Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Review of 2007

As we reach the end of 2007 I thought I’d look back at a few of my professional highlights.

I’ve been lucky enough to interview some amazing talent over the year; Jessica Alba and the cast of Fantastic Four, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke, Franka Potente, Joe Anderson, Jena Malone, Claudia Karvan and director Jamie Blanks among many more have all made wonderful company. Set visit wise I’ve headed to Queensland to visit some amazing locations; in particular the beautiful mountain ranges of Carter Smith’s The Ruins. The filmmakers of Acolytes and Daybreakers both also made me extremely welcome and the film’s themselves show incredible promise so I’m very much looking forward to seeing those next year.

My ties with Shivers and Smoke & Mirrors magazines have gone from strength to strength and I still regularly contribute to Filmink and Film Review magazines aswell as reviewing DVDs for and I’m particularly proud of my recent Danger Diabolik article in the wonderful Cinema Retro and my regular blog at

I became a producer on Eastside 89.7FMs Cinemascape Show and have loved the challenge of putting the show together on a regular basis. The show has also put me in that wonderful position of seeing far too many movies this year.

Talking of which my top ten of the year is; in no particular order…..

No Country For Old Men
Pan’s Labyrinth
This is England
Eastern Promises
Black Sheep
Lucky Miles
Little Children
Death Proof

A special mention to Juno and The King of Kong which aren’t released down under until next year but will surely be in my top ten of 2008.

Anyway, that’s it for 2007 so Happy Christmas to everyone reading and see you in 2008!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Evel Knievel makes his last jump

Very sad to hear that Evel Knievel, the man who inspired the Seventies greatest toy has passed away. The death defying stuntman, renowned for his taste for adventure took motorcycle jumping to the masses; he tried to jump the Grand Canyon, headlined London’s Wembley Stadium and crashed into the fountains of Caesar’s Palace after flying 45 metres through the air. He broke almost every bone in his body, had 15 operations and starred in the motion picture Viva Knievel with Gene Kelly! Stars like Evel Knievel just don’t exist anymore, he’ll be missed. Here's some incredible footage of the great man's visit to Wembley.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Beowulf bears all

This Friday at 18:00 I’ll be producing Cinemascape on Eastside 89.7 FM. On the show this week we’ll be discussing Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Balls of Fury and I’ll be reviewing Beowulf. There is only one way to watch Robert Zemeckis’s latest excursion into performance capture animation and that’s in 3D at the IMAX. As a visual extravaganza it’s astonishing; as an engaging fantasy it’s a bit lacking but is does feature some unintentionally hilarious Austin Powers style placement of objects to hide the eponymous hero’s nether regions and Angelina Jolie as a naked water demon; what more could you ask for? To hear the rest of my thoughts, tune in later in the week

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rogue on the radio

This Friday I'll be producing the Cinemascape show on Eastside 89.7 FM at 6pm. The films being reviewed this week are David Slade's 30 Days on Night, Tell No One and I'll be passing judgment on Greg McLean's Rogue. Tune in if you're in Sydney!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Latest News

It’s been a busy few weeks so here’s a long overdue update…..
For any Sydneysiders listening you would have heard me produce last weeks Cinemascape show on Eastside 89.7 FM. I reviewed Anton Corbijn’s fabulous Control. This coming Friday I’ll be on the show again reviewing Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. Most will know that Death Proof was Tarantino’s half of his failed double bill experiment with Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse and much has been said that this is a lesser work by the director but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed his petroleum fuelled schlock fest. A tribute to the films of Monte Hellman and the fleapits on 42nd Street, peppered with Tarantino’s trademark dialogue throughout; Death Proof, despite its failings, fits perfectly into the director’s oeuvre. Tune in at 18.00 to hear my review.

In the printed world, the last two issues of Shivers magazine have featured my work. Issue #134 includes my interview with Greg McLean about directing Rogue and Issue #135, the bumper Halloween issue, features my chat with Dave & Lou Elsey about creating the woolly terrors of Black Sheep. Both issues are available at The December issue of Filmink will feature my interview with Franka Potente about her work in Richard Roxburgh’s Romulus, My Father. Finally the next issue of Smoke & Mirrors magazine will feature my interview with the makers of The Devil Dared Me To, the nearly semi true movie of New Zealand's most dangerous stuntman.

