Category: Film Genre

Another film screening at this year’s Monster Fest is the comedy horror Crabs. This week Subculture’s Dave Griffiths sat down and had a chat to the film’s director Pierce Berolzhemier about the film.

Don’t forget to grab your Monster Fest tickets at www.monsterfest.com.au and you can listen to the full interview with Pierce below:

Wyrmwood: Apocalypse is a post-apocalyptic zombie film that follows soldier Rhys who lives in a zombie-infested Australian wasteland.  Rhys is on an arc of redemption as he turns against his evil bosses and joins forces with a group of rebel survivors to help rescue a girl who holds the cure to the virus.

The film which has been hailed as ‘Mad Max Meets Dawn Of the Dead’ – has picked up an audience award at the 2021 Sydney Film Festival for Best Feature Film.

Release Date:   February 10,2022
Cast: Luke McKenzie as Rhys, Shantae Barnes Cowan as Maxi, Jake Ryan as the Colonel, Bianca Bradey as Brooke, Tasia Zalar as Grace, Jay Gallagher as Barry and Nick Boshier as the Surgeon General 
Directed By: Kiah Roache-Turner
Written By: Kiah & Tristan Roache-Turner
Produced By: Tristan Roache-Turner & Blake Northfield

Actor and social media influencer Shuang Hu has stepped into the role of host of the new Giant Screen documentary BEYOND THE REEF, currently filming in Far North Queensland. BEYOND THE REEF takes audiences on a journey to explore the versatile and spectacular landscape of Far North Queensland, world-renowned for the Great Barrier Reef and its precious ecosystems.  

Shuang Hu was born in Tianjin, China and moved to Australia when she was 5 years old. She made her TV debut as Candy Law on the SBS TV series The Family Law and is known for her work on Comedy Central’s Ronny Chieng International Student as Wei Jun. Shuang is a popular Tik Tok identity, with over 4 million global followers, and 66.8 million likes. Shuang comments “After spending the last two years in Los Angeles, I’m excited to be back here in Australia. With travel finally opening up, it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to show audiences what is on offer in this stunning part of the world. I grew up in Townsville so this part of Australia holds a dear place in my heart.”

BEYOND THE REEF is being filmed in Large Format 8k and is designed for a Premium Large Format (PLF) and Giant Screen release across the globe in 2022. The film is aimed at tweens and families who enjoy immersive, co-viewing experiences. The production team will visit numerous locations across Far North Queensland, with Shuang taking part in activities including diving the Great Barrier Reef, taking a safari in the Daintree Rainforest, meeting the local animals and learning to sail. Audiences will feel completely immersed in the experience of a lifetime.

BEYOND THE REEF is a Steve Jaggi Company (SJc) production with In Three Production. The film is directed by Luke Wheatley (The 48 Hour Destination) with DOP’s Jake Koning and Christian Miller filming both above and below the water in Large Format 8k. BEYOND THE REEF is produced by Steve Jaggi and Beckie Adams, with Kylie Pascoe and Kelly Son Hing co-producing. Athabasca Film will distribute the film here in Australia. L.A. based Nicely Entertainment is handling international sales.

Summary: 
The story follows John Parker, a 19 year old from Manchester who embarks on a journey to Brighton, the sJames Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  11th November 2021 (Australia), 7th October 2021 (Thailand), 30th September 2021 (UK), 8th October 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: UK, USA

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Screenwriter: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga

Cast: Dali Benssalah (Primo Cyclops)), Priyanga Burford (Dr. Symes), Daniel Craig (James Bond), Ana de Armas (Paloma), Coline Defaud (Young Madeline), David Dencik (Valdo Obruchev), Hugh Dennis (Dr. Hardy), Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Rory Kinnear (Tanner), Lashana Lynch (Nomi), Billy Magnusson (Logan Ash), Rami Malek (Lyutsifer Safin), Brigitte Millar (Vogel), Amy Morgan (Alison Smith), Hayden Phillips (Sir Sebastian D’ath), Lea Seydoux (Madeleine), Lisa-Dora Sonnet (Mathilde), Christoph Waltz (Blofeld), Ben Whishaw (Q), Lizzie Winkler (Alison Smith), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter)

Running Time: 163 mins

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

OUR NO TIME TO DIE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ No Time To Die Review:

Bond! James Bond is back! If you a hardcore James Bond fan, and a lot of us are, then the pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time. Just when everybody was getting excited to see Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 the world went into chaos, cinemas closed their doors and we watched in dismay as the release of No Time To Die kept on getting pushed back further and further. I would be lying if I admitted there was a time when I was wondering if I would ever get to see this film. Well now the film is in cinemas, and I am happy to say that this is one time where that old wives’ tale of ‘good things come to those that wait’ is actually true.

