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.
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
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.
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.
For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighbourhood hero’s identity is revealed, bringing his Super Hero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk. When he enlists Doctor Strange’s help to restore his secret, the spell tears a hole in their world, releasing the most powerful villains who’ve ever fought a Spider-Man in any universe. Now, Peter will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his own future but the future of the Multiverse.
Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon with Marisa Tomei
Directed by Jon Watts
Based on the MARVEL Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Summary: An Interpol agent tracks the world’s most wanted art thief.
Cinema Release Dates: 5th November 2021 (Australia), 5th November 2021 (UK), 5th November 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: 12th November 2021 (Australia), 12th November 2021 (Thailand), 12th November 2021 (UK), 12th November 2021 (USA)
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Screenwriter: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Vincenzo Amato (Director Gallo), Ritu Aya (Inspector Urvashi Das), Daniel Bernhardt (Drago Grande), Robert Clotworthy (Opening Narrator), Chris Diamantopoulos (Sotto Voce), Gal Gadot (The Bishop), Ethan Herschenfeld (Aranoub Magdy), Dwayne Johnson (John Hartley), Ivan Mbakop (Tambwe), Brenna Marie Narayan (Cleopatra), Rafael Petardi (Security Chief Ricci), Ryan Reynolds (Nolan Booth), Ed Sheeran (himself)
Running Time: 118 mins
Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)
OUR RED NOTICE REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Red Notice Review:
It is perhaps a sign of the times when the biggest film to be released in Phuket this week is on a streaming platform despite the fact that cinemas are open. And when we say big – we mean big in every single way. Not only is Netflix’s Red Notice starring three of the biggest names in Hollywood at the moment – the film itself is the most expensive Netflix film ever made with a budget of around US$160 million. The good news is that this time we also have a big budget film that works in every single way.
Directed and written by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Skyscraper) Red Notice begins with Special Agents John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson – Moana) and Urvashi Das (Ritu Arya – The Umbrella Academy) hot on the heels of notorious art and relic thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool) as he is about to steal one of Cleopatra’s rare golden eggs.
However when Hartley suddenly finds himself named as an accomplice of Booth’s he suddenly has to find himself teaming up with Booth and going up against his arch rival, The Bishop (Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman), in a bid to find the other golden eggs and clearing his name.
The plot of Red Notice seems simple but it’s not. Thurber’s screenplay is intricate with twists and turns galore that are forever catching their audience off guard. You could forgive a film starring three big names if it decided to become a walking cliché but that is something that Red Notice certainly never does. Instead it becomes a smart film that seems like a cross between Ocean’s Eleven and Indiana Jones and somehow manages to work to the point that it is sure to become one of the most memorable films of 2021.
As a film it is sleek – really sleek. The screenplay delivers a believability to it while its action set pieces look so good they could have been taken straight from a Bond film – there are fast cars, ritzy locations and chases galore, and somehow it all comes together to create something quite magical. Some people maybe a little worried about seeing Rawson Marshall Thurber’s name as director given that his last action film – Skyscraper – was such an awful clichéd mess, but Thurber has obviously learnt from his mistakes because Red Notice is flawless.
In fact one of the things that makes this film so special is the fact that Thurber has mixed genres so well together his past. While everybody wants to forget Skyscraper we need to remember that Thurber is also the man responsible for the best comedies of the last decade – We’re The Millers. That brilliant comedic timing is certainly present here in Red Notice, the film contains some absolute zingers with dialogue – and this is one time when outside the Deadpool universe where Ryan Reynolds smart-ass routine actually works well and enhances his character. You get a strong feeling while watching the film part of Reynolds’ performance working so well most likely comes back to Thurber’s screenplay.
The other thing that makes Red Notice work so well are the performances of its stars. Gadot, Johnson and Reynolds have a special magic between them that makes them one of the best ensembles we have seen over recent years. Whether it be delivering comedic lines between each other and locked in battle with some spectacular fight sequences these three work together brilliantly well. Gadot cements herself as a screen siren who can deliver both action and drama with her role of The Bishop while Johnson once again mixes action and comedy together brilliantly well and shows why he deserves to be called the biggest star in Hollywood at the moment.
