Movie Review – His Father’s Voice

TL;DR – It filled with the mixed emotions that come with tracing your past a world full of nostalgia and pain.      

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

His Father's Voice. Image Credit: Indie Rights.

Review

Your past can be something filled with joy or tinged with regret. We dream of the past but sometimes forget the effect it has on our present and future. This is especially true when it comes to the issues around a parent’s separation because it adds a whole other layer of issues with how we interpret the past. Today we look at a film that interprets all of this through the lens of Indian performance art.

So to set the scene, we open on Kris (Christopher Gurusamy) making a long journey from the city to a complex deep in the jungle. This is where he spent most of his childhood growing up in a musical collective who put on performances based on Indian mythology and Hindu Religious epics. There is also a little trepidation for Kris as this is also a place of great pain for him. He is soon spotted by Valli (Sudharma Vaithiyanathan) who he uses to play with as a child and he asks the first of many pertinent questions “Where is my dad” but Jon (Jeremy Roske) likes to travel around India so while he is not here, though he should return. So Kris decides to wait at the compound for his father’s return and dredges up the memories of the past.

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Movie Review – Stuck

TL;DR – When it gets to the emotional core of music Stuck has some real emotional weight, but it has issues getting between those moments.       

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Stuck. Image Credit: MJW Films.

Review

There are many things that can make a bad day and I can tell you that being stuck in a train carriage with a bunch of strangers for an indeterminate amount of time would be very high on that list. With this in mind, I was captivated with the idea of setting a musical in that setting and where you could go with the pressures and opportunity of keeping everyone in that one space. What we get in the final film is a story with two halves, however, unfortunately, they don’t quite work together.

So to set the scene, it is a day in New York and disconnected strangers are running around in their day trying to get from one place to another. You have Lloyd (Giancarlo Esposito) a homeless gentleman who is getting ready for the day in the actual train carriage. Alica (Arden Cho) a dancer trying to get home and avoid her stalker Ramon (Omar Chaparro), Caleb (Gerard Canonico) who is running between his many jobs, then Eve (Ashanti) and Sue (Amy Madigan) who are just trying to get home on a difficult day. Fate is a precarious thing at times, and this day as they board the train everything grinds to a halt as a police incident closes the train lines trapping the train in-between stations, and as the carriages are locked there is the realisation that they are trapped and the only thing you can do is sing.

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Movie Review – Unicorn Store

TL;DR – A delightful film about the tension between dreams and reality and how they don’t always add up   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Unicorn Store. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of the things that is becoming rarer and rarer these days is going into a film without any idea what to expect. Well, today I got to experience one of those rare moments as I turned on Netflix and stepped into a world of glitter and paint and every colour in the rainbow with no idea what I was getting myself into.

So to set the scene, we open with a montage of Kit (Brie Larson) growing up, discovering her life, discovering her joy for art, only to have it come crashing down when she fails out of Art College and has to go back to live with her mother Gladys (Joan Cusack) and her dad Gene (Bradley Whitford). This of course sets of a period of depression as Kit fails to find purpose in her life, while her parents try to help, like introducing her to Kevin (Karan Soni), but it is not very successful. In frustration, she joins a temp agency where she placed in an advertising firm, a place where creativity goes to die. When one day she gets a letter to come visit The Store and she finds The Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) waiting because he has the one thing she has always wanted a Unicorn.

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Movie Review – Destroyer

TL;DR – This is a film that holds its cards very close to its chest but that makes the slow burn that much better   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Destroyer. Image Credit: Madman.

Review

Okay … wow, this is a difficult film to parse because its structure and tone jump all over the place and it is a film guards its biggest conceit at all times. This also makes it a difficult film to review because there are vignettes throughout that I really like and really didn’t and it is hard to conceptualise that without immediately running into spoilers. However, that is what we will attempt to do.

