Tagged: USA

Summary:  Down on her luck and saddled with debt, Emily gets involved in a credit card scam that pulls her into the criminal underworld of Los Angeles, ultimately leading to deadly consequences.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  12th August 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: John Patton Ford

Screenwriter: John Patton Ford

Cast: Jonathan Avigdori (Khalil), Bernardo Badillo (Javier), Megalyn Echikunwoke (Liz), Amje Elharden (Robert), Ricarlo Flanagan (Mike), Gina Gershon (Alice), Wesley Han (Mike), Sheila Korsi (Luna), Janice Sonia Lee (Becca), Roman Mitchyan (Armen), Tomas Pais (Taylor), Aubrey Plaza (Emily), Ben Rodgers (Jason), Theo Rossi (Youcef), Kimiko Singer (Sarah), Brandon Sklenar (Brent), Jack Topalian (Vaz), Lamar Usher (Lamar)

Running Time: 97 mins

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

OUR EMILY THE CRIMINAL REVIEWS

Kyle McGrath’s Emily The Criminal Review:

I’ve always loved crime films regardless of what level of crime or what country these films come from. With The Godfather, Once Upon a Time in America, Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction being considered some of the greatest movies ever made it’s undeniable that many filmgoers feel the same way that I do. While not always realistic the genre can be approached from all sorts of angles not simply being about the crime itself but often as interesting character studies on people and what it is in their lives which drives them to the wrong side of the law.

Emily the Criminal is a drama thriller which acts as the debut feature film from writer director John Patton Ford. It follows Emily (Aubrey Plaza) a former artist with a past criminal assault record weighing her down. She struggles to make ends meet and pay her student debt with her low paying job, by chance one day a co-worker gives her the opportunity to make some quick cash via a credit card fraud ring operated by Youcef (Theo Rossi) and his cousin Kahlil (Jonathan Avigdori). Quickly Emily becomes seduced by the allure of making fast money and developing a relationship with Youcef however this new life of crime she has adopted begins leading her down an increasingly dark path she may not be ready for.

Along this entire journey is a distinct feeling of intensity which never let’s up. Although there is definitely a sudden change at some point I felt the film hadn’t earned up until then Emily feels like someone who doesn’t quite gather just how deep she’s digging this hole for herself and around this John Patton Ford crafts some nail biting sequences for sure.

What I found interesting about this movie is how it only really scrapes the surface of the crime world Emily becomes involved in. Some might find this disappointing however as there isn’t a lot to this story that we haven’t seen before in other films. We never go too far into the organisation or branch out into different areas it largely stuck with simple credit card fraud in action coupled with the bond which grows between Emily and Youcef.

I admit I have not seen all of Aubrey Plaza’s recent work however she always struck me as an actress with a particular charisma and she puts her all into this movie. As the stakes get higher and Emily goes from someone who is simply a cog in the machine to the person calling the shots it was great seeing that when pushed she can definitely take care of herself, all the while still there are hints that she is still a good person underneath.

The relationship which grows between Emily and Youcef leads to us seeing Youcef in a completely new light as time goes on. It never really struck me as a cliched ‘thief with a heart of gold’ character arc rather it was a role reversal I enjoy seeing done well in films. Through Theo Rossi’s great performance over the course of the film there is almost a switch as he becomes the out of his depth character while Emily is the one willing to get dirty and hurt people for a big pay day.

Something I disliked was how the film seemed to have the same issues a lot of others have in where to go with this type of story. This isn’t at all a good vs evil Robin Hood-type storyline and while I don’t wish for any morale grandstanding Emily’s ambitions are quite shallow and her capabilities and competency as a master criminal is debatable. As such I think the final act definitely needed work to create something with more significance all things considered.

Ford has does an excellent job creating a thrilling crime flick beginning to end with Aubrey Plaza & Theo Rossi nailing it showing off their respective talent. Unfortunately the film strikes me as not building towards an ultimate goal and I felt myself disappointed when the ending credits rolled on.

