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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Romance on the Menu – Movie Review

TL;DR – There are moments when this film comes together. Unfortunately, those moments are few and far between.    

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Romance on the Menu. Image Credit: Netflix.

Romance on the Menu Review

Do long lost relatives ever give you a call to adventure in their wills, no you neither? Well, it does seem to be a ubiquitous plot point in films. Today we explore a movie that as fate would have it has that very set up, that takes our protagonist from the hustle and bustle of New York to the calm of Australia.

So to set the scene, Caroline (Cindy Busby) works as a professional chef running a kitchen of a fine dining restaurant. The one day she took off they had a food critic come and blast the food, so she spends all her time trying to make up for that. Caroline does not have any time for love because she is too busy. However, out of the blue, Caroline receives a letter from Australia, her late aunt had left Caroline her old café in Lemon Myrtle Cove. When Caroline arrives to look over the café to get it ready to sell, she makes a fool of herself in front of Simon Cook (Tim Ross) who is both her landlord and also the cook of The Seagull Café, and yes our love interest. Well, Caroline’s plan of finishing the sale as quickly as possible is put in jeopardy when no one will renovate the café to let her sell it, so she has to take drastic measures to keep to her timeline.     

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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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Lowdown Dirty Criminals – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film of two halves, some interesting characters in a story that fails to deliver

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Lowdown Dirty Criminals. Image Credit: Monster Films.

Review

Today we are looking at a film of two halves, which makes it a difficult movie to review. This is because there are aspects where the film shines, and then there are moments where it all falls apart. These two halves create a disconnect that you can’t help but see throughout the entire runtime.

So to set the scene, we open in on Freddy (James Rolleston) and Marvin (Samuel Austin) in a room that is about to explode in gunfire. We then jump back a night where we see Freddy and Marvin in a car as they completely botch up robbing an ATM, severely damaging their boss’ car. From here they are up a certain creek without a paddle. Their boss Spiggs (Scott Wills) gives them one opportunity, they have to kill the guy sleeping with his wife, and it all goes wrong from here.

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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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Peninsula (반도, Bando, Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that unfortunately cannot reach the heights of its past.    

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Peninsula. Image Credit: Well Go.

Review

A few years ago, I stumbled across this fascinating Korean film called The Train to Busan. It was a zombie film where every character acted consistently and understandably throughout its run time. In a sea of mediocre zombie flicks, it instantly rose to the top, and since then maybe only Cargo has come close to meeting it. Thus, I was excited when I heard there was going to be a sequel to that great film. However, now I have seen it. I realise I should have modulated my expectations before going in.

So to set the scene, we open in on the day that South Korea fell. With Seoul burning in the background, Captain Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won) is racing through mountainous back roads to get his family out on the last refugee boat. While driving, they came across a stranded family with a baby and just kept on driving. They make it to the boat in time, however, as it is leaving one of the passengers turns and before they can stop it all of Jung-seok’s family is dead bar his brother-in-law Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon). Four years later, in Hong Kong living in squalor waiting for refugee status, Chul-min and Jung-seok are offered an opportunity by a local gangster to make some real money. All they have to do is go back to Inchon, in what is now just known as The Peninsular, under cover of darkness and recover a food truck with 20 Million Dollars in the back. What could go wrong?   

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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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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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