So to set the scene, we open on Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) a detective in the LAPD who has clearly had a tough life, and is clearly worse for wear after a long night of drinking. She is arriving at a murder scene of a John Doe that had been shot multiple times. The police on site were not happy to see Erin, and even less so when she implies she knows who did it because she recognises the tattoo on the back of his neck and the money covered in die spread around the body as a warning. All of this is confirmed when we next see Erin at her office and she gets a letter with one of the dyed bills revealing a past that haunts her to this day.

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TV Review – The Heights – Season One

TL;DR – This is a show that is filled with clever writing, full of compelling characters, interesting stories, and heart you rarely see.                      

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Heights - Season One. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

Authenticity, this is something that content creators across the world are desperate to achieve because it is what modern audiences crave, even if they don’t quite know what it is. Add to this it is easy for people to notice when something is out of place when it is something close to them, like the lives of tradies, or small shop owners, or people living in apartments. So it is a bold move to set a new drama series in a setting that is deeply familiar and even bolder when you pull it off with style.

So to set the scene, The Heights revolves around the people that live in and around a block of apartments called The Tower. While the area around is starting to rapidly gentrify, The Tower is made up of low socioeconomic residents just trying to make their lives a little better. One day as everyone was out enjoying the sunshine with a BBQ and a game of soccer the fire alarm of The Tower rings out. This causes all kinds of frustrations for the residents like Hazel (Fiona Press) who have to evacuate when everyone knows it is a false alarm. When all is sorted, everyone goes back to their lives when a soccer ball gets kicked into a garden but when Pav (Marcus Graham) goes to collect it he discovers a newborn baby among the veggies. Pav an ex-cop runs the baby straight to the local hospital (it was quicker than waiting for an ambulance) into the hands of Claudia (Roz Hammond) a doctor that is new to the hospital and area. Everyone begins wondering whose baby could it be, but there is a lot on everyone’s plate, like a wake and a closing of the local pub, starting a new school, finding a new job, and 100% not telling your mother than you are studying education and not business. Now, from this point onwards, we will be looking at the season as a whole, or at least the first 16 episodes, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.         

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Movie Review – The Hate U Give

TL;DR – A powerful and unflinching look at life at the intersection of race, power, poverty, and privilege.   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

The Hate U Give . Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review

One of the most important aspects of film, or indeed any media, is its ability to help you understand a different perspective. For many people in the world, the police are a source of comfort and protection, who you call when you are in danger. But for many people almost the opposite is true, and it can be difficult to understand why that is. However, that is what film is here to do, and that is what today’s film does.

So to set the scene, Starr (Amandla Stenberg) was only a child when her father Maverick (Russell Hornsby) gave her and her siblings Seven (Russell Hornsby) and Sekani (TJ Wright) the talk. No, I am not talking about the birds and the bees, I am talking about what you do when (not if) you get pulled over by the police so you can make it out of it alive. As Starr grew up her mother Lisa (Regina Hall) was determined to make sure she could have the best opportunity available for life and sends her and her siblings to a private school. This makes Starr create two sides of herself, the Williamson side and the Garden Heights side. All of this comes to a head when Starr runs into an old friend Khalil (Algee Smith) at a party. It was a chance to reminisce about the past and how they use to all dress up as Harry Potter. After a gun goes off at the party, Starr and Khalil race to the car, and that is when the world changes for everyone.  

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Movie Review – The Favourite

TL;DR – At times funny, at times perplexing, and at times very dark, it explores the world of immense power and those who want to obtain it, and the damage that can do.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

The Favourite. Image Credit: Fox Searchlight

Review

We live in a world where thanks to technology we can explore galaxies far away, to fantasies imagined in every which way, but sometimes reality can be stranger than anything we can muster. Today we are exploring a film that is set around the power politics of last years of the House of Stuart as different people position themselves in an ever-shifting world. This would be interesting enough in itself, but in both a less and in some cases more dramatic way this is what really happened (or at least what was alleged to have happened) in real life. It is a snapshot of absolute power, but also of sadness, and regret.

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