Category: Film

Attention all 90s kids, America’s first family (like, actually the first) Earl, Fran, Robbie, Charlene and Baby are back as the beloved classic TV series, Dinosaurs is finally returning to Australian screens this Friday, 29 January on Disney+.
 Created by Jim Henson, in partnership with Walt Disney Television, Dinosaurs first aired from 1991-1994 and follows the lives of a family of prehistoric creatures living in a modern world.
 
Home to unforgettable catchphrases like “Gotta Love Me” and “Not the Mama”, Dinosaurs delivers all the classic throwback memories you thought were extinct and have been waiting to watch again, in what feels like a million years. 
For those too young to remember this cult classic, let us introduce you to the Sinclairs… the funniest family in 60 million years! They’re just your average family with one BIG difference, they’re dinosaurs.
 
Living the good life in sixty million and three B.C., this hilarious and oddly relatable family is made up of Daddy Earl, his wife Fran, their kids Robbie, Charlene, and the Baby, and feisty Grandma Ethyl, who bring a hilarious Jurassic twist to daily life. 
All 65 episodes of Dinosaurs will be available on Disney+, including iconic episodes from ‘The Golden Child’ and ‘The Terrible Twos’ to ‘New Leaf’ and of course ‘Changing Nature’.
 
So dig up your fossils, get the dino snacks ready and head to Disney+ from Friday 29 January for a night of nostalgic fun – nothing will Tricera-tops this! 

For a glorious respite from the challenges of our present reality, look no further than the Alliance Française French Film Festival, which will return from early March until mid-April for its luminous 32nd season.

Presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, this joyous and evocative celebration of French culture will screen in splendour at Palace Cinemas across seven cities and two satellite locations.  The strictest Covid protocols are adhered to in each state, including social distancing, sanitising and circulation of clean air, to ensure a safe cinema experience.

For its 2021 outing, the Festival is delighted to have the generous patronage of esteemed Presenting Sponsor, Peugeot Australia. With over 210 years of rich history, Peugeot delivers award-winning excellence in its mobility solutions for the modern motorist.

2021 is also noteworthy for being the inaugural season of Artistic Director, Karine Mauris.  Hailing from a background immersed in cultural creativity, Karine is passionate about nurturing emerging talent and discovering stories that cast a spotlight on the many rich facets of French life. 

To this end, Karine has assembled 37 incredible features from established filmmakers including Ruben Alves, Éric Barbier, Éric Besnard, Quentin Dupieux, Marc Fitoussi, Anne Fontaine, Yann Gozlan, Éric Lartigau, Gabriel Le Bomin, Emmanuel Mouret, François Ozon and Nicolas Vanier, alongside emerging talents such as Kaouther Ben Hania (The Man Who Sold His Skin), Manele Labidi (Arab Blues) and Chloé Mazlo (Skies of Lebanon).  Adding further spice to the mix will be movies from multi-talented actor/directors including Valérie Lemercier, Albert Dupontel, Géraldine Nakache and Samir Guesmi.

Every film in the 2021 season is guaranteed to transport and delight, with many exploring the powerful urge to overcome obstacles, no matter the situation, or sacrifice demanded. 

Passionate examples include Appearancesa taut thriller in which a couple’s privileged Viennese existence threatens to implode when a husband’s infidelity propels his wife into a spiral of revenge; Missa joyful, yet thought-provoking film about a boy who dreams of transcending traditional binary gender definitions by entering the Miss France beauty pageant; Final Set, a must-see for sports fans, as an aging tennis player takes one last shot at winning the French Open, The Rose Maker, a gentle comedy in the grand French tradition, about a once prosperous rose grower, who finds salvation from an unlikely quarter; Bye Bye Morons, a madcap quest filled with adventure, peril and bewildering encounters, and Aline (inspired by the life of singing sensation Céline Dion), the story of a teenager from Quebec whose powerful voice propels her onto the world stage to become the darling of millions.