Craig’s final hoorah begins with Bond retired from active service and happy in a relationship with Madeline (Lea Seydoux – Midnight In Paris). We quickly learn though that she has a dark secret that ties to her to the maniacal and precise Lyutiser Safin (Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody) who is about to unleash a vicious plague across the world.

When good friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright – Shaft) reaches out to Bond for help Bond finds out that things are very different at the agency. To M (Ralph Fiennes – Schindler’s List), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris – Moonlight) and Q (Ben Whishaw – Cloud Atlas) he is now an outsider whom they question whether they should help, and in fact he has been replaced with a new 007 (Lashana Lynch – Captain Marvel).

But as Bond works hard to try and bring the old team back together again he finds that just like Madeline he must faces ghosts from the past when he finds that perhaps his old foe Blofeld (Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained) may in fact hold the key to how to stop Safin’s heinous plan.

You could forgive the filmmakers behind No Time To Die wanting to do the Fast & Furious game-plan for Daniel Craig’s final Bond film of bigger is better. But luckily for audiences director Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and his co screenwriters, Neal Purvis (Skyfall) and Robert Wade (Spectre), opted for a different approach.

I’ll admit that I am a fan of their approach. I have always thought that Bond films work better when they are more natural and believable. Perhaps that is why I have been more of a fan of the Craig Bond films then I have of some of the past films. Here Fukunaga again goes for the more natural approach – the villain here is believable and instead of going for bigger-is-better action sequences he goes for some brilliantly shot car chases and fight pieces that in a way are more believable for the audience. The result is something much more suspenseful and memorable than the myriad of city-destroying action films that litter cinemas these days. At times No Time To Die feels like I am watching a big budget episode of Spooks – and I have to say I like that.

Fukunaga and his writers also don’t forget the fact that while they need action set pieces they also need characterisation. I would argue that you see more of Bond’s character and emotions in No Time To Die than we ever had in any other Bond film and the closeness that makes the audience feel to the character seems like a fitting way to farewell Bond out the door. Likewise Madeline and Safin are given an amazing amount of characterisation throughout the script – while we also see different sides to Q and Moneypenny as well. Sadly the same can’t be said for the character of Nomi (the new 007) – there is very little characterisation shown with her and the result is she feels cold and aloof to the audience, although I suspect that may have been a smart little plan by the screenwriters to show her in the same light as how Bond views her.

Aside from the beautifully shot action pieces here, and I have to say that car and motorcycle chases through the cobblestone streets of a small European town is one of the best action sequences in any Bond film, it is the characterisation that makes No Time To Die such a special film. It gives the audience a closeness to the characters that is often rare in action franchises and this is one time when Bond’s sexual/personal relationship is very believable. These scenes are beautifully played out by Craig and Seydoux and that becomes a useful tool for the director when he wants to tug at the heart-strings or raise the suspense.

It feels weird saying that an action film is a beautiful film but No Time To Die certainly is. There is a beauty to the way that Fukunaga has shot this film – a 4WD chase through the mists of Scandinavia certainly attests to that. The believability and sheer brilliance of this film makes No Time To Die not only the best Daniel Craig Bond film but one of the best of the franchise that we have ever seen. This is going to become a well-loved Bond classic.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Kyle McGrath’s No Time To Die Review:

Kyle’s rating Out Of 5:

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Summary: 
A stripper named Zola embarks on a wild road trip to Florida.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  18th November 2021 (Australia), 6th August 2021 (UK), 30th June 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Janicza Barvo

Screenwriter: Janicza Bravo, Jeremy O. Harris

Cast: Ben Bladon (Kay), Nicholas Braun (Derrek), Tony Demil (Joe), Colman Domingo (X), Tommy Foxhill (Tommy Tony), Sophie Hall (Baybe), Riley Keough (Stefani), Ts Madison (Hollywood), Jason Mitchell (Dion), Taylour Paige (Zola), Ernest Emmanuel Peeples (Hee), Nasir Rahim (Johnathan), Nelcie Souffrant (Gail), Ari’el Stachel (Sean), Jacquele Stewart (CC)

Running Time: 86 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 18 (UK), R (USA)

OUR ZOLA REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Zola Review:

Zola is truly a film that grew on me the more it continued. During the first few minutes of the film I wondered what I had walked into. The film had a character so annoying that she was beginning to grate on my nerves and I was beginning to think that this was one of those films where I begun to clock watch and dream about what Lygon Street delight I was going to have for lunch. But then something wonderful happened – the film with its own sheer brilliance won me over.

