I Still Believe (2020) – You’re Unbelievable

Released: 12th March
Seen: 16th March

About 2 years ago I talked about a film called God’s Not Dead 3: A Light in the Darkness, a biblical sermon disguised as a film made by people who don’t know how films work. In that review, I made the point that a film is going to need more than just religion to work for me. Sure, religion can be an element, but if the entire thing is basically a sermon then I’m not going to be kind to it no matter what the religion is. Enter I Still Believe, a biopic (of sorts) about a contemporary Christian musician named Jeremy Camp and how he met his first wife while making his rise to fame. In theory, this film does what I’m talking about. Faith is a huge factor in the story but there is a story outside of the faith. In theory, I’m OK with this. In practice, it’s a hard pass from me.

Continue reading “I Still Believe (2020) – You’re Unbelievable”

Bloodshot (2020) – More Like BloodMisfire

Released: 12th March
Seen: 12th March

In November 1992, Valiant Comics introduced the world to the character of Bloodshot. A super-soldier gifted with the ability to regenerate damaged tissue due to the nanotechnology that has been injected into his veins, Bloodshot was a huge seller with praise coming out of every orifice, strong enough that it’s still in print today with new issues of the comic coming out within the last year. The character has been rebooted a few times, appeared in other media but had yet to be turned into a movie and since now is the golden age of the comic book movie this would be the best time to make a go of it and… well, they almost have something here. Almost.

Continue reading “Bloodshot (2020) – More Like BloodMisfire”

Downhill (2020) – It’s A Disaster Alright

Released: 5th March
Seen: 8th March

Downhill Info

In 2014, the Swedish comedy-drama film Force Majeure told the story of a marriage going through a rough patch caused when an almost avalanche makes the wife and children fear for their lives while the patriarch of the family does a runner. Naturally, this leads to a feeling of “you left us to die, you colossal asshole” to go throughout the remaining family members and they must learn to deal with the knowledge that one of them is a giant hunk of shit. This film got rapturous praise, including a Golden Globe nomination for best foreign film so naturally would go through the same thing a lot of beloved foreign films does and receive a substandard American remake that removes any charm or wit and just makes it into one of the most painful things I’ve ever had the misfortune of sitting through. 

Continue reading “Downhill (2020) – It’s A Disaster Alright”
The Call Of The Wild Promo Image

The Call of the Wild (2020) – I Hear You Calling

Released: 20th February
Seen: 2nd March

The Call Of The Wild Info

When it comes to movies featuring animals, you could say that I haven’t exactly had the best luck. In fact you could say that any time I see a dog on the poster of a film I break out in a rash and start rocking in place because I’m fairly confident that whatever I’m about to see is going to either bore, infuriate or confuse me. There was the eternally hated A Dog’s Purpose, a film I will never stop complaining about because it’s bad and deserves nothing but ridicule, along with its sequel A Dog’s Journey. There was the spinoff to those two movies that was so boring that I can’t be bothered to type the title even though typing the title would take up less space than this comedic riff about how I won’t type the title, Show Dogs literally had a scene that resembled child grooming pulled out while it was in cinemas, Dolittle was a trash fire of epic proportions. The only film of the last few years that prominently featured a member of the canine family that didn’t want to make me start setting fires was Pick of the Litter, that adorable documentary about how they train guide dogs. It’s now become a rule around here, if a film is fictional and heavily features a CGI dog then it’s going to be awful… and just as soon as I make that rule, something comes along to prove it wrong because that’s how my life works.

Continue reading “The Call of the Wild (2020) – I Hear You Calling”
All The Bright Places Header Image

All the Bright Places (2020) – A Little Dim

Released: 28th February
Seen: 29th February

All The Bright Places Info

Sometimes when I pick a movie to review (because until I can turn this into an actual job, I still get to pick which ones I see and when) it’s often based on just how much effort I feel like putting into them. If I feel like I have the time and mental capacity to fully understand and articulate the various issues in a two-and-a-half-hour-long exploration of a political structure, I’ll go find one and if I feel like I need to let out some well-earned snark, I’ll find a 90 minute animated film that gives off the impression that it’s going to be bad and go to town. Sometimes though I have the time available but don’t want to really have to think about something too heavy so thank god Netflix is there with a teen romance film where I literally need to put in zero effort because who the hell even needs to think about one of these things? So that’s what led me to pick the teen romance drama All The Bright Places, thinking “Oh, this is going to be easy. I won’t need to think or handle anything heavy, it’s a cheesy looking teenage romance” and then I clicked it and… they tried to touch on heavy subjects, why does this happen to me?