As intrinsic to French culture as breathing, ‘l’amour’ in all its intoxicating complexities, is also a recurring theme throughout the 2021 line-up.  It’s explored with delicate sensitivity in Love Affair, with sophisticated humour in The Wedding Speech, empathy in Summer of 85, whilst France’s enduring love affair with gastronomy is depicted via the first French restaurant in the splendid 18th century period drama, Delicious.

This year’s programme will also highlight diversity through titles such as The Man Who Sold His Skin, a modern Faustian tale, selected as the Tunisian entry for Best International Feature Film at the 93d Academy Awards©; the devastation of civil war as depicted by Small Country: An African ChildhoodArab Bluesa sparkling ‘fish-out-of-water’ comedy about adapting to a new culture; the fraught Night Shift, which explores the moral dilemmas faced by police when dealing with illegal immigrants, the lyrical and poetic 1950s drama, Skies of Lebanon and Fahim, the Little Chess Prince, the story of  Fahim Mohammad, the Bangladeshi refugee boy who became a national French chess champion.

Bringing these stories and more to life will be a host of Europe’s finest actors, from Jean-Paul Belmondo, Monica Bellucci, Isabelle Carré, Alain Chabat, François Cluzet, Camille Cottin, Emmanuelle Devos, Lou de Laâge, Gérard Depardieu, Laeticia Dosch, Romain Duris, André Dussollier, Virginie Efira and Catherine Frot, to Grégory Gadebois, Blanch Gardin, Ana Giradot, Golshifteh Farahani, Isabelle Huppert, Kad Merad, Tchéky Karyo, Vincent Lacoste, Alex Lutz, Isabelle Nanty, Sylvain Marcel, Pierre Niney, Denis Podalydès, Kristin Scott Thomas, Omar Sy, Patrick Timsit, Karin Viard and Lambert Wilson.  Also look out for rising stars such as Félix Lefebvre, Finnegan Oldfield, Emma Mackey, Benjamin Voisin and Alexandre Whetter.

National dates and venues for the 2021 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:

SYDNEY: 2 – 31 March Palace Central, Palace Verona, Palace Norton Street, Chauvel Cinema & Hayden Orpheum Cremorne 
MELBOURNE: 3 – 31 March Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace, Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, Astor Theatre, The Kino & Pentridge Cinema 
CANBERRA: 4 – 31 March Palace Electric Cinema 
PERTH: 10 March – 7 April Palace Raine Square, Luna Leederville, Windsor Cinema, Luna on SX & Camelot Outdoor Cinema 
HOBART: 11 – 20 March State Cinema Hobart 
BRISBANE: 17 March – 13 April Palace Barracks & Palace James Street 
ADELAIDE: 23 March – 20 April Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas & Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas 
BYRON BAY: 24 March – 14 April Palace Byron Bay 
PARRAMATTA: 8 – 11 April Riverside Theatres Parramatta 

Legends collide in “Godzilla vs. Kong” as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.  Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond.  But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe.  The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.

Godzilla vs Kong stars  Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir. It is directed by Adam Wingard.

Godzilla vs Kong lands in cinemas on March 25th.

Australian audiences have fallen in love with Roadshow Films’ PENGUIN BLOOM, the inspirational tale of a wounded magpie that restores hope to a family. The film has taken over $1.51 million at the Australian box office since it opened in cinemas on Thursday.

“The fantastic box office result for Penguin Bloom represents how eager Australians are to get back to the cinema and support quality, home-grown film-making.” said Joel Pearlman, CEO Roadshow Films. “The universal appeal of these films is undeniable and now is the time for Australia to champion its bold stories and beautiful locations with the world.”

The exceptional box office results for quality Australian productions continues, with THE DRY taking second spot, and crossing $12 million in its fourth week.

“It’s remarkable that the two top spots of the Australian box office are currently held by Australian films – this is a rare and remarkable achievement and a further indication of just how eager audiences are to support great stories and exceptional film making.” said Pearlman.

“We have enjoyed an incredible relationship with the Made Up Stories team of Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutensky and Jodi Matterson, as well as Robert Connolly and Eric Bana on The Dry and Emma Cooper and Glendyn Ivin on Penguin Bloom.” He said “These filmmakers have done brilliant work to realise these exceptional Australian Stories.”

