Dual (2022) – Deadpan Double

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

One of the most fascinating kinds of film is the twin film, a movie where one actor is tasked with playing 2 or more roles. There’s always just something exciting about seeing one actor trying to give off performances that are distinct enough that we can tell who is who while also looking identical. This is the kind of thing that’s been done for years, like any time they revive The Parent Trap or in something as recent as this year’s Samaritan where there needed to be two versions of Stallone in order to pull off the dramatic twist in the final act. It’s a great tool that, if used well, can make for something genuinely amazing… or at very least it can be a great display for the actor taking on the multiple roles.

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Nope (2022) – Maybe

Released: 11th August
Seen: 14th August

Nope Info

In 2017 Jordan Peele staked his claim as a modern horror master with his directorial debut Get Out. To this day that film is one of the best films that this reviewer has had the pleasure of watching. It was terrifying and had something important to say and did it flawlessly. It’s a go-to example of a perfect film and very little has beaten it. It’s the kind of film that makes you excited to see what a director does next, and sure enough, when Peele dropped Us onto an unsuspecting public it was proof that he had something special. 

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Jurassic World Dominion (2022) – Terradac-dull

Released: 30th June
Seen: 1st August

It’s time for us to call it, Jurassic Park as a franchise is dead. Hell, let’s go one step further, the franchise probably should’ve stopped after the first movie and left when it was on top instead of just gradually getting serious diminishing returns every time they bring us back to the land of the dinosaurs. The new trilogy, headed by bad writer Colin Trevorrow, started out promising with Jurassic World which might not have been at the level of the original but at least it was watchable… and then Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came out and it wasn’t great, kinda dull but it had some nice moments and an ending that suggested something interesting and new could happen with this franchise… but this film was written by the same guy who helped come up with the story for Rise of Skywalker, a story that can be summed up with the line “Somehow, Palpatine returned” so you can kind of guess that nothing new has been done with Jurassic World Dominion.

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Moonfall (2022) – Eclipsed

Released: 3rd February
Seen: 19th May

Moonfall Info

Back in the late 90s, one of the biggest names in Blockbusters was Roland Emmerich. The man made Independence Day, a film that not only showed that there was a new master of the blockbuster but also made so much goddamn money. Independence Day was the highest-grossing film of 1996, its visuals are some of the most remembered images from 90s cinema (the shot of a single beam of light destroying the White House alone is etched into the memory of everyone who was around in 1996) and it basically elevated Will Smith into a global cinematic phenomenon… yeah, Roland Emmerich kinda fluked it with that film because he’s really never been that good since, and Moonfall is just proof that he needs a new schtick.

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Firestarter (2022) – Fizzles

Released: 12th May
Seen: 17th May

In 1980, Stephen King released his eighth book, Firestarter, which did what most King books tend to do and became a major hit. As is also inevitable with all King books, it was adapted into a film back in 1984… this would be an adaptation that Stephen King hates, only unlike his hatred for The Shining he wouldn’t be alone in his dislike of 1984’s Firestarter.

That film was fairly universally panned by both critics and audiences and remains one of the lesser adaptations of Kings work, which means it’s one of the few works of his that probably warrants a second attempt at adapting since they clearly didn’t get it right the first time… so, see you all in about 40 years when they try again because they didn’t get it right this time either.

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Lava (2021) – It’s De-Lava-Ly

NOTE: Here is my review from Soda & Telepaths that was posted back on March 17th, 2021

The story of Lava starts like a lot of weird stories begin, with a trip to the tattoo artist. In this case, the tattoo artist is Deborah (Janeane Garofalo) who is trying to live a normal life like any other person of this generation. She goes to work, tattoos people, then comes home to hang out with some friends and watch a pirated copy of the latest episode of Game of Clones (which is apparently just like Game of Thrones but with sentient vegetables, if the Veggetales people could get on making that a reality I would be very happy).

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Minor Premise (2020) – Extremely Slow in the Payoff

NOTE: Here is my review from Soda & Telepaths that was posted back on December 10th, 2020

I’m sure we’ve all seen a few science fiction films before that have used the same old trope. A scientist has a great invention, they can’t get anyone else to be the test subject so they test it out on themselves and the ensuing chaos is caused by the experiment going horribly horribly wrong. It’s a trope for a reason, it works and it often leads to an interesting character in the form of the scientist and can also lead to a devastatingly emotional ending (think of The Fly remake for a prime example of this). I love a good story of a scientist being put through the wringer because of their own hubris and Minor Premise presents an interesting version of this story, albeit one that’s a little more heady than most.

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Attack of the Unknown (2020) – Who Knows?

 NOTE: Here is my review from Soda & Telepaths that was posted back on December 2nd, 2020

Attack of the Unknown starts like a lot of action films, with a SWAT raid on a drug kingpin compound. Their goal is simple, to arrest a crime syndicate boss and transport him to jail. At first, this seems like a relatively easy idea… right up until the Aliens invade, at which point it turns into Assault on Precinct 13 but with aliens who have come to drain the blood from humanity (because the Aliens are also vampires). With the fate of the world in the hands of a small team of SWAT agents and a bunch of criminals, humanity might be doomed.

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