Category: Film

Summary: During World War II a young Aboriginal woman sees the injustice that she and her community endures under white settlement and decides to get revenge.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 21st January 2021 (Australia),

VOD Release Dates: 6th January 2021 (Australia)

Country: Australia

Director: Victoria Whafre McIntyre

Screenwriter: Victoria Wharfe McIntyre

Cast: Brendan Bacon (Tick), Eddie Baroo (Bushy), Suzannah Bayes-Morton (Marlee), Lance Brown (Doug Bradfield), Vida Elaine Brown (River Brown), Sarah Butler (Sister Marie), Shaka Cook (Waru Banganha), Angus Rose Dann (Alinta), Joy Jasmin Dann (Lowanna), Kenneth Paul Dann (Nudgee), Priscilla Vida Isabelle Dann (Darri), Summer Sky Dann (Molly), Lucas Dillon (Young Kelly), Anni Finsterer (Wilma Wilson), Rob Flanagan (Terry), Karen Garnsey (Pam Bradfield), Barnaby Hanning (Young Shamus), Rupert Hanning (Young Paddy), Maci Grace Johnson (Wanna), Aaron Jeffrey (William ‘Minto’ Minton), Dean Krywood (Shamus/Paddy Mackay), Simone Landers (Binda Banganha), Alexis Lane (Jarah Banganha), Keith Learn (Sorley Mackay), Peter McAllum (Gerald Mackay), Joseph James Brown McLeod (Gari), Justine Angus May Brown McLeod (Alkina), Paul James McLeod (Uncle Jack), Michael McStay (Constable Neale), Jillian O’Dowd (Constable Brady), Socrates Otto (Miller), Daniel Potts (Detective MacGregor), Soraya Rennie (Billie), Toby James Sakeld (Jackson), Petra Salsjo (Majorie), Tykia Simpson (Young Jarah), Tyson Towney (Knorre), William Usic (Jim Wilson), Bendedict Wall (Kelly Mackay), Dalara Williams (Maggie Banganha), Sarah Woods (Meg)

Running Time: 117 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia)

OUR WORDS THE FLOOD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Flood Review:

I often laugh as a film critic when I see somebody try to compare one film to another when really the films actually don’t share that much in common. That is certainly the case with the brand new Australian film The Flood. As soon as the trailer landed people were comparing it to The Nightingale.

Now I will admit that The Flood does share some similar themes – revenge and retribution (but so does a million other films out there on the market) and it does explore indigenous culture, although to say that it explores the same aspects of indigenous culture as The Nightingale I would have to say is incredibly narrow minded.

Directed by Victoria Wharfe McIntyre (Miro) The Flood explores several themes that I have found to have been sadly not explored on the Australian cinematic landscape. Topics such as indigenous Australians fighting for Australia in war and the brutal rapes that many First Nation’s women had to endure at the hands of the white settlers.

The film centres around Jarah Banganha (Alexis Lane – Cleverman) who during the time of World War II watches as her family is ripped apart by the new ‘laws’ introduced by white settlers including the cruel Gerald Mackay (Peter McAllum – The War At Home) and his son (Dean Kyrwood – Water Horse). While Jarah experiences the first hand cruelty delivered by the settlers her anger is further fuelled when her husband Waru (Shaka Cook – Top End Wedding) returns from war is not treated the same way as his best friend, Minto (Aaron Jeffrey – X-Men Origins: Wolverine).

There is often a harsh diversity to The Flood. The visuals of the Australian bush from cinematographer Kevin Scott (Backburning) are truly spectacular and beautiful but at the same time the events happening in and around them are of sheer brutality. Having said that though the brutal nature of the film is in context and possibly the only way to describe what Victoria Wharfe McIntyre does with the film as similar to the style of Quentin Tarantino with Django Unchained or Inglorious Basterds.

While important themes and often forgotten parts of Australian history are explored during The Flood it is important to remember that at the heart of this film is a genre flick. Dig deep under the storyline of the film is a harsh, yet realistic western caked in revenge in desperation. The mere fact that the screenplay allows for character and character development of course means the film is a lot better than some other revenge flicks I have had to sit through over the years.