Penguin Bloom tells the true story of Sam Bloom (Academy Award® nominated Naomi Watts) a young mother whose world is turned upside down after a near-fatal accident leaves her unable to walk. Sam’s husband, (Andrew Lincoln), her three young boys and her mother (Academy Award® nominated Jacki Weaver), are struggling to adjust to their new situation when an unlikely ally enters their world in the form of an injured baby magpie they name Penguin. The bird’s arrival is a welcome distraction for the Bloom family, eventually making a profound difference in the family’s life.

Directed by Glendyn Ivin, the film is produced by Broadtalks’ Emma Cooper, Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies), Steve Hutensky and Jodi Matterson (Little Monsters), alongside Watts.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Roadshow Entertainment have announced today that the major superhero tentpole film “Wonder Woman 1984” will be exclusively fast-tracked from cinemas to Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) and premium digital ownership in Australia and New Zealand from January 27, 2021.

This title will be one of the first wide-released blockbusters to be fast-tracked ahead of the usual three month release window.

Since Boxing Day, “Wonder Woman 1984” has brought in over $26 million to the Australian and New Zealand Box Office, and now fans and families will have the option to enjoy the film in the comfort of their own home, or continue to enjoy the film on the big screen.

Wonder Woman 1984”, will be available for rental either via PVOD for $29.99 AUD or to own digitally for $34.99 AUD, beginning on Wednesday January 27.The title will be available on participating digital platforms.

From director Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot in the title role, “Wonder Woman 1984” fast forwards to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her riding lightning across the sky, donning wings of gold, and chasing a dream while in pursuit of two new formidable foes: Max Lord and the Cheetah.

In “Wonder Woman 1984,” the fate of the world is once more on the line, and only Wonder Woman can save it.  This new chapter in the Wonder Woman story finds Diana Prince living quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s—an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all.  Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile, curating ancient artifacts and only performing her superheroic acts incognito.  But now, Diana will have to step directly into the spotlight and muster all her wisdom, strength and courage in order to save mankind from a world of its own making.

The film also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as the Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, Robin Wright as Antiope and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta.

Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot and Stephen Jones produced the film.  Rebecca Steel Roven Oakley, Richard Suckle, Marianne Jenkins, Geoff Johns, Walter Hamada, Chantal Nong Vo and Wesley Coller served as the executive producers.

Jenkins directed from a screenplay she wrote with Geoff Johns & Dave Callaham, story by Jenkins & Johns, based on characters from DC.  Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.  Joining the director behind the scenes are several members of her “Wonder Woman” team, including director of photography Matthew Jensen, Oscar-nominated production designer Aline Bonetto (“Amélie”), and Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (“Topsy-Turvy”).  Oscar-nominated editor Richard Pearson (“United 93”) cut the film.  The music is by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer (“Dunkirk,” “The Lion King”).

Summary: Abby thinks her relationship with Harper is perfect but all that changes when they go to Harper’s family home for Christmas and Abby learns that her parents don’t even know she is gay.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 20th December 2020 (Australia), 4th February 2021 (Thailand)

VOD Release Dates: 26th November 2020 (UK), 25th November 2020 (USA)

Country: USA, Canada

Director: Clea DuVall

Screenwriter: Clea DuVall, Mary Holland

Cast: Chelsea Banglesdorf (Colleen the Hostess), Sarayu Blue (Carolyn McCoy), Alison Brie (Sloane), Michelle Buteau (Trudy), Mackenzie Davis (Harper), Victor Garber (Ted), Ana Gasteyer (Harry Levin), Jenny Gulley (Ashley), Caroline Harris (Kelly), Jerrick Hoffer (Em K. Ultra), Mary Holland (Jane), Daryn Kahn (Todd), Lauren Lapkus (Mall Security Crystal), Dominque Lawson (Levi), Dan Levy (John), Jake McDorman (Connor), Burl Moseley (Eric), Anis N’Dobe (Matilda), Matt Newell (Guard Eugene), Aubrey Plaza (Riley Johnson), Benjamin Putnam (Miss L’Teau), Timothy Simons (Mall Security Ed), Mary Steenburgen (Tipper), Kristen Stewart (Abby)

Running Time: 102 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12 (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR HAPPIEST SEASON REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Happiest Season Review:

Yes it is almost February but the Christmas movies just keep coming this year. Now it is time for Happiest Season to be released in Phuket and one thing about this film should tell you straight away that this film is not going to be ‘just another Christmas movie’ – and that is the fact that it stars Kristen Stewart.

