A Sunburnt Christmas – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that walks the line between charming and serious like a professional.     

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Awards

Nominated: Best Australian Film & Most Fun.

A Sunburnt Christmas. Image Credit: Stan.

A Sunburnt Christmas Review

When you have worked a long time in retail, it is difficult to ‘get into the Christmas Spirit’. Which does sort of extend into those classic Christmas films. But enough time has passed to dive back in maybe, and well where best to start is the new Christmas film on Stan.

So to set the scene, we open in a hospital as a man is brought in for surgery. We find out that he is a prisoner and that he is considered dangerous. A little time later, Daryl (Daniel Henshall) tricks the local hospital Santa (Alirio Zavarce) and escapes just before the illusive Dingo (Sullivan Stapleton) arrived to kill him. Running in the Santa’s truck, he crashes into the farm of Hazel (Tatiana Goode), Tom (Eadan McGuinness), and Daisy (Lena Nankivell). He pretends to be Santa to Tom and Daisy, in the attempt to find his ‘sack’ (full of stolen money) that is buried on the farm somewhere.

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Palm Springs – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film about broken people reliving their broken lives, day after day after day after …   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Palm Springs. Image Credit: Amazon Prime.

Palm Springs Review

There have been many media properties that have attempted to recapture the joy that was the time loop in Groundhog Day. I mean even Stargate SG1 gave it a shot. However, no one has quite gotten there. Well, today we might have a contender with Palm Springs

So to set the scene, we open in on the day of a wedding between Tala (Camila Mendes) and Abe (Tyler Hoechlin), but our focus is not with them. Instead, it is with Nyles (Andy Samberg) the boyfriend of Misty (Meredith Hagner) one of the bridesmaids. Nyles is the type of guy that will wear a Hawaiian shirt and swim pants to distinctly not beachside wedding. But still, he saves the day when Sarah (Cristin Milioti) the Maid of Honour has to make a surprise wedding speech, and she has had too much wine. It is all going swimmingly, with Nyles and Sarah about to hook up when an arrow comes out of nowhere and a masked man Joe (J.K. Simmons) starts hunting Nyles for sport. Wounded Nyles crawls into a glowing cave, and even though he asks Sarah not to follow she does, and then they both wake up at the start yesterday again.  

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Emma – Movie Review

TL;DR – Charmingly silly, yet deeply compelling    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Awards:

Nominated: Beautiful Cinematography, Stunning Costumes, Most Fun, Exquisite Musical Score & Fascinating Worldbuilding

Emma. Image Credit: Universal.

Emma Review

It has been said of me lately that I have been rather a bit dismissive of the old works of writers like Jane Austen. Well, in my attempt to catch up on some of the films I missed in 2020, I thought it would be the perfect time to remedy this, a little.

In England’s Regency-era, a local matchmaker has made her latest match in the rural countryside village of Highbury. Emma Woodhouse (Anya Taylor-Joy) has set up her governess Miss Taylor (Gemma Whelan) and local widower Mr Weston (Rupert Graves). She loves the game, and her latest intrigue is Harriet Smith (Mia Goth) who brings her into a confrontation with George Knightley (Johnny Flynn), a friend and yet sometimes rival.

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Letterkenny Season 9 – TV Review

TL;DR – This was a season of transition taking a moment to ground everyone for what is about to come

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Letterkenny. Image Credit: SBS.

Letterkenny Review

There are some days when you stumble upon something that is just pure gold, a show that knows exactly what it wants to be, and one that is ready to shout it to the rooftops. Growing up in Australia we got a lot of Canadian shows, also as a fan of Sci-fi I got to see Canada on the TV screen quite often even if it was just playing P3X-984. However, I had never seen a show that was genuinely Canadian, well until now.

So to set the scene, there are 5000 people in Letterkenny, and these are their problems. Letterkenny is a small town in rural Ontario, Canada, and like all small towns, it has its clicks and groups. Our main crew is brother and sister Wayne (Jared Keeso) and Katy (Michelle Mylett) along with their two friends Daryl (Nathan Dales) and Squirrelly Dan (K. Trevor Wilson). They make up the group known as the hicks, those folks that live off the farms and spend their days choring and nights drinking a Gus N’ Bru or maybe a couple of Puppers down at the bar MoDean’s run by Gail (Lisa Codrington). Then there are the hockey bros Reilly (Dylan Playfair) and Jonesy (Andrew Herr) who while not being the smartest tools in the shed know how to chirp and get gains. The final main group in town are the Skids, led by their leader Stewart (Tyler Johnston) they are reclusive and spend more time on chemical substances than off it and have a habit of causing all sorts of trouble. Also not far out of town on the Res are The Natives led by Tanis (Tiio Horn) who are such formidable hockey players that the opposition usually comes down with a case of ‘native flu’ rather than make the trip over. Everything is fine, well that is until something throws off the balance of the town, like stealing cigarettes or degens from up-country, or what happened last season when Dierks (Tyler Hynes) cheated on Katy, and the whole town went around to hand him a new one. Now we are going to be looking at the season as a whole, and this means there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Rose Island (L’incredibile Storia Dell’isola Delle Rose) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A strangely completing story if a bit flawed in its execution   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Rose Island (L'incredibile Storia Dell'isola Delle Rose). Image Credit: Netflix.

Rose Island Review

One of the things about getting to watch a story based on a true story is that reality is often weirder than fiction. One of the more bizarre parts of world history has been the drive to create micro-states that have popped up across the world. Today we look at a story about one that was built off the coast of Italy.

