FILM REVIEW: THE DUFF

  “The Duff” is an acronym meaning “The Designated Ugly Fat Friend”. It’s used to describe the less attractive and more approachable member of a social group who has the job of making their friends look better. The Duff is also the name of a predictable and enjoyable teen rom-com that is redeemed by its…

BLU-RAY REVIEW: THE NUT JOB

  It’s easy to not go nuts about the children’s animated flick, The Nut Job. While the film looks warm and appealing, it is let down by an unoriginal plot, an unlikeable lead character and lots of bad jokes. It’s ultimately a by-the-numbers kids’ action film that is predictable and easily forgotten. The story was…

BOOK REVIEW: GILES WATERFIELD – THE IRON NECKLACE

  Giles Waterfield knows a lot about history. This is particularly evident in the independent curator and writer’s fourth novel and historic fiction book, The Iron Necklace. The author of The Long Afternoon has had some excellent ideas while developing this novel but the finished product is let-down by his method of execution as the…

FILM REVIEW: SEX, LOVE & THERAPY (TU VEUX…OU TU VEUX PAS?)

  Sex, Love & Therapy (Tu veux… ou tu veux pas?) contains about as much insight and laughs regarding love as a garden hose and a bread basket. This French rom-com is a superficial tale about a sex-obsessed man and woman who have to work together. It’s a complicated romantic situation but the script is…

FILM REVIEW: SHAUN THE SHEEP

  Shaun the Sheep is a simple but smart story. It also marks the big screen debut for the Aardman Animations’ character who was spun-off from Wallace & Gromit’s A Close Shave before he got his own popular TV show. This little sheep that could is as charming and engaging as ever and along with…

DVD REVIEW: OLIVE KITTERIDGE

  Olive Kitteridge is part curmudgeon and all chameleon. The difficult high school teacher is caustic and thorny as a mother and wife living in a bleak town in Maine in the seventies and eighties. The mini-series is a slow, nuanced affair that contains as many layers as an onion. It’s something that will keep…

FILM REVIEW: THE CIRCLE (DER KREIS)

  The Circle (Der Kreis) was a gay magazine produced in Switzerland and distributed internationally between 1932 and 1967. It is also the name of a docudrama film by director, Stefan Haupt. The film tells the story of a couple who were members of this underground movement that went on to become Switzerland’s first legally-married…

FILM REVIEW: BIG EYES

  They say the eyes are like a window to the soul. And the story of Big Eyes and specifically artist, Margaret Keane would show one sad and sinister tale. The latest film by director, Tim Burton (a Keane fan) throws his familiar clutch and styles away to instead present a biopic that is rich, honest…

FILM REVIEW: THE FOXY MERKINS

  The two main characters in The Foxy Merkins are not foxy ladies in the Jimi Hendrix sense. Smart? Yes. Sassy? Sure. But smouldering, not so much. The film is in fact, a fictional comedy based on the misadventures of two homeless, lesbian hookers. The film was directed by Madeleine Olnek who doubles as a…

FILM REVIEW: KIDNAPPING MR. HEINEKEN

  In 1983, Alfred ‘Freddy’ Heineken was kidnapped. The abduction of this prominent billionaire, the grandson of Gerard Adriaan Heineken (the founder of the Heineken beer company), resulted in the paying of the largest ever ransom at the time (35 million Dutch guilders, or about US$50 million today).   Kidnapping Mr. Heineken is based on the…

FILM REVIEW: MANNY LEWIS

It’s lonely at the top and much-loved Australian comedian, Carl Barron is all too aware of this. In his feature film debut he takes a leaf out of his book of life spent on the road for the past two decades. The film is brave and has an interesting enough premise, but it is let…

ALBUM REVIEW: SOKO – MY DREAMS DICTATE MY REALITY

  Stéphanie ‘Soko’ Sokolinski is a self-confessed witch, vampire and alien. She often sounds like she’s lived a lifetime of melodrama, yet she’s just 29. Her second studio album is an open-book account of the above and includes a cameo from Ariel Pink. The self-taught French musician originally built a reputation on lo-fi, indie folk…