Stewart is an actress that we should all feel sorry for. Most people still unfairly refer to her as the ‘Twilight girl’ despite the fact that she had a pretty decent filmography behind her before she stepped into the shoes of Bella Swan and since that outing has made a number of more serious cinematic classics Cafe Society and Clouds Of Sils Maria. Yes, she also made Charlie’s Angels but we will give her a free pass for that one because she is one actress that normally knows how to pick a film with an interesting script.

In Happiest Season she plays Abby, a young gay woman in a relationship with the love of her life, Harper (Mackenzie Davis – Blade Runner 2049), but hasn’t really celebrated Christmas since the death of her parents several years before. In a moment of Christmas spirit Harper invites Abby to go and spend Christmas with her family but then instantly regrets it when the next day she remembers that she has never told her parents she is gay.

The pair create a story that Abby is Harper’s orphaned house-mate and Harper promises to tell her parents the truth after Christmas. But then when they arrive they discover that Harper’s father, Ted (Victor Garber – Titanic), is mounting a political campaign for Mayor fuelled by her mother, Tipper (Mary Steenburgen – Step Brothers), who is in full campaign mode. But as the weekend goes on Abby sees a darker side to Harper as she competes with her sister (Alison Brie – Community) and continues to hurt Abby.

As Abby then finds herself confused by her relationship and Harper’s attitude she finds herself listening more and more to her best friend, John (Dan Levy – Schitt’s Creek), and Harper’s ex Riley (Aubrey Plaza – Ingrid Goes West).

Just like Last Christmas last year Happiest Season is the kind of Christmas film that even the most seasons cinema-goer can enjoy. Director/screen-writer Clea DuVall (The Intervention) makes sure that there is no cheesy Christmas moments in the film – instead she has created serious relationship drama that at times contains just as much suspense as a thriller.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Happiest Season (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Happiest Season Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Summary: An alcoholic drug dealer suddenly finds herself responsible for looking after her autistic sister.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 14th January 2021 (Australia), 19th February 2021 (UK), 10th February 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 12th February 2021 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Sia

Screenwriter: Dallas Clayton, Sia

Cast: Beto Calvillo (Felix), Hector Elizondo (George), Brandon Soo Hoo (Tanner), Kate Hudson (Zu), Braden Marcott (Nassir), Leslie Odom Jnr. (Ebo), Mary Kay Place (Millie), Blair Williamson (Able), Maddie Ziegler (Music)

Running Time: 107 mins

Classification: M (Australia), PG-13 (USA)

OUR MUSIC REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Music Review:

Yes the movie that cancel culture didn’t want you to see is finally in cinemas. Now that I have had the chance to sit down and watch the film I can honestly tell you that once again the cancel culture brigade were way off the mark and well and truly barking up the wrong tree when it came to their criticism of Music.

Of course though, should we be surprised? Two very obvious things stood out from the criticism of this film as it surfaced around the internet. Firstly the people criticising the film had never ever seen it and secondly from a lot of their comments you could tell that many had very little knowledge about autism as a condition and even less about filmmaking.

I don’t write this review as ‘just another film critic’ like I am sure people will want to point out in the comments section. I write this as somebody who has not only been in the director’s and screenwriter’s chair but also as someone who has grown up with a cousin with autism and has volunteered to work with a number of people with a range of disabilities over the years.

And that is how I knew the arguments of the cancel culture about this film were ill-informed and just completely cruel. See, I’ve been there when my family has struggled to get my cousin to sit under an umbrella because it has terrified him or watched family members literally have to fight with him to get him into a car and the thing is my cousin is slightly autistic, yet the cancel culture would have you believe that the filmmakers behind this film could easily have found someone on the extreme spectrum of autism who could have not only acted throughout this film but also done some high level dance sequences… yep good luck with that.

