Silver Screen Queens

Reviewing movies and the culture that surrounds them.

  • Every Wednesday
  • Averages around 46 minutes

190: Moana

Published 4 January 2017 • 30 minutes, 38 seconds

Disney’s latest animated adventure finally arrived in Australia on Boxing Day 2016, and we were first in line to see it. It turns out, however, that we kind of disagree on this one, apart from the magnificence of The Rock, who puts in a star turn as the demi-god, Maui. It’s fun, cute and you should definitely take your kids to see it over the holidays, but it’s probably not the same modern classic that Frozen has become.

189: Lion

Published 28 December 2016 • 41 minutes, 56 seconds

We caught an early screening of Nicole Kidman’s latest Oscar bait. This movie has some good elements (the acting is excellent, and it’s not only Kidman who should be in contention), but is let down by un-engaging storytelling. It’s notable for its focus on the story of the adoptee rather than his parents, and doesn’t shy away from the more problematic aspects, but would have benefitted from a more dynamic structure.

188: Live Episode: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Published 21 December 2016 • 33 minutes, 53 seconds

The long-awaited Star Wars spin-off film has arrived, so we decided to watch it with an audience. This gritty film really focuses in on the ‘war’ part of Star Wars, following a band of rebels as they steal the plans to the original Death Star in the days before the beginning of STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE. Recorded live at Palace Cinemas in Canberra; special thanks to Daniel ‘Jelly’ Farrelly for the sound production.

187: Queen of Katwe

Published 14 December 2016 • 45 minutes, 19 seconds

Disney Princess Lupita N’yongo uses her power for good, teaming up with the legendary Mira Nair to tell the story of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi’s rise from the slum of Katwe to chess master. It’s an inspirational kids sports movie with a twist, featuring the extraordinary talents of Ms N’yongo and David Oyelowo, and it’s well worth your time.

186: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Published 7 December 2016 • 1 hour, 24 minutes

Another of our occasional ventures into television as we cover the Gilmore Girls reunion show. There’s something nice and comfortable about hanging out in Stars Hollow, with all your quirky faves. It may be problematic, but at least it’s a problematic fave.

185: Arrival

Published 30 November 2016 • 39 minutes, 47 seconds

This Amy Adams/Jeremy Renner sci-fi has been getting great word of mouth, so we check it out. If you haven’t seen it yet, we recommend you do so before listening to this episode, because it really is best enjoyed unspoiled.

184: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Published 23 November 2016 • 57 minutes, 53 seconds

We weren’t really that excited to hear about another Harry Potter franchise. As long-term fans, we have been burnt before by the films, and this movie didn’t exactly generate a buzz. Luckily, this set us up to be pleasantly surprised by a charming Eddie Redmayne, a creepy Colin Farrell, and a ragtag band of mostly-unknowns giving it their all.

183: Westworld (1973)

Published 16 November 2016 • 36 minutes, 24 seconds

With the new Westworld TV show blowing up, we decided to go back to the original film, written and directed by Michael Crichton in 1973. We were pleasantly surprised by a smart sci-fi that was way ahead of its time. It was the first film to use CGI technology, four years before STAR WARS, and it has a sensitive and thoughtful take on the rise of robots and artificial intelligence. Sure, it’s slow by today’s standards, but we’re glad we made the effort. You can rent it on YouTube for a few bucks.

182: Hell or High Water

Published 9 November 2016 • 32 minutes, 28 seconds

We didn’t know much about this film, other than Chris Pine Western, so obviously we had to see it. While it’s got some good points (gorgeous cinematography, interesting score, adventurous direction and good acting), the film as a whole felt a bit too languid for a movie about two bank robbers being pursued by a Texas Ranger.

181: Doctor Strange

Published 2 November 2016 • 43 minutes, 9 seconds

We didn’t exactly go into Marvel’s latest effort with high expectations, but we were pleasantly surprised. Once you get past the whitewashing, the male-centric story and the bad accent, it’s well-made escapist fun with good actors and sterling special effects. Marvel sucks us in once again.