Tag Archives: film review

Over the hills and far away – Meek’s Cutoff review

Meek’s Cutoff – Starring Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood and Will Patton. Directed by Kelly Reichardt. Originally published July 15, 2011. By Simon Miraudo. Some are saying that ‘nothing happens’ in Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff, a slow burn drama about a group of wannabe-settlers wandering the desert in the hopes of finding the promise land. I say, ‘everything happens’. Sure, it’s an exaggeration, but so is […]

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Willem power – The Hunter review

The Hunter – Starring Willem Dafoe, Frances O’Connor and Sam Neill. Directed by Daniel Nettheim. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. There are two tigers in Daniel Nettheim’s The Hunter. The first is the mythical Tasmanian tiger; long thought to be extinct, rumours of its reappearance have piqued the interest of certain mysterious parties. The second […]

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What’s crazy got to do with it? – Crazy Stupid Love review

Crazy Stupid Love – Starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Ryan Gosling. Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. Crazy Stupid Love (or, in its official and confusingly punctuated form: Crazy, Stupid, Love.) often feels like the American version of Love Actually (or should that be Love, Actually; this is […]

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All the right moves – Footloose review

Footloose – Starring Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid. Directed by Craig Brewer. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. Craig Brewer directs films like a man with electricity emanating from his fingertips. It feels like his pictures might, at any point, ignite into a fiery ball of sex (and his last feature, Black Snake Moan, […]

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Bourne to run – Abduction review

Abduction – Starring Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins and Alfred Molina. Directed by John Singleton. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. Hollywood loves telling us who the big new movie stars are. Sam Worthington and Ryan Reynolds have both recently been given lead roles in tentpole blockbusters, and audiences have responded as enthusiastically as an infant getting […]

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A weak drink – Country Strong review

Country Strong – Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester. Directed by Shana Feste. Rated M. By Hilary Simmons. Admit it. Y’all jus’ couldn’t wait to see Gwyneth Paltrow as a deep-Southern country-crooner with substance abuse issues embarking on a career comeback after an alcohol-induced miscarriage and high-profile stint in rehab. No? Well, if […]

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Play It Again: All About Eve

Play It Again – All About Eve. By Jess Lomas. Play It Again is a weekly feature in which classic-film connoisseur Jess Lomas revisits a revered motion picture from the annals of movie history, to see if it holds up … or if it has aged terribly. And yes, it takes its name from a […]

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A not-so-final destination – Enter the Void review

Enter the Void – Starring Nathaniel Brown and Paz de la Huerta. Directed by Gaspar Noé. Rated R. By Hilary Simmons. In-your-face French director Gaspar Noé has a new film, featuring all the drug-induced thrills, messy mental spills and sexually explicit frills that we’ve come to expect from the demagogic maverick who made that notorious […]

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The life aquatic – Submarine review

Submarine – Starring Craig Roberts, Noah Taylor and Sally Hawkins. Directed by Richard Ayoade. Rated M. Originally published July 24, 2011. By Simon Miraudo. This review was first run during the Melbourne International Film Festival. Submarine opens nationally on September 8, 2011. Give me an affectation-heavy coming-of-age comedy, and make it extra affectatious! Richard Ayoade (best known as […]

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A whisper – The Help review

The Help – Starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. Directed by Tate Taylor. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. Finally! A film about the civil rights movement in which the hero is a privileged young white thing instead of the tireless, self-sacrificing politicians or the downtrodden and racially vilified lower class blacks. The Help […]

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We were in love – Heartbeats review

Heartbeats – Starring Xavier Dolan, Monia Chokri and Niels Schneider. Directed by Xavier Dolan. Originally published December 26, 2011. By Simon Miraudo. It’s fitting that the latest picture from Canadian actor/writer/director Xavier Dolan takes its cues from the American mumblecore movement and the French New Wave. The Québécois wunderkind – caught between the United States […]

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I’ll cry if I want to – Birthday review

Birthday – Starring Natalie Eleftheriadis, Kestie Morassi and Ra Chapman. Directed by James Harkness. By Simon Miraudo. What is it with Australian filmmakers and the sex trade? This year alone, we’ve seen the inert and impenetrable Sleeping Beauty, the rollicking genre flick X, and now, we have James Harkness’ adaptation of his controversial stage play […]

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Bloody glee – The Guard review

The Guard – Starring Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle and Mark Strong. Directed by John Michael McDonagh. Rated MA. Originally published July 24, 2011. By Simon Miraudo. This review was first run during the Melbourne International Film Festival. The Guard is now screening nationally. Here’s an understatement: Brendan Gleeson is one of the most reliable and enjoyable actors […]

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The unprofessionals – Horrible Bosses review

Horrible Bosses – Starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis. Directed by Seth Gordon. Rated MA. By Simon Miraudo. Can murder ever be funny? Absolutely. Just ask the Coen brothers, who have spun some of the vilest, most violent attacks in cinema history into comic gold (see: Burn After Reading, Fargo but not The […]

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An accurate title – Win Win review