What that certain brigade missed though was the opportunities of this film. It is films like this that give people a better understanding of what not only autism is like but what life is like for those that have to care for the person with autism. I will openly admit that when I was young I was pretty much afraid of my cousin, it took me sitting down when I was a little older and watching Rain Man to see what life was like for him and that point I not only understood him but became his friend. But of course according to the people arguing about Music Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal in Rain Man is now considered ‘offensive.’

What the people criticising Music don’t realise is that this film will have the same effect on some people as Rain Man did on me. Suddenly those cool school girls that listen to Sia’s (who directed and wrote the film) music might finally see that that girl they exclude from everything because she is ‘different’ isn’t as different as they thought and those pop-culture boys who currently throw food at the ‘weirdo’ at the bus are now going to see that person as a person.

Now I am not going to sit here and say that Music is a masterpiece. The film has its weaknesses but there is also a power and a heart to this film that you just don’t get with a lot of the blockbuster in our cinemas these days. In fact this is the film that is more at home in an arthouse cinema that is in a multiplex.

Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) plays Zu, a young woman whose partying lifestyle and alcohol problem has stopped her from ever being a sister to her autistic half-sister Music (Maddie Ziegler – The Book Of Henry). However with the sudden death of her grandmother suddenly Zu finds herself having to look after Music.

Her only support comes from a kind-hearted landlord George (Hector Elizondo – Pretty Woman) who has distrusted Zu after she stole from him and caring neighbour Ebo (Leslie Odom Jnr. – Red Tails).

They are both surprised to learn though that Zu’s plan does not involve her caring for Music for long. Her plan is to make enough money from drug dealing to place Music in a home and then move to ‘paradise’ herself.

When you watch Music you realise that the plot is pretty basic but having said that though it does hold up and does provide some suspenseful and dramatic moments throughout. The idea of going into dance sequences to show how Music views the world shows that Sia’s creativity from her musical career certainly carries over into her filmmaking as well. They also give Sia the opportunity to create a very creative soundtrack and while the music works throughout the film it perhaps would have been nice to have had a couple of recognisable tracks appear here and there as well.

Where the true power comes from this film though is through the acting. Kate Hudson is at her award-winning best playing the damaged Zu. Despite her bad life choices and at times cruel decisions the portrayal of the character by Hudson makes her likable. If this was supposed to be the fluff piece that some have cruelly labelled it then someone forgot to tell Hudson because she shows up with her A-Game.

She is well matched by Ziegler who should not be criticised for her portrayal of Music – instead she should be praised and being mentioned when it comes to Awards season. Her performance here is very much a break-out performance and I am extremely curious to see where her career goes from here. Hector Eliondo and Leslie Odom Jnr. also bring a warmth to this film, the latter like Ziegler showing that he is capable of just about any role thrown at him in his career. The key to getting the best experience out of Music is to go into the film and ignore all the negativity surrounding it. The points aimed at this film go right out the window once you have watched it and instead of being labelled as ‘one to avoid’ this is a film that needs to be praised for its unique filmmaking style and the powerful performances by its leading ladies.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Music (2021) on IMDb

Other Subculture Music Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Summary: A female pilot is met with hostility when she joins an all male crew during World War II. However the issues between them soon pale into insignificance when they discover they have a ‘monster’ on board.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 14th January 2021 (Australia)

VOD Release Dates: 1st January 2021 (USA)

Country: New Zealand, USA

Director: Roseanne Liang

Screenwriter: Max Landis, Roseanne Liang

Cast: Byron Coll (Terrence Taggart), Beulah Koale (Anton Williams), Chloe Grace Moretz (Maude Garrett), Callan Mulvey (John Reeves), Nick Robinson (Stu Beckell), Taylor John Smith (Walter Quaid), Benedict Wall (Tommy Dorn), John Witowski (Bradley Finch)

Running Time: 83 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), R (USA)

OUR SHADOW IN THE CLOUD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Shadow In The Cloud Review:

Shadow In The Cloud is the kind of film that doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up… and I think I like it that way. As a film it is as much a monster horror as it is a war film and it is just as much sci-fi/fantasy as it is a thriller… yes, it is a very hard film to try and pigeon-hole. That all gets even trickier when I point out that three-quarters of the action of the film takes place in a small section of a place that barely gives leads actress Chloe Grace-Moretz (Kick-Ass) room to physically move.