Directed by Janicza Bravo (Lemon) Zola is a film literally adapted from a Twitter feed. It follows of the story of what happened when waitress and sometimes stripper Zola (Taylour Paige – White Boy Rick) meets zany air-head Stefani (Riley Keough – American Honey).

The two become besties and soon Stefani is telling Zola that she needs to pack up for a weekend and travel down to Florida with her because she has found a club where the two can make thousands of dollars in just one weekend. However when Stefani turns up to give Zola a ride she soon learns that they aren’t the only two going on the road-trip. No suddenly there is the seemingly fun-loving X (Colman Domingo – Fear The Walking Dead) and Stefani’s seriously stupid yet seriously devoted boyfriend, Derrek (Nicholas Braun – How To Be Single).

And while Derrek seems to only be a danger to himself as he dreams about making Jackass-style videos Zola soon learns that this money-making trip is going to become a nightmare when she realises that X has different plans for both she and Stefani.

To Janicza Bravo’s credit she is a made a pretty sensational film. Like I said early on this film seemed like it had nothing going for it. Zany social media heavy dialogue that made Stefani and Zola so unlikable that I wouldn’t have cared if they had both been run over by a bus. But sit back for twenty minutes and you realise what Bravo has done is nothing short of genius. She takes the Twitter-speak that this film was born from and soon it is erased away into a movie that is as hard-hitting as anything that Larry Clark ever delivered as a director.

Don’t get me wrong Stefani still remains an annoying character for most of the film but soon you begin to realise why she is that way and you also soon begin to feel for Zola. Her bravedo at the start of the film is soon eroded away when she realises the world of danger that she has suddenly found herself in and you soon find yourself ‘barracking’ for her. The fact that the screenplay also allows for some pretty witty quips despite the danger the characters find themselves in soon makes you realise that you have stumbled across a pretty special film.

Bravo allows Zola to move along at a slow but sweet pace and she touches on some pretty graphic topics in a way that isn’t too off-putting for its audience. This is not exactly the kind of film that you should take to your Grandmother, unless your Grandmother enjoys strippers and drugs, but it is also not the kind of film that you are going to walk away from feeling like you have been scarred for life. Let’s put it this way if you have been able to handle alternative gems like American Honey and Tangerine over the past few years then you are going to be just fine with Zola.

Not only does Zola showcase Janicza Bravo as a young director to watch in the future but it also announces the arrival of Taylour Paige and Riley Keough. Keough straight-away comes across as an actress that could conquer any role sent her way while Paige is a natural leading lady. With sass and acting skills to match she could easily be as at home in a alternative drama or an action film – the world is her oyster.

I should also not forget to mention Nicholas Braun’s performance here either. Braun is brilliant as the pathetic Derrek and he often steals the scenes away from his talented co-stars. Like Paige and Keough I can only hope that he is given more roles to play with in the coming years.

Zola is not a film that everybody will feel comfortable with. It explores the gritty and dark side of stripping and prostitution but has a quick wit and humour to it that makes it the perfect blend of Go! meets Showgirls.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary: 
As a Korean-American man raised in the Louisiana bayou works hard to make a life for his family, he must confront the ghosts of his past as he discovers that he could be deported from the only country he has ever called home.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  18th November 2021 (Australia), 3rd December 2021 (UK), 17th September 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, Canada

