Tagged: Stef Dawson

DVD Packshot

Summary: In the very near future, creatures from ancient mythology must live among humans and battle for survival in a world that wants to silence, exploit and destroy them.

Year: 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: 1st September 2016

Country: Australia

Directors: Wayne Blair (4 episodes), Leah Purcell (2 episode)

Screenwriters: Jane Allen (1 episode), Jon Bell (2 episodes), Michael Miller (6 episodes)

Main Cast: Jada Alberts (Nerida West), Tony Briggs (Boondee), Rob Collins (Waruu West) , Ryan Corr (Blair Finch) , Stef Dawson (Ash Kerry), Iain Glen (Jarrod Slade),  Marcus Graham (McIntyre), Rarriwuy Hick (Latani), Deborah Mailman (Aunty Linda), Andrew McFarlane (Matthews) , Frances O’Connor (Charlotte Cleary), Hunter Page-Lochard (Koen West), Tamala Shelton (Alinta West), Tyson Towney (Djukara), Tasma Walton (Araluen)

Sub Cast: Jeremy Ambrum (Jake) – 5 episodes, Benson Jack Anthony (Gub) – 5 episodes, Lilly Bader (Lilly) – 1 episode, Adam Briggs (Maliyan) – 6 episodes, Jack Charles (Uncle Jimmy) – 1 episode), Jerome Cosgrave (Jumbhi) – 3 episodes, Lynette Curran (Virgil) – 2 episodes, Nancy Denis (Eve) – 5 episodes, Isaac Drandic (Harry) – 5 episodes, Kamil Ellis (Mungo) – 6 episodes, Rhondda Findleton (Frankie) – 5 episodes, Sean Hawkins (Joel) – 1 Episode, Aileen Huynh (Everick) – 3 episodes, Trevor Jamieson (Uncle Max) – 5 episodes, Jack Kingsley (Aiden) – 1 episode, Alexis Lane (Kora) – 6 episodes, Kathy Marika (Ngumunga) – 2 episodes, Rosharyn Marr (Young Koen) – 1 episode, Julian Maroude (Anton) – 1 episode, Jack Mars (Cameron) – 1 episode, Josh McConville (Dickson) – 3 episodes, Robyn Nevin (Jane O’Grady) – 1 episode, Sam Paronson (Taki) – 1 episode, Rahel Romahn (Ludo) – 1 epsiode, Mark Simpson (Holbeck) – 1 episode, Waverley Stanley Jnr. (Kulya) – 6 episodes, Miranda Tapsall (Lena) – 1 epsiode, Jenny Templeton (Alice) – 1 episode, Ben Toyer (Jamie) – 1 episode, Elijah Valadian-Wilson (Young Waruu) – 3 episodes, Katie Wall (Rowena) – 3 episodes, Leeanna Walsman (Belinda) – 4 episodes, Val Weldon (Jirra) – 2 episodes, Georgia Wilde (Melissa) – 1 episode, Matthew Wilkinson (Kennedy) – 2 episodes, Dylan Young (Nick) – 1 episode,

Runtime: 6 x 50 mins eps

Classification: MA15+

 

CLEVERMAN SEASON 1 REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths:

The Australian film industry has always had an interesting relationship with the genre of television. Over the years we’ve produced some pretty decent sci-fi programs – shows like ‘Farscape’ and ‘Spellbinder’ immediately spring to mind, but for some reason the people providing the money for the industry seem to shy away from the genre, instead looking to push more dour dramas onto the audience. Well now comes a sci-fi show that will hopefully change all of that – Cleverman. Mark my words this show is guaranteed to become a cult classic… it’s just that damn good.

