TV Review – Total Control: Episode 1

TL;DR – This is one of the strongest opening hours of TV I have seen in years, with the first few minutes affecting me in ways I was not ready for.  

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Total Control: Episode 1. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

A pilot episode of television has a lot it has to do. It has to set the tone, explain the setting, introduce you to the main characters, and find the drive for the whole season. I have seen a lot of TV show pilots in my time and even shows that are fantastic can fumble parts of this very important introduction. Well, today I look at a show that nails every single element in its 50 minutes run time.

So to set the scene, we open in on a tragedy where Alex Irving (Deborah Mailman) is thrust into the national spotlight after a video goes viral. Alex shuns all media request for interviews but she has caught the eye of someone important. Soon there is a knock at the door and Jonathan (Harry Richardson) who works for the Federal Government arrives at Alex and her mother Jan’s (Trisha Morton-Thomas) house in Winton in country Queensland. He is there with an offer for Alex to take over the seat of a Senator that has just died. She declines, saying that if Prime Minister Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths) wants her to be a senator then she can come and ask herself, which is exactly what she does. For here we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – Les Norton: Season One

TL;DR – Was one of the more interesting shows I have seen on Australian TV by being both a throwback to the past and also something a little new 

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Les Norton. Image Credit: ABC.

Review

We took a look back at Les Norton’s first episode You Wouldn’t Be Dead For Quids, back when it first came out. Well, the first season has just finished so I wanted to take a moment to look back at the show and how well it did as a whole. A show about the 1980s, finding yourself in over your head, and also just about the most aggressively Australian TV show I have seen in a very long while.

So to set the scene, Les Norton (Alexander Bertrand) is a country boy from Dirranbandi in south-west Queensland. He’s had to skip town after an incident where a rival teammate was left fighting for his life with a head injury and he needed to disappear before there was a riot. He needed to find some work to get through his time in Sydney which is where he meets his guide and new friend Billy Dunne (Hunter Page-Lochard) working as a doorman at a local club in Kings Cross. The first 22 minutes of his shift is boring, but we come in at minute 23 and the fists start flying. The head of the club Price Galese (David Wenham) likes what he sees and brings him into the fold and Les discovers a world hidden out of sight, protected by the powerful, and who run on very different rules where discretion is key.

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Movie Review – Sequin in a Blue Room

TL;DR – A film about wanting to grow up but when you are not mature as you think you are to navigate your way through it.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Warning – There is extensive use of Strobe Lighting.

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

Sequin in a Blue Room. Image Credit: AFTRS.

Review

Today we review a very interesting film from a first time future director, which you would not know was his first feature unless you were told because it is at a much higher standard than you would expect. It explores coming of age in a realm of digital technologies that can bring people into certain worlds well before they are ready. It is a film that hits many emotions from joy to dark foreboding as it goes on.

So to set the scene, Sequin (Conor Leach) is a 16-year-old that spends his days in school and at night he uses an anonymous hook-up-app to meet up with men. While his dad (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) is supportive he does not know the full extent of what is going on. All of this lead to potential disaster when one of his hookups B (Ed Wightman) leads him into a world he is not ready for and then it all spirals out from there.

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TV Review – Carpark Clubbing

TL;DR – This might be the most joyous, charming, and a little bit absurd series I have seen in a very long time.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Carpark Clubbing. Image Credit: ABC.

Review

Comedy is one of those genres that is so difficult to get right. Sure it is not hard to make people laugh uncomfortably at gross-out jokes and the like. But for something to be truly funny you have to care about the characters involved. This is how shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place, Parks and Rec, and Futurama (to name but a few) work. Today I get to look at a show that did all of that and more, but it did it in only 8 minutes.

So to set the scene, we open in Western Sydney in a carpark of the local doughnut stand Double Dee’s. Bonita (Monica Kumar) and her friends are getting ready to go out to the city when a mixup at the shop leaves her doughnuts with Sokhey (Sophea Op). Hoping on over to her car to sort it all out she gets left behind by her friends and decides to wait there while her Uber is coming. Which is the point when Nashrah (Tasnim Hossain) gets kicked out of her learner driver lesson and then there was three.

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Movie Review – The Australian Dream

TL;DR The Australian Dream is a film that I think every Australian should watch because it holds up a mirror to Australian society and we need to be ready for what it shows.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

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

The Australian Dream. Image Credit: Madman.

Review

I thought when I sat down to see The Australian Dream that I was ready for what I was going to see. I was a fool. This might be the most important film I have seen all year because it shines the light on an episode that many in Australia feel more than content to sweep under the rug because to do otherwise would mean confronting our history, our way of life, and our commitment to all Australians.

At its core The Australian Dream tells the story of Adam Goodes former Australian of the Year and one of the best Australian Rules Footballers (AFL) to have ever played the game. It is the story of his life, the highs and the lows. However, it is something more than that, it is using the biography to focus in on a problem Australia has had for the last two-hundred odd years and that is how it has dealt with its Indigenous people and well there is a reason that Indigenous Australians call Australia Day, Invasion Day.

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Movie Review – The Faceless Man

TL;DR – A film with some good ideas that is unfortunately bogged down some truly frustrating elements    

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

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

The Faceless Man. Image Credit: Chapter 5 Studios.

Review

This is one of those films that is really difficult to review for a number of reasons. First I feel that I am far from the target audience also I am not an expert in Ozploitation sub-genre of horror films. However, while I might not be able to be as sophisticated in my critiques as usually, I’ll give it my best.

So to set the scene, we open in on Sophie (Sophie Thurling) as she sits in a hospital waiting for treatment for cancer. While she waits a man comes up to her, her father Harrison (Brendan Bacon) and it is clear from the first moment that their relationship is very estranged. Three-years-later and Sophie have beaten cancer enjoying a life of alcohol and drugs and living every moment. She, Kyle (Lucas Pittaway), Dave Eddison (Martin Astifo), Chad Blavinski (Sunny S. Walia), Brad Barns (Daniel Facciolo), and Nina Hancock (Lorin Kauffeld) head off into the countryside to Orange Lodge to have a quiet weekend only to find themselves in the crossroads of different warring parties.

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TV Review – Les Norton: Wrongside

TL;DR – Continues one of the best Aussie pilots I have seen in a while by taking everything up a notch.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Les Norton: Wrongside. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

Last week I kind of stumbled upon a new gem in Australian TV with the show Les Norton that immediately stamped its presence in the media landscape. It was brash, it was funny, it also was a little absurd at times all while a friendly narrator (Angus Sampson) told us how bad poor old Les (Alexander Bertrand) was doing. However, getting out of the gate is one thing, but can you keep running the race, well that is a different question that we will try to find the answer today as we politely ignore why a horse racing metaphor is an apt description.

So to set the scene, in last week’s You Wouldn’t Be Dead For Quids, Les inadvertently helped cover up the murder of a local brothel madam Doreen Bognor (Rebel Wilson) by filling up a foundation at a new handball court for his boss Price Galese (David Wenham). All well and good, well sorry no, just one small problem, local muscle and slightly off quilter bodyguard Eddie Salita (Justin Rosniak) accidentally dropped his boss’ keys, for his expensive car, in the concrete with all that incriminating evidence. Well at least nothing else can go wrong, but wait what is that strapped to the engine of Price’s car. From here we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there may be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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