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Reviews

Review: Bullet Train (2022)

Watching Bullet Train, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a Guy Ritchie film or second-rate Tarantino rip-off.

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Review: Where The Crawdads Sing (2022)

Where The Crawdads Sing is one of the biggest books of the last decade, having enraptured millions across the globe with its writing and story by zoologist (and accused murderer) Delia Owens. But is the magic of the book lost in the transition to screen?

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Review: The Forgiven (2022)

The Forgiven is the latest splashy narrative to be released about the tensions between the elite and the working class, mixing all the elements of a thriller, dark comedy and psychological thriller to no avail in this frustrating film.

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Reviews

Review: Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical, State Theatre, Sydney (2022)

All things the 90s takes centre stage at the State Theatre in Sydney as classic flick Cruel Intentions gets the musical treatment.

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Review: M.Rock, Australian Theatre for Young People, Rebel Theatre (2022)

This revival of Lachlan Philpott’s play with a banging techno soundtrack reminds us to let our elders chase their dreams

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Reviews

Review: Elvis (2022)

The long awaited Elvis Presley film has openened on screens. Years after some of the biggest blockbusters have revisited the likes of Freddie Mercury, Elton John, and more, Elvis gets his own Hollywood treatment thanks to Baz Lurhmann’s frenetic and bombastic view of his life.

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Review: Phantom Of The Open (2022)

The Phantom of the Open is one of those films that leans heavily into sentimentality and endures in its goal to please crowds, with much of it owing to its captivating story and fantastic star.

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Review: How To Please A Woman (2022)

How To Please A Woman isn’t what it seems from the outset.

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Review: Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

The danger zone, aviators and Tom Cruise are back with Top Gun: Maverick in this sequel to the action classic from the 1980s – and it’s one of the best films of the year.

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Reviews

Review: The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson (2022)

Henry Lawson’s 1892 classic Australian story undergoes its own postcolonial revisionism in The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson.

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Review: Downton Abbey: A New Age (2022)

The Crawley family return to the big screen and the public consciousness in this follow up to the long running series and sequel to the first film with Downton Abbey: A New Age.

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Review: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

Nicolas Cage’s career has seen him playing a host of memorable characters and even his most recent films’ primary success has been primarily due to his commitment as an actor and his overwhelming onscreen and off-screen persona.

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Review: Ambulance (2022)

Big explosions, car chases and bank heists make a return to screen in Michael Bay’s latest action thriller Ambulance – the pinnacle of his fast cut, highly stylized, patriotic-infused filmmaking style.

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Review: North By Northwest, Sydney Lyric Theatre (2022)

Stage and screen fuse together in this adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic suspense comedy at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre.

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Review: The Batman (2022)

Rebooting a superhero franchise is never the easiest, but writer and direct Matt Reeves takes the pressure in his stride with The Batman, a new take on the classic caped crusader.

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Review: Morbius (2022)

If The Batman is the best superhero film of the year, Morbius takes the crown for the worst. Set within Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, you know there’s an issue with the film when the two (two!) post-credit scenes are the best part of the whole experience and conjure more excitement than the entire film preceding.

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Review: Fresh (2022)

There’s something fresh about Fresh.

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Review: No Exit (2022)

With streamers like Netflix, Disney, Amazon and more pumping out movies every other week, it’s hard to differentiate the trash from the treasure.

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Review: Cyrano (2022)

Cyrano de Bergerac is a tale old as time yet seems to have vanished from cultural discourse in the 21st century.

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Review: Marry Me (2022)

If you, like me, have been bombarded by ads for Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson’s latest rom-com Marry Me and subsequently have the lowest of expectations, I hate to say it…but you can probably listen to your intuition.

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Review: A Stitch In Time (2022)

Most films rarely feature people, especially women, above 60 years old. But the new Australian film, A Stitch In Time, is a reminder that this isn’t always the case.

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Feature

Pret A Reward! Can Pret A Manger win over customers with its first loyalty program?

21, English restaurant chain (and one-true love of any backpacker in London) Pret A Manger announced they would be trialling their first loyalty program, Pret Perks.

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Reviews

Review: West Side Story (2021)

West Side Story won 10 Academy Awards in 1961 and its original stage musical from 1957 is still beloved by many people.

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Review: Jagged Little Pill, Theatre Royal, Sydney (2021)

Jagged Little Pill is without a doubt one of my favourite albums of all time and began my love affair with Canadian singer Alanis Morissette.

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Feature

Hermes and their ultimate loyalty program that isn’t a program

It turns out that being able to buy a Birkin or Kelly bag from Hermes is part of a loyalty program customers don’t know about.

