Featured, Reviews / 13.09.2019

An origin story of Batman's greatest foe was something no one ever really asked for. Much like Disney's ill-fated attempt to flesh out the backstory of one of its greatest villains in Maleficent, the Joker is a character whose mystery is part of his endless charm. He's a character we can never fully understand. Nor should we seek to. So seemingly indiscriminate in his chaos, his brand of evil was perfectly summarised by Michael Caine's Alfred in The Dark Knight when he theorised, "Some men just want to...

Reviews / 11.09.2019

Renée! Renée! Renée! Does Judy! Judy! Judy! You'd be hard-pressed to find a better project for an absent Hollywood star to make her triumphant comeback than by tackling the most ambitious role of her career. In a twist of meta-laced irony, it's a character Renée Zellweger can clearly identify with. Chewed up and spat out by the industry that made her a household name, Zellweger obviously connects with a thing or two about the experiences of the legendary Judy Garland. In a heartbreaking look at the troubled final days of the Hollywood...

Featured, Reviews / 09.09.2019

If there was one inclusion on the Toronto Film Festival schedule this year that stood out as an intriguing addition, it was undoubtedly Hustlers; a film which, on its surface, appears like something more at home in a summer blockbuster season than amongst a litany of awards season hopefuls. With its ensemble female cast stacked with big names of both the film and music world and a narrative centred on the exploits of a group of strippers, you may be expecting a film devoid of any substance. You'd be...

Reviews / 08.08.2019

Despite the fact Australian troops have played a role in every major conflict of the 20th century, war movies are hardly synonymous with our local film industry. You could almost count every Australian war film with just two hands. While American cinema has exhaustively covered their disastrous Vietnam War, the tales of the 60,000 Australian troops who served in the combat have barely been touched. In the annals of Australia's military history, 1966's Battle of Long Tan is a moment that's given little coverage, spurned by the shameful fact...

Reviews / 07.08.2019

Workplace comedies have been around since the dawn of cinema. From golden age classics like His Girl Friday and The Shop Around the Corner to modern-day riots like Office Space and Anchorman, there's comedic gold to be found in situational humour in the drudgery of office life. But for all the laughs, the genre can provide some sharp commentary on the state of the imbalance of power facing those who aren't lucky enough to fall in the white male category. Such is the case with Late Night; a deviously...

Reviews / 07.08.2019

The reunion movie is almost a genre within itself. Whether it's a group of friends coming together again for the first time in years or a fractured family reconnecting after a catalytic event, these films generally involve the revelation of a few major secrets that have been festering in the shadows. Such is the appearance of new Australian film Palm Beach; a film which presents itself as a wicked weekend getaway where old friends will finally confront their equally-old demons. While there are plenty of skeletons in the closet...

Reviews / 06.08.2019

With only eight films in his illustrious career, writer/director Quentin Tarantino has left an indelible mark on cinema in the last few decades. Love him or hate him, you cannot deny the filmmaker's unique style and vision. With  Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, his ninth (and potentially penultimate) film, Tarantino offers a deeply personal piece of cinema that plays like a glorious love letter to the Tinseltown of old. In perhaps his most compassionate and affectionate work to date, Tarantino meticulously recreates Hollywood of the late 1960s in...

Reviews / 04.08.2019

In 2018, a bold new visionary director entered the psychological horror landscape and knocked our damn socks off. With the divisive (it's okay if you hated it) Hereditary, writer/director Ari Aster offered a hefty helping of nightmarish imagery, shocking moments, and a stunning performance by his leading lady, the Oscar-ignored (no, I'm not over it) Toni Collette. Just one year later, Aster returns to do it all again with Midsommar; an equally unsettling and disturbing endurance test for audiences, cemented by one of the best female lead performances you...

Reviews / 02.08.2019

If there's one film in 2019 where you know exactly what you're in for, it's Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Standing as the first (but surely not the last) spin-off to the uber-popular revhead franchise which has earned over $5 billion (!) at the worldwide box office, this new entry follows the same well-worn formula of its predecessors. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Overloaded with spectacular stunts, epic chase sequences, and brutal fistfights, it's just big, dumb, ridiculous fun that goes well with...

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...