Tagged: Josh McConville

Summary:  Doctor Strange teams uFrom his childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi to his rise to stardom starting in Memphis, Tennessee and his conquering of Las Vegas, Nevada, Elvis Presley becomes the first rock ‘n roll star and changes the world with his music.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  23rd June 2022 (Australia), 23rd June 2022 (Thailand), 24th June 2022 (UK), 24th June 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Australia, USA

Director: Baz Luhrman

Screenwriter: Baz Luhrman, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, Jeremy Doner

Cast: Charles Allen (Reverend Brewster), Princess Mariama Andrews (Sweet Inspirations – Cissy), Gad Banza (Shake Rag Friend – Doc), Natasha Bassett (Dixie Locke), Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Dee Stanley), Nicholas Bell (Senator Eastland), Mike Bingaman (Sonny West), Liz Blackett (Grandma Dodger), Luke Bracey (Jerry Schilling), Sharon Brooks (Sweet Inspirations – Sylvia), Miles Burton (Shake Rag Friend – Bobby), Austin Butler (Elvis), Gary Clark Jr. (Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup), Sandro Colarelli (Tony Goochera), Josie Cross (Glenda), Elizabeth Cullen (Natalie – Motel Girl), Gareth Davies (Bones Howe), Olivia DeJonge (Priscilla), Hilton Hyppolite Denis (Claude Thompson), Shonka Dukureh (Big Mama Thornton/Pentecostal Singer), Adam Dunn (Bill Black), Leon Ford (Tom Diskin), Miranda Frangou (Nell), Charles Grounds (Billy Smith), Tom Hanks (Colonel Tom Parker), Kelvin Harrison Jr. (B.B. King), Chaydon Jay (Young Elvis), ALyson Joyce (Marie Knight), Jenna Kenney (Barbara Hearn), Aristene Kisando (Sweet Inspirations – Myrna), Christian Kisando (Shake Rag Friend – Smoky), Alex Knight (Ron Tutt), Alton Mason (Little Richard), Christian McCarty (Red West), Josh McConville (Sam Phillips), Jack McGirr (Tommy), Senayt Mebrahtu (Sweet Inspirations – Estelle), Ange Miliken (Madam Z), Dacre Montgomery (Steve Binder), Andrea Moor (Nurse Tish), Cle Morgan (Mahalia Jackson), John Mukristayo (Jimmy), Kate Mulvany (Marion Keisker), Tony Nixon (Dr. Nick), Sarah Ogden (Mrs. Eastland), Anthony Phelan (Meyer Kohn), Greg Powell (Milton Berle), Alex Radu (George Klein), Terepai Richmond (DJ Fontana), Richard Roxburgh (Vernon), Patrick Shearer (DJ Dewey Phillips), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Jimmie Rodgers Snow), Xavier Samuel (Scotty Moore), Christopher Sommers (Horace Logan), Helen Thomson (Gladys), Melina Vidler (Barbara), David Wenham (Hank Snow), Katrina West (Ann Eastland), Mark Leonard Winter (Tom Hulett), Yola (Sister Rosetta Tharpe)

Running Time: 149 mins

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

OUR ELVIS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Elvis Review:

Nobody makes films like Australian director Baz Luhrmann. Luhrmann’s own style of filmmaking was there for all to see with his 90s hit Strictly Moulin. From there he went from strength to strength wowing audiences with his own take on the classic Shakespearian tale of Romeo & Juliet and then of course came the gem in his crown – the visually spectacular Moulin Rouge. It seems the only blemish in Luhrmann’s career to date was the sub-standard Australia that made the country it was named after cringe.

When you think of the loud music and the glitz and glamour that Luhrmann loads his movies with you soon realise that he is the perfect filmmaker to bring the story of the great Elvis Presley to the big screen. Presley like Luhrmann was a glitzy showman who shone brightest when the spotlight was him and to the former’s credit he captures all that and more with his latest epic – Elvis.

Told through the eyes of Presley’s (Austin Butler – Arrow) long-time manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks – Castaway) Elvis follows Presley’s career right from the earliest days when he performed to make money for his parents, Vernon (Richard Roxburgh – Van Helsing) and Gladys (Helen Thomson – Kangaroo Jack) through to Parker signing a long term deal that would see him perform some of his most energetic shows on the Vegas.

Along the way we see the young Presley working with musicians such as Little Richard (first time actor Alton Mason) who helped form his now famous sound and also his more personal moments especially as his relationship with Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge – Better Watch Out) begun to blossom.