Moretz plays Maude Garrett a young woman who boards an Air Force plane in New Zealand right at the height of World War II. The all male crew which include John Reeves (Callan Mulvey – Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Anton Williams (Beulah Koale – The Last Saint) are suddenly put out by having a ‘dame’ on their plane. Most make disgusting and degrading comments about what they would like to do to the ‘bird’ with very few making any effort to protect her. The general consensus is that they certainly don’t want a woman on their plane when they are already running such a mundane mission.

Maude’s only saving grace is the mystery surrounding the highly secretive package that she is carrying and the fact that she carries orders from a high ranking officer that the others fear. With very little space on board the flight though they stow Maude away from the rest of the crew and it is only then that secrets start to be revealed as she is one of the first to spot the ‘gremlin’ that is ripping apart the plane and the fact that they are being shadowed by enemy planes.

I am still a little confused at what director Roseanne Liang (My Wedding And Other Secrets) was trying to create with this film? Was she trying to turn Chloe Grace Moretz into an action hero like we recently saw with Milla Jovovich in Monster Hunter or was she trying for something a little more. Certainly there is something that I liked about this film despite some of its weaknesses. I loved the twists and turns that the plot took as secrets started to be revealed – yes they are kind of hard to believe but at the same time I was watching a movie where a winged creature was attacking a plane as well.

What I do know is that the action worked and we saw a new string in the bow of the acting talents of Moretz. At times here she is asked to put in a theatre like performance in a tight space while also playing an action lead – a weird mix that I dare say would not be able to be pulled off by many performers out there. The creature looks amazing, no surprise there seeing it was created by Weta Workshop, but the film is sometimes let down by its cheesy soundtrack and at times dodgy looking CGI which I guess I was supposed to over-look as part of the film’s steam-punk vibe.

Liang also successfully makes her point about sexism in the workplace. What the all male crew (who for a majority of the film are reduced to voices over a radio) say about Maude is disgusting and I am pretty sure it would have even the most hardened chauvinist seeing the errors of his ways. She also reveals aside of history that a lot like to ignore – the role of women during the World Wars… no they were not all at home darning socks.

At the end of the day Shadow In The Cloud does work. The action sequences on board the plane suggest that Liang is a director that we need to be watching in the future while the final battle sequence may have been simple but it is exactly what I felt was needed to finish off the film.

This film once again reminded me of the acting force that is Chloe Grace Moretz and has made me place Roseanne Liang on my list of directors to watch in the future. Shadow In The Cloud might be a mixing of genres but it is certainly worth the admission fee at the box office.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Shadow in the Cloud (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Shadow In The Cloud Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Summary: A group of friends get together to re-start their ‘Buddy Games’ when one of the group sinks into a deep depression.

Year: 2019

Cinema Release Dates: 7th January 2021 (Australia)

VOD Release Dates: 30th November 2020 (UK), 24th November 2020 (USA)

Country: USA, Canada

Director: Josh Duhamel

Screenwriter: Josh Duhamel, Bob Schwartz, Jude Weng

Cast: Jensen Ackles (Jack Durfy), Dan Bakkedahl (Shelly), Donna Benedicto (Grace), Sienna Bohn (Daisy Dukes), Melanie Chan (Faith), Linda Darlow (Mary Ann), Emily Delahunty (Charlie), Kevin Dillon (Doc), Josh Duhamel (Bobfather), Marion Eisman (Mildred), Stephen Farrelly (Thursty), Lucie Guest (Nikki), Keisha Haines (Tara), Caitlin Howden (Kitty), Chad Kurtz (Bartender Eddie), Neal McDonough (Self), Lauren McGibbon (Jenny), Olivia Munn (Tiffany), James Roday Rodriguez (Zane), Elysia Rotaru (Jane), Dax Shepherd (Durfy), Nick Swardson (Bender), Mel Tuck (Bruce), Hannah Zirke (Frankie)

