Mini Review - Free State of Jones
Free State of Jones (out Aug 25) provides an underwhelming history lesson. Set in the midst of the American Civil War, Matthew McConaughey stars a simple farmer who creates an army to fight for equality. It tries to cover too many themes, it focuses too much on it's leading "superhero", and it contains the year's bizarrest subplot (a handful of scenes set 85 years in the future). Grade: C+.
Mini Review - David Brent: Life on the Road
David Brent: Life of the Road (out Aug 25) will not revitalize the career of Ricky Gervais. I wanted to walk out of the cinema after 10 minutes but stuck with it to see if the repetitive jokes actually got any better. They did not. Every scene feels the same. Grade: C-.
Mini Review - Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur (out Aug 25) offers a slightly different take on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel by focusing on forgiveness as opposed to revenge. There are some interesting themes (the power of sport and its effect on national pride) but it lacks the passion and intensity that make Gladiator (another Roman epic) so memorable. Grade: B-.
Mini Review - High-Rise
High-Rise (out Aug 18) is reminiscent of Snowpiercer in that it's class warfare in an apartment building as opposed to class warfare on a train. It's a great concept for a movie but director Ben Wheatley but as the narrative becomes more and more chaotic, so too do the film's messages. Grade: B-.
Mini Review - War Dogs
War Dogs (out Aug 18) is based on actual events and follows two twenty-something-year-old entrepreneurs who start selling arms to the United States military. Framed as a comedy, the film ends messily and doesn't judge its characters harshly enough. Still, it's an interesting "truth is stranger than fiction tale" that highlights the ways people profit from human tragedy. Grade: B.
Mini Review - The Shallows
The Shallows (out Aug 18) is a shark thriller shot here in Australia. Blake Lively stars as a young woman who is attacked while surfing at an isolated beach in Mexico and becomes stranded on a tiny rock. There are "splashes" of excitement but a few plot developments feel forced (such as the ending). Jaws this is not. Grade: B-.
Mini Review - Kubo and the Two Strings
Kubo and the Two Strings (out Aug 18) is a rich, beautiful stop-motion animated feature that was made in America but is set in a strange Studio Ghibli-type world. It's the tale of a boy with magical powers who learns about his unusual past. The comedic elements didn't win me over but the film explores interesting themes (which young kids may struggle with). Grade: B+.
Mini Review - Tickled
Tickled (out Aug 18) doesn't have enough material to warrant a 90 minute film but it's still an interesting documentary about a New Zealand journalist who looks into the world of "competitive endurance tickling" and makes some startling discoveries. Grade: B.
Matt's Weekly 612ABC Podcast
You can hear me review the latest movies every Thursday at 6:40am with Spencer Howson on 612ABC Brisbane. We're Brisbane's highest rated breakfast show! My latest podcasts are below.
|Podcast from 18 Aug 2016|
|- Reviewing The Shallows & War Dogs|
|Podcast from 11 Aug 2016|
|- Reviewing Down Under & Bad Moms|
|Podcast from 4 Aug 2016|
|- Reviewing Suicide Squad & Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie|
|Podcast from 28 Jul 2016|
|- Reviewing Embrace Of The Serpent & Jason Bourne|
|Podcast from 21 Jul 2016|
|- Reviewing Love & Friendship & Star Trek Beyond|