Most will go into Elvis expecting a movie that is full of glitz and glam but lacks substance, in reality though nothing is further than the truth. Luhrmann surprisingly digs deep into the live of Elvis Presley and touches on some of the darker moments and events that happened throughout his career.  Topics such as racist politicians and law enforcement officers targeting Elvis during the early days of his career are explored in great depth and ground the film, it is a rarity to see Luhrmann tackle serious subjects like this in his films but he shows here that he is more than capable of it.

Likewise despite the fact the film is told through the eyes of Parker Luhrmann allows the film to explore many of the allegations brought against him. Early on Parker while acting as narrator defends himself saying he never did anything to harm Elvis yet later we see him recounting times when he pushed the man to the limit of exhaustion fuelling his drug habit while making selfish decisions that would benefit him but damage the career of the man he supposedly cared for.

Perhaps Luhrmann’s hand on the film really comes to light though during Presley’s Vegas years. The flashy neon lights and the fast pace of Las Vegas are perfect fodder for Luhrmann’s style of filmmaking and the scenes of Elvis on stage in Vegas are some of the highlights of the film – especially given that Austin Butler’s performance is so believable that it feels like you are watching archival footage.

In fact it probably isn’t out of place to suggest that Butler could easily earn an Oscar nomination for this film. His performance here is faultless as he literally seems to become Elvis. His singing voice mimics the King to a tee what his dancing ability is off the charts. When you mix that with his fine acting performance that takes him through all the emotions what you see here is one of the best acting performances of 2022.

This is also one of Tom Hanks finest acting performances to date, and that is saying something given the calibre of Hanks’ previous roles. He seems to embrace being able to play Parker as a type of villain and his performance is one of the most memorable things from the film. Likewise Olivia DeJone is stunning at Priscilla, she may have limited screen time but she makes use of what she does have.

Elvis far exceeds the expectations that many will have from it. The serious tone of the film is a huge step up and a surprise from Luhrmann. He keeps control of this film remarkably well knowing the right times to unleash his glitzy brilliance and when to hold it back for some of the films more serious moments. Together Luhrmann, Butler and Hanks have created something very special, something that is one of the best films of the year.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Greg King, Jacqui Hammerton and Peter Krausz’s Elvis Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Greg’s rating Out Of 5

Jacqui’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Elvis Reviews:

N/A

Trailer:

ELVIS is an epic, big-screen spectacle from Warner Bros. Pictures and visionary, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann that explores the life and music of Elvis Presley, starring Austin Butler and Oscar winner Tom Hanks.

A thoroughly cinematic drama, Elvis’s (Butler) story is seen through the lens of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks).  As told by Parker, the film delves into the complex dynamic between the two spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.  Central to that journey is one of the significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge).

Starring alongside Hanks and Butler, award-winning theatre actress Helen Thomson (“Top of the Lake: China Girl”, “Rake”) plays Elvis’s mother, Gladys, Richard Roxburgh (“Moulin Rouge!” “Breath”, “Hacksaw Ridge”) portrays Elvis’s father, Vernon, and DeJonge (“The Visit”, “Stray Dolls”) plays Priscilla.  Luke Bracey (“Hacksaw Ridge”, “Point Break”) plays Jerry Schilling, Natasha Bassett (“Hail, Caesar!”) plays Dixie Locke, David Wenham (“The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, “Lion”, “300”) plays Hank Snow, Kelvin Harrison Jr. (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”, “The High Note”) plays B.B. King, Xavier Samuel (“Adore”, “Love & Friendship”, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) plays Scotty Moore, and Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”) plays Jimmie Rodgers Snow.

Also in the cast, Dacre Montgomery (“Stranger Things”, “The Broken Heart Gallery”) plays TV director Steve Binder, alongside Australian actors Leon Ford (“Gallipoli”, “The Pacific”) as Tom Diskin, Kate Mulvany (“The Great Gatsby”, “Hunters”) as Marion Keisker, Gareth Davies (“Peter Rabbit”, “Hunters”) as Bones Howe, Charles Grounds (“Crazy Rich Asians”, “Camp”) as Billy Smith, Josh McConville (“Fantasy Island”) as Sam Phillips, and Adam Dunn (“Home and Away”) as Bill Black.

To play additional iconic musical artists in the film, Luhrmann cast singer/songwriter Yola as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, model Alton Mason as Little Richard, Austin, Texas native Gary Clark Jr. as Arthur Crudup, and artist Shonka Dukureh as Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton.

Oscar nominee Luhrmann (“The Great Gatsby”, “Moulin Rouge!”) directed from a screenplay by Baz Luhrmann & Sam Bromell and Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce and Jeremy Doner, story by Baz Luhrmann and Jeremy Doner.  The film’s producers are Luhrmann, Oscar winner Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby”, “Moulin Rouge!”), Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss.  Courtenay Valenti and Kevin McCormick executive produced.

