All posts by fictionmachine

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

“Ripples in the water” | Alien³ (1992)

According to the diary of actor Ralph Brown, who played the role of Aaron in the film Alien³, there was a message carved into a wall at London’s Pinewood studios. It purported to list the six stages of film production, as follows: Wild enthusiasm Disillusionment Panic Search for the Guilty Punish the Innocent Reward the ...

REVIEW: Frankenstein (1931)

Mad scientist Dr Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) has holed himself up inside a hilltop windmill with his hunchbacked assistant Fritz (Dwight Frye) to complete his life's ambition: to recreate life from a body stitched together from human corpses. While his fiancee Elizabeth (Mae Clarke) and best friend Victor (John Boles) do their best to dissuade ...

REVIEW: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Orphaned at a young age and raised in a Londinium brothel, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) grows up to become a low-level criminal kingpin. When the waters around the castle Camelot magically recede, revealing a sword embedded in the rock, the ruthless King Vortigern (Jude Law) orders all men of a certain age to try and pull ...

REVIEW: King of Thorn (2009)

A viral contagion known as the 'medusa virus' sweeps across the globe, causing its victims bodies to spontaneously fossilise and shatter. A select number of the infected are cryogenically frozen inside a special facility on the Scottish coast, to be revived when a cure has been found for the disease. When the infected wake, they ...

REVIEW: John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

When John Wick hit the screens back in 2014, it felt like a breath of fresh air for American action cinema. It utilised a simple, clean story - a retired assassin (a perfectly cast Keanu Reeves) goes out for revenge when a gangster's son murders his dog - and told it with a knowing and ridiculous surfeit ...

REVIEW: Lion (2016)

Five year-old Saroo lives in Khandwa, India. After getting onto the wrong train he soon finds himself 1,600 kilometres away in Calcutta, unable to speak the language or to ever find his way home. Eventually he is adopted by Australians Sue and John Brierley (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham). Decades later, an adult Saroo discovers ...

REVIEW: The Virgin Queen (1955)

It is the year 1581. Captain Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd), freshly returned to England from war in Ireland, ingratiates his way into the court of Queen Elizabeth I (Bette Davis). He hopes the gain the Queen's permission to launch a naval venture, but instead finds himself trapped in court as her new favourite. The Virgin ...

REVIEW: Alien Covenant (2017)

In the early 22nd century the colony ship Covenant is in the middle of its long journey to a new planet when a stellar phenomenon critically damages the ship and kills its captain. While the surviving crew conduct repairs they receive a mysterious human signal from an uncharted planet just three weeks away. Once there, ...

REVIEW: Four Lions (2010)

Omar (Riz Ahmed) leads a small terrorist cell in suburban England. While he and his cousin Waj (Kayvan Novak) travel to Pakistan to train in an Al Qaeda camp, their friend Faisal (Adeel Akhtar) tries to train crows to carry bombs while the antagonistic Barry (Nigel Lindsay) decides to recruit activist and amateur rapper Hassan (Arsher ...

REVIEW: Shock Wave (2017)

Cheung Choi-san (Andy Lau) is a senior officer in Hong Kong's Explosive Ordnance Disposal bureau (EOD). Six months after helping foil a major bank robbery, he is confronted by that robbery's escaped mastermind Hung Kai-pang (Jiang Wu) - who is holding Hong Kong's Cross-Harbour Tunnel hostage and seeking revenge. Shock Wave is a new Hong ...