Category: Romance

 

Summary: The biographical story of musician Jeremy Camp.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 12th March 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 19th June 2020

Australian VOD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin

Screenwriter: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin, Jeremy Camp (book)

Cast: Timothy James Adkinson (Pete Nelson), K.J. Apa (Jeremy), Cameron Arnett (Doctor Furst), Nicolas Bechtel (Jared), Rushi Birudala (Raj), Tanya Christiansen (Jannette), Abigail Cowen (Adrienne), Reuben Dodd (Josh), Hali Everette (Megan Henning), Gregory Hobson (self), Anjelah Johnson-Reyes (Professor Rochester), Marshall Meeker (Yves La Joie), Katie Anne Moy (Jacqueline), Sahjanan Nasser (Maria), Nathan Parsons (Jean-Luc), Britt Robertson (Melissa), Melissa Roxburgh (Heather), Terry Serpico (Mark), Gary Sinise (Tom), Shania Twain (Teri)

Running Time: 116 mins

Classification: PG (Australia)

 

 

OUR I STILL BELIEVE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ I Still Believe Review:

Becoming a teenage heart-throb is the dream of every young actor. But while the pull of stardom is very strong reaching that heart-throb status is never a guarantee of a long and successful Hollywood career.

Flash back to the late 1990s and Dawson’s Creek was the biggest show on television. Its male stars – James Van Der Beek, Joshua Jackson and Kerr Smith were on posters on every teenage girl’s wall around the world. Today all three are lucky to get small roles in television shows and B-Grade movies.

The next actor following in those foot-steps is young star K.J. Apa. The New Zealand local has risen to stardom as the star of Netflix’s very own Gothic teenage mystery show Riverdale where he plays comic book legend Archie Andrews, while his new film I Still Believe opens in cinemas across Thailand this week.

Apa’s movie career to date has been successful from a critical point of view. Films like A Dog’s Purpose and The Last Summer have certainly earned him more fan attention while his work on the gritty The Hate U Give gave him a chance to show the world his acting ability. I Still Believe sees Apa’s career take a whole new direction though… a direction that many of his young fans probably didn’t see coming – the starring role in what many people would label a faith-inspired film.

In I Still Believe Apa plays Jeremy Camp – one of the world’s highest selling Christian musicians. The movie follows Camp’s life from the moment he leaves the country-side home of his parents (played by Gary Sinise and Shania Twain) and heads to college. It is there that he meets musician Jean-Luc (Nathan Parsons – The Originals) who recognises Camp’s musical ability and starts him out on his career.

From there though things don’t exactly go the way that Camp wants them to. First he and Jean-Luc find themselves competing for the affection of the same woman – the beautiful Melissa (Britt Robertson – Tomorrowland). But even that doesn’t run a smooth path when Melissa is diagnosed with cancer and is soon battling massive odds to just survive.

Unlike many ‘religious’ films I Still Believe doesn’t come across as a preachy film. While both Jeremy and Melissa’s faith is there for all to see the film also explores themes of a hope and love as it depicts a young couple facing one of the biggest challenges of their lives. The screenplay also brilliantly allows the plot to explore the story of a man who begins to doubt his own faith as the odds stack up against Melissa.

While many religious films are also plagued by soap-opera style writing and bad acting that certainly isn’t the case with I Still Believe. Directors Andrew and Jon Erwin (October Baby) doesn’t hold back at all with this film. The audience will find themselves tested as the plot causes you to start to think about your own beliefs and how you would cope in circumstances where it appears that your partner may not survive. While Camp is a Christian the film would cause people of any faith or belief to look deep inside and explore how they would react in the same circumstance.

Likewise the directors also test their young stars. Britt Robertson is at times unrecognisable as she plays the terminally ill Melissa but the acting tour-de-force here is Kapa. In Riverdale we have had to watch Kapa deal with the death of his on screen father, which was brought about due to the off-screen death of actor Luke Perry, and once again here Kapa is put through an absolute acting wringer. Some of the sequences here as Camp goes through a personal and faith-driven breakdown would have been brutal and emotionally-toiling on Kapa. To the young star’s credit though he pulls them off with ease and many of his scenes have the power to have the audience in tears. If there was any question at all over whether Kapa had the acting ability to forge a career outside of Riverdale this is the film that proves the world his is oyster.

I Still Believe may be an emotional viewing for some audience members, but it is well worth packing the box of tissues and sitting through. A thought-provoking and challenging story-line mixed with a young star putting in the performance of his young career makes I Still Believe one of the biggest surprises of  2020.

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

I Still Believe (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment I Still Believe Reviews:

Nil.

