CREEPSHOW 3.01 NEW website review by Taylor Cougle
TV Series Review: Creepshow Season 3 Episode 1 Mums and Queen Bee Director/s: Rusty Cunieff (Mums), Greg Nicotero (Queen Bee) Cast: Ethan Embry, Brayden Benson, Erin Beute, Malone Thomas, Lowrey Brown, Kaelyn Gobert-Harris, Monica Louwerens, Hannah Kepple, Olivia Hawthorne, Nico Gomez, Bruce Anthony Shepperson Writer/s: Erik Sandoval, Michael Rousselet, Joe Hill Genre: Horror | Comedy Running Time: 46 minutes
Creepshow opens up the season in a true Creepshow fashion and for those who are new to the show it is a modern adaption of the 1982 Creepshow series. It has a nice blend of 1980s style comic story lines, cheesy monsters, and modern cinematography. The first story revolves around the son of a father who is a separatist survivalist. The mother attempts to take the son away but is quickly removed from her son by the dad who dispenses her. Later the son plants some special seeds in the garden and soon after justice is served by the mother. A bond between a mother and her son can never be broken even from beyond the grave. The second story revolves around three teenagers and their pop star idol “Regina”. They learn that she is about to have a baby in a local hospital, so they set off to meet their idol to be the first to see her baby. The encounter with their idol soon takes a strange turn as they then become part of Regina’s new family. This series brings back memories and If you like old fashioned horror comedy short stories with 80’s style monsters to chill out to then this series is good for light viewing.
Years ago, the critical darlings of cinema were challenged by a movement spearheaded by Roger Corman who endeavoured to give b-movies – and movies all the way down the scale to z – a bigger audience by filling them with schlock, action, barely believable stunts and all the other things critics hate. Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965) The Wild Angels (1966) Women in Cages (1972) and Battle Beyond the Stars (1981) are loved and respected to this day for the cheerful way they subverted the Hollywood Elite’s ideas of “quality” by giving the audience the gore, sex, and crummy set pieces they secretly wanted but previous sought for in high art.
Brian Trenchard-Smith took up the mantle in Australia and produced a string of movies that were to become synonymous with the Golden Age of Australian Cinema – pictures like The Man from Hong Kong (1975) Turkey Shoot (1982) and BMX Bandits (1983) and follow-ups by apprentices such as Russell Mulcahy with Razorback (1984) and Doctor George Miller with Mad Max (1979) are respected by the Corman crowd as well as Hollywood’s auteurs.
The difference between these films which Scorsese called “art but in another way”, and Wych Kaosayananda’s Zero Tolerance is that people like Corman, Trenchard-Smith, Mulcahy, and Miller still strove for quality in some form. Early performances by Pam Grier, Jack Nicholson, and Dennis Hopper can be found in Corman’s films, while Trenchard-Smith discovered the likes of Nicole Kidman, Mulcahy David Argue, and Miller Mel Gibson. The writing was carefully exercised to be so-bad-it’s-good. As Kurt Cobain said, it takes a lot of work to sound raw and edgy. Art doesn’t just happen.
Sharknado is a good example of schlock done artfully well. If the actors suck, don’t give them too much dialogue. How much talking is in Sharknado? These films reach for the absurd and deliver. Kaosayananda fails because he reaches for traditional quality – Scott Adkins and Dustin Nguyen have way too much dialogue for their abilities. There are loooong scenes of talking featuring Nguyen, who actually looks as bored as the audience. Looong scenes where Adkins sips his drink aggressively and broods at the horizon so you know he’s the bad guy. Tender scenes of family with Nguyen even though he clearly just met this woman and those kids so you know he’s the good guy.
By the fifty-minute mark you’ll be wondering where all the sex and action promised by the opening montage is. I’ll tell you – it’s with Corman. Go where the fun is.
