Tag Archives: year: 2016

Fast Five Review: Adult Life Skills

adultlifeskillsbannerAdult Life Skills
Comedy | 2016
Reviewed by Michelle

Whether she’s ready or not, Anna is about to turn thirty. She lives in her mum’s garden shed, works at a depressing adventure camp for kids and spends her free time making videos of her thumbs with faces drawn on them, providing the voices as they bicker about life, the universe and everything in a rocket ship hurtling through space. As her life spirals out of control, Anna’s mum issues her an ultimatum: she needs to get her act together and move out before her thirtieth birthday. Or else.

1) Did you like this film?

I most certainly did! I had no idea what to expect from Adult Life Skills and was pleasantly surprised. This British indie film completely won me over.

2) Why?

This is a delightfully warped film about grief that’s genuinely funny, and sad, and weird, and thought-provoking – and all at the same time. Jodie Whittaker is captivating in the lead role (it took me ages to work out why her name seemed vaguely familiar…) and the film’s soundtrack is just perfect. Sure, there are a few narrative loose threads, but as a whole, Adult Life Skills is a little film with a giant-sized heart.

vlcsnap-2017-03-05-13h27m39s034

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

You don’t mind comedy that makes you laugh one moment and cry the next.

4) This film made me think about…

Last week, I reviewed (and loved!) a feminist film written and directed by a guy, and I had a bit of a rant about how we need more female film critics. But I think I got it wrong. It’s not that we need more female critics – there are heaps of them already out there, working away. What we do need is to place a greater value on the work of female critics, female producers, female writers…and female creators in general. Like Rachel Tunnard, the writer and director behind Adult Life Skills. I’m already looking forward to whatever she does next.

5) Overall rating?

Two thumbs up from me, as well as four stars.

Adult-Life-Skills-pic-2-600x330

4-stars

Fast Five Review: Colossal

colossalbannerColossal
Science Fiction | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

Gloria is an unemployed, thirtysomething blogger living in New York and teetering on the verge of alcoholism. When her over-it boyfriend kicks her out of his apartment, Gloria moves back to her hometown and reconnects with Oscar, an old friend who now owns his parents’ bar. Also, in the meantime, a giant monster begins to appear in Seoul, South Korea at the same time every morning, laying waste to entire neighbourhoods. Eventually, Gloria becomes convinced that she and the monster are somehow connected…

1) Did you like it?

I have to admit, I’d never heard of Colossal, but the brief description I read intrigued me and I decided to give it a watch. I’m so glad I did, because I loved this film!

2) Why?

Giant monster movies have been done to death. And, let’s face it, so has the “odd but troubled woman moves back home to get her life together” genre. But this movie is something different. It mashes these two completely disparate stories together – and the result is totally unique. And just when you think you have an idea where Colossal is going, the plot kicks into overdrive and it goes somewhere else entirely. And in the best possible way.

colossalThat’s all I’m going to tell you about Colossal. It’s funny, terrifying, quirky – and probably a cult classic. Just watch it.

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

Hmm. It’s difficult to say. If you’re expecting something along the lines of Godzilla/Pacific Rim/Cloverfield/Kong – you’re probably going to be disappointed.

4) This movie made me think about…

We need more female film critics. I looked up a few reviews before writing this, and pretty much every professional review I encountered was written by a man. I’m not saying that guys won’t, or don’t get this film – it was written and directed by a man: Spanish filmmaker, Nacho Vigalondo. But so many of the reviews of Colossal I read missed the point entirely, while the reviews I found by women saw this film for what it is. Female critics, represent.

5) Overall rating?

Yep, it’s that good…

5-stars

Fast Five Review: Jasper Jones

jasperjonesblogbannerJasper Jones
Drama | 2017

One night in the scorching hot summer of 1969, outcast Jasper Jones knocks at Charlie Bucktin’s window and beckons Charlie to follow him into the bush, where Jasper reveals to Charlie evidence of a crime – a crime for which Jasper is sure to be blamed. It’s a secret that will change Jasper and Charlie’s lives forever…and will tear their small town apart.

1) Did you like it?

First up, it’s taken me a while to watch Jasper Jones because I really enjoyed the book (which was written by Craig Silvey and published in 2009, by the way) …and I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand bad adaptations of books I love. I get grumpy when filmmakers take too many liberties with books. Or play it safe, and follow the book too closely. In summary: I’m pretty picky.

So, with all that in mind: yes, I liked Jasper Jones.

2) Why?

The thing with Jasper Jones is that it’s a seriously complicated book, with subplots galore – and even though it juggles some pretty heavy themes, it’s also genuinely funny.

Of course, the film can’t capture every one of the book’s nuances and threads. That’s always the case with film adaptations. However, Jasper Jones does a really good job of capturing much of what makes the book unique. Sure, there are a few questions that the film doesn’t quite have time to answer, but for the most part, this is a faithful, careful adaptation that does its source material justice.

(In fact, there are even a couple of elements of this story that the film actually improves, like the relationship between Charlie and Eliza, and Toni Collette’s portrayal of Ruth, Charlie’s mum, brings a humanity to the character that didn’t seem as pronounced in the book.)jasperjonesimage1

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

…you loved the book. But that’s not to say that this will only be a hit with novel fans – it’s also set to become a classic in its own right.

4) This movie made me think about…

How rare (and welcome!) it is to encounter a good film adaptation of a much-loved book.

5) Overall rating?

4.5-stars

Fast Five Review: Moonlight (2016)

moonlightbannerMoonlight
2016 | M | Drama

Chiron is growing up poor, African American and gay in one of Miami’s toughest neighbourhoods. His mother is addicted to drugs and he’s relentlessly bullied at school. The odds are stacked against him. In Moonlight, we meet Chiron three times: the first as a child, the second as a teenager and the third as an adult.

Continue reading

Fast Five Review: A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)

streetcatnamedbobheader

A Street Cat Named Bob
2016 | PG | Drama

James, a recovering drug addict and promising busker, is on his ninth life when he meets Bob, a ginger cat with nowhere else to go. Suddenly, James has a reason to get his life back on track. Based on a real-life story – and starring Bob himself – A Street Cat Named Bob is a heart-warming take of redemption and second chances.

Continue reading