Monthly Archives: June 2022

Summary:  Confined to their glasshouse, a family survives The Shred, a toxin that erases memory. Until the sisters are seduced by a Stranger who shatters their peace and stirs a past best left buried.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  25th September 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Available in all regions now.

Country: South Africa

Director: Kelsey Egan

Screenwriter: Emma Lungiswa De Wet, Kelsey Egan

Cast: Jessica Alexander (Bee), Morgan James Bosman (Young Gabe), Kitty Harris (Daisy), Junior Mpepo (Other Luca), Adrienne Pearce (Mother), Hilton Pelser (The Stranger), Levin Peters (Replacement Gabe), Anja Taljaard (Evie),Brent Vermeulen (Gabe)

Running Time: 97 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK)

OUR GLASSHOUSE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Glasshouse Review:

I love that feeling when you experience a great film that seems to have come out of nowhere. I knew absolutely nothing about Glasshouse until I sat down to watch it other than it was a film set after an apocalyptic event. What I was expecting was something like Mad Max or The Hunger Games, what I wasn’t expecting was a beautiful film that looked more at human emotion and instinct than it did action pieces.

Directed by Kelsey Egan (The Bull) Glasshouse takes its name from house of glass that a family led by an ageing mother (Adrienne Pearce – The Bone Snatcher) call home after an event called The Shred swept across the Earth wiping people’s memory. Worried that the toxin is still in the air the family won’t venture outside unless wearing a mask.

For the most part the family, which includes sisters Bea (Jessica Alexander – Get Even), Evie (Anja Taljaard – Double Echo) and Daisy (newcomer Kitty Harris) have lived a good life happily growing plants but still pining for their brother who is out in the wilderness. But things have taken a bad turn as the family worry about the fact that their autistic brother, Gabe (Brent Vermeulen – Griekwastad) is showing signs of violence as he gets older. However Bea and Evie convince their mother that they are more than equipped to look after him.

Things take an even bigger turn when Bea rescues an injured, nameless man (Hilton Pelser – The Kissing Booth) whom she finds on the perimeter of their land. Gabe takes an instant dislike to the man while Bea finds herself drawn to him. Could he be their brother or is he someone that means harm to a family that have found their paradise.

I found there is a true beauty to this film. There is a distinct alternative ‘period-feel’ to the film that it is reminiscent of Alfonso Cuaron’s Great Expectations. The plants and artwork inside the glass-house allow for some beautiful shots that have been captured by cinematographer Justus de Jager (The Lullaby) which is a stark opposite to what is often happening in those scenes – including violence between Gabe and The Stranger.

That beauty is also a contrast to the violence that occurs throughout the film that the family basically says is needed to protect their property. It is not uncommon for a shot to feature the beauty of the garden and then come to rest on hacked up body of someone whom Bea or Evie have caught trying to break in. That same beauty also distracts the audience from a family that despite saying they are so loving are more than willing to chain their autistic brother to a bed if they feel he may be a danger to them or himself.

I found this to be a film that takes the audience on an emotional roller-coaster given that there is almost a sense of madness to the world and the ‘paradise’ that the family live in. At times I found myself asking whether there was really an apocalyptic event or whether or not this was just simply a way for Mother to keep her family safe. That element plus the fact you never really know who you can trust in this family makes me a captivating type of suspense that is almost unrelenting throughout the entire film.

That suspense rises even further with the arrival of The Stranger. Early on after his arrival you are not sure whether he is a danger to the family or whether the two teenagers are going to start an almost Nurse Ratchet style relationship with him.

Throughout this film though I was captivated by the performance of the young cast. Jessica Alexander and ANja Taljaard are brilliant with sultry and emotional performances while Brent Vermeulen is sensational as the troubled Gabe. Many of his scenes would have been quite difficult to have pulled off and he deserves an unending amount of credit.

Glasshouse is a film full of emotion that I found to keep me completely on edge throughout. At times harsh, at times erotic the one thing Glasshouse certainly wasn’t was disappointing. This was a brilliant piece of cinema from a director that I cannot wait to see more from.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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The trailer, teaser art and stills for the highly anticipated Disney+ Original movie “Hocus Pocus 2,” reuniting Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, are now available. The live-action, long awaited sequel to the perennial Halloween classic, which brings back the delightfully wicked Sanderson sisters for more comedic mayhem, will debut on Disney+ on September 30.

It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve.