Aside from the nerd-gasm of seeing William Shatner and Christopher Lloyd reunited for the first time since Kirk kicked that pesky Klingon into a volcanic ravine at the end of Star Trek III: Search for Spock, A Senior Moment offers nothing new. Shatner plays William Shatner… uh… sorry… Victor Martin, an old has-been who still chases 20-something year-old-women around LA and somehow inexplicably scores now and then due to his previous career as… a pilot. Because all pilots become local celebrities when they retire, right? It’s not like Los Angeles has any other people of note living in the area… You know for certain a woman didn’t come within a hundred miles of the script while it was being developed in the first few minutes. However, after Shatner… no… Martin loses his driver’s license (because that’s somehow connected to the pilot thing, see) the 90-year-old starts to appreciate the simpler things in life while on his journey to regaining his vehicular freedom. One such pleasure is the love of Jean Smart’s Caroline, a woman still twenty years too young for the role or for Shatner… no, Martin, and who learns to appreciate gas-guzzling ozone destroyers despite her pesky, silly love of nature and turtle conservation. Women, right? If Wild Hogs excited you and Last Vegas tickled your fancy, then A Senior Moment will give you more of the same. Have fun.
COMING HOME IN THE DARK NEW website review by Vellu Khanna
Coming Home In The Dark
Rare indeed are those artistic renditions that truly inspire the darkness within us, with its intent on clawing its way to the surface. 'Coming Home In The Dark' is one such work of art, hailing from the serene airs of New Zealand - and one could only applaud the creativity of its director, James Ashcroft. It is also apparent that the skills of the antagonists (i.e. Daniel Gillies and Erik Thomson) are top-notch.
The movie begins with a family of four (parents with two teenage sons) on a road trip. Within the first ten minutes, a downward spiral ensues, whereby two unruly characters take them hostage. We are then propelled to experience a surreal moment on the screen, definitely drawing out a sense of horror and disgust. And all of these within the first ten minutes of the flick...
Over the course of the movie, renditions and visits to past events unfold, and the audience is cast into a world of circumstances and choices that were made by all of the characters in the past. Ultimately, however, the effects are set to inspire the darkness within themselves - particularly of those deeds which they have hoped to have been left buried in the distant past.
'Coming Home In The Dark' is truly a riveting experience, and one for the horror-slash-thriller seekers.
Film Review: Disclosure Writer/Director: Michael Bentham Producer: Donna Lyon Cast: Mark Leonard Winter, Geraldine Hakewill, Tom Wren, Matilda Ridgway Running Time: 84 minutes Trigger Warning: The film contains references about rape and has sexual scenes
Disclosure is an Australian Psychological drama which portrays the destruction of a friendship of two families when the four-year-old daughter of the Bowmans makes allegations against son of the Chalmers.
The film begins with the Bowmans in a moment of intimacy which they record and soon cuts to scenes of calm, happy and carefree country township with children playing, parents walking children to school, a fire warning sign which is in the green portraying a sense of safety and showing a mother with children walking past a sign of Joel Chalmers running as the local member of parliament. You get a sense that this is a wholesome family orientated country town.
You soon hear screams, and the daughter yells out “Stop” whilst staying at the Chalmers house. Six weeks pass and the Chalmers visit the Bowmans with the intent of getting their sons name off the allegations which are not yet public, this was an open disclosure by the Bowmans of the incident that was privately made to the Chalmers. The Bowmans appear to just want the son of the Chalmers to get help and for them to acknowledge that their may be an issue with their son’s behaviour, however the Chalmers are in denial and defensive, so the situation soon deteriorates, and cracks start to open up between the two families.
The actors portrayed their roles well and you can clearly see and feel their concern, anguish, deceit, and manipulation. With one side trying to get the truth and support their daughter whilst the other family will do anything to protect their careers and to a lesser extent their child. You get to see how each of them see the truth through their individual lenses and experiences. The imagery is well framed and the nearly the entire film is based at the Bowmans property. The scenes support the story well as well as giving an insight into the personalities of each character. You get to glimpse a little bit of the past of both Emily and Bek through their dialog which helps build a picture of what makes them today and their behaviours.
Overall, this is a well written and produced film that highlights how generational trauma, aspirational behaviour and denial can twist the truth without concern for the wellbeing of others.
RIDE THE EAGLE website review by Marygrace Charlton
A mildly entertaining comedy/drama with a lighthearted approach by the film makers, to a case of family dysfunction and the myriad emotions that ensue.
