? In this case, yes and no.... Continue Reading

AF French Film Festival Review: Daguerrotype (France, Belgium, 2016) has its flaws, but creates the perfect eerie atmosphere

Best known for his contribution to Japanese horror, director Kiyoshi Kurosawa brings an interesting take on a ghost story. Daguerrotype (Le Secret de la Chambre Noire) follows a Parisian named Jean (Tahar Rahim) who is hired to be an assistant to the elusive photographer Stéphane (Olivier Gourmet). With Jean’s help, they create heart-stopping daguerreotypes, an old form of permanent photography which captured images on silver-coated plates. These images were often of Stéphane’s beautiful daughter and muse, Marie (Constance Rousseau), who wishes to escape from the confines of their home and her father, and sees Jean as her hope to freedom. As the story progresses, bizarre things start to stir within the house.... Continue Reading

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 12 “Say Yes” ups the ante in cheese factor

With four episodes left in the season, we and the group from Alexandria are all gearing up for one hell of a showdown. That means the stakes get higher, situations get more tense and occasionally Greg Nicotero and his crew need to pad out an episode here and there. Not to say that “Say Yes” was a bad episode – I’d be pretty disappointed if at this late stage, they produced something forgettable – but it probably didn’t feel as weighty as it should have.... Continue Reading