The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special – Movie Review

TL;DR – There was so much wasted potential here that you actually start to feel sorry for the film    

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

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

The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special. Image Credit: Disney+

The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special Review

Well, few things in pop culture have such infamy as the original Star Wars Holiday Special. Sure you may have been the first time we got a look at Boba Fett, but well you don’t get to be a gag in Weird Al’s seminal White & Nerdy for nothing. Well, today we look at Lucasarts giving a second crack at the idea, but this time Lego.

So to set the scene, at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The New Order was defeated, so Rey (Helen Sadler) and Fynn (Omar Miller) decided to travel to visit Chewbacca and his family on Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day. But for Rey, this is a big struggle because she is struggling to train Fynn in the ways of the Jedi and takes a trip to the past to get some inspiration.

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The Mandalorian: Chapter 11 (The Heiress) – TV Review

TL;DR – A visual spectacle with some fun moments but not much more

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Mandalorian: Chapter 11 (The Heiress). image Credit: Disney+.

The Mandalorian: The Heiress Review

One of the bonuses of using a streaming service for your delivery platform is that you are not constrained to 1-hour time-slot (well 45min with ads) of broadcast TV. The Mandalorian has already used this to bump up the story and action in the first episode The Marshall. This week we get to see it reverse with a much shorter but more concise episode.

So to set the scene, in last week’s episode The Passenger things didn’t quite go to plan, and that is saying something, which led to the Razor Crest being a leaky sieve with nothing but the cockpit secure from the ravages of space. However, janky it may be, but at the start of this week’s episode we finally make it to Trask an ocean moon orbiting the gas giant Kol Iben. After some … interesting moments landing (that did give me some Firefly flashbacks) they arrive mostly in one piece hoping to find the Mandalorians left on the planet. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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The Comeback Trail – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film full of everything I should love in cinema, but it felt hollow and more than a bit mean.   

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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

The Comeback Trail. Image Credit: Madman Films.

The Comeback Trail Review

There are times when you watch a film, there are certain aspects of cinema that start to stand out, and one of them is that Hollywood loves stories about Hollywood. They love films about films being made like in Dolemite Is My Name, films about washed-up actors like in Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, even better films about Hollywood coming into rescue everyone like in Argo. Today we get a film that falls into this category but unfortunately fails at nearly every point.  

So to set the scene, uncle Max Barber (Robert De Niro) and nephew Walter Creason (Zach Braff) are movie producers … and not very good ones at that. With their latest film about sexy mob Nuns being protested by the Catholic Church. The issue is that Walter borrowed $350,000 from local mobster Reggie Fontaine (Morgan Freeman) who is now VERY concerned that he is not going to see his money back. On a short timeframe to get all the money back, Walter gets the idea for a scam after tragedy strikes the production of fellow producer James ‘Jimmy’ Moore (Emile Hirsch). He hires a washed-up Western actor Duke Montana (Tommy Lee Jones) in his next film, dumps a lot of insurance on him, and then waits for the money to come rolling in.    

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Freaky – Movie Review

TL;DR –  A film that finds that balance between horror and comedy, till maybe the last 10 minutes.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Freaky. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Freaky Review

You have probably watched more than a few films where two people running into each other, or a wish, or just the universe deciding to be a dick, cause the people to swap bodies. It is usually a parent and a child, and by the end of the film, they have both learnt the lesson that both of them have complicated lives and everyone should cut everyone else a lot of slack. I have seen a number of these films, and variations upon, however, I have never seen a horror/comedy version of this … well that is until now.

So to set the scene, Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton) is your usual high school student that is not one of the popular kids, so thus is fodder for the popular kids that make her life hell. Adding to that, the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn) a notorious serial killer is still at large with no one being able to catch him. Well, one night as Millie is trying to walk home after her mother forgot her, the Butcher attacks. But instead of killing her, the knife he used swaps their bodies. So now Millie has a day to fix this before it becomes permanent and she takes the fall for all those murders … which are still going on but in a different body. 

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Baby Done – Movie Review

TL;DR –  One of the funniest films I have seen in a while that also has a real heart to it.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Baby Done. image Credit Piki Films.

Baby Done Review

I’ve not been able to get to cinemas for a while due to a large work commitment over the last two months. So I have not been able to catch many of the new releases as I would have liked. However, I have finally gotten a chance to get back into the movies, and wow, what a film to come back to.

So to set the scene, Zoe (Rose Matafeo) and Tim (Matthew Lewis) are a couple who work together as arborists. Zoe spends most of her days climbing trees and she is good at it, as in she qualified for internationals for climbing trees. They are the last of their group of friends to have a baby, which is fine for them because they have a lot of work and internationals to look forward to … which of course means that it is the perfect time for Zoe to discover that she is expecting.

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Marital Problems – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film full of awful people being awful to each other   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Marital Problems. Image Credit: Reel Merit Films.

Marital Problems Review

Some films have a very grand scope darting from place to place, or even planet to planet. Then there is those film that are more intimate, sometimes staying in the same location for the entire runtime. Both of these approaches can work for your narrative if you structure them well. Today we look at a film that follows the later, in a world that may not be what it first seems.

