Awards Season, Opinion, Reviews / 03.01.2020

Oh, what a year in cinema we had. While the world continued to burn (quite literally in Australia), we film buffs seeking escapism were blessed with a terrific plethora of movies to make us laugh, make us cry, make us wince in terror, make us cheer with delight, and, most importantly, make us feel. From spectacular blockbusters to independent wonders and everything else in between, it's been a magnificent 12 months of movie watching. But it hasn't been all smooth sailing. From Scorsese "criticising" Marvel films as not being...

Reviews / 19.12.2019

Earlier this year, director Guy Richie took an unexpected swim in the Disney live-action animated remake pool with the over-bloated, CGI calamity that was Aladdin. It made over a billion dollars, naturally, but few walked away feeling like they'd seen anything particularly fresh. Breaking free of the shackles of remake hell with his first piece of wholly original cinema in 11 years, Richie finally gets his groove back by returning to the genre he does best. A riotous, roaring return to form for the writer/director, The Gentlemen is a...

Awards Season, Reviews / 19.12.2019

"Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." The wise Dr. Ian Malcolm of Jurassic Park once posed the brief but perceptive summation that just because something can be done doesn't mean it should be done. It seems the perfect quote to relate to the disastrous CGI mess that is the big-screen adaptation of mega-successful stage musical Cats, the fourth-longest-running show in Broadway history. Just because one can superimpose a human's face onto a cat's body...

Awards Season, Reviews / 19.12.2019

If the last twenty years and five films have taught us anything about Star Wars fans, it's one blindingly obvious fact; you cannot please them all. Serve up too many elements of the films that came before and you're derided for lazily recycling the past. Stray too far away from the tried and true formula and you're vilified for destroying the franchise. There really is no way to win everyone over, particularly with how sacred many rightly hold the original trilogy. In 2015, co-writer/director J.J Abrams was criticised by...

Reviews / 17.12.2019

One of the biggest surprise packages of 2017 was undoubtedly Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the fresh, lively, and genuinely funny sequel that kickstarted a franchise few ever expected to exist. Over 20 years after Robin Williams' beloved family favourite, this reboot deftly proved the necessity of its existence and walked away with $962 million at the worldwide box office. Admit it. You thought it would flop. After surprisingly taking the title as the fifth highest-grossing film of the year, beating the likes of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Guardians...

Reviews / 17.12.2019

It's been a weird year at the cinema for many reasons. Even still, an animated film featuring a super-spy, voiced by Will Smith, who accidentally morphs into a pigeon is probably the last thing you expected in 2019. After mixed reactions to his, er, unique take on Genie in Aladdin and the critical and commercial disaster that was Gemini Man (you'd already forgotten that was thing, hadn't you?), Smith throws the dice for the third time this year. With Blue Sky Studios' Spies in Disguise, Smith proves the third time is...

Awards Season, Reviews / 16.12.2019

Let's be honest. Fox News is probably the worst thing to ever happen to broadcast television. While it's always strayed far from its laughable "Fair and balanced" slogan, in the last three years, it's become little more than a farcical propaganda machine for the orange clown in the White House. It's a miracle the "news" network is even still standing, given the sexual harassment scandal it somehow withstood back in 2016. It's that very saga which provides the juicy fodder for director Jay Roach's bombastic and occasionally compelling Bombshell; a...

Reviews / 12.12.2019

Way back in 1974, an unassuming Canadian horror film essentially defined an entirely new subsection of the genre and went on to inspire horror filmmakers for the next few decades, notably John Carpenter and his opus Halloween. While it's far from the greatest horror film of all time, Bob Clark's Black Christmas is one of the earliest examples of the slasher film, making it a landmark moment for horror cinema and rightly earned the film cult status amongst cinema fans. A remake came and went back in 2006, ramping up...

Awards Season, Reviews / 11.12.2019

You're likely assuming we did not need another film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's seminal classic Little Women. Many consider Gillian Armstrong's 1994 film to be the definitive screen version of the novel, ruling out the necessity for any further remakes. Enter actress-turned-filmmaker Greta Gerwig, whose unbridled love for Alcott's work is the driving force behind one of the year's most beautiful films and a worthy challenger to the high bar set by Armstrong. A faithful adaptation given new life by a daring storytelling technique and an impeccable ensemble cast,...

Awards Season, Reviews / 10.12.2019

After dozens upon dozens of war films since the dawn of cinema, it seems directors now need to consistently find a new contrivance to land any impact in this genre. Working within a storytelling technique few filmmakers have dared to touch, co-writer/director Sam Mendes offers his war drama 1917 in one seemingly continuous take. It's a gimmick, to be sure, but it's one crafted in such meticulous and flawless fashion, creating one of the technically finest war epics there has ever been. An ambitiously daunting task on a scale...