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.      

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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?   

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.     

Continue reading

Movie Review – Liza, Liza, Skies Are Grey

TL;DR – A film that takes an interesting premise and then does nothing of note with it.     

Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars

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

Liza, Liza, Skies Are Grey. Image Credit: Vision Films.

Review

Today we look at a film trying to be a snapshot of a time and a place, which unfortunately fails on both accounts. Which is a real shame because there is a lot of potential in the direction the film was heading in that just never eventuates. Because of this, our review will be more of a constructive look at some of the ways it went wrong so you can avoid these traps in the future.    

So to set the scene, in 1966, the world is on the precipice of global failure with two nuclear powers on the brink of calamity and the draft for the Vietnam War accelerating. Liza (Mikey Madison) is just finishing up the school year when she runs into the new trumpet player Brett (Sean H. Scully). They lament on the state of the world, and of their mutual issues with their guardians. When Brett, let’s Liza know that he is moving across the country after the summer, they decide to take a trip up the Californian coast while they still can.        

Continue reading

Movie Review – MILF

TL;DR – It lives up to its title in interesting ways    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

MILF. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

In my time reviewing films I have seen a lot of movies about older men trying to recapture their youth by chasing after young women, and those few moments that the reverse is true they always seem to be directed by men. Well, today we review a film directed by a woman with that perspective clearly intact. Though before I dive in, I should preface this with this is a film that very much lives up to its title, and I am pretty sure everyone knows what MILF is, if you don’t then this is probably not the film for you and also maybe don’t google that.

So to set the scene, three friends are on their way to the coast to have a holiday of sorts from their jobs in Paris. Cécile (Virginie Ledoyen) is there to get her holiday house ready for sale after the death of her husband and her friends Sonia (Marie-Josée Croze) and Elise (Axelle Laffont) have come for support. Well while out on the bay going for a sail they come across several young men like Julian (Matthias Dandois) and Paul (Waël Sersoub) out on the water, and things take a turn when an unintended butt dial leaves everyone single and guilt-free.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Follow Me

TL;DR – Out of all the things I expected to fell when I sat down to watch this movie, dull was not one of them, but here we are.     

Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is are some mid-credit scenes

Follow Me. Image Credit: Studio Canal.

Review

I have to be upfront before we get started. Today was a bit of a milestone because it was the first time since March (when we looked at The Legend of Baron To’a) that I have been able to go to a regular showing of a film in a cinema. So I may have gone into this film with some unconscious higher expectations than I probably should have. However, all that said and done did I pick a good choice from my first film in a long time? Unfortunately, the answer to that would be a hard no.

So to set the scene, Cole (Keegan Allen) is a stream/influencer/online personality/ etc. who can get tens of thousands of people tuning in when he goes live. He is always about finding extreme situations to film for that #Content. Well, when his friend and fellow streamer Dash (George Janko) lets him know of this super exclusive escape room set up by this cashed-up Russian Alexei (Ronen Rubinstein) he jumps at the opportunity. Well, a couple of months later and Cole, Dash, Cole’s girlfriend Erin (Holland Roden), and their friends Thomas (Denzel Whitaker) & Maya (Tia Valentine) find themselves on a first-class flight to Russia. With no idea what will be waiting for them when they arrive.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Where’d You Go, Bernadette

TL;DR – A film full of promise that somehow fails to land     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Where'd You Go, Bernadette. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

When you watch a film that is not just bad but lazy, it is easy to critique, as it a movie that nails it. However, one of the most challenging parts of this job is when you get a film that a lot of passion has gone into its production, it has all the components needed to be amazing, and yet still it just does not come together. Today we look at just such a film with Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

So to set the scene, many years ago Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) was an aspiring architect, winner of a MacArthur Grant, and a revolutionary in her field. However, today she is just a recluse living in an unfinished house in Seattle with her tech industry husband Elgin (Billy Crudup) and their daughter Bee (Emma Nelson). While she spends most of her life supporting her daughter and feuding with the neighbours like Audrey Griffin (Kristen Wiig). Things are about to change as Bee is about to leave for boarding school, and Bernadette’s past is about to catch up with her.

Continue reading