I think what I will take away from this film though is the excitement that surrounds the future of Victoria Wharfe McIntyre, Alexis Lane and Shaka Cook. I get a distinct feeling that McIntyre is going to be a great Australian director while it will not take long for Hollywood to come calling for Alexis Lane. Shaka Cook is also sensational in this film and of course has already been snapped up to be part of the Australian production of Hamilton.

While comparisons to the masterpiece that is The Nightingale is completely unfair in its own right The Flood is an amazing genre film that lifts the lid on some of the darker sides of Australian history.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary: A young teenager, who is obsessed with cooking, suddenly finds himself having to battle schizophrenia during his senior year at High School.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 10th December 2020 (Australia), 6th November 2020 (UK), 21st August 2020 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Thor Freudenthal

Screenwriter: Nick Naveda, Julia Walton (based on the book by)

Cast: Cruz Abelita (Danny), Devon Bostick (Joaquin), Aaron Dominguez (Todd), Reinaldo Fabrelle (Manuel), Andy Garcia (Father Patrick), Walton Goggins (Paul), Beth Grant (Sister Catherine), Latifa McIaney (Monica), Molly Parker (Beth), Charlie Plummer (Adam), AnnaSophia Robb (Rebecca), Taylor Russell (Maya), Drew Scheid (Ted), Lobo Sebastian (The Bodyguard), Evan Whitten (Ricky)

Running Time: 110 mins

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

OUR WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Words On Bathroom Walls Review:

There have been some amazing films made about mental illness over the years. Films like Girl, Interrupted and Rain Man have managed to be both entertaining films while exploring mental illness in such a way that they also educated the people watching the film. Now another film joins that list, Words On Bathroom Walls, but this is also a film with a difference because director Thor Freudenthal (Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters) finds creative ways to reveal how a teenager with schizophrenia sees the world.

The teenager at hand is Adam (Charlie PlummerLean On Pete) who lived a pretty regular life with his mother (Molly Parker – The Wicker Man), then all of a sudden everything changed. First his mother began dating Paul (Walton Goggins – The Shield) and then after a violent episode at his High School Adam suddenly finds himself diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Now his constant companions are the rude and obnoxious Joaquin (Devon Bostick The 100), the violent Bodyguard (Lobo Sebastian – The Longest Yard) who seemingly wants to protect Adam whenever he feels threatened and the free-spirited Rebecca (AnnaSophia Robb – The Way Way Back) who surprisingly seems to be full of good ideas.

That’s when the pressure really hits Adam. Suddenly he is at a new school on a strict probation and although he quickly makes friends with Maya (Taylor Russell – Waves) he finds that he can’t tell her about his schizophrenia. Now he has to try and find a way to keep his life together while undertaking a medical trial while the only person he can be honest with is Father Patrick (Andy Garcia – Ocean’s Eleven).

What sets Words On Bathroom Walls apart from most other movies about mental illness is the fact that the film is not simply just ABOUT a character with schizophrenia it is a film written and viewed FROM the perspective of the person with the mental illness. The result is purely unbelievable. The genius of the idea best comes to the screen when Adam is being interviewed by the Head Nun at his new High School while in Adam’s mind the office around them is on fire. The way the scene is handled by Thor Freudenthal is absolutely amazing – visually it is spectacular and for once the audience gets to see how the world through the eyes of someone with schizophrenia… I know for me that visual with stay with me for a long time.

One of the amazing things about this film is that while at its very heart Nick Naveda’s (Say You Will) screenplay is a teenage romance the film goes a lot deeper than that. It has the visual presence of a film like Fight Club while the full rounded characterisation of the characters gives the feel a realism that so few teenage films have.

Those well-rounded characters also give the cast a chance to shine. As many of us who had already seen Looking For Alaska and Lean On Pete knew Charlie Plummer is the future Leonardo DiCaprio. He is amazing actor who just gets stronger and stronger with every performance, but it is easy to see that he has already captured the art of method acting brilliantly well. Here his performance is very reminiscent of the work of a young DiCaprio in The Basketball Diaries.

