The Platform (2020) – We Eat In A Society

Released: 20th March
Seen: 1st April

So… how’s everyone enjoying the apocalypse? I have to admit that I was expecting something more like a Mad Max apocalypse or even something like the TV series Blood Drive (which is very fun and you should check out) but nope, no our apocalypse has to be boring and require all of us to stay at home all the time. Naturally, this means that we have a whole lot more time to sit and watch Netflix movies, which are going to have to replace going to the actual cinema for the foreseeable future. I have now got no excuse and have to actually get through these (and through a few older films and some that’ve been emailed to me, I have a list of films that’s rapidly building) and normally a Netflix original film, especially this early in the year, would make me nervous about its quality. Fortunately for me, I picked The Platform and it feels weirdly appropriate for this period in time.

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Tales From Six Feet Under (2020) – Visiting A Little Indie Short

Released: 15th April
Seen: 24th March (Screener)

Tales From Six Feet Under Info

Well, looks like the worldwide coronavirus lockdown extravaganza has finally hit Australian shores, shutting down the cinemas meaning I’m no longer going to be heading out to see films to review until they open again. Obviously, that’s going to mean some mild adjustments, I’m going to be reviewing a lot more Netflix things than I have been so far and might even bring back some reviews of classic films. I literally have a giant pile of recently bought classics nearby I can work through and hopefully, that’ll keep this blog going until they finally do that “releasing films that just came out in cinemas onto digital platforms” thing in Australia since it clearly is working well over in America. I also get to review things people send me, either short films or smaller studios that hit up my contact form and offer me screeners and we’re going to get to one of those today. As with a lot of screeners I tend to get, this is an independent film made on a limited budget. In fact, today we’re dealing with a 45-minute short film called Tales from Six Feet Under.

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Onward (2020) – Spellbinding

Released: 26th March
Seen: 21st March (Advance Screening Weekend)

Onward might go down as one of the unluckiest movies in recent Disney history since its release just happened to fall when the coronavirus pandemic basically shut down everything, including most theatres. Normally a Pixar film is basically guaranteed to make 100 million in the first week, get its budget covered in the second week and be on the way to one of the highest grossing films of the year. That’s now not happening, thanks to corona. If you want to be in genuine shock at just how suddenly this hit, go look at the box office of Onward. Onward is still technically the top grossing film in America and yet it’s barely cracking a thousand bucks a theatre. I bring this up because it explains why they made a pivot and released this one straight to VOD in the states and why it’ll be on Disney+ soon. So now the question becomes “Is this film worth a slightly higher than normal rental price to stream at home” and honestly? Yeah, because it’s a pretty great film.

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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.

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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.

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In Search Of Darkness (2019) – Finding The Light

Released: 13th October 2019
Seen: 10th March

In Search Of Darkness Horror Doc Info

I may have mentioned it once or twice (or as many times as I am legally permitted) but I love a good horror documentary. Give me a documentary on how a horror film came to be and I’m a happy boy. The Crystal Lake Memories documentary, all 6+ hours of it, remains my favourite film documentary of all time and a recent film Memory: The Origins of Alien was a great look at one of the greatest horror films of all time. The problem with this kind of documentary though is that it only ever seems to talk about just one film and some days you just want to talk about an entire genre of film… enter In Search Of Darkness, a crowdfunded documentary celebrating one of the greatest decades for horror. 

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The Big Trip (2020) – Fall Over, Play Dead

Released: 5th March
Seen: 8th March

The Big Trip Info

So there seems to be this weird new trend going on at my local cinema and I don’t like it at all. For some reason over the last year, every few months an animated film is put on a big screen that clearly was meant to go direct to DVD. I’ve now seen so many awful animated films in a cinema that I thought I was numb to them. We’re not talking your generally bad animated films either, nothing that’s just bland or boring. No, we’re talking crap like Arctic Justice, Cats (not that one), Here Comes The Grump and Flying the Nest. Films that look like they were made in a month for the express purpose of being sold in bulk to video retailers to help them have filler on their shelves. These movies are not meant to turn up in actual cinemas, they’re not built to be presented there… but they keep on coming, and today we have the first animated abortion of 2020 and oh my god, I hope this is the worst one of this year because I can’t handle any more of this.

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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. 

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Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears

Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears (2020) – Sadly Not Great

Released: 27th February
Seen: 3rd March

Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears Poster Info

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries was an Australian drama series based on the novels by author Kerry Greenwood. It ran for 3 years, airing 32 episodes on the ABC and getting a spin-off, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, in 2019. The show itself was a decent hit by Australian standards and got average reviews throughout its run. The series fans did what a lot of fans do when a series they love ends, begged for them to go again one more time and thus we have been blessed with Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears, a film that knows it needs to be more impressive than the TV series was but somehow fails to find its footing.

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