Reviews

16 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Allied (2016)
6/10
Disappointing and superficial
24 November 2016
This movie seems like a long montage, you never feel engaged with the characters or the story as it races through plot points then plods through others. The effects seem dated, in that it's noticeably fake, which often draws you out of the story. Cotillard is strong, Pitt less so. The story itself has been done and and done better. The writing is a little lazy and predictable. One strange inclusion is that it makes a point of introducing Pitt's character's sister. She seems to serve no point and it feels like something is missing. As a (Southern Hemisphere) summer "blockbuster" it will probably fare well but when compared to some of 2016's more tense and visually appealing movies, like Norturnal Animals, it falls flat.
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Geroy (2016)
2/10
Get ready to roll those eyes
20 November 2016
This was apparently the highest grossing film at the Russian box office upon release which speaks to the level of media control and indoctrination there at the moment.

This melodrama of the highest level plays with all the sophistication of a 1930s B movie. Over the top acting and music cues really ham up the plot, which I might add has holes in it you can drive a bus through.

The movie is so pro-imperialist and very anti-Soviet revolution. This is interesting in itself as it must reflect the political climate in Russia at the moment.This is something I would like to look more into.

Visually it is bright and lavish and detailed, if not slightly derivative. The acting is poor. Dima Bilan is the lead. He may have won the Eurovision Song Contest but an actor that does not him make.

I am very glad I did not pay to see this, but instead won tickets to the Melbourne Russian Film Festival. I probably would have preferred to stay at home, instead of incredulously rolling around in my cinema chair at each new unsubtle and cringe-worthy development.
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Girl Asleep (2015)
9/10
Joyous
10 October 2016
This is a beautiful and beautifully made movie. The intricacies and absurdities of 70s life are writ large, with over the top set dressing and outfits. Disco dancing and disco moves abound, as Greta discovers herself in this coming of age tale.

It's surreal and enchanting, wafting from real life to dream sequence, you're with it all the way.

A new Australian classic, and certainly something different, both for Aussie cinema and for cinema in general.

It's been out for weeks here in Melbourne, and my Monday evening session was sold out, we missed out the week before for that reason, so it is resonating with audiences. Let it put you under its spell.
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Guldkysten (2015)
8/10
A sensory feast!
11 July 2016
I had the pleasure of seeing this movie at the Scandinavian Film Festival in Melbourne and was not disappointed.

As other reviewers have noted, it is a beautiful production; the setting and cinematography are glorious.

I won't waste time with plot (I was engrossed in it), as it has been covered, I would like to add my voice to balance out some negative points raised by others.

The music, a deeply sombre, melancholic, electronic score is a striking juxtaposition to the colonial African setting. It is so out of place that is absolutely works. There is a particular scene at a tribal party. It is disorienting both for the characters and the viewer, however the (oft-times used in a disorienting fashion) authentic, rhythmic tribal music is replaced with the frenzied electronic score. It is fantastic film-making.

The film is well, albeit slowly, paced. Some scenes do outstay their welcome, particularly the prison scenes on, but this film reaches an aching crescendo that is totally rewarding.

It is, at times, gory, explicit, disgusting, and real, but that is true to form for the brutal time and place in which it is set.

It offers a rich symbolism, and spiritual side as well, via the character's dream-like progression through the film. It is utterly fascinating.

The acting is first rate.

The direction, music and ethereal nature of the film reminds me somewhat of Nicolas Winding Refn's work, particularly Drive and Only God Forgives. Which a touch of Donnie Darko's existential spiritualism. But still it's own thing, completely.

It is absolutely not for everyone, but I was completely taken with it.
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1/10
A few actors? A few good jokes? A few good anything? No.
3 February 2012
We should be ashamed of our film industry for turning out dreck like this. Poorly written, poorly acted, exploitative and just cringe-worthy. Every stereotype about Australia, men, women, gay and lesbians, the rich, the poor and everyone else was abused in this 'comedy'. I must put a disclaimer in that I walked out of this cinematic abortion after only 30 minutes. I have never done that. My hatred was compounded by the laughter from the everyone else in the cinema. Clearly this is a lowest common denominator movie and the clientèle had chosen wisely. I don't know why I am complaining, I knew it would be this bad. The ads made that clear, but there was nothing else showing that my friend and I hadn't seen. Oh I am mad! I am furious that this movie has made 2.5 million in its first week, yet J. Edgar, a truly masterful film, doesn't crack the top 10.
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Burning Palms (2010)
3/10
Unrelentingly bad.
2 December 2011
I am not sure if this was meant to be ironic, subversive or surreal, but it failed on every level. Framed as stories in some demented comic book, it isn't presented as 'different' enough to be believable as a comic story. It comes off as racist, sexist and just generally unpleasant. The actions of the characters are so unbelievable and irrational as to drive me to distraction. The acting is just awful in most cases. It is supposed to be some comment on Los Angeles, yet it is just absurd. There was potential for this to be insightful, witty or interesting, yet that was all frittered away with shock value and the extreme unbelievability of the characters. And because it was presented in a normal world, this makes it all the frustrating. It was just unrelentingly bad.
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10/10
The most beautiful and romantic film I have ever seen.
20 June 2011
I got this movie out on DVD without knowing too much about it and I was absolutely blown away. It is such a touching and romantic movie. I know it has taboo topics but they are handled so gently and with such acceptance by the film makers and the the characters within the story. It truly moved me in a way a film has never done for me before. It is probably not for everyone due to some of it's taboo content, but honestly, it should be viewed regardless. It is such an exquisite portrayal and will really make you think. I cannot praise this movie more highly. Forget the mind-numbing exploitative offerings of The Hangover or Bridesmaids, and see what great film can accomplish.
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6/10
A fun-laden romp!
17 July 2010
Walking into the advance screening of 'Knight & Day' that I was lucky enough to win tickets to, I had fairly low expectations.

