Category: New Releases

Wind River Is Cold As Snow And Tough As Tree Bark

Overview: A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent in Wyoming discovers a dead body, kicking off an investigation that opens old wounds. The Weinstein Company; 2017; Rated R: 111 Minutes. Snow and Silence: For movies like Wind River, we often like to use summary phrases like “meditation on grief.” But the new sophomore effort from Director Taylor Sheridan (the screenwriter behind Sicario and Hell or High Water) might unravel with a distinct stillness and quiet—the first and second acts see Ben Richardson’s camera pursue a handful of basic elements: snow falling as thick as television static, rigid trees, dead bodies...

Read More

The Defenders is a Satisfying Urban, Kung-Fu Mystery

Overview: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist team up to stop the mysterious organization known as The Hand from destroying New York City in its quest for eternal life. Netflix; 2017; TV-MA; 8 episodes. Ties That Bind: Over the past two years, Marvel and Netflix have been weaving together intricate tales of grounded heroism in the midst of social consequences. Through, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, a tangential side of the MCU opened up, and within these New York boroughs and back alleys every choice had a cost.  While The Defenders, led by Daredevil...

Read More

MIFF 2017: Pecking Order is a Warm and Fuzzy look at Poultry Pageantry

Over the next few weeks, our writer in Melbourne, Sean W. Fallon, will be covering the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and reviewing some of his favourite movies from the festival. Overview: A look at the competitive world of New Zealand poultry pageantry. Vendetta Films; 2017; Rated-PG; 88 mins Chickens: The world of poultry pageantry, or chicken fancying, is a hardcore world. After all, this is a competition that requires you to raise, from an egg, a chicken that will eclipse all over chickens (in New Zealand at least). The level of work required, the dedication, the number of ‘ugly’ chickens...

Read More

MIFF 2017: Tragedy Girls is Cool, Funny, and a Little Psychotic

Over the next few weeks, our writer in Melbourne, Sean W. Fallon, will be covering the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and reviewing some of his favourite movies from the festival. Overview: Two serial killer obsessed high school girls go on a killing spree to increase their web popularity. Gunpowder & Sky; 2017; Rated-R; 90 mins Horror: No other genre has the ability to reinvent itself like horror. Each year, a handful of movies come out that remind us how much fun this genre can be and how the tropes of the genre can be so easily subverted and changed. Tragedy...

Read More

Logan Lucky is Well-acted, Sharply Written, and Sweet

Overview:  The Logan siblings attempt to pull off a heist during a major NASCAR race in North Carolina; Bleecker Street; 2017; Rated R; 119 minutes. “Ocean’s 7-Eleven”: Logan Lucky is Steven Soderbergh’s first theatrical feature since Side Effects (2013), and is a welcome return to the format for the experienced director. With writer Rebecca Blunt (the pseudonym of a currently-unknown writer who could be anyone from Soderbergh’s wife Jules Asner to Soderbergh himself) Soderbergh has created a character-driven heist film that is both genuinely hysterical and avoids taking the easiest, most obvious routes in terms of plot, humor, and characterization....

Read More

Dave Made A Maze Succeeds Despite Excess

Overview: A struggling artist builds a maze hoping to complete something and becomes trapped inside. Gravitas Ventures; 2017; Unrated; 80 minutes. We’ve All Been There: No matter the size of the project, finishing anything is an accomplishment. And like anything else, it can create a habit. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. Not finishing things, giving up, not having a focus or a passion can be truly damaging. That feeling of struggle, of spinning your wheels in the mud, can lead to a special kind of shiftlessness. Sometimes that lack of drive is replaced by bursts of passion for...

Read More

MIFF 2017: The Killing of a Sacred Deer is Deadpan Horror

Over the next few weeks, our writer in Melbourne, Sean W. Fallon, will be covering the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and reviewing some of his favourite movies from the festival. Overview: A teenager’s obsession with a cardiologist leads to a mysterious illness and a terrible decision. A24; 2017; Rated-R; 109 mins Genre: Yorgos Lanthimos, more than any other writer/director working today, makes me want to be a better writer. When I watch his stuff it shows me exactly what happens when a boatload of confidence meets an abundance of creativity, and how genre is just something we use to sort...