Running Time: 90 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), R (USA)

OUR BBUDDY GAMES REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Buddy Games Review:

Films don’t get much worse than Buddy Games. Now I am not some wowser that only likes ‘arthouse’ films. I will admit that there are some pretty juvenile films out there that I love. I will happily sit down and laugh like a teenager at Scary Movie or There’s Something About Mary and I would probably say that Not Another Teen Movie is probably one of my favourite films of all time.

But having said all that – Buddy Games just takes the cake for me. This is a film so juvenile that honestly if I hadn’t been reviewing the film I would have walked out and asked for a refund for my ticket.

Directed by Josh Duhamel in his directional debut the film centres around six friends – Shelly (Dan Bakkedahl – The Heat), Bender (Nick Swardson – Just Go With It), Doc (Kevin Dillon – Entourage), Durfy (Dax Shepherd – Hit And Run), Zane (James Roday Rodriguez – Gamer) and Bob (Josh Duhamel – Transformers) – life-long friends who get together once a year for a ‘party’ and a series of games that sees one of them crowned King.

However, things go horribly wrong one year and after Shelly rubs in his dominance of the events it becomes bullying of Bender and the result is Shelly being shot in the testicles by a paint ball while he is tea-bagging a victim.

Five years later life is very different for Bob. He has sold his company for $100s of millions of dollars and has started a relationship with the beautiful Tiffany (Olivia Munn – X-Men: Apocalypse). Suddenly he gets a call out of the blue: Shelly has been depressed since he lost both of his testicles and the only way he will snap out of his suicidal state is if he something to live for again – the rebirth of the Buddy Games.

I don’t know how to be anything but brutally honest about this film. It is a lot worse than anything Adam Sandler or Kevin James has dreamed up – it is actually one of the worst films I have ever seen. Very few of the jokes ever land the way they are supposed and while you chuckle once or twice while watching the film for the most part you are groaning and wishing the film would end.

There are few characters that you will actually like. I’ll admit that early on I had a bit of a soft spot for Bender but for some weird reason the script suddenly labels him the bad guy. Strange considering as far as I am concerned he could have mercilessly tortured  Shelly for weeks before drowning him in the lake and I still would have thought that Shelly got what he deserved.

When I think of films like American Pie I think of characters that start off juvenile and then grow as the film (or the franchise) goes on. That isn’t the case here – in fact at times it feels like these characters actually become more juvenile and stupid as the film plays out. There is no moral here other than the very stupid supposed message of being a dickhead is cool.Buddy Games has very few redeeming                 qualities to it, in fact as I walked away from the cinema all I could think was how could Duhamel, Munn and Shepard lower themselves to be in something so bad.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Buddy Games (2019) on IMDb

Other Subculture Buddy Games Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Summary: Once again it is up to Bill and Ted to save the world – this time they have to travel through time and work out how they wrote the perfect song in the future. With a task so big though this time they may need their daughters to help them.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 28th August 2020 (Australia), 16th September 2020 (UK), 28th August 2020 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 28th August 2020 (Australia), 28th August 2020 (USA)

