Mini Review - Malignant
Malignant (out Oct 21) has a half-decent idea at its core but the characters push too hard for laughs and it weakens what could have been a quality horror-comedy. Grade: C+.
Mini Review - The Last Duel
The Last Duel (out Oct 21) is based on actual events, set in the year 1386, and depicts the final judicial duel sanctioned by the French government. The style becomes repetitive (you'll know what I mean once you've seen the film) but the lead performances are great (particularly Jodie Comer) and, as you'd expect from director Ridley Scott, it culminates with a gritty, violent, believable climax. Grade: B+.
Mini Review - Becoming Cousteau
Becoming Cousteau (out Oct 21) is a documentary where the older you are, the more likely you are to be interested in the subject matter. It's centered on Jacques Cousteau who is best known for his oceanic nature shows that first aired on television in 1966. The film isn't offering much that isn't already widely known about Cousteau but it's still nice to be reminded of his value to society and the world. Grade: B-.
Mini Review - Waiting for Anya
Waiting for Anya (out Oct 14) is a disappointing, unnecessarily simplistic World War II film about French families hiding Jewish children from German soldiers. This story has been told before and better (e.g. see The Book Thief). Grade: C.
Mini Review - I'm Wanita
I'm Wanita (out Oct 14) is an engaging Australian documentary about a troubled country music singer from Tamworth who flies to the United States to fulfill her dream of recording a life-changing album. History celebrates the victors and so it's refreshing to see a film focus on someone who never found success and the reasons for that (part of it self-inflicted). Grade: B+.
Mini Review - Lamb
Lamb (out Oct 14) is a peculiar film set on a remote Icelandic farm about a childless couple raising an unusual animal. I admire the film's "strangeness" and the way the characters think everything is normal... but I’m not sure audiences will walk out of this thinking they were challenged enough. Lacks a great finale. Grade: B.
Mini Review - A Fire Inside
A Fire Inside (out Oct 7) is an Australian made documentary that pays homage to volunteers of the Royal Fire Service and their efforts, both during and in the aftermath, of the fierce 2019-20 bushfire season. A few too many talking heads but still a nice tribute. Grade: B.
Mini Review - Love is Love is Love
Love is Love is Love (out Oct 7) is a collection of three lifeless, pointless short stories that having nothing to offer. Grade: C-.