Other Subculture Emily The Criminal Reviews:

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Trailer:

This is Laurie Strode’s last stand.
After 45 years, the most acclaimed, revered horror franchise in film history reaches its epic, terrifying conclusion as Laurie Strode faces off for the last time against the embodiment of evil, Michael Myers, in a final confrontation unlike any captured on-screen before. Only one of them will survive.
Icon Jamie Lee Curtis returns for the last time as Laurie Strode, horror’s first “final girl” and the role that launched Curtis’ career. Curtis has portrayed Laurie for more than four decades now, one of the longest actor-character pairings in cinema history. When the franchise relaunched in 2018, Halloween shattered box office records, becoming the franchise’s highest-grossing chapter and set a new record for the biggest opening weekend for a horror film starring a woman.
Four years after the events of last year’s Halloween Kills, Laurie is living with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) and is finishing writing her memoir. Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since. Laurie, after allowing the specter of Michael to determine and drive her reality for decades, has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell; The Hardy BoysVirgin River), is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that will force Laurie to finally confront the evil she can’t control, once and for all.
Halloween Ends co-stars returning cast Will Patton as Officer Frank Hawkins, Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace and James Jude Courtney as The Shape.
From the creative team that relaunched the franchise with 2018’s Halloween and Halloween Kills, the film is directed by David Gordon Green from a screenplay by Paul Brad Logan (Manglehorn), Chris Bernier (The Driver series), Danny McBride and David Gordon Green, based on characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. Halloween Ends is produced by Malek Akkad, Jason Blum and Bill Block. The executive producers are John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, Ryan Freimann, Ryan Turek, Andrew Golov, Thom Zadra and Christopher H. Warner.
Universal Pictures, Miramax and Blumhouse present a Malek Akkad production, in association with Rough House Pictures.

Director Stacy Peralta’s an award-winning documentary filmmaker and one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. His documentary Dogtown and the Z-Boys won him the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival and his brand new film, The Yin & Yang Of Gerry Lopez turns its attention to Gerry Lopez.

While “Mr. Pipeline” is famously known for his calm demeanor in the tube, Gerry built his career with aggressive surfing that left behind a trail of blood and tears. He’s one of the most influential surfers and surfboard shapers of all time, an entrepreneur, a family man, a movie star and a lifelong yogi who brought surfing to new frontiers.

Can you tell us about how you first got into surfing?

GL: I spent a lot of time at the beach growing up. My mother was a teacher and some of her students had a surfboard concession. I don’t know whether they were bad boys or maybe she gave them a break on homework or something, but when I was ten, and my younger brother was eight, she took us down to the beach in Waikiki and her students let us use two rental surfboards. And so, that was the first time and we paddled out with my mother. She was a very good swimmer and she pushed me into the first wave. The feeling of gliding, the French call it La Glisse and somehow, when the French speak of it, it has much more than just a physical feeling to it. It has much deeper metaphorical connotations. Just La Glisse, it’s the glide. And I remember that, the gliding of just the wave pushing the surfboard. I didn’t understand it. All I did was feel it and it made me feel really good. And it made me feel like I wanted to do it again and again – and my whole life changed. Actually, it didn’t change right away because it took a few years more before I really started to get into surfing. But that first time was feeling that glide and just, having that wave carry you along like that, it was a real magical feeling.

And then how did you get from there to the North Shore and eventually to the pipeline?

By high school I was really into surfing. I mean more than just the fun of it. You know, in high school you need to be somebody. You have to find some kind of identity. I wasn’t good at sports or big enough to play football or baseball. So, I guess I was a surfer because it was really easy to be – you didn’t even have to be good at it, you just had to identify with it. That was my identity.

When you’re 15, you can get a license in Hawaii. So, I was 14 and my friend was already 15, so he was able to drive and we would go to the North Shore. And one day he wanted to go to the pipeline, and that winter for some reason the surf was very small. That day at the pipeline, the biggest wave was maybe four or five feet. But it was a beautiful day, and we were the only ones on the whole beach, so there was nothing scary about it.

The pipeline already had a little bit of a reputation. But this day was very calm and very friendly looking. So, we went out and the waves at the pipeline break very, very fast and it’s very steep and on longboards that are very straight with no rocker, it’s difficult. You can catch the wave, but then to make the take-off is really hard because the wave stands up so fast that the nose goes down and you end up swimming to the beach. And that’s what happened to me and my friend. Every wave, we would just wipe out, wave after wave. Then another kid came paddling out and we saw it was Jock Sutherland and he already had a reputation. He’s the same age as we were but he grew up on the North Shore, so he had done quite a bit of surfing and he was very good and he helped us to make the take off.

Jock and I went on to become great friends and he was a great mentor to me in those very early days of surfing, because he was a much better surfer. He taught me a lot of things at the pipeline in the very beginning.

