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Jake has a background in journalism but, after some time working at a newspaper on NSW's Central Coast, he relocated from Newcastle to Sydney and segued into marketing and content roles. A lifelong pop culture fan, rumor has it that he sleeps on a giant treasure trove of books, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and comics.

TOP 3 ARTISTS: PJ Harvey, Beastie Boys, Madlib
TOP 3 MOVIES: Strangers On A Train, Hangin' With The Homeboys, Aliens
BEST CONCERT: The National at the Sydney Opera House in 2014
FIRST MEMORY OF A FILM: Being terrified by the prologue of Ralph Bakshi's animated film, The Lord of the Rings (1978). The music, the voiceover and the live-action silhouettes against a blood-red backdrop were four minutes of pure nightmare fuel for an overly imaginative child.

Chained for Life - The aesthetics of acting
CHAINED FOR LIFEThe aesthetics of acting
An amusing, cunningly structured meta-commentary on filmmaking and cinematic ideals of beauty, the film is also an inside joke with a generosity of heart and humour.
Birds of Passage - A visually stunning, narcotised gangster epic
BIRDS OF PASSAGEA visually stunning, narcotised gangster epic
It manages to make a narco narrative feel new and visually stunning on a broad dreamlike canvas, taking a creaky old Hollywood genre and molding it into something altogether more entrancing.
Locusts - A low-key, low-down thriller
LOCUSTSA low-key, low-down thriller
It might be an imperfect movie with a few scenes that ring hollow, but the moments that work are fuller than many whole films.
Fuck You All: The Uwe Boll Story - A sympathetic portrait of the ultimate Hollywood outsider
FUCK YOU ALL: THE UWE BOLL STORYA sympathetic portrait of the ultimate Hollywood outsider
Sean Patrick Shaul’s documentary on Boll's life and career explores his background, how he broke into the industry, and why he developed such a bad reputation amongst fans of films and video games.
Braid - A dark and unhinged fairytale
BRAIDA dark and unhinged fairytale
Rooted in Polanski-like psycho horror and with an ending that is interpretively ambiguous, this film leaves something to be desired as a story.
Dreamland - Surrealist noir
DREAMLANDSurrealist noir
Equal parts violent, tragic, comic, silly and surreal, this is an extremely strange movie, and that strangeness will either endear it to you or alienate you.
Freaks - Slow-burn science-fiction drama
FREAKSSlow-burn science-fiction drama
The picture works intuitively, letting you try to figure things out on your own while focusing on what’s going on. This is the work of growing filmmakers who are clearly only getting started.
Mantis Nest - A murder mystery ménage à trois
MANTIS NESTA murder mystery ménage à trois
Deceptively complex and richly told, the film explores an array of cultural, religious, socioeconomic and familial tensions. It also sustains strong characters, deep emotions and clear dramatic force.
Angel of Mine - Less than heavenly
ANGEL OF MINELess than heavenly
There are some interesting moments and solid performances, but more often than not, the film simply doesn’t deliver as a viscerally unsettling thriller, tense psychodrama or even as a soap opera.
The Longest Shot - Misses the target
THE LONGEST SHOTMisses the target
As an excursion into a Chinese underworld filled with sharp suit-wearing thugs and handsomely-filmed interiors, the film is compelling... but only to an extent.
The Spy Gone North - Engrossing espionage escapades
THE SPY GONE NORTHEngrossing espionage escapades
You don’t need to know much about Korean politics to enjoy it; you only need an appreciation for political intrigue and tension-inducing filmmaking.
Dark Place - An unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
DARK PLACEAn unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
Running at a lean 75 minutes and offering a bounty of gore, atmosphere and thought-provoking stories, it's a rare horror anthology that moves from strength to strength and never overstays its welcome.
A Resistance - A sombre portrait of faith and courage
A RESISTANCEA sombre portrait of faith and courage
An increasing amount of Korea's best movies are highly influenced by their difficult and often turbulent history. Much like its protagonist, this film manages to keep the faith.
The Great Battle - An awesomely entertaining war epic
THE GREAT BATTLEAn awesomely entertaining war epic
With over half the movie consisting of action scenes, if you love violence as much as a Spartan, Quentin Tarantino, or a video-game-playing teenage boy, you will be endlessly fascinated.
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
THE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
If you’re seeking a lightweight and absurd comedy featuring zombies, then this film might just tickle your funny bone with its eccentric characters and plot.
Rampant - Ho-hum historical Korean zombie thrills
RAMPANTHo-hum historical Korean zombie thrills
It excels neither as a zombie film, nor a throne-room drama, but what it lacks in originality is made up for with gruesome visuals and cold-blooded savagery.
Ray & Liz - Not your typical
RAY & LIZNot your typical "poverty porn" flick
It may be dour, but it's also vital, edgy and progressive. This drama crackles with angry energy, and reflects how grim life really was and still can be for large parts of the population.
Okko's Inn - A gentle tale of ghosts and human kindness
OKKO'S INNA gentle tale of ghosts and human kindness
An exceptionally gentle exploration of death, trauma and simple human kindness (as well as Japanese culture) that's charming and effective at pleasing its young audience.
