Ammonite (2021) – Ammono

Released: 14th January
Seen: 20th January

You know, normally when I write one of these things, I like to think my feelings match the quality of a film. I like good films, I don’t like bad films and I can usually explain what they did wrong that I didn’t like. Even films that I’m in the middle about, the 2.5-star films that have no effect on me are ones I can express why it’s in the middle. Ammonite is different though, a first for me on this blog because it’s a film that I can look at and admit that it’s well made and well acted with an interesting story and a lot of elements that I have actively begged for in movies… but I just didn’t like it one bit.

Continue reading “Ammonite (2021) – Ammono”

Mank (2020) – It’s His Sled!

Released: 4th December
Seen: 28th December

Mank Info

When it comes to movies and their quality, there are no real definitive answers. A film that I love is one that you may hate and vice versa… there is, of course, an exception to this statement. Namely, if you answer “What is the greatest movie of all time” with any movie other than “Citizen Kane”, you are factually inaccurate in the eyes of everyone who would bother to ask that question and will probably be stoned in the streets. 

Continue reading “Mank (2020) – It’s His Sled!”

Shirley (2020) – The House On Biopic Hill

Released: 9th July
Seen: 4th December

Shirley Jackson is perhaps best known as the author of the book The Haunting of Hill House, a book that’s been adapted multiple times into films (both a beloved 1963 version and a reviled 1999 version) and into the recent hit Netflix series. She has been named as an influence on authors like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman among a slew of others. Her work has stood the test of time and now at last we have a biopic about her. The biopic happens to be a genre I’m not exactly fond of because usually they are all very similar… which is why an exception like Shirley is much appreciated.

Continue reading “Shirley (2020) – The House On Biopic Hill”

Just Mercy (2020) – Mercy Mercy Me

Released: 23rd January
Seen: 6th September

Just Mercy Info

Racial injustice is a topic that never ever makes anything controversial or hard to talk about. Never, I never ever go “oh how do I open this review” when I watch any film about racial justice because surely it is a non-controversial topic that I can never say anything wrong about, right? Of course not, that’s impossible but yes today I’m reviewing a movie, specifically Just Mercy, that does that thing where it tries to remind people “Hey, the justice system as it currently exists has a horrific problem regarding race that disproportionately affects people of colour and it would be great if someone would do something about that” because apparently that’s a thing we still need to be reminded of in the year 2020 because some mouthbreathers don’t seem to realise that there’s this big horrific problem so maybe they’ll pay attention if they hear it from Jamie Foxx, Michael B Jordan and Brie Larson in a legal drama… and a really good legal drama, like one of the best I’ve seen in a while.

Continue reading “Just Mercy (2020) – Mercy Mercy Me”

Dark Waters (2020) – Drink It Up

Released: 5th March
Seen: 30th August

Dark Waters Info

In 2005, chemical company DuPont was fined $16.5 million by the EPA for, essentially, poisoning the water supply of a town with Perfluorooctanoic Acid, a chemical used to create teflon. They were forced to pay this, along with several other settlements with people who they poisoned, thanks to a civil suit filed by Robert Bilott way back in 1999. The full scope of the poisoning and what it did to the people affected by it wouldn’t be known for years and the entire story is one of negligence and capitalism run rampant in a story we’ve heard time and time again, told in the film Dark Waters with a passion that cannot be denied.

Continue reading “Dark Waters (2020) – Drink It Up”

The Current War (2020) – Shockingly OK

Released: 19th March
Seen: 6th July

The last time I got to see a film in a cinema was the 21st of March when I went to see Onward. Even back then I kind of knew that I wouldn’t be walking into a cinema for a while but no way could I have known it would be a little over 3 months. In that time we’ve watched as film after film has been pushed back to be released either in the latter half of this year or sometime in 2021, if not just sent straight to digital streaming where they probably should’ve gone in the first place (Hello Artemis Fowl) and I was left to wonder just what would be the first film I saw when the cinemas would reopen. Well, they finally opened my local up again and to the shock of no one, the pickings are slim so I decided to dive into a big theme of this year in cinema… “Hey, what’re the Avengers cast doing to follow up Endgame?”. Well, technically this film was made BEFORE Endgame but still, I figured seeing Dr Strange, Spiderman, Beast and Zod running around in period outfits and arguing about electricity would be a fairly good time and I almost got what I expected, so that’s nice.

Continue reading “The Current War (2020) – Shockingly OK”

Circus of Books (2020) – The Happiest Show On Earth

Released: 23rd April
Seen: 23rd April

In 1960 at 8230 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, a little bookstore named Book Circus opened up. Loaded with hardcore gay pornography, the store managed to keep the doors open until 1982 when Barry Mason found out that the store was in trouble and wound up buying it. One brief name change later and the little porno store owned by a cocaine addict would turn into the mom and pop shop Circus of Books, still dealing in gay pornography and run by a former special effects engineer and a heavily religious journalist. It would become one of the most important hotspots in gay culture and would be there for a lot of essential moments in queer history. This documentary tells that story through the eyes of the daughter of Barry and his wife Karen and it tells it beautifully.

Continue reading “Circus of Books (2020) – The Happiest Show On Earth”

The Two Popes (2019) – Two Popes Are Holier Than One

Released: 27th November 2019
Seen: 3rd February

In 2017, Anthony McCarten wrote The Pope as a stage play. Sadly I don’t know who was in it originally (and god damn it’s impossible to find out any details of that 2017 production even though I know it existed!) but it was apparently clear to everyone from the jump that this little biographic play about the old pope and the new pope having a lengthy conversation was destined to become a movie. It was also pretty obvious to everyone that Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce were the guys who should take the lead. In Netflix’s bid to try and get an Oscar for Best Picture, they bought the rights and produced the movie version, probably figuring that the last three things Anthony McCarten wrote (Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour and Bohemian Rhapsody) all ended up with Best Picture nods so if they had him adapt his own stage play then it might happen again… it didn’t, cos this isn’t a best picture nominee, but the film is still pretty damn good.

Continue reading “The Two Popes (2019) – Two Popes Are Holier Than One”

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (2020) – Kind And Awesome

Released: 23rd January
Seen: 29th January

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood never made the journey down to the shores of Australia. As far as I am personally aware, as much as I can tell from my research, none of the 912 episodes of the PBS program ever aired on any of the networks that were broadcasting in Australia at any point during its incredibly long run. This period of time when Mister Rogers was inviting the children of America to visit him in his neighborhood started long before my life began, and ended in the 2000’s without me ever once being able to sit down and see the legendarily kind man walk into his home and change from a work jacket and work shoes into a red jumper and pair of comfortable sneakers.

Continue reading “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (2020) – Kind And Awesome”

True History of the Kelly Gang (2020) – Liiiiieeeesss

Released: 26th January
Seen: 26th January

True History of the Kelly Gang is a lie. It’s a work of fiction based upon the novel of the same name written by Peter Carey. The original novel pretends to be a journal written by the real Ned Kelly but is a highly fictionalised version of the story. Claiming to be told by Kelly to his daughter, the book spins a yarn about one of Australia’s most infamous historical figures. Adapting it to a movie is certainly not something to be taken lightly, a story about a real figure that is full of lies meant to try and reveal a greater truth about the man is not easy to translate to film. Clearly, it’s not easy at all because the film doesn’t work as well as I wanted it to.

Continue reading “True History of the Kelly Gang (2020) – Liiiiieeeesss”