To me, the title screams 'Kath & Kim' and my media created mindset is to automatically dislike Tom Cruise.

So, needless to say my expectations were low. Perhaps a good way to enter a cinema; it means you'll rarely be disappointed.

I was, however, delighted with this movie, and it seemed so was the bulk of the large crowd viewing it with me.

Opening scenes include a fiery plane crash, witty romanticisms between Cruise and Cameron Diaz and secret agent intrigue. From here, the audience is taken across America and the globe, from Saltsburg to Seville.

The stunts are amazing, with some truly fantastic car chases, but it was as much about the action as it was about Cruise and Diaz.

Both gave fabulous performances, and delivered great chemistry as we rode alongside them in this mile-a-minute spectacle of a film.

I really enjoyed the cinematography; it made me think of the glamorous 1960s films of 'James Bond' et al. The depiction of the luscious scenery and witty character directions have a real stylishness.

While I could never figure out the significance of the title (Cruise is Knight, what was Day? A bad pun perhaps?) and the film certainly won't turn up in any VCE exams, it is well worth a watch as an action packed, fun laden romp!
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Sea Patrol (2007–2011)
1/10
Why Nine? Why?
10 September 2007
This is just an appalling piece of television. The Nine Network spent some ridiculous amount of money on it too. The premise is great; the adventures of a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat and its crew as they protect Australia's north. How they could get it so wrong is anybody's guess.

The writing is despicable. It is hackneyed and trite and the dialogue is so forced and banal. It is as subtle as a brick to the head (which would be more pleasant than watching this), and lacks any wit or sparkle. Story lines go overboard at a rate of knots. There is absolutely no suspense AT ALL, which is no mean feat. The acting is just deplorable. Lisa McCune heads the team, a woman so wooden the Tasmanians want to pulp her. She did her best work on the Coles ads. The rest are just shocking. The editing is non existent and the cinematography is as basic as I Love Lucy. The music is sickeningly cheap. It is worse than the 1960s Star Trek Original Series fare. And the sound effects, oh my lord!

It is a worrying indictment on the sorry state of affairs at the Nine Network. I have read that only 1 person in the executive team has any TV experience, and it is minimal at that. It shows.

What is perhaps more worrying is that this reprehensible creation has been sold to many other countries! This is not an image we want to send out. It has also been renewed for a 2nd season! God help us!

For an example of pure excellence in Australian TV, the equal of any American or British production, see Seven's City Homicide.
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City Homicide (2007–2011)
7/10
First rate drama
10 September 2007
I am always quite skeptical about Australian made dramas (and comedies for that matter). In my opinion it has never really been our forte, the writing talent hasn't been there. Fly-on-the wall, variety and reality: sure we excel but not in scripted stuff. But the times are changing, well on some networks at least.

City Homicide is a beautifully executed piece of television. In every way. The writing is strong, snappy and fast paced and is peppered with subtle Aussie humour. The dialogue is excellent. The acting (lead by Noni Hazelhurst and Shane Bourne) is first-class. This can be a real rarity on Aussie TV. The cinematography, editing and music is superb. I have never been so impressed. The Seven Network has done us proud with this production. All Saints isn't bad either, though it is no CH.

Compare all this to the tripe the Nine Network dishes up (and subsequently sells overseas): Sea Patrol. SP is the WORST piece of television I have seen. They spent records amounts of money on it, and for what? Writing? Doesn't appear to be any. Good dialogue? Next. Good acting? Not when Lisa McCune is around. Cinematography? Editing? Music? Mmm the less said about the first two the better and as for the music, it sounds like Mrs Hahn's year 8 music class did it on a synth keyboard. But wait the show is filmed on a real Navy patrol boat. Well then it must be good.

