Marguerite (2015)

Marguerite seems like an odd choice to make the move from the Alliance Français French Film Festival to a general Australian release. Granted, it did well at the Cesars, but its pedigree is paired with a lacklustre, sluggish heap of a movie, ambling through half-assed farce and undercooked politics while finding little of merit beyond…

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

You’d expect Marvel to be running out of steam by now, but this latest offering confounds expectations. Captain America: Civil War brandishes the series’ signature eye-popping visual spectacle in a package that skimps on neither heart nor wit. This is the best MCU film since the original Iron-Man. The screenwriters have managed to succeed in two key areas…

A Month of Sundays (2016)

A boy’s best friend is his mother. Not exempt is 50-something real estate flunkey, Frank Mollard (Anthony LaPaglia), who struggles to come to terms with the death of his biological mum. But fate intervenes in the shape of ‘surrogate mother’, Sarah (Julia Blake) who offers him friendship and closure. Sundays proves a decent contemplation of…

Over the Garden Wall

Ever wonder what might happen if Adventure Time’s Jake and Finn ended up in an Enid Blyton novel? Then Over the Garden Wall is the show – or ten-episode miniseries, if you prefer – for you! That’s a slight over-simplification of what’s going on here. Over the Garden Wall shares with Adventure Time a fondness…

Mississippi Grind (2015)

Mississippi Grind draws from the archetypes of the gambling and the road movie, finding the rough-edged redolence of a gambler’s existence. We follow a pair of gambling tragics – or perhaps addict is the right word – Ben Mendehlson’s world-weary Gerry (like “Lewis”) and Ryan Reynolds’ mouthy Curtis (like “Mayfield”). Each becomes intertwined in the…

Isla Bonita (2015)

Every now and again, I find myself drawn to films not for any particular artistic or narrative merit, but simply because I’m for an evocation of a mood and place. With an extended European holiday on the horizon, Isla Bonita certainly scratches the itch of idle European tranquillity, set pretty well entirely on the –…

Cartel Land (2015)

Cartel Land was one of 2015’s most successful documentaries, earning a cavalcade of critical praise and even an Oscar nomination. It’s not hard to see why; Matthew Heineman’s film combines a contentious contemporary issue – Mexico’s fraught, cartel-dominated ‘drug war’ and tensions along the U.S.A./Mexico border – with kinetic, ‘can-you-fucking-believe-they-got-that-shot’ cinematography. It’s the kind of…