DVD REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – THE SEVENTEENTH SEASON

  The Simpsons is one great but frustrating TV show. The animated series about our favourite dysfunctional family and the other characters that inhabit Springfield is now in its 26th series. The DVD releases are a little delayed with season 17 (which aired in 2005) only just being released. In the style of the more…

BOOK REVIEW: JODI PICOULT – LEAVING TIME

  Leaving Time is the 22nd novel from best-selling author, Jodi Picoult. It also doesn’t waste a moment in hooking you into the story. The book is a suspenseful mystery told from the perspectives of four different characters and is a well-crafted and clever look at grief, loss, love and friendship that occasionally requires a…

DVD REVIEW: THE SIXTIES

  If you remember the sixties, you weren’t there. But this is no longer a problem thanks to the 10-part documentary series, The Sixties. The program is an informative and in-depth account of a formative and tumultuous decade, especially for America (and it is from this slant and perspective that this TV series is told)….

BOOK REVIEW: BEN LERNER – 10:04

  10:04 is Ben Lerner’s second novel, which is named after that important scene in Back to The Future. The book looks at the idea of time travel but it is only insofar as a lot of semi-autobiographical stories are told in a non-linear and circular way. In sum, 10:04 is the equivalent of peering…

FILM REVIEW: THE MAKING OF BOYHOOD

  The Making of Boyhood is a ten-minute feature about the film of the same name that was written, produced and directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed & Confused, School of Rock). Boyhood is a film that was 12 years in the making and is partly fictional and partly autobiographical. It’s also one that could be…

INTERVIEW: JAMES RANDI

  Despite having apparently retired from the magical game for a number of years, James Randi was keen to showcase an audience a few tricks at his recent Sydney appearance. He also espoused some thoughts on being a skeptic and theories behind clear, rational thinking for what he says is his last time in Australia….

THEATRE REVIEW: EMERALD CITY @ PARRAMATTA RIVERSIDE (10.12.2014)

  David Williamson’s 1987 play and subsequent film, Emerald City is as relevant today as it was back then. The story is a satire based on two creative industries: filmmaking and book publishing. It looks at the dichotomy between producing something because it has creative or cultural significance or because it is a money-making machine…

LIVE REVIEW: AN EVENING WITH JAMES RANDI @ METRO THEATRE (07.12.2014)

  Randall James Hamilton Zwinge (James Randi) didn’t earn the name, The Amazing Randi for nothing. The 86-year-old Canadian-American has built a career on great things, first as a magician modelling his stunts on Harry Houdini’s work before graduating to become an author, skeptic and all-round investigator who lifts the lid on people making falsehoods….

FILM REVIEW: PADDINGTON

  “Please look after this bear”. This is what the tag that is initially around Paddington’s neck says but it is also applicable to this movie adaptation. The film is a re-telling of Michael Bond’s stories that has been carefully updated to a modern setting. This means it’s a charming tale that doesn’t compromise on…

ALBUM REVIEW: ELLA HOOPER – IN TONGUES

  When Ella Hooper from Killing Heidi joined her brother to form the acoustic folk duo The Verses, it was considered a ‘maturing’ of her earlier rock sound. Some 15 years after it all began, Hooper is armed with her solo debut, on which a metamorphosis has occurred again so she sounds like she’s keeping…

BOOK REVIEW: WOLF IN WHITE VAN BY THE MOUNTAIN GOATS’ JOHN DARNIELLE

  John Darnielle is best known as the front man and songwriter of indie/folk band, The Mountain Goats. But his ability to write complex and intelligent prose is not just confined to writing music. He is also a columnist and has previously published a novella. Wolf In White Van is Darnielle’s debut novel and it…