Poker Face – Movie Review

TL;DR – There could have been a good film here, but it gets lost in the mess of two competing ideas.     

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Stan service that viewed this film

rolling waves

Poker Face Review

One of the things about reviewing films that can be frustrating is when you get a movie where you can see promise in there, but the final product just falls flat. You feel for the filmmakers because they were so close to finding something unique, but you must review what you get at the end of the day. Well, on that front, let’s look at Poker Face.

So to set the scene, we open in on a bunch of kids playing cards, jumping off cliffs, running from bullies, and being there for each other. Many years later, the leader of the group, Jake (Russell Crowe), is visiting a local shaman (Jack Thompson) in the bush and asking his lawyer Sam McIntyre (Daniel MacPherson), to arrange some trust accounts and an extraordinary evening. Soon Michael Nankervis (Liam Hemsworth), Alex Harris (Aden Young), and Paul Muccino (Steve Bastoni) are all racing up the coast in sports cars to make it to Jake’s luxury oceanside holiday house. The childhood friends will play a high-stakes poker game, but secrets are about to escape.

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Wednesday: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – Wonderful characters crammed into a generic “insert narrative here.”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this series.

Nevermore Academy sign

Wednesday Review

When you take a beloved property from the past and create a modern adaptation, you need to translate a text into a future it was not ready for. This transition can help you find a new voice for an old work or what can drown an old work as you lose what made it work in the first place. Today we look at a show that hits both of these extremes in its wild ride to make it to our screen.

So to set the scene, Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) is an odd duck in the straight-laced Nancy Reagan High School. However, she is and always will be intensely protective of her family, and no one gets to torture her brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) but her. Well, one application of piranhas during water polo practice later, and she is expelled from another school. Wondering what to do, her parents, Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez (Luis Guzmán), decide to enrol her in their old school Nevermore Academy. Aghast at being forced to live in her parent’s shadow and her roommate Enid’s (Emma Myers) colourful room, Wednesday decides to run away. But that is when one of the students tries to murder her, and she is saved by a creature that might be disembowelling local hikers, and maybe there is a place for her here after all. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special – Movie Review

TL;DR –  A absolute delight that understands how not to outstay its welcome through charm and joy.   

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy in Knowhere

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review

When you hear the word ‘Holiday Special’, there can be a certain dread. That is because history is littered with failed examples, sometimes infamously failed. In my experience, they are, at best okay. However, today we have a model that might buck that trend.  

So to set the scene, back in the past, we find a young Peter Quill (Luke Klein) and Kraglin (Sean Gunn) setting up their own little Christmas tree on the Ravanger spaceship when Yondu (Michael Rooker) walks in and trashes it because it shows weakness. Back in the post-Endgame, post-ditching Thor present. The Guardians of the Galaxy have bought Nowhere and have started bringing it back to its former prime. However, the gang feels that Peter (Chris Pratt) is still sad about losing the love of his life. Well, it is Christmas time, and Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) have a plan, let’s kidnap Kevin Bacon (Kevin Bacon).  

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Bones and All – Movie Review

TL;DR – A modern fairy tale coming-of-age road trip through middle America where two young people find love while eating people because they are cannibals.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Warning – This film contains scenes that may cause distress

Timothée Chalamet's eyes

Bones and All Review

Rarely have I walked out of a film, and my first thoughts were, ‘well, that was a lot!’. However, I think that statement perfectly defines those first moments as the credits rolled and the multitudes of thoughts from the audience leaving the theatre filtered past me. If nothing else, Bones and All is a movie that elicits strong responses from the people who watched it, but I am not sure they were all positive.

So to set the scene, Maren Yearly (Taylor Russell) spends time by herself at high school but finally starts to find some friends. She slips out of the house she is locked into to go to a sleepover, and everything is going well until she bites her friend’s finger off. Her dad Frank (André Holland), gives her 3 minutes to pack before they move, something they have clearly done before. Moving to a new state, Maren wakes up one morning to find her dad missing and only a tape-recorded note left. Maren then has to find her place in the world all alone/ Well, maybe not completely alone because there may be more people like her. But they may not be friendly.

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a profoundly messy film, but at its heart, it is about grief, and what is grief, if not messy?    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid to watch this film

A funral procession

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

When it comes to comic book films, even the most jaded person would have to admit that the first Black Panther movie was a cultural touchstone. It would have been difficult to live up to that first film at the best of times, but we can all agree that the passing of Chadwick Boseman is as far as you can get from the best of times. How do you even proceed after that? Well, this is the question we will be exploring today.

So to set the scene, we open in a lab in chaos. The King of Wakanda, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), is dying, and his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) is trying everything possible to try and save him. Still, all the technology in the world could not stop the inevitable. The whole kingdom grieves their lost king, but for Sovereign Queen Mother of Wakanda Ramonda (Angela Bassett), it is a wound that cuts deep. One year later, after a continuous meeting in the United Nations, America found what they think was the second source of Vibranium at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. A Navy Seal team is there to secure the site from potential attacks from other nations. However, instead of an attack from above, they should have prepared for what comes from the deep.

