FILM REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (Francis Lawrence, 2015)

I may be scorned for saying that The Hunger Games is my favourite trilogy, but give me teenagers fighting to the death over Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or The Godfather any day. The first two films – The Hunger Games and Catching Fire – set a high bar for the dystopian future teen genre, with nothing yet coming close in quality. The first film instalment of the third book, Mockingjay, was somewhat underwhelming in comparison, serving merely as a set-up for the final showdown. But with Mockingjay Part 2 there’s a return to form, in what is the most thought-provoking film of the bunch. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

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FILM REVIEW: The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015)

Arguably the biggest local film of the year, The Dressmaker is uniquely Australian, although its buzz is most likely in large part to its international star. Kate Winslet stars as Tilly Dunnage, a glamourous dressmaker who returns to her hometown of Dungatar to visit her ailing mother, Molly (Judy Davis). Here she is confronted by the small town mentality of the townsfolk who delight in petty gossip and false accusations following a childhood incident that resulted in Tilly’s departure several years earlier. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Dressmaker

FILM REVIEW: Spectre

Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015)

Bond is back! Even if it’s somewhat reluctantly, with Daniel Craig recently decrying his role in the films that catapulted him into the spotlight. Although contracted to do one more Bond film after this one, he’s on record as saying he’d rather slash his wrists than do another one (yes, poor him with his £39 million pay check). Only time will tell, but for now we have Bond 24, a.k.a. Spectre. The question on everyone’s lips: will it be as good as Skyfall? Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Spectre

FILM REVIEW: Freeheld

Freeheld (Peter Sollett, 2015)

It’s easy to criticise the US what with its ridiculous gun laws, extreme conservatives, and woeful healthcare system, but Freeheld reminds us of something that they have finally managed to get right, while Australia languishes embarrassingly behind. Based on Cynthia Wade’s 2007 Oscar winning short documentary of the same name, Freeheld concerns a key moment in the road to marriage equality, with an individual focus. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Freeheld

FILM REVIEW: Now Add Honey

Now Add Honey (Wayne Hope, 2015)

Good Aussie comedies tend to be confined to television. Think Summer Heights High, Please Like Me, Kath & Kim, and all the political satire that turns up on the ABC. Husband and wife creative team Wayne Hope and Robyn Butler have now contributed three successful television series to the mix, with The Librarians, Upper Middle Bogan and Very Small Business all providing great entertainment value. In their first big screen venture, Now Add Honey, they attempt the leap to commercial cinema, but unfortunately they don’t quite hit the target. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Now Add Honey

FILM REVIEW: The Lobster

The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)

If you’re sick of the constant remakes, reboots, biopics, book adaptations, and mindless action films that together make up the bulk of your options at the cinema, then Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster will be a welcome relief. Currently in limited release, its premise is about as weird as you can get, but you can also be assured that it isn’t alienating in a no-one-will-get-this-unless-they-are-a-film-wanker kind of way. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Lobster