The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Mandy Walker (“Mulan”, “Australia”), Oscar-winning production designer and costume designer Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby”, “Moulin Rouge!”), production designer Karen Murphy (“A Star Is Born”), editors Matt Villa (“The Great Gatsby”, “Australia”) and Jonathan Redmond (“The Great Gatsby”), Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Thomas Wood (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), music supervisor Anton Monsted (“Australia”, “Moulin Rouge!”) and composer Elliott Wheeler (“The Get Down”).

Principal photography on “Elvis” took place in Queensland, Australia with the support of the Queensland Government, Screen Queensland and the Australian Government’s Producer Offset program. 

A Warner Bros. Pictures Presentation, A Bazmark Production, A Jackal Group Production, A Baz Luhrmann Film, “Elvis” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and released in Australian cinemas on June 23, 2022.

From Oscar-nominated visionary filmmaker Baz Luhrmann comes Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “Elvis”, starring Austin Butler and Oscar winner Tom Hanks.

The film explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks).  The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.  Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge).

Starring alongside Hanks and Butler, award-winning theatre actress Helen Thomson (“Top of the Lake: China Girl”, “Rake”) plays Elvis’s mother, Gladys, Richard Roxburgh (“Moulin Rouge!” “Breath”, “Hacksaw Ridge”) portrays Elvis’s father, Vernon, and DeJonge (“The Visit”, “Stray Dolls”) plays Priscilla.  Luke Bracey (“Hacksaw Ridge”, “Point Break”) plays Jerry Schilling, Natasha Bassett (“Hail, Caesar!”) plays Dixie Locke, David Wenham (“The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, “Lion”, “300”) plays Hank Snow, Kelvin Harrison Jr. (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”, “The High Note”) plays B.B. King, Xavier Samuel (“Adore”, “Love & Friendship”, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) plays Scotty Moore, and Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”) plays Jimmie Rodgers Snow.

Also in the cast, Dacre Montgomery (“Stranger Things”, “The Broken Heart Gallery”) plays TV director Steve Binder, alongside Australian actors Leon Ford (“Gallipoli”, “The Pacific”) as Tom Diskin, Kate Mulvany (“The Great Gatsby”, “Hunters”) as Marion Keisker, Gareth Davies (“Peter Rabbit”, “Hunters”) as Bones Howe, Charles Grounds (“Crazy Rich Asians”, “Camp”) as Billy Smith, Josh McConville (“Fantasy Island”) as Sam Phillips, and Adam Dunn (“Home and Away”) as Bill Black.

To play additional iconic musical artists in the film, Luhrmann cast singer/songwriter Yola as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, model Alton Mason as Little Richard, Austin, Texas native Gary Clark Jr. as Arthur Crudup, and artist Shonka Dukureh as Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton.

Oscar nominee Luhrmann (“The Great Gatsby”, “Moulin Rouge!”) directed from a screenplay by Baz Luhrmann & Sam Bromell and Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce and Jeremy Doner, story by Baz Luhrmann and Jeremy Doner.  The film’s producers are Luhrmann, Oscar winner Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby”, “Moulin Rouge!”), Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss.  Courtenay Valenti and Kevin McCormick executive produced.

The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Mandy Walker (“Mulan”, “Australia”), Oscar-winning production designer and costume designer Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby”, “Moulin Rouge!”), production designer Karen Murphy (“A Star Is Born”), editors Matt Villa (“The Great Gatsby”, “Australia”) and Jonathan Redmond (“The Great Gatsby”), Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Thomas Wood (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), music supervisor Anton Monsted (“Australia”, “Moulin Rouge!”) and composer Elliott Wheeler (“The Get Down”).

The main cast of Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming musical drama “Elvis” has been set, with Richard Roxburgh, Helen Thomson, David Wenham, Luke Bracey and Dacre Montgomery among the prominent Australian actors co-starring with Tom Hanks, Austin Butler and Olivia DeJonge in the film.

Richard Roxburgh (“Moulin Rouge!” “Breath”, “Hacksaw Ridge”) portrays Elvis’s father, Vernon Presley, and award-winning theatre actress Helen Thomson (“Top of the Lake: China Girl”, “Rake”) plays Elvis’s mother, Gladys Presley.  David Wenham (“The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, “Lion”, “300”) plays Hank Snow, Natasha Bassett (“Hail, Caesar!”) plays Dixie Locke, Xavier Samuel (“Adore”, “Love & Friendship”, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) plays Scotty Moore, Luke Bracey (“Hacksaw Ridge,” “Point Break”) plays Jerry Schilling, and Dacre Montgomery (“Stranger Things,” “The Broken Heart Gallery”), plays TV director Steve Binder.

