In the life of a film critic, there will always be one particular question that inevitably comes our way; what was the first film that started it all? For most of us, it was the first film we saw in a cinema that truly sparked our love of movies. Much like generations of children before me, my first trip to the cinema was to see a Walt Disney Animation Studios film. And I've been in love with Disney's special brand of magic ever since. The year was 1990 and...

After the unexpected success of 2008's guilty pleasure Taken, Liam Neeson found himself stuck in a casting pigeon hole, with the actor seemingly exclusively starring in generic action thrillers for the better part of the last decade. In a welcome change of pace, Neeson heads back to something a touch more subdued with the equally-generic familial drama/romantic drama Made in Italy, which is likely the closest any of us will get to a Tuscan getaway for some time yet. An inoffensive timekiller of a film, Made in Italy stretches...

Can an idea be just as contagious as the deadly virus the world is currently suffering through? That's the startling question broached in writer/director Amy Seimetz's intoxicating and atmospheric horror She Dies Tomorrow that could be the most unexpectedly relevant film of 2020. By presenting a dazzling vision of a contagion of the mind, Seimetz has inadvertently tapped into the crippling anxiety many of us are feeling over what tomorrow will bring. If tomorrow brought your certain death, how would you react? That's precisely the follow-up question Seimetz ponders...

Back in 1999, The Blair Witch Project gave new life to the "found footage" genre of horror filmmaking and created a voyeuristic experience that was equal parts captivating and horrifying. In recent years, the genre has evolved into the "computer screen film," where the entire visual narrative is constructed within the digital devices of the film's characters. At a time when we are so reliant on video technology to remain connected with friends and family, it hardly surprising a horror film is here to make us terrified of...

By the mid-1980s, Walt Disney Feature Animation was on its last legs. After the catastrophic box office failure of 1985's ambitious disaster The Black Cauldron, many within the Disney studio feared the once-illustrious animation department was on the verge of being shut down. It would take the herculean efforts of a dream team of collaborators to resurrect Disney animation and it would be spearheaded by a man whose influence was compared to Walt Disney himself. Arriving almost three decades after songwriter Howard Ashman's tragic premature death, Howard is a...

Over the decades of cinema, we've seen countless adaptations of novels, plays, television shows, and comic books, but rarely has a series of photos formed the inspiration for a film. It's the unenviable task facing first-time feature film director Kelly Blatz, who stamps his claim as a filmmaker to watch with his remarkable directorial debut Senior Love Triangle. A surprising little gem that will ultimately break your heart, it's an unexpected love story that packs a hefty punch. Inspired by co-writer Isadora Kosofsky's award-winning photo essay series of the...

By fortunate virtue of every summer blockbuster moving out of its way, Unhinged arrives in Australian and European cinemas this week with far more attention than it would have initially received. Sure, it's got an Academy Award winner at its helm, but you get the feeling this film was heading straight to DVD/streaming before scrupulous studio executives saw an opportunity to seize on the fact there's barely anything else new to cinemas right now. Standing as a test case for cinemas desperate to get back on their feet after...

Taking seemingly innocuous elements of daily life and spinning them into something terribly nasty is a fairly stock-standard formula for horror movies. Over the years, the horror genre has made us terrified of videotapes, clowns, porcelain dolls, rolling fog, and practically every creature in the animal kingdom. It came as no surprise to see horror filmmakers turn the concept of renting a stranger's home via Airbnb into a blood-soaked nightmare. The latest entry in this growing sub-genre of horror arrives in the form of The Rental, the impressive directorial...

Back in 1986, Australia's tradie-turned-comedian Paul Hogan took America by storm with Crocodile Dundee, one of the most successful independent films of all time. On a shoestring budget of $8 million, the film took a staggering $328 million worldwide (which equates to roughly $893 million in 2020), making it the highest-grossing Australian film ever made. Hogan won a Golden Globe for Best Actor, scored an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay, and even co-hosted the 59th Academy Awards with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn. To say the world went...

There are few female actors working today with the versatility of Charlize Theron. She's got the Oscar (and two additional nominations) to prove she can handle heavily dramatic roles. She's occasionally dabbled with comedy where she's managed to outshine her more seasoned co-stars. And, more recently, Theron has shown her deft capacity for tackling gusty action heroines in films like Mad Mad: Fury Road and Atomic Blonde. The woman can do it all. It should come as no surprise to hear Theron offers another powerful heroine to add to...

Movie trailers are often a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they can give you a tantalising taste of what to expect from a film. On the other, they have the potential to completely ruin any element of surprise pertaining to a film's plot. Their existence forms a necessary element of every studio's marketing plans, but, sometimes, your experience with a film would be far greater by going in completely cold on details. Such is the case with the romantic comedy Palm Springs, which was a film this critic...