Cleverman is set in the future, a time when Sydney is living under the threat of ‘hairies’ – a so called ‘subhuman’ species who are currently being considered a threat. People react different to the ‘hairies’, Governmental departments led by the likes of Geoff Matthews (Andrew McFarlane – ‘The Flying Doctors’) and McIntyre (Marcus Graham – ‘Mulholland Drive’) see them as a threat that needs to be contained and eventually eradicated. Business-men like Jarrod Slade (Iain Glen – ‘Game Of Thrones’) see them as a way of making a mountain money, while small-time operators like Koen West (Hunter Page-Lochard – ‘Spear’) and his best mate, Blair Finch (Ryan Corr – ‘The Water Diviner’) also see them as a cash cow. Then there are people like Waruu West (Rob Collins – ‘The Wrong Girl’) who are sworn to protect them as they see the treatment of the ‘hairies’ as the same way their Aboriginal ancestors were treated.

It is hard to put into words just how good ‘Cleverman’ really is. This sci-fi goes a lot further than most other shows in the genre and gets so political at times it makes you see Australian history in a whole different light. The screenwriters of this show have taken the wrongs of Australia’s past and condensed into such a format that anybody can see just how wrong the Government have handled things such as the stolen generation and Aboriginal deaths in Police custody over the years. Like the feature film, ‘Red Billabong’, ‘Cleverman’ also explores Aboriginal culture and mythology… two things I’ve probably learnt more about watching this television show then I ever did in my year at high school.

The political side of things pushed to the background this show also works because of the relationships between each of the characters. The growth surrounding the character of Koen has to be seen to be believed and the resulting conflict that these changes cause with his half-brother Waruu ignite the second half of this season. The real test comes when the audience sits in suspense as you wait to see which brother is going to make the right decisions in the season finale.

The hard edged nature of this show also lifts the program high above most other shows airing on television at the moment. Yes there are moments of violence as hairies and humans clash but is things such as a character knowing impregnating his wife with a hairy for scientific research and a hairy being forced into a sick form of prostitution that really makes this program stand out from the pack.

The edgy nature of the program also brings out the best in its cast. Aussie favourites like Tasma Walton (‘Blue Heelers’) and Deborah Mailman (‘The Secret Life Of Us’) are standouts in their strong roles but the stand out here is Iain Glen who dominates the acting stakes as he plays the mysterious Slade whose intentions are often questionable. Credit must also be paid to Hunter Page-Lochard and Rob Collins who both announce themselves as actors to watch in the future with strong performances that make this show a must see.

While firmly planted in the sci-fi genre ‘Cleverman’ is a show that takes a deep look at Aboriginal history and social issues while also providing enough believable drama between its characters to make you want to watch each week. The fact that Season One builds up to a crescendo that looks set to explode in Season Two means this is a show that you have to watch if you haven’t already done so.

Stars(5)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):   Stars(5)

 

IMDB Rating:  Cleverman (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Cleverman Season 1 reviews: Nil.

 

Trailer:

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 Poster

Summary: Katniss Everdeen reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th November, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Francis Lawrence

Screenwriter: Peter Craig, Danny Strong, Suzanne Collins (novel)

Cast: Mahershala Ali (Boggs), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Wes Chatham (Castor), Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair), Stef Dawson (Annie Cresta), Natlie Dormer (Cressida), Michelle Forbes (Lieutenant Jackson), Michael Garza (Eddy), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Elden Henson (Pollux), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Robert Knepper (Antonius), Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), Patina Miller (Commandor Paylor), Julianne Moore (President Alma Coin), Evan Ross (Messalla), Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), Jermaine Tindell (Luther), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee)

Runtime: 123 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

There is no way any filmmaker would envy director Francis Lawrence for the task ahead of him we he started his directorial duties on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Just like David Yates (Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1) and Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1) Lawrence has found himself with the extremely difficult task of making the first part of a two part novel adaption franchise both watchable and enjoyable.

It doesn’t sound like much a struggle but when you consider that a huge chunk of a first half of a novel is normally about character development and ‘setting up of the world’ if often means that the filmmakers are trying to turn something ultimately dull and technical into something watchable at the cinema. Both Yates and Condon struggled with their tasks the result being fans calling the Part 1 of the finales the weakest films of the franchise, even Peter Jackson didn’t seem up to the task with the first Hobbit film with some saying it was so dull it looked like a documentary about walking treks across New Zealand.