It's shaping up to be a busy time for major film’s shooting down under with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Justice League of America, Mad Max 4 and Underworld 3 all being announced. I’ll be endeavouring to cover the making of these films in the coming months so I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Mighty Heart

I have a mixed past with director Michael Winterbottom; I loved 24 Party People but hated 9 Songs so it was with excitement and trepidation that I approached his first major studio film A Mighty Heart. Starring Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl, wife of kidnapped Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl; I'm happy to report that A Mighty Heart is an emotionally charged experience that holds the attention from beginning to end, despite the inevitability of their plight. Wonderful performances, combine with bravaura editing and location shooting in Karachi to produce a thrilling and moving look at the other side of the headlines. Listen to my thoughts on the film on Cinemascape tonight at 6pm on Eastside 89.7 FM.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Forbidden Lie$ on the radio

Later today, in about 15 minutes in fact! on Eastside 89.7 FM i'll be appearing on Cinemascape, the station's weekly show about the movies. This week I'll be passing judgement on Anna Broinowski's fabulous documentary Forbidden Lie$. The film attempts to discover the truth about the best selling book Forbidden Love and its author Norma Khouri. Whether fact or fiction, the film tries to uncover one of the biggest litary cons of this generation. If Khouri's best friend was murdered in an honour killing in Jordan or if her friend ever really existed. If you are reading this now and living in Sydney...tune in!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hidden DVD review

As the film opens on its bleak static opening image, Hidden (Cache) immediately puts the audience on edge. But then Michael Haneke continuingly confounding thriller delights in not giving the audience what it wants. Seemingly taking its inspiration from David Lynch’s Teutonic nightmare Lost Highway; Hidden follows the Laurent family as they begin to receive videocassettes and childish, yet gruesome messages, through their post box. The tapes show footage of their daily routines, secretly filmed without their consent. Georges, a television celebrity, is obviously alarmed by this invasion of his families’ privacy and starts to investigate where these packages have come from. Little does he know that a dark secret that he has kept from his wife Anne and family may well be the clue to who is harassing his family.

Shot with minimal camera movement and a complete disregard for the principals of the thriller genre; Hidden is a refreshing change from the usual Hollywood fodder we are spoon fed in the name of entertainment. To reveal the film’s conclusion would do Haneke’s masterpiece a great disservice. Some viewers will be enthralled, some will feel cheated, some will be angry but everyone is made to think.

The performances are excellent; Auteuil was fabulous last year in the thriller 36 Quai des Orfèvres and he excels here in the role of Georges. His wife Anne is played by Juliette Binoche; best known for her work in Kieslowski’s Three Colours trilogy and Chocolat. This is serious adult entertainment, the underlying political agenda, a discussion on immigration in French society shows that Haneke small family portrait has the big picture in mind. Viewing his early work like Benny’s Video and Funny Games it’s obvious that Haneke revels in expanding the limits of cinematic art. Born in Germany, Hidden is the third of his films shot in France following Code Inconnu (Code Unknown), also starring Binoche and the critically acclaimed La Pianiste (The Piano Teacher.)

In an unnerving touch the film has no music giving the effect that the audience is also watching a home video of the Laurent families’ life. We are accomplice to the sinister figure who has been filming them. Not that the viewer knows who the villain of the piece is. In Haneke’s Hidden, the truth is there to be discovered, you’re just not going to find it quickly.

For full review check out

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lady Chatterley

Later today, Friday 14th, at the new time of 6pm I'll producing the latest Cinemascape show on Eastside 89.7 FM. This week I'll be reviewing Pascale Ferran's ponderous Lady Chatterely. Starring Marina Hands and Jean-Louis Coullo'ch; this French twist on DH Lawrence's classic English tome failed to create any spark between the two leads. A fatal mistake when the film revolves around their ensuing relationship. Tune in to hear the rest of my thoughts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Latest News

In some very exciting news to kick things off, I’ll be heading to Queensland next week to visit the set of the Spierig brothers new film Daybreakers. The film stars Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill and Claudia Karvan. Hopefully I’ll be chatting to most of the cast about working in what promises to be an intriguing entry into the vampire genre.