“Hocus Pocus 2” also stars Sam Richardson (“The Tomorrow War”), Doug Jones (“The Shape of Water”), Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”), Whitney Peak (“Gossip Girl”), Belissa Escobedo (“American Horror Stories”), Lilia Buckingham (“Dirt”), Froyan Gutierrez (“Teen Wolf”),  and Tony Hale (“Veep”). The film is directed by Anne Fletcher (“Dumplin,’” “The Proposal”) and produced by Lynn Harris (“King Richard,” “The Shallows”), with Ralph Winter (“Hocus Pocus,” “X-Men” franchise), David Kirschner (“Hocus Pocus,” “Chucky”) and Adam Shankman (“Disenchanted,” “Hairspray”) serving as executive producers. 

UK heavy metal band LOATHE have been creating quite a following as they mix metalcore with a more traditional Nu-Metal sound. Now off the back of their well received 2021 album The Things They Believe and building a reputation as one of the best live bands in Europe they are heading Down Under to tour with While She Sleeps.

This week they caught up with Dave Griffiths to talk about the tour and what they are looking forward to doing while they are in Australia.

Take a listen to the full interview here:

It is hard to pinpoint an exact sound for Melbourne’s very own HZED. Some have said that their style of rock conjures up memories of  Chrissy Amphlet while others say they have had the unique ability of capturing 50 years worth of rock all in one track. While a lot is said about them one thing remains fact – everything this band does sounds bloody great.

Resurrected from the ashes of guitarist Shano and drummer Sam’s old band Backyard Funk HZED took form when the remaining members got stuck into some serious writing for a rock project they had in mind. But they ran into a pretty major brick wall – they couldn’t find the perfect front-person for the band and that is when Shano thought of his sister, Michelle.

“I had been asking her to get back into the music industry for about a decade or so,” he explains. “She had stopped at about aged 18 or 19 and finally she said yes. It was a bit of a slow start because she hadn’t done anything for awhile but once she clicked in things really got started.”

Shano’s explanation makes Michelle laugh as she sits beside him “Let’s be honest he wasn’t asking he was harassing,” she says laughing hard. That laughter grows when I ask her what made her finally give in. “I really can’t say,” she says. “I just decided that I wanted to give it a shot and I thought why not. It was very scary but then things just started flowing and I haven’t looked back since.”

“Since we got Ads (the band’s new bass player) everything has just gone from being mediocre to the next level,” she says continuing.  “We are all writing together really well and just everything has been happening.”

Just as the band started to buzz though they soon found themselves with another obstacle in their way – COVID hit meaning that Melbourne went into lockdowns and the band couldn’t even get together to rehearse. Not to be deterred though they got stuck into writing and made sure each member had their own equipment to get the ball rolling. The result of some those sessions was the brand new single No Colour.

“The way that we write songs is that Shano will get an idea and he will put the track down, he’ll send it me and I will year or nah,” says Michelle when I ask about the origins of No Colour. “Then I will sit there, listen to it and get a vibe off it and then I will start writing the words for it.”

No Colour can be taken a few different ways,” she says continuing. “My way though is that it is about when you are down, when you are depressed, you are not happy and you are not feeling great about things and you don’t want to feel great about things when you are in that spot. That is why there is no colour – you don’t want things to be better, you don’t want it to get worse – you just want to stay in this spot that keeps you dull. That is my feeling and thought behind the no colour.”

For Shano it turns out that coming up with the original idea of the song was very natural indeed. “I’m one of those guys that will be walking the streets and then just suddenly hear something and it all starts flowing, but then when I sit down with my guitar nothing,” he says. “So I just sit with my guitar and play and play until something comes out that sounds good. Then when it sounds good I pull my phone out record it and just slap it down with the raw guitar.”

With the track finally in the can the band then decided that it was time to do something a little different to what they had done in the past. “We’ve all been in different bands but we have never released anything on vinyl before,” says Shano with excitement in his voice. “But that was something that has always been on my bucket list. I have always wanted to put something out on vinyl and the way it worked out was once we started working with Rusty and when it was reworked I realised that we just had to release it on vinyl because it was something that I wanted to keep forever.”

To finish off the interview I ask Michelle what she would like to say to anyone out there who is thinking about grabbing a copy of No Colours through Rue Morgue. “I would just say get on it,” she says with a laugh. “It is original, hard rock and that is what we are trying to bring out to everyone. We want it to be raw rock – the old school. Listen to – you’ll love it.”

No Colour is available from Rue Morgue Records right now.

Summary:  A look at both life above and below Antarctica.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  23rd June 2022 (Australia), 15th October 2020 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Fredi Devas

Screenwriter: N/A

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch (Narrator (voice))

Running Time: 45 mins

Classification: G (Australia)

OUR ANTARCTICA REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Antarctica Review:

I might be a cinema lover but I must admit that I do at times struggle with documentaries. Don’t get me wrong there are some grat docos out there but I do find that I struggle when I have to watch a doco on a subject that I care zero about and the doco is educating me with any interesting facts on the topic.