Leif the lead character is played by Jake Johnson (also the co-writer). He is the 34 year old son to Honey (Susan Sarandon). Jake is an American actor, comedian, and writer best known for his role as Nick Miller in the Fox sitcom New Girl, for which he was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television.
Abandoned at age 12 when Honey decides to join a new age cult and ditches her maternal responsibilities, Leif doesn’t really know his mother nor has any intention of reconnecting after his mistreatment.
Many years later he learns of his estranged mother’s death. Honey, in a last effort at apology, seeking forgiveness and conveying her underlying love (excuse the pun) of her son, leaves a conditional inheritance.
Definitely thought provoking at times and will resonate and appeal to audiences who have faced similar circumstances. However the movie lacks authentic comedy and substance in my opinion..
For me, the best aspect of this movie is the film location and scenery which is set in the Yosemite, Mariposa country, CA.
Scheduled for release September 9, it certainly won’t be a box office hit but worth a view.
The Resort is definitely one of those flicks for those trending for atypical 'jump-scare' scenes - the movie has plenty of it!
Though it is almost a clićhe for horror movie makers to induce scary scenes and eerie background music, and not to mention that most of it happens at night, the makers of this movie did include scenes which were different from the norm - the use of abnormal patterns found in nature (such as a flock of birds turning their direction of flight path mid-air).
We see a group of friends who have decided on a vacation in Hawaii. Lex, who is a well-read youth with a fascination with urban legends and paranormal phenomena, insists on them visiting and observing a dilapidated resort, seemingly left abandoned for some years now. Only that, it is not exactly abandoned, and sheer suspense ensues.
The Resort delivers its own version of promise to the horror buffs, with the highlight being experienced in the last ten minutes of the movie.
With overseas travel currently on hold, we must not underestimate the power of films being able to transport us to another place and I was pleased to have the chance to preview the film MISS – a French/Belgium co-production directed by Ruben Alves. Following a successful Australian premiere at the Alliance French Festival earlier this year, new screenings are now being planned for across Australia. The film takes us on the journey of a young man Alex and his quest to fulfil a child-hood dream of becoming Miss France. While his dream may seem a little mad to some - with the obvious hurdle of him being a man, Alex won’t let that hold him back and does everything he can to succeed.
The film opens with Alex as a child at school, where he first announces his desire to someday become Miss France and is met with ridicule from his class mates. A jump in time - we next see Alex in his early 20s having lost direction in his life after a family tragedy. He now works as a cleaner at a boxing studio, and lives at a boarding house with a colourful group of outcasts. A chance encounter with a childhood friend, who has since become a boxing champion, awakens Alex into believing that perhaps his own dreams are possible.
Alex is supported by the inhabitants of the boarding home, who act as his extended chosen family. It is with their support that he is able to launch his transformation on his journey to being crowned Miss France. The transformation feels somewhat of a modern Cinderella story, where cast in the role of fairy god-mother is an aging transvestite sex worker who coaches Alex on his walk.
I must commend the casting of Alex who is played by model Alexandre Wetter. This film is Alexandre’s first major role, who has previously had success as a model with his gender fluid androgynous appearance. Alexandre delivers a very tender and authentic performance as Alex.
The film doesn’t focus on transgender identity, rather the power of the story is in the relatable journey of chasing your dreams, being true as a person, and that families are more than just biological bonds. Having previously been involved with pageantry and also being a part of the LGBT community, I felt like this was always going to a film that I would connect with easily. Though really – the simplicity of pursuing your dreams despite the odds is a theme that will connect with a wide audience. Miss is a wonderful feel good movie with plenty of charm and light moments of humour.
4 out of 5 stars.
review by Olga Tolkatcheva
'Miss' is a film that sparks a conversation about femininity and gender norms. Written and directed by French director Ruben Alves, this film was an acting debut of Alexandre Wetter, an androgynous model equally convincing as male or female. He is organic in the role of Alex, a lost and an insecure young man.
After a childhood tragedy that took away his parents, Alex lives in a haze of detachment, aloof and without ambition, working as a cleaner in a boxing club. A chance encounter with a classmate, who became a boxer champion, resurrects Alex's childhood dream of winning the title of Miss France. Absurd you might think, that boys don't compete in girl's beauty pageants and certainly not winning them. However, blessed with gentle good looks and armed with the help of his friends, Alex sets off to attempt this impossible task in this glamorous and entertaining story.