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She Said – Movie Review

TL;DR – Even with all the frustrating production decisions, there were still moments when it landed when it needed to.    

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Warning – Some scenes may cause distress

The New York Times

She Said Review

One of the most important social movements of the early 2000s has to be the ‘Me Too’ movement. This has been a moment in time exploring and exposing the silence around sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace. Every industry has had its own reckoning, including Hollywood, which is the base for the film we are looking at today.

So to set the scene, we open with a film set on the coast of Ireland as a young woman starts a job on a film set. Hard cut to London, where the same lady is running down a London street alone with tears rolling down her face. In 2016, after an expose about misconduct failed to dent President Trump’s election Rebecca Corbett (Patricia Clarkson) of The New York Times asked her journalists to integrate all the systems that project perpetrators. Two journalists, Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) start on the trail of a whole system supporting the abuse of a high-profile producer in Hollywood because something is rotten in the state of Miramax and Harvey Weinstein.

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Sweet As – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that will make you laugh and cry in equal measure, that brings a profoundly Australian feel to a coming-of-age story set in the simple stunning Pilbara.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There are photos during the start of the credits

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

The bus on the highway.

Sweet As Review

One of the best things about film festivals is finding gems you have not heard about. Today we see just such a film that I caught at the closing gala of The Brisbane International Film Festival. A film about finding yourself along the coast of Western Australia.

So to set the scene, Murra (Shantae Barnes-Cowan) lives with her mother, Grace (Ngaire Pigram), in a mining town on the Western Australian coastline. Murra has to mainly look after herself as her mum struggles with addiction relapses, which comes to a head when someone from one of Grace’s parties tries to break into Murra’s room one night. Calling in on her uncle Ian (Mark Coles Smith), he realises that there are very few options for her left. Using his connections as a cop, Ian gets Murra into a photography program for at-risk kids run by Mitch (Tasma Walton) and Fernando (Carlos Sanson Jr.). The program was designed as a way to help, maybe even a last chance, for Murra and the three other campers, Elvis (Pedrea Jackson), Kylie (Mikayla Levy), and Sean (Andrew Wallace) it could well be.

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Supanova Brisbane 2022 – Explore-It

TL;DR – We explore the biggest pop-culture event in Brisbane.

Disclosure – I paid for my entry and everything you see purchased in this article.

the entrance and stairs to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Exploring Supanova Brisbane 2022  –

In the Spring of every year, a range of cultural events descends on my home city of Brisbane. You have the Brisbane Festival, Riverfire, Brisbane Film Festival, and Brisbane Supanova, to name a few. I used to go to Supanova every year, but it has been a couple of years since I last felt confident walking into a crowded space, especially a convention. However, with PAX Aus being a successful trial ruin, it was time to return to my local pop-culture event. 

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Civilization VI: Leader Pass – Features Thread

In this thread we will be documenting all the new additions for Civilization VI in their new Leader Pass.

Civilization VI Leader Pass. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.
Civilization VI Leader Pass. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

This Features Thread is being complied for Civfanaticshead on over to the forums for all your Civilization discussions both for Civ 6 and also for Civ games of the past and upcoming 4X titles.

You can also see all our Civilization coverage HERE.

Throughout this thread, I will put links to Wikipedia articles about the different features, if you would like to know more. If you see anything in ITALICS, this means that the information is implied enough that we feel it is safe to add it to the Features Thread, but it is not officially confirmed yet.

Leaders Pass Overview

There will be 13 new leaders and 6 updates to existing leaders released between November 21 2022 and March 2023.

For Windows PC, if you purchase Civilization VI Anthology (or purchase all of the content that’s included in it separately at any time), you’ll be eligible to receive the Leader Pass for no additional charge. For Mac App Store and iOS, the Civilization VI: Leader Pass is available for individual purchase only.

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Enola Holmes 2 – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it is not much more than a fun romp through this universe, sometimes that is all you need.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film

Enola looks at a map.

Enola Holmes 2 Review

When the first Enola Holmes rolled around, I wounded if they could bring something new to the Sherlock Holmes world, given its many adaptations recently. The answer was a resounding sort of. Some moments landed, even if it was a relatively straightforward story. However, the characters shone through, and it was clear that Millie Bobby Brown was giving it their all, making the thought of a sequel a good idea. Now we are here, well it was a fun time.    

So to set the scene, since Enola Holmes 1, Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) has started up her own detective agency. The only problem is that no one believes she can be helpful, and they just want to see her brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill). However, when she is about to throw in the towel, a young Bessie (Serranna Su-Ling Bliss) comes with a month-old newspaper clipping. Because her sister Sarah (Hannah Dodd) is missing, and no one cares because they work in a match factory. She is poor and not worth the time for many, but not Enola because a case is afoot.    

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