With the release of Black Sheep my interview with director Jonathan King has appeared in the latest issue of Filmink. I also previewed the film’s UK Premiere at this year’s Frightfest Festival on my regular blog interviewing Dave & Lou Elsey about their make-up work on the film.

The latest issue of Smoke & Mirrors has hit the shelves and as reported before features my articles on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the Kiwi horror film The Tattooist.

This Friday I’ll on the air again producing this weeks Cinemascape show on Eastside 89.7FM. This time around I’ll be reviewing Once; a wonderful film about falling in love and making beautiful music. If you are a fan of The Frames you are in for a treat as lead singer Glen Hansard gives his all in an amazingly raw and natural performance. Tune in at 17:30.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This is England

After a couple of years of reviewing films on Cinemascape, I have now donned headphones to become one of the shows producers. This Friday marks my debut as the shows host and I’ll be honouring the occasion by reviewing one of the film’s of the year thus far, Shane Meadows semi autobiographical This in England. Set in 1983, the film tells the story of a young boy called Shaun whose life is changed during his school holidays when he befriends a gang of skinheads. The film is beautifully played by the entire ensemble, especially Thomas Turgoose as Shaun. Roland Rat, Margaret Thatcher, Rubik's Cubes, the Royal Wedding, aerobics, Keith Chegwin; Meadows has filled his film with 1980s minutiae that gives this often grim tale an authenticity that is only heightened by the terrific soundtrack. The best British film about disenchanted youth since Tim Roth’s Trevor smashed his way through Alan Clarke’s Made in Britain; be prepared to be entertained, disturbed and shocked. The show will also feature reviews of Susan Bier’s After the Wedding and Jonathan King’s fabulous Black Sheep. Tune in to Eastside 89.7 FM this Friday at 17:30 to hear the show.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mr Brooks

Tune in this Friday at 17:30 to Eastside 89.7 FM's Cinemascape show to hear my thoughts on the new Kevin Costner serial killer film, Mr Brooks. Against all the odds this is an enjoyable little chiller. Also starring Demi Moore and William Hurt; the film probably bites off slighty more than it can chew but at the centre of it all is an excellent performance by Costner as the eponymous Mr Brooks. Listen to the show to hear the rest!

As a footnote, the film has just been added to the line up for this years Filmfest Xtra at The Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley on September 2nd. Go to for details and to check out my latest "Dave Down Under" column.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Simpsons Movie

For anyone in the Sydney area I'll once again be appearing on Eastside 89.7 FM's Cinemascape Show. This week i'll be reviewing the long awaited The Simpsons Movie and I'm happy to say I loved it. The film is great fun; Homer and family deliver laughs a plenty as only the world's favourite disfunctional family can and I'm sure even the most die hard Simpsons obssessive will come out of the experience a happy camper. The show will also feature reviews of Michael James Rowland's fabulous debut feature Lucky Miles and Sean Ellis' less than successful adaptation of his own short film Cashback. Tune in at 17:30 for some lively cinematic debate.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Latest News

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for interviews. I had the pleasure of heading up to Queensland to visit the set of The Ruins; a new horror film based on the novel by Scott Smith, the man who wrote A Simple Plan. I chatted to first time director Carter Smith, make up man Jason Baird and the films stars including Jena Malone, better known to many as Donnie Darko’s girlfriend and Joe Anderson who played Peter Hook in the forthcoming Control. Anderson was heavily involved in the scene we saw being shot which involved a large rock, a saw and a frying pan. Anyone who has read the excellent source novel will know what I’m talking about.

The next issue of Smoke & Mirrors will include my interviews with Mark Coulier discussing his work on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and director Peter Burger on his new Kiwi horror film The Tattooist.

Next week I will be interviewing some of the team behind the forthcoming Australian horror film Prey. I’ll be talking to the films two leads; Nathalie Bassingthwaighte, lead singer of band Rogue Traders, in her first film role and Jesse Johnson….son of Don! I’ll also be having a few words with the films effects producers at Sharp FX and director George Miller.

