Tag Archives: simon miraudo

Playtime – The Lego Movie review

By Simon Miraudo April 10, 2014 At the intersection of chaos and commerce lies The Lego Movie, a manic, subversive family film that somehow squeezed its way out of the studio sausage factory. Don’t call it a cash-grab. Heck, if cash-grabs were always this good, we’d all be broke. The credit probably belongs to writer-director […]

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Cool hand Elsa – Frozen review

By Simon Miraudo April 9, 2014 With a billion dollars in the bank, two Oscars on the shelf, and the ire of ridiculous, right-wing pundits who think it’s turning the children of the world gay, Frozen has pretty much pulled off the trifecta of cinematic accomplishments. There was no way to predict back in November […]

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Turbulent times – Planes review

By Simon Miraudo February 1, 2014 The Cars franchise is Pixar’s cash cow; a kid-pleasing collection of movies tailor-made to sell merchandise (which, at this point, totals in the billions of dollars). The adults don’t much care for them, and unabashed lovers of the studio (including myself) turn a blind eye. “If the little ones […]

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Full service – The Grand Budapest Hotel review

By Simon Miraudo April 7, 2014 What a rare pleasure it is to watch a movie and slowly realise it will soon become one of your favourites. Wes Anderson joints always threaten to wedge their way into your heart for all time, and his latest, cuckoo caper comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel, wedges with gusto. […]

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Felt again – Muppets Most Wanted review

By Simon Miraudo April 1, 2014 In 2011, Jim Henson’s long-retired felt friends The Muppets were welcomed back to the big screen warmly by kids and kids-at-heart alike. In 2014, The Muppets’ inevitable sequel is met with all the anticipation of a forgotten appointment: “Oh, was that today?” There are a few possible reasons Muppets […]

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Long is good – Nymphomaniac Vol. 2 review

By Simon Miraudo March 28, 2014 As I concluded my review of Nymphomaniac‘s first volume, I wondered if director Lars von Trier would surprise us with a happy ending in its follow-up. For him, that would truly be shocking. Turns out it was a misjudged prediction. I also said the following: “Lars von Trier may […]

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Float on – Noah review

By Simon Miraudo March 28, 2014 If anyone could rival the fire-and-brimstone-spewing judgement of the Old Testament’s God, it’d be the modern movie-watcher. Though they can’t incite a world-ending deluge, they can – and will – let their disappointment be known by flooding Twitter with their rulings, or, even more devastatingly, by staying away from […]

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Patriot games – Captain America: The Winter Soldier review

By Simon Miraudo March 26, 2014 We’re three films deep into Marvel’s Phase Two, which is the collective name they’re using for the standalone superhero efforts bridging billion-dollar team-up feature The Avengers and its upcoming, probably-googol-grossing sequel. First two entries Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World were really just marking time until Captain […]

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Hammer time – The Raid 2: Berandal review

By Simon Miraudo March 25, 2014 The world of cinema is full of many wonders, chief among them in 2014, writer-director Gareth Evans‘ unending well of inventive ways to kill people on screen. Berandal – the sequel to his murder-a-minute action spectacular The Raid – showcases perhaps the best martial artistry ever committed to celluloid, […]

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New sensation – Nymphomaniac Vol.1 review

By Simon Miraudo March 24, 2014 Overheard after the screening of Nymphomaniac Vol.1: “It certainly had a lot of… ideas.” No kidding. I can’t believe how some of those ‘ideas’ got past the censors. And did you see the size of that one dude’s ‘idea’? The first entry in Lars von Trier‘s two-part odyssey of […]

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Punny games – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 review

By Simon Miraudo March 18, 2014 Man cannot survive on puns alone, but it seems kids will happily eat them up. The Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs franchise is one of the more unlikely success stories of recent years, coming from low-rent cartoon factory Sony Pictures Animation (home of Surf’s Up!) and earning some rare acclaim to […]

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Where the Hart is – Ride Along review

By Simon Miraudo March 17, 2014 Ride Along is everything you thought it would be and maybe even a little less. Hey, if you want to see Kevin Hart screeching like a mad-man and late-period Ice Cube gleefully giving shout-outs to his song titles through dialogue (as I often do), this is the place to […]

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Frostdance – Cuban Fury review

By Simon Miraudo March 17, 2014 Cuban Fury is, according to its opening credits, based on an “original idea” by star Nick Frost. The “original” part of that sentence might be stretching it a tad. It’s an amiable rom-com about unlucky-in-love British engineer Bruce and his attempts to woo new American boss, the way-out-of-his-league Julia. […]

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Mad men – Blue Caprice review

By Simon Miraudo March 17, 2014 There are certain acts of inhumanity impossible to fathom. Crimes of passion, we get. Acts of terrorism, no matter how heinous or misguided, are often executed for specific ideological reasons. We fear them, and yet, understand them. But how can one be expected to wrap their mind around the […]

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Mini racers – Need for Speed review

By Simon Miraudo March 12, 2014 I don’t think a single actor in Need for Speed is taller than 5-foot-6, nor would any weigh more than 70 kilos. It’s an interesting change of pace to the Fast and Furious franchise. Instead of the sun-swept, Californian good looks of Paul Walker, we have the scrawny, scream-crier […]

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That old feeling – Veronica Mars review

By Simon Miraudo March 11, 2014 You get what you pay for, and the Veronica Mars movie, literally funded by 91,585 fans via Kickstarter, is evidence enough. When Warner Bros wouldn’t pony up the dough for a feature adaptation of the cult television series, creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell took to the crowd-sourcing […]