You talk in the film about stealing waves. How has that mindset shaped the way that you surf?

If you wanted to get better at surfing and there were lots of people already surfing in your spot, then you have to be aggressive, because the only way you can get better at surfing is by riding a lot of waves and you have to practice.

If there’s a lot of other guys taking waves, you know, sometimes you just don’t want to wait until it’s your turn again. You want to cut in line. And I did a lot of that, which wasn’t very nice, but that’s how I was back then. I’m not like that anymore.

When I was at Eisbach recently, I noticed that there was a line and everybody had to wait their turn. And I went “Wow, that’s a great thing, you know?” And I’ve experienced that here with our river wave that the attitude, the vibe, is really like the early days of surfing, where everybody welcomes everyone and is really helpful and everybody’s having a good time and smiling. I thought about that a lot and went “Yeah, it’s really simple.” Everybody knows who’s turn it is why we can’t embrace that? The world would be a much better place if everybody took their turn.

Another very important part of your life is yoga. How has that influenced you?

I was already really into surfing, but in 1968, I started making my own surfboards as well, so I guess it’s coincidental that yoga came at that point in time too. Looking back on it all, I think that was just the way it was supposed to be, because for every difficult question I’ve ever had in life, every meaningful question, yoga has had the answer.

For example, what happened when I felt so bad losing a contest? I learned from yoga that nothing in life is about winning. It’s about mastering and when you’re able to master something, then you never lose. Even if you got last place, you still won something. That was a light bulb moment for me.

Really the ultimate platform of yoga is the spirituality of it. It lets us know that’s what life’s all about.

Thanks for taking time, Gerry. Any parting words for us?
I really believe that all of us surfers are very fortunate because surfing is a gift that keeps on giving, because there’s so much depth to it. None of us have really examined the deepest secrets that surfing holds – maybe Duke Kahanamoku came the closest. Surfing is something that can really bring a person eternal happiness. And you know when you have that, there’s nothing wrong. Ever.

For tickets to the special Q&A screenings with Gerry Lopez and Stacy Peralta or to find out more about The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez visit Patagonia.com.au/gerrylopez.

Director Stacy Peralta’s an award-winning documentary filmmaker and one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. His documentary Dogtown and the Z-Boys won him the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival.


You were a professional skateboarder before you went into filmmaking. How did that transition happen?

I fell into filmmaking. During the 80s I had put together the greatest competitive and innovative skateboard team of all time, a team called the Bones Brigade, and we needed to show the world how good these skaters were so we decided we needed an hour-long film that could play on VHS devices inside skateboarders living rooms. The job of making those films fell on me.

How has your background in skateboarding influenced the way you approach filmmaking?

Skateboarding teaches you to deal with constant obstacles, dead-ends, setbacks and failure and as a result of this it teaches you to be very adaptable and flexible and these are all the same issues one finds in film making. Every corner you turn you find an obstacle. 

You’ve always had a connection to surf culture. How do the surf and skate scene differ and what unites these subcultures?

I originally wanted to be a professional surfer and that is the direction I was headed, until the urethane wheel was invented, at which time I changed my plans. Both surfing and skateboarding were and still are outlaw cultures that the greater society looks at from a distance. Both attract outcasts who are looking for a place they can create their own identity within. Both (surfing and skateboarding) offer a distinctive lifestyle and way of living.

The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez tells a long and detailed story. How did you approach this film project and what was your focus?

I originally approached the film, like I do all of the films I’ve made, by asking endless questions and listening. I asked Gerry and anyone I could find questions about him. I asked and asked, and listened until I started getting a sense of what was most important in his life’s journey. Film making is about careful listening, careful observing and paying constant quality attention to the subject you’re documenting. It’s essentially getting my own self out of the way so that I can be a vehicle for this story to pass through and that takes time to gestate.

What interested you most in Gerry’s story that you took on this project?

His dual nature. His peaceful yoga posture on land and his tigershark alpha male mentality in the water. How he struggles and lives with that duality and his relentless pursuit of all forms of surfing throughout the years he’s been alive.

The film uses a lot of archival footage. How did you go about the selection of those scenes and what were some of your favorite parts?

By looking under every single rock we could find. You want to surprise your audience when making films like this and one of the ways you do that is by searching for photos and footage they have not yet seen. It takes a lot of time and a million phone calls to locate the content but it’s worth it in the end.