Country: Bahamas, USA

Director: Dean Parisot

Screenwriter: Chris Matheson, Ed Solomon

Cast: Brigette Nicole Andrews (Cleopatra), Linda Ayliff (Amelia Earhart), Jared Bankins (Jesus/Young Ted), Diana Barnes (Frida), Jillian Bell (Dr. Taylor Wood), Beck Bennett (Deacon), Artis Burney (Buddha), George Carlin (Rufus Hologram), Anthony Carrigan (Dennis Caleb McCoy), Georgia Cohran (Harriet Tubman), Jeremiah Craft (Louis Armstrong), Daniel Dorr (Mozart), Doug Gagnon (Bartholomew), Sharon Gee (Ling Lun),Kallie Glidewell (Flapper), Mickey Gooch Jnr. (Clete), Dave Grohl (himself), William E. Harris (George Washington), Erinn Hayes (Elizabeth), Miles Hendler (Judas), Kid Cudi (himself), Hal Landon Jnr. (Chief Logan), Xavier Leblanc (Phaoroh), Reece Loustalot (Babe Ruth), Jeff Pagano (Noelle Redding), Brigette Lundy-Paine (Billie), Jayma Mays (Joanna), Piotr Michael (Rufus (voice)), Patty Anne Miller (Grom), Kharismisa Morris (Josephine Baker), Keanu Reeves (Ted), Eliana Ruiz (Indira Gandhi), William Sadler (Death), Kristen Schaal (Kelly), Billy Slaughter (Young Bill), DaZMann Still (Jimi Hendrix), Amy Stoch (Missy), Kimberley Stockton (Queen Elizabeth), Holland Taylor (The Great Leader), Samara Weaving (Thea), Peter Wick (Zenny), Alex Winter (Bill), Tommie Wong (Kubla Khan), Ned Yousef (Gandhi)

Running Time: 91 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), PG (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Bill & Ted Face The Music Review:

I can still remember the first time I saw a Bill & Ted film. I was in Primary School and while at my friend’s place he shoved this pink and purple VHS into my hands and said “Dude, we need to watch this.” From that moment I was hooked with these likable idiots. I wanted to be them so much that they are probably one of the reasons why I love hard rock and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I used some of the things I learned from the film when it came to History at High School.

Yes, I wanted to be Bill and Ted but then I grew up. I graduated, went to College, got married and bought a house… like adults do. But according to what we find in the new instalment of the Bill & Ted franchise people don’t change – they are the same forever. Yes, it is ridiculous to think that way but that is what any audience going into this film is expected to think.

Set nearly thirty years after the originals Bill And Ted Face The Music find Bill (Alex Winter – Grand Piano) and Ted (Keanu Reeves – John Wick) completely washed up but the fathers of two daughters – Thea (Samara Weaving – Guns Akimbo) and Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine – The Glass Castle). The two’s music careers are over and their marriages are in tatters – in general their lives are a mess.

Then out of the blue Kelly (Kristan Schall – The Muppets) turns up from the future to tell them that the world is about to end if Bill and Ted can’t create the perfect song. The two travel through time to try and find how they wrote the perfect song while being pursued by a deadly assassin named Dennis Caleb McCoy (Anthony Carrigan – Gotham). Meanwhile Thea and Billie begin their own journey through time in a bid to build the perfect band for their fathers.

To be honest this was probably one of the most disappointing films I have watched in a long time. I wanted to see the filmmakers, director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) and his screenwriting team, doing something really special with this film; instead I got something that was slightly insulting to my childhood. Not only is the film plain dumb and feature nothing ‘spectacular’ that I was hoping for but the film seems to be ill thought out. I get that Bill and Ted are losers whose lives have never reached the potential that they should have; you know what as a fan of Jay and Silent Bob I can deal with that. What I can’t deal with or even believe is that they are so juvenile that they still speak like stoners so much later in their lives… it is so ridiculous that nobody can comprehend it.

Likewise the film does nothing ‘special.’ Despite a few moments that might make you chuckle Bill and Ted’s journey is this film is lacklustre and nowhere near as exciting as the journey in their original film. I can’t help but wonder why the writers didn’t do more things like the brilliant Dave Grohl cameo – this film needed to be epic not the lacklustre yawn fest that it became.

There are times during this film that the script is so stupid that I swear Keanu Reeves looks uncomfortable. We know what a brilliant actor he is but there are times during the film where his ‘stoner’ language and laugh seem to be ‘forced’ and you can see his mind asking “why did I sign up for this?” Despite the quality of the performers in the film, including Samara Weaving, this is not a film that is going to end up a highlight on anyone’s acting resume.

There will be a lot of people out there who go out and watch Bill And Ted Face The Music simply because of the nostalgia factor. As a fan of the original movies though I have to warn you that you will be sadly disappointed.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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