TL;DR – They should have done better, and we know they could have.
Last night the first episode of the new season of Australian Survivor aired down here and there is a lot we need to talk about it. Indeed, there are some really fascinating things, like how a lot of the framing of the show is clearly tapping into the female gaze, the fact that someone acting like a complete ass actually got them booted off the show by the contestants, the Champions v Contender dichotomy that just exists to force more c-list celebrities onto our screens, or how they continue the Australian tradition of taking a format that works in an hour and pad it out to fill in as much runtime as possible. However, the area that we will be focusing on today is the representation and the complete failure of the show on multiple fronts.
TL;DR – A beautiful, haunting, and often brutal look at what we do for those we love.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no end-credit scene
There was a time not that long ago where zombies were this interesting subset of the horror genre. Now in a world where every second video game has them as an enemy and we have seen nearly every possible permutation of it on the big and small screen, it honestly feels like we have become saturated with the living dead. Now frankly, this is a great pity because out there in the world of media there are still very powerful works of art being made that deals with these issues, like The Last of Us and Train to Busan. Well, today we are looking at a film that is joining these lofty heights with Cargo.
TL;DR – This might be one of the most important cultural touchstones of Australian cinema that I have ever seen, a beautifully honest look at the intersections that exist in Australia, and a powerful call to action.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – Watch all the credits
Warning – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be advised that the following review contains depictions, images and voices of people who have died.
I truly did not know what to expect when I walked into the cinemas today. I had heard of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu but I honestly to my own shame while I had heard of some of his more famous songs, and the work he did in the opening song for Cleverman, it is clear that this has barely scratched the surface of his body of work. What I was not expecting was that I was about to have one of the most emotional experiences that I have ever experienced watching a work of cinema. I think I spent most of the film with tears rolling down my face. So today we will look at what I feel is one of the best cinematic touchstones to encapsulate Australia, its past, present, and future.
So Season Two of Cleverman has come, hit us hard, and it’s now over. So we have had some time to think back and contemplate on the overarching themes for the season and how it worked, which is what we are going to do today. So today with our review we will look at how Season Two improved on Season One, look at the central themes and characters, and finally conclude on the importance of Cleverman. Before we start, just a warning that we will be talking about the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS]. Also, this will be looking more broadly at the season, if you what to look at individual episodes, then you can look at our reviews here: Revival, Bindawu, Dark Clouds, Muya, Skin & Borrowed Time.
TL;DR – Indeed everyone is on Borrowed Time, as choices come to a head in the season finale
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So we’ve reached the end of Season Two with the final episode Borrowed Time, and after five weeks of everyone making mistakes, tonight it all comes to a head. At the end of last week’s Skin (review) we had that shocking moment when Charlotte (Frances O’Connor) defending herself and her baby put a scalpel right into Slade’s (Iain Glen) neck, though we didn’t see him die. Now there is one thing you need to know about TV, and that is they are not dead until we see the body, and even then everything is up for grabs. Well, first up tonight not only do we find out, yep he’s dead, but we also find out that he ended up going nowhere in the end, because (and I had forgotten this) he got caught up in the blue wave at the end of Season One. That was a really powerful opener but Borrowed Time doesn’t stop there, and a reminder as we will be talking about the episode as a whole, there are [SPOILERS] ahead. Continue reading →
TL;DR – Today we find out that there are consequences for actions and what happens when you push things too far.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
So we have reached the penultimate episode of Cleverman’s sophomore season and we are starting to get a glimpse of the end game and how it presumes things are about to get significantly worse. So at the end of last week’s Muya (review), things reached a head and finally Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard) stood up to take the mantle of cleverman and you can tell he’s serious because he unlocked his superhero costume, and you only earn the superhero costume when things are about to get real. However, at the end of last week we find many of our characters are in precarious places, Nerida (Jada Alberts) has lost the two girls under her protection, Charlotte (Frances O’Connor) has been kidnapped by Jarli (Clarence Ryan) and her future is still far from being safe, and Alinta (Tamala Shelton) is now trapped in her father Waruu’s (Rob Collins) house, which should be the safest place in the world for her, yet somehow we can’t feel like it is. Now we will be discussing the episode in depth so there may be some [SPOILERS] moving forward. Continue reading →
TL;DR – Relationships and repaired and torn, and for some blackmail is the least of their worries
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So at the end of last week’s episode Dark Clouds (review) we find that Aunty Linda (Deborah Mailman) didn’t just cause Koen’s (Hunter Page-Lochard) parents deaths through negligence, but she was actively trying to kill them, and then Waruu (Rob Collins) just slit Koen’s throat and slapped on some red kryptonite sap from a Melaleuca to stop him from regenerating. Oh boy, was that a lot to take in, and we have had a week to learn what everyone’s fate will be, and tonight’s episode Muya packs all the same punches and more, as we continue our drive to the end of the season. Just a warning, there will be some [SPOILERS] going forward so be careful. Continue reading →
TL;DR – As Season Two continues we start to see where the lines in the sand will be drawn, and characters are starting to take a stand against the coming storm
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So we continue our look at Cleverman’s second season, and after the carnage of Revival (review), we get a couple of episodes to hold our breath … nope, we continue steam rolling through the season with carnage in our wake. So today we will be discussing both Bindawu & Dark Clouds so there may be some spoilers going forward, however, if you want to be careful and have not watched these episodes, then I would suggest avoiding the paragraph on openings and cliff-hangers towards the bottom.
TL;DR – Season 2 opens with a bang, leaves you wanting more, and fearing the worst.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Wow what an opener, I mean we loved Season One of Cleverman, but I don’t think anything prepared us for how this first episode of Season Two was going to play out. So to remind everyone of where we left off last season, Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard) had rallied all the remaining residents of The Zone to fight the coming Containment Authority. His brother Waruu (Rob Collins) rejected his family and his people to stand with Jarrod Slade (Iain Glen) who is trying to unlock Hairy DNA and the power it possesses and that creep probably did something to his wife Charlotte’s (Frances O’Connor) pregnancy. Finally, Araluen (Tasma Walton) was able to escape the brothel she had been imprisoned in after killing the minister in charge. All through the season we were building up to the conflict, Koen was understanding and accepting his role as the Cleverman, and then bang season two opens and Koen is dead in a body bag, and you know nothing is safe anymore. So in our review today we are going to be covering all the aspects of the first episode of Season Two, so there will be [SPOILERS] for those who have not seen it yet. If you have not seen Revival yet, you can watch it easily on ABC IView, or SundanceTV, and you should go do that right now. Continue reading →
It’s the end of one year and the start of another and among the fireworks, booze and celebrations there is one tradition that transcends all and that is the tradition of end of year lists and who would I be to buck this trend. So over the next three days, we will be seeing the best and worst that 2016 had to offer with regards to movies (so we can have at least some positive things to say about 2016). Tomorrow we will have the movies I class in the ‘highly commended’ category and the day after we will have the all-important ‘best films of 2016’. However today we start with the opposite, with the worse or most disappointing films of 2016.