Star Trek (2009)

JJ Abrams’ reinvention of Star Trek is best described as “good enough.” It’s good enough to earn enough money to prompt a sequel, Into Darkness. It’s good enough to balance the expectations of both avid Star Trek fans and those largely unfamiliar with the original series (though the fan service is a tad overdone). But…

Hannibal – “Sorbet” (Season 1, Episode 7)

Despite its title, Hannibal has spent little time with its eponymous serial killer sophisticate. Precisely captured by Mads Mikkelsen in an engaging, restrained performance, Dr Lecter has spent most of the season as a supporting character, someone for Will or Jack to bounce their thoughts off. Seven episodes in, the show takes the opportunity to…

Blue Valentine (2010)

Blue Valentine tells a simple story of a marriage: how Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) meet, experience that thrill of infatuation … and how, years later, that thrill stagnates and calcifies as their relationship is on the precipice of collapse. It’s a drama, but it avoids easy dramatic clichés like tragic accidents, disease…

20 Years of Triple J’s Hottest 100

When the “20 Years of Hottest 100” was announced yesterday, you’d be forgiven for experiencing some déjà vu. Didn’t we just celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Hottest 100 back in 2009, with another “All-Time Hottest 100?” Of course, this is supposed to commemorate the first annual Hottest 100 (songs from that year), and, conveniently,…

Badlands (1973)

It’s near impossible to watch a Terence Malick film and not get swept away in the man’s fascination with nature. His films, lyrical and delicate, are imbued with childlike wonder, as likely to focus on a flock of birds overhead as the details of the plot machinations motivating his characters. He can evoke nature’s beauty…

Hannibal – “Entrée” (Season 1, Episode 6)

Hannibal’s episodes have been largely stand-alone so far; “killer of the week” plotlines dominating the slowcooking larger arcs. “Entrée” embraces a more serialised approach – along with the Hannibal backstory, filling the hour with re-appropriated quotes and visual quotes from the films. It’s made very clear that this isn’t a straightforward prequel, but a reinterpretation;…

My Bloody Valentine (2009)

What, exactly, is there to recommend My Bloody Valentine? Perhaps it would’ve been worthwhile seeing it in actual 3D, in the cinema. The film has certainly made plentiful concessions to the gimmick – eyeballs popping out of people’s skulls and so forth – which might have been exciting back in the ‘80s. To achieve this…