Read More

MIFF 2017: I Am Not a Witch is a Gorgeous Satire

Over the next few weeks, our writer in Melbourne, Sean W. Fallon, will be covering the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and reviewing some of his favourite movies from the festival. Overview: A young girl accused of witchcraft is sent to live with a group of other supposed witches. Film4; 2017; 90 mins Beauty: I Am Not a Witch is a gorgeous movie and it knows it. Director, Rungano Nyoni is not ashamed to put beautiful images  front and center and linger upon them whether they be the foolish witch doctor’s get-up, the traditional clothes they cover the young witch Shula...

Read More

MIFF 2017: Godspeed is Messy and Empty

Over the next few weeks, our writer in Melbourne, Sean W. Fallon, will be covering the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and reviewing some of his favourite movies from the festival. Overview: A drug courier travels in the taxi of an unlucky cab driver. 3 Ng Film; 2016; Rated-R; 111 mins Lost: Godspeed is a very odd movie. Not much happens in it, it jumps around in time, the narrative POV shifts from character to character, and by the end the viewer is left with the sense that either they’ve just watched a movie about something that is just out of...

Read More

Hitchcock Flashback: Vertigo

Originally published on August 13, 2015. Overview:  A former detective struggling with vertigo and acrophobia  is hired to shadow the wife of an acquaintance. Paramount Pictures/Universal; 1958; Rated PG; 129 Minutes. A Balanced Perspective:  Every ten years, British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound magazine polls hundreds of critics to rank the Greatest Films of All Time. In 2012, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo earned the top honor, dethroning Citizen Kane from the spot for the first time in fifty years.  The response from the film community was mixed, a predictable reaction given that that Vertigo was a film that was released...

Read More

Savage Dog Scratches An Action Itch

Overview: After being betrayed, an ex-IRA soldier in 1950s Indochina swears revenge on the men who destroyed his life. XLrator Media; 2017; Not Yet Rated; 95 minutes. 80s Cheese Done Right: Of all the action schlock to come from our old friends XLrator Media, Jesse V. Johnson’s Savage Dog is, if not the best, then certainly the most viscerally satisfying. I could easily see this film being made in the 80s by Cannon Films starring either a haggard Chuck Norris or a kickboxing Jean-Claude Van Damme. It’s the kind of preposterous action cheese where sweaty, shirtless men give poignant...

Read More

Hitchcock Flashback: Rear Window

Originally published August 13, 2014. Overview:  A wheelchair bound photographer recovering from a leg injury observes some suspicious behavior while watching his neighbors to pass the time.  1954; Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures; rated PG; 112 minutes. Peeping Toms:  The plot of Rear Window revolves heavily around the art of observing others, which is a past time that goes hand in hand with human nature and our innate fascination with comparing ourselves to those around us.  The subject of curiosity bordering on voyeurism is one that is just as much if not more relevant in today’s society as it was when...

Read More

Ingrid Goes West Explores the Lunacy of Social Media Obsession

Overview:  After the death of her mother, Ingrid decides to travel West and become friends with a young woman she follows on Instagram. Neon; 2017; Rated R; 97 minutes. Tastemakers: Ingrid Goes West, director and co-writer Matt Spicer’s first feature length film, is remarkably specific, a millennial’s film, largely in the best sense; it is slickly made, full to the brim with cultural references and irony but also remains emotionally vulnerable and sincere. Ingrid Goes West avoids being broad parody or a mean-spirited of youthful naiveté in general, and instead integrates the amount of contemporary detail that grounds its characters...

Read More

Annabelle: Creation is Engaging and Spooky

Overview: 12 years after the loss of their child, a couple turn their haunted farmhouse into an orphanage. 2017; Warner Bros.; Rated R; 109 minutes The Switch: Is it too early to coin the term “Flanaganed”? Last year, Ouija: Origin of Evil won our hearts as the Most Improved Horror Franchise thanks to a surprisingly strong followup to its dead on arrival predecessor, Ouija. This was largely due to director Mike Flanagan, who took the dismal story and, by creating a prequel, salvaged the ideas that were muddled and lost in the first. It may seem unfair to bring...

Read More

Hitchcock Flashback: Notorious

Originally published August 13, 2015. Overview: The daughter of a convicted Nazi emissary is enlisted by an American agent to spy on a Nazi cabal in Rio de Janeiro. RKO Radio Pictures; 1946; Not Rated; 101 minutes. The Spy Who Loved Me: Alfred Hitchcock’s classic espionage story is often cited as the film that marked a shift in the director’s career, a move towards the deeper, more emotionally resonant character work that defined his most popular films. If there was anything “inessential” about Hitchcock’s films preceding 1946, the cast of Notorious made the film an indispensable example of his...

Read More