Movie Review – Wine Country

TL;DR – It is a film with one of the best comedic casts in the industry, but it just meanders a bit too much.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Wine Country. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Turning 50 is one of those big moments in your life that makes you think back at everything that has led you to this point. The friends you made, the choices you made or didn’t make, how your bodies do or don’t hold up. It is a time of friendship, reflection, and a lot of wine, like a serious copious amount of wine.

So to set the scene, a long time ago in a pizza joint in Chicago a group of friends came together. Since then Abby (Amy Poehler), Naomi (Maya Rudolph), Rebecca (Rachel Dratch), Catherine (Ana Gasteyer), Val (Paula Pell), and Jenny (Emily Spivey) have been inseparable even though they have all moved to different cities and have had very different lives. First the first time in a long time the whole group is coming together to celebrate Rebecca’s 50th birthday. The group booked out a house in Napa Valley for a weekend of wine, lots of wine, a very tight schedule, and more wine. But as everyone’s lives have moved in different directions, the question is, have they moved on from each other.

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Movie Review – Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

TL;DR – While it focuses on the charismatic nature of Bundy and his toxic effects, that is all the film has going for it, and that is not enough when you are exploring a narrative like this.     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit sequence

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Murder, it is a topic most foul, but it is also one that is ripe for adaptation. We have seen this time and time again, and today we are looking film depicting the life of one of the most heinous serial killers in American history. There is a lot of obsession around him due to his charismatic nature and the way he used the media in his trial, after numerous escapes from custody. Quite often this obsession is deeply problematic, so when you are dealing with a film in which he is the core subject you have to be very careful. Today we are looking at Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, a film that attempts this but does not quite succeed.

So to set the scene, in the middle of the 1970s and Liz (Lily Collins) is out at a bar with her friend Joanna (Angela Sarafyan). Joanna wanted Liz to have a little fun, instead of being stuck at home with her daughter and there is one man that has not taken his eyes off her. He walks over and introduces himself as Ted Bundy (Zac Efron) and the two instantly hit it off. However, not long after they move in together Ted is arrested in Utah on what he claims are trumped up charges. This begins a long march for justice and the long decline of Liz’s health.

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Movie Review – The Last Summer

TL;DR – This is a perfectly fine film, but it felt like it could have been more if they had gone for something other than the shotgun approach to storytelling.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

The Last Summer. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

It has been a long time since the sort of wholesome teen romance film was in vogue. You know the sort of film that can get away with having bloopers during the end credits. In some respects, this feels like a lost art that was only recaptured recently thanks in part by a number of films on Netflix. Well today we take a look at an interesting example of this genre that has moments of real joy in between moments of real dullness.

So to set the scene, it is the last summer after the end of high school where everyone is having fun before having to move away for college. Our story revolves around a group of teens that sort of know each other from school as they endure heartbreak after heartbreak. You have Griffin (KJ Apa) who is coming home from prep-school, so he feels disconnected for most of the people who stayed in Chicago. You have Alec (Jacob Latimore) and Erin (Halston Sage) who are going to different colleges so they decide to pre-emptively break up. Also Audrey (Sosie Bacon) has been put on the wait-list from even her back-up, back-up College and does not know what she wants to do with her life. All of these stories sort of collide with each other over the summer as people’s priorities are put into focus.

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TV Review – Street Food: Season One

TL;DR – This is a fascinating series exploring the food and people that make up some of the most interesting cities in Asia.  

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Street Food. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

If you have read my reviews in the past you could probably tell that I am a sucker for a good food documentary. A documentary that explores the origins of a dish, or the people that make it, or the cultural context it exists in. Well, today we get a show that does all three with Street Food. When you think of street food, what first comes to mind? Well for a long time for me it was that kebab shop that is open to late in the morning or that one chip store I found in Sydney that one time. However, as I have started to travel I have found it is much, much, much more than that, and this is what we will be exploring today.

So to set the scene, today we delve into the street food cultures of eight different cities across Asia. Some of these locations are quite well known like Bangkok, Osaka, Delhi, Seoul, and Singapore, as well as some less well-known places like Chiayi, Yogyakarta, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). We see the foods that mark each of these cities and the people that make them. We discover the Fish-head Stew of Chiayi, the Crab Omelette of Bangkok, or the Putu Piring of Singapore. But more than this we explore the cities, their history, their relationship with food, and what it means for the people who make/eat it.   

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Movie Review – Someone Great

TL;DR – While it is not anything new, the film focuses on women supporting women and that helps elevate it.    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Someone Great. Image Credit: Netflix

Review – There is nothing quite like the pain of something lost, time might heal all wounds but it also makes the deepest cuts. This is especially true when the thing that is lost is a romantic relationship. What do you do when nine years of your life disappears overnight, how do you process that pain. Well, today we look at a film that explores all of that.   

So to set the scene, we open with Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) alone sitting in the subway obviously in a state of distress. She had finally gotten the job of her dreams after years of hard work, but it involves moving from New York to San Francisco and her partner of nine years Nate (Lakeith Stanfield) decided that he was not prepared to even try a long distance relationship. Everything is changing in her life but there is still one constant and that is her best friends Blair (Brittany Snow) and Erin (DeWanda Wise) still have her back. So as a way of helping to cope and to celebrate her new life and commiserate her moving away the three decide to go to Neon Classic a concert from their youths and have one last crazy adventure.   

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TV Review – Lunatics Season One

TL;DR – This is a show that wildly oscillates from being deeply offensive to just plain dull  

Score – 1 out of 5 stars

Lunatics Season One. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Before we get into this review, let me take you back 14 years ago to 2005, this was when We Can Be Heroes first aired down here in Australia. It was a revolutionary comedy for many, as it satirised people that you thought you all knew. Also having one actor play multiple different parts was a novel concept … at the time. Chris Lilley won multiple awards for the show and it put him in the limelight which he followed up with the equally successful Summer Heights High two years later. Why am I opening with this, well I wanted to give it a bit of history for non-Australian readers, and I wanted to give a bit of context before we fall into the rubbish that is this series.

So to set the scene, Lunatics is based around the lives of several characters (all played by Lilley). There is Jana a lesbian pet psychic based in South Africa, Gavin a brat that somehow going to be an Earl, Joyce a former adult movie star, Keith a long time retail worker that is opening his own store, Becky a tall twin starting her first day at an American college, and Quentin a real-estate agent from the Gold Coast. The series explores their lives as they all move into their next stages of life. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (HΘMΣCΘMING)

TL;DR – A work of art for all to see.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (HΘMΣCΘMING). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


One of the issues living in Australia is that the likelihood of me being able to go to some of these big tent pole events across the world is quite low. However, in this age of digital connection that is not the problem that it used to be, as connections become stronger around the world. Today we take a look at a film that takes this to heart as it explores not only a concert and how it was made but also the philosophy that went that underpinned it all.

So to set the scene, last year at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival or as it more commonly called Coachella, history was made. For the first time, the festival was being headlined by an African-American woman (and only the 3rd women in their history at that point) when Beyoncé stepped onto the stage to perform. These performances rocked the music world for their choreography, their musical strength, their surprise guests, and because they were full of power.

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