Movie Review – Instant Family

TL;DR – There are some moments of real humour and it can be really heartfelt, but it has also be smashed into a rigid three-act structure to the point that you can see the plot beats coming a mile away.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Instant Family. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Review

Adoption and foster care are two very important issues in society today. There are not enough foster parents for all the kids in the system, meaning that they get bounced around from house to house, or left in a worst state than when they came in. Which is a tragedy because these are some of the most vulnerable members of society and we need to be protecting them. Today we look at a film that explores this issue by looking at what happens when you go from having no kids to having three.

So to set the scene, Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) are a couple going through life that seemingly has it all. They run a successful renovation business where they buy down and out houses and then do them up to flip them for a profit. This helps gives their lives purpose, until one day Ellie’s sister mentions that they are never going to have kids and a look ensues. This leads to them having a look at adoption websites and being overcome by the need. So they attend training run by Karen (Octavia Spencer) and Sharon (Tig Notaro) and on a lunch playdate/get to know all the kids/totally weird event, they come across Lizzy (Isabela Moner) who everyone else is ignoring because they don’t want teenagers. They really like Lizzy but there is one catch, she comes with two siblings Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) and all of a sudden they become a family of five.

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TV Review – The Good Place: The Book of Dougs

TL;DR – While it does not always quite get there, it was still an interesting ride.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Good Place: The Book of Dougs. Image Credit: NBC.

Review

After three seasons of trying the gang is finally in the good place, and after all this, the emotional and social capital to get us here does it actually hold up? Well no, but then I think it does something a little more important, maybe.

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Exploring the Past – The Great Buddha+ (Dà fó pǔ lā sī, 大佛普拉斯) (2017)

TL;DR – This is a film of dissonant halves, both funny, yet confronting, sad but also hopeful, engaging but also infuriating

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene but it does not offer any answers

 

The Great Buddha+. Image Credit: MandarinVision

 

Review

Today I get to review a film thanks to the Brisbane International Film Festival that I would not have normally been able to see. I have been trying to increase the films that I have seen from Asia, and while this has included films from Hong Kong and China, today is my first dive into Taiwanese filmmaking with Huang Hsin-yao’s odd The Great Budda+. This is an interesting film but also a frustrating one at times, so to properly review it we will first give a general overview before we enter into spoiler territory as we dissect its ending, and what an ending it is.

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TV Review – The Good Place: The Brainy Bunch

TL;DR – Season Three blasts forward at the speed of light blowing through what might have been a full season in a single episode

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

The Good Place: The Brainy Bunch. Image Credit: NBC/Netflix

 

Review

One of the things that you have to get used to when you watch The Good Place, is how quickly everything moves. Sometimes the show completely changed up its entire structure in a single click of the fingers. It also means that it does not waste any time whatsoever, and sets up premises that a usual sitcom would play out over a bunch of episodes or a whole season, and then resolve it in 20 minutes.

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TV Review – The Good Place: Everything is Bonzer!

TL;DR – It’s back and it is just as clever and fun as always.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

The Good Place: Everything is Bonzer! Image Credit: Netflix

 

Review

The Good Place, what a little gem of a show this is, a real cracker. When I first watched it I had no idea what I was getting in too, and like everyone else, I was blown away by the direction the show took at the end of Season One. To the point that even now when we are still talking about Season Three I want to be coy about what that changeup was in case someone has not seen it yet. For the last two seasons, I watched it all in a binge watch session, so I am interested to see how it plays out week by week for this season. Well with that in mind, let’s come Down Under say hello and look at Australian universities with flags in every room.

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Countdown – My Personal Top 10 Films of All Time List

TL;DR – Today we countdown my Top 10 films of all time; from towns where there are a lot of ‘accidents’, to all forms of Sci-Fi, to do you know the man with six fingers on his right hand, and everything in between.

Countdown

Recently I watched the CineFix crew countdown their Top 10 films, and it had me thinking what are mine? Now it was at this point where I of course naturally spiralled as how can you reduce thousands of films that you have seen into only a Top 10. Just before I threw my hands up in resignation and chucked in the towel I happened to catch an episode of Movies with Mikey on how he determined the best sequel. With this in mind I wondered if there was a set of criteria that I could use to categorise the films into a list that I would be happy with, and after some work, I came up with the following criteria that work for me.

 

  • Films that are beautifully constructed
  • Films that mean something to me
  • Films that are always re-watchable
  • Films that have added to my love of the craft of cinema

 

With this criterion in mind I went through all the likely candidates and with a bit of a struggle I think I have been able to come to a final list, well at least until I change my mind next week, which is always a chance.

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TV Review – The Orville: Season One

TL;DR – While at first look this might have been just a Star Trek homage or at worst a blatant rip-off. Instead, it finds its feet and becomes a charming exploration of the future and the mess and opportunities that could come.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

The Orville. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox & Fuzzy Door Productions.

 

Review

I have been wanting to catch The Orville for quite a while but there was no streaming or TV that picked it up here in Australia, so I was expecting this was something that I might only get to see when it dropped on Blu-Ray. But with SBS announcing they had picked it up and would be showing Season Two I jumped on a watched the whole first season in one night, which meant that clown appeared at a very confronting time late at night. But binged the first season I have, and now it is time to jump in and see if it was worth the wait. Now before we dive in, a quick reminder that as we will be looking at the season as a whole, there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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