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Arts Reviews

Posted 28 Mar 2017 @ 11:47am

★★

 

Quality aside, there comes a time when no great actor, director or production team can justify the mounting of a particular play – and that time is now. No longer satisfied with dominating Sydney’s main stages, the values of ’70s Middle America have made their way onto the independent scene for little discernible reason.

 

Lenny (Laura Pike) isn’t using to...

Posted 28 Mar 2017 @ 11:23am

★★★★

 

Whereas satire aims to hold a mirror up to the flaws of our society, this wildly un-PC farce, The Homosexuals, Or 'Faggots', does away with subtleties and goes straight for the throat, like a javelin hurled straight at Darlinghurst.

 

Warren (Simon Burke) and Kim (Simon Corfield) have it all – a well-located apartment, financial comfort, and each other. But...

Posted 24 Mar 2017 @ 11:16am

It’s no wonder Parramatta is being heralded as Australia’s next major city.

 

From vast proposals for urban renewal, to new initiatives for live music, and the opening of trendy cafes and restaurants en masse throughout Western Sydney, the attraction to this new cultural capital is plain to see. 

 

With Sydney’s most culturally diverse population residing in the...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 3:53pm

The hopper, a traditional Sri Lankan street food, is a serious contender for being considered a national treasure in its home country.

 

Predominately served as a breakfast food, this gluten-free, ‘almost-paleo’ snack has largely evaded the Western palate, until now. 

 

Ruvanie, who runs Hopper Kadé, is so passionate about hoppers, you’ll start to feel excited...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 1:29pm

0.5 STARS

 

Do you remember the marketing conceit that the video game Team Fortress 2 introduced, where you could buy skins for your characters? That’s Power Rangers in a nutshell: seeing it at a cinema is like paying $20 for a new skin over Michael Bay’s Transformers.

 

When a group of five misfit teenagers stumble on the wreckage of an alien spacecraft in a gold...

Posted 20 Mar 2017 @ 12:00am

★★★★★

 

Those revelling in the slow-motion war-porn of Oscar winner Hacksaw Ridge should be forced to watch Land Of Mine, Martin Zandvliet’s magnificent, affecting exploration of the scars left by conflict and the complexity beyond the battlefield.

 

It’s May 1945, and World War II is all but over. In Denmark, a group of young German POWs are taken to the coast to...

Posted 17 Mar 2017 @ 3:06pm

So new to the cafe scene that they aren’t even on Google Maps yet, Bruce Tea & Coffee is Glebe’s latest offering for Sydney’s burgeoning coffee connoisseurs.

 

The owners, Tony Sleiman and George Pahali, left the corporate world of offices and suits for a taste of the cafe game, citing a passion for educating themselves about coffee, and wanting to share that passion with...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 9:57am

★★☆

 

Otto Bloom is an enigma. 

 

Found by a policeman with no ID, no memory and no history of his existence, Otto is studied by neuroscientist Ada without much success, until Otto tells her that he comes from the future. But The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom isn’t a time travel story. Otto hasn’t merely travelled back in time and arrived in our present; he’s...

Posted 12 Mar 2017 @ 12:42pm

★★☆

 

If you plan on seeing Get Out, the debut feature by noted comedian and television icon Jordan Peele, it’s probably best to skip reading the rest of this review – and, in fact, any reviews of the film full stop. Seriously. By this stage, the lauded socio-political horror/thriller has been hyped within the very inch of its life, and many of its key plot points have already...

Posted 11 Mar 2017 @ 1:35pm

★★★★☆

 

The annals of horror history are littered with antagonists that boast fascinating, distinctive character traits. Freddy Krueger has his glove. Jason has his hockey mask. Romero’s zombies have their shuffle. And yet the antagonist lurking at the heart of André Øvredal’s stunning English language debut, The Autopsy Of Jane Doe is unique precisely because of her anonymity,...

Posted 11 Mar 2017 @ 12:43pm

★★★★

 

Killing Ground, the debut film from writer/director Damien Power, is a horrific Rube Goldberg machine, a complicated series of chance encounters and violent clashes that builds up to a searing, blood-soaked finale. In that way, the destination won’t be much of a surprise – given the “perfect young couple head into the outback” setup, it’s not a question of if things are...

Posted 8 Mar 2017 @ 12:41pm

★★★★ 

 

"I'm pregnant." Spoken under darkening skies, they're two simple words that can fill a room, make your heart swell and, in the case of Loving, become the catalyst to a decade of emotional and physical upheaval.

 

Based on a true story, Loving is set in 1950s country Virginia. It's a time when ‘whites’ and ‘coloureds’ live harmoniously together, but the...

Posted 8 Mar 2017 @ 12:21pm

★★★★

 

Brace yourselves for monkey madness, folks – the big guy is back, and not for the last time. Now boasting more bulk than ever before, Kong undergoes a Dredd-style transformation in the brashest, ballsiest blockbuster of the summer.

 

Biologist Bill Randa (John Goodman) is convinced of the scientific value of a near inaccessible and wholly uncharted island in...

Posted 2 Mar 2017 @ 5:09pm

I’ve tried a lot of cuisines. French, Guatemalan, Brazilian… and just about every Thai restaurant that has ever turned its name into a pun.

 

It’s been a while since I truly thought, “Huh. Well I’ve never seen that before.” Until now. Egyptian food? 

 

Yeah, I know. I felt the same way. It’s that feeling of, “I feel like I should have had this before, but I’ve never...

Posted 28 Feb 2017 @ 2:21pm

★★★★

 

Softly spoken and frequently auspicious (given our present global circumstances), Alone In Berlin is a quiet cat-and-mouse thriller that paints a moving portrait of the small acts of heroism that shake the foundations of fascism.

