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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.

Champions - A big-hearted crowd-pleaser
CHAMPIONSA big-hearted crowd-pleaser
The film provides a lot of light-hearted laughs, but perhaps the film’s most impressive feat is the way it celebrates otherness at the same time as it criticises traditional attitudes to it.
The Heiresses - An escape from the gilded cage of privilege
THE HEIRESSESAn escape from the gilded cage of privilege
A delicate exploration of sexuality, ageing, class, and privilege.
Peterloo - An extremely detailed and methodical period piece
PETERLOOAn extremely detailed and methodical period piece
A scrupulously accurate movie about the Peterloo Massacre, steeped in background detail, with a relevance that still echoes today.
Transit - A timeless World War II mystery
TRANSITA timeless World War II mystery
‘Transit’ feels authentic and human, even if the particular dramatic circumstances are in the past. It only underscores how, when you look over your shoulder, it feels like the past is always present.
Beyond The River - An inspirational sporting journey
BEYOND THE RIVERAn inspirational sporting journey
Not only is it the best film about canoeing since ‘Deliverance’ and ‘The River Wild’, it’s a uniquely South African story that will leave you with a few feel-good vibes.
Genesis - A delicately crafted ode to young love
GENESISA delicately crafted ode to young love
A poignant and extremely well-crafted testament to the scary beauty of young love.
The Hole in the Ground - Stylish but familiar Irish horror
THE HOLE IN THE GROUNDStylish but familiar Irish horror
Despite some flaws, ‘The Hole in the Ground’ boasts strong direction, cinematography, acting and some eerily effective locations.
Red Pill, Blue Pill - 10 Films Influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
RED PILL, BLUE PILL10 Films Influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
With ‘The Matrix’ celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019, let’s look at ten of the most memorable films that it inspired.
Dumped - A breezy comedy for the ladies
DUMPEDA breezy comedy for the ladies
It doesn’t aim to be highbrow, sophisticated satire, but it does deliver the laughs. Full of fun, it captures the essence of a beach holiday, and is best enjoyed with a big glass of red wine.
5 films to watch before 'Pet Sematary' - Sometimes dead is better...
5 FILMS TO WATCH BEFORE 'PET SEMATARY'Sometimes dead is better...
The upcoming horror film ‘Pet Sematary’, adapted from Stephen King's novel, is the latest movie to examine murderous offspring and the returning dead. Here are five films you should watch beforehand.
Knife+Heart - A very racy, very French murder mystery
KNIFE+HEARTA very racy, very French murder mystery
It takes a lot of pleasure in replicating 1970s visuals with grainy celluloid, saturated lighting and bright primary colours. Just don’t watch it with your parents.
My Generation - Revisiting the swinging 60s
MY GENERATIONRevisiting the swinging 60s
An unrepentant nostalgia-fest for the era, but entertaining if you were alive in the 1960s, a keen Anglophile, or want something cozy to watch with your parents with a cup of tea and a nice biscuit.
Hotel Mumbai - A terrifyingly visceral tale of survival
HOTEL MUMBAIA terrifyingly visceral tale of survival
Despite some roughness around the edges, it's a haunting portrayal of an atrocity and a powerful, armchair-gripping thriller with a strong cast, confident direction and a brave commitment to realism.
Dilili in Paris - A timely animated adventure
DILILI IN PARISA timely animated adventure
While ‘Dilili in Paris’ is skewed to a younger audience, there is still a lot to enjoy for astute adults who can appreciate the beauty, art, and literature of its time period.
The Wild Boys - A surreal coming-of-age adventure
THE WILD BOYSA surreal coming-of-age adventure
It's an entirely original film debut from Bertrand Mandico, and will especially appeal to those with an interest in gender-bending and fluidity, implied or depicted queerness and sociology.
King of Thieves - It's brace and bit
KING OF THIEVESIt's brace and bit
The film never really reaches beyond a limited scope of both investment and, sadly, enjoyment. Frankly, it's a sluggish bore.
Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley - Asks urgent questions that demand answers
UNDERMINED: TALES FROM THE KIMBERLEYAsks urgent questions that demand answers
What is the path to social justice for Aboriginal peoples? ‘Undermined: Tales From the Kimberley’ asks urgent questions and demands answers.
