Sat, Jul 2


Ben from Brisbane’s summer movie guide

Falling just ahead of Hollywood’s award season, Boxing Day is the biggest day of the year for film releases. So to help you choose between all the goodness about to hit screens, we asked movie insider Ben from Brisbane for a preview of the five best films coming your way.

1. Aquaman

Aquaman is pure camp, wildly entertaining and an eye-popping spectacle. You have to admire the effort, scope and sheer audacity of everyone involved. Momoa [who plays Aquaman] clearly knows he cannot take the subject matter too seriously, and there is always that wink, smirk and devil-may-care attitude that makes him rather charming.

Aquaman is a step toward restoring equilibrium, creating a sprawling undersea world that most closely resembles the Thor franchise in terms of scope, majesty and, happily, humour.

Is it too long? Yeah, probably. Does it contradict some of the things we learned about Aquaman in the Justice League movie? Nothing important. The elements that work far outweigh the ones that don't.

Out 26 December | See trailer 

2. The Favourite

For those with a taste for historical fiction, The Favourite is a delicious morsel with a spicy aftertaste. I began memorising clever dialogue from The Favourite in my head, but I had to stop when I realised I was essentially memorising the entire script.

There are no heroes in The Favourite – there are only sad creatures driven by their various needs. There is, however, a morbid morality to the proceedings, one in which decadence is its own punishment. Wicked, witty, well written and acted. Lots of fun. I command you to see it!

Out 26 December | See trailer

3. Vice

It's a blistering biographical portrait that, one way or another, will provoke a passionate audience reaction. The ensemble is magnificently rude and amoral, but even better is Vice's thrusting spirit of montage; daredevil editing that hasn't been attempted since the high-flying heyday of Oliver Stone.

Christian Bale may have delivered the performance of his career as the divisive former Vice President Dick Cheney, hammering home the inclinations and sentiments of a man whose own judgments and motivations are called into question.

Can someone just please put Director Adam McKay in charge of all the biopics?

Out 26 December | See trailer 

4. Ralph Breaks the Internet

I am happy to say that the misogynists' worst fears were realised. This is very much a movie whose female characters are equal to their male counterparts. It's not every animation that features an eBay-spoofing riff involving a corn chip shaped like Beyoncé!

As much fun as Wreck It Ralph was, it actually pales in comparison to the sequel, which is such a vibrant, funny, inventive, surprise-filled adventure that reminds you Hollywood can occasionally get follow-ups right.

Out 26 December | See trailer 

5. Bumblebee

Can a Transformers movie be good? It turns out the answer is yes! It's a charming tale of a girl and her adorable car-robot, flipping the script on the tired, bloated franchise. While hardcore fan-boys may complain it's too soft, this film may turn out to be the perfect way to save Transformers.

Bumblebee is an incredibly nice breath of fresh air compared to the previous Transformers movies. Even if you despise the franchise, this is worth seeing.

Out 20 December | See trailer

Honourable mention: Mary Poppins Returns

I haven’t seen it yet, but we know it’s going to be great. 

Out 1 January | See trailer

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