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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The Wanderings of Ivan (La Balade d’Ivan) – Movie Review

TL;DR The Wanderings of Ivan is a cold look at a real problem shown through the eyes of an excellent performance by Aram Arakelyan

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Warning – Several scenes contain flashing lights.

The Wanderings of Ivan (La Balade d’Ivan). Image Credit: NQV Media.

The Wanderings of Ivan Review

Homelessness is one of those issues that is a larger issue in modern societies, but we tend to push it aside and not think about it. But what happens to a person when they are cut off from having enough to eat when there are not avenues they can use to get out of where they are? Today we look at a film that is exploring this critical issue.

So to set the scene, Ivan (Aram Arakelyan) lives rough on the streets of Paris. To survive, he begs on the street and steals leftovers, but even that is not really enough. He tries to find work or a safe place to sleep but more often than not ends up sleeping rough each night with only a couple of Euros to his name. After a while, he finds a secluded wooded area on the outskirts of the city where he is not the only one without a home.  

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Dirt Music – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film with an interesting cast and set up, filled with gorgeous scenery, that unfortunately grinds to a halt in the third act and never recovers.     

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Dirt Music. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Dirt Music Review

When you are Tim Winton one of Australia’s most prolific and awarded writers, it stands to reason that your work is going to be adapted quite often, and we have numerous film and tv series to back that up. Two years ago, we reviewed the latest adaption from Tim Winton’s work with Breath, and today we get to look at another of his novels with Dirt Music

So to set the scene, we open in on the small fishing town of White Point on the West Australian coast. We see a woman called Georgie (Kelly Macdonald) with a drink in her hand standing on the balcony of a plush house up behind the dunes. She hears a dog barking, so goes down to the beach to explore, which is where she finds a dog tied to an empty boat trailer. After accidentally letting the dog go free she decides to go for a swim in the middle of the night, as one does apparently, and while diving in the waves, she comes across the boat’s owner Lu Fox (Garrett Hedlund) coming back with a boat full of poached lobsters. The same lobsters Georgie’s partner Jim (David Wenham) catches for a living.

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Cuties (Mignonnes) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A deeply uncomfortable film exploring the over-sexualisation and control over young girls.      

Score – I am honestly not sure how to score this film

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

Cuties (Mignonnes). Image Credit: Netflix.

Cuties (Mignonnes) Review

If there has been one film in recent times that has been entirely destroyed reputationally before it even came out it was the film we are reviewing today. When Netflix released the promotional material, it was demonised across the internet, and from the excerpts Netflix decided to choose it is not hard to see why. The director was hounded off Twitter and labelled an exploitive filmmaker and more. However, those who had seen the film already made it clear that the framing used in the promotional material was not representative of the final product. Well, today we see which is right as we explore the film now it has had its official release.

So to set the scene, we open in on Amy Diop (Fathia Youssouf Abdillahi) as her family makes a new home in France after moving from Senegal. She is trapped between two worlds, the conservative world of her mother Mariam (Maïmouna Gueye), and the more liberal world she has moved into in France. She becomes drawn to some of her classmates who dance in ways that she has never seen (even if they are just the worst in every other way). These crashing worlds come into even more relief when she discovers that her father has not joined them yet because he has taken a second wife.      

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The Match (La Partita) – Movie Review

TL;DR – An interesting proposition; however, the narrative gets muddled and does not recover.      

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

The Match (La Partita). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

If there is one genre of films that you can count on to bring the tension, it is the sporting genre, even more so if we are focusing on a single match. This is because there is an in-built timer to all the chaos, you only have 90 minutes in a game, and then there is a winner. You can feel that timer counting down, and will your team win or lose, who knows. The rise of success, the fear of failure, it is a potent combination. Well, today we look at a film that captures all of that.  

So to set the scene, we open in the suburbs of Rome with a local football team Sporting Roma that is the heart of the community even though it has never won a ‘bleeping’ thing. On a football pitch that is just dirt, two teams fight a contest that the referee has a very one-sided view of while a coach Claudio Bulla (Francesco Pannofino) screams from the side-line. It is the final with the team facing off against their main rivals from Milan and star player Antonio ‘Anto’ (Gabriele Fiore) is having a bad game. However, as we soon find out, there is more riding on this game than first realise.

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Last Shot – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that is trying to tell an interesting story but is held back by its narrative.     

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

Last Shot. Image Credit: Vision Films.