Red Notice is perhaps one of the biggest surprises of 2021. This is one slick action/crime flick that also contains just the right amount of humour without tripping itself it. Its three leads bring their A-Game and they are working with a screenplay that delivers a truly memorable heist film. This is an amazing film and once again Netflix have delivered a game-changer in the cinematic universe.
For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighbourhood hero is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life from the high-stakes of being a Super Hero. When he asks for help from Doctor Strange the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon with Marisa Tomei
Umbrella Entertainment in association with Monster Fest Presents are pleased to announce the release of BEYOND THE WASTELAND, launching with the World Premiere on February 5th.
BEYOND THE WASTELAND is a new Australian documentary that examines the culture rooted in MAD MAX (1979) and MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981), both of which became instant international cult films during the 1980s, examining the influence that they have had on contemporary culture by featuring the fans that live and breathe all that is MAD MAX.
Director/Producer Eddie Beyrouthy and Producer Phil Lambert of The Picture Lot travel the world in search of the ultimate MAD MAX fans and explore the level of obsession these true believers have, from costumes to cars to entire lifestyles.
BEYOND THE WASTELAND will have its World Premiere on Saturday 5th February at Village Cinemas Coburg Drive-In in Melbourne, Victoria.
Following the Premiere, BEYOND THE WASTELAND will travel around Australia in a series of special fan-based event screenings that will feature Q&As with Cast & Crew from both the documentary and the original films, along with MAD MAX-inspired vehicles and cosplayers.
2022 SCREENING DATES
SATURDAY 5TH FEB 8.45PM VIC: Coburg Village Drive-In [World Premiere] w/ Q&A by Eddie Beyrouthy (Director/Producer) & Phil Lambert (Producer) Tickets
SUNDAY 6TH FEB 7PM VIC: Village Cinemas Morwell w/ Q&A by Eddie Beyrouthy (Director/Producer) & Phil Lambert (Producer) Tickets
FRIDAY 11TH FEB 8.30PM SA: Mainline Drive-In Adelaide w/ Q&A by Eddie Beyrouthy (Director/Producer) & Phil Lambert (Producer) Tickets
SATURDAY 12TH FEB 7PM NSW: Silver City Cinema Broken Hill w/ Q&A by Eddie Beyrouthy (Director/Producer) & Phil Lambert (Producer)
SATURDAY 19TH FEB 8.30PM VIC: Showbiz Cinemas Drive-In Ballarat w/ Q&A by Eddie Beyrouthy (Director/Producer) & Phil Lambert (Producer)
SATURDAY 26TH FEB 8PM NSW: Event Skyline Drive-In Blacktown Sydney w/ Q&A by Eddie Beyrouthy (Director/Producer), Phil Lambert (Producer), Roger ‘Fifi’ Ward (Actor, MAD MAX) and Paul ‘Cundalini’ Johnstone (Actor, MAD MAX) Tickets
James Bond fans could be forgiven for getting a little bit impatient in their wait for the latest film in the franchise – No Time To Die. Due to a worldwide pandemic the film has ended up coming nearly 18 months later than it was supposed to and of course this isn’t just any Bond film – this is the final film for the man that many say has played the best version of Bond – Daniel Craig.
That is something that is certainly not lost on Craig himself. “I’ve spent the last 16 years of my life playing James Bond,” he says as he rubs his brow deep in thought. “That is almost impossible to imagine now because it only feels like yesterday that I started it. It has been phenomenal – an incredible experience on both a professional level and a personal level.”
“It really has been a privilege to be part of the Bond universe and to play James Bond,” he says continuing and it is easy to see that he is lost for words. “I still don’t believe that I am James Bond today and I guess that just goes to show that it is beyond my imagination.”
