All posts by fictionmachine

Grant Watson is an Australian film critic and writer. He lives in Melbourne.

“The past is a wilderness of horrors” | The Wolfman (2010)

‘I’m a big fan of horror movies as far back as I can remember,’ said actor Benicio Del Toro. ‘The Universal horror movies were the first films I knew the titles of [as well as] the names of the actors in those films.’[1] All the way back in 1931 Universal Pictures stumbled upon a commercial ...

REVIEW: Tale of Tales (2015)

A queen eats the heart of a sea monster in order to magically bear a child. A vain king's attempts to seduce a beautiful young woman are manipulated by a pair of elderly sisters. A father's obsession with an enormous flea brings his own daughter to ruin. These three fairy tales, all originally adapted by ...

REVIEW: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

While undertaking a secret government mission, Dominic Torretto (Vin Diesel) abruptly betrays his loose family of high-speed racers and goes rogue with a EMP generator. While his friends reel from his betrayal, they are forced to track him down and apprehend him to prevent his new employer - the computer hacker Cypher (Charlize Theron) - ...

REVIEW: Personal Shopper (2016)

Maureen (Kristen Stewart) is a 28 year-old American living in Paris. During the day she works as a personal shopper for a rich celebrity named Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten). In her own time she obsesses over her recently deceased twin brother Lewis, and his promise to try and contact her from beyond the grave if ...

REVIEW: The Boar King (2014)

A typhoon sweeps across southern Taiwan, causing landslides that devastate a mountain community. A-Ying (Wu Yi-Ting), the owner of a local hot spring, steps out into the storm and is never seen again. His widow Mei-Cho (Lu Yi-Ching) is left to pick up the pieces, while a property developer starts pressuring the surviving residents to ...

REVIEW: Plunkett and Macleane (1999)

It is the year 1748. Disgraced army captain James Macleane (Jonny Lee Miller) is sent to a debtor's prison, but escapes after an unexpected encounter with a pair of highwaymen and their government-appointed pursuers. Once free, Macleane slips into partnership with one of the criminals - Will Plunkett (Robert Carlyle) - and together they hit ...

REVIEW: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) returns, thrown into a race against the Spanish to discover and claim the fabled Fountain of Youth. It is a race that will see him reunited with former lover Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and rival pirate Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), as well as bring him face to face with Edward "Blackbeard" ...

REVIEW: Rebels of the Neon God (1992)

In a Taipei neighbourhood, the lives of two disaffected teenagers collide. Hsiao Kang (Lee Kang-sheng) struggles through cram schools at his father's insistence while growing steadily self-destructive. Ah Tze (Chen Chao-jung) is small-time thief who, along with his best friend Ah Ping (Jen Chang-bin) and girlfriend Ah Kuei (Wang Yu-wen), haunts the city's arcades and ...

REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Walt Disney Pictures has developed an immensely lucrative franchise in recent years adapting and recycling its classic animated features into live-action films. Following in the footsteps of Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book comes perhaps the most ambitious of them all: a live-action take on Beauty and the Beast, one of the ...

“I am the saint of blasphemy” | The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

In 1988 the Martin Scorsese Biblical drama The Last Temptation of Christ was released by Universal Pictures under a storm of protest. There were calls for the film to be banned, and that any cinema in America that dared screen the film be boycotted. Controversy around religious features was, of course, nothing new. In 1979 ...