Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Ocean's 8

Friday, June 8th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Everyone loves a good heist flick. At a running time of twelve minutes the very first Hollywood blockbuster was Edwin S. Porter’s The Great Train Robbery of 1903. In the 21st century the genre received a boost from Steven Soderbergh’s 2002 remake of the Rat Pack film, Ocean’s 11 (1960). Sequels were to follow in […]

Film Reviews

Sydney Film Festival 2018: Fashion Documentaries

Thursday, May 31st, 2018 Film Reviews,

This year the Sydney Film Festival turns 65 but has no thoughts of retirement. On the contrary, with more than 250 films being screened over a mere 12 days, the SFF is operating at the peak of its powers. Arriving at a time of year when good new releases are scarce it offers something for […]

Film Reviews

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Friday, May 25th, 2018 Film Reviews,

If you’ve ever wondered what Han Solo did before the first Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story provides all the details. It seems he spent a lot of time flying spaceships and shooting at amazingly incompetent enemies with ray guns. Wow! That was a surprise. One never expects a Star Wars movie to […]

Film Reviews

German Film Festival 2018

Friday, May 18th, 2018 Film Reviews,

There have been occasions when the German Film Festival has chosen to kick off with an echte deutsche Komödie. This allowed many iterations of that lazy gag about German comedy being a contradiction in terms. This year the Germans have returned to more familiar territory: earnest dramas, with perhaps a touch of Olympian irony. This […]

Film Reviews


Friday, May 11th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Last time you saw Charlize Theron she was probably looking glamorous in tights and leather. Now, less than a year after her stunning, if slightly ridiculous, appearance as a secret agent in Atomic Blonde, she’s back! As a frumpy, depressed suburban mum. Theron has added 22 kilos in one of those body transformations that have […]

Film Reviews


Friday, May 4th, 2018 Film Reviews,

With literature everybody has their blind spots. Tim Winton is one of mine. For decades I’ve listened to apparently rational people raving about his books but whenever I’ve dipped into a novel I’ve found it so banal, so relentlessly uninteresting, that I dipped right back out again. It reads like literature for underachievers, for those […]

Film Reviews


Thursday, April 26th, 2018 Film Reviews,

“Do you think the world is about to end?” one of the characters in Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless asks a workmate. “Definitely!” comes the reply. It’s as close as this ruthless portrait of contemporary Russian life gets to comedy. Zvyagintsev’s enemies accuse him of taking a “negative” view of Russia, but what are the positives? Thirty […]

Film Reviews

Spanish Film Festival 2018

Friday, April 20th, 2018 Film Reviews,

A lot of agua has flowed under the bridge since 1992 when Bigas Luna made Jamón, Jamón, with the 22-year old Javier Bardem and 17-year old Penélope Cruz. The Movida Madrileña (The Madrid Scene) – a new wave of post-Franco art, film, music and literature – had been raging for more than a decade. Pedro […]

Film Reviews

Isle of Dogs

Thursday, April 12th, 2018 Film Reviews,

It may be the Year of the Dog but the Japanese are definitely cat people. Until recently Fido held his own against Kitty as a domestic pet but now the cats are in the ascendency and are surging ahead. It could hardly be otherwise with the ubiquitous Maneki Neko (“Hello Kitty!”) waving its paw in […]

Film Reviews

The Other Side of Hope & Paul: Apostle of Christ

Friday, April 6th, 2018 Film Reviews,

In pre-Enlightenment days ‘history’ was a mass of tall stories, myths and rumours. Authors were happy to recount tales of miracles and supernatural events, readers were happy to believe them. In the mid-1800s it was still scandalous when writers such as David Strauss and Ernst Renan began to challenge the historical basis of the Bible, […]