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Review: Turandot, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (2016)

Turandot is without a doubt one of the most popular and enduring operas created, so naturally it was only a matter of time until Handa Opera took the seminal story and performed it against the backdrop of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

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Review: 45 Years (2016)

On the week of their 45th wedding anniversary, Geoff (Tom Courtenay) and Kate (Charlotte Rampling) are a seemingly happy couple living in the English countryside.

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Review: Fiddler On The Roof, Capitol Theatre (2016)

2005 was the last time a huge professional production of Fiddler on the Roof played to Sydney audiences.

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Review: Georgy Girl: The Seekers Musical, State Theatre, Sydney (2016)

The Seekers hold a place in Australian music history and have contributed significant amounts to music culture.

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Review: How To Be Single (2016)

For The Australia Times: Four girls live in New York City and try to navigate through the trials and tribulations of dating life. Sound familiar?

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Review: Brooklyn (2015)

For CelebrityOz: Old-fashioned storytelling, classic film techniques and unbridled emotion take centre stage in every moment of John Crowley’s Brooklyn.

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Review: Burnt (2015)

For CelebrityOz: In the hype of reality cooking television series that appear to be overrunning our networks, it’s not unusual that film studios have tried to commodify this trend.

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Review: Macbeth (2015)

Macbeth is certainly one of Shakespeare’s most popular works, and after so many adaptations through the years, there’s any wonder that a new film of the play could bring anything new to the table. But somehow Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel takes the source material, cuts out its best parts and makes it his own, contributing unique elements and creative flair so that it feels original and refreshing.

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Review: The Dressmaker (2015)

Fortunately for comedy lovers, The Dressmaker is a deviation from serious flicks, and evokes the absurdity and farce of past Australian classics like Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert that have been absent from our domestic screens for too long.

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Review: The Intern (2015)

For CelebrityOz: From What Women Want to Something’s Gotta Give to my personal favourite The Holiday, audiences have complained about Nancy Meyer’s approach to romance, feminism and viewpoint on life.

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Review: Pan (2015)

For The Australia Times: There’s obvious hesitation to Joe Wright’s new film Pan. It’s the latest in a slew of remakes, sequels, prequels and reimaginings of old classics and adored children’s stories that seem to be saturating every cinema across the world right now.

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Review: Life (2015)

For OuttaGum: From the first few moments of Life, there’s absolutely no indication where the story is about to go.

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Review: Holding The Man (2015)

For Aphra Magazine: Holding The Man is one of the most profound LGBT Australian books ever published. Released in 1995, the memoir chronicles the life of actor and activist Timothy Conigrave and his relationship with long-time partner John Caro, from their early days in high school through to their joint fight against HIV.

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Review: Me and Earl and The Dying Girl (2015)

For CelebrityOz: Every few years sees the release of a new teen film dedicated to representing the quirkiness and nature of a generation. Millennials have already seen Mean Girls, Easy A and Juno represent many of our attitudes and contemporary behaviours, but there has always been a tendency toward fewer younger male voices who are less Perks of Being A Wallflower, and more 21 And Over.

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Review: Glitch Season 1 (2015)

For BULL Magazine: Eden Caceda isn’t excited to visit a graveyard any time soon.

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Review: Trainwreck (2015)

For CelebrityOz: In recent years Melissa McCarthy has brought to our screens a different kind of funny woman: rowdy, sex-positive, dirty-talking, and unconventional in every sense of the word. But comedienne Amy Schumer’s debut film Trainwreck embodies many of these aspects and more as she continues to drive a provocative humour that pushes many boundaries, making the film one of the funniest and more original ones this year.

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Review: Bring It On, Parade Theatre (2015)

When Bring It On: The Musical opened on Broadway in 2012, audiences had only five months to catch the show before it was unceremoniously taken off the Great White Way.

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Review: Inside Out (2015)

For CelebrityOz: Watching Inside Out with a large audience of older people and young children in a cinema reminds me of the potential for animated films, mostly because the concept is devoid of talking animals and supernatural beings.

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Review: Ruben Guthrie (2015)

For OuttaGum: It’s said that there are variations of Hollywood films in every country around the world. If that’s true, newly released Australian comedy Ruben Guthrie is no doubt the equivalent of 2013’s modern classic The Wolf of Wall Street.

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Review: Aida, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (2015)

Nothing has challenged the 600-year tradition of indoor opera more than performing it outdoors. Without the imposition of a theatre, Handa Opera’s outdoor production of Aida on Sydney Harbour is one that aims to bring down the well-established walls of the opera experience. Unfortunately, it delivers delicious spectacle without an emotional build.

