Articles on Film review

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HG Wells (left) with actors on the set of Things to Come, a 1936 adaptation of his futuristic novel. James Vaughan

Cinema classics: five of the best science and technology films

Cinema did not emerge from a eureka moment, but rather through the incremental innovations of pioneers such as the Lumière brothers, Étienne-Jules Marey and Thomas Edison. So it is unsurprising that filmmakers…
It’s a film about the vision and style of Cormac McCarthy – but does it work? Twentieth Century Fox

Review: The Counselor, a film that talks like a book

The Counselor is a collaboration between one of the last century’s literary greats, novelist Cormac McCarthy, and one of the filmmakers who has helped define contemporary, mainstream American cinema, director…
The Brad Pitt zombie action thriller World War Z has a strong enough premise to give us pause to think. Image from shutterstock.com

Tipping the balance towards humanity in World War Z

Could a dire new infection sweep the world in a matter of weeks? Might the disease be so strange that it alters the behaviour of people beyond recognition, making them predatory and fearless? Could a great…
Does Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby fail to meet its grandiose expectations? AAP/Warner Bros

The Great Gatsby: death by glitter or a thought-provoking spectacle?

It’s impossible to see a film with the hype of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby without preconceptions. The build-up to this film has been overwhelming with trailers splashed across screens everywhere…
Chasing Ice is trying to get us out of the climate change hole we’ve dug for ourselves. EPA/Baard Ness

Chasing Ice bewitches eyes but won’t change minds

Science seems to be failing to change the minds of those who are sceptical about the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Chasing Ice - a film by Jeff Orlowski, playing in Australia currently - tries…
Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones as psychiatrists discussing the treatment of Side Effects’ protagonist Emily Taylor. Village Roadshow

Side effects of the Hollywood treatment: pharma ethics dumped for thriller plot

When a drug returns more than a billion dollars in sales, it hits blockbuster status. So, notching up over US$11 billion in 2011 antidepressants are bona fide showstoppers. But these little pills have…
Ageing couple Gorges and Ann Laurant (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva) negotiate illness and death in Amour. EPA Claudio Onorati

The thorny issue of home care in Michael Haneke’s Amour

During our lifetime, we face a series of developmental tasks that are universal to the human condition. The last of these stages comes in our final years, when we face our mortality, reflect back upon…
Bradley Cooper as Pat Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook. Roadshow Publicity

Romcom’s silver lining is its portrayal of mental illness

From Psycho onward, film portrayals of the mentally ill have contributed to the stigma faced by people with these conditions. Films tend to create and reinforce stereotypes of the mentally ill as “homicidal…
Pi finds a strange and beautiful island where life can’t survive. wildfox76/Flickr

Life of Pi’s acidic island a warning for our warming world

The recently released film Life of Pi directed by Ang Lee and based on Yann Martel’s novel of the same name, is a fable for our climate change times. Much of the plot involves the struggles of a teenage…
Landscape is the star in The Hunter, but science plays a respectable supporting role. Matthew Nettheim

The Hunter: bioethics and extinct DNA in the Tasmanian wilderness

All over the planet, a new wave of exploration and exploitation is taking place. Bioprospectors are searching for new and useful biological samples and compounds from previously unstudied animals and plants…
Jude Law as Alan Krumwiede in the thriller “Contagion”. Claudette Barius

Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion: sounding alarm for the next pandemic?

One touch and you’re infected. By the next day your muscles ache, you have a fever and the beginnings of a headache. You don’t know it yet, but you only have a one in three chance of survival and you’ve…
We don’t know which storms will turn into deadly tornadoes. RAGardner4

Tornado Alley 3D: an authentic storm chasing experience

Everyone loves a good storm. Rolling thunder, a spectacular light show and fat drops of rain that make the earth smell like summer. Although thunderstorms are far more belligerent than your average cloud…

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