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OUR CONTRIBUTORS
JAKE WATT
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.

jake@maketheswitch.com.au
www.twitter.com/JakeChatty

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...).
Outrage Coda - A sensationally violent trilogy concludes
OUTRAGE CODAA sensationally violent trilogy concludes
If you’re a fan of crime movies or “Beat” Takeshi’s oeuvre, ‘Outrage Coda’ and the previous two chapters in the trilogy come very highly-recommended.
Ghost Stories - Sceptical scares
GHOST STORIESSceptical scares
An eerie, cleverly-assembled horror film, with scares that will vary depending on how big of a horror buff you are.
Journey's End - A sobering, intelligent tale of fear and bravery
JOURNEY'S ENDA sobering, intelligent tale of fear and bravery
‘Journey’s End’ isn’t an epic, guns-blazing war film. Instead, it’s a hard-hitting, timeless exploration of the psychological impact of fear and the struggle to remain brave.
Beast - A feral study of love, repression and violence
BEASTA feral study of love, repression and violence
‘Beast’ is a tense, visceral character study that explores the feral sexuality and paranoia that can erupt in repressive environments.
The Girl Without Hands - A dreamily animated survival story
THE GIRL WITHOUT HANDSA dreamily animated survival story
With an ethereal score and the deep, dark, dream logic of the Grimm fable upon which it is based, ’The Girl Without Hands’ is unlike any adult animated film you have seen before.
Cage-A-Thon - Ranking Nicolas Cage throughout the ages
CAGE-A-THONRanking Nicolas Cage throughout the ages
Ready for more Nicolas Cage than you can handle? MIFF is holding a Cage-a-Thon for dedicated fans, showcasing his acting "skills" old and new - and SWITCH has rated each of the films included.
Undertow - Diving into the depths of obsession
UNDERTOWDiving into the depths of obsession
A thoughtful, well-shot psychological drama that uses the natural beauty of its coastal setting to provide scope for symbolic interpretation and pull viewers down into its dark depths.
Dark River - A haunting psychodrama
DARK RIVERA haunting psychodrama
‘Dark River’ is a beautifully crafted, thoughtful film, with exceptional performances bolstering its gritty, albeit slightly grim, drama.
Holiday - A sun-kissed and extremely brutal sociological thriller
HOLIDAYA sun-kissed and extremely brutal sociological thriller
An exploration of sexuality, threat and male violence from a female perspective, ‘Holiday’ is an extremely shocking, sociological thriller and an incredibly impressive debut.
The Night Eats the World - The horrors of loneliness
THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLDThe horrors of loneliness
This zombie film is not an action-packed gore-fest. Instead, it poses questions about the nature of humanity and loneliness.
Thoroughbreds - A darkly amusing look at millennial dissatisfaction
THOROUGHBREDSA darkly amusing look at millennial dissatisfaction
Everything about Cory Finley’s fiendishly clever, savagely funny directorial debut is precise: the words, shots, cuts, and the stealthily gliding movement of the camera.
The Cured - Melancholic social commentary, plus zombies
THE CUREDMelancholic social commentary, plus zombies
A suspenseful and intelligent horror movie with an enjoyably slow pace and melancholic palette.
Bam Bam - A one-two punch against stereotypes
BAM BAMA one-two punch against stereotypes
This documentary isn’t just about a female boxer hitting back against the stereotypes of her family, society and her sport. It's an impressively deep exploration of one woman’s complex identity.
Finding The Line - Skiing down the icy face of fear
FINDING THE LINESkiing down the icy face of fear
Best viewed on the biggest screen you can find, it's a sports documentary that raises some interesting points about how we can push ourselves past our own negative responses and personal barriers.
A Vigilante - A timely blow to the throat of toxic masculinity
A VIGILANTEA timely blow to the throat of toxic masculinity
Intense, emotional, economically told yet fully-realised, ‘A Vigilante’ is a debut feature that signals the emergence of a brutally-skilled filmmaking talent in Sarah Daggar-Nickson.