            Joining the ensemble are Australian actors Leon Ford (TV’s “Gallipoli,” TV’s “The Pacific”) as Tom Diskin, Kate Mulvany (“The Great Gatsby,” TV’s “Hunters”) as Marion Keisker, Gareth Davies (“Peter Rabbit,” TV’s “Hunters”) as Bones Howe, Charles Grounds (“Crazy Rich Asians,” TV’s “Camp”) as Billy Smith, Josh McConville (“Fantasy Island”) as Sam Phillips, and Adam Dunn (TV’s “Home and Away”) as Bill Black.

Speaking about his cast, Luhrmann offered, “Elvis was surrounded by an extraordinary array of rich personalities, and we are very fortunate to pull together a tremendous ensemble to tell this story.  It’s exciting to unite some of Australia’s finest actors, from longtime collaborators from “Moulin Rouge!,” “Australia” and “The Great Gatsby” like Richard Roxburgh, David Wenham and Kate Mulvany, to exciting new faces such as Dacre Montgomery, Helen Thomson, Luke Bracey, Natasha Bassett and many more.  With the world as it is right now, our entire company is grateful that we can join together in this creative venture to bring employment and opportunity in front of and behind the camera, and to the community at large.”

Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” explores the life and music of Elvis Presley, seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker.  The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.  Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley.

Luhrmann directs from the current screenplay written by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.  Luhrmann is also producing the film, alongside Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss, with Andrew Mittman executive producing.

The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Mandy Walker (“Mulan,” “Australia”), Oscar-winning production designer and costume designer Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby,” “Moulin Rouge!”), editors Matt Villa (“The Great Gatsby,” “Australia”) and Jonathan Redmond (“The Great Gatsby”) and composer Elliott Wheeler (“The Get Down”).

Principal photography on “Elvis” is taking place in Queensland, Australia with the support of the Queensland Government, Screen Queensland and the Australian Government’s Producer Offset program.  The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.

 

Summary: The owner of a luxurious resort invites a group of people to spend time at the resort and live out their ultimate fantasies with horrific results.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 13th February 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 2nd July 2020

Australian VOD Release Date: 3rd June 2020

Country: USA

Director: Jeff Wadlow

Screenwriter: Jeff Wadlow, Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach

Cast: Jeriya Benn (Lila), Kim Coates (Devil Face), Joshua Diaz (Alejandro), Portia Doubleday (Sloane Maddison), Evan Evagora (Nick Taylor), Parisa Fitz-Henley (Julia), Lucy Hale (Melanie Cole), Ryan Hansen (J.D. Weaver), Robbie Jones (Allen Chambers), Goran D. Kleut (Valet Milton), Andrew Lees (Will), Edmund Lembke-Hogan (Himoff), Josh McConville (Sarge), Charlotte McKinney (Chastity), Michael Pena (Mr. Roarke), Maggie Q (Gwen Olsen), Josh Randall (Valet Chester), Ian Roberts (Dr. Torture), Michael Rooker (Damon), Nick Slater (Greg), Austin Stowell (Patrick Sullivan), Mike Vogel (Lieutenant Sullivan), Mark Weinhandl (Pig Face), Tane Williams-Accra (Fischer), Jimmy O. Yang (Brax Weaver)

Running Time: 109 mins

Classification: M (Australia)

 

 

OUR FANTASY ISLAND REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Fantasy Island Review:

It is always a weird feeling when you like a film that other people seem to dislike. You always feel like you want to defend the film to the hilt, but the same time you can’t help but wonder if you are horribly wrong. The best way to look at it is that you like what you like and as long as you like it it doesn’t really matter what others think.

This whole scenario recently happened with me when it came to Blumhouse Productions re-working of Fantasy Island. Now I am not going to sit here and say that it is film of the year or one of the best horror films ever made, but if you’re looking for a horror film that will entertain you for a couple of hours then this is a film that will not disappoint.

For anyone who watched the original Fantasy Island television series the concept here may be a little strange. Fantasy Island never traditionally had a horror feel to it, but here director Jeff Wadlow (Truth or Dare) and his team give the story a warm welcome into the Blumhouse horror universe.

The film centres around the mystical island run by Mr Roarke (Michael Pena – Ant-Man). It is an island where people go to live out their fantasies and the latest group to have arrived includes jaded youngster Melanie Cole (Lucy Hale – Pretty Little Liars) who dreams about getting revenge on those who bullied her at school and two brothers Patrick Sullivan (Austin Stowell – Whiplash) and Brax Weaver (Jimmy O. Yang – Crazy Rich Asians) who dream of living the life of the rich and famous.