Finally I’ll be talking to Aussie director Jamie Blanks about his new film Storm Warning which I’ve been hearing very good word on from the guys over at Frightfest. Having hit the Hollywood trail directing Urban Legend, Cherry Falls and Valentine is great to see Blanks returning to his roots. He has some great things lined up in the future so I look forward to writing about those project soon.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Dead Girl

I'll be on air today in Sydney on Eastside 89.7 FM's Cinemascape show. Things kick off at 17:30 and I'll be reviewing The Dead Girl starring Brittany Murphy, Rose Byrne, Giovanni Ribisi and James Franco. The film, split into five stories, relates to the lives of 5 woman who are somehow linked to the titular dead girl. We follow the lives of the stranger, the sister, the wife, the mother and the dead girl herself. Brittany Murphy is wonderful in the lead role and in an interesting twist of fate, her character is more alive than the rest of the women's sad lives. Highly recommended, if depressing, viewing; director Karen Moncrieff is definitely a name to look out for in the future.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


This week marks my first regular blog on the Film 4 Frightfest website. I'll be keeping you up to date with the latest gossip on the horror film scene down under. Check out to read my blog and to see the amazing line up for this years event taking place at London's Odeon West End on the August Bank holiday weekend August 23rd - August 27th. This year's film's include Black Sheep, Storm Warning, Disturbia, Black Water, The Orphanage and many many more. Tickets have already gone on sale so if you live anywhere near London, you have no excuses. It's the horror event of the year.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sydney Film Festival week 2 round up

I’ve already waxed lyrical about my love of Jonathan King’s Black Sheep but there was plenty more to enjoy in the second week of this year’s Sydney Film Festival. Even if the killer ovine horror film did rank very highly as my best of the festival.

The musical world was explored in two diverse but fabulous films. Anton Corbijn’s Control followed the life of Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division. Beautifully shot in black and white; the suburbs of Manchester have never looked or sounded this good. The central performance by Sam Riley is spellbinding. In a brave move the actors playing the band all sing and play rather than lip-synching. This gives performances a chilling resonance; in particular the bands rendition of Dead Souls is spell-binding stuff. The film runs as a perfect companion piece to Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People, the both film’s portrayal’s of Tony Wilson battling out to see who can give the campest turn. In a close run competition, my favourite film of the festival.

Scott Walker: 30th Century Man was a fascinating look into the life of the musical maverick. He may once have been bigger than The Beatles in the 60s but now he is content in producing exceedingly experimental albums for himself. Stephen Kijak’s documentary follows what happened in between and features a very very rare recent interview with the great, but publicity shy, man himself. One for the converted, it’s a Walker love fest that’s unlikely to convert too many viewers but if you love the baritone crooner’s albums, you will love this documentary. It sent me running to hear his records again and you can’t get better recommendation than that.

After the Wedding was brought to us by the team who gave us Open Hearts and Brothers and starring the Denmark finest acting export Mads Mikkelsen. An incredibly moving tale of families and fatherhood that took many unexpected turns. It managed to be poignant and funny while pulling the heart-strings and Mikkelsen proved why he has the potential to be a massive star.

Death at a Funeral was the feel good comedy of the festival. Well about as feel good as a funeral can be. This is not your normal funeral, however, and Frank Oz has provided a marvellously over the top, bad taste treat. The audience was in stitches as the story unfolds and to divulge much of the story would do his comedic build up a great disservice. Lets just say when was the last time you went to a funeral after taking a tab of acid? A Great British farce.

Christina Ricci heated up the screen in Craig Brewer’s Black Snake Moan. What more can you say about a film who’s main storyline involves a grizzled old blues guitarist played by Samuel. L. Jackson, chaining a scantily clad nymphomaniac, Ricci, onto a radiator in an effort to drive out the demons from her soul. Beautifully played by the two leads, there is actually a lot more to Black Snake Moan than salacious thrills and when Jackson’s Lazarus picks up his guitar he is the embodiment of the Deep South blues. The film only misses with the casting of Justin Timberlake and a few dubious plotlines but overall it’s a worthy successor to Brewer’s Oscar nominated Hustle and Flow.

Set in Glasgow, Red Road was one of the surprises of the festival. Hard-hitting, sexually explicit and emotionally shattering the film’s delved into the distraught mind of a security woman who has lost her family. Left to watch the world go by on a bank of surveillance television screens she soon sees a path to salvation but the films shattering climax shows that all is not what it seems. The red raw performances from the leads, Kate Dickie and Tony Curran, are perfect examples of understatement. This film is a must see for anyone with a love of gritty cinema that is unwilling to compromise. An unexpected highlight of the festival.

