Mini Review - Dolittle
Dolittle (out Jan 16) stars Robert Downey Jr in the famed role of a doctor who can talk to animals. I'm not quite sure what they were hoping for but Downey Jr's odd, mumbling persona didn't work for me. It's like he's trying to come up with a kid's version of his Sherlock Holmes character. Grade: C+.
Mini Review - Go!
Go! (out Jan 16) is the story of a teenager who develops a love for go-kart racing has his eyes on the national championship. It's incredibly formulaic but it's still nice to see Australian dramas pitched at younger audiences. Just wish it took a few more chances. Grade: B-.
Mini Review - Bad Boys for Life
Bad Boys for Life (out Jan 16) is a tired, formulaic, seen-it-all-before buddy cop movie. It's the kind of movie that will make a little money and be all but forgotten about in a few weeks. Our two heroes (Will Smith and Martin Lawrence) argue about nothing, struggle with a case a blind monkey could solve, and are helped at just the right moments by a team of personality-free "young guns". Grade: C.
Mini Review - Bombshell
Bombshell (out Jan 16) delves into the final months of Roger Ailes tenure as the CEO of Fox News in 2016. The film succeeds in illustrating the toxic culture that can exist in the workplace. Stars Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman have created interesting characters. Hopefully the film will get people talking. Grade: B+.
Mini Review - My Spy
My Spy (out Jan 9) is a silly, nonsensical family flick about a not-so-smart spy who teams up with a 9-year-old girl as part of his latest assignment. Young kids may enjoy the story but from an adult perspective, it's hard to overcome the lack of humour and sizeable plot holes. Grade: C+.
Mini Review - True History of the Kelly Gang
True History of the Kelly Gang (out Jan 9) is a poetic, part-fictionalised tale of Ned Kelly that goes down unexpected paths. It's less about Kelly's criminal activities and more about the fractured/peculiar relationships involving his mother, siblings, lovers and friends. Strange but intriguing. Grade: B.
Mini Review - A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (out Jan 9) has been created using stop-motion animation and plasticine characters. Just like the 2015 original, it features no dialogue but these cute animals and their human owner, are able to convey emotion and tell a story in the same vein as great silent actors from the early 20th century. Easy to like. Grade: B+.
Mini Review - 1917
1917 (out Jan 9) is a a tense, immersive filmgoing experience. The vision of director Sam Mendes was to create a World War I movie, complete with battle sequences, that looks like it’s been shot in a single continuous take with no edits. The script is “stagey” and romanticised in places but this is still a powerful film that makes effective use of visuals, sound and music. Grade: A-.