Extra Ordinary - Just plain old ordinary
EXTRA ORDINARYJust plain old ordinary
At its best, the film is alive with light humour and a clumsy romance. But it's too uneven - with a wonky tone, hit-and-miss jokes and annoying acting - to be anything more than merely ordinary.
Memory: The Origins of Alien - Three Men and a Xenomorph
MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIENThree Men and a Xenomorph
A comprehensive look at the three men who created 'Alien' and the influences which bled together into a masterpiece.
The Seer and the Unseen - Elves and environmentalism under the Northern Lights
THE SEER AND THE UNSEENElves and environmentalism under the Northern Lights
A documentary that looks past the beauty of Iceland to see the life of one extraordinary environmentalist and her struggle against the mindless wheels of bureaucracy under the Northern Lights.
Carmine Street Guitars - Heartfelt #GuitarPorn
The most enjoyable music documentary of the year. The genuine passion for guitars and music felt by all the participants in the film reverberates out of the screen and into the hearts of the audience.
Monos - A hypnagogic mix of teen angst and warfare
MONOSA hypnagogic mix of teen angst and warfare
This film is a mood, an aesthetic, an idea; a sensory cinematic experience more than a story.
Scheme Birds - A gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
SCHEME BIRDSA gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
This documentary exudes compassion for its subjects and finds a few glimmers of hopefulness among the debris. It’s hard not to become attached to these “scheme birds” as they spread their wings.
The Australian Dream - The conversation Australia needs to have
THE AUSTRALIAN DREAMThe conversation Australia needs to have
Watch this documentary and talk about it. We need to re-evaluate how we acted during this extremely recent period of our history, and forge a better way forward.
The Scoundrels - Fun, fast-paced action-thrills from Taiwan
THE SCOUNDRELSFun, fast-paced action-thrills from Taiwan
Your Face - A contemplative portrait of ageing
YOUR FACEA contemplative portrait of ageing
A film that creates portraits in time, taking time to find the beauty in the normalcy of life.
The Art of Incarceration - A portrait of culture and identity
THE ART OF INCARCERATIONA portrait of culture and identity
The film presents the audience with some jaw-dropping statistics and goes on to complement them with the perspective of prisoners and former inmates.
XY Chelsea - An intimate look at a political activitist
XY CHELSEAAn intimate look at a political activitist
An intimate look at the very complex identity of Chelsea Manning who did what she thought was the right thing in releasing classified documents to WikiLeaks, despite the dire consequences.
One Last Deal - A touching tale of final chances
ONE LAST DEALA touching tale of final chances
This isn’t simply a film about redemption and last chances. It's a slow-moving detective story and a touching drama that demonstrates how the bonds of family can still be healed.
Tumbbad - Visually rich Hindi horror
TUMBBADVisually rich Hindi horror
As a unique historical fantasy film coming out of India, ‘Tumbbad’ is a triumph for the filmmakers and a high-point for Hindi horror cinema.
Waiting: The Van Duren Story - A crowd-pleasing journey of rediscovery
WAITING: THE VAN DUREN STORYA crowd-pleasing journey of rediscovery
Maybe it’s the scrappiness of the filmmakers, the curiosity they exude, or their rapport with the musicians, but this is an interesting and unusually heartwarming feature documentary.
Zoo - Toothless and shambling
ZOOToothless and shambling
It only takes one good and original zombie film to breathe new life into the genre that refuses to die and make us believe in the walking dead once more. ‘Zoo’ is not this film.
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
HAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
A sometimes thoughtful meditation on growing older that will keep you entertained while reminding you that emotional life does not end or become less complicated once you reach your autumn years.
Black '47 - A bleak historical revenge Western
BLACK '47A bleak historical revenge Western
An exploration of a gruelling period in Irish history, the film toys with notions of ethics in an amoral world in the first portrayal of the Great Famine on the big screen.
Dragged Across Concrete - A hypnotically violent and excessive crime flick
DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETEA hypnotically violent and excessive crime flick
Even at 160 minutes and with ample dialogue, it's not once tedious or dull. It’s the ‘Before Sunrise’ of dirty cop films. Genuinely thrilling, ugly, bleak, brutal and vile in the best ways possible.
Come to Daddy - A morbidly amusing genre mash-up
COME TO DADDYA morbidly amusing genre mash-up
A film for people who laugh when they see somebody walk into a glass door, then laugh even harder when they notice that the person got a bloody nose. A delightful and unexpected highlight.
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
CHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
This film epitomises the risk that filmmakers take with adapting a long-running or ongoing manga - a vast amount of material has to be peeled back to the core essentials..
Parasite - A bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
PARASITEA bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
An engrossing, stylish and near perfect movie. Though he is often juggling a mosaic of characters, themes and social issues, Bong Joon-ho never eschews his anarchic impulses and dark humour.
I Am Mother - Finally, a great Netflix sci-fi film
I AM MOTHERFinally, a great Netflix sci-fi film
Not only is it by far the best science fiction film to emerge from among the multitude of Netflix Originals, but cult gem status surely beckons.
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