The Matrix Revolutions (2003) Film Review



Neo (Keanu Reeves) and his other rebels are fighting the robots on so many levels. And it’s big and cool and violent and fabulous.

After the disappointment of The Matrix Reloaded, I wasn’t expecting much of this. But, I loved it! I loved the big fights scenes, and the tension and the shooting and, even though I felt very little chemistry between Neo and Trinity, I still loved their relationship. It’s corny and cheesy, but a good way to end what started fabulously.


The Matrix Reloaded (2003) Film Review


Neo (Keanu Reeves) is now working with the rebels to try to break down the hold that the machines have over them.

Having totally loved The Matrix again, I was very interested to see the others, the two sequels. And boy, was I disappointed… I so wanted to love this, but it was just so… wanky. I don’t know, it felt like an entire film of exposition, and I lost interest. A lot. I found the wire work during the fight sequences far too obvious, and while the big action scenes (especially the one on the freeway) were fabulous, I just wasn’t in to the whole thing. But I still need to watch the third. In all honesty, the one scene that was really the kicker was the multi-Agent Smith – imagine Keanu Reeves fighting hundreds and hundreds of Hugo Weavings…. Ah, too good.

The Matrix (1999) Film Review


Neo (Keanu Reeves) is a pretty standard computer hacker, up all night, struggling with work. Then he is contacted by a mysterious woman, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) who leads him to Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and before long, he learns that the world is not as he sees it – he’s in The Matrix, being chased by Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) and trying to figure out if he can save the human race.

Love it. Loved it when I saw it when it was first released, and I still feel as though I could watch it again and again. I love the action, I love that scene with them going in to the building, I love the concept, I just loved it all.

The Matrix won Oscars for Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Best Effects – Sound Effects Editing and Best Effects – Visual Effects.


The Dressmaker (2015) Film Review


1950s, a very small town somewhere in regional Victoria. Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet), a glamorous dressmaker, returns to town, twenty-five years after she was taken away as a child for killing another child. She doesn’t remember, and feels cursed, so has come back to her mother, Mad Molly (Judy Davis) to learn the truth. Molly doesn’t remember her, but the rest of the town does, and she is hated. But when she transforms mousey Gertrude Pratt (Sarah Snook) into a gorgeous apparition with a fabulous dress, the townsfolk are forced to reassess.

I loved this film. I’d been terribly concerned from the trailers that I’d seen it all – the trailer certainly seemed to reveal an awful lot. And it all seemed to be going exactly where I expected it to go until BAM! About two-thirds of the way through the film, my heart was torn from my chest and everything went a totally different direction.

The cast is fabulous, most notably the always wonderful Kate Winslet, Hugo Weaving and Judy Davis. The costumes, as was necessary, were stunning. And the direction and cinematography; wonderful. It had all the quirk that I do love in an Aussie flick, but with powerful heart and, oh. I just loved it.


Tim Winton’s The Turning (2013) Film Review

Tim Winton's The Turning

Based on a collection of short stories by Tim Winton, The Turning comprises of a series of short films with a wide variety of known and unfamiliar actors directed by a whole heap of directors. Each has its own feel and pacing, and have some connections, although I didn’t pick up on a lot of the connections.

With eighteen different chapters, it is quite hard to summarise in a short form review. I think each of them worked in its own way, and as a whole collection, they held together. What I will say, in particular, is that it was a terribly depressing experience watching all of these films in a row, however for the beauty (albeit depressing and desolate a lot of the time) and Australian feel of the films, check it out.

Oranges and Sunshine (2010) Film Review

Oranges and Sunshine

Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson) is social worker who discovers a secret the British government have keep quiet for many years; many orphans or children that parents could not afford to raise were sent to Australia or Canada and put into orphanages. The film is based on a true story and sees Humphreys travel to Australia and meet adults who were raised in one particular Catholic home were the children were abused both physically and sexually.

It’s very full on and very good. A really terrible episode in the world and here is the story of it. Phew. I cried a lot. A lot a lot.

Cloud Atlas (2012) Film Review

Screen shot 2013-09-23 at 2.25.41 PM

Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Ben Wishaw, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant. Directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski. For many, this list alone would be enough to make it worth seeing Cloud Atlas. For others, it is having read the novel by David Mitchell (I believe it is not that David Mitchell). Still others would have seen the trailer and been amazed at the sheer scale of the project.

