Juliet, Naked (2018) Film Review *Spoiler alert*

Annie (Rose Byrne) is stuck. She moved home to a small, seaside town to care for her father and fell into a job, a relationship and a life that she’s not altogether happy with. Her partner Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) is a uni lecturer who has a total obsession with musician Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke) who disappeared from public view decades ago. Dale spends his spare time online making videos, participating in online debates and forums – it is a true obsession. When Rose accidentally finds herself exchanging emails with Tucker without Duncan’s knowledge, things get complicated.

This is a really fun film. It’s written by Nick Hornby and is very much a Hornby fest – obsessed man, suffering and selfless girlfriend, whacky mate (in this case, Annie’s sister) and some decent laughs. If you’re not such a fan of romantic comedies, this probably isn’t for you. For me, the best thing in the film was Ethan Hawke’s performance – while he was mostly vague and fun, the glimpses of vulnerability were somewhat unexpected. However, I didn’t really like the romance of this film, which is a bit of a problem in a romantic comedy. I wanted more for Annie. I felt like she had fallen into one relationship and then kind of fell into another, and she was feeling dissatisfied and lost in her life but oh, thank goodness there is another man to fix her situation. A man who has a very poor track record for the way he has treated (and continues to treat) the women in his life. Yes, he is vulnerable, but he’s still a bit of a dick.

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) Film Review


We’re back in the early days of X-Men. The really early days – there is a dude back in ancient Egypt who is a mutant, who rules as a god on earth and takes powers from other mutants. Luckily, there are some good guys who manage to trap him in the Earth for thousands of years. Unfortunately, he gets free and tries to take over. He’s always had four sidekicks, and this time is no different: he takes Angel (Ben Hardy ), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and our old favourite, Magneto (Michael Fassbender). So it is up to Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his guys to save the world.

For me, as someone who came to the X-Men films with no prior comic knowledge, this is all starting to get a bit confusing. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it. I love all the explosions and the craziness, and especially the powers, but I get a bit lost. Who is what? What powers do they have? Who is good and who is bad? And what’s the story with Magneto – after constantly being in these battle where he seems to (spoiler – I think?) change from the bad side to help the good, why does he keep being bad? What? I know I’ll keep watching these films and getting more and more confused, and I don’t really mind as long as they keep the special effects fancy and the costumes cool.


I Give it a Year (2013) Film Review


So Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) are two opposites who fell in love, got married really quickly and no-on thinks they will last it out. Then there is the other love interests… Chloe (Anna Faris), a charity worker, the ex of Josh, who is a bit dumpy (well, she doesn’t style her hair too much and wears normal clothes, so she must be totally dumpy, yeah?) and then there is Guy (Simon Baker), a rich man whose account Nat is trying to get at work, and who just keeps sleazing on to her even whilst making joke about harassment.

It’s bound to go badly. And really, there are just so many shit things about this film. There is the fact that the married couple only seem to want to stay together to prove other people wrong or to not be the one who walks away, whilst both of them are lusting after other people. And it really is a pretty shit concept. And every time I thought it might go well, it went bad. It’s just not great, but a few things worked….

Okay the things that worked were really just the other people: the always wonderful Minnie Driver, the fabulous Daisy Haggard, and one of my favourite performers ever, the brilliant Olivia Colman.


X-Men : First Class (2011) Film Review


It’s the early sixties, and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is starting to get quite vocal about his discoveries about mutants. Meanwhile, Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender as the character who becomes Magneto) is seeking revenge on the Nazis, in particular Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), who killed his mother. Then there is Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) who is trying to find her place in the world. Oh, but the world doesn’t really know about them. As they are revealed, people are scared.

Fun and exciting with cool characters who (mostly) I am really enjoying. I really love the depictions of the sixties, the styles and fashion and getting these parts of the characters’ backstories.


The Internship (2013) Film Review


Wow, could there be much more offensiveness in a single film than this?

The basic story is pretty flawed to begin with; two middle-aged guys end up unemployed and get internships at Google. There, they are constantly put down and treated like losers by the young folk. Ending up in a team that no-one wanted, they manage to rally the others together to work as a team.

Firstly, there is no way Google would take on two men who cannot work a webcam no matter how quirky they are. Secondly, how offensive to think that these idiots could take a bunch of very smart people out to get trashed and end up forming a cohesive unit. Thirdly, how insulting to assume that because these kids are smart and ambitious, they must be totally unworldly, not know how to have fun and, of course, be virgins. Fourthly… wait, I’m going to stop listing as I may never end. The scene in the strip club is so amazingly unnecessary, misogynistic and clearly just an excuse to have lot of semi-naked women writhing about. The only thing more offensive that the images was the music – really no fun nor subtlety in those lyrics.

I always think I like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, then I see something like this and I never want to see them again. Not even Rose Byrne could save this one. And how airbrushed is that poster!

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.

Bridesmaids (2011) Film Review


There’s nothing I like more than being in a full cinema that is roaring with laughter. That’s what seeing Bridesmaids was like a few years ago; me, a bunch of my mates and a lot of laughing. Critics and the media were raving about how marvelous it was to have women being funny.

If you don’t know, the story is that Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and appoints her best friend Annie (Kristen Wiig) as her maid-of-honour. However, Annie is post-break-up, has recently had her cupcake business go under and is pretty much a mess, and between her own craziness and jealousy of Lillian’s new friend Helen (Rose Byrne), Annie makes a mess of all of the pre-wedding events.

So why was it that I dreaded watching it again? It was really two scenes from the film that kept popping up in my mind; the speeches at the engagement party and the food poisoning/dress fitting. These extremely over-the-top scenes were all I could remember, and I hated them. The grossness of the food poisoning scene was just totally unnecessary and on a second watch, it really brings little to the film. Although, I suppose, it got people talking. As for the one-upmanship between Annie and Helen during the engagement speech, it just felt unrealistic and annoying.

Finally, I decided to push through and just watch it and I was delighted to find that these two scenes felt very out-of-place. There was a lot of over-the-top craziness, but there was also a lot of heart. I liked it a lot more than I expected to. I especially liked the friendship between Annie and Lillian, which felt very genuine.

It was awesome to see so many strong female actors in the film, even if some were playing very over-the-top caricatures. I expect that I’ll see whatever is touted as the next Bridesmaids, but I hope it doesn’t force the comedy so much as this did.