So to set the scene, we open in on Ian (Callum Gault) as he lies in bed nursing one hell of a hangover when a bang on the front door wakes him from his stupor. At the front door, is McManus (Neil Goldsmith) a handyman who is here to fix the place up for the landlord Devon (Jonathan Hearns). Why is the home being fixed up, well, Ian has not been playing the rent, and he is about to get kicked out. It is at this moment of despair when an agent of chaos appears in the form of Clarke (Nick Capper).

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The Wanderings of Ivan (La Balade d’Ivan) – Movie Review

TL;DR The Wanderings of Ivan is a cold look at a real problem shown through the eyes of an excellent performance by Aram Arakelyan

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Warning – Several scenes contain flashing lights.

The Wanderings of Ivan (La Balade d’Ivan). Image Credit: NQV Media.

The Wanderings of Ivan Review

Homelessness is one of those issues that is a larger issue in modern societies, but we tend to push it aside and not think about it. But what happens to a person when they are cut off from having enough to eat when there are not avenues they can use to get out of where they are? Today we look at a film that is exploring this critical issue.

So to set the scene, Ivan (Aram Arakelyan) lives rough on the streets of Paris. To survive, he begs on the street and steals leftovers, but even that is not really enough. He tries to find work or a safe place to sleep but more often than not ends up sleeping rough each night with only a couple of Euros to his name. After a while, he finds a secluded wooded area on the outskirts of the city where he is not the only one without a home.  

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Irresistible – Movie Review

TL;DR – Based on some strong character work, Irresistible is a riot of laughs from start to finish, but it still has something important it wants to say.     

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Irresistible. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Irresistible Review

It is rare for a film to catch me completely off guard these days. In the era of trailers giving most of the game away and the pretty standard plot structure that most films follow, you tend to know what you are getting yourself into before you sit down in the theatre. Well, today, I look at a movie that surprised me from the start and never let up.

So to set the scene, we open on the night before the 2016 Presidential elections where Democratic party representative Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) and his Republican counterpart Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne) are giving their final pitches to the nation in the ‘spin room’. Well, we all know how that election turned out, and much like the literal depiction of a cannonball to the gut Gary is in a state of despair. However, a couple of years later as mid-terms approach he is trying to find a way to reconnect with heartland voters when he stumbles across a viral video of Colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) in Deerlaken, Minnesota. Jack is standing up to the local Mayor Braun (Brent Sexton) over his stance on immigration. Gary has found his gateway to the heartland and flies to Minnesota and agrees to run Jack’s campaign for Mayor.

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The Death of Stalin – Exploring the Past

TL;DR – A farcical look at the reality of when an inept leader dies and leaves a vacuum to be filled.     

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

The Death of Stalin. Image Credit: Madman.

The Death of Stalin Review

Way back in the before times, I had planned to see The Death of Stalin in cinemas, with a planned double session. However, after being emotionally obliterated by Gurrumul, that got put on hold and very came to fruition. I have kept meaning to watch it since then, but now given I have some time thanks to the current state of the world, I thought it would be the perfect time to dive in.  

In 1953, Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) was ruling the country with an iron fist, killing all those who oppose or even annoy him. There is a raucous almost frat house feel around dinner as Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi) and Lavrenti Beria (Simon Russell Beale). While this jocularity goes on, Stalin requests the recording of a concerto performance he just heard on Radio Moscow, one small problem. No one recorded it. Chaos erupts as Yuri Andreyev (Paddy Considine) tries to record the performance, while buses round people up across the city. It would be the worst time for something to happen to Stalin, but as the title of the film suggests that is what happens because pianist Maria Yudina (Olga Kurylenko) slipped a note of sedition into the recording. As Stalin read it, he suffers a cerebral haemorrhage and becomes paralysed, and no one comes to his aid till morning.

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Dirt Music – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film with an interesting cast and set up, filled with gorgeous scenery, that unfortunately grinds to a halt in the third act and never recovers.     

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Dirt Music. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Dirt Music Review

When you are Tim Winton one of Australia’s most prolific and awarded writers, it stands to reason that your work is going to be adapted quite often, and we have numerous film and tv series to back that up. Two years ago, we reviewed the latest adaption from Tim Winton’s work with Breath, and today we get to look at another of his novels with Dirt Music

So to set the scene, we open in on the small fishing town of White Point on the West Australian coast. We see a woman called Georgie (Kelly Macdonald) with a drink in her hand standing on the balcony of a plush house up behind the dunes. She hears a dog barking, so goes down to the beach to explore, which is where she finds a dog tied to an empty boat trailer. After accidentally letting the dog go free she decides to go for a swim in the middle of the night, as one does apparently, and while diving in the waves, she comes across the boat’s owner Lu Fox (Garrett Hedlund) coming back with a boat full of poached lobsters. The same lobsters Georgie’s partner Jim (David Wenham) catches for a living.

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