Review

One of the most important things about a film is its narrative. It ties the characters, events, action, drama, well everything together. While the narrative can be a core driver in how successful a film can be, it can also be affected by other elements in the movie for better or worse. Today we look at a film that presents an interesting narrative that unfortunately fails due to a single action of one of its characters.     

So to set the scene, we open with Nick Heirs (Cody Carter) making his way back through the town. He just got released from prison after spending ten years behind bars. Living with his cousin Mark (Carlo Campbell), Nick has to navigate the difficulties of getting a job and working through parole requirements all while living with the ramifications of his past.

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An Easy Girl (Une Fille Facile) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A frustrating mess of a film    

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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

An Easy Girl (Une Fille Facile). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of the good things about watching films from around the world is that you get to experience a whole range of new stories. This is usually a boon, however, sometimes it all falls flat, and today, unfortunately, we look at the later.  

So to set the scene, we open in on Cannes on the French seaside where Naïma (Mina Farid) has just turned 16. She is trying to find her place in the world and see her future. At the start of summer her cousin Sofia (Zahia Dehar) who just lost her mother comes to stay from Paris. It is a time for finding oneself under the French sun.

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Escape From Pretoria – Movie Review

TL;DR – A exploration of tension when one wrong step can be fatal.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Escape From Pretoria. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

One of the things I like the most about cinema is when they let me know of stories that I have previously been unaware of. As well as this, I have seen a lot of prison break films in my time, some fictional, some real, some ‘we think this is how they did it’, and I have always found them fascinating. Well, today we get to explore both of these with Escape From Pretoria.

So to set the scene, we open in the heart of apartheid South Africa with accrual footage of the time. It is here where we are introduced to Tim Jenkin (Daniel Radcliffe) and Stephen Lee (Daniel Webber) who work setting up leaflet bombs for the African National Congress or ANC. One day after a successful campaign, they are captured by the police and sentenced to twelve and eight years in the all-white political prisoner’s prison in Pretoria. While in Pretoria jail they meet Denis Goldberg (Ian Hart) who was put on trial with Nelson Mandela and fellow prisoner Leonard Fontaine (Mark Leonard Winter). They dream of escaping, but how do you do that when you are locked behind several feet of steel?    

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Movie Review – Shine Your Eyes

TL;DR – A film that presents a lot of interesting questions, but I am not sure it answers everything it sets out to do.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Shine Your Eyes. Image Credit: Primo Filmes.

Review

One of the great things about World Cinema is that you can explore whole worlds you don’t know about and see them come alive. I have never been to Brazil or Nigeria, but through cinema, I can experience those stories, the pain and the joy.  

So to set the scene, Amadi (O.C. Ukeje) has been tasked by his family to fly across from Lagos, Nigeria to São Paulo, Brazil. He is in the unfamiliar country for one reason, to find out what happened to his estranged older brother Ikenna (Chukwudi Iwuji). What makes things worse is when he discovers that the story that Ikenna has told his family is a lie, and if he does not find out what happened he might have to take on the mantle of the older brother as is required in Igbo society.   

I am going to start with the fact that as someone from Australia, I do not know if the film represents Igbo society or Brazil. So I am proceeding in this review under the assumption that they do in this regard unless I discover otherwise.     

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Movie Review – Babyteeth

TL;DR – This is a film that is both funny and deeply sad, immediately captivating yet also uncomfortable to watch, full complete yet broken characters    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Babyteeth. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

When I walked in to see Babyteeth, I had no idea I was walking into. Sure, from the wigs I assumed it had something to do with cancer, it also had Ben Mendelsohn, so at the very least I was going to be entertained by that. However, nothing could prepare me for the emotional roller coaster that I would be taken on from start to finish.

So to set the scene, Milla (Eliza Scanlen) is preparing for her last day at school for a while as soon she would be starting chemotherapy as her cancer had returned. While she is waiting to get on the train, someone crashes into her from behind. Moses (Toby Wallace) had just been kicked out of home due to his drug addiction. They run off to get her hair cut, and Milla brings him home to meet her parents Henry (Ben Mendelsohn) and Anna (Essie Davis). It goes about as well as you expect it would.

I do feel that I have to preface my review with the note that moments in this film are painful to watch. So difficult that you want to turn away from the screen because the pain is too raw to bear. I say this because I feel people are going to come away with very different feelings about this film, and I wanted to give a little forewarning before we dived into the review proper. 

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