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Review: Last Night In Soho (2021)

It’s easy to reminisce on the older periods of civilisation and the thrill of the Swinging 60s in London is front and centre in Last Night in Soho, the latest from director Edgar Wright.

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Reviews

Review: No Time To Die (2021)

No Time To Die is simultaneously the most Bond film and anti-Bond film in the series canon to date.

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Feature

Should brands consider paid loyalty programs?

The paid loyalty scene has long been an arena that many retailers have been hesitant to get involved in. But is this framework the future of loyalty and rewards? Should brands consider a paid loyalty program?

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Feature

Six Ways to Make the Most of Sydney’s New Winter Arts Festival (From Free to Fancy)

Check out luminous projections, party with sharks and make your own burrata.

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Feature

Seven Go-To Bars and Restaurants Where You Can Catch a Sydney Solstice Show This Winter

Wine, dine and get a big ol’ dose of culture with dazzling drag shows, early morning rave sessions and swingin’ country tunes.

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Reviews

Review: Cruella (2021)

Reimaginings are all the rage and it was only a matter of time for 101 Dalmatian’s villain Cruella de Vil to get the reinvigorated treatment.

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Review: Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, Darlinghurst Theatre, Sydney (2021)

The visual of a body being dragged along the ground and buried beneath the stage is the first scene we are exposed to in Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner and immediately sets the scene for the rest of the play.

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Review: La Traviata, Handa Opera, Sydney Harbour (2021)

The long tradition of Opera Australia’s annual Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour opened after a year long delay and reminded us why this seminal event is a highlight of the year.

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Review: The Father (2021)

To overly explain The Father is to take the joy of watching the film for the first time.

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Review: Minari (2021)

Few coming-of-age films are as delicately directed as Lee Isaac Chung’s deeply personal Minari.

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Feature

Classic Rock, Cold Ones and Camaraderie: Why You Should Catch Returning Hit The Choir of Man

For Concrete Playground: Head to Sydney Opera House for a night at the pub with nine affable — and wildly talented — blokes.

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Review: Words On Bathroom Walls (2020)

Mental illness hasn’t always had the best representation on screen. Whether its exploitative, melodramatic or underplaying its severity, sometimes highlighting a specific illness on camera does more harm than good for breaking down social stigmas. That is why, surprisingly, Words on Bathroom Walls is so good.

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Review: The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020)

From the outset, The Broken Hearts Gallery is a winning formula

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News

Where to Shop Like a Local In and Around Rose Bay

For Concrete Playground: Get all of the essentials — bread, bedding and burgers — plus a few treats in this harbourside suburb.

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News

OzHarvest Has Opened a Second Pay-What-You-Can Supermarket for Sydneysiders Doing it Tough

For Concrete Playground: Located in Waterloo, the new market has a “take what you need, give if you can” philosophy.

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News

Sydney Institution Frango Has Opened Australia’s First Charcoal Chicken Drive-Thru

For Concrete Playground: Drive, don’t walk or run, to get your charcoal chook and chilli sauce fix in Edmondson Park.

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News

Carriageworks Has Officially Been Saved — and Plans to Restart Events As Early As August

For Concrete Playground: You could be shopping at the multi-arts centre’s popular Saturday farmers market as early as next month.

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Reviews

Review: The Current War (2020)

Is the history of electricity interesting?

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Feature

Six Healthy Changes You Can Make To Your Working Day

For Concrete Playground: How are your new year’s resolutions going?

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Reviews

Review: Downhill (2020)

The premise of Downhill takes after Ruben Ostlund’s Force Majeure, telling the story of a couple on a family ski vacation that sees their relationship come to a breaking point after a certain event shapes what each other consider important in the face of a crisis.

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Reviews

Review: Onward (2020)

If you’re talking Pixar, you’re talking high quality, heartfelt, premium animation with a standard unsurmounted by other animated feature films.

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News

Four Mardi Gras Events to Hit at This Surry Hills Pub to Make the Festivities Last All Month

For Concrete Playground: From watching ‘The Birdcage’ under the stars to joining outrageous bingo nights.

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Reviews

Review: Honey Boy (2020)

It’s hard to make a movie about your life without seeming overly indulgent or seeking empathy at every turn.

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Review: A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (2020)

My first peek into this American TV legend from 1968 to 2001 was in the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? which took a peek at the man, Fred Rogers and his life before and during his hugely successful TV program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

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Review: Bombshell (2020)

Bombshell’s story is a perfectly manicured version of sexual harassment allegations against Fox New CEO and Chairman Roger Ailes.