Tag Archives: Two and a Half Stars

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

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