 

Trailer:

 

Summary: An older couple’s friendship grows as they meet each day to walk their dogs.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 20th July 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Paul Morrison

Screenwriter: Paul Morrison

Cast: Graham Cole (Jimmy), Bob Goody (George), Dave Johns (Dave), Marsha Millar (Marsha), Oliver Powell (Saul), Natalie Simpson (Donna), Vivienne Soan (Chaplin), Alison Steadman (Fern)

Running Time: 102 mins

Classification: M (Australia)

 

 

OUR 23 WALKS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ 23 Walks Review:

From the outside 23 Walks looks like it is going to be a run-of-the-mill romance between two older member of our society. How looks can be deceiving though. Scratch under the surface of 23 Walks and you discover a brilliantly written film that packs quite a punch as it explores social topics that many other films would shy away from.

The film centres around David (Dave Johns – I, Daniel Blake) and Fern (Alison Steadman – Pride & Prejudice) who innocently meet while walking their two dogs on the moors near their homes. At first Fern is stand-offish with David but as the two begin to meet each day and walk together they become closer friends. The fact that they both have secrets that they keep from each other has the potential to de-rail their friendship though as things come out into the open.

Even a brief read of the synopsis of 23 Walks makes it feel like a film that we have all seen a million times over. The key to getting the best out of the film though is to go into the cinemas knowing nothing about the twists and turns that the film takes as David and Fern’s friendship begins on its journey. It is hard to imagine but if you don’t know what those twists are then this film rides with you with the energy of a suspense rather than a drama.

The power of this film comes completely from the screenplay of director/writer Paul Morrison (Little Ashes). Writing like this is a rarity in films these days. The dialogue between David and Fern at times seems so natural that you would swear that is has been ad-libbed rather than scripted, while the many turns that the plot takes are in no way sign-posted. The result is that as an audience you get the shock and emotional slap that the characters endure as the surprise is revealed to them.

Much like Dave Johns previous film I, Daniel Blake this is a film that explores some pretty deep topics. From looking at what happens when somebody in public housing is ‘moved on’ by the council through to what happens when family members disagree with their aging parents getting involved in a relationship. This film goes deep but never bogs itself down by trying to preach and falling into the trap of getting political. Often a film involving older members of society will also try to portray them in a ‘perfect’ light, 23 Walks never does this – in fact it does the complete opposite and exposes both David and Fern as having emotional hang-ups that make them far from perfect.

As a filmmaker Morrison also knows the power of the expression ‘less means more.’ Scenes such as Fern’s ex getting angry when he realises that Dave has stayed over or Dave’s daughter telling him off over his relationship with Fern stick with you as the film goes on, but Morrison knows that in order for that to happen he doesn’t have to repeat the does ten times throughout the film. Instead the one time it happens is so brilliantly written that it hits the mark and stays there.

The great script also allows Dave Johns and Alison Steadman the chance to shine. Grouped together with his performance in I,Daniel Blake Johns shows that he is a likable actor who is afraid to take on confronting roles – one again he deserves to win awards for his work here, anything else is just wrong. Likewise Steadman was born to play Fern. She plays her uneasiness to a tee and like John makes her character likable to the audience despite her flaws. Together the two pull off two of the best performances you will see in cinema this year.

Thought-provoking, dramatic and at times intense 23 Walks is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a film before watching. The film comes from one of the best screenplays of 2020 and gives its two leads the opportunity to pull off some sensational performances.

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

TBA

 

Other Subculture Entertainment 23 Walks Reviews:

Nil.

 

Trailer:

Hardin will always be… Hardin. But is he really the deep, thoughtful guy Tessa fell madly in love with— or has he been a stranger all along? She wishes she could walk away. It’s just not that easy. Not with the memory of the passionate nights they spent together. Still, Tessa’s not sure she can endure one more broken promise. She’s focused on her studies and just starting an exciting new internship at Vance Publishing. She’s also being pursued by Trevor, a handsome new co-worker who is exactly the kind of guy she should be with. Hardin knows he made a mistake, possibly the biggest one of his life. He wants to right his wrongs and overcome his demons. He’s not going to lose Tessa without a fight. But can he change? Will he change… for love? AFTER WE COLLIDED… Life will never be the same.

AFTER WE COLLIDED is directed by Roger Kumble and stars Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Dylan Sprouse, Shane Paul McGhie, Louise Lombard, Candice King and Charlie Weber.

AFTER WE COLLIDED releases in Australia in theatres on September 10, 2020.

 

Summary: It’s Friday night and five friends on the cusp of adulthood gather at a house to celebrate the end of another school week.