Alita: Battle Angel - Devilishly fun sci-fi action
ALITA: BATTLE ANGELDevilishly fun sci-fi action
If you’re looking for a terrific female protagonist, a fascinating sci-fi setting, slick visual style, and a sense of fun and action, 'Alita: Battle Angel' may be up your alley.
The Best Live-Action Manga Adaptations - Speed Racers, samurai, aliens and assassins
THE BEST LIVE-ACTION MANGA ADAPTATIONSSpeed Racers, samurai, aliens and assassins
With Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ due out any day now, we count down the top ten best manga adaptations.
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
OVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
It captures the battle of a young woman trying desperately to retain her own humanity in the face of nearly overwhelming psychological pressure.
Everybody Knows - An engrossing but slightly familiar mystery
EVERYBODY KNOWSAn engrossing but slightly familiar mystery
Penélope Cruz steals the show as a terrified mother, but Javier Bardem and the rest of the cast aren't far behind.
The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl - Kaleidoscopic, joyous and completely charming
THE NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRLKaleidoscopic, joyous and completely charming
Kaleidoscopic, joyous, carefree, heartfelt, hilarious, bizarre and intoxicating, if you only have time to watch a single animated movie, seek this one out.
Let the Corpses Tan - An exotic, brilliantly constructed Spaghetti Western
LET THE CORPSES TANAn exotic, brilliantly constructed Spaghetti Western
Almost every single scene is filmed in a way that feels fresh, with shockingly gorgeous cinematography, mind-bending editing, and sound design.
Oh Lucy! - A charmingly eccentric road trip
OH LUCY!A charmingly eccentric road trip
With a smattering of romance, empathy for loneliness, funny little moments, a dash of hot sex, anger and lots more thrown into there, ‘Oh Lucy!’ is a whirlwind of activity.
Destroyer - A gritty, damaging neo-noir
DESTROYERA gritty, damaging neo-noir
Kidman has always taken on challenging roles, and nearly always delivered an interesting performance. Her performance elevates what could have been a standard “dirty cop” drama into something unique.
The Hate U Give - A traumatic and triumphant coming-of-age story
THE HATE U GIVEA traumatic and triumphant coming-of-age story
Regardless of its structural rough edges, ‘The Hate U Give’ is a very modern coming-of-age film with a powerful message conveyed by a top-drawer assortment of actors, led by Amandla Stenberg.
Loro - Flashy and fleshy
LOROFlashy and fleshy
Through Silvio’s salesman-like approach to human interaction and carnal cravings, Paolo Sorrentino paints a visceral portrait of Italy’s decline into unrestrained greed, political apathy and hedonism.
Mary Queen of Scots - Shallow regal intrigue
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTSShallow regal intrigue
Playing fast fast and loose with historical facts to emphasise drama but fumbling even that, ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ is a waste of its two talented leads, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.
Skate Kitchen - Brimming with flavour and warmth
SKATE KITCHENBrimming with flavour and warmth
A life-affirming look at a little-seen subculture, at the real heart of ‘The Skate Kitchen’ is a genuine love for the sport, community and summertime in New York.
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
RIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
The film, based on Kyoko Okazaki's cult manga, captures the tangled and complex nature of adolescence in all of its crude and unflattering glory.
Piercing - A penetrating pitch black comedy
PIERCINGA penetrating pitch black comedy
This is a compact two-hander that offers a stylishly presented, off-kilter treat for fans of black comedies.
One Cut of the Dead - A zombie film oozing with brains and heart
ONE CUT OF THE DEADA zombie film oozing with brains and heart
Made for a mere AU$30k, with a cast of unknown actors, ‘One Cut of the Dead’ is a gore-streaked gem of independent filmmaking.
Killing - A brief, meandering samurai tale
KILLINGA brief, meandering samurai tale
While ‘Killing’ starts strongly and explores some interesting themes, it’s hard to ignore how unfinished and less-than-satisfying this film feels.
