Author: Jasper Hagan

The NLA voyage of ‘Cook and the Pacific’

The trick to a good exhibition of art, history or indeed anything is not just in the choice of artefacts. There’s a real art to laying it out. It has to be done in a way that takes the visitor on a journey, that turns the collection into a story. While ‘Cook and the Pacific,’ currently on at the National Library of Australia, is expertly laid out, it manages to encapsulate a lot of what it does right in the entryway. You’re greeted by a selection of first nations representatives, greeting you in their native tongues, and shown a...

Read More

Review: Beauty Rich and Rare

There’s a sharp divide between being a good historian and being able to communicate what you know to everyone, as any number of meticulously researched but utterly unreadable history books will tell you, if you can get through them. The National Library’s ‘Beauty Rich and Rare,’ a recent short film installation, condenses a complex story. It also gives a clear idea of its significance. It covers the work of Joseph Banks, a naturalist and botanist who accompanied James Cook (then a lieutenant) on his great journey around Brazil, New Zealand, Tahiti and eventually the Eastern coast of Australia. As...

Read More

Film Review: Mile 22

Mile 22 is an entertaining, violent action film that seems to be overstretching itself, only to stick the landing and become something a bit more. Mark Wahlberg is Jimmy Silva, a hyper-intelligent (he solves really difficult jigsaws) paramilitary soldier with a bad attitude (he screams at everyone) who will do anything to get the job done. (he screams that he will do anything to get the job done) He does the jobs that no one else can do, that cannot fail and can never be admitted to, like shooting up a bunch of heavily armed Russian agents in the...

Read More

Denzel brings gravitas to The Equalizer 2

The Equalizer 2 (no subtitle) could have been a by-the-numbers dad action movie. Instead, elevated by a great central performance from its always excellent lead actor, some good direction and general attention to detail, it’s a good thriller that feels distinct and shows that it’s all in the execution. Robert McCall, Denzel Washington’s very strange ex-spy/soldier/killer, has settled down after killing the entire Russian mafia in the last movie. He works as a Lyft driver, encountering a diverse, wholesome array of passengers, and righting wrongs when he encounters them. Occasionally, he takes on more ambitious jobs, with the help of...

Read More

Mission Impossible Fallout a perfect blockbuster

Mission Impossible Fallout, the latest in the long running series, is a near perfect blockbuster. It won’t surprise you in its plotting or character beats, but it’s executed with such energy, style and panache that it still makes for a great night out. This time the plot concerns stolen bomb material, which they’ve used at least once before. After Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, who is, somehow, 56) loses track of plutonium, he sets out to retrieve it. He’s forced to bring along a CIA assassin (Henry Cavill with a moustache) to get it back. They’re up against anarchists, which...

Read More
Loading...