Plummer is also well supported by Taylor Russell who also put in a hopefully award-winning performance in Waves earlier this year. Walton Goggins also relishes the fact that he gets to play one of the film’s most interesting characters while Andy Garcia is a real stand-out as Father Patrick… one of the more conventional priests to hit the big screen over the past few years.

Words On Bathroom Walls is one of the surprise films of 2020. I went into this expecting just an ordinary teenage drama and came out of firmly believing that I had just seen one of the films of the year. An amazing film that gives the world an insight that they would not normally have while also revealing that there is more to Thor Freudenthal as a director that we may have previously thought.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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A new TV spot airs tonight featuring Marvel Studios’ upcoming new Disney+ series “WandaVision,” a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The spot reveals an original theme song written by Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (“Frozen”), who penned unique songs for several episodes, spanning from the 1950s to the early 2000s.

“‘WandaVision’ is such a cool, strange, one-of-a-kind project,” says Lopez.

“When the director, Matt Shakman—an old friend from my college days—pitched it to us, we didn’t have to think about it. We loved the bright feeling of American sitcoms mixed with the deep sense of unease the story had, and it was a really inviting challenge to help set that tone.”

Adds Anderson-Lopez, “I grew up in the ’80s watching shows from every decade on the networks all day long. Episodes from ‘I Love Lucy,’ ‘Brady Bunch’ and ‘Family Ties’ shaped who I am and how I move through the world. So this project was a dream come true.”

“WandaVision,” the first Marvel Studios series created exclusively for Disney+, stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, Paul Bettany as Vision, Kathryn Hahn as Agnes, and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, who was introduced to audiences in “Captain Marvel.” Kat Dennings will reprise her role as Darcy from “Thor” and “Thor: The Dark World,” and Randall Park will reprise his role as Jimmy Woo from “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” 

Marvel Studios’ “WandaVision” is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems. The series is directed by Matt Shakman with Jac Schaeffer as head writer. Composer is Christophe Beck, and theme (for certain episodes) is by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Featuring nine episodes, “WandaVision” kicks off on Disney+ on January 15, 2021.

THE DRY has taken audiences by storm across Australia, taking in an astounding $3.5 million since it was released on New Year’s Day. The figure gives THE DRY a place amongst the highest grossing Australian film opening weekends, joining classics including HAPPY FEET and MAD MAX.

“The box office results on the dry are truly extraordinary and absolutely confirm that Australian films can deliver blockbuster results alongside their Hollywood counterparts.” Said Joel Pearlman, CEO Roadshow Films “This result is an incredible example of just how willing Australian audiences are to support their own cinema and stories and how important it is for the local filmmaking community to continue to be provided with opportunities to create great works of cinema for Australians to delight in.”

Starring Eric Bana and directed by Robert Connolly, THE DRY is based on Jane Harper’s international and award-winning best-selling novel. Bana plays Aaron Falk, a Federal Agent who returns to his drought-stricken hometown to attend a tragic funeral. But his return opens a decades-old wound — the unsolved death of a teenage girl.

Filmed in Melbourne and throughout the Wimmera region of rural Victoria, THE DRY also stars Genevieve O’Reilly, Keir O’Donnell and Miranda Tapsell alongside newcomers Joe Klocek, Bebe Bettencourt, Sam Corlett and Claude Scott-Mitchell.

Directed by AACTA Award winner Robert Connolly (Balibo, Paper Planes), the film is produced by Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies), Jodi Matterson (Little Monsters) and Steve Hutensky, alongside Bana and Connolly.