Most of the comedic relief comes from flamboyant Lola, a transvestite with a heart. Lola is a kooky old landlady, who is posing as Alex's late mother. Coincidentally, her radical views on feminism come into direct conflict with the notions of the Pageant director. A battle of words that ensues is the funniest moment in the movie.
The same comedic characters are multi-dimensional and have tragic sides. The characters are believable and relatable, and we learn to sympathize and like them. It is all done in the best traditions of timeless French movies, and Ruben Alves undoubtedly deserves praise.
Part comedy, part coming of age story, 'Miss' has a deeper edge and explores ideas of self-worth, self-acceptance, and the freedom of expression. We are witnesses to Alex's personal growth. He came to the beauty pageant to achieve a childhood dream, but in reality this undertaking allowed him to develop his life skills, create friendships, and ultimately find himself. Probably the most poignant message of this movie comes in the words of an eccentric landlady: "Never let anyone determine your value". This message is equally important for us all and unites all viewers.
This film is part of the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2021 in Australia.
MOSQUITO STATE BEST MOVIE OF THE MONTH website RATE: 9/10
The Polish mystical drama MOSQUITO STATE is directed by Philip Jan Rymsha (Filip Jan Rymsza). Cast includes: Bo Knapp, Charlotte Vega, Jack Kesey and others. This is a rather crazy experiment of the Polish director, Philip Jan Rymsha: a mix of "American Psychopath" by Mary Harron and "The Fly" by David Kronenberg. "Mosquito State" is a kind of film that is hard to forget... although you want to turn your eyes away from the screen quite often. The experience of immersion in Rymsha's work can be best described by scratching a mosquito bite for a bit more than an hour and a half.
In the best traditions of Kronenberg's body-horror, Rymsha uses a recognisable forms to play around with the content, the content that reflects the state of the global economic crisis: crazy to a state of complete and irreversible mental illness. The result is an ominous and laconic antipode of the “Lowering Game”: it's hypnotic, but disgusting, frightening, with the brushes of laughable spectacle, revealed through metaphors, vivid visual images and minimalism of an enclosed space.
The events require an understanding of the historical context (and the director himself is not going to provide it to you, you yourself must know, otherwise the meaning of the rest of the film will simply slip away from you). August 2007, America is on the verge of a financial catastrophe comparable only to the Great Depression, although it does not yet understand what is coming... Together with a brazenly buzzing, funny animated mosquito, we get to the holiday of rich financiers and hear the buzzing of aristocratic mouths with the edge of our ear - one boasts such a curiosity as a new iPhone, the other talks about the chances of young Senator Barack Obama.
At a social event, we meet the main character, the introverted, incredibly wealthy programmer Richard Boca (Bo Knapp). To everyone's surprise, the silent Richard leaves the party in the company of a beautiful girl Lina (Charlotte Vega). They arrive at his penthouse of the size of an entire hotel. However, Richard does not succumb to the sexual energy pouring from Lina, he is more interested in a female mosquito, hidden in the collar of his shirt. After being bitten in the neck, Richard's physical body begins to change in an eerie way, turning the rest of the film into an extended version of Peter Parker's nightmare (after meeting a radioactive spider), and Boca's apartment turns into the abode of a horde of mosquitoes that require control.
In this somnambulistic film. It partially feels way too serious, and at the same time, from the phantasmagoric nature of what is happening, a barely hidden smile appears... But what exactly do you see while watching this film? It's a creepy horror or is it a satire on the financial ecosystem? It solely depends on your perception and your knowledge. In a sense, Rymsha's film goes beyond its historical context: it has an element of fantasy where a new virus emerges, carried by Nile mosquitoes. The main character is trapped in his luxurious loft alone for the entire movie, locked down inside his terrible state of psychological breakdown together with an uncountable number of mosquitoes and futile attempts to streamline the chaos in his head and in the world around him. What is this if not a picture of 2020?