 

Otto (Brendan Gleeson) and Anna Quangel (Emma Thompson) live simple, blue-collar lives in Berlin, 1940. Somewhat reluctantly,...

Posted 28 Feb 2017 @ 1:23pm

★★★★

 

Set in 1920s Sydney, The Trouble With Harry is based on the true story of Harry Crawford. Born a woman, Eugenia Falleni, she fled Italy to live in Sydney, carrying on with life as a man and marrying twice. 

 

Harry’s daughter Josephine (Bobbie-Jean Henning) – a product of a rape – has arrived following the death of her adopted mother. Harry’s wife Annie (Jane...

Posted 28 Feb 2017 @ 12:13pm

 

The impact of Marvel Studios’ extended universe-building has increasingly become one to be measured in economic rather than critical success. 

 

Marvel isn’t making movies for the sake of making movies any more – it is propping up an empire, and its “one for the widest possible audience, one for the critics” approach has become strikingly dull.

 

...

Posted 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:27am

I love a good chunk of rustic charm. Having grown up in the middle of “Where the heck is that?” in Central New South Wales, something about a restaurant that looks like it wouldn’t be out of place in a vineyard really speaks to me. 

 

The Provincial is cut right out of the sunny, tree-dotted campagnes of southern France, and, between the corrugated iron walls and polished timber...

Posted 26 Feb 2017 @ 12:00am

★★★

 

Adapted from a successful book and play, Jasper Jones is a well-crafted, timely treatise on small-town prejudice and its macrocosmic implications that quickly falls victim to the ‘Australian film’ genre.

 

The bookish Charlie Bucktin (Levi Miller) lives an unassuming life as an only child in the rural town of Corrigin, Western Australia. His life is turned...

Posted 17 Feb 2017 @ 10:15am

★★★☆

 

“Nostalgia – that’s what you’re here for,” says Sick Boy. “You’re a tourist in your own youth.” As are we, drawn back into the struggles of Danny Boyle’s skagboys 20 years on, visiting old friends we’re astonished to find still alive.

 

We’re not the only ones – Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) is a tourist now, too, having “chosen life” and whisked off to...

Posted 16 Feb 2017 @ 4:07pm

When comfort and relaxation are of the utmost importance, we turn to certain havens. Afternoon strolls beside a lake, evenings undisturbed with a good book, binge watching the latest Netflix series… and of course, Q Dining.

 

Q Dining is perched on the mezzanine level of the Pullman Quay Grand, overlooking East Circular Quay.

 

Boasting chic modern interiors of...

Posted 13 Feb 2017 @ 3:08pm

★★★★☆ 

 

Hidden Figures is classic Oscar-bait – based on a true story, loaded with exposition and emotional shouting, and led by an award-winning cast. And though it may come as a surprise, it’s also one of the most affecting and enjoyable films of the summer.

 

Katherine Goble (Taraji P. Henson) has always been the smartest person in any given room, owing to her...

Posted 9 Feb 2017 @ 12:32pm

There’s much to be said about the ‘experience’ of modern dining. 

 

More and more, millennials are stepping out of their traditional pub meal smoker jackets and leaning towards the type of evening that looks great on Instagram, and creates genuine memories without too much to-do. 

 

Many diners are aware of the multitude of food fads that are sweeping the world...

Posted 7 Feb 2017 @ 11:46am

★★★☆ 

 

A Street Cat Named Bob is the heart-warming and feel-good true story about a young and homeless recovering drug addict living in London with his cat. 

 

James Bowen (played here by the occasionally whiny Luke Treadaway) is down on his luck, busking in Covent Garden and living in public housing until a chance meeting with a ginger tomcat changes his life. The...

Posted 7 Feb 2017 @ 11:34am

★★★☆

 

Griffin Theatre Company is kicking off its 2017 season with a bang.

 

No, sorry. A band.

 

Andrew (Justin Smith) is a former rock musician, floundering in his first ‘real job’. Bureaucracy, red tape, funding issues and shitty colleagues are getting in the way of his big plans for the youth music program he’s been hired to head up. It’s clearly...

Posted 6 Feb 2017 @ 8:43pm

★★☆

 

12 years on, the debut play from now-staple British playwright Dennis Kelly has lost none of its fire, its relevance and its visceral impact. At least on the page. Brought to the Australian stage today, it is missing two key factors: the relevance of its geographic location, and the subtleties of its narrative, lost in a well-intended but cacophonous production.

 ...

Posted 1 Feb 2017 @ 5:38pm

Forest Lodge in Sydney is the perfect testing ground for new cafes.

 

A blend of young, vibrant families, students and white-collar workers provides a thorough demographic for food hubs to experiment with new flavours and embellish old favourites. 

 

It bears little surprise, then, that the Tramsheds at...

Posted 31 Jan 2017 @ 12:26pm

0 STARS

 

If Gina Rinehart’s autobiography gave you the warm and fuzzies, you may wanna bring a spare pair of pants along to this one.

 

Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) is your average blue-collar Joe, slumming it as the successor to his father’s successful mining company. When he nearly sinks the company, he takes a wild punt on claims by geologist Michael Acosta...

Posted 31 Jan 2017 @ 12:14pm

★★★★

 

The zany Otto & Astrid of Die Roten Punkte fame took the stage at the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent to a fervent and excited late-night crowd. It’s a testament to both the passion of the duo’s music and the fan base it inspires that the audience was as big as it was, despite the hour nearing midnight.

 

Though the pair recently released their comedy web...

Posted 31 Jan 2017 @ 11:35am

★★

 

Never say die, because zombies seem to have long shuffle lives these days.

 

Resident Evil and its illustrious string of films return to grace us with an apparent final instalment, The Final Chapter. Directed and written by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich as its iconic femme fatale battling the Umbrella Corporation, the film follows humanity’s...

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