Will Arnett’s Lego Batman was one of the highlights of 2014’s THE LEGO MOVIE, and thanks to a thousand internet memes, now he has a solo spinoff film. Unfortunately, what was a great gag in service of a larger movie, loses something when it has to carry an entire movie. The entire project smacks of a desire to cash in on a phenomenon, and it suffers from the lack of proper story development.
Tale as old as time…song as old as rhyme…you know the rest. For our generation, the 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast is a classic. Not just ‘good for an kids movie’, it was wildly successful at the box office, became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture and won Oscars for its score and title song. Now that the kids who watched that film have grown up and have kids of their own to take to the movies, Disney has remade it in a live action version starring Emma Watson, whose singing ability (or lack thereof) has caused some consternation in the lead up to its release. It (among other things) also caused some consternation among your podcast hosts.
The latest instalment of Marvel’s Netflix ‘Defenders’ shows is out, and it’s the most controversial. Since its announcement, Iron Fist has provoked a strong reaction; even more so after it cast a non-Asian lead. Friend of the show Jamie joins us to review it, and we discover that whitewashing is the least of its problems.
The film commemorating the story of Richard and Mildred Loving has finally reached Australia (only three months after its domestic release…). Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay quite the tribute these trailblazers deserve. While the film seems to have an honourable approach to the facts of the case, and the Lovings’ lives, this has the effect of toning down the drama and missing some of the broader importance of the story.
Podcast patron saint Tom Hiddleston has a new movie out, so obviously we were there for it. A B-grade King Kong flick with an A-grade cast and production values, Kong: Skull Island lives up to the awesome Apocalypse Now-inspired trailer that got us excited a few months ago. Newbie director Jordan Vogt-Roberts shows a deft hand, managing well-integrated CG and gorgeous visuals while keeping the big-name cast in check to deliver perfectly-pitched performances. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but at the same time it’s fresh and fun and a damn fine way to spend an afternoon at the cinema.
Hugh Jackman’s last outing as Wolverine promised a gritty, adult movie about the end of the world, and with good support from Patrick Stewart and director James Mangold, it does what it says on the tin. Is it the saviour of the superhero genre it’s been made out to be? No. But it is trying something different, and drawing on broader film influences that suit the perpetually grumpy Logan, while giving us a bittersweet story about caregiving and passing the torch.
We review Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary, and find that it’s worth seeing, if a little fast and furious. It presents some very serious information in an accessible and palatable way, is beautifully shot and made, and will help you show receipts the next time you’re faced with white folks claiming racism is over. It does, however, have a little of the feeling of a history class, and as it gets closer to its run time it does tend to skip over some of the more interesting things it brings up.
Published 15 February 2017 • 41 minutes, 30 seconds
We went to see this feeling a little conflicted, not wanting to support Casey Affleck or his alleged treatment of some of his female co-workers, but we didn’t feel like our Oscar preparation would be complete without it. It’s pretty good, if a little well-worn, and the story could do with some better structuring, but the cast are great, it looks amazing and it will hit you in the feels.
Published 8 February 2017 • 31 minutes, 29 seconds
This already-beloved film tells the story of three black women mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn, all of whom contributed to the US space program in significant ways. It is a sweet, fun historical picture with broad popular appeal. While we didn’t love it as much as we hoped we would, it is well worth your time, especially if you’re looking for something the whole family can enjoy.