Year: 2018

Australian Cinema Release Date: NA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: NA

Australian VOD Release Date: 10th June 2020

Country: Australia

Director: Harley Hefford, Evan J. Martin

Screenwriter: Harley Hefford, Evan J. Martin

Cast: Fredricka Arthur (Laura), Daniel Cockburn (Jackson), Rachel Lee (Michelle), Eddie Orton (Dave), Keith Purcell (Brett), Ashley Stocco (Sarah)

Running Time: 91 mins

Classification: TBC (Australia)

 

 

OUR ABOUT AN AGE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ About An Age Review:

It’s Friday night in country Victoria. Four teenagers organise an after school get-together complete with a parent-free home and a coach bought slab of beer. So realistic is the scenario that I could be describing a new reality television show… a reality show based on my own teenage years if I was being painfully honest.

Who needs reality television though when you have storytellers like first time feature filmmakers Harley Hefford and Evan J. Martin? So natural is the dialogue and acting in new coming-of-age film About An Age you would swear that Hefford and Martin just set up characters around a Macedon property and recorded whatever the teenagers at hand were saying and doing.

The natural feel to the film also includes the story at hand. There are no superhero teenagers or gigantic robots along for the ride – instead the story is simple. Twins Dave (Eddie Orton – Statement) and Michelle (Rachel Lee – Emo The Musical) organise a Friday winding down session. Dave invites his best friend Brett (Keith Purcell – Neighbours) who has a crush on Michelle’s best friend Sarah (Ashley Stocco – My Life Is Murder) who is also a guest at the get-together. To round things off Michelle invites her new boyfriend Jackson (Daniel Cockburn – newcomer) who returns to the country for the first time after attending university in the city.

Talk on the night centres around future occupations, who likes who and exams but then things start to get tenser as the drinks flow and games like ‘Truth Or Dare’ get thrown into the mix. As secrets start to get exposed emotions start to flow.

Maybe one of the reasons I loved About An Age so much is because the story could have been plucked from any Friday night of my High School years. I’d like to think a lot of that love though comes from the fact that the natural storytelling seen here in this film is so rarely in cinema these days. Perhaps hearing a group of teenagers talk about whether they should study advertising or hairdressing isn’t thought-provoking cinema. But for a teenager living in the country all of issues raised in this film, especially the fear of moving to the city and becoming part of ‘city life’ is very, very real. These types of topics are something rarely explored on screen as well so credit must be paid to Hefford and Martin for going into unchartered territory.

The naturalistic style of screenwriting also allows for the young stars of this film really shine. While the entire cast deserves credit I feel that Keith Purcell could well make a real name for himself when it comes to comedic acting while Ashley Stocco is the next Margot Robbie in the making. Any Australian producers and directors looking to cast their projects are doing themselves a disservice if they don’t look at this cast when casting their new projects.

For me About An Age is one of the surprises of 2020. With a perfect cast and some amazingly realistic dialogue this is a film that I feel will launch the careers of all involved. Light-hearted and fun at times, tense and suspenseful at others this coming-of-age flick is a brilliant snapshot of teenage life in the country.

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:
About an Age (2018) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment About An Age Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer: N/A

 

The modern day fairytale drama The Baker & the Beauty will premiere exclusively on Stan from 14 April, same day as the US. The heartwarming trailer for the series takes us on a dramatic rollercoaster ride that navigates family, fame and finding true love.

The uplifting romantic drama series will take viewers on a flavour-filled adventure between relatable everyman Daniel Garcia and international superstar Noa Hamilton. Daniel is working in the family bakery and doing everything that his loving Cuban parents and siblings expect him to do. But when he meets Noa on a wild Miami night, his life moves into the spotlight. Will this unlikely couple upend their lives to be together and pull his family into a culture clash?

The Baker and the Beauty stars Australian actress Nathalie Kelley (Furious 7) as Noa Hamilton, Victor Rasuk (Jack Ryan, 50 Shades of Grey Franchise) as Daniel Garcia, Carlos Gómez (Madam Secretary) as Rafael Garcia, Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal) as Lewis, Lisa Vidal (Being Mary Jane) as Mari Garcia, David Del Rio (Pitch Perfect) as Mateo Garcia, Belissa Escobedo as Natalie and Michelle Veintimilla (Gotham) as Vanessa.

Dean Georgaris is the writer/executive producer and showrunner. The Baker and the Beauty is based on the hit Israeli show created by Assi Azar, originally for Keshet Broadcasting. Keshet’s Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan are executive producers, along with Assi Azar. Jim Chory and Steve Pearlman also serve as executive producers.

The Baker & the Beauty premieres 14 April only on Stan, with new episodes weekly
– same day as the US.

 

In Red Rover, coming to digital this May, after feeling he has nothing left to live for on earth, a lonely geologist tries to qualify for a one-way mission to Mars with the help of an offbeat musician who is just as lost as he is.

From director Shane Belcourt, and starring Kristian Bruun (Ready or Not), Cara Gee (The Expanse), Meghan Heffern (“Wynonna Earp”), and Anna Hopkins (“The Expanse”), Red Rover premieres On Demand May 12 from Indiecan Entertainment.

