Awards Season, Reviews / 20.02.2021

Can a song incite a revolution? That's the inherent question floating behind Lee Daniels' messy, bloated biopic, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, that seeks to capture the troubled life of a music legend but gets lost amongst Daniels' penchant for extravagance and melodrama. The powerful story is there, especially for those unfamiliar with Holiday's battles with drugs, men, and the FBI. But Daniels' frustrating direction, chaotic pacing, and a ghastly screenplay derail what could have been a terrific film. Thankfully, this disappointing biopic is saved by the...

Awards Season, Reviews / 04.02.2021

Even the non-religious are aware of the infamous betrayal of messiah-figure Jesus Christ at the hands of his trusted disciple and eventual saboteur Judas Iscariot. His name has become since synonymous with those who would treasonously sell-out a friend for their own personal benefit. In other words, it's not a moniker you'd be proud to have attached to your name. The biblical tale is the perfect analogy for the tragic true story of Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and the treacherous FBI informant who infiltrated the...

Awards Season, Opinion / 27.01.2021

With another spectacular line-up of nominees, picking the winners for this year's The Jam Awards has been a typically difficult task. Alas, decisions must be made, and, after much deliberation, the winners have been decided. So without further ado, let The 7th Annual Jam Awards commence! Best Film And the nominees were: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Minari Nomadland One Night in Miami Promising Young Woman Sound of Metal And the winner is...

Awards Season, Reviews / 26.01.2021

Back in 2018, Los Angeles Times freelance film critic Katie Walsh described writer/director Sam Levinson's Asssassination Nation as "a badly bungled attempt at social commentary." It's wildly ironic that very review forms part of the inspiration for Levinson's pretentiously smug Malcolm & Marie; an equally badly bungled attempt at social commentary. Filmed in the grips of coronavirus restrictions, it's an experimental film that ultimately feels like a film school project crafted one weekend by an overly-ambitious filmmaker and his two acting school buddies. This kind of restricted filmmaking is...

Awards Season / 20.01.2021

New year, new name. After six years of The Jammies, it's time for a change. The Jam Report's annual yearly awards will now be known simply as The Jam Awards. But that's all that will be changing. These awards will still celebrate the absolute best of cinema from 2020. And what a year it was. Despite a troubling period for the film industry, we've still been treated to a delicious smorgasbord of wonderful films, setting up one of the most exciting and competitive awards seasons in years. As such,...

Awards Season, Opinion, Reviews / 08.01.2021

It's been said many times before and I'm sure you don't need reminding 2020 was an absolute dumpster fire of a year. For those of us in the world of films, it was a year filled with cinema closures, film festival cancellations, and release date delays. We watched helplessly as practically every major release was punted to 2021. When you're a film critic who predominantly focuses on reviewing new release films, it was a terrifying prospect to watch months of scheduled writing content vanish in the blink of...

Awards Season, Reviews / 27.12.2020

While its heydey may have ended some six decades ago, the Western genre refuses to truly die. They may not exactly light up the box office (remember that?), but Westerns can still be event films, particularly when one of the world's most beloved actors dips his toe into the genre for the very first time. Sure, it's a style of film that's unlikely to thrill the masses, but there's a classic charm to something like Paul Greengrass' sprawling Western epic News of the World that we could use...

Awards Season, Reviews / 23.12.2020

American cinema has its daring heroes and its dastardly villains, but the most interesting films often focus on those folks simply living an unextraordinary life. The quest to achieve the American Dream forms a central conceit of many of these films, but what of those who've chosen a different path? It's here in this underrepresented cinematic world that auteur-in-the-making Chloé Zhao lays her scene. Amongst the ghosts and ruins of the American Dream lies Nomadland, a stunning portrait of a subculture cinema has yet to touch. As writer, director,...

Awards Season, Reviews / 21.12.2020

One of the biggest tragedies of all the cinematic casualties of 2020 is the difficult fact Soul will stand as the first Pixar film to not receive a theatrical release. As will undoubtedly be the case for many of you, Soul will sadly be the first Pixar release this film critic does not see inside a cinema. The bitter disappointment is only compounded by the realisation this film is easily their most visually ambitious and experimental to date and deserved to be seen on the big screen. But this...

Awards Season, Reviews / 18.12.2020

In the gloomy days following the tragic, unexpected death of Chadwick Boseman in late August, there was one ray of light that gave the world some comfort; Boseman would still grace our screens in one final film. That performance has finally arrived. And what a tremendous swan song it proves to be. As a cocky, hotshot trumpet player with a heavy chip on his shoulder, Boseman's last performance will indeed stand as his greatest. A dazzling showcase for two powerhouse performances from Boseman and a typically commanding Viola Davis,...