Awards Season, Reviews / 04.11.2021

From Brad and Denzel to Angelina and Nicole, you know an actor has really hit the big time when they're known by just their first name. In the sports world, there are two instantly recognisable first names that have dominated the cultural zeitgeist for more than two decades; Venus and Serena. That's why it may seem strange Hollywood's first attempt to capture their life in an Oscar-bait biopic bears the moniker of their father. After viewing King Richard, you'll completely understand why. An entirely rousing crowd-pleaser that will leave...

Awards Season, Reviews / 23.10.2021

In 2020, we were served a throwback classic Western in the form of Paul Greengrass' charming News of the World. In 2021, co-writer-director Jeymes Samuel is here to give the genre one almighty shake with the coolest Western in years. A brutal, bloody affair that finally places an ensemble cast of actors of colour at the forefront of such a narrative, The Harder They Fall is stylish as hell, hugely entertaining, and uproariously fun. An ambitious directorial debut that announces the arrival of a bold new filmmaking talent, The...

Awards Season, Reviews / 20.10.2021

As the old saying goes, there are two sides to every story. But in the case of Ridley Scott's latest Middle Ages epic The Last Duel, there are actually three. A film that admirably attempts to dabble in the #MeToo movement but gets somewhat lost along the way, this is more of a medieval soap opera than a scathing critique of sexism and misogyny. Whether that's a compliment or a criticism will be entirely up to the viewer. Impeccably crafted and brilliantly acted, The Last Duel runs long and...

Awards Season, Reviews / 11.10.2021

It's been a strange and terrible year for many reasons. After the misery of 2020, we foolishly assumed this year had to be better. As someone who's been in the Sydney lockdown for over 100 days, I can attest this year has been more akin to a terrible sequel; more of the same, yet somehow so much worse. But if you'd told me at the start of 2021 that one of my favourite films of the year would star Nicolas Cage and its narrative would centre on his...

Awards Season, Reviews / 08.10.2021

For over two decades, the world has watched in horror at the news of yet another shooting inside an American school. From Columbine and Sandy Hook to Parkland and Virginia Tech, the number of shootings and the growing death toll is too painful to even fathom. There's a whole generation of children who have sadly grown accustomed to school shootings being a reality of their formative years to the point active shooter drills are now necessary to prepare American kids for the very real possibility of a shooting...

Awards Season, Reviews / 09.08.2021

Last year, it was Billie Holiday and Ma Rainey. The previous year, it was Judy Garland and Elton John. This year, it's the Queen of Soul. Hollywood's recent obsession with Oscar-bait biopics centred on infamous divas of music finally reaches the late, great Aretha Louise Franklin. A film that's been cooking around in development since early 2018, Respect is a paint-by-the-numbers biography that feels far too conventional for a woman who was anything but. Saved by the magnificent performance of Jennifer Hudson, impeccable production values, and the jukebox soundtrack Hudson...

Awards Season, Reviews / 06.06.2021

With three Tony Awards, three Grammys, an Emmy, an Oscar nomination, and a Pulitzer Prize, it's no surprise Lin-Manuel Miranda is the most in-demand man in Hollywood right now. In 2021, he'll be responsible for composing original songs for not one but two animated films (Sony Pictures' Vivo and Disney's Encanto) plus make his feature directorial debut with Netflix's musical Tick, Tick...

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...