Damon (Kristian Bruun) spends his waking hours searching for that elusive something. Whether it’s for deeper meaning, love, or just “treasure” on the beach with his metal detector, but to no avail. So when Damon meets an offbeat musician named Phoebe (Cara Gee) handing out flyers for a one way trip to Mars, a bond quickly forms. She’s going to help him find that thing he is looking for by sending him 33.9 million miles away, even though what he needs might be right in front of him.

Summary: A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 12th March 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States, Canada

Director: Melina Matsoukas

Screenwriter: Lena Waithe

Cast: Flea (Mr Shepherd), Melina Halfkenny (Naomi), Daniel Kaluuya (Slim), Benito Martinez (Sheriff Edgar), Indya Moore (Goddess), Chloe Sevigny (Mrs. Shepherd), Sturgill Simpson (Police Officer Reed), Bryant Tardy (Chubby), Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen), Jahi Di’Allo Winston (Junior), Bokeem Woodbine (Uncle Earl)

Running Time: 132 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia)

 

 

OUR QUEEN & SLIM REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Queen & Slim Review

There have been a number of films over the years that have dealt with the topic of white Police violence against black citizens. Films like Fruitville Station and The Hate U Give have shown a spotlight on the issue with some sheer cinematic brilliance. Now comes Queen & Slim a film that explores the topic while bordering on being a genre flick.

Directed by Melina Matsoukas (Insecure) Queen & Slim possibly depicts one of the worst Tinder dates of all time. Bored and frustrated are having one of her clients put to death lawyer Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith – Jett) responds to a Tinder request from the quiet and law-abiding Slim (Daniel Kaluuya – Black Panther). However, the date ends disastrously when on their way home they are pulled over by a white Police Officer. When he pulls his gun and shoots Queen Slim is forced to kill him in self defence.

Convinced that nobody will believe their story the pair begin a journey across America aided by Slim’s ex-military turned criminal Uncle Earl (Bokeem Woodbine – Spider-Man: Homecoming) as they try to evade the manhunt that is now coming their way. Meanwhile the rest of America takes sides – some say they should be brought in as criminals while others want to help them escape Police.

The first thing that I should say about Queen & Slim is that this is not a multiplex film. I’ve read comments that the film is over-long etc. That simply is not true, but as you view the film your realise that Matsoukas has shot this is a way that is reminiscent of the arthouse films that Larry Clarke made in his heyday – films like Bully and Kids that made a point and stuck with you long after the credits had rolled.

The style in which Matsoukas has shot this film is hard-hitting and gritty. She is a filmmaker who is obviously not afraid to take risks – how many other filmmakers these days would have the courage to have an entire scene shot from a camera mounted and locked off on a car. Her style also allows the audience to feel like they are part of the action which in turn makes you feel a lot closer to the two main characters – Queen and Slim. The result is an understanding and closeness to them that most other filmmakers could only dream about capturing.

Having said that though there are some weaknesses with the film. At times it feels like as a director Matsoukas has been let down by the screenplay she is working with. There are too many times during the film were events happen that should be treated as major events but are never fully explored. From a man who wants to talk to them but is hit by their car through to a teenager who idolises them despite his father’s beliefs, these events happen way too fast and the audience never really get to feel the full affect of the events that surround these characters.

The film is at its best though when it allows the audience to soak up the locations and the characters that the characters find themselves around as the film goes on. One of the best characters in the film is Queen’s Uncle Earl and because of the extended time you spend with him as character the impact of his involvement in the story weighs more heavily for the audience watching. Likewise when Slim takes Queen to a dingy blues bar – the suspense is through the roof as you are never really sure whether the couple are welcome there or whether someone will turn them in.

One of the highlights of the film though are the acting performances. If nothing else Queen & Slim has introduced the cinematic world to two future stars. Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner Smith put in two stunning performances. No matter whether they are asked to deliver a deep and meaningful dramatic scene moved along only by dialogue or asked to perform graphic sex in the front seat of a car the two deliver in spades. As the film meanders along you get a strong feeling that these two actors are people we are going to be watching on the big screen for many years to come.

As a film Queen & Slim does have its flaws but it also has moments of true cinematic awe as well. Two brilliantly performed roles by the film’s stars makes up for the film’s errors while Bokeem Woodbine makes a welcome return in a truly memorable performance that only he could deliver. Likewise the film introduces us to a filmmaker that can only be described as a director that we all need to become aware of. Melina Matsoukas’ gritty style of filmmaking is a welcome relief in a cinematic world where it feels like every film needs to look ‘clean.’ Hard-hitting and at times experimental Queen & Slim is not a film that is easy to forget.

 

 

 

IMDB Rating: 
Queen & Slim (2019) on IMDb

Other Subculture Entertainment Queen & Slim Reviews: N/A

Trailer: