Movie Review – Banlieusards (Street Flow)

TL;DR – A fascinating narrative of life on the outskirts of Paris and what it means for the people that live there.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Banlieusards (Street Flow). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Like many cities today Paris is a tale of two halves, the city and then the outer suburbs. There are times when they are almost two different worlds even though they are deeply interconnected. Within these worlds and the stories of those lives that are shaped by their worlds, their struggles, and the forces they can’t control.

 On the outskirts of Paris lives Soulaymaan (Jammeh Diangana), his brother Noumouké (Bakary Diombera), and their mother Khadijah (Kani Diarra). Soulaymaan is preparing for his final exam as part of his law degree, hoping to create a better life for him and his family. However, his younger brother is at a crossroads, he could follow in Soulaymaan’s path or that of his brother Demba (Kery James) who run drugs in the local area after spending some time in jail.

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TV Review – Total Control: Episode 1

TL;DR – This is one of the strongest opening hours of TV I have seen in years, with the first few minutes affecting me in ways I was not ready for.  

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Total Control: Episode 1. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

A pilot episode of television has a lot it has to do. It has to set the tone, explain the setting, introduce you to the main characters, and find the drive for the whole season. I have seen a lot of TV show pilots in my time and even shows that are fantastic can fumble parts of this very important introduction. Well, today I look at a show that nails every single element in its 50 minutes run time.

So to set the scene, we open in on a tragedy where Alex Irving (Deborah Mailman) is thrust into the national spotlight after a video goes viral. Alex shuns all media request for interviews but she has caught the eye of someone important. Soon there is a knock at the door and Jonathan (Harry Richardson) who works for the Federal Government arrives at Alex and her mother Jan’s (Trisha Morton-Thomas) house in Winton in country Queensland. He is there with an offer for Alex to take over the seat of a Senator that has just died. She declines, saying that if Prime Minister Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths) wants her to be a senator then she can come and ask herself, which is exactly what she does. For here we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Movie Review – Fractured

TL;DR – While there is an interesting concept at play here, some clunky delivery stops it from being what it could have been    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Fractured. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I’m not a parent, but I can say with some certainty that having your child go missing would be one of the biggest fears that you could have. This is why it is so commonly used in film/tv/video games as a way to draw people in because it is a fear we all have and can quickly internalise. There have been some films that have used this technique to real aplomb and others that use it for a quick shorthand to get us to engage with the protagonist. Today we look at a film that tries to do both.

So to set the scene, Ray (Sam Worthington), his wife Joanne (Lily Rabe), and daughter Peri (Lucy Capri) are on the long drive home after a stressful thanksgiving meal at with Joanne’s family. Ray is a recovering alcoholic and Joanne’s dad kept asking him to have some wine, which leads to tension in the car on the way home. They pull over at a random roadside stop because Peri needed to use the toilet only for her to lose her little makeup container. As they search Peri gets spooked by a dog and falls into a construction pit. They rush her to the local ER and as a precaution they run a CAT scan to make sure there is no bleeding and that is the last time Ray saw his wife and daughter and no one knows where they went.

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Movie Review – The Forest of Love

TL;DR – Starts of being a look in how people explore trauma and then becomes a case study in abusive relationships    

Score – 1 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – I don’t know if there is a no post-credit scene

Warning – This film has extensive depictions of abuse

Review

I have watched a lot of films in my life and I have review hundreds of them over the years on this site. There have been a number of films that had I not been watching them for review I probably would have turned off the TV or walked out of the theatre but I haven’t because of a sense of professionalism. However, today we view a film that finally broke me. I have not seen the end of this film before writing the review, nor do I care to find out what happened.

So to set the scene, we open in on Japan, beset by news of a serial killer, as we see a certain Joe Murata (Kippei Shîna) being creepy as hell. Elsewhere there is a guy that is new to Tokyo and quickly befriends a bunch of filmmakers. They find out he is a virgin and so they take him to their friend, who then takes all of them to help get an old classmate to appear in their next play. That same classmate who Joe Murata has just set his eyes on.

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Movie Review – Joker

TL;DR –  A hollow film trying to say something but knowing it actually has nothing to say and hoping you will be distracted by Phoenix’s performance not to notice.  

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Joker. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Review

It has been a couple of days since I watched Joker and instead of writing the review right away I needed to let this film sit a percolate in my brain for a bit before I started writing. Part of that is because I have talked to a lot of people because there are a lot of different experiences with the film, so I wanted to make sure I knew the different perspectives before I dived in. But also because there are aspects of the film I quite like and those that I really don’t and I needed to work through that juxtaposition.    

So to set the scene, in the 1980s Gotham City is beset by a garbage strike and tempers are starting to flare as the piles of rubbish start to accumulate. On the outskirts of the city lives Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) who works as a clown during the day and looks after his housebound mother Penny (Frances Conroy) in the evenings. Which would be difficult enough for any person but Arthur suffers from a neurological condition that required multiple types of medication and still causes spontaneous uncontrollable laughter. Things are manageable for Arthur but as his life starts to unravel so does he.

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Movie Review – Sequin in a Blue Room

TL;DR – A film about wanting to grow up but when you are not mature as you think you are to navigate your way through it.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Warning – There is extensive use of Strobe Lighting.

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

Sequin in a Blue Room. Image Credit: AFTRS.

Review

Today we review a very interesting film from a first time future director, which you would not know was his first feature unless you were told because it is at a much higher standard than you would expect. It explores coming of age in a realm of digital technologies that can bring people into certain worlds well before they are ready. It is a film that hits many emotions from joy to dark foreboding as it goes on.

So to set the scene, Sequin (Conor Leach) is a 16-year-old that spends his days in school and at night he uses an anonymous hook-up-app to meet up with men. While his dad (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) is supportive he does not know the full extent of what is going on. All of this lead to potential disaster when one of his hookups B (Ed Wightman) leads him into a world he is not ready for and then it all spirals out from there.

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Movie Review – Noblemen

TL;DR – A deeply painful and confronting film about the damage we cause to others and more the damage we do to ourselves.      

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Noblemen. Image Credit: Yoodle Films.

Review

Oh boy, is this a difficult film to digest, it is one of those films that deal with very important issues in a way that you cannot hide from them. But because you can to hide from them they are shown without restraint and that is really difficult to sit through. An important film dealing with important matters and it made me feel joy and real pain. I also should say right from the start that there are some very confronting scenes in this film and that some people should be careful to check out a more detailed plot summary before watching.

So to set the scene, in a private school in the mountains of India Shay (Ali Haji) is constantly bullied by the upperclassmen as a way of ‘making a man out of him’ but there is one ray of hope because he has just been cast as the lead in the school play of Merchant of Venice. The only problem is the best friend of his main tormenter Arjun (Mohommad Ali Mir) also wanted the role and Baadal (Shaan Grover) will stop at nothing to get it. But that is easy for the upperclassmen, they just have to torment Shay until he relents. Which starts a cycle with lasting consequences.

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