It is here where the film first runs into its major hurdle. See that list of characters above could have almost filled this page. Aside from the ones I have already mentioned there is Maggie Q (Divergent), a wannabe solider who wants to learn about his father and a crazy man who seems to appear out of nowhere but wants to warn everybody about the dangers of the island… and even then that isn’t everyone. Yes the problem here is that there are just way too many characters in this film, at times it even becomes difficult to try and keep track of who is where.

What is a shame is that when the film keeps to its horror roots it is ten time the film it is when it tries to do things a little bit differently. There are scenes that depict Melanie getting revenge on a High School bully that is reminiscent of a Saw movie and it times like that when the film works its best. When Fantasy Island sticks to the basics and remains a simple film about an island where people’s fantasies quickly become nightmares it is a film that captivates its audience and draws it in. However, when the film tries to get too smart and interweave stories while bringing in a convoluted supernatural plotline that I still can’t get my head around it trips itself up and becomes a film that is simply trying too hard.

If the film had kept to the storylines involving Melanie, Patrick and Brax it would have been an absolutely brilliant horror film. Those are the storylines that you end up being drawn to the most and seeing those fantasies become nightmares for those involved is more than enough to have the audience wondering whether Mr. Roarke has a hidden sinister, psychopathic side or if something supernatural is at work. The rest of the story threads that the writers have tried to infuse into the film are just unnecessary overkill.

Also enhancing the film are some of the acting performances at hand. Michael Pena is perfectly cast as Mr. Roarke and for all those naysayers out there who were taking swipes at the film before it was even released no he is not playing a character that is meant to represent Tattoo, the role made famous by Herve Villechaize in the original television series.

Also shining in their roles are Austin Stowell and Jimmy O. Yang who bring their A-Games to a film that you wouldn’t expect it in. As actors they are put through a true wringer of emotions as at times they become the comedic relief for the film but then at other times they are called to do some action sequences and moments of horror as well. It is a well-rounded acting performance that you certainly don’t expect in a film like this.

Last but not least there is the amazing performance of Lucy Hale. Grouped together with her performance in Truth Or Dare Hale is now rightfully considered one of the best up-and-coming actresses in Hollywood. Like some of her co-stars here she is put through a range of emotions of this film and clearly shows why she is only a few steps away from becoming an A-Lister.

Fantasy Island does have some major weaknesses but there are times throughout the film where it is a genuine popcorn horror that has the ability to entertain its audience. While one of the weaker Blumhouse films from recent years it is still certainly a film that is worth a look.

 

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Fantasy Island (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Fantasy Island Reviews:

You can read our Fantasy Island review which appeared in The Phuket News right here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/fantasy-island-delivering-dreams-and-nightmares-76594.php

 

Trailer:

Summary: A detemined journalist hunts down the solider that was in charge of her brother’s unit when he disappeared. She is shocked to find though that the incident has left the solider facing demons of his own.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: NA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: NA

Australian DVD Release Date: 10th June 2020

Country: Australia, United Arab Emirates

Director: Storm Ashwood

Screenwriter: Storm Ashwood

Cast: Gus Bohn (Billy), Warwick Comber (Father Batty), Firass Dirani (Welshy), Jai Godbold (Tan), Sonny Le (Thong), Steve Le Marquand (Carl Boddi), Jett Lowen (Bo), Josh McConville (Seth), Lydia Mocerino (Imogen), Rena Owen (Michelle Pennyshaw), Natalie Rees (Sarah), Jessi Robertson (Lizzy), Hugh Sheridan (Josh), Bonnie Sveen (Rebecca), Juwan Sykes (Stretch), Oliver Wenn (Phil)

Running Time: 92 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia) TV-14 (USA)

 

 

OUR ESCAPE AND EVASION REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Escape And Evasion Review:

Often in cinema we see war glorified. The action star seemingly singlehandedly taking on a whole Army and coming out on top. Occasionally we do get to see the thought-provoking war film – films like Saving Private Ryan or Hacksaw Ridge that such us the horrors of the battle field and have us questioning whether or not war is the necessity that we are led to believe it is.

What we rarely get to see though is the aftermath of war. What happens when the solider has left the battlefield and is now back at home trying to live an everyday life? Or what happens when somebody doesn’t return from war, is there family left wondering how they died? Was it quick, was it slow?

Those are the themes that Australian filmmaker Storm Ashwood (School) chooses to focus on in his latest film Escape And Evasion and the result is a sensational film made even better by the performance of a leading man that deserves to pick up an award or two for his portrayal of a returned soldier at breaking point.