On the other hand David Lynch’s Inland Empire did everything you would expect and more. To discuss the plot is futile, in this viewers mind the film’s dreamlike imagery, a room full of human sized rabbits and a wonderful performance by Laura Dern more than make up for Lynch’s over indulgent story telling. It certainly received a mixed welcome; the screening at the State was met with catcalls, cheers, boos and mass walks ours. The perfect festival reception to any film!

Finally it was of no surprise to me when Lucky Miles scooped the coverted Audience award for best film. The response to the film at the State screening was raptuous, to say the least, and was well deserved. Director Michael James Rowland has managed to make a hugely entertaining film about a highly controversial subject, and the reaction of the audience shows you how successful he has been at broaching this emotive topic.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lucky Miles wins Sydney Film Festival audience award

Lucky Miles has won the audience award for best feature at this years Sydney Film Festival. Congratulations to director Michael James Rowland, producers Jo and Lesley Dyer and executive producer Michael Bourchier and the rest of the cast and crew. The film opens on July 19th in Australia so be sure to head to your local arthouse cinema on the film's opening weekend, check out for more information.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Black Sheep review

Harking back to those halcyon days of the horror film, the 80s; Jonathan King’s Black Sheep does for our woolly friends what An American Werewolf in London and The Howling did for the lycanthrope. Full of blood, gore, latex transformations and sheep; the film is a shear delight from beginning to end.

It’s the most exciting debut feature by a Kiwi horror director since Peter Jackson took the reigns of Bad Taste and Black Sheep is almost guaranteed to achieve similar heights of cult notoriety. The effects work by the WETA Workshop and creature man Dave Elsey is fabulous. It’s obvious that everyone involved got a kick out of doing it “old school” style. The use of latex and rubber to create the gory mayhem may have been a budgetary decision but the lack of CGI is refreshing in this over saturated era. Arms, legs and every appendage imaginable go flying when the mobs of merino marauders attack. The transformations between man and sheep pay homage to the groundbreaking work of effects greats like Rick Baker and Rob Bottin as they distort every part of the human form. Black Sheep is a horror film love-in that vividly pays tribute to the films that the crew have an obvious affection for. You just know that each and everyone of them spent far too much of their childhoods in the local video shop.

There are some wonderful moments in the film; the premonition of impending doom as an angry mob of sheep can be seen advancing in the distance as the scientists obliviously make their presentation recalls Tippi Hendren waiting outside the school in Hitchcock’s The Birds. Unlike Hitchcock’s ecological horror film Black Sheep gives the sheep fair reason to revolt. The condemnation of animal experimentation is nicely handled and gives the film a serious edge, even if it doesn’t strive to maintain it.

You have to approach a film like Black Sheep knowing exactly what you are going to get. Any film that uses the tagline “Get ready for the Violence of the Lambs!” is obviously not taking itself too seriously. It may be a one joke film but the mere idea of those gentle fluffy animals baring their teeth and ripping people limb from limb will be enough for most. King and friends have given us the most fun to be had in a horror film for many a year and if you don’t agree; ewe can just flock off.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sydney Film Festival week 1 round up

Seven days straight in a dark movie theatre can only mean one thing for Sydneysiders; the end of the first week of the Sydney Film Festival. Spread over four cinemas including the majestic State Theatre, this years festival has gathered together a wealth of cinematic pleasures. Here are a few of my highlights so far.

Things kicked off with the gala screening of the much-touted La Vie En Rose and for the most part Olivier Dahan’s epic retelling of the life of French chanteuse Edith Piaf lived up to the hype. The film was a tad too long and the modern editing techniques sometimes jarred with the unfolding story but the central performance from Marion Cottilard was spell binding.

The festival’s line up perfectly mixed mainstream enjoyment with esoteric eclecticism. Guy Maddin’s extraordinary Brand Upon the Brain combined surreal imagery, pitch-black humour and silent movie techniques to often-hilarious effect. Lukas Moodysson’s Container, however, took a similar approach but the random black and white imagery set to a narration by actress Jena Malone managed to bemuse most. The film provoked a multitude of reactions including a healthy amount of walkouts. On the flip side the likes of Lee Sang-il’s Hula Girls and Thomas Villum Jensen’s Clash of Egos provided laughs a plenty. There were also happy faces abound at the early morning screening of the sparkling restored print of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr T. A revelation for anyone who has only seen the film on its rare black and white screenings on television; the film showed how poor the recent cinematic forays into the weird world of Dr Seus really were.