Of course James Bond fans are getting ready for that moment that will be Daniel Craig’s last moment on screen as Bond but for the actor himself he had to prepare himself for that final day of shooting after which he had to hand back his license to kill.
“On set my final day as at Pinewood,” he explains. “It was actually my last night because it was the middle of the night and it was raining. It was cold and I thought everybody would just want to go home and I was expecting for it to be a quick goodbye but then all of the cast and all of the crew, even some came down out of the offices to say goodbye and it was very emotional. I had to make a speech and I’m not very good at making speeches because I don’t like giving them. But I really had to try and keep it together and it was difficult because I felt very emotional.
It is also obvious through chatting to Craig that is well aware of the legacy that he is now part of. “Way back when Sean Connery first appeared in Bond movies there was no such thing as a blockbuster,” he explains. “I mean there were big, big movies but there was no such things as big action, adventure movies – there were war movies but there was nothing quite like them and they have kind of set a tone for cinemas since then and they have been an event whenever they have come out. There has been a song, there has been fashion, there has been politics and all of the things that go along with a Bond movie. I think Fleming’s novels put them on their way but I think it is how they have been produced over the years that has kept them an exciting thing to look forward to for families and everybody.”
One of the big questions that had been circulating around Hollywood was who would the person be that would bring Daniel Craig’s last Bond film to the big screen and in the end that role was given to director Cary Joji Fukunaga who was known for films such as Sin nombre and Beasts Of No Nation. It is easy to see from listening to Craig that he believes Fukunaga was the right man for the job.
“Cary has brought a unique sense of style to the film,” says Craig after thinking for a moment. “He is very different from the other directors that we have had before and I was really keen for somebody different to come on board so the look and feel of the movie would be very unique, but foremost he is a Bond fan so he understood the importance of the tropes and of the gags that everybody is used to. He has also put his own particular spin on them which is more than I could have ever hoped for.”
Summary: The saga of the Eternals, a race of immortal beings who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations.
Cinema Release Dates: 4th November 2021 (Australia), 4th November 2021 (Thailand), 5th November 2021 (UK), 5th November 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Country: USA, UK
Director: Chloe Zhao
Screenwriter: Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, Chloe Zhao
Cast: Gemma Chan (Sersi), Esai Daniel Cross (Jack), Hannah Dodd (Sandra), Ma Dong-seok (Gilgamesh), Adria Escuero (Diego), Kit Harington (Dane Whitman), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Angelina Jolie (Thena), David Kaye (Arishem (voice)), Barry Keoghan (Druig), Richard Madden (Ikaris), Lia McHugh (Sprite), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Patton Oswalt (Pip The Troll), Harish Patel (Karun), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), Alan Scott (Patrick), Bill Skarsgard (Kro), Haaz Sleiman (Ben), Harry Styles (Eros), Sebastian Capitan Viveros (Jano)
Running Time: 157 mins
Classification: M (Australia), 13 (Thailand), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)
OUR ETERNALS REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Eternals Review:
Another week, another Marvel film. That is certainly the way it feels at the moment. Shang-Chi And The Legend of The Ten Rings is still in cinemas and we have Venom: Let There Be Carnage and a new Spider-Man movie being released in the next couple of months. Now this week we have Eternals being released and once again we see that the Marvel juggernaut is deciding to do things differently with this ‘phase’ of the Marvel Universe.
Shang-Chi was the first step away from what the loud, brash films that fans right around world came to know and love. It had its fair share of battle sequences but the Asian cinema influence on the film was very clear and now with Eternals we see Marvel try something else new – alternative film-making.
Directed by Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) Eternals does everything it can do to try and separate itself from Marvel’s past but you could argue that the film doesn’t exactly tick off all of its goals even though it is still an enjoyable watch.
The film centres around a group of heroes (literally Gods) sent to this Earth thousands of years ago to protect humanity from beings known as Deviants. Over the years relationships formed between the Eternals – Ikaris (Richard Madden – Cinderella) and Cersei (Gemma Chan – Let Them All Talk) got married and then broke up while for her own mental stability Gilgamesh (Ma Dong-seok – Train To Busan) took Thena (Angelina Jolie – Maleficent) away from humanity completly.