Continue reading “All the Bright Places (2020) – A Little Dim”

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) – It’s nice

Released: 12th February
Seen: 26th February

To All The Boys I've Loved Before P.S. I Still Love You Info

In 2018 Netflix released To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, a teen romance movie based on the 2014 novel of the same name. The movie itself was very sweet simple little teenage romance movie that excelled due to its sublime casting and innocent story. The entire plot revolved around Laura Jean (Lana Candor) who would write love letters to every boy she ever had a crush on but wouldn’t send them. It was basically an innocent writing exercise to get the feelings out of her system. The conflict comes when Lara’s younger sister Kitty (Anna Cathcart) finds the letters and sends them out to the named crushes. Lara wrote five letters and the first movie dealt with three of them. It was also a relatively complete story so it probably didn’t need a sequel, but we have two more letters to deal with so that’s how we got here.

Continue reading “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) – It’s nice”

Midway (2020) – Midway Of The Road

Released: 30th January
Seen: 14th February

So… the guy who directed Independence Day and that really bad American remake of Godzilla wants us to take him seriously. Roland Emmerich, a director who only has 2 films that got above average reviews from critics, would really like it if you could look at his film Midway and say “Why, Roland, you are an artist who is right up there with all the other great war filmmakers”. I would love to say that, I genuinely would. I would love to have a fun subversive twist by ending this slightly sarcastic paragraph with the shocking reveal that this film is actually great… but I’m not a liar and “it’s average” is not enough, especially when the average Roland Emmerich film is so awful.

Continue reading “Midway (2020) – Midway Of The Road”

Uncut Gems (2020) – Colourful and Powerful

Released: 31st January
Seen: 5th February

Australian release schedules kind of suck… a lot. I’ve mentioned this a lot but it keeps needing to be brought up because it keeps causing me to be about 4 months out of sync with the cinematic zeitgeist and it has no reason to be this bad. Back when films were released by sending out 50 reels and having them go from cinema to cinema it made sense but now we’re in the age where a digital copy of the film can be streamed anywhere around the world instantly and the only thing that keeps certain countries waiting several months is bureaucratic bullshit by movie studios who refuse to follow the advice of Van McCoy and change with the times. Anyway, this is why I didn’t get to see Uncut Gems in December when it was THE thing everyone was talking about and why it wasn’t going to appear on my best-of list last year. I had to wait till the end of January for it to pop up on the local version of Netflix so I could watch it and go “Oh, THAT’S why everyone was talking about this film and saying Adam Sandler deserved awards nominations”

Continue reading “Uncut Gems (2020) – Colourful and Powerful”

Parasite (2019) – Everything You Heard Is Not Enough Praise!!

Released: 27th June 2019
Seen: 5th February

It was worldwide news when Australia decided to turn up the heat and set itself on fire. I don’t need to go into details of it all but suffice to say that it wasn’t exactly a good time to be in the land downunder. Air was awful, the heat was intense and our prime minister decided to go on holiday in Hawaii before coming back to force people to shake his hand for a series of photo ops that went wonderfully for him. A small (we’re talking beyond trivial, but I bring it up for context) side effect was that travelling from my home to Sydney was not going to happen under any circumstances since I had no guarantee the fire wouldn’t block the way and because the air quality was roughly the same as smoking 37 cigarettes a day. Because of that, any movie that was only being shown in Sydney was impossible for me to get to because I will do a lot to go see a good movie, but I won’t walk into an inferno.

Continue reading “Parasite (2019) – Everything You Heard Is Not Enough Praise!!”

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”