It is for that reason that when I often get an invite to review a doco I turn up with a lot of trepidation for what I am about to watch. I have found out over the years though that the one distributor that can always excite me with a doco invite is IMAX. See IMAX docos are normally different to everything else – they capture interesting topics in a spectacular way and are bite-size in length meaning that rarely over-stay their welcome.

IMAX’s latest offering, Antarctica, is no different. The doco quickly draws you in with spectacular footage captured by director, Fredi Devas (Seven Worlds One Planet), and his cinematographer Rolf Steinmann (Wild Arabia). The fact that the crew here were working in some of the most inhospitable environments in the world is not evident throughout the film as they capture some truly amazing moments both above and below the ice.

Narrator Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness) points out a number of times that Antarctica is still today one of the most unexplored parts of our planet yet here the crew behind Antarctica capture some never before seen moments and deliver some truly amazing facts.

The great thing about this film is that it also doesn’t try to preach to its audience. Controversial topics such as climate change are looked at in the film but are viewed with science backing up what is being spoken about. The film shows what have been some of the things that have happened in Antarctica due to climate change but never speculates what caused it. Even better the film provides some answers to what we can do as humans to help our planet – including delivering some interesting facts about how whales could be one of the answers to help prevent climate change.

I found that with this documentary not only are you blown away by the visuals but you are also constantly learning something as the voice-over provides just the right amount of titbits of information when needed. As a nature lover what I learnt about seals, penguins and whales here is absolutely priceless. Be warned though if you are an animal lover this doco will make sure that you become totally invested in the lives of the creatures that you are watching on screen which then leads to suspense as Mother Nature throws some obstacles up against them.

It also becomes very clear while watching the film that the 3D only further enhances the viewing spectacle. When you add that to the amazing footage captured by Devas and Steinmann you soon feel like you are right there with them in Antarctica and that you can just reach out and touch whatever is in front of you at that time.

Antarctica is a truly stunning doco that needs to be seen on the big screen and in 3D to get the full experience. Like most docos I see at IMAX I simply can’t recommend this enough.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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MONSTER PICTURES in association with Signature Entertainment will release the latest Blumhouse Productions horror DASHCAM in Australian Cinemas from this Thursday, June 30.

With a screenplay penned by Rob Savage, Gemma Hurley & Jed Shepherd, the writers of Shudder’s 2020 breakout horror HOST and directed once again by Savage, DASHCAM will do for night drives what JAWS did for beaches back in 1975.

Weary of pandemic life, Annie (Annie Hardy) makes a surprise, unwelcome visit to her old bandmate, Stretch (Amar Chadha-Patel), stealing his car and taking over his food delivery gig while live-streaming outrageous antics for internet fans. But when she accepts an unusual job, driving a sketchy, frail woman to safety, she’s entangled with an evil she could not have imagined. Now, Annie and Stretch find themselves fighting for their lives against a supernatural creature intent on making Annie its new host.

Summary:  Yuta Okkotsu, a high schooler who gains control of an extremely powerful Cursed Spirit and gets enrolled in the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School by Jujutsu Sorcerers to help him control his power and keep an eye on him.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  17th March 2022 (Australia), 23rd June 2022 (Thailand), 18th March 2022 (UK), 18th March 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Japan

Director: Seong-Hu Park

Screenwriter: Hiroshi Seko

Cast: Chinatsu Akasaki (Kasumi Miwa (voice)), Aya Endo (Shoko Ieiri (voice)), Kana Hanazawa (Rika Orimoto (voice)), Show Hayami (Raru (voice)), Yu Hayashi (Takumo Ino (voice)), Satoshi Hino (Noritoshi Kamo (voice)), Marina Inoue (Mai Zen’in (voice)), Shizuka Ito (Manami Suda (voice)), Mitsuo Iwata (Kiyotaka Ijichi (voice)), Subaru Kimura (Aoi Todo (voice)), Mikako Komatsu (Maki Zen’in (voice)), Rie Kugimiya (Momo Nishimiya (voice)), Takaya Kuroda (Masamichi Yaga (voice)), Risae Matsuda (Mimiko Hasaba (voice)), Satsumi Matsuda (Nanjako Hasaba (voice)), Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Ultimate Mechamura (voice)), Shin’ichiro Miki (Atsuya Kusakabe (voice)), Kotono Mitsuishi (Mei Mei (voice)), Yuichi Nakaura (Satoru Gojo (voice)), Megumi Ogata (Yuta Okkotsu (voice)), Takahiro Sakurai (Suguru Goto (voice)), TomokazuSeki (Panda (voice)), Sora Tokui (Akari Nitta (voice)), Kenjiro Tsuda (Kento Nanami (voice)), Koko Uchiyama (Toge Inumaki (voice)), Koichi Yamadera (Miguel (voice))

