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

TL;DR – A poignant look at what rock bottom feels like  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Review

Today we continue our dive into the 2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition by exploring a short film from one of Australia’s up and coming actors Hunter Page-Lochard. Here we look at what life is like when you hit rock bottom and that moment where you realise that you need to climb up.

Djali looks at the life of Johnny (Hunter Page-Lochard) who is an inspiring dancer and really good at it until he received an injury to his leg. However, this is just the first in many setbacks as we see him hiding in a dark room reminiscing about the past. Only for his brother Harry (Rhimi Johnson Page) to come and try and shake him out of his funk.

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TV Review – Twelve Forever: Season 1

TL;DR – The animation is fantastic, that characters are charming, and the stories really hit home

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Twelve Forever. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

For a while now, I have been wondering what show is going to fill that Adventure Time sized hole that is still in my heart. For a long time it was Steven Universe, but with that gearing up for what might be its final movie I was wondering if anything else would come along. Well, I don’t know yet if Twelve Forever will fill that hole, but at the very least it is interesting as all get up.

So to set the scene, it is Reggie’s (Kelsy Abbott) twelveth birthday, but what should be a time of celebration for her is turned into a disaster when her mother Judy (Bridget Everett) uses the time to help her move into the next stage of her life, the one with deodorant, shaving and bras. Reggie does not want to grow up, all of which is put in the spotlight when all her old toys are put into the garage sale. However, all is not lost because her and her best friend Todd (Antony Del Rio) have a secret, they can escape to a magical realm called Endless Island. They decide to hide the old toys by burying them under the ground. The only issue is that on Endless Island what you bury has a habit of coming to life in unexpected ways.

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Movie Review – Booksmart

TL;DR – While it follows a lot of the plot beats of similar films, it stands out on its own by focusing on the characters that are the heart of the movie.      

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Booksmart. Image Credit: Annapurna Pictures.

Review

There are some scenarios that you see get plaid out in cinema over and over again. Indeed, one of the most popular scenarios is looking at that last few days before you graduate high school. I think it is so popular because it is something that nearly every person in the target audience has or will go through. So it becomes a nexus of past nostalgia and future promise. Either way, it is a scenario that I have seen put to film over and over again, especially in the R-rated comedy genre. However, in all the scenarios, I have never seen a film quite like this.

So to set the scene, high school is drawing to a close and class valedictorian Molly Davidson (Beanie Feldstein) and her best friend Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) are getting ready to survive the final day of classes. Molly is going to Yale and spent all her time at school making that happen, and Amy is getting ready to spend a summer in Botswana as an aid worker. However, Molly’s certainty about her past is shaken when she discovers that all the kids that partied throughout high school also got into top universities. Well, there is only one night left before graduation and Molly know just what to do, she needs to go to Nick’s (Mason Gooding) party so she can have the full high school experience and she is dragging Amy along with her.

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Movie Review – Boi

TL;DR – An odd little film that I don’t think every quite found its footing but left me feeling intrigued    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Boi. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Back in my ¡Ay, Mi Madre! review I mentioned that I wanted to explore more of Spanish cinema, what I didn’t realise was just how quickly the next film would roll around. But less than a week later a thriller set in Barcelona arrived on my desk, and I knew I had to check it out. Well, Boi is many things and thankfully interesting is one of them. 

So to set the scene, Boi (Bernat Quintana) is starting his first day as a private chauffeur in Barcelona, but he has a lot on his mind. Including caring for his Aunt (Fina Rius) and a breakdown in his relationship with his partner Anna (Miranda Gas). All of this leads him to completely getting the time wrong of when his first clients were arriving in the country so he has to rush and bluff his way into picking up Gordon (Adrian Pang) and Michael (Andrew Lua) two Chinese businessmen from Singapore. But that is only the start of three very long days.