Now in modern times Cersei is living in London with Sprite (Lia McHugh – The Lodge) and is romantically attached to a human – the intelligent Dane Whitman (Kit Harington – Game Of Thrones) but their world is suddenly turned upside down when the thought-to-be-extinct Deviants suddenly reappear and begin attacking the Eternals themselves.
To be honest there are more Eternals in this film than I can mention here and that is one of the biggest flaws of this film. There are so many characters here that it is difficult to find yourself getting attached to any of them. Sure Druig (Barry Keoghan – Dunkirk) and Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani – Stuber) stand out because of their over the top personalitites but too many of the other Eternals become background noise as the audience focuses on Thena, Ikaris and Cersei. This feels like an ensemble film like The Avengers or the later X-Men movies but the issue is the audience really hasn’t had time to get to know the characters yet.
Still there are more plusses than negatives to the film. The characters that do stand-out are instantly likable and it is easy to see that at some time stand-alone films will be needed especially for Cersei and Thena and in a way you do find yourself liking the characters so much that you almost wish that this was the start of a television series that could allow you to see the characters become fleshed out a little more.
As a director Chloe Zhao does all she can to give this film its own identity. She tries to bring in more characterisation and introduces a more ‘adult’ feel to the film with scenes of romance and sex. It works, as does Zhao’s expert way of showing how the Eternals have co-existed with humans throughout the ages but at the end of the day this is Marvel movie and at some time Zhao had to bite the bullet and deliver some action sequences.
Yes, Zhao does steer the film away from AC/DC laden city crushing sequences and while the forest battle that ensues after the Eternals reunite with Druig works really well with its Asian cinema inspired feel the grand finale of this film lacks that memorable moment that it should have had. Yes, it moved the characters’ journeys along a lot and revealed a lot of secrets that begin a whole new adventure but even with volcanoes and rising statues it lacks the ‘wow’ factor that it needed.
Having said that though Eternals is still a worthy watch. It does introduce the audience to some characters that you feel are going to be very important going forward and it is obvious that Gemma Chan and Angelina Jolie had a lot of fun with their roles. Likewise the alternative feel throughout the film does work well but sadly the film is a little over-shadowed by the ‘transition’ feel that is ever present as fans everywhere get used to Marvel films without Iron-Man and Captain America. To sum up though – Eternals is really only for the hardcore Marvel fans.
Over one day across the streets of L.A., three lives will change forever.
In this breakneck thriller from director-producer Michael Bay, decorated veteran Will Sharp (Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Candyman, The Matrix Resurrections), desperate for money to cover his wife’s medical bills, asks for help from the one person he knows he shouldn’t—his adoptive brother Danny (Oscar® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal, Zodiac, Spider-Man: Far From Home). A charismatic career criminal, Danny instead offers him a score: the biggest bank heist in Los Angeles history: $32 million. With his wife’s survival on the line, Will can’t say no.
But when their getaway goes spectacularly wrong, the desperate brothers hijack an ambulance with a wounded cop clinging to life and ace EMT Cam Thompson (Eiza González, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Baby Driver) onboard. In a high-speed pursuit that never stops, Will and Danny must evade a massive, city-wide law enforcement response, keep their hostages alive, and somehow try not to kill each other, all while executing the most insane escape L.A. has ever seen.
Ambulance is produced by Michael Bay, p.g.a., Bradley J. Fischer, p.g.a. (Zodiac, Shutter Island) for New Republic Pictures, James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, 2022’s Scream) and William Sherak (Ready or Not, 2022’s Scream) for Project X, and Oscar® nominee Ian Bryce (Transformers franchise, Saving Private Ryan).
The screenplay is by Chris Fedak (Prodigal Son, Chuck), based on the original story and screenplay for the 2005 Danish thriller Ambulancen by Laurits Munch-Petersen and Lars Andreas Pedersen.