The plot is driven by Rebecca (Bonnie Sveen – Home And Away) a determined journalist who is trying to find out what happened to her solider brother who never returned from active service in Burma. To her frustration she finds that there is no record of what happened or even what Australian soldiers were doing there.

She finally hunts down the man that was in charge of her brother’s unit – Seth (Josh McConville – Fantasy Island) – a soldier who is so haunted by his experience that he has turned to alcohol to try and cover the pain. That has left him with a torn apart family but helps him deal with the secrets that his superior, Michelle Pennyshaw (Rena Owen – Once Were Warriors), asks him to keep.

As a film Escape And Evasion never gives its audience a chance to take a break. Whether it be tense dialogue-driven scenes between Seth and Michelle or Seth and Rebecca or combat sequences Atwood floods the film with tension. Instead of making the film an uncomfortable watch this instead just adds to the experience. You literally feel the tension building inside as you become desperate to know what happened to Rebecca’s brother and what the hell occurred that has left Seth the broken man that he is now.

Ashwood may well be one of the directional finds of 2020. His debut feature film – School – did show us that there was a gifted director just waiting to break out. While some were sceptical of the film it did show an artistic side and was brave enough to be different than other films in its genre. With Escape And Evasion Ashwood loses the artistic or experimental side but again goes about things differently as he mixes tense dramatic scenes between characters with emotional charged war and torture scenes. The result is a well-rounded film that leaves the audience not asking any questions at all.

Even with all the brilliance that the director shows with this film it would have fallen in a heap if he did not have the right leading man to bring the story to the screen. Luckily Ashwood found the exact right person to have play Seth in the form of under-rated Australian actor Josh McConville. With known actors like Hugh Sheridan (Packed To The Rafters) and Steve La Marquand (Last Train To Freo) also attached to the project you could easily understand if Ashwood had given one of them the leading role. Instead though he takes a chance on McConville who repays him with one of the best performances you are likely to see on screen in 2020.

Escape And Evasion is one of the cinematic shining lights of this year. An intense and dramatic film – it is one of those movies you will find wanting to watch two or three times to really embrace it. One thing the film will leave you with though is the knowledge that Josh McConville and Storm Ashwood need to be noticed by Hollywood.

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Escape and Evasion (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Escape And Evasion Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer:

 

Thanks to our good friends at Icon Films Subculture has two 1% packs to give away. Each pack will contain a copy of 1% on DVD and a limited edition 1% stubby holder.

To WIN simply go to our Facebook page and private message us the name of one of the stars of 1%.

1% is directed by Stephen McCallum (Hunger, Inferno) and stars Ryan Corr (The Water Diviner, Wolf Creek 2), Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road, Gods Of Egypt), Aaron Pederson (Mystery Road, Goldstone), Simone Kessell (San Andreas, Of Kings And Prophets) and Josh McConville (The Merger, The Infinite Man) and tells a story of brotherhood, loyalty, ambition and betrayal, set within the world of Australian motorcycle gangs. This modern day Macbeth follows Paddo, heir to the throne of the Copperheads MC who must assume the mantle whilst club leader Knuck does time in jail. Paddo’s vision for the club’s future and compromises he must make for his mentally disabled brother sets the stage for the ultimate power play.

1% will be released on DVD through Icon on the 6th March 2019.

DVD Packshot

Summary: In the very near future, creatures from ancient mythology must live among humans and battle for survival in a world that wants to silence, exploit and destroy them.

Year: 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: 1st September 2016

Country: Australia

Directors: Wayne Blair (4 episodes), Leah Purcell (2 episode)

Screenwriters: Jane Allen (1 episode), Jon Bell (2 episodes), Michael Miller (6 episodes)

Main Cast: Jada Alberts (Nerida West), Tony Briggs (Boondee), Rob Collins (Waruu West) , Ryan Corr (Blair Finch) , Stef Dawson (Ash Kerry), Iain Glen (Jarrod Slade),  Marcus Graham (McIntyre), Rarriwuy Hick (Latani), Deborah Mailman (Aunty Linda), Andrew McFarlane (Matthews) , Frances O’Connor (Charlotte Cleary), Hunter Page-Lochard (Koen West), Tamala Shelton (Alinta West), Tyson Towney (Djukara), Tasma Walton (Araluen)