So to set the scene, we open in Strasburg in 1969 at the Council of Europe. Here a sick Giorgio Rosa (Elio Germano) is waiting to be heard. After working out a scheme to get rid of him, the officials actually read his brief and become compelled to hear him out, for they want to hear about the Island that Rosa built. We then flashback over a year to when he was still a student in Bologna and crooning for Gabriella (Matilda De Angelis) who broke off their relationship three years earlier. After another run-in with the authorities, the eccentric builder tries to find a way to get away from the retractions of government, and international waters seemed like a good start.    

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The Comeback Trail – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film full of everything I should love in cinema, but it felt hollow and more than a bit mean.   

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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

The Comeback Trail. Image Credit: Madman Films.

The Comeback Trail Review

There are times when you watch a film, there are certain aspects of cinema that start to stand out, and one of them is that Hollywood loves stories about Hollywood. They love films about films being made like in Dolemite Is My Name, films about washed-up actors like in Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, even better films about Hollywood coming into rescue everyone like in Argo. Today we get a film that falls into this category but unfortunately fails at nearly every point.  

So to set the scene, uncle Max Barber (Robert De Niro) and nephew Walter Creason (Zach Braff) are movie producers … and not very good ones at that. With their latest film about sexy mob Nuns being protested by the Catholic Church. The issue is that Walter borrowed $350,000 from local mobster Reggie Fontaine (Morgan Freeman) who is now VERY concerned that he is not going to see his money back. On a short timeframe to get all the money back, Walter gets the idea for a scam after tragedy strikes the production of fellow producer James ‘Jimmy’ Moore (Emile Hirsch). He hires a washed-up Western actor Duke Montana (Tommy Lee Jones) in his next film, dumps a lot of insurance on him, and then waits for the money to come rolling in.    

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Freaky – Movie Review

TL;DR –  A film that finds that balance between horror and comedy, till maybe the last 10 minutes.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Awards

Nominated: Stunning Costumes & Most Fun

Freaky. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Freaky Review

You have probably watched more than a few films where two people running into each other, or a wish, or just the universe deciding to be a dick, cause the people to swap bodies. It is usually a parent and a child, and by the end of the film, they have both learnt the lesson that both of them have complicated lives and everyone should cut everyone else a lot of slack. I have seen a number of these films, and variations upon, however, I have never seen a horror/comedy version of this … well that is until now.

So to set the scene, Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton) is your usual high school student that is not one of the popular kids, so thus is fodder for the popular kids that make her life hell. Adding to that, the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn) a notorious serial killer is still at large with no one being able to catch him. Well, one night as Millie is trying to walk home after her mother forgot her, the Butcher attacks. But instead of killing her, the knife he used swaps their bodies. So now Millie has a day to fix this before it becomes permanent and she takes the fall for all those murders … which are still going on but in a different body. 

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Baby Done – Movie Review

TL;DR –  One of the funniest films I have seen in a while that also has a real heart to it.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Awards

Nominated: Most Fun.
Winner: Most Fun.

Baby Done. image Credit Piki Films.

Baby Done Review

I’ve not been able to get to cinemas for a while due to a large work commitment over the last two months. So I have not been able to catch many of the new releases as I would have liked. However, I have finally gotten a chance to get back into the movies, and wow, what a film to come back to.

So to set the scene, Zoe (Rose Matafeo) and Tim (Matthew Lewis) are a couple who work together as arborists. Zoe spends most of her days climbing trees and she is good at it, as in she qualified for internationals for climbing trees. They are the last of their group of friends to have a baby, which is fine for them because they have a lot of work and internationals to look forward to … which of course means that it is the perfect time for Zoe to discover that she is expecting.

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Marital Problems – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film full of awful people being awful to each other   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Marital Problems. Image Credit: Reel Merit Films.

Marital Problems Review

Some films have a very grand scope darting from place to place, or even planet to planet. Then there is those film that are more intimate, sometimes staying in the same location for the entire runtime. Both of these approaches can work for your narrative if you structure them well. Today we look at a film that follows the later, in a world that may not be what it first seems.

So to set the scene, we open in on Ian (Callum Gault) as he lies in bed nursing one hell of a hangover when a bang on the front door wakes him from his stupor. At the front door, is McManus (Neil Goldsmith) a handyman who is here to fix the place up for the landlord Devon (Jonathan Hearns). Why is the home being fixed up, well, Ian has not been playing the rent, and he is about to get kicked out. It is at this moment of despair when an agent of chaos appears in the form of Clarke (Nick Capper).

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Irresistible – Movie Review

TL;DR – Based on some strong character work, Irresistible is a riot of laughs from start to finish, but it still has something important it wants to say.     

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Irresistible. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Irresistible Review

It is rare for a film to catch me completely off guard these days. In the era of trailers giving most of the game away and the pretty standard plot structure that most films follow, you tend to know what you are getting yourself into before you sit down in the theatre. Well, today, I look at a movie that surprised me from the start and never let up.

So to set the scene, we open on the night before the 2016 Presidential elections where Democratic party representative Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) and his Republican counterpart Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne) are giving their final pitches to the nation in the ‘spin room’. Well, we all know how that election turned out, and much like the literal depiction of a cannonball to the gut Gary is in a state of despair. However, a couple of years later as mid-terms approach he is trying to find a way to reconnect with heartland voters when he stumbles across a viral video of Colonel Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) in Deerlaken, Minnesota. Jack is standing up to the local Mayor Braun (Brent Sexton) over his stance on immigration. Gary has found his gateway to the heartland and flies to Minnesota and agrees to run Jack’s campaign for Mayor.

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