Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) walks off a building site, gets into his car and starts driving. And that’s pretty much it for this film: the following eighty-something minutes are just him behind the wheel juggling phone call after phone call as his life pretty much falls apart. For one thing, his family aren’t exactly happy that he’s not coming home; for another, his bosses are even less impressed that he’s driving off on the eve of one of the biggest concrete pours in European building history – a pour he’s meant to be supervising.
I’ll admit that I was sceptical about this album before I listened to it because it was classed as a pop album. Now, I know as a reviewer (or any good writer) you shouldn’t have any preconceived ideas or judgements and you should take things for what they are, but that’s really, really hard being human and all. So as you’ve probably guessed already, pop isn’t really my cup of tea, so I was pretty shocked when I found myself uncontrollably grooving along to I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me at my desk.
These days it’s easy to forget music existed, grew and evolved before the internet, even for someone of my age where I lived through internetless times. Metal Down Under (MDU) begins where all stories begin, at the beginning, in the late ’70s and early ’80s where Australian metal bands drew local metalheads to local bars and pubs.
After getting himself shot (and surviving) during a drug bust, detective Malcolm Toohey (Joel Edgerton, who also wrote the script) is a hero. Which is lucky, because after a night spent in boozy celebration he drives home, sideswipes a kid on a bike, and leaves him in a coma. It’s the kind of thing that costs cops – even hero ones – their badge; fortunately for him, Detective Carl Summer (Tom Wilkinson) is handy and more than willing to put together a cover-up that will keep him out of trouble.
Hardcore is one of those genres that tends to be a bit hit-and-miss – either the band is excellent, or they’re downright terrible. Thankfully, Hope in Hell’s self-titled EP falls in the former category. For the most part, Hope in Hell has an excellent high-energy vibe – while there are a few subdued parts, the EP absolutely thunders along. Simon Mazzei’s drumming is excellent, too – listening to the EP on high volume, it’s like getting punched in the face repeatedly.
Yes, that is the name of this album. I must have been living in some kind of ignorant dreamland where Shepparton seemed like a sunny place to go buy some peaches and take a dip in the Goulburn River on the weekend, but boy did I have it wrong – well, according to Briggs anyway.
FKA Twigs is an enigma. There’s simply no other musician in the music industry who has experienced such exponential and far-reaching fame without any real knowledge of who she is dispersed alongside it. By no surprise her debut album LP1 was highly anticipated, if only to gain further insight into the singer.
The story of Ip Man – legendary Kung Fu master of China and teacher of Bruce Lee – has been a popular one in martial arts films for almost as long as there has been martial arts films. Director Kar Wai Wong (Chungking Express, 2046) isn’t exactly known for action filmmaking, so when it was announced he’d be tackling the story of Ip Man, at least some heads were scratched: would he be making a traditional kung fu film, or would he somehow find a way to bring the Kung Fu master’s life into synch with his own storytelling obsessions?
So a mockumentary about a bunch of vampires living in a sharehouse in New Zealand probably shouldn’t work. In large part why this does is because it fully commits to its premise: Viago (Taika Waititi, who co-wrote and directs) is our guide into New Zealand’s underworld, a foppish vampire from the early 19th Century who’s basically a kind of dorky nice guy … apart from all the blood drinking.