DARKEST HOUR REVIEW AVAILABLE AT HEAVY

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Long hinted at but delayed far too much, I have finally done a review for Darkest Hour which I’m fortunate to enough to have had published online with Heavy Magazine. In an interesting turn of events 3 of my posts with 3 different publications have gone online today which is kind of cool, I’m very grateful for these opportunities and I guess this reflects the breadth of my luck.

Some reviews you worry about, some you feel pretty good about and some you get excited about. I will be interested to see what you think of my review and the film. You can comment, like or share at Heavy at your will. The film is a muscular contemporary telling of events from long ago and humanises Churchill while buying into the legend. Gary Oldman is of course the front runner for Best Actor now although before a pick-up in the U.S. Box Office following his Golden Globe win the race was more open. You can read more of my thoughts here https://heavymag.com.au/film-review-darkest-hour/ It remains a thrill to regularly contribute to Heavy which is continuing to grow from strength to strength.

Heavy is an independent magazine and website that is all about the music and specifically heavy music and supporting the Australian music scene in general. Fortunately for me they do cover film as well and I have been fortunate to have a few things published there.

-Lloyd Marken

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INTERVIEW WITH ‘THAT ’80s TIME TRAVEL MOVIE – A BACK TO THE FUTURE MUSICAL PARODY’ DIRECTOR ROW BLACKSHAW AVAILABLE AT SCENESTR

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I loved Back To The Future growing up as a kid, I remember seeing Part II at the movies and how it ended with a cliffhanger. The third movie had been shot back to back which was unprecedented back then so after the ending there was a sneak peak of Part III. I had six months to wait for the next movie and it drove me berserk as a nine year old. I can’t imagine what it was like with those poor kids who were that kind of age when The Empire Strikes Back came out. I used to crawl around the car in my parents driveway pretending I was on a hoverboard calling out Marty and Doc non-stop. My mother helpfully remembers it was Duck that I said which drove her nuts. Fortunately for me she enjoyed the films too especially the first. Tales of time travel and/or ghosts have always spoken to her.

It turns out I wasn’t the only fan of the series which makes sense, since they accumulated something like over a billion dollars three decades ago upon release. One such fan Row Blackshaw is now directing the Australian debut of the recent parody musical of the original film titled  That 80s Time Travel Movie – A Back To The Future Musical Parody. Row Blackshaw is beyond a triple threat there appears nothing this insanely talented woman can’t do. A musician and performer who has done a variety of roles behind the scenes, she has also worked as a nurse and taught special needs kids. I found our conversation really enjoyable as we shared a mutual love of Back To The Future and discussed the importance of empathy which I believe has influenced her path. She was kind enough to share some of what personally defined her and delight with a Doc Brownian yelp while discussing a scene. You can read the interview here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/that-80s-time-travel-movie-a-back-to-the-future-musical-parody-in-brisbane If you’re a local Brisbane reader you should really pop along, it is going to be one heck of a show.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. A cut down version of this interview was published in print in the February QLD edition of Scenestr which is always a thrill for a GenX guy like myself. A digital version of the print edition can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/read/QLD/2018/1101-QLD/scenestr-QLD-1101.html#p=34 with the interview on page 35.  If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

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INTERVIEW WITH COMEDIAN HEATH FRANKLIN AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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At the end of last year I got an opportunity to interview comedians Heath Franklin and Randy Feltface. Both are well established and have been part of television shows in Australia so it was a new level reached for my interviewing. Heath Franklin is most famous for his Chopper Read character who is based on the actual Chopper Read from real life. We talked a little bit about how he started out and how he approaches his stand-up. Throughout he was thoughtful with his answers and I was most interested to hear him discuss his early days, how fortunate you are if you make it and how many talented people do not. I particularly liked the way he phrased doing comedy before he got his breaks as “This is something I love and I’m going to do it when I’m awake and when I’m not working”.  You can read it here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/heath-franklin-s-chopper-brings-us-a-new-mo-ssiah-with-bogan-jesus

I interviewed Mr Franklin in anticipation of his upcoming tour Bogan Jesus which kicked off at Fringe World in Perth on the 6th of February and will continue around the country including Adelaide Fringe and the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne Comedy Festivals. Also Hobart and Gosford.

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. This interview, along with the Randy Feltface one, was published in print in the January WA edition of Scenestr which is always a thrill for a GenX guy like myself. A digital version of the print edition can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/read/WA/2018/10-WA/scenestr-WA-10.html#p=27 with the interview on page 26.  If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI REVIEW AVAILABLE AT BUZZ MAGAZINE

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I’m very fortunate to have had my review of the last Star Wars film published online at Buzz Magazine. Writing a review for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a challenge. I’ve had endless conversations with family and friends debating character motivations and plot points of various significance. It is a film that has stirred up talk about its merits and failures. I’m excited to see what you think and to share my thoughts. Two years ago I wrote a rambling diatribe about my feelings about The Force Awakens, now here I trying to cut the word length and keep my thoughts coherent in a review for an actual online magazine. How things change if you get a little luck.

Check out the review here http://buzzmagazine.com.au/star-wars-the-last-jedi/ and let me know what you think.

Based out of Victoria, Buzz Magazine was one the longest running street press magazines in Australia being published in print from 1993 to 2010. Some fine writers have worked for Buzz over the years and gone onto successful careers in media since and there is simply no way to measure the contribution the mag made to local music over its print run. With such words and minimal advertising on the website the impression could be taken that Buzz is now semi-retired. Yet the site is quite prolific with new write-ups on a daily basis, the ongoing interest of fans old and new and contributions from some very talented people indeed.

-Lloyd Marken

I, TONYA REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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The chance to review films for a publication is always a special treat. Cinema is my first love though and so getting to be a film critic if only sporadically is a way to live that dream. I was very lucky to review the new film Margot Robbie film I, Tonya for Scenestr magazine.

Margot Robbie was once a 17 year old playing a role in a small budgeted independent action film on the Gold Coast. There was an overweight 27 year old on that film set too working as a production runner. Based on Margot’s performance in that film I wouldn’t have thought Oscar buzz was in her future. A performance I saw a year later in a Gold Coast cinema with cast and crew. By then Margot was already down south working hard on the Australian soap Neighbours. It’s 10 years later and Margot Robbie is one of the hottest young talents in America, a first-rate actress, a woman with her own production company forming her own projects to ensure she’s not just the girl in the bikini or the hotpants. Her work in The Wolf of Wall Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and now I, Tonya is simply first rate. To go from where we were to where she is now is truly remarkable and I look forward to a long prolific career with many more great performances. I take my hat off to you Ms. Robbie and congratulations on becoming an Academy Award nominee. Most deserved.

On some level it’s very surreal for me to have known at one point a very big star for a brief period of time where they were not a big star. It’s also weird to then have my dream job of writing for publications be involved with a Margot Robbie film but also rewarding. I feel a small measure of success in the industry I love which is nice.

Karen and I went to a preview screening of I, Tonya at Chermside cinemas two days before it opened nationwide. My review was published the next day, there were things I was trying to get across about the strength of the performances, the depth of the storytelling and the pacing of the picture that I hope come through. It is one of those reviews where it feels like I’m getting there but not quite where I want it to be. Deadlines can be good for getting past your own doubts.

I hope you like the review which can be read here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/i-tonya-review-20180124 and enjoy the film. Once again to all my readers thank you so much for your continued support and interest. The trailer below by the way in my humble opinion is one of the best film trailers of 2017. Maybe it’s the music.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH COMEDIAN RANDY FELTFACE AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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One of the funniest shows I saw last year was Randy Writes A Novel, performed and written by Randy Feltface who is famous for his work with comedic partner Sammy J including television series Ricketts Lane on the ABC, Randy Writes A Novel was his fourth solo show which I saw at the Wonderland Festival at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Not just raucously funny it was cleverly meta and so it was quite a thrill to only a month late get the opportunity with Scenestr magazine to interview Randy in preparation for his tour of his new solo show Randy’s Anti-Crisis. Randy proved not just funny but, thoughtful, insightful and extremely gracious. You can read the interview here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/randy-s-anti-crisis-exploring-the-concept-of-belief

Readers who live in Adelaide and Perth I highly recommend you going along to see his upcoming shows.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. This interview was published in print in the January WA edition of Scenestr which is always a thrill for a GenX guy like myself. A digital version of the print edition can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/read/WA/2018/10-WA/scenestr-WA-10.html#p=24 with the interview on page 24.  If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

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BLADE RUNNER 2049 REVIEW AVAILABLE AT BUZZ

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You’re in your apartment, it has been a rough day. Outside everybody seems to hate you, just metres away on the other side of the door. There’s no family to call, no friends you’re sure really care. You’ve been alone a long time, no partner, no prospects at that shitty job you go to every day past all those people who hate you on the other side of that door. So you switch on a hologram who looks like a movie star who tells you you’re great. Nobody in the family says that, no friend, no one at work but this perfect looking creature does. She suggests you dance but you don’t want to dance. So she immediately changes her mind and tells you she wants to watch TV. She looks perfect and she says whatever you want to hear knowing it before you do. At the back of your mind something tells you this is too perfect. It’s not real and you want her to be real. So they’ll make another model and another one and pretty soon one day she might be real because she’ll have a complete consciousness. When that happens though, when she can really form all her own thoughts, dreams and curiousities how she is going to feel about your apartment? Is she going to still say all those perfect responses you didn’t even know you wanted to hear? At one point are you going to be keeping her a prisoner unable to live her own life? At one point is she going to be a slave and what do slaves do? They revolt. You see you wanted her to be real and now she is but your capacity to deal with that is most likely limited because real relationships are difficult for you which is why all those years before you got her but a real relationship is what you wanted. So are going to set her free to maybe still live with you? What waits for her outside and you?

I saw Blade Runner: 2049 not long after ploughing through the first season of Westworld which very  much is about slaves revolting. I also watched for the first time A.I. so these thoughts were with me when I wrote the above. The ability to communicate and form long lasting relationships is a core concern of our times. In this sense the themes of Blade Runner: 2049 are a natural progression from the questions of the original film but also fitting to 2017. I thought the film was brilliant, one of the year’s best and I am lucky to be able to say that I have had my review of it published on Buzz Magazine. It is such a shame it wasn’t more successful at the box officer but that at least means they won’t flog a dead horse and I believe in time people will discover this film. It is sad though that such a cinematic film was not seen more in cinemas. The editor of Buzz Magazine has had a rough year and I’m very grateful that Buzz is sticking around. Feel free to stop by and like, share or comment on the review and let the editor know if you enjoy Buzz. I certainly love writing for it. You can read my review here http://buzzmagazine.com.au/blade-runner-2049/

Based out of Victoria, Buzz Magazine was one the longest running street press magazines in Australia being published in print from 1993 to 2010. Some fine writers have worked for Buzz over the years and gone onto successful careers in media since and there is simply no way to measure the contribution the mag made to local music over its print run. With such words and minimal advertising on the website the impression could be taken that Buzz is now semi-retired. Yet the site is quite prolific with new write-ups on a daily basis, the ongoing interest of fans old and new and contributions from some very talented people indeed.

-Lloyd Marken