Baby Driver

Image Credit: Sony Pictures

Baby. B-A-B-Y, Baby.

Heist movie, meets car movie, meets love story, meets one killer soundtrack. Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End), Baby Driver is a true break through film.

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a young hot-shot driver whose skills have him in the unwilling employ of criminal master mind, Doc (Kevin Spacey). A childhood injury has left Baby with a constant ringing in his ears which he drowns out using his favourite tunes, letting him choreograph his life to his personal playlist.

Not one to enjoy the criminal life, Baby is happy when things start changing. His time with Doc is coming to an end, and the beautiful Debora (Lily James) is the start of a new tune. Of course, things don’t go to plan; but it wouldn’t make for a good movie if he could just whistle a tune and end his contract in peace.

The film kicks off with a heist. As Buddy (Jon Hamm), Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), and Griff (Jon Bernthal) head in to rob a bank, Baby is left in the car, waiting to make a quick getaway. This is the first example of how important music is going to be to this film. An epic lip sync routine ensues to Bellbottom by The Jon Spencer Blue Explosion ensures while Baby is waiting. Music continues at the forefront of the film, really becoming a character all its own. Different situations require different songs, and Baby carries around numerous iPods to ensure he’s never left without the right track.

The specific choreography of the film really comes to light in the second scene as Baby heads out on a coffee run. The way Elgort moves down the street blending to the music as the street itself matches up with lines from the song using graffiti, store signage and more to create the ideal music video for life.

Throughout the film camera angles chop and change to make the most of each scene. With aerial shots and street view following Baby’s insane route through the city.

If you’ve listened to anything about this film, chances are you heard it described as ‘cross-genre’; there isn’t a better way to describe it than that. Action filled car chases and adrenaline fuelled gun battles blend with love in the diner and witty work colleagues in a seamless way.

Baby Driver will have you completely invested in the first 5 minutes, and unable to look away until the very end.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel fans rejoice! We have another roaring success with the newest addition to the Cinematic Universe. Since his introduction in Captain America: Civil War, the newest reincarnation of New York City’s web slinger, played by Tom Holland, has captured the hearts of Marvel fans.

During the wall-crawler’s first stand-alone film, we see the clean-up of New York after the Avenger’s (2012) battle. Some entrepreneurial workers who are less than pleased when they have the post battle clean up contract taken from them. Luckily, they find other ways to make a profit from the battle. Add a little time jump (Civil War, 2016) and, of course, things have started to go bad; But Spidey is there to save the day.

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The House

Image Credit: Warner Brothers Pictures

When a much needed scholarship falls through, Scott and Kate Johansen have to find a way to send their daughter to the college of her dreams. A trip to Las Vegas gives them the perfect idea.

The only logical choice, of course, is to open an illegal casino.

Bored wives and husbands from around their suburban neighbourhood soon get involved and ‘The House’ is a roaring success; they rake in the cash and draw in on their goal before things start to go wrong.

You’d think Will Farrell and Amy Poehler on screen together would result in non-stop laughter to the point tears. Unfortunately, ‘The House’ stops short of the mark.

With a lacklustre dialogue and a few attempts at physical humour, the movie falls fairly flat. Jeremy Renner does provide a change of pace eventually, but that comes in far too late in the piece to be a saving grace.

Die hard Farrell or Poehler fans might enjoy ‘The House’ but it’s not guaranteed.

Train to Busan

Image: Next Entertainment World

I am a sucker for zombie movies and will watch nearly anything, even if it is not of the highest quality. Thankfully, Train to Busan is not one of the second-rate z-flicks.

Disclaimer to start with, this is a Korean film so if you do not like subtitles it might be a struggle; but I would definitely recommend fans of the zombie genre give it a chance.

Directed by Sang-ho Yeon, and written by Yeon and Joo-Suk Park, Train to Busan is a suspense filled thriller meets horror. Workaholic dad, Seok-woo (Yoo Gong), and his young daughter Soo-an (Soo-an Kim) are on the train headed to see Soo-an’s mother in Busan. When riots and violence begin to break out, the trains passengers see it in their media feeds on their phones, and start to receive calls from loved ones as people try to work out what it going on. Unfortunately the incidents don’t stay outside the train. When one infected gets aboard it starts a domino effect. Continue reading - Just Another Fangirl - Blacktop to the Big Screen

From the Blacktop to the Big Screen

When an accountant travelling an outback highway takes pity on a hitchhiker, it becomes quickly apparent that all is not as is seems. The journey this unlikely pair embark upon begins to reveal secrets and sinister motives in this independent Australian thriller.

