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Tag: Hollywood

Film Reviews

The Movies in 2021: Where are We Going?

Friday, December 25th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Looking to see what the new year has in store I consulted the on-line oracles and began to feel I’d been far too negative about 2020. Was it really so bad watching streaming services and old movies at home? The cinema screen will always offer a superior experience to the set in the lounge (let […]

Film Reviews

2020: The Year in Film

Friday, December 25th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Until the coming of the pandemic the great tree of world cinema was flourishing, with fruit on every branch. It may not always have been high quality produce or in good taste, but it was plentiful. After a year of lockdowns in which theatres were closed for long periods and the Hollywood studios put almost […]

Film Reviews

American Dharma

Friday, November 13th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Steve Bannon is not stupid, he can even be charming, but he is not the kind of guy you’d like to see loitering-with-intent in the corridors of power. In American Dharma, Errol Morris brings us an extended interview with the man Time magazine called “the Great Manipulator”, interspersed with excerpts from Bannon’s favourite films. Morris, generally […]

Film Reviews

Uplifting for Easter

Friday, April 10th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Stranded at home for days and weeks on end, the inevitable question arises: “What should I watch?” This is a conundrum with the potential for major domestic unrest. In trying to come up with suitably ‘uplifting’ titles for hermits I’m having to face the brutal realisation that everyone likes totally different stuff. Tell your families […]

Film Reviews

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker & Cats

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 Film Reviews,

In the last weeks of 2019 the big studios generously served up two Christmas turkeys. Judging by the reviews I wasn’t the only person yawning through Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, or wondering how Tom Hooper’s weirdly sexualised Cats ever secured a G rating. Both films are self-conscious ‘blockbusters’ intended to appeal to a […]

Film Reviews

Judy

Thursday, October 10th, 2019 Film Reviews,

If Joker has put Joaquin Phoenix firmly in line for an Oscar, Judy has done the same for Renée Zellweger. Like so many Hollywood bio pics the film charts the decline that inevitably follows fame and fortune. We focus on the tumultuous final year of Judy Garland’s life, although the story is punctuated by flashbacks […]

Film Reviews

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Friday, August 16th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Quentin Tarantino is the flawed genius of contemporary cinema. As a director he has such an assured touch that almost three hours of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood slip by in no time at all. The flaw lies in his love of extreme violence that leaves a nasty taste, no matter how much we […]

Film Reviews

A Star is Born

Saturday, October 20th, 2018 Film Reviews,

One learns to mistrust the movie that is hyped to the skies – whether it be “critically acclaimed” or simply a “box office sensation”. The box office is the worst guide to quality because popular taste is fixated on superheroes, brain-dead action films, lame comedies and sentimental mush. As for the critics, they couldn’t stop […]

Film Reviews

Hail, Caesar!

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 Film Reviews,

“Comedy deserves to be taken seriously,” wrote Aldous Huxley, in 1924, before going on to denounce those “lesser exponents” of the genre who specialise in “triviality, ugliness and vulgarity.” Three years later The Jazz Singer ushered in a new era of ‘talkies’ that would change the way Hollywood made comedies, as slapstick and sight gags […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Marilyn at MAMA

Friday, February 19th, 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Men grow cold as girls grow old, and we all lose our charms in the end…” sang Marilyn Monroe in Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. Yet Marilyn would never lose her charms, cheating old age by dying at the age of 36, fixing her image forever as the glamorous blonde starlet we see in […]