With his racially-charged historical comedy BlacKkKlansman, veteran firebrand filmmaker Spike Lee finds himself in something resembling the political center – at least in relative terms. Adapted from a non-fiction book by Ron Stallworth, the director offsets the gritty texture and hand-trembling impact of his most memorable work (including Do the Right Thing, Clockers and Chi-Raq) with […]
When Ideal Home ends, it’s with a rousing series of family snapshots, all featuring same-sex parents and their offspring. Adults beam, children grin and the sounds of 10cc’s The Things We Do For Love pairs perfectly with each real-life photo. Writer/director Andrew Fleming could’ve opened the movie with the same slideshow and it would’ve proven […]
Fortunately, it’s saved by Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.
The Jurassic Park movies have always been coat hangers for special effects, ever since Steven Spielberg awed audiences with the sight of a John Williams-accompanied brontosaurus nibbling leaves in the rousing 1993 original. You could say a lot of other tentpole American blockbusters exist to showcase spectacular set pieces and digital whizbangery, but the feeling […]
One can’t help but ponder some questions…
Since the release of The Incredibles in 2004, the idea of a movie examining a world where the general population has turned against superheroes has evolved from an interesting concept to writing that borders on hackneyed and clichéd. Directors Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan explored these sentiments most memorably – in Watchmen and The Dark […]
Director Stephen McCallum’s deafening debut dives into the Australian biker underworld with a roar, grabbing that glamorised Sons of Anarchy image and bludgeoning it to death. The raw and disturbing Macbeth riff from writer and star Matt Nable has no sentimentality for the ‘brotherhood’ of the biker; instead power – sexual, physical and psychological – […]
Watching a movie told entirely from the point-of-view of computer and smartphone screens creates an odd sensation. The opening image of director Aneesh Chaganty’s missing person thriller Searching (which plays at Sydney Film Festival and will be released nationally September 13) is an exterior shot of a bright, grassy green hill beneath a glossy blue sky. […]
None of the slick production present in Soderbergh’s trilogy makes it to this spin-off.
Describing a horror movie as scary is like saying a comedy is funny: a plaudit so general and box-ticking it means almost nothing, beyond basic acknowledgment that a filmmaker has in some way succeeded in their intention. The juicy bit is always considering why. This is not necessarily a simple task when a scary movie […]
Brothers’ Nest is the latest outing from the sibling pair behind the seminal Aussie comedy Kenny, Clayton and Shane Jacobson. The only similarity it has with the delightful and jovial merchant of toilet humour is that this deeply dark film also clings to you like an inescapable stench. The rare splashes of comedy in this […]
If the 2014 scary movie The Babadook was a metaphor about the fear of being a bad parent, the bat shit crazy horror-comedy Mom and Dad can be its gnarly counterpoint: a grotesque fantasy about pent-up parental rage exploding into violence and carnage. Writer/director Brian Taylor explores mid-life crisis by way of George Romero-esque contagion, casting Nicolas […]
The music swells, the actors emote, but you won’t feel a thing.
Watching it in a packed cinema with a hyped-up crowd is pure joy.
Often when it seems like there’s nowhere for zombie movies to go, a little out-of-left-field film comes along to prove you wrong, squeezing a smidgen more life out of the genre’s exhausted conventions. Aussie epidemic pic Cargo does just that: injecting bracing, subtle layers into long-established flesh-munching lore while not completely reinventing anything. Its family-in-peril […]
With Solo: A Star Wars Story, director Ron Howard has ditched the heavy-handed, space soap opera approach of recent installments for an old fashioned Saturday matinee spectacle. For filmmakers such as The Last Jedi‘s Rian Johnson, who was four years old when Star Wars: A New Hope opened in cinemas in 1977, tapping into nostalgia […]
Anon’s vision of a world without anonymity is strikingly banal.
The first Deadpool movie was something of a paradox: a breath of fresh air in the form of a fart in the audience’s face. The film and its lewd motormouth protagonist were irreverent with a capital “i”, keen to come across as outré and in-your-face. Rambunctious self-awareness was a key factor, loosening the structure of […]
Is there a harsher juxtaposition than bucolic images of nature followed by bodies being slaughtered? Hungarian writer/director Ildiko Enyedi’s intensely contemplative drama On Body and Soul, which has won a slew of awards including top prize at last year’s Sydney Film Festival, begins with beautiful icy-blue shots of deer in snowy wilderness, then violently changes […]
There’s a real life-or-death issue behind Kennedy’s crisis management that casts his self-serving actions in a pretty despicable light.
Tully conveys the pressure on body, mind and soul brought to bear by never-ending stress and responsibilities.
Simon Baker (from T.V’s The Mentalist and L.A. Confidential) charges into the director’s chair with dramatic intensity and confidence, adapting Tim Winton 70s coming of age novel Breath. Set in an isolated coastal town in Australia, two ‘grommets’ (novice surfers) Pikelet (Samson Coulter) and Loonie (Ben Spence) are drawn to the waves. As they embrace […]