Win Win – Starring Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan and Alex Schaffer. Directed by Thomas McCarthy. Rated M. Originally published July 25, 2011. By Simon Miraudo. This review was first run  – in slightly shorter form – during the Melbourne International Film Festival. Win Win is now screening nationally. When you see the Fox Searchlight logo before […]

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The need for speed – Senna review

Senna – Directed by Asif Kapadia. Rated M. Originally published July 23, 2011. By Simon Miraudo. This review was first run during the Melbourne International Film Festival. Senna is now screening nationally. Asif Kapadia’s documentary on the life and early death of F1 racer Ayrton Senna – a man and sport, I admit, I knew […]

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Watch the throne – Conan the Barbarian review

Conan the Barbarian – Starring Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols and Stephen Lang. Directed by Marcus Nispel. Rated MA. By Simon Miraudo. The pop culture infiltration of HBO’s Game of Thrones is the best thing to ever happen to Marcus Nispel’s Conan the Barbarian. A remake of the 1982 film best known for establishing bodybuilder Arnold […]

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The Wilde bunch – Cowboys and Aliens review

Cowboys and Aliens – Starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde. Directed by Jon Favreau. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. There’s not all that much going on beneath the surface of Jon Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens, which is probably too much to ask of any movie actually called Cowboys and Aliens anyway. Still, it […]

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Chimpanzee that – Rise of the Planet of the Apes review

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Starring James Franco, Andy Serkis and Freida Pinto. Directed by Rupert Wyatt. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. That a film about an ape revolution could feature one of the most heart-stopping and gasp-inducing cinematic moments of the year means I have to re-evaluate everything I thought I […]

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It ain’t easy – Green Lantern review

Green Lantern – Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard. Directed by Martin Campbell. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. Thank goodness emerald green is such a pleasant colour to look at. Had our hero been called the Sinopia Sunlight or the Rusty Blowtorch, then we would have been forced to endure this terrible screenplay […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Melancholia review

Melancholia – Starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland. Directed by Lars von Trier. By Simon Miraudo. People don’t realise that Lars von Trier has quite a sense of humour, which is why he gets into so much trouble at press conferences when he tries to crack wise. Like any comic, sometimes his jokes […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Project Nim review

Project Nim – Directed by James Marsh. By Jess Lomas. Project Nim plays the Melbourne International Film Festival Sunday 31 July. “It was the seventies!” Is a line used in this documentary, to justify what was known as Project Nim; the forceful taking of a baby chimpanzee from its mother for the purpose of science. […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Take Shelter review

Take Shelter – Starring Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain and Shea Whigham. Directed by Jeff Nichols. Rated M. By Jess Lomas. Take Shelter plays the Melbourne International Film Festival on Saturday 6 August. Writer/director Jeff Nichols’ sophomore film, Take Shelter, is a slow-burn mix of family drama and thriller driven by the mental breakdown of its […]

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Nation’s pride – Captain America: The First Avenger review

Captain America: The First Avenger – Starring Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell and Hugo Weaving. Directed by Joe Johnston. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. When it was announced that Marvel Studios would begin production on a Captain America movie, the idea seemed ludicrous. Captain America is the paragon of all things ‘USA’, and in this ultra-cynical […]

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Killing a legend – The Conspirator review

The Conspirator – Starring James McAvoy, Robin Wright and Tom Wilkinson. Directed by Robert Redford. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. The Conspirator begins with two injured Yankee soldiers – having barely survived a nasty battle against the Confederate army during the American Civil War – clinging to life and sharing a joke. The first, Frederick […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Martha Marcy May Marlene review

Martha Marcy May Marlene – Starring Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes and Sarah Paulson. Directed by Sean Durkin. Rated MA. By Simon Miraudo. Martha Marcy May Marlene plays the Melbourne International Film Festival on Sunday 24 July and Sunday 31 July. If Winter’s Bone was just a little too chipper for your liking, perhaps you’d prefer […]

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King without a crown – Larry Crowne review

Larry Crowne – Starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Directed by Tom Hanks. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. As an actor, Tom Hanks has often been compared with Jimmy Stewart. As a director, he seems to take his cues from frequent Stewart collaborator, Frank Capra. Larry Crowne, Hanks’ second effort behind the camera, […]

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Revelation Perth International Film Festival – Tyrannosaur review

Tyrannosaur – Starring Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan. Directed by Paddy Considine. By Simon Miraudo. Tyrannosaur plays the Revelation Perth International Film Festival on Saturday July 16 and Monday July 18. Directorial debuts are rarely as brutal or furious as Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur. The reasoning behind that title becomes apparent late in the […]

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Play It Again – Brigadoon

Play It Again – Brigadoon. By Jess Lomas. Play It Again is a weekly feature in which classic-film connoisseur Jess Lomas revisits a revered motion picture from the annals of movie history, to see if it holds up … or has aged terribly. And yes, it takes its name from a famously misquoted Casablanca line […]

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It all ends – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two – Starring Danielle Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Directed by David Yates. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. “IT ALL ENDS,” scream the posters for the epic and epically titled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, the final instalment of the film series based upon […]

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