Avatar: The Way of Water

Cast: Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, Kate Winslet

Director: James Cameron

Rating: M 


Jake Sully and Ney’tiri have formed a family and are doing everything to stay together. However, they must leave their home and explore the regions of Pandora. When an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake must fight a difficult war against the humans.


The world is amazing with spectacular animation, CGI, and special effects. The 3D is immersive. Yes, the film could have been shorter, but it does follow each character’s story arc well. And there are lots of new characters to meet. The dialogue is frequently basic. Perhaps the most frustrating part is that they don’t flee to safety when they can. They stay together in a pack. I was disappointed they didn’t go back to revisit the forest world.



Jake and Neytiri have much less screen time than I expected, and that’s a problem because they weren’t well-developed in the first movie. Jake Sully, played by Australia’s own Sam Worthington, does get an opportunity to show how he’s changed, but once again Zoe Saldaña is criminally underused as Neytiri. In all her scenes, Saldaña is fantastic, but by the end I know just as much about her character as I did at the end of the last movie.

Gippsland Times 

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Harvey Guillen, Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, Samson Kayo, John Mulaney, Wagner Moura, Da’vine Joy Randolph, Anthony Mendez

Director: Joel Crawford, Januel Mercado (co-director)

Rating: PG


Puss in Boots discovers that his passion for adventure has taken its toll: he has burnt through eight of his nine lives. Puss sets out on an epic journey to find the mythical Last Wish and restore his nine lives.


The ideas are some of the darkest and most mature emotions of any DreamWorks film, with the titular folk hero coming face-to-face with the prospect of his own death. Heavy stuff, especially when fused with the genuinely creepy imagery manifestations of his fears. And, from a returning Salma Hayek as Kitty Softpaws to continue the first film’s Desperado shenanigans, to Goldilocks and her crime family of bears giving Florence Pugh and Olivia Colman something meaty to chew on, to John Mulaney as the deliciously evil Jack Horner, every character gets their chance to shine.


Despite frequent humour and the whimsical nature of fairy tale creatures, this film explores a subject that all humans have contemplated at some point in life. What am I doing with my life and why does it matter? Death is personified exceptionally well in the film, leading to scary scenes that may trouble younger eyes. Even the fairy tale characters seem much rougher, less fantastic than in the traditional tales. This film would benefit from having parents and children watch it together.


Lyle, Lyle Crocodile

Cast: Javier Bardem, Winslow Fegley, Shawn Mendes, Constance Wu

Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck

Rating: G


When the Primm family moves to New York City, their young son, Josh, struggles to adapt to his new school and friends. All of that changes when he discovers Lyle, a singing crocodile that loves baths, caviar and great music. The two become fast friends, but when evil neighbor Mr. Grumps threatens Lyle’s existence, the Primms must band together to show the world that family can come from the most unexpected places.


Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is fanciful fun for the whole family. It is lightweight fare that will put a smile on the faces of littlies, their parents and grandparents. It is a live-action/CGI musical comedy – a bit of colour, song and silliness to soften even the hardest of hearts.


It’s not going to change the world but as a film trying to offer laughs, entertainment, and big-hearted messages for younger audiences, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile fulfils its mission.  

The Film Pie

Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre

Cast: Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Hugh Grant, Josh Hartnett, Eddie Marsan

Director: Guy Ritchie

Rating: M


Elite spy Orson Fortune must track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology wielded by billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds. Reluctantly teamed up with some of the world’s best operatives, Fortune and his crew recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star, Danny Francesco, to help them on their globe-trotting mission to save the world.


If you like Ritchie’s filmography, you’ll definitely enjoy Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre. And hey, you might just get a few more Operation Fortune entries – the ending is well set up for future installments.

Busselton Mail

Statham delivers another serving of his dry charm in Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre; a suave, stylish old-school action thriller that knows exactly what it is and offers everything its audience wants.

The Jam Report

The Amazing Maurice

Cast: Hugh Laurie, Emilia Clarke, David Thewlis, Himesh Patel

Director: Toby Genkel

Rating: PG


This story follows Maurice, a goofy streetwise cat, who has the perfect money-making scam. He finds a dumb-looking kid who plays a pipe and has his very own horde of rats, who are strangely literate.


Rich with imaginatively rendered characters and settings, action aplenty, a terrific musical score, and lots of “humanness”, The Amazing Maurice is a tale within a tale (dare I say with tails featuring large) that will delight anyone over the age of about four or five.


The CGI animation looks great, and whatever the shortcomings in the plot, the characters are relatable. Rossio does a great job of injecting more nuance into the characters than the often-simplified Pied Piper story.

