NETFLIX REVIEW: CASTING JONBENET

  Casting JonBenet is a film that requires you to know this unsolved murder case but also leave your expectations at the door. In the 20 years that have passed since the murder of the child beauty queen, JonBenet Ramsey there have been all manner of documentary exposés and coverage of this crime. Yet Casting…

BOOK REVIEW: SARAH SCHMIDT – SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE

  See What I Have Done adds a unique perspective to a famous unsolved murder case and, while it is intriguing, it is let down by some issues with its structure and characterisation. Regardless of this, it will no doubt appeal to some readers as it gives a new take on the case but allows them…

BLU-RAY REVIEW: THE WHOLE TRUTH

  The Whole Truth is a courtroom drama and thriller that spends its entire runtime getting to the truth of a matter. The film is one that – for the most part – keeps the audience guessing in much the same way as Doubt did. This ultimately makes for a story that is not a bad…

BOOK REVIEW: MARTIN SIXSMITH – AYESHA’S GIFT

  Ayesha’s Gift is a book that could also be called “Ayesha’s Curse” because it is brimming with sorrow. It’s the fictionalised account of the real-life events that saw Philomena author and former BBC foreign correspondent, Martin Sixsmith assist in investigating the death of a British-Pakistani man. The book is ultimately a rather multi-faceted detective tale where…

BOOK REVIEW: THOMAS MULLEN – DARKTOWN

  Darktown is like a rose in the field of police procedurals. It deals with some thorny issues with respect to a vanguard group of African-American cops working in Atlanta in 1948. It’s a period in history where people were still reeling from the Second World War and it was before civil rights existed. This…

FILM REVIEW: JOE CINQUE’S CONSOLATION

  Joe Cinque’s Consolation is a film that throws up a lot of questions. How much responsibility should society accept in a murder trial? Is a murder a preventable death? To what extent can we describe an inexplicable crime? This Australian film is based on some true events and is adapted from Helen Garner’s award-winning…

FILM REVIEW: AMANDA KNOX (NETFLIX)

  The trailers for the documentary Amanda Knox (which debuts on Netflix in late September) questions whether the eponymous star did or didn’t commit the murder of British exchange student, Meredith Kercher. The crime that occurred in Perugia Italy in 2007 had an investigation that had more holes than a pile of Swiss cheese. This documentary…

DVD REVIEW: KILL YOUR FRIENDS

  Kill Your Friends is a film that could be renamed, “How To Lose Friends & Alienate People.” It is a black comedy that is based on John Niven’s semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. It’s also a film that’s a bit 24 Hour Party People with a twist of some Trainspotting and also boasts the same…

BOOK REVIEW: GARY KEMBLE – BAD BLOOD

  Bad Blood is a dark and tense novel by Australia author, Gary Kemble. This super-charged thriller is the second to star investigative journalist, Harry Hendrick (who many readers would have been introduced to in Kemble’s debut novel, Skin Deep.) Bad Blood is ultimately a disturbing and challenging mix of crime and speculative fiction. Harry…

DVD REVIEW: SOAKED IN BLEACH

  The world has been soaked – no saturated – with films and books about Kurt Cobain. This year alone has seen the release of Montage of Heck, an excellent documentary that celebrates his life, which had the full support of Cobain’s family and former Nirvana bandmates. Soaked In Bleach is a very different film. It’s…

DVD REVIEW: THE JINX: THE LIFE & DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST

  The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst is the television equivalent of peeling an onion. This true crime mini-series is a well-structured and well-edited look at the eccentric New York real-estate heir, Robert Durst. The recipient of the 2015 Emmy award for the most outstanding documentary or nonfiction series is a worthy…