What were some of the highlights of making this film?

Watching Gerry learn how to foil surf and kite surf made me realize that things actually don’t come so easy for him, that he struggles like all of us, and that he spends lots of time as a kook just like the rest of us when we’re learning something new. Watching him do something not well humanized him for me.

You’ve created some of the most influential films in skateboarding. What projects are you most proud of in 30-40 years of filmmaking?

I never expected that my life would turn out the way it did and that I would have the opportunities I’ve had. My hope is that I’ve delivered and returned on what I’ve been given because I’ve been the recipient of many great opportunities. It’s been an unusual journey of being both an athlete with one foot in and an observer with one foot out simultaneously.

Thanks a lot for taking the time, Stacy!

For tickets to the special Q&A screenings with Gerry Lopez and Stacy Peralta or to find out more about The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez visit Patagonia.com.au/gerrylopez.

Summary:  Hank, a loveable dog with a head full of dreams about becoming a samurai, sets off in search of his destiny.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  15th September 2022 (Australia), 15th July 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, China, UK, Canada

Director: Chris Bailey, Mark Koetsier, Rob Minkoff

Screenwriter: Ed Stone, Nate Hopper, Mel Brooks, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman, Ricahrd Pryor, Alan Uger

Cast: Mel Brooks (The Shogun (voice)), Michael Cera (Hank (voice)), Ricky Gervais (Ika Chu (voice)), Djimon Hounsou (Sumo (voice)), Gabriel Iglesias (Chuck (voice)), Samuel L. Jackson (Jimbo (voice)), Kylie Kuioka (Emiko (voice)), Asif Mandvi (Ichiro (voice)), Cathy Shim (Little Mama (voice)), George Takei (Ohga (voice)), Michelle Yeoh (Yuki (voice))

Running Time: 98 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), PG (USA)

OUR DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Paws of Fury: The Legend Of Hank Review:

I think I just had one of the funniest experiences that I am likely to have in a cinema this year and was something that I was wasn’t really expecting. Brand new animated family flick Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank has been released in Australia with very little fanfare, a shame really because I found this to be the kind of film that can be enjoyed by the whole family – both kids and parents alike.

A mixture of both a Western and an Oriental feel the film centres around a young dog named Hank (voiced by Michael Cera – Juno) who dreams of becoming a samurai. That dream stems from the fact that when he was a young pup he was rescued by a great samurai named Jimbo (Samuel L. Jackson –  Pulp Fiction), but it is a distant dream because samurais can only be cats. In fact dogs are not even allowed to be in the areas protected by samurais – those areas are solely reserved for cats.

Undeterred Hank travels into the forbidden area and soon finds himself captured by the evil Ika Chu (Ricky Gervais – The Office) who has devised an evil plan to impress The Shogun (Mel Brooks – The Producers) and one day bring him down so he can steal his role.

After hearing about Hank’s dream to become a samurai though Ika Chu realises that he can use the young dog for his own good. Part of his plan is to get rid of a town that interrupts the view from his palace so he sends the inexperienced Hank to ‘protect’ the town knowing that he will not only fail at his mission but will also be despised by all who call the town home.

What he doesn’t count on though is that the town is home to Jimbo and that one young kitten, named Emiko (Kylie Kuioka – Better Nate Than Ever), will believe in Hank and try to help him become the best samurai he can.

I think the most surprising thing about Paw Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank was just how damn fun the film was. Directed by a team of directors including Chris Bailey (The Great Wolf Pack), Mark Koetsier (first time director) and Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) the film takes on all the tropes of a western and mixes it together brilliantly with the style and action of a kung-fu film. Along the way the team of screenwriters also infuse just the amount of comedy – both written and slap stick – that will certainly appeal to those that like the old school kinds of animations made famous by Warner Bros. in the past.

The other thing I loved about this film was the messages and morals that it touched on. The film tells the younger audience members that they should never give up their dreams no matter what obstacles are placed in their way while it also the dog vs cat storyline to have a very meaningful moral about racism. The great thing is the film doesn’t over-preach but still manages to get its point across to people of all ages.

I also found the voice casting to be spot on. Ricky Gervais steals the show with his vocal athleticism playing the film’s villain while Michael Cera takes on a more unrecognisable style. I should also say that audience members should listen closely to the voices of some of the villagers and they will hear the work of people such as Djiimon Hounsou (Guardians Of The Galaxy) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything, Everywhere All At Once).