The Blurb


Cast: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Ronny Chieng, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Jen Van Epps, Lori Dungey, Stephane Garneau-Monten

Director: Gerard Johnstone

Rating: M


M3GAN is a marvel of artificial intelligence, a lifelike doll that’s programmed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally. Designed by Gemma, a brilliant roboticist, M3GAN can listen, watch and learn as it plays the role of friend and teacher, playmate and protector. When Gemma becomes the unexpected caretaker of her 8-year-old niece, she decides to give the girl an M3GAN prototype, a decision that leads to unimaginable consequences.


Writers had room to play and fill the movie with humour because they knew they weren’t making a groundbreaking movie that reinvents the wheel. Rather, they’ve made a film that allows itself to be made fun of. In saying that, the movie is actually really intelligent. Sure, it’s silly and light-hearted, but bubbling underneath the surface of M3GAN’s antics is a strong, rather nuanced wave of fear.


Whilst there’s a lot about M3GAN that’s worthy of unnerving audiences when you truly break down just what’s possible regarding A.I. and our own relationship with technology – the film’s final shot is a neat nod to how our own home assistants could turn on us – Johnstone, Cooper, and producers James Wan and Jason Blum are more intent on the campy possibilities present within the titular model.  Calling the film stupid or ludicrous is ultimately a compliment, so there’s no point in fighting M3GAN on its own insanity.  Embrace her – you’ll live longer.

The AU Review

The Fabelmans

Cast: Michelle Williams, Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano, Judd Hirsch, Seth Rogen, Mateo Zoryan

Director: Steven Spielberg

Rating: M


Growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, young Sammy Fabelman aspires to become a filmmaker as he reaches adolescence, but soon discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of films can help him see the truth.


The movie touches on issues of grief, mental health, love, betrayal and growing up. The added bonus is the trip down fashion lane. Lovers of film will delight in the details. The movie is receiving a lot of good buzz.

So Perth

This sweet story of artistic discovery culminates in Sammy’s arrival in Hollywood, the city of dreams where Spielberg wrote movie history with monster hits like Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and West Side Story. They are all well-crafted examples of good old-fashioned story telling. Much like this.


Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Cast: Naomi Ackie, Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie

Director: Kasi Lemmons

Rating: PG


A joyous, emotional, heartbreaking celebration of the life and music of Whitney Houston, one of the greatest female R&B pop vocalists of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical superstardom.


For fans who may already know some facets of Houston’s life, the film acts as a reminder of her career highlights, which sometimes get forgotten or overshadowed by the darker times she went through during the latter stages of her fame.


The rise from troubled beginnings to finding her voice on a personal and professional level is an enjoyable ride with many classic moments shown, including her iconic national anthem at the 1991 Superbowl to her acting role in The Bodyguard (sadly, Kevin Costner is not depicted in the film save for a momentary clip).

Glam Adelaide

The Whale


Cast: Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton, Satya Sridharan

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Rating: M


An obese and reclusive English teacher tries to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption.


The Whale is a tender and frequently overwhelming character drama, albeit carrying Aronofsky’s love-it-or-hate-it penchant for directness and preoccupation with metaphysics. Its pleas for forgiveness of self and of others show more than enough understanding of the necessary earned obstacles, and its performances are so strong as to smooth over any potential sticking points that exist in the screenplay.


Brendan Fraser isn’t taking us on a fantastical adventure swiping swords and dodging bullets – he’s there in a living room, hurting physically and mentally. This whole movie, you want to reach in and give Charlie a hug. Brendan Fraser reinstated himself to us as something new, in a moving human tale.



Cast: Sean Bean, Joe Thomas, Eleanor Tomlinson, Santiago Winder, Hugh Bonneville

Director: Juan Jesús García Galocha

Rating: PG


It follows three mummies as they end up in present-day London and embark on a journey in search of an old ring belonging to the Royal Family, stolen by the ambitious archaeologist Lord Carnaby.


Overall, as an animation feature, there are some great concepts and positive messages here, such as conquering one’s fears. The characters are fun, and the storyline is again creative. However, one drawback is how wildly familiar the entire movie is. Even in the first ten minutes, I thought of many titles that had done it before or were highly similar. The animation is ok, and the bright use of colours enhances the visuals. Some moments will undoubtedly put a smile on the audience’s faces.

Walkden Entertainment

Mummies is an animated adventure comedy about the real-world colliding with the after-world. It is quite funny but there are some scary scenes and quite a lot of violence, mostly done for laughs.

Children & Media Australia