Summary: When a woman suspects her husband of having an affair with one of his colleagues she enlists the help of her adulterous father to help her investigate.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 2nd October 2020 (Australia), 2nd October 2020 (UK), 2nd October 2020 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 23rd October 2020 (Australia), 23rd October 2020 (UK), 23rd October 2020 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Sofia Coppola

Screenwriter: Sofia Coppola

Cast: Barbara Bain (Gran), Zoe Bullock (Jenna), Julianna Canfield (Amanda), Alva Chinn (Diane), Nadia Dajani (Kelly), Grayson Eddey (Milo), Lucie Fleming (Lucy), Elizabeth Guindi (Carla), Jessica Henwick (Fiona), Rashida Jones (Laura), Mike Keller (Officer Callaghan), Ximena Lamadrid (Mandy), Bill Murray (Felix), Liyanna Muscat (Maya), Musto Pelinkovicci (Musto), Alexandra Mary Reimer (Theo), Anna Chanel Reimer (Theo), Jenny Slate (Vanessa), Marlon Wayans (Dean), Chase Sui Wonders (Chase), Evangeline Young (Miss Mindy)

Running Time: 96 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12 (UK), R (USA)

OUR ON THE ROCKS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ On The Rocks Review:

When it comes to cinema, bigger isn’t always better. In fact sometimes something very simple can be the best. Sure big explosions and car chases are fun, but nothing works quite as well as a simple film that is just easy to sit back and enjoy. Filmmaker Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides) has been making those kinds of films for over twenty-years now and to be really honest should be included as one of the finest directors in Hollywood at the moment. A quick scan over her career has reveals a number of cult classics like Lost In Translation and The Bling Ring while her last film, The Beguiled, I felt was one of the most under-rated films of 2017.

Now Coppola returns with the simplistic but deeply captivating On The Rocks – a film that instinctly feels more French or Italian than it does American… and I mean that with the very best of intentions. Yes, On The Rocks is a reminder of just how good American cinema can be when in the hands of someone as talented as Coppola and isn’t just trying to fit another movie into a franchise or launch the career of the latest ‘it’ actor or actress.

Set in modern day New York On The Rocks finds successful writer and busy mother, Laura (Rashida Jones – The Social Network), in a quandary. On one hand she feels under-valued in her marriage to her husband, Dean (Marlon Wayans – White Chicks), as his work takes him to exotic destinations and fancy restaurants while she stays home to be ‘mom’, yet she doesn’t say anything because she doesn’t want to rock the boat.

The tension inside her though rises when she becomes suspicious that he may be having an affair with his leggy colleague. Not sure what to do she asks her father, a womanising Art Dealer named Felix (Bill Murray – Moonrise Kingdom) for advice – after all with the number of affairs that he has had he should be an expert on what to look for.

Coppola’s plot does seem simple enough but she does something absolutely magical with it and the result is something beautiful. She uses New York as her canvas brilliantly well and brings a wit to her characters that is normally reserved for one of my favourite filmmakers – the legendary Woody Allen. Through sheer screenwriting brilliance, that will leave any budding screenwriter jealous, Coppola weaves in themes including juggling motherhood with working and how to deal with the dilemma of confronting a cheating partner all while keeping the audience on the edge of their seat as they try to figure out if Dean is cheating or will discover Laura and Felix spying on him.

Perhaps the real genius of this screenplay though is bringing in the amazing storyline of a daughter bonding with her father for the first time in years while they both play ‘detective’. It is obvious that in early scenes that Laura only sees him as an adulterous traitor but as she spends time with him that clearly changes as she really talks to him and finds out his side of the story. That plot also allows Murray to deliver one of his best acting performances in years. At times this storyline makes you feel like you are watching a buddy-cop movie without the badges as Laura and Felix do their own detective work and it is those scenes that make up most of the film’s most magical and memorable moments.

Back to the Allen-esque dialogue and characters though. This was not something that you would normally expect from Coppola. Here she brings a character to screen that most filmmakers would have just prevented as a prick. Instead somehow Coppola works her magic and makes Felix a likable character, something that is only enhanced by a brilliant performance by Murray who shines in every scene with Jones, and together the pair create something memorable. That scene where Felix is pulled over by the cops shows Coppola’s screenwriting is now some of the best in the world as it delivers a barrage of quick-witted humour

