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Play It Again – Blue Velvet

By Glenn Dunks July 25, 2014 Play It Again is a weekly feature in which our classic-film connoisseurs revisit a revered motion picture from the annals of movie history, to see if it holds up… or if it has aged terribly. And yes, it takes its name from a famously misquoted Casablanca line. Hey, whatever. It […]

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Television Revision: The West Wing – Season 6

By Andrew Williams July 23, 2014 Television Revision is a weekly feature in which our tuned in TV critic trawls through the best the box has to offer, giving you a primer on some of history’s finest shows (and the rest). Now, this is a story all about how… President Bartlet’s presidency begins to wind […]

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Game of stones – Pompeii review

By Richard Haridy July 23, 2014 Pompeii is what some critics will label a “guilty pleasure.” It’s trash. Unadulterated, cliché-ridden junk that is also simply damn fun to watch. I tend to rail against the term “guilty pleasure” as one should never feel guilty about enjoying something. Pompeii is a grand B-grade mash up of […]

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Death takes a holiday – Still Life review

By Glenn Dunks July 22, 2014 The life of a man with what could surely be described as one of the most depressing jobs in England is examined with fine precision in Uberto Pasolini’s Still Life. The subject matter may appear overly dour for the man who was Oscar-nominated for producing feel-good comedy The Full […]

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Devil may care – Deliver Us From Evil review

By Simon Miraudo July 21, 2014 Deliver Us From Evil is this year’s exorcism movie. (Hollywood is considerate in few ways, but at least it knows to spread these things out every twelve months.) To spare us from boredom, writer-director Scott Derrickson adds the crinkle of it also being a police-on-the-beat movie, with Eric Bana […]

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Ape expectations – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes review

By Simon Miraudo July 9, 2014 If we should take anything away from the terse title characters of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it’s the power of brevity. So, here’s my review: Apes together strong. Sequel merely solid. (The rest is for the human readers, sticklers for protraction.) This laboriously-titled follow up to […]

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Public frenemies – Lawrence and Holloman review

By Simon Miraudo July 9, 2014 More anti-human than Antichrist, Matthew Kowalchuck‘s beyond-black comedy Lawrence & Holloman asks us to revel in the largely-unsuccessful emotional torture of a jerk by a sociopath. And they said cinema had run out of heroes. Based on the stage play by Canadian Morris Panych – a fan of Neil […]

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Soul food – The Lunchbox review

By Jess Lomas July 8, 2014 Sometimes the wrong train will get you to the right station, and sometimes the wrong lunchbox will lead you to the right person. Writer-director Ritesh Batra makes his feature debut with The Lunchbox, an impressive romantic drama in the vein of Ernst Lubitsch’s The Shop Around the Corner (or […]

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Television Revision: The West Wing – Season 5

By Andrew Williams July 8, 2014 Television Revision is a weekly feature in which our tuned in TV critic trawls through the best the box has to offer, giving you a primer on some of history’s finest shows (and the rest). Now, this is a story all about how… the kidnapping of Zoey Bartlet  (Elisabeth […]

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Girl, incubated – Wetlands review

By Simon Miraudo July 7, 2014 Wetlands takes a gross thing, teenagerdom, and makes it grosser, which is like setting out to make an especially revolting movie about your last bout of conjunctivitis: any memory of the experience is probably potent enough. Still, credit to director David Wnendt, adapting Charlotte Roche’s controversial, conservative-enraging novel, for […]

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Say yes to the undressed – Under the Skin review

By Simon Miraudo July 4, 2014 Sensory experiences such as Under the Skin defy mere words, which is going to make enthusiastically recommending it a tricky task indeed. The picture stars Scarlett Johansson as an extra-terrestrial who seduces Glaswegian men as a means of harvesting their organic material, for some alien mission we’re never made […]

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Photo sensitivity – Finding Vivian Maier review

By Simon Miraudo July 4, 2014 Separating the art from the artist – or the sandwich art from the sandwich artist – is sticky stuff. Maybe impossible. Inappropriate, even. But what if the art has separated itself from the artist; is lost and only found after the artist has abandoned their creative pursuits, and appreciated […]

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Still burns – Endless Love review

By Glenn Dunks July 4, 2014 If Hollywood insists upon remaking movies left and right, then it makes more sense for them to do it to the likes of Endless Love. The original, a button-pushing romance best remembered for its famous theme song, has been remade by Shana Feste in the sun-drenched style of a clothing […]

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Flying high – Non-Stop review

By Richard Haridy July 2, 2014 Non-Stop is another entry in Liam Neeson‘s late-career shift towards gruff, sombre action pictures. Teaming up again with Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra, after the surprisingly engaging Unknown, Neeson offers up a compelling turn in a film that is fast-paced and filled with satisfying twists. The less said about the […]

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Dog on wheels – Belle and Sebastian review

By Jess Lomas July 2, 2014 In some ways, Belle & Sebastian feels like Lassie meets The Sound of Music; at other times, the absurdity of the plot conjures memories of Charlie the Wonder Dog (for fans of The Late Show’s ongoing sketch starring the late Bud Tingwell). It’s at once sweet and endearing before […]

