Tag Archives: Two and a Half Stars

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

Film Review: Personal Shopper (USA, 2016) falls flat with its supernatural elements

Poor Maureen (Kristen Stewart). Her boss, Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten) is impossible, sending her all over Europe for clothes and shoes she is too rich and famous to buy for herself. On top of that, her twin brother died a few months ago, and he still hasn’t contacted her from the beyond, even though he promised.... Continue Reading

SXSW Review: Madre (Chile, 2016) isn’t the thriller you expect

Set in Chile, Madre follows wife and mother Diana (Daniela Ramirez). Pregnant with her second child and caring for her disabled son, Martin (Matias Bassi), Diana struggles daily with running the household; her husband Tomas (Cristobal Tapia Montt) is often away on business in Asia. Just as we’re about to see how much more she can withstand on the ole proverbial Struggle Street, Diana fortuitously meets Luz (Aida Jabolin), an elderly Filipino woman who calms Martin down faster and with better results than Diana ever could. Diana hires her as a nanny/housekeeper, thinking she can finally regain some sanity in her life. But the more time Luz spends with Martin, the more Diana can’t shake off the feeling that something is off with her household, and soon she’s suspicious of Luz.... Continue Reading

SXSW Film Review: Prevenge (UK, 2017) could be the only film of its kind this decade

In 1968 we received Rosemary’s Baby. It was the film that established Roman Polanski’s ability to bring madness onto screen and placed Mia Farrow as the paranoid mother, unknowingly carrying Satan’s spawn through nine months of fear and mental ruin. It was a landmark film, exploring the psyche and anxiety of an expecting mother.... Continue Reading

Film Review: A Few Less Men (UK, 2017) is conventional comedy with its heart in the right place

Three British lads on holidays in Australia for a wedding face a dilemma that would put a damper on any getaway. One of the groomsmen has died (after a drunken romp through the Australian outback, it seems), and now the two remaining groomsmen and the groom, the dead bloke’s three best mates, make it their mission to bring his body back to London, if only to avoid the wrath of said dead bloke’s cousin Henry, who’s five beers short of a six-pack. Except things don’t quite go to plan, and what was meant to be a simple plane trip back to the UK turns into a mammoth trek – lugging a dead body across Australia’s wildest landscapes.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Before I Fall (USA, 2017) fails to capture the depth of Lauren Oliver’s novel

Ry Russo-Young’s adaption of Lauren Oliver’s successful 2010 youth-adult novel Before I Fall tells the story of Samantha “Sammy” Kingston (Zoey Deutch), a young woman who has it all; the best group of friends, the perfect guy and what seems to be a very bright future. However, everything changes after the fateful night of February 12th, where Sam wakes up to no future at all. Trapped by some supernatural force, Sammy is to relive the same day over and over again. In endeavouring to escape from this trap, she begins to realise how her life was not as perfect as it seems. Leading to the discovery that this curse may be a lot more than just about making a difference to herself but also to those around her.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Alone in Berlin (Germany/France/UK, 2016) celebrates silent protest in Nazi Germany

Obedience and groupthink were cogs of a never-ending machine which kept Nazism running in the sinister era of Hitler. Husbands would churn trough factory work in the name of their Fuhrer, housewives would do all they were allowed to in order to support the regime, and their sons would fight and coldly die, scared and alone. This prototype is what frames the protagonists in Vincent Perez’s Alone in Berlin, a true life story adapted from a 1947 Hans Fallada novel which follows a German couple whose discontent with the regime and the sacrifices of war transformed into a small but determined operation aimed at sewing seeds of dissent, subverting the very idea of Hitler. If anything, it’s fun watching Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson as they work towards their small but hopeful part in dividing wartime Berlin, slowly but surely throwing sand in the gears of the Nazi war machine.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Fist Fight (USA, 2017) has solid storytelling, but otherwise falters

If there’s one thing everybody can say about this film, it is that the film is punchy. Studio comedies have been very underwhelming the past few years, especially from studios like Warner Brothers (the less said about Hot Pursuit, the better), regardless of the comedic talent involved.... Continue Reading