Suspenseful, quirky but most importantly full of heart On The Rocks is one of those films that that you know you will return to over and over when you need a comfort film. It is simple but it is American cinema at its best.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary: Tessa and Hardin continue to have ups and downs in their relationship as Tessa settles into a job she loves and Hardin tries to get his life together.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 10th September (Australia), 4th September 2020 (UK), 23rd October 2020 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Roger Kumble

Screenwriter: Mario Celaya, Anna Todd

Cast: Dylan Arnold (Noah), Stuart Berehns (Ron), Selma Blair (Carol), Feng Chao (Kevin), Taylor Conrod (Paige), Vanessa Dubasso (Ally), Rob Estes (King), John Jackson Hunter (Young Hardin), Candice King (Kimberley), Josephine Langford (Tessa), Samuel Larsen (Zed), Louise Lombard (Trish), Shane Paul McGhie (Landon), Pia Mia (Tristan), Constance Payne (Zoe), Max Ragone (Smith), Sarah Rossman (Nadia), Innana Sarkis (Molly), John W. Sparks (Santa Claus), Dylan Sprouse (Trevor), Khadijha Red Thunder (Steph), Hero Fiennes Tiffin (Hardin), Charlie Weber (Christian Vance), Karimah Westbrook (Karen), Ariel Yasmine (Jamie)

Running Time: 105 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR AFTER WE COLLIDED REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ After We Collided Review:

Have sex. Have a fight. Have sex again. Fight again. There you go, I have pretty much saved you from having to waste 100 minutes of your life on After We Collided because that is the sequence of events that play out on repeat all throughout the movie.

That might sound harsh, but I am sorry this film really deserves it because even shows like Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill never had as much teenage angst as this film manages to deliver to the screen. Of course I probably should never have expected more – the first film in this franchise, simply titled After, was a blatant rip-off of Cruel Intentions which of course in itself was a teenage remake of Dangerous Liaisons which in turn was a remake of a French film (lost yet???) – the difference being that Cruel Intentions is one of my favourite teenage movies of all time while After is something that I hope I never have to endure again.

Instead of distancing itself from the C.I. comparison part of the ‘improvements’ that the studio brought to the table for After We Collided was bringing on board Roger Kumble to direct… who of course was the man who directed the Cruel Intentions movie, its sequel and subsequent television show. I really don’t know what to say other than – they really didn’t think that through, did they?

Really, the only change I noticed this time around was that Kumble has given the film a more adult edge. Now the two young lovers – Tessa (Josephine Langford – Intro The Dark) and Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin – Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince) – use adult cuss words and have sex… a lot. The script is still bad, Hero Fiennes Tiffin still isn’t believable as a bad boy and as a result the movie suffers on all levels just as its predecessor did.

Plot-wise the movie picks up just a month after the grand finale of the first film which saw Tessa learn that Hardin only slept with her as part of a bet to take her virginity and no matter how often he declares it she doesn’t believe he loves her. Now Hardin is still heart-broken and deals with his pain by getting tattoo while sober (yep the screenwriter wants you to believe that’s what bad boys do) while Tessa is moving on with her life and becoming an intern at a publishing company… wait isn’t that just Fifty Shades Of Grey without the whips and chains???

From there it feels like the movie is on repeat. Tessa’s mother still don’t like Hardin, they reconcile, they have sex, they fight, they reconcile, they have sex again… and yes it seriously happens four or five time throughout the film. Oh and we finally see Hardin’s mother – played by Louise Lombard (CSI) – and she likes Tessa. Did I mention that Tessa and Hardin have sex a lot and anywhere they like – in bed, in the shower, at her work, in other people’s beds… like I said anywhere they want.

To say nothing much happens in the film is an understatement and it felt wherever I looked I just saw other movies that the film ‘borrowed’ from. This time around Hardin’s wardrobe is the same as Sebastian’s in Cruel Intentions and Hero Fiennes Tiffin just does not work as a bad guy no matter how the screenwriters try to change that.

