Film Reviews – July 2024


    By Michael Smith, a proud Westie, passionate film fan and owner of the Sun Theatre, adventurer and host of Thursday Drive on 88.9 Wyn-FM


    Rating: CTC
    Duration: 105 mins
    Director: Paul Clarke
    Cast: Peter Garrett, Martin Rotsey, Jim Moginie, Rob Hirst
    Genre: Documentary
    Opens: July 04

    The Oils were at their peak as I went through Uni, so I love that this movie about the band that sang ‘US Forces Gives the Nod,…’ is cheekily opening on July 4, Independence Day! This is Midnight Oil’s trailblazing story for the first time on film. Contrary. Passionate. Outspoken. Across a 45-year career ‘The Oils’ helped shape modern Australia with anthems like ‘Power and the Passion’, ‘Beds Are Burning’ and ‘King of the Mountain’. Featuring unseen footage and interviews with every band member, alongside signature moments including the outback tour with Warumpi Band, their Exxon protest gig in New York and those famous ‘Sorry’ suits at the Sydney Olympics, the doco traces the journey of Australia’s quintessential rock band.


    Rating: MA15+ (Strong coarse language)
    Duration: 84 mins
    Director: Gabriel Carrubba
    Cast: Liam Mollica, Olivia Fildes, Luke J. Morgan, Elias Anton
    Genre: Drama
    Opens: July 04

    In the outer suburbs of Melbourne, seventeen-year-old Leo leads a seemingly typical life. Amidst hanging out with friends, bickering with his Italian family at the dinner table, going to school, and making out with his girlfriend Monique, Leo guards a secret he’s afraid to confront—a hidden truth buried deep within. As Leo grapples with his inner turmoil, he finds himself unexpectedly drawn to his best friend, Boof, and the quiet, introverted boy at school named Tom. These newfound feelings force Leo to confront his true desires and come to terms with his identity. However, everything changes after a high school gathering when rumours about Leo’s sexuality begin to circulate, shattering his once stable world. Faced with the fear of rejection from those closest to him, Leo must navigate the uncertain waters of acceptance and love.


    Rating: CTC
    Duration: 116 mins
    Director: Jeff Nichols
    Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Jodie Comer, Michael Shannon, Boyd Holbrook, Damon Herriman
    Genre: Crime, drama
    Opens: July 04

    The much anticipated, award winning bikie film, told through the eyes of starring powerhouse Jodie Comer as Kathy, a strong-willed member of the Vandals who’s married to a wild, reckless bikerider named Benny, recounts the Vandals’ evolution over the course of a decade, beginning as a local club of outsiders united by good times, rumbling bikes, and respect for their strong, steady leader Johnny. Over the years, Kathy tries her best to navigate her husband’s untamed nature and his allegiance to Johnny, with whom she feels she must compete for Benny’s attention. As life in the Vandals gets more dangerous, and the club threatens to become a more sinister gang, Kathy, Benny and Johnny are forced to make choices about their loyalty to the club and to each other.


    Rating: MA15+ (Strong themes, violence, sexual violence and sex scenes)
    Duration: 164 mins
    Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
    Cast: Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau
    Genre: Comedy, drama
    Opens: July 11

    Oh joy of joys, Yorgos is back with another stellar cast; he gifted us The Lobster, The Favourite and last summer’s indie hit Poor Things, and it seems in no time at all, another wild ride treat awaits us. Go and search the trailer… I so can’t wait…

    A triptych fable following a man without choice who tries to take control of his own life; a policeman who is alarmed that his wife who was missing-at-sea has returned and seems a different person; and a woman determined to find a specific someone with a special ability, who is destined to become a prodigious spiritual leader. Huzzah!

    Michael Smith
    Michael Smith
    Michael Smith is a proud Westie, adventurer, passionate film fan and owner of the Sun Theatre

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