The Field Guide to Evil - An uneven assortment of international terrors
THE FIELD GUIDE TO EVILAn uneven assortment of international terrors
The quality of the film is nebulous, and difficult to trace into patterns and arcs: a horror-dream or a familiar nightmare composed of images you’ve never seen before but that feel strangely familiar.
The Insult - A brilliant examination of the nature of conflict
THE INSULTA brilliant examination of the nature of conflict
Using masculine aggression as an allegory for escalating conflict, ‘The Insult’ raises interesting (and timely) questions that resonate well beyond the Middle East.
Leave No Trace - Overflowing with hope and compassion
LEAVE NO TRACEOverflowing with hope and compassion
Simultaneously haunting and yet overflowing with hope, this is a beautiful film, telling a story of a daughter and her father that speaks truths.
Mirai - A magical journey through childhood
MIRAIA magical journey through childhood
As family entertainment, ‘Mirai’ is a leap ahead of most other animated films in cinemas.
Wrath of Silence - Action-filled mystery and scathing social critique
WRATH OF SILENCEAction-filled mystery and scathing social critique
If you’re looking for a clever noir mystery with plenty of brawling, with a script that tears into China’s social fabric, keep your eyes and ears peeled for ‘Wrath of Silence’.
Samui Song - A twisty, noir-ish exploration of female identity in Thailand
SAMUI SONGA twisty, noir-ish exploration of female identity in Thailand
It's handsomely filmed and features fine performances from a well-selected cast, even though the characters aren’t given much obvious psychological depth by the script, and their motives remain fairly straightforward.
RBG - Representing ladies in the place, with style and grace
RBGRepresenting ladies in the place, with style and grace
It does a beautiful job of telling the origin story of a contemporary hero and why someone like Ginsburg is such an admired figure to a younger generation. ‘RBG’ is a very timely film, indeed.
Upgrade - Futurism and face-smashing action
UPGRADEFuturism and face-smashing action
‘Upgrade’, with its low budget, innovative mixtures of story and vision, and unabashed genre thrills and chills, manages to thrash out some of the metaphysics of the twenty-first century.
LBJ - Just okay
LBJJust okay
This feels like a film that thought it was something special when it actually never lifts off the ground. Harrelson and Donovan and the hilariously bad make-up are the only draw cards.
I Kill Giants - Small on action, big on emotion
I KILL GIANTSSmall on action, big on emotion
If you manage to let this film in past your traps and defences, ‘I Kill Giants’ is unlikely to leave a dry eye in the room.
The Breadwinner - The power of storytelling and the human spirit
THE BREADWINNERThe power of storytelling and the human spirit
If you are looking for a heartfelt animated film that explores a foreign culture with surprising sensitivity and maturity, don't miss ‘The Breadwinner’ in cinemas.
The Bookshop - Faded and musty
THE BOOKSHOPFaded and musty
There are a lot of ways to describe the overall tone of this film, like cloying, twee or simply very, very British. It’s a dull, ultra-genteel combination of all three.
Crooked House - In dire need of a few renovations
CROOKED HOUSEIn dire need of a few renovations
This adaptation of Agatha Christie's ‘Crooked House’ was killed not only by the joyless, workmanlike direction, but also with assistance from the wooden, charisma-free acting of its leads.
Midnight Oil: 1984 - The power and the passion
MIDNIGHT OIL: 1984The power and the passion
This isn’t just a definitive look at an iconic band but also a fascinating snapshot of Australian music and politics during the 80s.
Breath - Like riding a big wave and then wiping out
BREATHLike riding a big wave and then wiping out
Watching Simon Baker’s ‘Breath’ was like paddling out into pristine surf and catching a few big, clean waves for an hour, only for the skies to suddenly cloud over and the wind to change.
Gurrumul - A celebration of music, culture and friendship
GURRUMULA celebration of music, culture and friendship
This film is both a fitting epitaph for a musical legend as well as timely reminder that there is still far too great of a gap for Indigenous Australians in the area of health and life expectancy.
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