FILM REVIEW: LOVE THE COOPERS

  Bah, humbug. Love The Coopers was supposed to be a warm-hearted and pleasant, Christmas ensemble movie about one dysfunctional family. Instead, the film is the equivalent of an empty gift box. It appears fine, nice even, but inside it is completely hollow. This film is the first one to be directed by Jessie Nelson…

DVD REVIEW: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? (AUSTRALIAN EDITION) SERIES 7

Who Do You Think You Are? is such a personal TV series you almost feel like you’re sitting in someone’s lounge room having a cuppa. The Australian edition is modelled on the original one from the U.K. Both shows see prominent personalities retracing aspects of their family tree/history. It’s ultimately a fascinating program and in…

DVD REVIEW: Suite Française

  Loving thy neighbour can be complicated in times of love and war. And World War II is the setting for the romantic, period drama, Suite Française. The film is a subtle and unoriginal story about an unlikely couple and their acting out of some forbidden love. The film is directed by Saul Dibb (The…

BOOK REVIEW: HILARY SPIERS – HESTER & HARRIET

  Hilary Spiers is an author who has made it her job to write stories about “Ordinary women in sometimes extraordinary circumstances”. Hester & Harriet – her latest novel – is supposed to fit this bill but unfortunately, is just plain dull. The book is pleasant and the ideas seem well-intentioned enough, but the premise…

DVD REVIEW: LIFE STORY EPISODES 1-3

  Life Story is nothing short of amazing. The incredible nature film starring Sir David Attenborough and produced by the Emmy award-wining team that made Life is an intense ride that is supported by a sensitive soundtrack performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. It conveys a thrilling roller-coaster of emotions, as it chronicles…

DVD REVIEW: LISTEN UP PHILIP

  We all know someone like the main character in Listen Up Philip. The star is a self-absorbed egoist who is trying at the best of times. So to dedicate an entire film to him and his exploits can make for uncomfortable and tedious viewing to say the least. This story is also a plainly…

DVD REVIEW: RUDDERLESS

  Rudderless is a dramatic and emotional film about music but that doesn’t stop it from hitting some bum notes. The story deals with a grieving father who is off on a directionless course after the tragic and premature death of his teenage son. It’s a shallow and melodramatic tale about forgiveness and redemption with things…

DVD REVIEW: BLACK PANTHER WOMAN

  Marlene Cummins is nothing short of inspirational. The blues musician and Koori radio presenter was a member of the Brisbane chapter of Australia’s Black Panther party in 1972. Although she usually considers her history to be an “oral” one that’s in line with her indigenous heritage, her significant story is also the subject of…

LIVE REVIEW: NEIL DIAMOND @ ALL PHONES ARENA SYDNEY (09.11.2015)

  You wouldn’t let your daughter date a Rolling Stone, but chances are you’d let your mum spend a night with Neil Diamond. The 74-year-old played an epic 25-song set at Allphones Arena with songs spanning decades of hits (including many cuts from his Hot August Night double album) as well as some new tracks….

BOOK REVIEW: MARGARET ATWOOD – THE HEART GOES LAST

  Margaret Atwood is no stranger to writing, as this talented Canadian author has won the Booker Prize and been shortlisted for countless others. She has written over 40 novels but I am a stranger to her work and The Heart Goes Last is my first introduction to this prolific writer. The book was excellent…

FILM REVIEW: FOODIES – THE CULINARY JET SET

  Foodies: The Culinary Jet Set is a documentary that is supposed to celebrate five influential food bloggers and show their enviable jobs as they attend fine-dining establishments. The result is a movie that looks fabulous but it is rather slow and tedious to watch. The documentary’s elitist nature also makes it hard for the…

DVD REVIEW: WOMAN IN GOLD

  Woman In Gold is about righting the wrongs of the past. The film is based on a single case involving art restitution for a woman who was born in Vienna but was forced to flee the country at the start of World War II. The film is a luminous and rich drama that is…