Movie Review – Concern for Welfare (2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition)

TL;DR – A strong central character is a foundation for an interesting story about family     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Review


If you have read my reviews before you will know that I am a sucker for a work of media that delves into family relationships. Who we chose our families to be and how we relate to people are full of emotional stories to tell and this is one of them.

Concern for Welfare is a title that has multiple meanings throughout the short film. On the surface, it is the police term for when a member of the public has a concern for the welfare of someone else. This is important for Ali (Nicole Chamoun) because she is a probationary police officer being shown the ropes by Sambo (Ryan Johnson) her supervisor. They have to check on an elderly gentleman that people have not seen for weeks.

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Movie Review – Busting Out The Bells (2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition)

TL;DR – A film with the right heart, even if it does not all come together.      
Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Review

Watching a love one slide into dementia where they forget where they are and who they are is a heart-breaking process that I and many others have had to experience. Indeed it is a real shame that more films don’t explore this issue but today we get to look at some that have.

Busting out the Bells tells the story of when parents had to tell their young children Jason (James Bingham) and Kate (Amelia Kelly) that their Grandpa George (Phil Mackenzie) will not be staying with them this year because they have had to put him into a nursing home because he kept forgetting things and getting lost.

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Movie Review – Birdie (2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition)

TL;DR – In some respects this is a very simple film, but it uses that premise to perfectly explore the building tension    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Review

There are a lot of things films can do, they can excite, they can astound, they can terrify, and the can crush. However, one of the key things they can do is let you walk in another person’s shoes for a time, which can lead to some really powerful moments.

The story of Birdie is, well it is less of a story and more of a premise. A woman (Maeve Dermody) is on her way to see a new apartment so she takes the train. This is the framework, but this is where the tension is introduced because as she arrives at the Redfern station there are a couple of guys lurking around. You can feel that tension as her personal security lowers each moment they are around. How she tries to find people to be near so she is not alone, you feel every moment of this trial.

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Movie Review – Andromeda (2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition)

TL;DR – An interesting look at what it means to be alive, but feels more like an opening act than a complete film.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Review

The next in our look at the 2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition delves into the notions of what it is to be alive. It explores a world where androids have become the new working class and the ever reaching effects that would have.

One area where this film excels is in its production, with some beautifully framed shots. There is this use of light and colour to bring us into this world of Andromeda (Kestrel Leah) all situated around story time with a young Ella (Mai Brunelle) who has not quite worked out what Andromeda is.

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Movie Review – Ambulance (2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition)

TL;DR – A beautiful and haunting animation of the impact of a single day.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Review

Today we start our exploration of the 2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition by exploring Lylah D’Souza’s work Ambulance that is inspired by a true story that brings real weight to the narrative once you see it play out.

Ambulance is an animated short film that charts the story of one day in the Narrator’s (Lylah D’Souza) life. It is the perfect encapsulation of life because it is the juxtaposition of the serious and the ephemeral. It highlights the weird things that you remember on days of stress, something I can deeply connect with.

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Movie Review – Kidnapping Stella

TL;DR – It starts really strong with moments of real tension, but it is let down by a muddled ending.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Kidnapping Stella. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Today we get to look at a film that is almost the reverse of the norm. It is not at all uncommon for there to be English adaptions of foreign language films as there is a long history of people assuming that subtitles are a real barrier for commercial success. Well, today we get to see a film that has made the reverse trip with Kidnapping Stella being the German adaptation of the English film The Disappearance of Alice Creed. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how well a film does going the other way across the channel. Though I must say that at times this is a deeply confronting film, and you should probably know that before jumping in.

So to set the scene, we open in on two gentlemen Tom (Max von der Groeben) and Vic (Clemens Schick) as they go about their day running errands and picking up supplies. They renovate a room, get a van ready, and put in a new bed. All really normal, but for the fact that they block out all of the windows, and that they have masks. Because what they are doing is not renovating, they are prepping the room for something, and that something is Stella (Jella Haase) who they kidnap off the street to ransom back to her parents.    

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Movie Review – Point Blank (2019)

TL;DR – A solid, if not very imaginative action flick   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Point Blank. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

It has been a while since I have sat down and watched a solid action flick, the kind where you can get out some popcorn, sit back and not think that hard about what is going on. Well, today we have an example of just that with Point Blank which is a reimaging of À Bout Portant, a French film from a couple of years ago.

So to set the scene, we open with Abe (Frank Grillo) smashing his way out of a window leaving a dead District Attorney in his wake. On the run, with a gunshot wound, he texts his brother Mateo (Christian Cooke) for a pickup, but just when he arrives Abe is hit by a car. Later that night Paul (Anthony Mackie) is doing his rounds as a nurse at the local hospital leaving his very pregnant wife Taryn (Teyonah Parris) at home resting when he comes to examine the John Doe. Only to be ambushed by a masked figure, dramatically changing his life.  

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