Cowboys vs Broncos
A refreshing twist on the classic western story that hopes to reinvigorate this underrated genre ultimately falls flat as the Cowboys appear to be simply “going through the motions” and cannot match the Broncos for screen presence. Some great direction is on show, but the ending is disappointing and highly predictable. Brisbane have received much-deserved praise for their efforts of late and should be highly regarded as legitimate Oscar favourites.
Titans vs Eels
It’s the CLASH OF THE TITANS… and the Eels in this paint-by-numbers action blockbuster. The Eels rely too much on the ad-lib direction of Jarryd Hayne, who is overshadowed once again by the grit of the entire Titans team, who have shown that they can, in fact, put in a convincing acting performance as a decent football team.
Manly vs Storm
Melbourne’s usual high-quality dramas hit a low-point early this year with Under the Umbrella, a disappointing sequel to the 2002 Canterbury film In the Doghouse. The Manly boys have been hit with a mild reception to what have often been exceptional on-screen appearances, often letting a poor soundtrack detract from the overall experience. This film has ‘underground blockbuster’ written all over it, and while we can expect some fireworks, the Storm will come out on top in a tension-charged final act.
Rabbitohs vs Tigers
The Rabbitohs’ unflappable troupe of Luke, Taylor and Burgess is again split up in this buddy comedy, and the movie suffers considerably. Taylor’s body and Burgess’ head really do leave the other players with too much to do. The Tigers deliver an excellent parody of a football team in what should have been one of the highlights of the year. A good game, but instantly forgettable.
Sharks vs Warriors
It's odd to see two long-term co-stars finally being given roles as leading men, albeit their approach is in completely different ways. The Sharks cheat and bash their way through the film, never quite being as likeable as the Warriors’ cheeky yet dangerous bravado. While it has been a long time since the Sharks have been in any movie that hasn’t involved a fart joke, they will be taken seriously after this role. The Warriors will also earn themselves fans away from home and should pick up the 2 points as well.
Knights vs Bulldogs
This low-budget indie film may appeal to the dedicated few, but I am far from impressed. The Bulldogs should be embarrassed to even be appearing in a film such as this, playing opposite Kurt Gidley’s Knights, but given their low-return on the movies they have appeared in so far this year, they should just consider themselves lucky to still be getting regular gigs. The Dogs will have their day in this clichéd, uninspired drama.
Roosters vs Dragons
After wowing audiences and critics alike with their early performances, the St George Dragons’ shine is starting to come off. Their once-unique style has become dull and predictable, and the box-office returns are beginning to reflect their one-dimensional approach. The Roosters, on the other hand, present state-of-the-art special effects, explosions and the latest digital technology to bring their movies to life. While they have often been accused of trying to do too much within their films, this time they are right on the money and seamlessly blend action, drama and comedy together for one of the most satisfying movies you’ll see.
Raiders vs Panthers
I am still at a loss as to how the Panthers box-office takings are as high as they are, given the quality of the films that they are delivering. While the Raiders’ have had moments of sheer brilliance, they rely too much on unexpected twists within their plots; many of which are either poorly disguised or too convoluted to follow. This time they have hit the right mix, combining a haunting theme tune with some inspired directing for a thrill-a-minute rollercoaster that will make you wonder where their season has gone.
The ultimate weapon in rugby league - six legs, four arms and no head. Pity it's playing for the Sharks
Tip you, tip you very, very much.