Elvis – The Movie

July 3, 2022 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Classic Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Baz Luhrmann, Gold Coast premiere, June 2022) [Editor’s note: Rock biopics have greatly improved of late, such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman. It was only a matter of time before some ambitious director ‘Followed That Dream’ and tackled the life of Elvis Presley, one of the most significant cultural figures of the twentieth century. Our guest reviewer, Andrew Brown, the biggest Elvis Tragic we know, attended the Gala Premiere on Queensland’s Las Vegas, the Gold Coast (or “Goldy”) with family in tow, to report on proceedings.] We attended the Red Carpet event on the Goldy on 4 June,…

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Midsommar

July 1, 2022 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Ari Aster) (2019) Midsommar performs poorly on The Babadook Horror Movie Scale. Rather than dark mansions and creepy children, Aster has set his nastiness in sunny meadows (although it still looks cold) peopled by beatifically-smiling blond Swedes.  But the story is familiar.  Nice, naive, clean, modern-day American kids are blindsided by evil, sophisticated old-worlde types.  Maybe there’s witchcraft.  (See Henry James, add The Lottery, stir with Rosemary’s Baby).  While we’re at it, let’s get the rest of the obvious comparisons out of the way: The Wicker Man, Get Out, The Village and Hereditary (Aster’s previous feature). Our innocents, Christian…

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The Unlikely Murderer

A nice night in

(Dir. Charlotte Brandstrom and Simon Kaijser) (Netflix, 5 Episodes) Unlike another recent Netflix offering set in Sweden (Midsommar), the natives in The Unlikely Murderer are not beautiful; nor do they dance among the buttercups. Rather, these Swedes are generally jowly, live in flimsy brown apartments and are spared nothing by the close-ups of their pores and the 1980s fashions (did such a high proportion of Swedish women really suffer under mushroom haircuts?) The Unlikely Murderer is based on the true life assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme (Peter Viitanen), below, in the town of Täby, north of Stockholm.  After the…

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Spiderhead

(Director Joseph Kosinski) (Netflix, 2022) Spiderhead, a 107 minute TV movie from a short story by George Saunders (see our review of Lincoln in the Bardo here) is a bit too long. About 100 minutes too long. Saunders kept the story short for a reason. It starts interestingly enough and maintains the tone of a Black Mirror episode throughout, (not a good Black Mirror episode though. Not like San [sob] Junipero [sob]). Steve Abnesti (A Hemsworth) is the governor (sort-of) of an island prison facility called “Spiderhead” (the name is not explained in the film and don’t bother Googling it,…

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Ray’s Song

June 8, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Ray Liotta (18 December 1954 – 26 May 2022) [With apologies to Sir Walter Scott] Ray Liotta, rest! Thy career’s o’er, Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking; Battle the Field of Dreams no more, No days of danger, nights of waking. **** No rude sound shall reach thine ear, Guns or Cop Land‘s horses champing; No wise guys are summoned here Mustering clans, Goodfellas tramping. **** In the red-cushioned cinema row, Where fairy strains of music fall, You were our great anti-hero, Star dust sprinkled in the hall.

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