BOOK REVIEW: JOHN SAFRAN – DEPENDS WHAT YOU MEAN BY EXTREMIST

  John Safran channelled the late Truman Capote for his true crime debut, Murder in Mississippi. For his follow-up, the TV documentarian and prankster takes a leaf from Louis Theroux by casually observing and telling the stories of some extraordinary individuals. In Safran’s case these people are extreme characters like evangelical Christians, anarchists, nationalists, Islamic converts and…

TV REVIEW: THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

  The name Henrietta Lacks may not mean an awful lot to some people but in reality it should be one of the most famous names in history. Lacks is responsible for revolutionising modern medicine and contributing to every recent major medical breakthrough from vaccines for polio, HPV and the flu-shot; to IVF and treatments…

DVD REVIEW: PENELOPE KEITH’S HIDDEN VILLAGES SERIES 2

  Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages Series 2 picks up were the first one left off. It’s another look at some places that are off the beaten track, are quintessentially British, full of eccentrics and befitting the term “villages.” The former star of To the Manor Born and The Good Life delivers another bright and delightful program about a topic…

DVD REVIEW: CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES

  Cancer is a cruel disease. It’s also a very common one. It’s estimated that one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with it. Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies is a comprehensive and informative documentary series that offers us a history of cancer (including how researchers came to understand the…

BLU-RAY REVIEW: VINYL SEASON ONE

  A story clouded by lost brain cells, self-aggrandisement and bullshit. This is what the TV series, Vinyl sells you. It’s a heady dramatic turn through the sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and hedonism that was the music industry in New York in 1973. This ten part TV series is a slow-burning, nuanced one that feels…

DVD REVIEW: LUKE WARM SEX

  Let’s talk about sex baby. Luke McGregor’s doco-comedy, Luke Warm Sex is a raw, honest and no-holds-barred approach to copulation. It also promises to educate viewers in how to get better at or to have a more satisfying sex life. Across six episodes the viewer embarks on a journey with the most awkward comedian in…

DVD REVIEW: MATILDA & ME

  The documentary, Matilda & Me is more about the latter than the former. It’s a film that looks at Tim Minchin’s background and history, charting his rise from aspiring actor to successful comedian and renowned theatre composer. The movie is ultimately a fun and vibrant one about two great characters- the fictional, Roald Dahl creation,…

DVD REVIEW: TALES FROM THE ROYAL WARDROBE AND BEDCHAMBER

  They say that clothes make the man. So the two documentaries released on one DVD, Tales from the Royal Wardrobe and Bedchamber could offer an interesting glimpse into some rather intimate details with respect to English monarchs. Historian, Dr Lucy Worsley offers up a program that has its moments and provides some good historic…

DVD REVIEW: THE FAMILY LAW

  For too long, Australian TV shows have been white-washed and white bread but a series like The Family Law looks poised to change all of that. The SBS dramedy feels authentic in its depiction of the Law family living in Queensland in the nineties. The show has real heart and it will make you laugh…

BLU-RAY REVIEW: DUMB CRIMINALS

  There’s a great quote at the end of Billy Madison by the school principal. It goes a little something like this: “What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I’ve ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response where you even close to anything that could be considered a…

BLU-RAY REVIEW: GIRLS SEASON 4

  Since it first aired in 2012, Girls has always been a divisive program. It comes as no real surprise seeing as the show’s creator, executive producer and occasional writer and director, Lena Dunham polarises people. Over the years Girls has inspired some heady debates and sent the characters on some emotional rollercoasters. Series four builds on…

DVD REVIEW: HALT & CATCH FIRE SERIES 1

  Harder, better, faster, stronger. These may be Daft Punk lyrics but they’re also applicable to a TV show called Halt & Catch Fire (named after computer processes that overload the CPU and typically require a restart of the computer). This series is set in Texas in 1983 as a group of fictionalised individuals tried to…