TL;DR – A film filled with amazing acting, and technical brilliance, however it was one of the most difficult films I have reviewed due to the issues of abuse that it explores.
Score – I am honestly not sure what to score to give this film
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene that I saw
Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse
A couple of years ago I stumbled upon Upgrade and thus discovered the wonderful work of Leigh Whannell. Since then, I have been waiting to catch his next film, so I was really excited to get the invite to see The Invisible Man. This was also a film that was going to reframe an old classic monster film and bring it into the modern age, which also intrigued me because that is my jam. However, while watching the film, I found myself feeling very conflicted with the subject material. All of this left me very unsettled in a way that I have spent the past two weeks wondering if the film approached it in an appropriate way or not.
So to set the scene, we open in on a mansion on the top of a cliff, waves crash against the rocks on a cold winters night as we zoom in on the isolated house. In the house, there is a couple asleep in a bed, Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) and Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), but only one of them is actually asleep. We watch as Cecilia slowly slips out of the bed, at first you think it is just that she does not want to disturb Adrian, but soon you discover there is something more to it than that. In fact, she is leaving him in the middle of the night, the only time she could, which means that when every sound could be her undoing. The moment she grabs her hidden go bag you immediately understand why she is leaving. As she escapes over the high walls of the house everything starts to get better, that is until things start moving in rooms that should be empty.
It was an amazing year for Australian Cinema, with each film I saw knocking it out of the park. There were intimate documentaries, films that held up a mirror to society, and those that brought the action to a new level. In this list, we will be looking more at the locally made Australian productions/co-productions and not films filmed in Australia.
So without further ado, these are the best of Australian Cinema in 2019. Be warned that there will be some big spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banner to go to the full reviews.
TL;DR – A look at the effects of death and trauma, that then gets weird.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
One of the things I think people have a hard time comprehending is the lasting
impact of trauma and what it does to a person. The impacts that reaching into
the past, present, and future. Today we look at a film that explores that reality
and the effect it can have and how people can be real asses about it.
So to set the scene, Ben (Jace Pickard) and Allison (Debbie Neilson) are living
their lives, exploring the potential names for their coming baby, when there is
a crash of glass outside. Ben goes outside to see what caused it when Allison
noticed the fridge door has been left open, but no one has been in the fridge.
When they get back inside the power goes out and when they flip the fuse back
on the attack happens. Two years later, Ben has finally started a new relationship
when he is meeting the parents and drinks wine for the first time in two years and
blacks out, but where did he go when he blacked out?
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
TL;DR – This might be the
most joyous, charming, and a little bit absurd series I have seen in a very
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
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.