Bringing Roger Kumble on board should have made After We Collided a better film but suddenly nothing was ever going to save this bomb. Josephine Langford puts in a good acting performance but is badly let down by a screenplay that goes nowhere – the result is badly written film with so many sex scenes it feels like you are watching soft-core porn. Check my worst films list of 2020 and you can guarantee that this will be on it.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary: A man discovers that his wife was living a secret life after she is killed in an accident. He thinks that finding answers about her life will be easy given they live in a small coastal town… he soon finds out though that isn’t the case.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 9th July 2020 (Australia)

VOD Release Dates: 3rd July 2020 (UK), 17th April 2020 (USA)

Country: Iceland, Denmark, Sweden

Director: Hlynur Palmason

Screenwriter: Hlynur Palmason

Cast: Elmir Stefania Agustsdottir (Elin),  Arnmundur Ernst Bjornsson (Hrafn), Laufey Eliasdottir (Ingipjorg), Hilmir Snaer Gudnason (Olgeir), Bjorn Ingi Hilarsson (Trausti), Ida Mekkin Hynsdottir (Salka), Ingvar Sigurdsson (Ingimundar), Siguraur Sigurjonsson (Bjossi), Haraldur Stefansson (Stefan), Sverrir Por Sverrisson (Sveppi), Pour Tulinius (Georg)

Running Time: 109 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (UK)

OUR A WHITE, WHITE DAY REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ A White, White Day Review:

There is just something about Scandinavian cinema that to me makes it stand out from what the rest of the world is producing at the moment. For some reason Scandinavian filmmakers are constantly making movies that are usually gritty, normally on the alternative side and always well written and engrossing. That is certainly the case with director Hlynur Palmason’s (Winter Brothers)brand new film A White, White Day – a film that has an artistic edge but packs such an almighty emotional punch that it should be in consideration when Award’s season swings around.

The film centres around an older Police Officer in a remote Icelandic village named Ingimundur (Ingvar Sigurdsson – Everest) who is currently in a deep emotional slump caused by the recent death of his wife in a car accident. Ingimundur now spends his days casually playing soccer with the local men and looking after his Grand-daughter Salka (newcomer Ida Mekkin Hlynsdottir) who seems to frequently be in the way of her mother’s new life.

Despite seemingly being estranged from his own daughter Ingimundur is always there for Salka and is happily spending his time renovating a run-down home in the hope that it can give Salka a new, more comfortable life. Things start to turn sour though when Ingimundur starts to believe that his wife was having an affair with a local man before her death.

I’ll admit that I felt strange while watching A White, White Day. I could feel that I was loving this film for the reason that people around me were hating it. As a director Palmason uses long-lingering, and sometimes time-lapse, shots as a way to show that nothing really changes in the quiet Icelandic town that the film is set in other than time and the seasons. And while I sat there engrossed in the beauty of these shots by the movement in seats, the crinkling of chocolate wrappers and the frequent rest-room visits around me I could sense that others were not sharing the same view of things that I was.

For me though A White, White Day is one of the most harshly beautiful and engaging movies that you will see in 2020. While at times slow the film does have a strong narrative and there is no way an audience member will find themselves ‘lost’ and unable to work out what is happening despite Palmason’s frequent side journeys into artistic cinema.As I mentioned the film is slow at times but the suspense level is lifted immensely once Ingimundur starts to piece together the supposed truth about his wife and the ‘perhaps’ guilty local, especially when you realise that a confrontation between the two is inevitable.

While I give a lot of credit to Palmason for the way the film looks and plays out I also have to give credit to Ingvar Sigurdsson for his performance as Ingimundar. He puts in a natural and dramatic performance throughout the film but it is the scenes where Ingimundar brutality clashes with his uniformed colleagues that show why Sigurdsson should be considered for ever major acting Award going around. These sequences are going to stay with me for a long time and are right up there as some of the most powerful scenes I have experienced on the big screen.