I digress. CH is excellent in every way.
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Standoff (2006–2007)
7/10
Excellent
11 August 2007
This aired nationally on the Seven Network (www.yahoo7.com.au/tv) in Australia in the summer non-ratings period 2006-07. It got the prime 8.30pm Monday night timeslot, however it must have not built an audience because it was not carried over to ratings period. Or Seven was told it was cancelled in the US and they did not bother to continue with it. However the final 8 episodes have shown up on Tuesday nights at the unpopular 10.30pm timeslot, after the end of priority prime time. Which is unfortunate because this an absolute cracker of a show! It has so much pace and is sharply written. It builds so much tension and is terribly well acted. It runs circles around shows like CSI, Criminal Minds etc. But like most good shows out of the US it was cancelled because I guess it was over most of their heads. Just like Arrested Development, Dead Like Me, Commander in Chief, Strangers with Candy and the list goes on.
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Less Than Perfect (2002–2006)
6/10
Really quite good
4 November 2006
Less Than Perfect has been on in Austrlian since almost the same time as America. It was on the Seven Network over the summer non-ratings period but did not find the ratings it deserved so it was shelved till same time next year. 7 is now currently showing the final season at 11am on weekday mornings, after the 10.30 National News and before Scrubs season 5 repeats. It is also screened on the pay-TV channel FOX8. This final season in particular is great. Andrea Parker is a delightfull actress in both serious rolls (the Pretender and several JAG episodes including Harm's original partner in the pilot) and in comedic rolls. Lydia is one of the best characters on the show.
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Supernova (2005 TV Movie)
1/10
Australia? Sydney?
11 November 2005
Look, aside from incredible plot holes and the ridiculous nature of the film, did anyone else notice something awry? This was screened as one long movie here in Australia on the Seven Network (www.seven.com.au the network to whom the camera man that was beaten up by terrorist supporters belonged) and one thing that became bleedingly obvious to me: THE SETTING IN NO WAY RESEMBLES Australia!!! THAT IS NOT SYDNEY...No one WITH ANYTHING CLOSE TO AN Australian ACCENT APPEARS...AND FOR A MOVIE SET HERE, THERE ARE A LOT OF Americans AND British! Also, in reference the news woman reporting on the Sydney Mayoral election, Mayors in Australia have almost no power, unlike in the U.S. Our system gives most of the power to the state government, eg. police, education, public transport, health, main roads, and all of this is funded from the federal government. The local council, headed by the mayor, is basically responsible for rubbish collection, parks etc and no one cares about the elections and by no means do they run high profile elections. In fact it is usually a postal vote. And voting in Australia is compulsory for all. Back on topic, the National Intelligence people from the states would never be allowed to run their investigation in Australia! They have no jurisdiction here, and would have to run with the help of state or federal police and or ASIO. It is the nature of nationality and sovereignty that another external power does not have free reign to conduct itself in the borders of another! Sorry for the long spiel...but Christ this movie is BAD!
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5/10
Problematic, torn but enjoyable
6 February 2003
Nemesis is the black sheep, the whipping boy of the Next Gen movies. Trying to appeal to all it appeals to none. Laden with enough esoteric jokes, references and cameos from the series to make any fan happy, but dark and edgy enough to appeal to a wider audience. Sadly not.

Sadly it's the Data show, featuring Picard. Everyone else is relegated for 4th fiddle. Does Bev even have any lines? Who knows. Now Brent Spiner is good but he isn't that good, and Data by this installment is just annoying. It would have been nice had they worked with some of the ensemble more. I think Marina Sirtis is easily one of the stronger actors in the bunch, but always underutilised.

Fans find it hard to buy the motivations and the actions of their old favourites. The car chase scene is particularly galling.

Tom Hardy hadn't quite blossomed into the actor he is now, but also the writing isn't great.

Is Worf in this one?

The score is, as expected, quite good and one of the stronger elements of the film. The effects and camera work are also really up there.

Sadly we are not seeing off the ST:TNG crew that we had known and loved for 16 years in style. With a whimper rather than a bang.

This movie is one long wasted opportunity. Watching in 10+ years on, knowing that nothing can be done about it, and well past the point of finger pointing, you can accept and enjoy it for what it is; a mismatch of plot points from the series, with a could of great moments, but a lot of moments you can play on your phone during.
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9/10
Outrageous Fortune finding this one!
9 March 2002
This is an absolute 80s gem!

Forget woes about there being few female buddy pics on offer in modern Hollywood and check out this cracker!

Bette Midler and Shelly Long shine bright as love rivals setting off across country to track down the object of their affections.

With snappy dialogue and great chemistry, the women set off from New York and cross the continent, culminating in a high stakes, adrenaline filled show down in the desert!

It's as fun as any modern movie and while you're at it, check out Big Business and Ruthless People. Troop Beverly Hills is another of Long's 80s joys that full-fills the so-bad-it's-good category!
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Airplane! (1980)
10/10
pure genius!
24 October 2001
This movie and it's sequel are possibly the funniest movies ever made! David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Pat Proft are genius' all their movies from Airplane and Top Secret to Hot Shots, the naked gun series and wrongfully accused are hilarious! Must See!!!!!!!!!
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