For Philip Jan Rymsha, this is the second directing project after the 2007 debut film... but such a long lasting gap was not created because the director had been preparing "Mosquito State" for 13 years, he was simply busy with the legacy of Orson Welles. First, under his leadership, the last film of the legendary director was restored - "The Other Side of the Wind", and at the same time Jan produced a documentary about Wells "They Will Love Me After I Die", the form of the "Hopper / Wells" documentary.
The "Mosquitoes State" stands out for its amazing camera work, and there are no complaints about it. The director tries to avoid primitive camera moves in every possible way, as well as ordinary angles and any standard narrative. We are shown the strangest story in the most strange way, and even a mosquito waltz in the night against the background of a blood-red glow over the NY Central Park, in addition to a certain aesthetic pleasure, even more convinced that this is not a director's sick fantasy. This is an allegory of the collective mind clouding humanity under the influence of an intoxicating sense of its own superiority wrongly defined by money, power and social status. These can "cover" a person's eyes so much that he simply will not notice how the world is slowly but surely eating itself alive...
Come Play is the film equivalent to ordering a steak and being given a cheese souffle. It’s not what you ordered, it doesn’t suit your needs, some people will find it physically unpalatable, but for all that, it’s not objectively bad. Many films can be broken into three parts, Come play is impossible to watch without making the delineation. While there are certain subjects that are relevant to all three, such as the films copious use of jump scares and the performances of each specific actor. Each act of this movie separates itself so completely from the other two that to lump them all together would not just be a disservice; it would be downright deceptive.
The first act of Come Play is a family drama, based on the very real and often misunderstood struggles that autistic children and their families face. A dangerous topic for most film makers given the sensitivity of the subject, but whether through personal experience or extensive research it is abundantly clear that writer and director Jacob Chase knows his stuff. The fears shown by the films protagonists are those commonly felt by parents around the world. Their struggles will resonate with anyone who has been in their situation. The therapy and coping mechanisms are textbook and their effectiveness is realistic. The performance by Azhy Robertson captures the mannerisms often exhibited by children on the spectrum without exaggerating them or making a spectacle out of them. If nothing else, the introduction to this film is one of the best representations of autism to grace to the silver screen.
Most of which is easy to forget when the movie transitions away from a family drama and begins leaning into the horror elements. At which point the wheels don’t so much fall off, as they do manually eject themselves into orbit. All plot progression grinds to a halt for the majority of this film. Unnecessary and irrelevant exposition fills time and aside from the occasional jump scare, and the brief bit of admittedly creative horror imagery, nothing happens. Those playing horror trope bingo will likely find themselves unable to keep up with the sheer number of squares per minute in need of filling. Robertson’s realistic performance is largely rendered unwatchable as his fellow child actors struggle to express anything close to the nuance and emotion the script seems to be requiring of them. Characters are both unrivalled geniuses, making huge leaps of logic and pulling from vast knowledge bases most mere mortals can only aspire to; or appear to be suffering from severe mental disabilities and in dire need of carers. Often simultaneously. There is an argument to be made that the films inexplicable, inconsistent rules would be enough to drive anyone into the realm of the idiot savant, but given the technical achievements, it seems unfair to grant the makers so much slack.
All of which would be enough to bury most films and relegate them to the piles of forgotten and failed horror. Had the final act not thrown the second over its shoulder and preceded to carry it while ignoring its existence entirely. Kicking back into gear, the plot escalation, instantly, without rhyme or reason. Ignoring the child actors completely and focussing on the cinematic horror. The films makes heavy use of Chekov’s gun throughout the film, but the final ten minutes are a masterclass in payoff. Going down the list and providing closure for nearly everything said or done in the previous hour. Even more egregious, is how Come play ends this sudden thrill ride with an emotional gut punch that while perfectly executed, feels entirely unearned. To make the audience cry about characters that were putting them to sleep 10mins prior is a remarkable skill, but not one that should be encouraged.
In the end, Come play is best described as Lights out meets the Babadook. A technically on point, visually gripping film that bookends nearly an hour of unimaginable boredom with incredibly moving storytelling and an honestly remarkable script. It’s a noteworthy first act, a garbage fire second, and an oscar worthy third. Make of that what you will. Come play is not what anyone wanted, or what audiences look for in a film, but objectively held it own regardless.