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 – The Australian Dream

TL;DR The Australian Dream is a film that I think every Australian should watch because it holds up a mirror to Australian society and we need to be ready for what it shows.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

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

The Australian Dream. Image Credit: Madman.

Review

I thought when I sat down to see The Australian Dream that I was ready for what I was going to see. I was a fool. This might be the most important film I have seen all year because it shines the light on an episode that many in Australia feel more than content to sweep under the rug because to do otherwise would mean confronting our history, our way of life, and our commitment to all Australians.

At its core The Australian Dream tells the story of Adam Goodes former Australian of the Year and one of the best Australian Rules Footballers (AFL) to have ever played the game. It is the story of his life, the highs and the lows. However, it is something more than that, it is using the biography to focus in on a problem Australia has had for the last two-hundred odd years and that is how it has dealt with its Indigenous people and well there is a reason that Indigenous Australians call Australia Day, Invasion Day.

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Movie Review – Djali (2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition)

TL;DR – A poignant look at what rock bottom feels like  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Review

Today we continue our dive into the 2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition by exploring a short film from one of Australia’s up and coming actors Hunter Page-Lochard. Here we look at what life is like when you hit rock bottom and that moment where you realise that you need to climb up.

Djali looks at the life of Johnny (Hunter Page-Lochard) who is an inspiring dancer and really good at it until he received an injury to his leg. However, this is just the first in many setbacks as we see him hiding in a dark room reminiscing about the past. Only for his brother Harry (Rhimi Johnson Page) to come and try and shake him out of his funk.

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TV Review – Robbie Hood: Season 1

TL;DR – This the best reimagining of Robin Hood I have seen in years, take what works of the traditional story and reinterpreting it into the Australian context.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Robbie Hood. Image Credit: SBS.

Review

Robin Hood is one of those characters that you see a lot of in media because he is one of the few safe completely public domain characters that most people know about. We have had every type of adaptation of his story, from the faithful, to big action set piece films like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, to the farcical like Robin Hood: Men in Tights, to the forgettable, I mean we ever got a version from Disney where they were all animals. However, while there have been a lot of versions of the story, they have all followed pretty much the same formula with nothing of any real worth to the adaptations, well that is until now.  

So to set the scene, Robbie (Pedrea Jackson) is 13 and a is thief, he lives in Alice Springs and Alice Springs is a dump, well he uses a different word, but we will go with dump. He lives with his Nana Mary’s (Audrey Martin) house after his mother died and his Dad (Andy Golledge) never really recovered. Robbie might be a thief, but he always has the best intentions at heart as he goes around Alice Springs with his friends Little Johnny (Levi Thomas) and Georgia Blue (Jordan Johnson).

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Movie Review – Top End Wedding

TL;DR – Joyous, Funny, Beautiful, and Moving.     

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Top End Wedding. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

As a guy, it might not be kosher, but I love a good romantic comedy, one that you can sit back, laugh, but also be moved by the characters. However, this is a genre that has kind of been on the backburner in recent years with only Crazy Rich Asians being the one to come to mind when I think of good works to draw from. Today, thankfully, I get to add another film to this list with the joy that is Top End Wedding.

So to set the scene, we open in on a couple living in Adelaide who are both having very important days. Lauren (Miranda Tapsell) is having her first major client meeting and if it goes well she will get a promotion for the firm she works in under Hampton (Kerry Fox) who is often referred to a Cruella. Meanwhile, Ned (Gwilym Lee) is trying to live up to his father’s memory in the courtroom but finds the job difficult because he has no passion for it. Well, Ned decides to quit his job and proposes to Lauren, the only catch is that Hampton will only give Lauren 10 days off for the wedding, as in the next 10 days, and Lauren has always dreamed of having her wedding in Darwin where she is from. While this should be easy to put together, things take a turn when she arrives home to find her father Trevor (Huw Higginson) and mother Daffy (Ursula Yovich) had recently separated and no one knows where her mother is.

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Explore It – Brisbane’s Cultural District and Southbank

TL;DR – Today I explore the museums along the Brisbane river as I walk from GOMA down to Southbank

Brisbane in Spring. Image Credit: Brian MacNamara

 

Article

I had a day off this week and given it was perfect weather, warm but before the heat of summer hits us, I thought I would take some time winding down Brisbane’s Cultural District among its brutalist buildings, and lush Bougainvillea. All of this is right next to the Brisbane River so it is hard to get lost with that guideline always being there for you. So with today’s Explore-It, we will take you through all the museums, some old, some new, all full of interesting things, and best of all, every place I visited you can enter for free.

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TV Review – Mystery Road: Season One

TL;DR Mystery Road is a mystery ‘who done it’ where every reveal has weight and you have to watch every episode just to see what happened next.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Mystery Road

Review

Australian TV is kind of going through a period of uncertainty, how does it adapt to a changing global marketplace where streaming services are the new norm, or to governments that do not feel like supporting the arts is a good thing any more. Indeed, when you look at the list of currently running drama series in Australia it is almost anaemic compared to even ten years ago. Within this world, it is an unfortunate reality that you have to make each chance count, and with today’s Mystery Road we have a show that does just that. Now before we move onto the review proper just a couple of points. Firstly, this is based off a series of films created by Ivan Sen that I have unfortunately not seen, however, if you are like me in this regard, don’t worry because anything you do need to know about them is told in the show so you are not missing out. As well as this, we will be looking at the series as a whole so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead, but we will leave discussions about the final episode to a paragraph all to itself so you can skip that if you don’t want to find out the conclusion.

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