Pick Of The Litter (2019) – How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?

Released: 10th January
Seen: 15th January

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I’ve been known to say, on more than one occasion, a cute dog does not always make a good movie. Indeed there are times when a cute dog can actively make the movie watching experience a more painful one because you’re aware that you’re about to see that animal go through some hell *Cough*A-GODDAMN-DOGS-GODDAMN-PURPOSE*Cough* so when I saw the poster for Pick of the Litter, I was sceptical. The poster reminded me of old lifetime movies where dogs would come into someone’s life and change it somehow, the title seemed like a joke that someone came up with. Then I read what the film was about and my concern became anticipation, which has now fully formed into a feeling of pure delight having seen a brilliant documentary that everyone can enjoy.

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The Favourite (2018)- She’s A Killer Queen

Released: 26th December 2018
Seen: 14th January

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There’s something about historical comedy that has always fascinated me, ever since I first saw an episode of Blackadder II and saw an exaggerated rendition of Queen Elizabeth the first. It was truly a masterpiece, the visual style of a historical drama with joke after joke thrown in for good measure created a contrast in ideas that I hadn’t imagined before. This interest carried over to movies, such as last years The Death Of Stalin, which have been able to blend history with a sense of wit and ups the production values to the point where a film can look like a historical epic but have some of the funniest dialogue put on screen. With a film like The Favourite, we not only get to enjoy another comedic interpretation of a Queen but, once again, we mix elements of a biopic and a comedy to get something that can be genuinely fun… most of the time.

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Storm Boy (2019) – It’s Beak Can Hold More Than It’s Belly Can

Released: 17th Janurary
Seen: 13th January (Advance Screening)

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In 1964, Colin Thiele wrote the book Storm Boy about the relationship between a boy and his pelican. Storm Boy is something of an Australian classic, getting an adaptation in 1976 that netted several awards and was a fairly big box office hit in Australia. According to my quick research, Colin Thiele’s only requirement was that his book couldn’t be turned into a sex comedy. That might be the greatest bit of information I’ve ever found… and it’s also probably the way they should’ve taken this remake because that might’ve been a little bit more interesting.

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Clyde Cooper (2018) – Oh Noir He Betta Don’t

Released: 22nd November 2018
Seen: 11th January 2019

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I’ve now been writing reviews for a little over the year and in that time I’ve had some interesting experiences when it comes to picking what to cover, like when I was just starting out and did a run at a film festival or covering a film I supported on Kickstarter, but I think my favorites have been when someone has messaged me asking me to do a review of a movie for them. This has only happened a few times, most notably when a friend of mine asked me to take part in a 70’s 80’s & 90’s review set and I reviewed the horror classic Friday the 13th. Well today we have another case of this happening. I received a message on my Facebook page asking me to review the movie Clyde Cooper, a film that I’d never heard of before but the trailer alone made my eyebrow go up out of curiosity. This is something I’m always happy to do, especially with films that are more on the indie side. If you know of any you think I might enjoy or that I might hate and want to enjoy my suffering, feel free to send me the name and a legal way to view it in Australia (Because, as I’ve mentioned on some of my end of year lists, Australia is dumb and bad when it comes to release schedules) and I’m happy to do it when I have a break from the mainstream release schedule and Netflix.

SO, is this film going to be one I enjoy or one that ends with me suffering?

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Instant Family (2019) – Just Add Water

Released: 10th Janurary
Seen: 10th January

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The phrase “based on a true story” is little more than a marketing gimmick nowadays. Sometimes a film might actually be inspired by a real event that really happened but, a lot of the time, it’s either just an outright lie or it’s a meaningless way to try and add gravitas to a story that any writer of a lifetime movie could’ve thought up. Now that’s not to say this particular story didn’t happen, indeed all reports say that it’s based on the directors own experience going through the foster care system… but I swear I saw this exact same storyline in a movie I saw in the afternoon on the TV back in the 90s so it feels a little pointless to try and hang a “Based on a true story” banner over this good, albeit-generic, family film

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Lionheart (2019) – Full Of Heart

Released: 4th Janurary
Seen: 9th January

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Say what you will about how Netflix operates with its originals but it has always been a good place to go for films that are not likely to get a mainstream release. Sometimes that means high quality films that just don’t fit what a distributor normally would consider mainstream, sometimes it means they pick up the things everyone else forgets, occasionally it’ll mean they’ll make everyone suffer through an Open House or two, and sometimes it means that they’ll find a voice that would normally be restricted to a smaller market or the indie circuit and give it a global audience right at their fingertips. When that last one happens, it tends to find something interesting and this time Netflix found a Nigerian comedy with a female director and decided to put it in front of the globe and thank goodness they did.

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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2018) – We Had Dragons!

Released: 3rd Janurary
Seen: 8th January

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How to Train Your Dragon is one of the best animated films of the decade. I know, starting on a subtle statement is a great way to open one of these things but it’s accurate. Even with so many years between the original How to Train Your Dragon and the sequel we’ll be talking about today it’s impossible to understate how amazing the original film is. Not only is the original film a visual marvel but it has one of the most touching stories put in a kid’s film, a story about a kid trying to get the respect of his father who believes in killing every dragon while the kid wants to be kind to the creatures. It’s a touching tale even without the part that is just the adventures of a young boy and his dragon (a night fury named Toothless). The film was an instant hit that was absolutely beloved by everyone who saw it, and then the sequel came out and was even better. The story got darker, the animation was some of the most glorious to be put on the screens and it didn’t seem like it was possible to top it. Now, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has come out and… OK it’s not better than the second movie, but its close.

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