Movie Review – Top End Wedding

TL;DR – Joyous, Funny, Beautiful, and Moving.     

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Top End Wedding. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

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.

Continue reading
Advertisements

TV Review – Lego Masters AU

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

Lego Masters AU. Image Credit: Nine Network.

Review

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.   

Continue reading

TV Review – The Heights – Season One

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

The Heights - Season One. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

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.         

Continue reading

Movie Review – Storm Boy (2019)

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

Storm Boy. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

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.

Continue reading

Map-It – Bond, James Bond: Charting the 24 Films of the Spy Franchise

TL;DR – Today we chart every location visited on screen in the James Bond film franchise

James Bond. Image Credit: MGM and others.

Article

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.   

Continue reading

TV Review – Bloom: Season One

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

Bloom. Image Credit: Stan.

Review

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.

Continue reading

TV Review – Tidelands: Season One

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

Tidelands. Image Credit: Netflix

Review

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.     

Continue reading