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Art attack – The Monuments Men review

By Simon Miraudo March 11, 2014 One day we’ll discover George Clooney is actually a long-forgotten screen idol from Hollywood’s golden age who became unstuck from time, and all of this will make total sense. Every few years, presumably when his nostalgia gland swells up and commands him to drain its contents onto celluloid, Clooney […]

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No fairytale – The Selfish Giant review

By Simon Miraudo March 10, 2014 Clio Barnard’s variation on Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant transplants the pastoral fable to depressing, modern day Northern England. Short story scholars, however, shouldn’t look for specific comparisons between the two takes. They are few and far between. In Barnard’s telling, newcomer Conner Chapman plays Arbor, an unhinged kid […]

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Bropocalypse now – 300: Rise of an Empire review

By Simon Miraudo March 7, 2014 The long-dormant 300 franchise, devoted to providing unquestioning bros with wildly inaccurate history lessons, shuffles back to life with Rise of an Empire, a sort-of sideways-stepping sequel taking place before, during, and after the events of Zack Snyder‘s 2006 original. Noam Murro takes the helm this time around, having […]

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Ring that Bell – In a World review

By Simon Miraudo March 4, 2014 Lake Bell, like Rashida Jones and Olivia Wilde before her, just up and made herself a star. The immensely talented comic actress hasn’t been given much to chew on of late, being alternately relegated to the role of quirky/sassy/supportive best friend or the icy, sexy, younger wife of someone’s […]

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You’ll never walk alone – Tracks review

By Simon Miraudo March 3, 2014 Mia Wasikowska will walk 500 miles, and then she’ll walk 1200 more in John Curran’s Tracks, a cinematic restaging of Robyn Davidson’s epic trek across the West Australian desert. Davidson’s journey, embarked upon for reasons of ostensible self-discovery and captured in her biography of the same name, remains one […]

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Talk that talk – The Darkside review

By Simon Miraudo February 23, 2014 When media-watchers accuse the giant, globulous entity that is Australian Cinema of not making pictures the regular punter would be interested in seeing, I don’t think they’re citing films like The Darkside as an example of what they want more of. For 90 minutes, some fine actors sit down […]

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No country for old man – Nebraska review

By Simon Miraudo February 20, 2014 Alexander Payne is back in prime, prickly form with Nebraska, a marked improvement over his soggy, false-feeling melodrama The Descendants. It gives screen legend Bruce Dern a more-than-welcome opportunity to shine as he nears the end of his storied career, and an even more welcome leading man part to […]

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Return of the Mick – Wolf Creek 2 review

By Simon Miraudo February 17, 2014 Greg Mclean‘s original Wolf Creek holds a dubious distinction. It’s one of eight films to have ever received an ‘F’ Cinemascore from disgruntled viewers. That means people walked out of the cinema and, when asked by the fine folk at American market research firm Cinemascore how they wanted to […]

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Curb your historicism – Oh Boy review

By Simon Miraudo February 17, 2014 A German hipster ambles from uncomfortable situation to uncomfortable situation in Jan Ole Gerster’s Oh Boy. Though the black-and-white feature has its fair share of jazzy stings on the soundtrack, what it really needs are the infamous horns from Curb Your Enthusiasm’s theme tune. But then Gerster would have […]

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Awkward apocalypse – It’s a Disaster review

By Simon Miraudo February 17, 2014 Todd Berger‘s very funny, uncommonly moving apocalypse comedy It’s a Disaster forces its characters to contend with that most dreadful of scenarios: Sunday brunch with your partner’s friends. Oh, and, well, the apocalypse too. But mostly that first thing. Julia Stiles plays Tracy, who is boldly bringing along her […]

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“Nobody’s perfect.” A Valentine’s guide for laughers, criers, sceptics, and freaky-deakies.

By Simon Miraudo February 12, 2014 Valentine’s Day is coming, and with it, the annual amount of punishing pressure, nervous anticipation, and flop sweat. “It’s too hard! What do I buy? Where do we go?” Look, I sympathise, which is why I’ve gone ahead and selected twenty safe movies (all sub-categorised) to help the decision-making […]

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Body of work – Dallas Buyers Club review

By Simon Miraudo February 12, 2014 Matthew McConaughey is an Academy Award nominated person. This is the bizarre reality we now inhabit, and we can thank Dallas Buyers Club for this temporal-shifting mind-melt. His career revitalisation came in 2011, after he turned down a massive pay check for the sure-to-be-godawful Magnum P.I. movie, and instead […]

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Buddy love – Drinking Buddies review

By Simon Miraudo February 11, 2014 Well! Here’s a movie to not watch with your on-again, off-again partner. Obscenely prolific filmmaker Joe Swanberg, one toe still dangling in the mumblecore waters from which he emerged and the rest of him entrenched with Hollywood’s finest, presents us with a tricky relationship conundrum in Drinking Buddies: is […]

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My life as Adèle – Blue is the Warmest Colour review

By Simon Miraudo February 10, 2014 Abdellatif Kechiche‘s controversial Cannes winner Blue is the Warmest Colour details a relationship forming and curdling in graphic fashion (much like in the way the director’s own relationship to his stars has curdled so publicly in the months since its big win). Adèle Exarchopoulos astounds as the teenage heroine, also called […]

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