To his credit Lawrence has done an okay job with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, true it doesn’t have a lot of the action of the first two films but being the filmmaker that he has shown us he is with character studies like I Am Legend he decides to turn the tables on the franchise and go for a completely different tone this time around.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 picks up with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) recovering in District 13. Her second tour of the The Hunger Games arena has left her shell-shocked and an emotional wreck. At first her mental state makes her resist the offer from former double agent Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and District 13 leader President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) to be the face of the rebellion against the capital, the person who will unite all the Districts together.

However, shortly after seeing what the Capital soliders have done to home District Katniss soon teams up with Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Finnick (Sam Claflin) to make ‘propaganda films’ to unite the people, which in turn becomes a battlefield role. Tension heightens more when it they begin to see the Capital interviews between Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and now featuring Peeta telling people to end the rebellion, something that Katniss fears is a sick game orchestrated by President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

Lawrence’s different tone with this film is not a tone that all will enjoy. The last two Hunger Games films were loaded with action throughout, this film does not share that luxury. Instead the film becomes a real character piece but also deals with the impact that war has on the people involved. Katniss’ behaviour suggests that she is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (although the term is never used), while the film’s look at propaganda on both sides of the war is possible not something that you would expect to find in a film that is based on teenage fiction.

The film does suffer from a lack of action though and as an audience you almost want to cheer during the occasional times when Katniss and Gale find themselves having to take some shots at enemy planes. The character studies are interesting enough in their own right but that isn’t what people have come to know and love from this franchise and at times you do feel sorry for Lawrence as a director because it does grind the film down to a virtual halt.

What Lawrence however can’t be forgiven for though is not bringing action to the screen when it could have been there. When Gale and crew go on their mission to rescue Peeta it was a moment when Lawrence really could have brought some action and suspense to the film, but unlike other moments during this franchise it just seemed to fall by the wayside and never reach the full tension that it could have.

The power of this franchise though is summed up though by the star power and talent of the actors that are drawn to take up roles in it. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson do the best with their limited screen time while the inclusion of Julianne Moore is interesting seeing her character doesn’t seem to do much except for look sullen and order people around. The young cast do a really good job though. Once again Jennifer Lawrence comes to the fore as the damaged Katniss while Liam Hemsworth plays mopey extremely well. The weaker script this time around though means though it is only really Jennifer Lawrence who gets a chance to shine this time around.

Despite Francis Lawrence’s attempt to change the tone of this film compared to others in the franchise it is easy to see that the film is weaker than its predecessors and the annoying part is you get the feeling that this film is about to explode into a climatic finale, which raises the question should the production company behind the film have just given up the extra cash and made this a near on three hour finale and give both the screenwriters and director at hand a fair chance. Still it is better than most of the other teen-fic films going around but it really does feel like a film that is only going to be enjoyed by those who are hardened fans of the franchise to date.

Stars(3)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 reviews: You can also read Dave’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

The Hunger games Catching Fire Poster

Summary: Katniss and Peeta are dethroned from their respective victory riches and are put back into the arena for the most climatic and menacing of the Hunger Games, known as the Quarter Quell.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 21st November, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Francis Lawrence

Screenwriter: Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Colllins (novel)

Cast: Nelson Ascencio (Flavius), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Bruce Bundy (Octavia), John Casino (Woof), Sam Clafin (Finnick Odair), Lynn Cohen (Mags), Rita Conte (Hob), Stef Dawson (Annie Cresta), Rode Ferland (Marcus), Wilbur Fitzgerald (Cray), Meta Golding (Enobaria), Bruno Gunn (Brutus), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Megan Hayes (Female Morphling),, Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee), Maria Howell (Seeder), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Toby Jones (Claudius Templesmith), Bobby Jordan (Blight), Lenny Kravitz (Cinna), Sandra Ellis Lafferty (Greasy Sae), Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), E. Roger Mitchell (Chaff), Amanda Plummer (Wiress), Jack Quaid (Marvel), Alan Ritchson (Gloss), Elena Sanchez (Cecelia), Stephanie Leigh Schlund (Cashmere), Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen), Taylor St. Clair (Ripper), Patrick St. Esprit (Commander Thread), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee)

Runtime: 146 mins

Classification:M

OUR THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam Ross: You can read Adam’s full The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review on The Crat.

