As a guy, it might not be kosher, but I love a good romantic comedy, one that
you can sit back, laugh, but also be moved by the characters. However, this is
a genre that has kind of been on the backburner in recent years with only Crazy
Rich Asians being the one to come to mind when I think of good
works to draw from. Today, thankfully, I get to add another film to this list
with the joy that is Top End Wedding.
So to set the scene, we open in on a couple living in Adelaide who are both
having very important days. Lauren (Miranda Tapsell) is having her first major
client meeting and if it goes well she will get a promotion for the firm she
works in under Hampton (Kerry Fox) who is often referred to a Cruella.
Meanwhile, Ned (Gwilym Lee) is trying to live up to his father’s memory in the
courtroom but finds the job difficult because he has no passion for it. Well,
Ned decides to quit his job and proposes to Lauren, the only catch is that
Hampton will only give Lauren 10 days off for the wedding, as in the next 10
days, and Lauren has always dreamed of having her wedding in Darwin where she
is from. While this should be easy to put together, things take a turn when she
arrives home to find her father Trevor (Huw Higginson) and mother Daffy (Ursula
Yovich) had recently separated and no one knows where her mother is.
TL;DR – This is a breath of
fresh air in a crowded market that shines by showing the strength of people and
not my trying to tear them down.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
In Australia, it feels like if you want to make any new content you have two
choices Sport or Reality TV. Everything has to be designed around “Event TV’
that is television that you have to watch live so that you can be part of the
conversation the next day in the office. This has been done in the response of
shifting viewing habits of people away from traditional timeslots and TV
stations not knowing how to respond. In Australia that has meant that we are
inundated with one reality show after another, each jostling to try and be that
next event, often by scraping through the bottom of the barrel to see what is
underneath. For a viewer, this means that they take a concept and try and
stretch as much out of it as possible so it can fill as much of the schedule as
possible, and for a consumer, this is a real drag (and I assume it is no joy
for the people making it either). However, every now and again something will
break through the noise, and today I get the chance to look at just one such
show, even though it is a reality TV show on three times a week.
So to set the scene, if you have seen a reality competition show before then
you probably know what to expect here. Eight teams enter into a warehouse where
they battle in the challenge after challenge where some of them will be
eliminated until there is only one team left. The big change this time around
is that the arena where they are battling is not food, or singing, or being
married, at first sight, no it is building Lego creations. It is a show that
celebrates creativity, working under pressure, but also being part of a team,
and supporting them at each step of the way.
TL;DR – This is a show that is filled with clever writing, full of compelling characters, interesting stories, and heart you rarely see.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Authenticity, this is something that content creators across the world are
desperate to achieve because it is what modern audiences crave, even if they
don’t quite know what it is. Add to this it is easy for people to notice when
something is out of place when it is something close to them, like the lives of
tradies, or small shop owners, or people living in apartments. So it is a bold
move to set a new drama series in a setting that is deeply familiar and even
bolder when you pull it off with style.
So to set the scene, The Heights
revolves around the people that live in and around a block of apartments called The Tower. While the area around is
starting to rapidly gentrify, The Tower is made up of low socioeconomic
residents just trying to make their lives a little better. One day as everyone
was out enjoying the sunshine with a BBQ and a game of soccer the fire alarm of
The Tower rings out. This causes all kinds of frustrations for the residents
like Hazel (Fiona Press) who have to evacuate when everyone knows it is a false
alarm. When all is sorted, everyone goes back to their lives when a soccer ball
gets kicked into a garden but when Pav (Marcus Graham) goes to collect it he
discovers a newborn baby among the
veggies. Pav an ex-cop runs the baby
straight to the local hospital (it was quicker than waiting for an ambulance) into
the hands of Claudia (Roz Hammond) a doctor that is new to the hospital and
area. Everyone begins wondering whose
baby could it be, but there is a lot on everyone’s plate, like a wake and a closing
of the local pub, starting a new school, finding a new job, and 100% not
telling your mother than you are studying education and not business. Now, from this point onwards, we will
be looking at the season as a whole, or at least the first 16 episodes, so
there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – A movie that has good moments, but is hamstrung by its narrative framing device that was unhelpful and unneeded
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene but not one you need to stay back for
When you grow up there are these touchstone moments as you discover the world
of cinema. For me, and I would say a lot of people in my generation that grew
up in Australia, the original Storm Boy
movie was one of those moments (well until you have to write an essay on it for
English, which was the worst. Well, it
has been many years since I have watched the original, so I was really interested
when I heard they were remaking it, well that was until I saw it.
So to set the scene, we do not start with the story of the pelicans, but instead, we begin many years later when Storm Boy
has grown into being an old man (Geoffrey Rush). He is back in Australia
because his son-in-law (Erik Thomson) is holding a vote to allow mining on his
company’s pastoral land. The old man’s granddaughter Madeline (Morgana Davies)
is very much opposed to it, but he is all just a bit ambivalent to it because
it is not really his business anymore. But before the vote could be cast a
storm damages the building and we get a day’s pause. It is during this time
that he decided to tell his granddaughter the story of when he was a child (Finn
Little) and he and Fingerbone Bill (Trevor Jamieson) found some baby pelicans,
orphaned after hunters killed their parents.
TL;DR – Today we chart every
location visited on screen in the James Bond film franchise
Over the last little while, I have been
rewatching all the old Bonds now that they are all streaming here in Australia.
Watching the old Bonds I have been struck by a lot of things, like how did they
ever get away with calling a film Octopussy? But the one really interesting
thing is just how much of the world James Bond visits in his travels. Indeed
back before air travel was as available as it is now, this was one of the core
drivers of the Bond franchise. Because you got to see exotic parts of the world
that you would never get to see in your lifetime and this is still the same today.
So with this map, I have tried to get
every location that I could find but this did lead to some issues. There are a
lot of places where there are no clear locations, indeed there are a few
fictional countries as well. With that in mind I have made some educated
guesses, and when there are not reasons otherwise I have used the actual
filming locations as a guide. It was also fun to see the locations that films
like coming back to like Hong Kong, Istanbul, Venice, and Austria. Well, without
further ado, here is the James Bond World Map.
TL;DR – This series explores
the temptation and addiction that we can have with capturing the past. However,
while it introduces a lot of important themes, it does not really have the
space to digest them all.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
If you could be young again for a day or so, would you take that opportunity,
would you try to fix some part of your life? However, what would you do to keep
staying young, would you hurt people, would you kill, what if going back meant
losing who you were? These are all really deep questions and I don’t know how I
myself would answer, but today we are looking at a show that posits these exact
questions and more.
TL;DR – This opener immediately drags you into a world of multiple factions that are all untrustworthy and makes you wonder who will you back?
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
There is this surreal moment that, I assume if you lived in Vancouver or cities like that you would be used to, when you see someone drive down a street in a film and then instantly realise that you have driven there before. You know those cane fields, the factories, you know that bridge, that university hall. It has happened before with places I have visited overseas, but never here in Australia, and never with Brisbane playing Brisbane.However as a critic, this is potentially dangerous territory, do I like the show because it is good or because I have a natural drive to see the local film industry do well. However, with Netflix’s new show Tidelands, I don’t think this is the case, and as I review all of the first season I think you will see immediately if this is a show that you should dive into or not.