Director: Justin Chon

Screenwriter: Justin Chon

Cast: Brad Blanchard (Randy), Martin Bats Bradford (Lajon), Justin Chon (Antonio LeBlanc), Emery Cohen (Denny), Sylvia Grace Crim (Sylvia), Vondie Curtis-Hall (Barry Boucher), Rhonda Johnson Dents (Rhonda), Alexander Garcia (Gulag), Renell Gibbs (Reggie), Jim Gleason (Doctor Keegan), Jacci Gresham (Ms. Jacci), Tyler Henry (Kamal), Altonio Jackson (Quentin aka Q), Sydney Kowalske (Jessie LeBlanc), Ivy Vy Le (Nicole), Susan McPhail (Susanne), Mark O’Brien (Ace), Linh-Dan Pham (Parker Nguyen), Josef A. Pons (Rodrigo), Geraldine Singer (Dawn Landry), Truong Quang Tran (Quoc), Alicia Vikander (Kathy LeBlanc), Toby Vitrano (Merk)

Running Time: 117 mins

Classification: M (Australia), TBC (UK), R (USA)

OUR BLUE BAYOU REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Blue Bayou Review:

Films with the power of Blue Bayou are rare in modern cinema. I’ll admit that when the credits begun to roll I sat there in complete stunned silence. Normally I am the kind of person that turns to my co-host as soon as the credits start and ask them what they thought of the film, but with Blue Bayou we both sat there in stunned silence. Partly because of the power of the film and partly because it is hard to comprehend that in 2021 the story told in Blue Bayou is occurring in the USA nearly every day.

The film centres around the loving couple of tattoo artist Antonio LeBlanc (Justin Chon – Twilight) and physical therapist Kathy LeBlanc (Alicia Vikander – Ex-Machina). They are poor and don’t have much but they have each other and they have their daughter, Jessie (Sydney Kowalske – Girl In The Basement)… and that is enough to make them happy.

Despite the fact that Jessie is from Kathy’s first marriage, to dutiful cop Ace (Mark O’Brien – Arrival), Antonio loves her deeply and the pair share a special bond. Even when he finds out that Kathy is expecting his child he tells Jessie nothing will ever stop him loving her.

But then two events happen that will change things forever. First of all a chance meeting between Antonio and Kathy in a supermarket with Ace and his violently racist partner, Denny (Emory Cohen – Brooklyn), leads to trouble for the couple and deep secrets being revealed. Then Antonio meets the terminally ill Parker Nguyen (Linh-Dan Pham – Mr Nobody) that leads him to ask more questions about his ancestry.

Normally films like Blue Bayou that tug at your heart-strings are told in an almost Hallmark fashion. They are clichéd and you can almost pick every trope and turn before they happen. Blue Bayou isn’t like that though, instead Justin Chon, who is also the film’s director and screenwriter, allow the film to take on a gritty, alternative persona that allows the film to become more hard-hitting and pack an even more powerful punch into its audience’s stomach. Why does it hit so hard? Because Chon is such a talented director that his style of filmmaking seems so natural at times the dialogue and what you are watching are so realistic that you feel like you are watching a documentary.

I’m not going to hold back with this – the story, revealed in the twist of the film, is a story that needed to be exposed to the world and as it turns out Justin Chon was just the right filmmaker to do so. If Chon doesn’t win an Oscar for Blue Bayou, and he really should, then there is no doubt in my mind that one day he certainly will. Not only is his acting in this film award-worthy but his directing certainly is as he has delivered one of the films of the year.

If the Oscars were fair then you would have say that Chon could easily walk away with a swag of Oscars for this film. Best Actor, Best Director, Best Film and Best Screenwriter – and all would be deserved. As much as I marvelled at Chon’s directional skills this film also showcases what a spectacular screenwriter he is as well. This film shows emotion without getting sappy and Chon is a talented enough writer to make sure that none of the film’s twists and turns are revealed before he needs to them. Even better is the fact that he is a mature and brave enough writer to not disappoint the audience with a clichéd Hollywood ending.

This of course is not the Justin Chon show though. As good as Chon’s performance is he is well matched alongside Alicia Vikander who once again reminds cinema audiences that she is well and truly above her Tomb Raider credentials. Like Chon Vikander puts in a truly emotional and dramatic performance that should have tested her limits, but instead she excelled in the role. Together the pair pull off two of the best performances that you are likely to see on the big screen in 2021.

Blue Bayou is not only one of the best films that you will see in 2021, it is also one of the most powerful. This is the kind of film that has you walking away from the cinema angry at just how unjust the world, these are the kinds of films that we need in this world to make a difference. If you loved the power of Nomadland last year be prepared to be floored by the brilliance of Blue Bayou and its creator Justin Chon.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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