Tag Archives: Two and a Half Stars

Film Review: Small Town Killers (Denmark, 2017) never completely commits to its nasty premise

Like fellow Danish filmmakers Lars von Trier and Nicholas Winding Refn, Ole Bornedal made the leap from his homeland to Hollywood, though he opted for more an entertaining stance on his career as opposed to the heavy artistry his peers practiced; Bornedal was behind the rather unspectacular 2012 haunted house pic The Possession, whilst von Trier and Refn helmed such respective controversial pieces as Antichrist and Only God Forgives.... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Orlando (UK, 1992) is a meandering look at gender studies in history

Blur may have sung about “girls who are boys who like boys to be girls,” but it was writer, Virginia Woolf who got there first. Her short novel, Orlando is about a young, aristocratic man who wakes up one day and discovers he’s become a woman. It was a novel that was written by Woolf for her lover, Vita Sackville-West and later adapted into a 1992 film called Orlando. It sees Tilda Swinton playing the titular character in a fine, androgynous performance but that’s really all there is to it.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Love At First Child (Ange et Gabrielle) (France, 2015) is a pleasantly throwaway rom-com

Love At First Child (Ange et Gabrielle) is a film where a baby brings a man and woman together. And we’re not talking about its parents. This film is a light, French rom-com that is a little like eating a sweet soufflé, it’s fluffy and nice at the time but utterly forgettable shortly afterwards.... Continue Reading

Film Review: A Ghost Story (USA, 2017)

David Lowery is a filmmaker whose work I have enjoyed due to thenrestrained approach to his direction, his way of humanizing his characters and his sincere, honest approach to storytelling. Whether it be a small-scale story like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints or a commercial film like the recent Pete’s Dragon, his directorial and screenwriting touch is always apparent.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Final Portrait (UK/USA, 2017) can’t overcome its bland setting

Based on a memoir by American writer James Lord and adapted for the screen by actor Stanley Tucci, Final Portrait is a concise passion project with committed performances and evident production care that sadly doesn’t overcome its bland setting.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: The Young Karl Marx (France, 2017) is a safe bio-pic about the famous philosopher & socialist

The Young Karl Marx (Le jeune Karl Marx) is a bio-pic that feels authentic because it captures the period well in a visual sense. But you also get the feeling that it is only telling a part of the story and not least because it is all about Karl Marx’s youth. This dramatic film is ultimately a nicely-rendered but dry look at the famous revolutionary, which it paints in an overwhelmingly positive light.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Mummy (USA, 2017) disappointingly squanders any promise it showcases

In 2014 it was believed that the Luke Evans-led Dracula Untold was going to launch Universal Studios’ proposed shared universe of classic movie monsters.  Dubbed Dark Universe, the ambitious project akin to the connected phases of Marvel and DC films ultimately let that idea fall to the wayside when the aforementioned feature was hardly the moneymaker the studio expected.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Neruda (Chile, 2016) is a complex bio-pic that leaves you questioning what is truth and fantasy

Neruda is a film that truly embodies its subject matter. But this proves to be one double-edged sword because it is also to its betterment and detriment. This bio-pic about the eponymous, beloved Chilean poet uses the lyrical qualities the writer employed to bend the narrative in so many ways that the result is virtually imperceptible.... Continue Reading

Gold Coast Film Festival Review: Out Of The Shadows (Australia, 2017) makes promises it cannot fulfil

The opening moments of Out Of The Shadows are among its best. The first scene, a tracking shot through a murder scene with grievously damaged bodies, an upset detective and an unsettling atmosphere set by the colour grade and sound, promises a clever indie horror that for the most part, the film fails to deliver.... Continue Reading

For Film’s Sake Festival Review: Dust Cloth (Turkey, 2016) is a subtle and well-intentioned character study

Dust Cloth (Toz Bezi) is the sort of film you’d get if you crossed Phil Collins’ “Another Day in Paradise” with Radiohead’s “No Surprises.” It’s the subtle, everyday story that shows the poverty that two working class women in Istanbul endure. While it is a well-observed and well-intentioned tale, this is also a character study that is a bit too meandering and slow for its own benefit.... Continue Reading