Sub Cast: Jeremy Ambrum (Jake) – 5 episodes, Benson Jack Anthony (Gub) – 5 episodes, Lilly Bader (Lilly) – 1 episode, Adam Briggs (Maliyan) – 6 episodes, Jack Charles (Uncle Jimmy) – 1 episode), Jerome Cosgrave (Jumbhi) – 3 episodes, Lynette Curran (Virgil) – 2 episodes, Nancy Denis (Eve) – 5 episodes, Isaac Drandic (Harry) – 5 episodes, Kamil Ellis (Mungo) – 6 episodes, Rhondda Findleton (Frankie) – 5 episodes, Sean Hawkins (Joel) – 1 Episode, Aileen Huynh (Everick) – 3 episodes, Trevor Jamieson (Uncle Max) – 5 episodes, Jack Kingsley (Aiden) – 1 episode, Alexis Lane (Kora) – 6 episodes, Kathy Marika (Ngumunga) – 2 episodes, Rosharyn Marr (Young Koen) – 1 episode, Julian Maroude (Anton) – 1 episode, Jack Mars (Cameron) – 1 episode, Josh McConville (Dickson) – 3 episodes, Robyn Nevin (Jane O’Grady) – 1 episode, Sam Paronson (Taki) – 1 episode, Rahel Romahn (Ludo) – 1 epsiode, Mark Simpson (Holbeck) – 1 episode, Waverley Stanley Jnr. (Kulya) – 6 episodes, Miranda Tapsall (Lena) – 1 epsiode, Jenny Templeton (Alice) – 1 episode, Ben Toyer (Jamie) – 1 episode, Elijah Valadian-Wilson (Young Waruu) – 3 episodes, Katie Wall (Rowena) – 3 episodes, Leeanna Walsman (Belinda) – 4 episodes, Val Weldon (Jirra) – 2 episodes, Georgia Wilde (Melissa) – 1 episode, Matthew Wilkinson (Kennedy) – 2 episodes, Dylan Young (Nick) – 1 episode,

Runtime: 6 x 50 mins eps

Classification: MA15+

 

CLEVERMAN SEASON 1 REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths:

The Australian film industry has always had an interesting relationship with the genre of television. Over the years we’ve produced some pretty decent sci-fi programs – shows like ‘Farscape’ and ‘Spellbinder’ immediately spring to mind, but for some reason the people providing the money for the industry seem to shy away from the genre, instead looking to push more dour dramas onto the audience. Well now comes a sci-fi show that will hopefully change all of that – Cleverman. Mark my words this show is guaranteed to become a cult classic… it’s just that damn good.

Cleverman is set in the future, a time when Sydney is living under the threat of ‘hairies’ – a so called ‘subhuman’ species who are currently being considered a threat. People react different to the ‘hairies’, Governmental departments led by the likes of Geoff Matthews (Andrew McFarlane – ‘The Flying Doctors’) and McIntyre (Marcus Graham – ‘Mulholland Drive’) see them as a threat that needs to be contained and eventually eradicated. Business-men like Jarrod Slade (Iain Glen – ‘Game Of Thrones’) see them as a way of making a mountain money, while small-time operators like Koen West (Hunter Page-Lochard – ‘Spear’) and his best mate, Blair Finch (Ryan Corr – ‘The Water Diviner’) also see them as a cash cow. Then there are people like Waruu West (Rob Collins – ‘The Wrong Girl’) who are sworn to protect them as they see the treatment of the ‘hairies’ as the same way their Aboriginal ancestors were treated.

It is hard to put into words just how good ‘Cleverman’ really is. This sci-fi goes a lot further than most other shows in the genre and gets so political at times it makes you see Australian history in a whole different light. The screenwriters of this show have taken the wrongs of Australia’s past and condensed into such a format that anybody can see just how wrong the Government have handled things such as the stolen generation and Aboriginal deaths in Police custody over the years. Like the feature film, ‘Red Billabong’, ‘Cleverman’ also explores Aboriginal culture and mythology… two things I’ve probably learnt more about watching this television show then I ever did in my year at high school.

The political side of things pushed to the background this show also works because of the relationships between each of the characters. The growth surrounding the character of Koen has to be seen to be believed and the resulting conflict that these changes cause with his half-brother Waruu ignite the second half of this season. The real test comes when the audience sits in suspense as you wait to see which brother is going to make the right decisions in the season finale.

The hard edged nature of this show also lifts the program high above most other shows airing on television at the moment. Yes there are moments of violence as hairies and humans clash but is things such as a character knowing impregnating his wife with a hairy for scientific research and a hairy being forced into a sick form of prostitution that really makes this program stand out from the pack.

The edgy nature of the program also brings out the best in its cast. Aussie favourites like Tasma Walton (‘Blue Heelers’) and Deborah Mailman (‘The Secret Life Of Us’) are standouts in their strong roles but the stand out here is Iain Glen who dominates the acting stakes as he plays the mysterious Slade whose intentions are often questionable. Credit must also be paid to Hunter Page-Lochard and Rob Collins who both announce themselves as actors to watch in the future with strong performances that make this show a must see.