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Hicker than your average – Joe review

By Simon Miraudo July 2, 2014 Nicolas Cage is as if the question “Turn down for what?” took human form and then starred in a bunch of direct-to-DVD thrillers. For him, there is no such thing as a ‘phoned-in’ performance. Performances should be delivered with gusto, peppered with screaming fits. It’s become harder and harder […]

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Bloodless – Vampire Academy review

By Glenn Dunks July 1, 2014 Rarely have I felt such disconnect between material and the actors tasked with performing it as I did with Mark Waters’ Vampire Academy. A little bit Mean Girls (which Waters directed) and a whole lot Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but sadly nowhere near as good as either, this weak […]

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That thing they did – Jersey Boys review

By Simon Miraudo July 1, 2014 Here’s what’s interesting about Jersey Boys (and pay attention now because little else is): the Broadway sensation and now Clint Eastwood movie, based upon the career of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is the rare music biopic to have zero interest in the quest for artistic perfection. It […]

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The Best Films of 2014 (So Far)

By Simon Miraudo June 25, 2014 The inexorable march of time continues ever forward, a crushing reminder our too brief, finite existence. Or, to be less of a ‘von Trier’ about it: Can you believe it’s almost July? The first six months of 2014 are behind us, and what do we have to show for […]

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And a bottle of (non-alcoholic) rum – Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy review

By Jess Lomas June 25, 2014 The trend of taking a successful film and sabotaging it by churning out uninspiring sequels is perhaps best illustrated in the world of animation. Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks – they all love to repeat their winning formulas. By the sixth instalment of a franchise, expectations are understandably low, and yet […]

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The Costner of living – 3 Days to Kill review

By Richard Haridy June 24, 2014 3 Days to Kill is an extraordinarily compelling film; unfortunately, in all the wrong ways. Several times over its strung-out two hours I stared at the screen, mouth agape, wondering what the hell I was watching. Directed by McG and co-written by Luc Besson, this is alternately a bombastic […]

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50 first deaths – Edge of Tomorrow review

By Simon Miraudo June 24, 2014 Edge of Tomorrow is an ingenious action-comedy about how frequently movie heroes would actually die if they attempted that much crazy s***, and no movie hero is more notorious for doing crazy s*** than Tom Cruise. Though Cruise long ago lost his reputation as a reliable truth teller – […]

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Television Revision: The West Wing – Season 4

By Andrew Williams June 24, 2014 Television Revision is a weekly feature in which our tuned in TV critic trawls through the best the box has to offer, giving you a primer on some of history’s finest shows (and the rest). Now, this is a story all about how… Faced with growing international unrest, President Bartlet […]

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The man show – Out of the Furnace review

By Glenn Dunks June 24, 2014 Somewhere hidden beneath the frequently indecipherable growls that make up Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace may just be an interesting movie. However, laboured as it is with sledgehammer-subtle metaphors and a cast of overtly gruff male actors doing insufferably one-note performances, Cooper’s second feature after the Oscar-winning Crazy […]

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Television Revision: Game of Thrones – Season 4

By Andrew Williams June 18, 2014 Television Revision is a weekly feature in which our tuned in TV critic trawls through the best the box has to offer, giving you a primer on some of history’s finest shows (and the rest). Now, this is a story all about how… The temporary end of the War […]

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Spring fakers – 22 Jump Street review

By Simon Miraudo June 18, 2014 I’d like to report a murder. The buddy-cop comedy is dead, drowned in a sea of d*** jokes by directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Hey, at least it died doing what it loved. In 22 Jump Street, Lord and Miller, along with screenwriters/accomplices Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel and […]

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Russian lark – Tokarev review

By Richard Haridy June 16, 2014 In Jason Statham‘s Homefront, it was clearly established that it’s always a bad idea for a villain to mess with our hero’s daughter. In Tokarev, Nicolas Cage gets to play the angry father in a story so formulaic I’m pretty sure a computer wrote the screenplay. He plays a […]

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No country for big feet – Willow Creek review

By Simon Miraudo June 13, 2014 Notorious comic Bobcat Goldthwait, once the bane of any ear-haver’s existence, has been steadily building a solid career for himself as a director, but whodathunk a mostly terrifying mockumentary would wind up bettering his black comedies? His 2009 cult favourite World’s Greatest Dad boasted an incredible first act, only […]

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One shot – Fish and Cat review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 13, 2014 The first name that came to mind during Fish & Cat, a two-hour and fourteen-minute Iranian film shot in just a single take, was Samuel Beckett. The next was Shane Carruth. That was not a jump I was expecting to take. Promoted as a “slasher flick,” Fish & Cat […]

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Heartbreak kid – Mommy review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 13, 2014 Xavier Dolan‘s Mommy has one of the year’s best movie moments. Two even. Maybe three. Look… it’s all great. Those who’ve seen one of the sickeningly-talented 25-year-old filmmaker’s previous works could have predicted that. His camera moves so fluidly, as if in a dream, and here, contained within an […]

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