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A young woman’s (Rooney Mara) confrontation with a man (Ben Mendelsohn) from her past threatens to derail his new life and her stability.

The synopsis may read well on paper, but it doesn’t translate to the screen. A lifeless movie with mediocre performances. Practically feels like Mara is stalking Mendelsohn throughout the film. Not worth watching.

Rating: 1/5 Stars

Spider-Man Homecoming 


Marvel’s second time rebooting the Spider-Man franchise. This makes you wonder how many ways the filmmakers can tell the story of Peter Parker, a kid who bitten by a radioactive spider, gains superpowers and uses his abilities to fight crime. How is this new version of the friendly neighborhood superhero different from the previous incarnations?

Following his recruitment and fighting with Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in the Avengers War, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) returns home to live with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). Peter tries to balance high school life with being Spider-Man while facing the Vulture (Michael Keaton).

Tom Holland steps into the shoes of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as the web-slinger. Holland is electrifying as the young superhero. As the third Spider-Man, Holland offers a fresh take on the character and makes this role his own. He doesn’t have the typical nerdy look Maguire and Garfield had in the previous films. No doubt audiences will find him magnetizing and comical.

Michael Keaton is superb and at times terrifying as the film’s ambitious antagonist Vulture. The supporting cast is excellent with Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei in tow.

Director Jon Watts presents a thrilling superhero film. Action packed, character driven with impressive special effects makes Spider-Man Homecoming enjoyable to watch.

One of the superhero films this year. Spider-Man Homecoming will not disappoint fans of this genre. A must see.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

THE RED PILL: A JOURNEY DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

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Controversy erupted over the documentary The Red Pill when its Australian premiere was cancelled and banned in cinemas after a petition spread calling the film “misogynistic propaganda”.

The film’s director Cassie Jayne faced harsh publicity with news programs Sunrise and The Project slamming the feature without watching it before interviewing Jayne.

And what’s all the fuss?

The film follows feminist Jayne’s year with the men’s rights movement and interviews men’s rights activists and supporters. Its title makes references to the films Alice In Wonderland and The Matrix, when Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) offers Neo (Keanu Reeves) a choice of two pills – a blue pill (which when swallowed allows you to believe what you want to believe) or a red pill (reveals the truth).

Jayne sets out to investigate what she believes is a hate movement but soon discovers all is not what she expected. As she learns more about the issues men and boys face in society – mental and physical abuse, working in high risk jobs, crime, health issues and lack of reproductive rights – Jayne begins to question her own views on feminism.

This is a well-made, smart and insightful documentary dealing with issues facing modern man. The Red Pill has been dubbed a propaganda film but that is a judgement all viewers should make for themselves.

Director Jayne challenges viewers to broaden their perspectives on many significant social issues as she shines the spotlight on both women’s and men’s rights. Most interesting is watching Jayne document her own journey throughout the film as she video diaries her thoughts on the people she interviews and the impact this has on her own previously held views.

Don’t form an opinion until you watch this film.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL: WHITNEY, CAN I BE ME

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It’s been five years since the death of singer Whitney Houston. Her life is the subject of a new documentary from filmmakers Nick Broomfield (Tales of the Grim Sleeper, Aileen) and Rudi Dolezal (Freddie Mercury – The Untold Story, Michael Jackson) to hit the Sydney Film Festival.

The film’s title Can I be me? was Houston’s favourite expression, one she used so much that her band member sampled it to play at the start of rehearsals.

The documentary takes an intimate look into the Grammy winner’s music, drug use, questions about her sexuality, relationships with her family and her tempestuous marriage to ex-husband Bobby Brown.

The documentary features interviews with those closest to the singer, never-seen before footage and exclusive live recordings.

Directors Broomfield and Dolezal have a music documentary background. They successfully capture this intriguing woman who led a prominent life under the intense scrutiny of the public limelight until her tragic death at age 48.

The feature offers a raw insight into the stratospheric career of a star described as having one of the greatest voices of all time but who faced inner demons that destroyed her and her possible same-sex relationship with best friend Robyn Crawford.

Whitney: Can I Be Me is an incredible documentary, a fascinating and touching film about one of the greatest singers of all time. Fans of Houston and music lovers will find this enjoyable and respectful of the singer’s life.

Whitney: Can I Be Me is now screening for limited release. Check for listings.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Transformers: The Last Knight


Transformers: The Last Knight is the latest instalment of the Transformers franchise from director Michael Bay. After five films of the toy movie adaptation, you would think by now these robots would put their differences aside and hug it out but the war between Autobots and Decepticons on Earth still continues.

Humans and Transformers are at war. To save the future of Earth lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers. It’s up to Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), Bumblebee, an English lord (Anthony Hopkins) and an Oxford professor (Laura Haddock) to save the world.

Meanwhile Optimus Prime has returned back to Cybertron to find the planet disassembled into pieces. Optimus confronts his maker, a powerful sorceress named Quintessa and she corrupts him to do her bidding to destroy Earth so Cybertron can live.

Mark Wahlberg is back as Cade Yeager, the hero from Transformers: Age of Extinction. Anthony Hopkins and Laura Haddock join the cast with Josh Duhamel and John Turturro reprise their roles from the first three films.

The cast is likeable but their performances are not enough to save the film. There’s a few uncomfortable humourless moments where Wahlberg, Hopkins and Haddock cracking jokes with Hopkins saying hip words like “dude”. The chemistry between Wahlberg and Haddock is fine but a cliche, their characters don’t get along when they first team up and bicker then later develop feelings for one another.

Transformers: The Last Knight is a headache to watch. There’s no doubt Bay can make a great pop corn movie. The action is smashing, explosive with dynamite special effects but he always lacks focus in the story and character development. The narrative felt all over the place balancing so many characters and two storylines at the same time.

The editing felt jumpy and at times annoying to watch the aspect ratio constantly changing during the 2D version.

Typical Transformers film, spectacular action and special effects with a lousy plot. Overall, this latest instalment of the franchise won’t disappoint fans.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Last Week of TAFE

My last week of TAFE and I’m relieved the course is finished. These past few months has been a roller coaster juggling between study and work.  I spent practically everyday travelling to Central whether it was TAFE or work and getting up at different times for example I have to get up 4:30 in the morning to start work at 6:30 am and sometimes finish work at 3pm which is exhausting but still took the time to work on assessments after work.

I took a break from watching TV to focus more on my studies which is something I never did during my education life so I have a lot of binge watching during my break. Taking time off from TV made me a better student, I’m more focused and put more work into my assignments. Now I’ve finished all my assessments and delivered them on time.

I can take some time to relax before Diploma begins next time.

Taking the Next Steps: Episode 4

Thanks for joining us for part 4 of a series recognising Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week 2017.

In today’s podcast Certificate 4 Journalism students Belinda Palmada, Genevieve Doyle and Tatiana Pak discuss with artist and teacher Chico Monks the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art as a form of cultural expression and connection to past and present.

Eora’s annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts Exhibition opens next week – you can find more info on their Facebook events page here.

Thanks and respect to Chico, to Director of Eora College Danny Allende, and to all of our hosts at Eora TAFE.

We would like to offer our respect and appreciation to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and also thank our brothers and sisters at Eora College for so generously offering us their wisdom and knowledge and for telling us their stories, many of which are so painful to relate.