Tag Archives: Three Stars

Sydney Film Festival Review: Game of Death (Canada, 2017) Is Bloody, Forgettable, Fun

Right at home in the “Freak Me Out” strand of this year’s Sydney Film Festival, Game of Death is probably more-or-less exactly the film you expect it to be. It’s a simple but fun romp that manages to eke out the most from its wacky premise, despite being held back by structural shortcomings and uneven dialogue.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (USA, 2016) is about one woman’s intriguing fight to preserve New York

The prospect of watching a documentary on town planning probably won’t have people tripping over themselves to watch it. But when you realise that the subject of the film, Citizen Jane: Battle For The City helped preserve some significant parts of New York, it’s a different story. This film is a brief but intriguing look at the David and Goliath struggle that ensued thanks to one woman’s battle to save New York City.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (USA, 2017) flies with half sails

In the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales, we return to the seas on another adventure with our ridiculous Captain Jack Sparrow. This time pairing up with a new bickering couple of non-pirates, and being chased down by his old frenemy Captain Barbossa and his even older enemy Captain Salazar. It’s obvious that none of these sequels will ever match the brilliance of the first film The Curse Of The Black Pearl, but this one sits somewhere similar to second or third films and is thankfully better than its direct predecessor.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Handsome Devil (Ireland, 2016) is a pleasant but predictable coming of age story

Handsome Devil is cut from the same cloth as Sing Street and Dead Poet’s Society, but it also leaves a few things deliberately ambiguous. This is a pleasant, coming-of-age tale set in a private, all-boys boarding school in Ireland. The story ends on an encouraging and positive note where you should be yourself because it reminds us that “No one else can be you”.... Continue Reading

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