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Film Review: The Toll

Director:    Ryan Andrew Hooper Cast:    Michael Smiley, Annes Elwy, Paul Kaye, Steve Oram, Evelyn Mok, Julian Glover, Gwyneth Keyworth, Iwan Rheon Rating:    MA Running Time:    83 Australian Distributor:    Signature Entertainment / Digital Platforms from 21 October 2021   Directed by Ryan Andrew Hooper and written by Matt Redd this is a story that lures you into a false sense of security as appearing to be remarkably unremarkable.  It is set, though, against a lovely backdrop of a rural setting in Wales and creates much charmRead More

Film Review: The Birthday Cake

Director:    Jimmy Giannopoulos Cast:    Shiloh Fernandez, William Fichtner, Val Kilmer, Lorraine Bracco, Ewan McGregor, Emory Cohen, Vincent Pastore, Ashley Benson, Penn Badgley, Aldis Hodge, Jeremy Allen White, Luis Guzman, John Magaro, Jake Weary, David Mazouz, Paul Sorvino Rating:    MA Running Time:    93 Australian Distributor:    Signature Entertainment / Screen Media Films   With a cast including Val Kilmer, Lorraine Bracco, William Fichtner, Luis Guzman, Paul Sorvino, Vincent Pastore, Aldis Hodge, Shiloh Fernandez and Penn Badgley, Director Jimmy Giannopoulos had a lot of talent to work withRead More

Film Review: How it Ends

Director:    Zoe Lister-Jones, Daryl Wein Cast:    Zoe Lister-Jones, Cailee Spaeny, Whitney Cummings, Tawny Newsome, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Logan Marshall-Green, Fred Armisen, Bradley Whitford, Sharon Van Etten, Olivia Wilde, Paul W. Downs, Lamorne Morris, Colin Hanks, Helen Hunt, Daryl Wein Rating:    Not Rated Running Time:     88 Australian Distributor:     American International Pictures / Netflix   The quirky apocalypse comedy “How It Ends” is a witty and strangely optimistic story about a woman (Zoe Lister-Jones) who sets out to make peace with her past regrets and tieRead More

Film Review: Black Widow

Director:    Cate Shortland Cast:    Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, Ray Winstone, William Hurt Rating:    M Running Time:     135 Australian Distributor:       Walt Disney Studios   Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff has been a staple in the Marvel Cinematic Universe nearly since its inception. Her first solo outing aptly titled “Black Widow” like all large films in 2020 was delayed, but more so, this movie feels like it’s coming more than a decade later than it should have. Giving a major player inRead More

Film Review: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

Director:    Patrick Hughes Cast:    Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Grillo, Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, Tom Hopper, Richard E. Grant, Caroline Goodall Rating:    MA Running Time:     100 Australian Distributor:    Roadshow Films   When The Hitman’s Bodyguard released in 2017, it became a solid enough action-comedy hit to warrant a sequel, which is now hitting theatres in the form of Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. The original’s creative team returns with Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) directing from a script by Tom O’Connor (The Courier). Like The Hitman’s BodyguardRead More

Film Review: Jumbo

Director:    Zoe Wittock Cast:    Noémie Merlant, Emmanuelle Bercot, Bastien Bouillon, Sam Louwyck, Tracy Dossou Rating:    Not Rated Running Time:    94 Australian Distributor:    Umbrella Entertainment   Jumbo tells the story of Jeanne (Noémie Merlant) an introverted shy young woman who one day, in a bizarre way, gets the feeling of finally being understood – not by a human, but by a machine. When she’s cleaning one of the rides of the theme park where she works, she believes someone’s messing around with the controls. When theRead More

Film Review: Edge Of The World

Director:    Michael Haussman Cast:    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Dominic Monaghan, Atiqah Hasiholom, Samo Rafael, Bront Palarae, Ralph Ineson, Jessie Ho Rating:    Not Rated Running Time:    103 Australian Distributor:    Digital / DVD through Signature Entertainment   This film is about the first white Rajah of Sarawak in Borneo, Sir James Brooke, a British explorer from the 19th century and shows his love of the land he’s discovered. What’s even more apparent is the love that filmmaker Michael Haussman has in showing the beauty of Borneo itself.   Read More

Film Review: Those Who Wish Me Dead

Director:    Taylor Sheridan Cast:    Angelina Jolie, Finn Little, Nicholas Hoult, Aiden Gillen, Medina Senghore, Jon Bernthal, Tory Kittles, Jake Weber Rating:    MA Running Time:    100 Australian Distributor:    Warner Bros / Universal Pictures Australia   There’s something refreshing about the simplicity of Those Who Wish Me Dead. This is not a franchise-starting vehicle. It’s not a remake, nor is it based on a comic book, or an old TV show (it is adapted from a novel, though). It’s just a simple story that goes from point ARead More

Film Review: Painkiller

Director:     Mark Savage Cast:    Michael Pare, Bill Oberst Jr., Tom Parnell, Kristina Beringer, Khamilah Gibson, Alexander Pennecke, Scot Scurlock Rating:    Not Rated Running Time:   84 Australian Distributor:    On Demand, Digital and DVD   The revenge genre has been done to death at this point, we have seen every single take on, man loses family and then goes to get payback, yet this film managed to surprise me. I enjoyed how the film brought the opioid epidemic, a very distressing real world issue, into the narrative asRead More

Film Review: Carmilla

Director:    Emily Harris Cast:    Hannah Rae, Devrim Lingnau, Jessica Raine, Tobias Menzies, Greg Wise, Lorna Gayle Rating:    Not Rated Running Time:    94 Australian Distributor:    Icon Films   Carmilla is a Gothic horror based on the 1872 novella by Sheridan Le Fanu, concerns a lonely teenage girl named Lara (Hannah Rae), who shares a country estate with her father and her cruel governess, Miss Fontaine (Jessica Raine – The Woman in Black). When we are introduced to Lara, she is having her left hand bound behindRead More