While firmly planted in the sci-fi genre ‘Cleverman’ is a show that takes a deep look at Aboriginal history and social issues while also providing enough believable drama between its characters to make you want to watch each week. The fact that Season One builds up to a crescendo that looks set to explode in Season Two means this is a show that you have to watch if you haven’t already done so.

Stars(5)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):   Stars(5)

 

IMDB Rating:  Cleverman (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Cleverman Season 1 reviews: Nil.

 

Trailer:

2016 MIFF

Down Under

Summary: A black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, it is the story of two carloads of hotheads from both sides of the fight destined to collide.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 11th August 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Abe Forsythe

Screenwriter: Abe Forsythe

Cast: Fayssal Bazzi (D-Mac), Josef Ber (Sgt.Bryce Halliday), Chris Bunton (Evan), Ruby Burke (Destiny), Suppakorn Chuwongwut (Nutt), Arka Das (Steve), Michael Denkha (Ibrahim), Harriet Dyer (Stacey), Alexander England (Shit-Stick), David Field (Vic), Damon Herriman (Jason), Josh McConville (Gav), Marshall Napier (Graham), Henry Nixon (Sgt. James McFadden), Julia Ohannessian (Rashida), Lap Phan (Terry), Robert Rabiah (Amir), Rahel Romahn (Nick), Justin Rosniak (Ditch), Anthony Taufa (Taufa), Christiaan Van Vurren (Doof), Lincoln Younes (Hassim), Dylan Young (Az)

Runtime: 90 mins

Classification: TBC

 

OUR DOWN UNDER REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

John Noonan:

Sometimes the best comedy is the darkest. In Duck Soup, The Marx Brothers’ led Freedonia into a good old fashioned knees up to celebrate the oncoming war that will swamp the country. The terrorists in Chris Morris’ Four Lions are shown to be petty, back stabbers that argue about Mini-Babybels and struggle to align their separate ideologies. And now we have Abe Forsyth’s Down Under, a violent, gut-bursting farce set against the backdrop of the Cronulla Riots.

We follow two separate groups of men chomping at the bit to get into a boot party. In the Cronulla corner, we have family man Jason (Damon Herriman) and Ned Kelly’s biggest fan Ditch (Justin Rosniak) on the prowl for anyone looking vaguely middle eastern. And vague is the operative word, as at one point it becomes apparent that they’re not even sure who they’re really after. To bulk up their numbers, they drag along dope head Shit-Stick (Alexander England) who would rather watch Lord of the Rings with his cousin from Nimbi, Evan (Chris Bunton)

Playing for the Sydney West team is the fiery Nick (Rahel Romahn), insufferable beat-boxer D-Mac (Fayssal Bazzi) and deeply religious Ibrahim (Michael Denkha). Tagging along with them is Hassim (Lincoln Younes), whose brother went missing the day the riots started.

Neither group is treated as the heroes of Down Under. Instead Forsythe highlights how their need to bash people because of a perceived difference really comes from the same misguided rage. And in the film, as in real life, this rage only begets more rage until no one is listening to anyone. It’s interesting to note that the director never allows the violence committed by the men to be diluted by the comedy. Each punch and bat swung connects viciously, there’s consequences to what they deal out. Instead, he bursts their bubbles by highlighting their naivety and hypocrisy, such as when Jason takes a break from bashing to get his pregnant girlfriend a kebab, or when Nick’s bravado reveals a violent resentment of immigrants. Other times, Forsythe soundtracks his characters’ actions to inappropriate pop songs from the era, including a rather wonderful rendition of Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn.

Where Down Under falls flat, at least for me, is Nick and Hassim’s interactions with drug dealer, Vic (David Field). Vic’s lascivious advances towards Hassim whilst surrounded by well-oiled, well-muscled young men feels trite and, in a film that lampoons stereotypes, feels, well, stereotypical. Because despite how the film’s trailer portrays them, these aren’t stupid men. Sure they say stupid things, but they’re clearly caught up in the chest beating and hubris that’s permeating in the streets. One of Jason’s team is revealed to have a white collar job, whilst Hassim is shown from the off-set to be studying for uni. These are not all thick men, and that’s what makes them scary. They’ve found an opportunity to release they deep-rooted beliefs.

With an ending that will pull the rug from under you, Down Under exposes the underbelly and idiocy of racism through laughter, violence, copious amounts of swearing and B*Witched songs. Sure to be controversial, you need to see it.

 

Stars(3.5)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):   Stars(3.5)

 

IMDB Rating:  Down Under (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Down Under reviews: Nil.

 

Trailer: