• To Love a Maori

    To Love a Maori

    ½

    Inexplicably amateur and low-budget filmmaking, and yet it puts across the anti-Maori/islander feeling felt in New Zealand in the 1970s (also before and probably still now) quite effectively.

    1972 ranked

  • Under the Southern Cross

    Under the Southern Cross

    I don't have anything significant to contribute to discourse about Under The Southern Cross that you can't already find somewhere else. What I will say is there's a shot of a cow absolutely mercilessly kicking its calf clean in the face and it had me creasing with laughter. Talk about creating a lasting legacy.

    1927 ranked

  • Patu!

    Patu!

    ★★★★★

    Does exactly what it says on the tin. There's no airs and graces with Merata Mita's Patu!. No obtrusive narration, no diverging narratives, no attempts to brush up on the lower quality of the filmmaking. It exists purely to put its anti-Apartheid message across and it succeeds in every aspect. I certainly won't be forgetting '1-2-3-4, we don't want your racist tour!' any time soon.

    I was only aware of the European perspective of anti-Apartheid sentiments in sport (particularly the…

  • Wakening

    Wakening

    ★★★½

    I know absolutely nothing about the indigenous culture present in Wakening, particularly why it's all represented by the Wendigo, but for a short film, the production design is remarkable.

    2013 ranked

  • Caprice

    Caprice

    ★½

    I was immediately captivated by young (Ma)Tilda Swinton but even as a short film, Caprice outstays its welcome as it becomes an underwhelming dreamscape and glorified music video.

    Still, it's Joanna Hogg's student film and I love it for that reason.

    1986 ranked

  • Stardust

    Stardust

    ★★★½

    Given how much of a 'blunt' tangled web Layer Cake was, it's quite a shock to see how Matthew Vaughn imbues Stardust with so much whimsy, especially considering how its major themes are regicide and wanting to physically rip people's (or stars') hearts out.

    2007 ranked

  • Ronnie BoDean

    Ronnie BoDean

    ★★★★

    I'm used to seeing Wes Studi in stoic and brooding roles so Ronnie BoDean was a surprising, but welcome, bout of comedy. Ronnie's attempts to function as an adult and feed children are hysterical.

    2015 ranked

  • Luce

    Luce

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I was ready to give up on Luce. There was a fascinating story with an obvious-not-so-obvious allegory buried underneath a severe lack of energy but I was reeled back in by the ambiguity, both morally and spiritually, that Kelvin Harrison Jr. gives to the title character. I was really confused by the end because I couldn't decide if Luce was a rapist, a sociopath or just misunderstood, but I love that it doesn't provide an answer and in a way that comments on the 'not so black and white' idea of the American dream.

    Octavia Spencer slays.

    2019 ranked
    Julius Onah ranked

  • The Cloverfield Paradox

    The Cloverfield Paradox

    ★★★½

    The Cloverfield Paradox, this nonsensical mess of a film, has probably killed the Cloverfield franchise off for good. What was a fun and inventive idea for a franchise has cannibalised itself within three films, which is a crying shame.

    Characters make baffling decisions and there is no rhyme nor reason for why certain events in the film transpire, and yet I really enjoyed it. It constantly teeters between a haunted house-esque horror and a claustrophobic space thriller à la Alien.…

  • The Girl Is in Trouble

    The Girl Is in Trouble

    ★★

    I was a bit torn about The Girl Is In Trouble as the credits started rolling. I'm quite fond of 'normal'/'human' stories, which this is, but it overcomplicates itself in the story by introducing too many players into the mystery as well as becoming over-stylised with a very intrusive voiceover from the lead character and some very quirky, but out of place in this film, moving social media graphics.

    2015 ranked
    Julius Onah ranked

  • More Than You Can Chew

    More Than You Can Chew

    ★★★★

    Dan Trachtenberg's More Than You Can Chew is one of the BlackBoxTV Presents shorts, a series of horror shorts that you'll find on YouTube and are definitely worth looking out for. There're all manner of weird, wonderful and inventive stories in the series, encompassing all aspects of the genre that you can think of and at no longer than 10 minutes each, different kinds of film come at you thick and fast. Sadly, barely any of them are actually on…

  • Portal: No Escape

    Portal: No Escape

    ★★★

    I know nothing of the Portal game series having never played it so Dan Trachtenberg's short film didn't really mean a great deal to me. Still, the effects on the portals (especially for a 7-minute film) look great and the twist at the end was earth-shattering and completely blindsided me.

    2011 ranked
    Dan Trachtenberg ranked