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TV Review – Another Life: Full Season

TL;DR – A campy schlocky mess at times, but also kind of endearing when it hits its groove

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Another Life. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

We have been living through an interesting time for Science Fiction on TV, with the rise of streaming services we have seen a plethora of new shows and ideas that both look to the future and reinterpret the past. Today we are getting a Sci-fi show that kind of does both, building upon very real concerns in the world but framing it in a style of Sci-Fi that we have not seen in a long time. With that in mind let’s jump in and explore the full first season.

So to set the scene, we open with a normal day on Earth in the not too distant future after the world has been devastated by a second great depression and the great flood. Things are starting to return to some sort of normalcy when an alien ship smashes through the atmosphere flies across the USA and crashes into a field transforming itself into a huge crystalline lattice. Months later, they are still no closer to finding out what the artefact is or wants, but they have picked up a transmission to the Pi Canis Majoris solar system. To work out what to do they send the USIC Salvare under the command of Niko Breckinridge (Katee Sackhoff) out to investigate. Niko had to leave her daughter Jana (Lina Renna) and her husband Erik (Justin Chatwin) behind as Erik is leading the scientific mission at the crash site. But before too long things start going wrong, and we still don’t know if the aliens are friends or foe.  Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Another Life: Across the Universe

TL;DR – This is one of those Sci-Fi shows that has you wondering what the hook is going to be and then it hits you.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Another Life: Across the Universe. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

While there have been a lot of issues, one of the best things to come out of the new streaming world has been a new wave or really interesting Science Fiction TV shows. At the heart of this, but by no means the only contributor, has been Netflix that has had a huge slate of really interesting Sci-Fi content. Well, today we get to take a look at its newest addition Another Life with an exploration of its pilot episode Across the Universe.  

Overall, there was a lot of interesting facets in this first episode, but one thing I really liked was the production. The design for the Salvare has facets that are instantly recognisable but also are a little unique. The rings have a visual language of a rotating gravity ship, but there is internal gravity so there is an interesting juxtaposition. The standing sets are also really interesting mixing a bland of high-tech and also maybe-we-filmed-this-in-a-warehouse-somewhere that kind of works. Also, I am a sucker for astronomy, so you had me sucked in the moment you stopped at Sirius A, which they showed in all its glory.

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Movie Review – Parasite (Gisaengchung, 기생충)

TL;DR – A truly brilliant work of cinema that works on a character, action, and story level.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Parasite (Gisaengchung, 기생충). Image Credit: Madman Films.

Review

When you hear that a film has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival you immediately take notice. Because even though the voters at Cannes don’t always get it right, they always at least pick a film that is interesting. Well today not only do we get a film that is interesting, but we also get a film that made me feel multiple different emotions throughout its run time, and made an entire cinema audible gasp more than once, like the whole cinema. Well, Parasite is a more than just interesting film. Now in this review, we are going to avoid saying too much about the ending, but just, in general, this is a film that is best seen with as little information as possible.  

So to set the scene, we open in on the Kim family: father Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), mother Choong-sook (Jang Hye-jin), son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik), and daughter Ki-jung (Park So-dam). They live in a semi-basement flat in the poorer part of Seoul trying to make a living from whatever odd jobs they can find, like folding pizza boxes into shape. Then one day one of Ki-woo’s old army friends who is now in university comes to visit. He lets Ki-woo know of a job as an English tutor to a rich family that would pay very well. The only problem is that Ki-woo never went to university, even though he is qualified for the job, so he gets his sister Ki-jung to fake him up some university records and shows up at the Park family house. Mr Park (Lee Sun-kyun) is a successful businessman who runs a company and spends a lot of time away from the house, so he leaves his wife Yeon-kyo (Cho Yeo-jeong) in charge of hiring and she is apparently a bit dim. Well, when she watching his lesson with her daughter Da-hye (Jung Ji-so) she mentions that they are looking for an art tutor for their son Da-song (Jung Hyun-joon) and Ki-woo knows just what to do.

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