Don’t Look Up

December 31, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Adam McKay) (2021, Netflix) It’s a mongoloid meld of Melancholia with some David Attenborough tableaux and the arrayed stupidity of Burn After Reading. Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers a comet. Her enthusiasm, and that of her colleague, Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo Di Caprio), wane when they figure out it will collide with the Earth in about six months. These boffins are babes in the wood, and when a NASA man (Rob Morgan) arranges for them to brief the White House, their deep concerns are brushed off by a distracted and chaotic administration. So the scientists do the next…

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The Power of the Dog

December 11, 2021 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Chaps and More Chaps, and a Little Anthrax on the Side How Jane Campion’s Dude Ranch Film Slides Away into the Montana Night By Janelle McCulloch “The Power of the Dog” directed by Jane Campion (2021) What can be said about The Power of the Dog? It’s a strange way to begin a film review of this Western drama, but I am well and truly mute. And much of this now-widely-talked-about film is, too. It’s a beautifully shot piece, low on dialogue but big on wide Montana skies (which are actually wide New Zealand skies), and there are some very…

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Roadrunner

October 27, 2021 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Documentary, FILM, FOOD, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

A film about Anthony Bourdain  (Directed by Morgan Neville) (2021) Famously rockstar-level restaurateur, best-selling author (Kitchen Confidential), martial arts expert and prolific television host, the subject of Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain was no doubt a wildly successful man.  As we have come to expect from biographical documentaries, this level of achievement means that he must also have been deeply unhappy. And often unkind.  One of his friends is reduced to tears recalling Bourdain telling him, “You’ll never be a good dad”.   Bourdain’s two marriages, to a childhood sweetheart and a restaurant executive, failed, in part because he was…

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Ex Machina

September 1, 2021 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Alex Garland) (2015) Caleb Smith (Domnhall Gleeson), a lowly programmer with a Google-like company, wins a week-long visit to the fabulous home of Nathan Bateman, the remote Bezos-Jobs-like founder of the company. Bateman (Oscar Isaac) is a cool guy. He asks Caleb to spend time with Ava (Alicia Vikander) the humanoid robot built by Bateman. He wants Caleb to determine whether Ava is conscious and aware. Can she have a really, truly relationship with Caleb? Wow! What an opportunity! Not only is Ava a stunningly advanced type of AI, she’s pretty, except for the robot body bit. (But…

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Never Let Me Go

Book written by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005) Film directed by Mark Romanek (2010) Ishiguro, Romanek, please let us go, you heartless bastards.  Not since Chris Lilley killed Pat Mullins (We Can Be Heroes: Finding the Australian of the Year of the Year, ABC TV, 2005)  have we at TVC been rendered sleepless by an afflicted fictional character. And we could laugh at Pat. Laugh at any of the characters in Ishiguro’s book or Romanek’s film of the book and you will go straight to hell. It is best perhaps to watch Romanek’s realisation before reading Ishiguro’s pitiless novel. The film transforms…

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