While it hasn’t received the love that it should have before it has been released I think Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank is the kind of film that all members of the family will enjoy, laugh with all while learning some valuable life lessons.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture rating Out Of 5

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Trailer:

Summary:  Follow a group of children who are evacuated Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime side by side in Metropolis. However, Krypto must master his own powers for a rescue mission when Superman is kidnapped.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  15th August 2022 (Australia), 4th August 2022 (Thailand), 29th July 2022 (UK), 29th July 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Jared Stern, Sam J. Levine

Screenwriter: Jared Stern, John Whittington

Cast: Amanda Ames (Guinea-Pigasus (voice)), Vanessa Bayer (PB (voice)), Winona Bradshaw (Whiskers (voice)), Yvette Nicole Brown (Patty (voice)), Jemaine Clement (Aquaman (voice)), Keith David (Dog-El (voice)), Davide Diggs (Cyborg (voice)), John Early (The Flash (voice)), Maya Erskine (Mercy Graves (voice)), Dan Fogler (Carl/Pilot/Racer (voice)), Kevin Hart (Ace (voice)), Lena Headey (Lara (voice)), Jameela Jamil (Wonder Woman (voice)), Dwayne Johnson (Krypto (voice)), John Krasinski (Clark Kent/Superman (voice)), Sam J. Levine (Boston Terrier aka Waffles/Robot Guards (voice)), Diego Luna (Chip (voice)), Natasha Lyonne (Merton (voice)), Marc Maron (Lex Luthor (voice)), Kate McKinnon (Lulu (voice)), Thomas Middleditch (Keith aka Ice Guinea Pig (voice)), Alfred Molina (Jor-El (voice)), Busy Philipps (Foofy Dog (voice)), Dasscha Polanco (Green Lantern (voice)), David Pressman (Corgi (voice)), Keanu Reeves (Batman (voice)), Ben Schwartz (Mark aka Fire Guinea Pig (voice)), Olivia Wilde (Lois Lane (voice)),

Running Time: 105 mins

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

OUR DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ DC League Of Super-Pets Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Kyle McGrath’s DC League Of Superpets Review:

DC League of Super-Pets is the animated family film we’ve all been waiting for, one which finally introduces Superman’s superdog! Everybody needs a best friend and Superman’s is Krypto (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), a canine who travelled all the way from Krypton with Supes and has thus all the same powers….except he’s a dog. When one of super villain Lex Luthor’s plans goes awry it results in several rescue animals inadvertently receiving incredible super powers. Chip the squirrel (Diego Luna) receives electro abilities, PB the pig (Vanessa Bayer) can change sizes, Merton the turtle (Natasha Lyonne) becomes super fast and their leader Ace the dog (Kevin Hart) becomes super resilient. Unfortunately for the city of Metropolis Luthor’s former test guinea pig the evil Lulu (Kate Mckinnon) has herself gained the power of telekinesis and plans to use it to capture the Justice League and enslave humanity! With Krypto struggling to come to terms with trusting anybody other than his beloved owner he must learn to rely on these four-legged superhero friends to help him save the day.

I think we can say without a doubt that Marvel won the cinematic universe rivalry with flying colours while DC’s exploded on the launching pad. However something I’ve appreciated from DC is the variety they have taken with their films, for how adult films like 2019’s Joker was there have been child orientated films like Teen Titans Go to the Movies which while clearly made for a younger audience still featured many in jokes which adult fans of the comics can appreciate. The idea of superhero animals may seem completely out of the blue just to make a kids film but almost all of these furry characters are in fact deep dives from the comics or were directly inspired by specific stories.

The director/writer team of Jared Stern and John Wittington who previously worked as writers on The Lego Batman movie bring the same high energy rapid fire humour which made that film such a hilarious success. A decidedly sillier look at the DC universe it’s humour lands more than it misses and children undoubtedly will have a ball with the slapstick comedy on screen.

I actually found the storyline of Super-Pets to be interesting if a little dumbed down and cliched, it is a kids film after all. Much of the plot revolves around the animals love for their humans and their need to protect, please or find an owner in the absence of one. Krypto’s personal issues with Superman & Lois Lane’s growing relationship and his fear of being pushed aside, Ace’s unfortunate history which led to him being in a rescue shelter and even Lulu’s motivations largely stem from her adoration of Lex Luthor despite being his literal lab test guinea pig. Super-Pets does a better job at introducing and making us care about this heroic league than even the Justice League film accomplished.

