Reviews / 18.07.2019

How do you remake a film that's genuinely flawless? More importantly, why should you even bother? This is the inherent problem facing any Disney "live-action" remake seeking to capture the spirit and essence of a golden animated predecessor. We know the why, of course. Nostalgia brings in the box office dollars and Disney is intent on pillaging its vault of classics for huge financial gain. And they're showing no signs of slowing down. Arriving less than two months (!) after another remake of a 90s Disney treasure is edging...

Featured, Reviews / 11.07.2019

Who doesn't love a shlocky B-movie that knows it's a shlocky B-movie and gives you everything you could ever want from a genre that should provide a dose of giddy, silly fun? Films of the monster movie genre often fall flat on their face by failing to realise the absurdity of their premise and attempt to be something they're not, as we saw with last year's problematic The Meg. It's so deliciously refreshing to encounter something like Crawl; a film that embraces its outrageous conceit to wildly entertaining effect. With...

Reviews / 08.07.2019

It's already been a horribly disappointing summer movie season with an endless stream of dull, lifeless disasters that have (mostly) failed miserably at the box office. But this week, we may have hit the low point of the season with the painfully unfunny and fairly insufferable Stuber; a buddy cop comedy that wastes its impressive cast in deeply frustrating fashion. Relentless action may abound, but nothing here will leave any shred of an impression. Proving two great leads still cannot hope to save a woeful screenplay, Stuber is a disastrous...

Featured, Reviews / 07.07.2019

No doubt many audience members groan at the thought of another coming-of-age teen comedy filled with parties, sex, alcohol, and adolescent angst. The genre has been around for decades now, and, admittedly, most films of this nature aren't worth your time or money. On its surface, Booksmart appears to be just another one of these fluffy timewasters. In reality, the film is anything but. Refreshing, intelligent, and utterly hilarious, Booksmart fires on all cylinders with a stellar ensemble cast, a gifted director, a terrific screenplay, and outrageous moments to...

Reviews / 29.06.2019

After Avengers: Endgame left us emotionally devastated and, frankly, cinematically exhausted, most of us likely need a breather from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Arriving just two months after we said goodbye (sob!) to several key Marvel figures, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into cinemas, offering the joyous exuberance this franchise is fast becoming known for. While the spectre of loss hangs over this sequel, there's boundless fun and pitch-perfect humour to be found within, providing just the escapism needed after Marvel Studios shattered our souls in their previous adventure....

Reviews / 25.06.2019

In recent times, cinema has exploited the music of ABBA, Queen, and Elton John to create giddy jukebox musicals, each seeking to cash in on the insatiable appetite for music nostalgia. It was all but inevitable The Beatles would be next. Avoiding the simplistic option of a biopic to document the rise of Liverpool's favourite sons, Yesterday offers a daringly original proposal; what if the entire world forgot The Beatles ever existed, bar one lucky musician? In the hands of Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle and beloved screenwriter Richard Curtis,...

Opinion / 22.06.2019

Not to sound like a grumpy old movie buff, but, when it comes to film accessibility, youngsters these days have no idea how easy they have it. With the plethora of streaming services available (not to mention digital downloads, Blu-rays, and, ahem, other less scrupulous methods of procurement), a world of films is literally at the fingertips of every impressionable wannabe film aficionado. For those of us who grew up in the 1980s and early 1990s, we weren't so lucky. Sure, we were on the cusp of the VHS...

Reviews / 20.06.2019

"It's a family film." That's how genius South Korean co-writer/director Bong Joon-ho introduced Parasite, his latest acerbic and satirical treasure that genuinely brought the house down at its Australian premiere at the Sydney Film Festival. After taking aim at classism, consumerism, and capitalism in his two previous films, Snowpiercer and Okja, Bong once against shoots straight at the heart of these achingly relevant themes. The result is nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece. While Parasite may not be surrounded by the lashings of metaphorical meanings from the sci-fi settings...

Featured, Reviews / 18.06.2019

When Pixar brought their Toy Story franchise to an emotional close in 2010, they did so in truly remarkable fashion. Both critically-acclaimed (it remains the last animated film to be nominated for Best Picture) and universally adored (it was the first animated film in history to gross a billion dollars), Toy Story 3 was the perfect farewell to a perfect trilogy. Few truly wanted a fourth film. It wasn't needed. We'd said goodbye. We'd closed that door. We all suspiciously sneered at the announcement of another instalment as a cheap...

Reviews / 15.06.2019

In the life of a film critic, there will always be critically-acclaimed arthouse darlings you simply cannot connect with. These are the types of films you feel you're practically required to award five stars to, in order to prove your high standards. This Sydney Film Festival season, that film is High Life, a 110 minute-long test of patience you will either find completely fascinating or tediously dull. There's little grey area on this one. It's divisive arthouse cinema at its best and worst. Working in the English language for...