Movie Reviews: Whats on for Spring Holidays 2019

What’s on at the movies for the school holidays?

Quite an eclectic selection for family viewing these school holidays but probably best for rainy spring days!

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Ride Like a Girl

Girls and horses seems like a perfect match and this Aussie bio-pic from director Rachel Griffiths is one of the better ones for the upcoming school holidays. (PG 98 mins)

A true, and heart warming story, about Michelle Payne (played by Teresa Palmer) the youngest to 10 children raised by her father Paddy (Sam Neill). She leaves school early to follow her passion of horse racing with Australia’s most famous horse race, the Melbourne Cup in her sights. There are apparently insurmountable odds against a female jockey racing in a ‘big’ horse race-not the least being the owners and the other (male) jockeys. The film focuses on Michelle’s driving ambition; her love of her father and brother Stevie (who has a disability); a family tragedy and a nasty fall from her horse. Against all the medical advice, and the protests of her family she works very hard to overcome her injuries and the entrenched misogyny in the racing industry. Her devotion to the horse ‘Prince of Penzance’ gives her the chance, against impossible odds of 100 to 1, for a shot at her dream: a ride on this horse in the 2015 Melbourne Cup.

This film gives the uninitiated  an eyes wide-open look at what it takes to be a jockey. The early hours, long days, the weight control and the sniping from other jockeys. There are also many things missing from this film (purposely it seems) such as the problems with the horse racing industry in general and gambling in particular but the focus on Michelle Payne and her outstanding place as a female in an all-male industry certainly shines forth.


The Angry Birds 2

The second Angry Birds movie starts in a constant state of sniping between Bird Island and Piggy Island, with each group playing elaborate, cruel pranks on one another.

A third more menacing island emerges — Eagle Island, run by a brilliant cranky eagle named Zeta who sends destructive ice-balls toward both pigs and birds.



Abominable, takes audiences on an epic 2,000-mile adventure from the streets of a modern Chinese city to the breathtaking Himalayan snowscapes.
When teenage Yi encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in a modern Chinese city, she and her mischievous friends, Jin and Peng, name him “Everest” and embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth. The animation is sure to be a winner and the magic enchanting. (Note: The film has raised eyebrows internationally for a scene featuring a map that places China’s borders well into a disputed area in the South China Sea.)

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

“Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure ever — high school. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots, Diego, a mysterious jungle inhabitant, and a rag tag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost city of gold.”

A Dogs Journey

This is s sequel to the A Dog’s Purpose, beloved (and now elderly) dog Bailey has a new destiny and forms a new bond that will lead him to places they never imagined. Bailey even has a new playmate: Ethan and Hannah’s baby granddaughter, CJ. The problem is that CJ’s mum, Gloria (a dog hater and ambitious singer) decides to take CJ away.

Bailey dies (yes!) and is reincarnated nine years later (and as a series of dogs over time) as a Beagle called Molly who finds CJ as a blossoming teen. Bailey and his doggy reincarnations take care of CJ for Ethan just as the original doggy promised. A definite tear-jerker.

Paw Patrol: Ready Race Rescue (October release)

In Paw Patrol: Ready Race Rescue, it’s the Adventure Bay 500! The pups have built an awesome race track and are ready to be the pit crew for their race hero, The Woosh! But when the legendary racer is unable to drive in the Championship Race, he calls on his biggest fan-pup Marshall to take the wheel and race in his place! Get ready to race and rescue!



This is a documentary using some original film about Armstrong and his life from his upbringing in Ohio to his air-ace exploits during the Korean War to his scientific skillset at Nasa. He’s a straight arrow who wore his heroism at ‘zero-gravity’. ‘Armstrong’ fails to fill that charisma gap by delving into the tougher stuff around the death of his daughter Karen (the subject of Damien Chazelle’s underrated ‘First Man’) and the end of his marriage. For Armstrong, always a reluctant hero, being a global celebrity is a step into another world that he will spend the rest of his life trying to escape from.