The documentary Danny Williams: A Walk Into The Sea told the story of one of the unsung heroes of Andy Warhols Factory. Featuring interviews with Billy Name, John Cale and the ever-irascible Paul Morrissey, the film included some amazing footage from the Velvet Underground performing at one of the infamous Exploding Plastic Inevitable nights. As a huge fan of the subject matter the film was enthralling and also added some incite into the recurring question of who actually directed some of the earlier Warhol films.

A revelation came in the form of two films by Icelandic director Ragnar Bragason, Children and Parents. Companion pieces inspired by Mike Leigh and featuring the same troupe of actors,;the films were a brutally honest look at life in the suburbs and follow the lives of some suitably dysfunctional families. Shocking outbursts of violence punctuate the films giving them an unnerving edge. Children in particular, is a highlight of the festival thus far.

British cinema was represented by two incredibly different but equally as enthralling films. Hallam Foe was a bizarre coming of age tale starring Jamie Bell as a peeping tom with a penchant for habiting high-level abodes. Bell was excellent as the titular character and it was certainly an unpredictable black comedy. There was nothing funny, however, about Paul Andrew Williams harrowing London to Brigton. Following a prostitute and a street kid on the run from a pimp, the film dares to delve into the seedy and unnerving world of child prostitution with unflinching daring. In fact the film only descends into cliché when the oft over glamorised cockney gangsters of the London underworld rear their ugly heads. The performances of the two leads are amazing in their honesty, in particular the young Georgia Groome is a face to watch in the future. This is a remarkable debut that pulls no punches and demands to be seen.

There were far too many more highlights to mention; Bella and Antonia also come highly recommended and it has to be said that so far the quality threshold has been very high indeed. Great news considering what we have to come next week. Thumbs up to new artistic director Clare Stewart and her crew. Check out soon for full reviews of many of the films I have seen.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Latest News

Last week I was lucky enough to attend a press conference given by the legendary Italian actress Sophia Loren. She was in Sydney to promote the city's Italian Film Festival but the press managed to talk to her about her career, her leading men and winning two Oscars. On fine form, despite the best efforts of members of the Television show The Chaser who tried their best sabotage the event, she finished the conference by chastising Quentin Tarantino for his apparent disdain for the present Italian film industry; “how dare he talk about Italian cinema when he doesn't even know anything about American cinema."

In magazine news the latest issue of Smoke & Mirrors features more of my interview with director Edgar Wright talking about Hot Fuzz. The Summer edition of Film Review includes another Vox Pops from the Dendy Opera Quays. This time around I talked to Sydneysiders about their thoughts on Paris, Je T'aime. Next months Filmink Magazine includes my interview with Michael James Rowland discussing his latest film Lucky Miles which is being shown at this years Sydney Film Festival.

For those in the Sydney area I’ll be appearing this Friday on Eastside FM 89.7’s Cinemascape show. This week, at 17:30 I’ll be reviewing the English comedy Driving Lessons starring Rupert Grint and Julie Walters.

Finally check out for a review of the latest issue of Cinema Retro that gives my article on Danger: Diabolik a special mention. "Dave Brown’s tribute to Danger: Diabolik was fascinating to read and included information about the film that was new to me." It's always nice to be appreciated!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


This Friday on Eastside 89.7 FM's Cinemascape show I'll be passing judgement on Billy Ray's Breach starring Chris Cooper, Ryan Philippe and Laura Linney. Tune in at 17:30 to hear my thoughts on this sombre but enthralling thriller about the biggest information breach in the history of the FBi.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Latest News

As a huge fan of Run Lola Run, last night I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to interview Franka Portente about her role in the forthcoming Australian feature Romulus, My Father. Directed by Richard Roxburgh and starring Eric Bana, the film marks the first time that she has worked in Australia and judging by her enthusiasm for the project, it will not be her last. We also chatted about her roles in Blow, The Bourne Indentity and, of course, Run Lola Run.