None of this would mean anything if it wasn’t for the talented voice cast behind it all. On one hand animated films can rely a little too much on stuntcasting as many big names as possible but here I find even some of the more outlandish casting works such as Keanu Reeves as Batman, something we’d never see in live action. McKinnon, Lyonne, Bayer & Luna are all perfectly cast in their respective roles and make each character pop. Headlining are the duo of Johnson & Hart who prove that even in voice over form the two have incredible chemistry together and I have to say I am happy to see Kevin Hart not typecast here in some ‘little guy’ role.

While I find myself disliking the more light hearted aspects of many superhero films nowadays I ironically love superhero kids films. For example where quips and attempts at breaking the tension hurt the recent Thor: Love & Thunder, DC League of Super-Pets delivers a fun and exciting take on the world of comics without the pretence of it ever being serious in the first place. Kids unfamiliar with the source material, die-hard fans and animal lovers alike will all find plenty to appreciate here.

Average Subculture rating Out Of 5

Other Subculture DC League Of Superheroes Reviews:

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Trailer:

In “Barbarian,” a young woman traveling to Detroit for a job interview books a rental home. But when she arrives late at night, she discovers that the house is double booked, and a strange man is already staying there. Against her better judgment, she decides to spend the evening, but soon discovers that there’s a lot more to fear than just an unexpected house guest.

From 20th Century Studios and New Regency, “Barbarian” stars Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long, Matthew Patrick Davis, Richard Brake, Jaymes Butler and Kurt Braunohler. The film was written and directed by Zach Cregger. The producers are Arnon Milchan, Roy Lee, Raphael Margules and J.D. Lifshitz. Yariv Milchan, Michael Schaefer, Natalie Lehmann, Danny Chan, Alex Lebovici and Bill Skarsgård are the film’s executive producers.

Summary:  Follow a group of children who are evacuated to a Yorkshire village during the Second World War, where they encounter a young soldier who, like them, is far away from home.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  15th September 2022 (Australia), 15th July 2022 (UK), 23rd September 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, UK

Director: Morgan Matthews

Screenwriter: Daniel Brocklehurst, Jemma Rodgers

Cast: Jenny Agutter (Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Waterbury), KJ Aikens (Abe), Jessica Baglow (Angela), John Bradley (Richard), Tom Courtney (Uncle Walter), Zac Cudby (Ted), Gabriel Freilich (Military Police Officer Rouse), Beau Gadsdon (Lily), Eden Hamilton (Pattie), Austin Hayes (Thomas), Hugh Quarshie (General Harrison), Jospeh Richards (George Duckworth), Sheridan Smith (Annie), Oscar Wallwork (Jimmy), Hannah Wood (Miss Eckersley)

Running Time: 99 mins

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

OUR THE RAILWAY CHILDREN RETURN REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Railway Children Return Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Kyle McGrath’s The Railway Children Return Review:

The Railway Children Return is a family adventure film set in 1944 during World War 2. As regular bombings causes life in England’s cities to be increasingly perilous the three Watts children Lily (Beau Gadsdon), Pattie (Eden Hamilton) & Ted (Zac Cudby) are among a number of youths sent by their parents on a train to the countryside for safety. In the small Yorkshire village of Oakworth the three are fostered by the Waterbury family, matriarch Bobbie (Jenny Agutter), daughter Annie (Sheridan Smith) & grandson Thomas (Austin Haynes).

While scary at first the Watts children are enraptured by the welcoming community and settle pleasantly into their new home meeting local characters such as station master Richard Parks (John Bradley). One day while playing hide and seek the children stumble across a young injured African American soldier known as Abe (KJ Aikens) who at first taking advantage of the children’s naivety claiming to be on a secret mission quickly is outed as an under-age deserter fleeing his regiment due to racial persecution from his fellow soldiers. The children take it upon themselves to assist Abe in his attempts to avoid the military police and to escape back home to America.

This film has a refreshingly authentic feel with costume design by Dinah Collin and production design by Jeff Tessler both of whom have extensive experience with recreating English period pieces on screen. Although the railway plays more incidentally into the story there was something quaint in seeing this simpler village at a historic time and many small details I appreciated about its world building.