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Review: The Rocky Horror Show, Lyric Theatre, The Star (2015)

It’s been over 40 years since the Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show premiered, but it seems that age has taken its toll on the outrageous stage production once renowned for pushing social boundaries.

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Review: The Theory of Everything (2014)

For The Reel Word: The film’s distance from the publicized and celebrated career of Hawking is a fresh and interesting amendment to the biopic canon, framed by excellent performances by all.

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Review: Wicked, Capitol Theatre, Sydney (2014)

For BULL Magazine: It’s been four years since Wicked left Sydney and a decade since it opened on Broadway, but seeing Wicked at the Capitol Theatre feels like it hasn’t aged a day.

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Review: Tammy (2014)

For Filmink: Melissa McCarthy rehashes her usual vulgar onscreen persona in this uninspired road movie, which squanders all its talent.

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Review: The Skeleton Twins (2014)

For The Reel Word: Suicide is often a difficult topic to include and explore in mainstream films. Unlike accidental deaths, which seem to be a plot twist in so many movies, suicide is rarely depicted on screen, and when it is, it easily comes under criticism because of the way it’s shown and the meaning it is trying to create.

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Review: Education and Social Work Revue (2014): Trapped in the past

For Honi Soit: Eden Caceda wished Ed Revue actually taught him something.

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Review: Predestination (2014)

For The Reel Word: Based on Robert A Heinlein’s short story “All You Zombies”, Predestination centres on a time travelling “temporal agent” (Ethan Hawke), travelling by time-warped violin case, who attempts to prevent a mass terrorist, the Fizzle Bomber.

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Review: Generation Iron (2013)

For Filmink: Focused on seven international qualified bodybuilders training to compete in the Mr. Olympia contest, Mickey Rourke narrates Generation Iron, which aims to get to the core of why these bodybuilders do what they do.

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Review: Strictly Ballroom, Lyric Theatre, The Star (2014)

For BULL Magazine: Baz Luhrmann’s first film Strictly Ballroom comes to life in this colossal stage adaptation, with all the same lines and songs Australia has come to love.

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Review: In Bob We Trust (2013)

For Filmink: Very few documentaries profile a personality as unconventional and fascinating as Father Bob Maguire in the brilliant In Bob We Trust.

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Feature

Mardi Gras: Queer Screen Festival

For Aphra Magazine: After boasting what is called the “best LGBTIQ films being made in Australia today, and from around the world”, the annual Mardi Gras Film Festival comes to a close in coming days after an incredibly successful run.

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Review: Last Vegas (2014)

For CelebrityOz: Since The Hangover debuted in 2009, cinemas have screened an abundance of films about friends travelling to Las Vegas, or any other location with alcohol and bright lights, prior to a wedding or as a way to forget their transience. The new adult comedy Last Vegas is no different, but this time the male protagonists are about 40 years older than the younger men cast in similar films.

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Review: Are We Officially Dating? (2014)

For CelebrityOz: Romantic comedies have long featured women in lead roles and revolved around the lives of single young women, made for single young women. But Are We Officially Dating? switches up the conventions of the genre by having the romantic comedy told from men’s point of view.

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Review: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)

For Filmink: Investing this supernatural franchise with a cultural twist is fresh, but ultimately forgettable.

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Review: Convict (2014)

For CelebrityOz: Four years ago Australian character actor David Field made his directorial debut, starring newcomer George Basha, on the well-received drama film The Combination. It’s easy to see the connections between that film all those years ago and this new film Convict, this time Basha working behind the camera with Field.

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Review: August: Osage County (2014)

For CelebrityOz: Tracy Lett’s epic three hour play August: Osage County is a renowned work of fiction that has won the Pulitzer Prize and a number of Tony Awards since its debut in 2007.

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Review: 47 Ronin (2014)

For CelebrityOz: Despite the cultural importance, a new Hollywood version of the classic story appears this year with Keanu Reeves in the lead role of 47 Ronin.

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Review: Utopia (2014)

For Filmink: John Pilger’s damning new doco sees the journalist and filmmaker outraged again over indigenous disadvantage in Australia.

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Review: The Smurfs 2 (2013)

For CelebrityOz: Relying on the legacy and animation to captivate audiences has been the consistent issue since the first film, with The Smurfs 2 sure to bore adults in the cinema despite the hyperactive action on screen.

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Review: The Book Thief (2014)

For CelebrityOz: Directed by Brian Percival, The Book Thief is well-intentioned and handles the story with delicacy. Unfortunately the tone of the film isn’t stable and The Book Thief ends up being a film made for middle-aged children.

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Review: Ghost Team One (2014)

For Filmink: There are films like the low-budget Ghost Team One – a jumbled film that isn’t sure if it wants to be a movie like Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project or if it wants to satirise them.