Latest Reviews

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      The House That Jack Built


        Lars von Trier’s latest film takes inspiration from the titular nursery rhyme. The phrase ‘The House that Jack Built’ can have a few different meanings – it is often used as shorthand for a shoddy project or build, and it can also refer to a never-ending endeavour with constant add-ons, often in repeating patterns. Von Trier’s film combines both: it is a shoddy project resulting in two and a half hours of a seemingly never-ending, repetitive tale that fails to excite or even shock.


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      The Old Man & The Gun


        The story of bankrobber Forrest Tucker “is, also, mostly true” according the opening scene. The ‘mostly’ probably refers to the fact that the story we get told is pretty rose-tinted. Apparently Robert Redford is hanging up his acting hat, and The Old Man & The Gun is his final role, so if we take the movie to serve as a vehicle for Bob’s last hurrah then this rose-tintedness may be forgiven. Actually, knowing it’s to be Redford’s last makes the entire movie a bit more worthwhile.


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      Ladies in Black


        Sydney 1959; we find ourselves in Goode’s department store where Lisa (Angourie Rice) starts a summer job over the holiday period as she awaits the results of her final exams. She hopes to be able to go to university to realise her ambitions of becoming a poet or an actress. Her mother (Susie Porter) is keen to see her achieve her potential; her father (Shane Jacobson) isn’t particularly interested in this – he never went to university and he did alright, so why should his daughter?


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      Bird Box


        Bird Box jumps between two timelines – we start with Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and two kids travelling blindfolded in a boat down a river, where to we do not know, but right from the opening scene learn that they must not look or they will die. The second timeline is about 5 years earlier where we meet a then heavily pregnant Malorie and her sister Jessica (Sarah Paulson), as they see news reports about some unexplained phenomenon in Europe and Russia causing mass suicides.


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      Backtrace


        Macdonald (Matthew Modine) survives a shoot-out after a heist gone wrong, but he has lost his memory and spends many a year in prison without knowing what really went on. Officer Sykes (Sylvester Stallone) was originally on the case and has kept a close eye on it as it went cold and colder. When Macdonald is sprung from prison after seven years, Sykes gets some help from the FBI to help track him down.


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      The Endless


        Two brothers, Aaron (Aaron Moorhead) and Justin (Justin Benson) have escaped a “UFO Death Cult” many years ago, but they still struggle to rebuild a normal life. Justin has the strongest negative memories of the cult, while Aaron’s recollections are seemingly more benign and he cannot quite recollect all the extreme cult-behaviour his brother talks about. He convinces Justin to go back to the cult, for just one night.


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      The Kindergarten Teacher


        In this remake of the 2014 Israeli original, Maggy Gyllenhaal plays the titular Kindergarten Teacher, Lisa Spinelli, a 40-year old woman bored with her day to day life and her uninspiring family. One day after class, one of her pupils, 5 year old Jimmy Roy (Parker Sevak), paces around the room and almost robotically mumbles out a seemingly random few lines, which Lisa recognises as a beautiful poem. She sets out on a mission to help him develop his talent, to obsessive extremes…


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      Kin


        The movie is titled Kin, so let’s meet the family: single dad Hal Solinsky (Dennis Quaid) is not particularly close to his two sons, 14-year old Eli (Myles Truitt) and 21-year old Jimmy (Jack Reynor), but is trying to provide a moral compass to them. Since Jimmy spent the last six years of Eli’s childhood behind bars, the two brothers aren’t all that close either. When Eli is out stealing copper wire to make some money, he finds some sort of futuristic weapon in a derelict factory filled with the bodies of dead soldiers.


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      Outlaw King


        The story of Outlaw King sort of picks up where the most famous movie about the Wars for Scottish Independence ended: Mel Gibson was William Wallace in Braveheart, and in the Outlaw King we only see some of Wallace’s bodily remains as a catalyst for renewed energy to fight off the English. Outlaw King tells the story of Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine), the self-proclaimed King of the Scots who waged the continuation of the war for independence against King Edward I (Stephen Dillane) and especially his son Prince Edward (Billy Howle).


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      Crazy Rich Asians


        If you think of Crazy Rich Asians as My Big Fat Chinese Wedding you sort of get the picture. Take a handful of Chinese ‘deep’ cultural values of ‘Tradition’ and ‘Family’ and ‘Honour’ and juxtapose these with the American ‘shallow’ belief in ‘Follow Your Passion’; then add insane amounts of money, old and new, and you have the basis for the bananas plot.


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