The Blood of Wolves - A gore-splattered love letter to the Japanese crime thriller
THE BLOOD OF WOLVESA gore-splattered love letter to the Japanese crime thriller
It's more of stylish homage to cult gangster cinema than an attempt to redefine and relaunch the Yakuza genre. This crime thriller will leave an impact on you.
Spitfire - A gripping look back at a crucial point in history
SPITFIREA gripping look back at a crucial point in history
The story of the British aircraft crucial in the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire's tale is mixed with a slew of anecdotal stories from the people who made, delivered, and flew the craft.
Overlord - Solid Nazi-mutant kill-thrills
OVERLORDSolid Nazi-mutant kill-thrills
This could be the best World War II action/horror film to date. If you’re looking for a gory Nazi-mutant kill-fest, then look no further.
Backtrack Boys - Heart-rending and inspiring
BACKTRACK BOYSHeart-rending and inspiring
Not only is this a thoughtful mediation on Australian youth and (at times) a complete tear-jerker, but it's also a striking-looking film. It’s impossible not to become emotionally invested.
The Cleaners - Gruelling but engrossing
THE CLEANERSGruelling but engrossing
The material is tough to absorb. At times, ‘The Cleaners’ feels more like a grim, neon-lit, science-fiction noir than a documentary.
Donbass - A caustic look at the brutal absurdities of war
DONBASSA caustic look at the brutal absurdities of war
An oppressive but thought-provoking viewing experience that peers deep into the Russian soul and finds there an unfathomable blackness.
A Prayer Before Dawn - Tough but insubstantial
A PRAYER BEFORE DAWNTough but insubstantial
A tough watch with a strong central performance, but it doesn’t quite overcome an extremely pared-down story that doesn’t have much to say.
American Animals - An unusual crime caper
AMERICAN ANIMALSAn unusual crime caper
The opening half hour is all about the adrenal rush of planning and strategising a heist, but occasionally feels like an exercise in style over substance.
Venom - Monstrous fun
VENOMMonstrous fun
While ‘Venom’ has plenty of rough edges, I’d rather watch a scrappy film that was genuinely entertaining and different than another by-the-numbers instalment in a franchise whose edges have been sanded down into nothingness.
The Green Fog - The ultimate elegy to Hitchcock and San Francisco
THE GREEN FOGThe ultimate elegy to Hitchcock and San Francisco
The film acts as an hour-long reconstruction of Hitchcock’s 1958 suspense classic, replicating the original using only clips from other '50s noir, experimental films, '70s prime-time TV, and more.
Custody - A taut, stifling domestic drama
CUSTODYA taut, stifling domestic drama
Xavier Legrand's ‘Custody’ is a powerful exploration of the aftermath of divorce and the trauma of abuse.
Killing Jesus - The struggle between empathy and vengeance
KILLING JESUSThe struggle between empathy and vengeance
Rough edges aside, ‘Killing Jesus’ is a well-shot, tense drama that traces the intersection of the complexities of grief.
Mandy - A psychedelic gonzo masterpiece
MANDYA psychedelic gonzo masterpiece
The film pays homage to a wide selection of genre classics. If you are attuned to the very specific influences and psychedelic frequencies emitted by this movie, ‘Mandy’ is an absolute delight.
Revenge - Gory thrills for the #MeToo era
REVENGEGory thrills for the #MeToo era
Stylish, with a neat soundtrack and glossy visuals, and violent in a tough and satisfying way, ‘Revenge’ doesn't wallow in some of the uglier things that the films in this genre tend to.
Searching - Cinematic social media fatigue
SEARCHINGCinematic social media fatigue
While the narrative strains against the confines of its unique style, the film still represents another ambitious step forward for Asian American representation in cinema.
Tigers Are Not Afraid - Once upon a time in Mexico...
TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAIDOnce upon a time in Mexico...
You're either transported to a world where the supernatural walks by dirty alleyways and abandoned houses, or taken on a journey through a child's imagination as it justifies unspeakable bloodshed.
The Nun - Lacking both soul and scares
THE NUNLacking both soul and scares
I had to wonder if ‘The Conjuring’, ‘Insidious’, and ‘Annabelle’ films couldn’t have been mashed together into one or two decent movies instead of spread thinly over what feels like a dozen poor-to-mediocre films (and counting...).
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