Independent Australian and New Zealand distributor Umbrella Entertainment has launched a new streaming service, dubbed Brollie, a free (ad-supported) on-demand platform specialising in Australian film and TV content.
To be honest, the TV content isn't that crash hot, but Brollie launches with over 300 titles including some crackers from Australian and international independent cinema. I'm a horror movie fan, so it was nice to see 'Lake Mungo', 'Dagon', 'Crabs', 'Harpoon', 'Society', 'Audition', 'Amulet', 'A Tale of Two Sisters', 'Suspiria', 'The Third Saturday in October', 'Tunnel' and 'Psycho Goreman' all in one place. You also have your Aussie classics, such as 'Angel Baby', 'Death in Brunswick', 'The Devil's Playground', 'Bad Boy Bubby', 'The Big Steal', 'Cosi', 'Hercules Returns', 'Head On', 'Malcolm', 'Love Serenade', a pre-juiced Hugh Jackman in 'Erskineville Kings' and Claudia Karvan looking fine as hell in 'Dating the Enemy'. Anime fans? Look, there is 'In This Corner of the World' and that's it. You're out of luck. Stick with Crunchyroll or whatever, nerds.
Special collections include 'Australian Nightmares', exploring the best of Aussie horror, and 'All Out Ozploitation', showcasing the best genre films from the 70s and 80s. Special features are also available to watch with these collections. Not only that, but subscribers will also be invited to be part of the Brollie Film Club, in which an in-house team handpicks the best of the catalogue twice a month. There is even a podcast.
So... is Brollie's catalogue strong enough to help it stand out in a streaming landscape that includes free platforms like Kanopy, Beamafilm, ABC iview and SBS on Demand? Possibly. Is it better than the Australian edition of Tubi? IMO, kind of? It definitely has a better hit-to-miss ratio than Tubi, which boasts around 100,000 titles, of which only 100 or so are any good.
If you are curious and want to check Brollie out, I highly recommend that you peruse the SWITCH reviews compiled below to find out what is worth watching...
Steve McQueen has established himself as a director of the same artistic ferocity as Kubrick or Fincher, and Michael Fassbender one of the most talented living actors.
Unsubtle in its desire to be “a moving, thoughtful rumination on the power of memory and redemption”, the film ultimately comes across as pretentious and boring.
Jennifer Kent has delivered both a cracking first feature and a brutal horror film with 'The Babadook'. It returns horror to where it should be: hidden in the shadows and playing with our minds.
What we have, is barely more than boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy meets other girl with the same name.
This one is for the horror junkies and those who don’t mind spending a little time with girls in bikinis covered (and I mean covered) in blood.
Though the cast is charismatic and eager, and the story is astonishing, this is a disappointingly limp affair. While it tells the tale with clarity, it forgets to be a film in the process.
Katabuchi’s previous anime films are better known in the West among anime nerds - but the incredibly moving and sobering ‘In This Corner of the World’ should be the film to change that.
As final roles go, it’s hard to imagine one more appropriate for Harry Dean Stanton than that of a man who’s long accepted his end, and who remains defiantly himself to the last gesture.
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.
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.
This is a little Australian film with an enticing story that falls flat in its execution. What could have been a gritty, poignant drama of life in the suburbs becomes a dry, dragging drudge.
The shots are long, the sets are dark, the dialogue is sparse, and the action is brutal. Joaquin Phoenix embodies Joe, from his excessive physical damage to his uncompromising heart.
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.
A beautifully shot and emotionally gripping slow burn that manages to say so much about human survival, despite hardly featuring any spoken words.
If you are familiar with Lars von Trier's work, then a warning that this film is not for the faint of heart is no surprise - yet nothing here feels remotely as compelling as his previous films.
Terry Gilliam has reinvented history and iconic characters from the past before, but this isn't worth the 29-year wait. While Adam Driver shines, the rest on the film needs another polish.
David Robert Mitchell wanted to throw as many left-field camera angles, score swells, and strange attempts at humour at a wall to see what would stick. By the time the credits roll it just feels like a whole lot of treading water for no reason.
The supporting cast performances, like their characters, are overshadowed by the larger-than-life Becky, a tornado of hysteria and booze, brought to life with a performance that reeks of excellence.
Horror Westerns are incredibly hard to accomplish, and director Emma Tammi’s boldness and imagination makes ‘The Wind’ a spooky breath of fresh air.
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.
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.
The film should be commended for its ambition, even if it doesn’t always manage to juggle all its balls as well as wants to. It's a breath of fresh air for a film set in wartime.
With incredible cinematography, this film supports the creation and telling of Indigenous stories, by Indigenous people, with Indigenous actors.
The film explores the perils of suburbia by satirising typical issues and offering up grotesque caricatures of real-life parenting discomforts.
Combining the unholy trio of Nicolas Cage, H.P. Lovecraft and Richard Stanley seems like insane brilliance on paper, which is why it's so disappointing that this film is a bit of a slog.
This film is a tough watch, but a beautifully edited and narrated piece that needs to reach as many people as possible. This is an important, must-watch film.
A thoughtful and compassionate exercise in exposing a lifestyle many have long ago abandoned, and one that deserves a place in the public consciousness.
The premise offers promising characters, but we need to know so much more about them and their unconventional actions, and that's where the filmmakers failed to understand their own product.
The documentary establishes in a compelling, dynamic way the creative genius that Cardin was, and still is. For anyone with an interest in fashion, brands or revolutionary thinking, it's a must-see.
If you only have time to watch one bizarre French horror-comedy about a guy and the jacket that seems to hold an extreme power over his mind, 'Deerskin' is it.
Exploring Danish culture while reminding us not to ignore our youthful dreams, this is a supremely charming effort by Thomas Vinterberg.
It absolutely has its flaws - but it's also an instant cult movie, and a must-see for the sheer fun of it.
It in no way reinvents the revenge film wheel, but it's such a taught, terrifying, and downright nasty little film that its shortcomings can be forgiven. You'll be too sick with dread to worry much about them anyway.
There are two sides to the coin, and while this is really a well-balanced in tragedy and comedy, there is no denying the haunting theme that can be triggering and devastatingly real.
Held together by a treasure trove of archival footage and Harris' natural flair for dynamic storytelling, 'We Were Once Kids' is a conventional yet confronting look at the dark underbelly of an already heavily-contested piece of modern art.