This film acts as a long term follow up to the 1970 children’s classic The Railway Children inspired by the classic novel by Edith Nesbit. Whereas that film told the tale of the Waterbury family in 1905 travelling to Yorkshire and this film is set nearly 40 years later it does still retain certain key elements. At it’s core are the selfless actions of the children as each story focuses on and their desire to help others coupled with a warm feeling of good family values.

Jenny Agutter returns to the role she first played in 1968 in a BBC television production of the story before being recast again for the 1970 movie. Her inclusion in this production is a positive however it must be said she feels like she hasn’t been given much to work with. The story of course focuses on a much younger generation however I do wish Agutter’s talents were better utilised here.

Speaking of the younger cast I found them delightful it this film. Hamilton, Cudby & Haynes are adorable while much of the heavy lifting is provided by Gadsdon as the older sibling who has had adult responsibilities thrust upon her early in life due to the war. Aikens as well gives his all as a black youth dealing with racism in a role perhaps much heavier than was necessary.

The story is at its best when it follows the adventures of the children being children showing resilience in a world bigger than they can fully comprehend. This was the strength of the original film and it’s why 50 years later it remains a timeless favourite on par with similar movies like Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and The Love Bug. While in the age of the MCU and Pixar films one might think child audiences wouldn’t have the patience for slower paced films however I was pleased to see the younger members of my screening greatly enjoying this type of movie.

What damages the film is it’s insistence on dealing with the much heavier subject matter of racism and bigotry within the military. It is made so much worse as this is handled in such a blunt and hamfisted fashion that the message of the film seems to be “all white American soldiers during World War 2 were racist and the British were absolutely not”. Something preposterous when it is displayed as such an absolute and I feel is frankly offensive to World War 2 veterans.

The depiction of the military police in this movie seems more designed in such a way as to work as allegory for contemporary social issues on race and the police. While racism was and still is a serious issue a ‘Railway Children’ movie made for kids doesn’t need to have disturbing scenes of black people being beaten to a pulp in the street for the crime of socialising with white women.

I enjoyed much of this movie, a very beautiful and relaxing film it’s simpler first half and even the matter of the children wanting to help a young soldier in need were welcome. However it’s shifting in tones to much darker territory only for it to shift again at breakneck speed for a happy resolution damage the film’s potential to be a worthy follow up to such a beloved classic.

Average Subculture rating Out Of 5

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Trailer:

Classic Bay Area Thrashers HEATHEN are set to play Australia for the first time in support of their latest album Empire Of The Blind out now on Nuclear Blast. Originating from the San Francisco Bay Area, active from 1984 to 1993 and again from 2001 onwards, the band is often credited – alongside Exodus, Testament, Forbidden, Death Angel and Vio-lence, as one of the leaders of the Bay Area thrash metal scene of the mid-to-late 1980s. They have gone through several line-up changes over the years, but still having the foundation of guitarist Lee Altus (Exodus), David White on vocals and Kragen Lum on guitar, with Kragen filling in for Gary Holt in Exodus whenever Holt was touring with Slayer. HEATHEN are Bay Area royalty for sure!

To date, HEATHEN has released four studio albums: Breaking the Silence (1987), Victims of Deception (1991), The Evolution of Chaos (2009) and Empire of the Blind (2020)., with the debut Breaking The Silence selling well over 100, 000 copies worldwide, and their latest album Empire Of The Blind going top 40 in the charts in Germany, Hungary, as well as charting elsewhere around the globe in places like Scotland. Showing the power of Thrash Metal’s reach globally!

This whirlwind visit to Australia, preceded by some shows in Japan and Singapore, will sell fast. Limited tickets available, you best get in as quickly as possible.

The band are “really looking forward to the Australian tour” and meeting their Australian fans for the first time ever.

Also in tow for national support is homegrown Thrash titans, HIDDEN INTENT, from Adelaide. These guys are at the top of the game in the Aussie Thrash Scene, currently touring the USA as we speak spreading their unique brand of Thrash, telling the world of the fabled Drop Bears, and to also Get A Dog Up Ya!

HEATHEN October 2022 Australian Tour dates
Thursday 27 October – SYDNEY – Factory Floor
Friday 28 October – MELBOURNE – Bendigo Hotel
Saturday 29th October – ADELAIDE – The Gov (Gibson Room)

Tickets on sale Wednesday 21st September, 10am AEST

Tickets available via:www.hardlinemedia.net or via Oztix

Limited VIP meet and greet tickets are also available.