I think it is impossible to summarise the plot in any simple fashion. It covers a multitude of characters over time, place, even on different planets. The characters are linked, although it is not always clear how or why. It’s pretty fascinating to see how the story has been created.

I must admit, I started watching expecting that I would hate this film, and hate it a lot. That’s certainly where I started. There were snippets of plot introducing characters but then flitting away before I had the chance to find out much about them. The amount of prosthetic work and make-up was annoying, and I’m not really a massive fan of fantasy as a genre. Once I had committed to disliking the film, a strange thing happened. I started to really like it. A lot. I let go my previous convictions and just enjoyed it for what it was. And it was good. Not brilliant, but a good, solid fantasy film. Though I did wonder about the Hugo Weaving character that was an awful lot like Old Gregg from The Mighty Boosh… anyone who can explain that to me, I’d be greatly appreciative.

As has often happened for me, this has inspired me to read the book, although I think I need some time between watching the film and reading the book.

Rake TV Review


This is what Australian television can be. Funny, clever, challenging and generally great. Of course, now America has taken the format and are making their own which could mean the concept is destroyed, but we will always have Richard Roxburgh. (They’ve got Greg Kinnear. He may save it)

So, Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh) is a Sydney lawyer who enjoyed prostitutes, cocaine and gambling. He is regularly beaten up by those he owes money to, and revels in taking the most unwinnable and unusual cases. In the first season, he defends a cannibal (Hugo Weaving), a shock jock accused of causing a race riot (Rachel Griffiths) and a couple enjoying a very, very close relationship with their family dog (Sam Neill and Heather Mitchell). Cleaver also has an interesting relationship with his ex-wife and son, a challenging love affair with an ex-prostitute who is dating a lawyer hell-bent on destroying Cleaver and is trying to find a way to reconcile with his ill father. There is just so much to the show.

It says a lot for the marvellous writing and excellent plots that the show has attracted such big names for guest appearances. There have been two seasons so far for Rake, and a third is currently in production. I enjoyed the first a lot more than the second, and I think it is because the court cases were stand-alone. In the second season, there were more plots which carried on over several episodes and less of the titillating excitement of the first. Mind you, given where the second season ended, I cannot wait to see where they take it.

Mystery Road (2013) – MIFF Film Review



Australia  121mins

Indigenous police detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) returns the small rural Queensland town  of his past to investigate the murder of a teenage girl. He no longer fits the place he held in this society, but is unsure on how to establish himself in his new role. The town is rife with alcoholism and drugs with a small police force that can barely hold their own.

I really don’t enjoy being harsh on Australian films. I like to think that I am loyal to the local industry, although I know I do not support it nearly as much as I always intend to. But I’m not going to pretend I like a film just because it is Australian. For me, Mystery Road was underwritten, so that I felt that it was a clichéd Australian small-town cop story for the first three-quarters of the film, and then suddenly a whole lot of stuff happened that I couldn’t follow. I think I have most of the plot straight in my head after contemplating it for a long time, but am not totally sure. It had a strong sense of the mini-series or even television series. I certainly would like to see more of the character of Jay Swan, despite having not really enjoyed the film.

Both Aaron Pedersen and Hugo Weaving are fantastic in their roles (surely Weaving is one of the few actors who could make such an oddly written character work in such a successful way) but many of the rest of the cast seem to be poorly directed. I hope other people love this film a lot, but I just didn’t.

Mystery Road screens at the Forum Theatre on Friday, July 26 at 6:15pm. To book tickets, visit

Last Ride (2009) Film Review


Why are Australian films so consistently bleak? We seem to have moved on from the heroin storyline that was so consistent through the late nineties early naughties, but yet things are still bleak and awful.

Last Ride (even the title tells you that things aren’t going to go great) follows Kev (Hugo Weaving) as he drags his young son Chook (Tom Russell) across the country, hiding out from the law. Kev veers from being loving in a brash manner to plain abusive, and the audience is siding with Chook as he tries to find his place in the world.

It’s a harsh film depicting a rough and horrible world, and this is plain in the dull, ugliness that comes through in every shot. No rose-coloured glasses here. Just bleak, bleak, bleak.