A White, White Day is slow at times but it is made memorable by a gritty storyline that never lets up and a powerful performance by a leading man who brings a harsh realism to the character he is depicting. This is one bright spark is an otherwise dull 2020 cinema landscape.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary: An ‘average’ woman suddenly finds herself being followed by an A.I. who informs her that by watching her he will decide whether he is going to end humanity or not.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 17th December 2020 (Australia)11th December 2020 (UK)

VOD Release Dates: 26th November 2020 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Ben Falcone

Screenwriter: Steve Mallory

Cast: Usman Ally (Sergei), Mac Alsfeld (Fletcher Dobbs), Sarah Baker (Emily), Michael Beach (General Saul Gomez), Patrick Bristow (Digitel Superintelligence (voice)), Tommy Campbell (Army Major Irvine), Bobby Cannavale (George), James Corden (Voice Of Superintelligence/himself), Nigel Crocker (Airman (Birdman) Brayton), William Daniels (KITT (voice)), Ben Falcone (Agent Charles Kuiper), Eduardo Franco (Todd), Ken Griffey Jnr. (himself), Bryan Tyree Henry (Dennis), Damon Jones (Victor), Jay Lay (Jay), Andrew Tinpo Lee (Mr. Peacock), Steve Mallory (Dean), Melissa McCarthy (Carol), John McKissic (Rico), Courtney Patterson (Carla), Jenny Perusich (Helga), Greg Puckett (Sergeant Cross), Sam Richardson (Agent John Donahue), Jean Smart (President Monahan), Karan Soni (Ahmed), Octavia Spencer (Female Superintelligence (voice)), Jessica St. Clair (Leslie), Rachel Ticoton (Director Tyson), Caroline Trahan (Waitress Debbie)

Running Time: 106 mins

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

OUR SUPERINTELLIGENCE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Superintelligence Review:

I will always be the first to admit that I am somewhat of a hard marker when it comes to comedy. I love stand-up comedy –  I can watch it for hours – yet when it comes to comedy in cinema a majority of films just don’t do it for me. For some reason most of the comedies watch don’t even get a chuckle out of me… and it is normally because they are trying too hard to get their audience to laugh.

That is why it surprises me when very, very simple comedies like Superintelligence work for me. The plot for this film is so simple it is ridiculous yet somehow the film worked for me, largely due to the fact that it never pushes too hard for a laugh yet somehow made me chuckle once or twice anyway.

Directed by Ben Falcone (Tammy) Superintelligence centres around Carol (Melissa McCarthy – Brides Maids) who since losing her job at Yahoo has done what she has can to help a number of charities. During that time she also broke up with the love of her life, the baseball mad writer George (Bobby Cannavale – Ant-Man), and that is something she deeply regrets. Despite how hard her best friend, the very kind Dennis (Brian Tyree Henry – Widows), pushes her Carol just can’t get her life back together.

Her life is then turned completely upside down though when she is suddenly stalked by an A.I (voiced by James Corden – Trolls) who announces that he is going to watch her to learn about humanity. If he likes what he sees he will spare humanity and if he doesn’t he is more than willing to wipe out the entire planet.

Despite the fact the film is a comedy Steve Mallory’s (Life Of The Party) screenplay does take the audience through a wave of emotions. Yes there are times during this film when you will laugh, but there will also be times when you are close to tears and even on the edge of your seat. While this doesn’t seem like the kind of film that I would normally describe this way – this is a very well-rounded film.

There is a really natural feel to this film and McCarthy is a good enough actress to further enhance that feeling. She doesn’t try to overact or work too hard to get a laugh here. Yes, she does her ‘talk to herself’ stick that seems to follow her into every film but for the most part she plays the well-meaning Carol exceptionally well and the scenes that she shares with Bobby Cannavale are filled with emotion. Given the circumstances that the two characters find themselves in, those are the scenes that will see you reaching for the nearest packet of tissues.

What surprised me the most about this film though was the suspense that was generated throughout the film. By the time you reach the half-way mark of this film you soon start to realise that this is not going to be a film where the ending is easily predictable. In a lot of ways that sense of suspense and emotion that this film created reminded me a lot of the Steve Carrell film Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, and yes that was another film that I fell in love with.

I guess the best way for me to sum up how I felt about Superintelligence was surprised. I expected absolutely nothing from this film but somehow it ended up giving me a delightful afternoon filled with emotion. You certainly wouldn’t be wasting your time giving this film a viewing.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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