BAPFF: Tales (2014)

When introducing the 2014 Brisbane Asia Pacific Festival, my largely optimistic take briefly pondered “will anyone actually turn up?” before concluding, basically, “who cares.” Fast-forward a year or so later and I have to adjust that answer slightly; as I noted in my Queensland Film Festival piece argued that “sometimes, the atmosphere of the film…

Best of Enemies (2015)

The intellectual American subjects of Best of Enemies – bug-eyed National Review editor and conservative iconoclast William F. Buckley Jr; vaguely-aristocratic-looking playwright, screenwriter and very-un-Right Gore Vidal – are a long way from household names nowadays. This documentary covers the infamous ABC debates between the pair, but where I’d expected a “things sure have changed”…

Holding the Man: Love Meets Tragedy in 1980s Australia

Opening your tragic love story with a re-enactment of Romeo and Juliet is a bold move, but it’s the kind of decision that neatly encapsulates the strengths – and weaknesses – of Holding the Man, Neil Armfield and Tommy Murphy’s film adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s memoir. This is a film that unashamedly tilts for the…

Ricki and the Flash (2015)

Meryl Streep adds ‘Righteous-Rock-Chick’ to her resume in this breezy dramedy by Jonathan Demme. A musical masterpiece this is not. But it does offer a meaty slice of familial tribulation as the eponymous Ricki Rendazzo (Streep) attempts to reconnect with resentful offspring following self-imposed exile. Streep, the consummate pro, is clearly having a good time…

Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

This movie is good. Like, really, non-cliché, good. I’d rewatched the previous, Timothy-Olyphant-starring Hitman film in preparation for this one. I’d enjoyed it. It wasn’t a cinematic masterpiece, but still an enjoyable film. After watching Hitman: Agent 47 however, it simply pales in comparison. Agent 47’s action sequences are superb, and the stunts leave you…

Dope (2015)

Dope begins with three dictionary definitions of the title, suiting the purposeful restlessness of a movie that’s neatly trisected into three distinct sections: each one assured, stylish and articulate. The first half is a teen film – all the colourful kineticism of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl except with, y’know, something to say…