Stars(4)

 

Nick Gardener: You can read Nick’s full The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review on Southern FM

Stars(4)

 

David Griffiths:

The original “The Hunger Games” film left audiences in the middle. On one hand it was a better teenage genre flick than the later “Twilight Saga” films, but on the other hand the fact it was aimed at a younger audience meant that director Gary Ross held back on some of the darker elements that were portrayed in the novel.

Now comes “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” the difficult second film in the trilogy. Some three-part franchises choke when it comes to the second film, the film does nothing to bridge the first to the third film and becomes a dull affair for the audience. That certainly can’t be said for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” that equals the original film and overcomes a couple of flaws by director Francis Lawrence’s (“Water For Elephants,” “I Am Legend”) decision to allow the film to find its dark side.

Following the series of novels by Suzanne Collins “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is set twelve months after the original film. The young hero Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence – “The Devil You Know,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) is back living in District 12, although this time she is the nicer diggings of the Victor’s Village. Life is far from easy for her though as Katniss is forced to live a double life. Behind closed doors she is sorting out her feelings for good friend Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth – “Paranoia,” “Empire State”) while in public her fake relationship with fellow Hunger Games winner Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson – “Epic,” “Red Dawn”) must continue.

On the eve of joining the promotional train for the 75th Annual Hunger Games Katniss’ life is further turned upside down when she learns that her’s and Peter’s actions have seen them become the face of a threatened revolution. After a threat from President Snow (Donald Sutherland – “Jappeloup,” “The Best Offer”) Katniss realises that she must ‘tow the line’ but with that not working she soon finds her and Peter having to team up with Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson – “Out Of The Furnace,” “Free Birds”) to survive a new game thought up by Snow and his new right-hand man Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman – “A Late Quartet,” “The Master”).

Francis Lawrence does push the boundaries of this franchise a little more. He makes it a bit bloodier and even enhances the metaphor of Snow’s regime being similar to Nazi Germany but sadly Lawrence and his cinematographer Jo Willems (“Gotham,” “Limitless”) leave the audience a little underwhelmed with the film awash with a bland look.

Still that doesn’t put too much of a dampener on the film because the story really does come to the forefront. This film raising the stakes for most of the main characters certainly brings more suspense to the screen and despite some badly signposted areas of the film there are enough unexpected twists and turns to warrant the audience paying full attention. Unlike most teenage franchises you also get the feeling that this is one series that isn’t too afraid to kill off main characters if the story calls for that, at the end of the day that just enhances the suspense even more.

One disappointing thing about “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is that Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence just seem to breeze through their performances. Lawrence has shown in films like “Winter’s Bone” and “Silver Linings Playbook” that she is one of the finest young actresses going around but she never really gets to show those skills this time around. A real waste of an Oscar winner if I’ve ever seen one.

Liam Hemsworth also doesn’t get any decent screen time but Donald Sutherland is rewarded for his patience with the first film with the chance to really sink his teeth into a really menacing role… something that he seems to grasp with two hands. But stealing the show are Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci (“The Fifth Estate,” “Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters”). Harrelson continues to remind audiences what a fine actor he is with his great portrayal of the alcoholic Haymitch while Tucci shows his versatility by showboating as the energetic master-of-ceremonies Caesar.

There is no doubt that Francis Lawrence certainly lifts this franchise to a different level with his darker approach to “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Sure there will be some out there that simply want to put the film down because it is part of a popular franchise but truthfully this is fairly decent film that certainly isn’t a waste of time to take a look at.

 Stars(3)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

IMDB Rating:  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire′: You can also read Dave’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer: