Jim Schembri

Agrees with the Tomatometer 62% of the time.

Publications:
3AW , Sydney Morning Herald , The Age (Australia) , The Canberra Times (Australia)
Total Reviews:
760

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 760
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
4/5 63% Nymphomaniac: Volume II (2014) " Blistering, honest, angry and full of confronting ideas...again proves that button-pushing director Lars von Trier is a much more intelligent, thoughtful and genuinely controversial filmmaker than his roguish public image would otherwise suggest." — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
4/5 77% Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014) " Blistering, honest, angry and full of confronting ideas this epic sexual odyssey...from Lars von Trier again proves that he is a much more intelligent, thoughtful and genuinely controversial filmmaker than his roguish public image would otherwise suggest." — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
4/5 79% The Raid 2 (2014) " British director Gareth Evans has done a super-charged job presiding over this white-hot Asian action knockout, the dizzying, enthralling, visceral sequel to the hit 2012 film." — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
2/5 78% Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) " The film has been a monster hit, so it's doing its dance with the demographic the way its supposed to. Still, one wonders whether fans of the original show will go with the bandwagon. This reviewer found the film plastic and too predictable." — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
0/5 77% Noah (2014) " A water-logged turkey...an epic disaster of truly biblical proportions...Bloated, gloomy, super self-serious and - worst of all - boring, the film is so dull and portentous it's likely to make atheists convert, just so they can pray to God to save them. " — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
3.5/5 79% Muppets Most Wanted (2014) " This terrific sequel doesn't need to waste any time getting the gang back together and so dives head-long into the type of loopy, cameo-encrusted adventure that made the first run of Muppet films way back in the 1980s so much fun." — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
3/5 92% The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) " Another visually scrumptious cinematic doily from America's master of over-designed whimsy, Wes Anderson, and this one is measurably better than many of his previous efforts in that there's something resembling a plot at the heart of it." — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
1/5 40% Divergent (2014) " Yet another slice of post-content sci-fi schlock that relies on audiences over-looking huge story holes and a grand lack of pace in favour of design and a hot young cast...lame-brained." — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
5/5 96% The Lego Movie (2014) " In what is sure to turn out to be this generation's Toy Story, this crazy-funny animated lark takes us into a hyper-happy world where everything is so awesome there's even a pop anthem called Everything is Awesome... fresh and fast and funny. " — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
2/5 89% Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) " Yet another super-sized serving of superhero cinematic sponge cake... this follow-up really feels like bloated franchise filler." — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
3/5 92% In a World... (2013) " Very funny semi-satirical look at the bitchy, male-dominated world of movie trailer voice over people." — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
2.5/5 58% Half of a Yellow Sun (2014) " Occasionally powerful but choppy drama set during the atrocity-strewn Nigerian civil war of the 1960s." — 3AW
Posted Apr 11, 2014
0/5 4% I, Frankenstein (2014) " If a worse studio film comes out this year, we're in deep trouble, people. This film is so bad it will hurt your brain. And even if you leave your brain at home, your spinal column will still object...[a] godawful, lame-brained mess of a movie. " — 3AW
Posted Mar 21, 2014
3.5/5 99% Wadjda (2013) " A warm, winning, restless film...Beautiful, modestly progressive and heartfelt, with a wonderful, brash central performance from first-timer Waad Mohammed. " — 3AW
Posted Mar 21, 2014
3/5 54% Cuban Fury (2014) " Cuban Fury is a formulaic, by-the-numbers feel-good dance movie, and as far as formulaic, by-the-numbers feel-good dance movies go, it's formulaic, it's by-the-numbers, and it feels pretty good." — 3AW
Posted Mar 21, 2014
3/5 24% Pompeii (2014) " When we walk in to see a film called Pompeii what we want is a staggering recreation of the colossal destruction wrought by the cataclysmic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius...And, on that score, Pompeii delivers in spectacular spades. " — 3AW
Posted Mar 21, 2014
2/5 18% Ride Along (2014) " There are a few laughs, but not enough." — 3AW
Posted Mar 21, 2014
3.5/5 80% Any Day Now (2012) " This movie is an emotional button pusher, and it knows what it is doing. Alan Cumming is especially effective as a man for whom fatherhood becomes a defining goal in an otherwise aimless life. " — 3AW
Posted Mar 21, 2014
3.5/5 83% The Armstrong Lie (2013) " It's an open wound of a documentary, sure, yet there is a pervasive sense Armstrong is using it as another means to redeem his public reputation...You might well find yourself sympathising with him more than reason would otherwise allow. " — 3AW
Posted Mar 15, 2014
3.5/5 23% Need For Speed (2014) " Let's be honest, shamefully honest. What counts here isn't subtle drama or carefully honed characters. What counts are the chases and the screeching tyres and the spectacular prangs. And they are magnificent. " — 3AW
Posted Mar 15, 2014
2.5/5 33% The Monuments Men (2014) " Directing his fifth film, George Clooney uses the intriguing, fact-based premise to mount a surprisingly light-hearted romp across the battlefield as a gang of art experts...head for the front in search of art. It's sort of like Ocean's Eleven Go to War." — 3AW
Posted Mar 15, 2014
3/5 89% Hannah Arendt (2013) " A dramatically solid, if talky, account of the controversial episode in the post-war world that spawned the phrase "the banality of evil", with strong performances from Barbara Sukowa and Janet McTeer." — 3AW
Posted Mar 15, 2014
1/5 10% Vampire Academy (2014) " Joining the painful list of Goth-drenched Twilight franchise wannabes - Mortal Instruments, Beautiful Creatures, Dark Shadows - comes a half-baked, yappy stab at blending sexy Undead girls into a teen high school comedy..Even hardcore Goths will be bored." — 3AW
Posted Mar 15, 2014
3/5 100% Gore Vidal: The United States Of Amnesia " Fabulous profile of the American author/commentator/troublemaker, filmed shortly before his death in 2012." — 3AW
Posted Mar 15, 2014
2.5/5 13% Jack and Diane (2012) " Good direction is hobbled by inexplicable flashes of horror, which add nothing to the story and stick out like clumsy art-movie affectations." — 3AW
Posted Mar 15, 2014
3.5/5 94% I Am Divine (2013) " The film's heart is the chequered relationship Milstead had with his mother, whose shifting regard for her larger-than-life son takes centre stage." — 3AW
Posted Mar 15, 2014
5/5 93% All Is Lost (2013) " Superb, a brilliantly conceived, first-person masterpiece, totally immersive and compelling from first frame to last. It's easily one of the best survival films ever made, even with Gravity dominating everybody's praise." — 3AW
Posted Mar 9, 2014
3/5 42% 300: Rise of an Empire (2014) " You liked 300? You'll like this." — 3AW
Posted Mar 9, 2014
3.5/5 33% 3 Days To Kill (2014) " Director McG teams up with a grizzled Kevin Costner and a story by French populist Luc Besson for a terrific collision of action, family drama and nutty humour." — 3AW
Posted Mar 9, 2014
3.5/5 79% Tracks (2014) " Tracks certainly looks great. Director John Curran revels in the details of dust, cracked skin and harsh terrain. He elicits from Mia Wasikowska a gritty, head-strong performance that makes you believe in an otherwise fantastic voyage. " — 3AW
Posted Mar 9, 2014
3/5 60% Non-Stop (2014) " Liam Neeson is at it again in yet another enjoyable, disposable French-produced action flick in which a hapless, dishevelled guy with big personal problems is forced by circumstance to jump, run, growl and shoot people - often all at the same time." — 3AW
Posted Mar 9, 2014
3/5 52% Out of the Furnace (2013) " Solid, dark, tough-as-nails working-class drama about violence, desperation and Woody Harrelson's unparalleled ability to play an inbred hick." — 3AW
Posted Mar 9, 2014
2/5 88% The Wind Rises (2014) " Hardcore fans of legendary Japanese anime maestro Hayao Miyazaki are likely to be the only ones to put much stock in the director's final film. " — 3AW
Posted Mar 9, 2014
4/5 76% Lone Survivor (2014) " If there's one major message at the core of Peter Berg's outstanding, realistic, fact-based war film it's that no amount of new-fangled military technology can take away from the brutality and human cost of frontline fighting. " — 3AW
Posted Feb 23, 2014
3.5/5 92% Nebraska (2013) " Veteran character actor Bruce Dern gets his day in court as the grizzled centrepiece of director Alexander Payne's artfully composed, beautifully filmed black-and-white dramedy about an old man, his dream and his withering, yet defiant sense of self." — 3AW
Posted Feb 23, 2014
3/5 91% Le Week-End (2014) " Though the inevitable emotional fireworks aren't given the three-act treatment they deserve, the great leads perfectly capture the stale air of latter-life malaise." — 3AW
Posted Feb 23, 2014
3.5/5 59% Wolf Creek 2 (2014) " A killer film and very satisfying, Wolf Creek 2 is also, hopefully, a sign of a healthy film industry, one buoyant enough to produce crowd-pleasing sequels from crowd-pleasing originals. No shame in that. " — 3AW
Posted Feb 23, 2014
3.5/5 94% Dallas Buyers Club (2013) " An uplifting story of undying hope and unlikely heroism." — 3AW
Posted Feb 14, 2014
3.5/5 15% Endless Love (2014) " Those of us still scarred by the memory of Franco Zeffirelli's 1981 mega-dose of romantic sludge...have every right to fear this remake. Thankfully the only thing it has in common with that film is the title. It's been scratch-built from the ground up. " — 3AW
Posted Feb 14, 2014
3/5 90% Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013) " Blue is the Warmest Colour is actually a far more thoughtful film about sex, mature relationships and modern love than its soft-core trappings and avant-garde buzz might otherwise suggest." — 3AW
Posted Feb 14, 2014
2.5/5 22% That Awkward Moment (2014) " One dares suggest that had the film gone for a more formulaic approach - focusing on one character's plight instead of all three - it might have been tighter and stronger." — 3AW
Posted Feb 14, 2014
1/5 13% Winter's Tale (2014) " There's a lot of yapping about miracles in Winter's Tale, a punishingly dull super-natural, high-concept romantic mish mash...And it's just as well. About half-way through you'll be wishing God could miracle your way out of the cinema." — 3AW
Posted Feb 14, 2014
3.5/5 58% Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) " With a sturdy, magnetic central performance by Idris Elba as Mandela, the film dutifully charts his life-long struggle to end apartheid, his wooing of Winnie (portrayed by a generously cast Naomie Harris) and the 27 years he spent in prison. " — 3AW
Posted Feb 9, 2014
3/5 48% RoboCop (2014) " Glad to report that this expensive RoboCop rehash is a worthy reworking of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 action flick. " — 3AW
Posted Feb 9, 2014
3/5 47% Last Vegas (2013) " It's Old Men Gone Mild in this ultra-predictable, decently funny mashing of The Hangover and The Bucket List." — 3AW
Posted Feb 9, 2014
4.5/5 97% 12 Years a Slave (2013) " The film imparts the casual cruelty of slavery with full force without having to resort to graphic portrayals of on-screen brutality. The film certainly has those, but they are sporadic, well-judged and serve the larger story of a man starved of freedom." — 3AW
Posted Feb 2, 2014
3/5 30% Grudge Match (2013) " Imagine the stars of Rocky and Raging Bull squaring off in a boxing comedy about two old rivals of the ring out for payback. That's about all you need to know about this by-the-numbers, computer-written laughfest. " — 3AW
Posted Feb 2, 2014
4/5 77% The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) " Wisely, Scorsese torques his opus as a sprawling, outrageous, gross-out comedy of excess. It's Animal House meets Wall Street... [making] us understand how the unbridled fun of a world defined by power, prostitutes and drugs can result in moral abandon." — 3AW
Posted Jan 25, 2014
3/5 39% Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) " As with the previous two installments in this super low-cost, super-lucrative horror franchise, the video verite technique is very effective in creating the feel of spontaneity before delivering some very well-engineered shocks...A great date movie." — 3AW
Posted Jan 25, 2014
2/5 91% The Great Beauty (2013) " For all its high-brow posturing, this film is tedious. " — 3AW
Posted Jan 25, 2014
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