In a busy weekend I also talked to director Michael James Rowland about his new film Lucky Miles. The interview will appear in a future issue of Filmink magazine. The film will be shown at this years Sydney Film Festival on Wednesday 20th at the State Theatre. Check out for details.

Talking of the Sydney Film Festival the line-up has been announced and its fabulous. David Lynch's Inland Empire, Jonathan King's Black Sheep, Scott Walker: 30th Century Man, Timur Berkmambetov's Day Watch and Samuel Jackson starring in Black Snake Moan are just a few of the festival's highlights. Keep posted for regular reports nearer to the festival.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Tide is High

This Friday I'll be reviewing Terry Gilliam's extraordinary Tideland on my regular spot on Eastside 89.7FM's Cinemascape show. Visually stunning, this is one of the most disturbingly unpleasant films it has been my pleasure to watch in recent memory. Unsurprisingly Tideland has split audiences everywhere it has been shown and promises to do the same when shown in Sydney. Tune in at 17:30 to here the thoughts of a confused lifetime long Gilliam fan. If you thought that Brazil was as pitch black and depressing as Gilliam can get then you will be in for a surpise; Monty Python this is not!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jessica & Me

As luck would have it, and thanks to the guys over at, here's some footage of yours truely asking Jessica Alba a few questions during the Fantastic Four event. Obviously the camera focus's on Miss Alba slighty more than me but if you listen closely enough you can hear my dulcit British tones...ENJOY!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Fantastic Four Surf Sydney

This evening I entered the press pit at the red carpet event in Sydney celebrating the forthcoming release of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The stars of the film; Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffud, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis all attended and I was lucky enough to chat to them about the making of the film, working with special effects and what we can expect from the sequel. Here's a few photos I took at the event. Keep checking the site for details of when my interviews will be published.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Burke & Wills on the radio

This Friday I’ll once again be appearing on Eastside 89.7 FM’s Cinemascape show. Tune in at 17:30 to hear my critique on Burke & Wills, the debut film by Mathew Zeremes and Oliver Torr; the films writing, directing and producing team. The duo also found the time to star in the low budget Australian feature that was shot in just 9 days for under $20,000.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cinema Retro Issue 8

The latest issue of Cinema Retro is with us and it's looking like the best yet. I'm probably slightly biased as the issue features my article on the making of the Mario Bava classic Danger: Diabolik but any magazine that puts Our Man Flint on the cover is a must buy in my opinion. Check out the cover image and the first page of my article. For details of where to purchase one of the finest film magazines around go to

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Acolytes Set Visit

This week I was lucky enough to be flown up to Brisbane to visit the set of Bloodlust director Jon Hewitt’s Acolytes. Featuring Smoking Aces and Star Wars Epsiode 1: The Phantom Menace star Joel Edgerton; the film is a twisting thriller that, from what I saw on set, promises to be a chilling and shocking ride. I look forward to writing up the trip in a future issue of Shivers. Thanks, as always, to Fiona Searson for arranging the trip.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Easter news

Happy Easter! While you're happily chomping away on your chocolate eggs it's time for a news update!

The latest issue of Filmink, on the shelves now, features two of my recent interviews. Edgar Wright chatted about the making of Hot Fuzz and gave me sneak peak at his work on Rodriguez and Tarantino's Grindhouse while Greg McLean talked all things crocodile for his latest horror action film Rogue.

The May issue of Film Review features my Vox Pops chats from Sydney's Dendy Opera Quays cinema. This time around we found out what Australian audiences thought of The Queen.

Shivers #132 continues my coverage of the making of The Ferryman with my chat with the always charming John Rhys Davies.

Issue 8 of the excellent Cinema Retro will be out soon and features my article on the making of Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik!

Finally you may recall I chaired a question and answer discussion at the Eternal Sunshine of the Academic Mind symposium at Sydney University. I've now been asked to contribute to a publication covering the event and have written the afterword on Cult Film & Religion. It gave me the wonderful opportunity to wax lyrical about two of my favourite directors; Ken Russell and Alejandro Jodorowsky, in particular their films The Devils and The Holy Mountain. Keep posted for a publication date.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

You're Nicked!