Running Time: 112 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), G (Thailand), 15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR JUJUTSU KAISEN O: THE MOVIE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Jujutsu Kaisen O: The Movie Review:

Okay so my love for manga and anime is fairly fanatical so if you are reading this and it feels like I am speaking an entirely different language, I apologise. I also apologise if this turns into something as long as War & Peace, I will try to curb my thoughts to a readable length, but I will be honest I have been like a kid counting down to Christmas ever since I heard that the Jujutsu Kaisen O was being released on the screen.

I thought I was a lucky puppy when it was first announced that this legendary manga series was becoming an anime serious but back then I could only dream that one day these characters that I love would make it to a big cinema screen. Of course with that much excitement building inside me there was also a pretty good chance that I was going to be disappointed at the result… luckily I wasn’t.

For those that are unaware of Jujutsu Kaisen it is a super-natural series that centres around a world where every living being has an energy called Cursed Energy. It is sent out into the world whenever somebody has negative emotions and this fuels Curses – supernatural beings that are determined to bring pain, misery and death to others. To combat Curses you have people known as Jujutsu Sorcerers that have their own special abilities to defeat them.

In Jujutsu Kaisen O your main Jujutsu Sorcerers are the angry young Maki Zenin (voiced by Marina Inoue Attack On Titan), Toge Inumaki (Koki Uchiyama – Tower Of God) who can only converse using food names and an actual reanimated Panda named Panda (Tomokazu Seki Angelic Layer).

They are training under the watchful eye of their enigmatic sensei Satoru Gojo (Yuichi Nakamura – My Hero Academia) at a special school for Jujutsu Sorcerers. Their tight friendship group is challenged though when Gojo brings a new student to the school – a loner student named Yuta Okkotsu (Megumi Ogata – Neon Genesis Evangelion) who was responsible for the death of the kids that bullied him at his last school.

Gojo brings Yuta to the school to not only train him but to get to the bottom of the curse, Rika (Kana Hanazawa – Tokyo Ghoul) that has attached itself to him.

Now you are probably thinking that there is no way that you could go and understand this film if you haven’t read the manga or seen the anime series. But don’t fear, see I did a little experiment and took along a friend who didn’t even know what Jujutsu Kaisen was and he loved the film.

I found the reason why Jujustu Kaisen 0 is so accessible to new fans is because it is prequel to the orginal series. Director Seong-Hu Park (The God Of High School) and first-time feature film screenwriter Gege Akutami make sure that this film is told through the eyes of Yuta. He is new to this world and because of that the explanations given to him of what is going in is also a great introduction for any muggles in the audience. Likewise the fact that they give us an insight with Yuta’s inner thoughts sometimes spoken allowed often mirrors what the audience are thinking as well… especially when it comes to the erratic behaviour of Gojo.

Having said that though I do need to stress that if you are a fan of the series or the books you will get a lot of ‘special’ moments out of the film. Characters turn up at times that will certainly having you gasping or oohhhing in your seat and I found that there are just enough new characters and old favourites to keep everybody happy.

Plot-wise this film is sensational, it captures the magic of the manga and the series remarkably well and you can’t help but find yourself becoming emotionally attached to the characters on the screen despite the fact they are animated. This is a story that will take you through an emotional-wringer though, you will feel the sadness of the characters at times and then sometimes you will find yourself laughing especially at Panda’s lines when he realises that perhaps a romance maybe developing between two characters.

The super-natural element is also shown well on screen and I have to credit the team for being able to juggle a major battle that is having in three different locations without ever losing their audience… sometimes even Marvel struggles with that.

The power of this film though is the characterisation. I’m sure everyone will sympathize with Yutan and some of the characters here are so well created that you can’t help but find yourself feeling for them even if they are doing the wrong thing at the time.

Jujutsi Kaisen 0 is one the best action driven animes that we have seen on the big screen for quite awhile. With strong visuals and a deeply emotional and moving screenplay this ticks all the boxes for both long-time fans of the series and those exploring it for the first time. And if you are still not sure if this is something you will like or not I will close with this – if you love Harry Potter and X-Men then you NEED to go and see this!

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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