Swiss Army Man: A Moving Story of Farts and Boners

It’s easy to snicker about Swiss Army Man. Since its Sundance debut, the film has quickly become characterised as “the farting corpse movie”, earning smirks and nudges and “Have you heard about this?” It’s understandable. This is a film, after all, which features The Boy Who Lived playing the man who died and can be…

Let's Be Cops (2014)

Let’s Be Cops (2014)

Let’s make a mainstream comedy with a pair of intensely unlikable characters with a pathological fixation on power; a failed footballer who tackles children (Jake Johnson) and a games designer who’s upset that he doesn’t run the place (Damon Wayans Jr). Let’s allow them to indulge their power trip by impersonating police officers, because that…

Boyhood (2014)

Why Does Everyone Like Boyhood So Much?

If you’re anything like me, you’re tired of reading about Boyhood by now, and the film hasn’t even come out in Australia (it’s released tomorrow). There were the months of pre-release hype as the rumoured-Linklater-twelve-project became an actual thing being released. There was the tsunami of hyperbolic reviews – coming in progressive waves as it…

Sarah Snook in Predestination (2014)

Predestination (2014)

As a teenager, I would’ve loved the Spierig Brothers’ time travel thriller Predestination; over a decade later, I’m not as enamoured of its conceptual ambition. The film sees Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook dart and swerve through an entwined net of plot twists taken from a conceptual short story (“All You Zombies”) by Robert Heinlein.…

Sydney Film Festival: Boyhood (2014)

When I was growing up, I used to imagine that I was the star in my own movie. That my adventures on the playground or walks home from school were shadowed by an unseen camera crew, recording my every experience for an enraptured audience. While the idea was ridiculous in its egotism – who would…

Extended Cut: Before Midnight (2013)

Before Midnight is arguably the best third instalment of a film series of all time, and a damn good contender for best film of 2013 so far while we’re at it. Its predecessors, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, set a perilously high standard and it’s cleared comfortably. It’s of a piece with those two films…

Double Feature - Before Sunrise and Before Sunset

Double Feature: Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004)

It’s astounding how effortless Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Before Sunset feel. Each captures a miraculous authenticity that could be derailed by a moment of artifice: a clunky line of dialogue here, an unconvincing line-reading there, even a showy shot that draws attention to itself could scuttle the film’s immersive realism, the unbroken illusion that…

Sinister (2012)

Yes, another horror movie… Sinister is, for its first half, a genuinely scary film populated by reasonably well-developed characters. Ethan Hawke, writing a true crime novel, finds a handful of creepy snuff films in the attic of his latest house (the site of a recent murder, naturally) and watches them, one by one, late at…