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Avengers: Infinity War film review: a celebration of mediocrity on a scale the cinema has never seen before

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Film, Reviews, Screen |
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Has any film series in history pursued the ‘more of everything’ and ‘bigger is better’ ethos as vigorously as the Avengers franchise? The latest installment, Avengers: Infinity War, heralds the arrival of 19 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in 10 years. Their running times are epic blow-outs, the latest ballooning into a elephantine 160 minutes. Working from a

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Rampage isn’t the greatest video game movie ever. Assassin’s Creed is

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Which is better: a harebrained movie that does what it says it’d do on the packet, or an ambitious film that challenges, confounds, frustrates and fascinates viewers? Which is more meaningful: a popcorn flick that never wanted to be anything special, wink-winking audiences in regular acknowledgement of its dumbness, or a film that tries –

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I Feel Pretty movie review: Amy Schumer miscast in a flaky, hypocritical comedy about inner beauty

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Film, Reviews, Screen |
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In the under-rated anthology comedy Movie 43, Hugh Jackman plays a hunky bachelor with one, shall we say, slightly unusual thing about him: a pair of huge testicles that dangle from his chin. His shell shocked date, Kate Winslet, cannot take her eyes off them; nor can she understand why nobody else in a busy restaurant appears

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Isle of Dogs film review: the obsessive Wes Anderson creates a visual sensation

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Film, Reviews, Screen |
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As Alfred Hitchcock once said: “self-plagiarism is style”. The writer/director Wes Anderson, whose best-known films include The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Royal Tenenbaums, has been self-plagiarising for some time now, and boy, is his style distinctive. He is, in fact, among the most visually distinctive auteurs working today. His idiosyncratic, teeth-achingly fastidious aesthetic is defined with labels

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Lawrence Mooney’s bizarrely good ‘Unofficial Malcolm Turnbull’ web series goes beyond political impersonation

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Reviews, Screen, TV |

Political impersonators often come across as traders in a low-rent form of satire: pantomime obsessed with mimicking speech and gesture, and little else. I do not wish to use this occasion to ridicule entertainers trying to make a crust, such as ‘John How-Odd’ or the more straightforwardly named ‘Kevin Rudd Impersonator’ (“humour that cuts through

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A Quiet Place film review: in a world where humans can’t make noise, Emily Blunt’s performance is loud and thrilling

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Film, Reviews, Screen |

Director John Krasinski’s twitchy monster movie A Quiet Place contains shots of a whiteboard, with rather elementary information written on it. The potential number of beasts in the immediate vicinity, for example, and basic techniques for survival in his morbid vision of the future. In almost any other film this would constitute a laughably rudimentary

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A Wrinkle in Time film review: rainbow-coloured family film let down by hammy dialogue and cut-rate philosophising

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Film, Reviews, Screen |
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Was A Wrinkle in Time intended to be a rainbow-coloured nightmare for children – like Labyrinth or The Dark Crystal, but with an obnoxiously bright palette? The Day-Glo aesthetic in director Ava DuVernay’s mega-budget family film is like a character itself. A character with, of course, no lines of dialogue, unlike the many babbling seers

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Ready Player One, Terror Nullius, and the question of digital copyright laws in a virtual future

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News & Commentary, Screen |

On Tuesday evening this week, two premieres took place in Australia for two very different films. These films could hardly be more different in many respects, including artistic ambition and the scope of their resources. Nevertheless, they share fascinating similarities. I’ll get to these in a moment, and what they mean for a point in

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