With a crew of two and actors three, this small team, headed by director Joel Champ, put Blacktop Stranger into production. January and February of 2016 was spent writing the script and having Joel Rademaker complete the sound design before actors Mat Huff, Beau Jones, and Colin Dixon were called to hit the road for two weeks of filming. Continue reading


Image: Blinding Edge Pictures

With M. Night Shyamalan at the helm, Split promises great things before the opening credits even begin. Most of what the trailer used to suck you in has already come into play by the 20-minute mark of this film. From that point forward, nearly everything is new.

Three teenage girls are abducted by Kevin (James McAvoy), a man whose body plays host to 23 completely separate personalities. While most of these personalities are harmless, there are some who foretell the rise of something terrible.

Split offered the opportunity of a lifetime for any actor wanting to test their mettle; and James McAvoy certainly played the role to its fullest extent. While there are 23 personalities living inside Kevin, the main focus throughout the film is on three of them, Patricia, Hedwig, and Dennis. The complete and utter difference between these characters is astounding. For the most part, the clothes McAvoy wears in any given scene tell the viewer which personality is in charge, but wardrobe isn’t the only thing that changes. Each personality has distinct voices, speech patterns and body language. While actors often change all these things to suit a role, its unusually for an actor to have to switch between them in a single movie.

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Fangirl’s First Supanova

Image: Supanova Pop Culture Expo

With the 2017 Supanova circuit due to start soon, I thought it was the perfect time to revisit my first ‘Nova, just last year!

Brisbane Supanova 2016


Walking out of the humidity that is Brisbane today, I entered the Convention Centre to find Heaven on Earth.

All around me were people enjoying the best that the Geekdom has to offer. The swirl of colours that made up their cosplays; characters I know and love and more who I hope to someday meet. But if you weren’t in costume, that doesn’t matter either. We each found a way to let our fandom colours fly.

As I’m sitting outside to write this, I look to my left and spot an anime swordsman in his long coat. He’s surrounded by people in suits rushing home from their work for the week. It is truly amazing.

Sorry, back to the expo now.  With dozens of stalls, there was something catching my eye every few steps. Very soon I had my first bag with original prints (a set of bending scrolls from Avatar), and a pocket full of business cards. Alongside those came the flyers, advertising nerf battles, LARPing, and historical re-enactment groups.

Defending the Empire from the rebel scum were the 501st Redback Garrison. With his blaster aimed at me, a Stormtrooper had me stand for my wanted poster. I was then robbed of my hard earned credits to support their cause. Ok, so maybe they were talking spare change for charity, not a benevolent empower. Bad guys doing good.

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Kelsey Berrington

Image: Kelsey Berrington Facebook

With a musician father and an actress mother, performing well and truly runs though Kelsey Berrington’s veins. Starting with the saxophone at the age of 5, Kelsey gave it a few years before deciding at 10, the guitar was what he wanted to play. By the time he turned 16, he had gone from playing the guitar to being “a singer/songwriter with a passion for music and entertaining as fiery as his red hair”.

Although still forming, Kelsey describes his style as folk, with some alternative rock and a “dash of pop”, allowing him to play with musical genres and flairs as he sees fit. When looking for something to listen to instead of playing his own songs, hip hop and folk music tend to be his go to.

Writing his own lyrics is a big part of this red-head’s repertoire. The satisfaction of getting emotions out and having people hear them makes an already great task feel even more rewarding.

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Image: Black Bear Pictures

2016 gave us some great based-on-true-event films, and 2017 looks set to continue that trend. Built loosely around the mining scandal that befell Bre-X in 1993, Gold brings adventure, crime, and suspense to the big screen once more.

Prospector Kenny Wells’ (Matthew McConaughey) business is just like his liquor, on the rocks. Having taken over his late father’s company, Wells has been unable to land a big contract and he grasps at his last available straw. Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) is a geologist living in Indonesia. When Acosta is approached by Wells to find the gold the geologist was once so sure exists beneath the jungle, a little persuasion is required. Soon enough, they’re off, obtaining funding (though only enough to scrape through by the skin of their teeth), workers, and core samples; but they find nothing. Just as all hope seems lost, what should appear? Gold.

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La La Land

Image: Summit Entertainment

Winner of seven Golden Globes, nominated for fourteen Oscars, and with numerous other award nominations and wins under its belt, La La Land breathes new life into the art of cinema.

Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress, drawn to Hollywood by her dream to be on the screen. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a pianist with a love for the classic jazz music of Hollywood in its heyday. They find themselves coming together, despite the different circles their lives are in. After a half-hearted effort to not get involved, their lives intertwine to create an old-fashioned love story for the 21st century.

Costumes, music, sets, acting, the whole nine yards of this film are unbelievable. They blend together so perfectly, while still allowing each individual feature to take its time at centre stage.

With an Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Costume Design you can expect something special. Seemingly old fashioned styles with ladies in bright dresses and gentlemen in suits and wingtips, make you feel like you’ve been pulled back in time. The occasional smartphone being used and the models of the cars are the only real indicators that this is 2016.

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