For those of you Sydneysiders near a radio this afternoon I'll be reviewing Edgar Wright's fabulous Hot Fuzz at 17:30 on Eastside 89.7 FM's Cinemascape show. The director's follow up to Shaun of the Dead stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and this time around he pays hommage to the action films that filled the shelves of every video store during the Eighties. With a little Dirty Harry thrown in for good measure! Wright's love of cinema shines through in every scene, I can't wait to see what he does with his mock trailer featured in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Danny Boyle's Sunshine

Space suites inspired by Kenny from South Park, recreating the solar system in London’s East End and pitching a film about eight astronauts in space strapped to a bomb, these were just some of the topics covered by Danny Boyle last Sunday at Popcorn Taxi’s exclusive screening of his new film Sunshine at Sydney’s Bondi Junction.

The Scot who gave us Trainspotting and Shallow Grave, was in fine form as he discussed his cast, “Big stars just don’t work in space; it just humbles everyone.” He continued on this train of thought discussing the benefits of using a less than stellar line up of Hollywood talent. “If you don’t have big stars the audience has no idea who’s going to die next!” he laughed.

The event brought back memories of the London NFT’s Guardian Lectures and I very much look forward to the next Popcorn Taxi event. For the record, Sunshine, the film that Boyle wanted to be “more NASA than Star Wars,” is fabulous. Doing for the Sci-fi genre what 28 Days Later did for horror. Boyle’s new movie harks back to such luminaries as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien and Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris and you can’t give higher praise than that.

For my full thoughts on the film listen to Cinemascape on Eastside FM nearer the time of the film’s release next month.

Monday, March 12, 2007

C.R.A.Z.Y DVD review

This wonderful French Canadian production follows the confused younger years of Zak Beaulieu. A misfit in his father’s eyes and seemingly sexually confused from the moment of birth, he hides himself in music and is seen as a freak by his brothers, a nerd, a biker and a jock. None of them can understand what is happening with their strange little brother.

The soundtrack is amazing; David Bowie’s Space Oddity, Pink Floyd’s Shine on You Crazy Diamond and The Cure’s 10:15 Saturday Night all accompany some beautiful scenes as Zac battles his homophobic, Patsy Cline obsessed father and tries to find his place in the world. It may sound clichéd but director Jean-Marc Valleé handles the material with a deft touch.

Zac’s teenage years are played by Marc-Andre Grondin, a confident performance that combines the naivety, curiosity and confusion of the teenage years, all set to the glorious music of the time. He goes through all the trends of the Seventies, though Eighties. Glam rock, Punk, Goth, he tries them all, much to his families bemusement, and they form the soundtrack to his early teenage fumblings as he tries to unravel his confused sexual leanings. The films trump card is the use of music to depict the change in time and thus the acceptance of sexual preferences and the politics that accompany them. Michel Côté is also excellent as Zac’s father; an irascible rogue who’s adoration of the Fifties chanteuse Cline has affected his whole family and given Zac his passion for all forms of music. Their love hate relationship forms the core of the film.

C.R.A.Z.Y is wonderfully provocative, sprawling and highly recommended on all counts and Madman Entertainment’s DVD sweetens the deal with a few nice extras including The Making of C.R.A.Z.Y and the theatrical trailer. Add to that a thumping 5.1 mix and you have a must buy on your hands.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


This Friday at 17:30 I’ll once again be appearing on Sydney's Eastside 89.7 FM’s Cinemascape show. This time around I’ll be discussing my thoughts on Emilio Estevez’s love letter to assassinated presidential candidate Robert. F. Kennedy entitled Bobby. Shot just two days after Andy Warhol in 1968, the much loved politician’s death still resonates today and the ex-brat pack star has managed to pull together a quite astonishing cast together to depict the Kennedy siblings last moments. Obviously an adoration of the Kennedys was a prerequisite as there is no way that a line up of this many Hollywood stars would normally appear in such a low budget movie. A quick glance at the credits brings up Sharon Stone, William H Macy, Demi Moore, Elijah Wood and Lyndsey Lohan and there are many many more. As a huge fan of The Breakfast Club and Repoman I’ve kept an eye on Estevez’s career since and I have to admit he’s done a commendable job considering he wrote, directed, produced and starred in Bobby. However, he may have bitten off slightly more than he can handle in places, his inexperience showing at times and a few of his high profile actors just don’t perform well but on the whole this is a sterling effort, not quite a classic but well worth a watch. Tune in to hear my thoughts.