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Pulse

Australia 2017
produced by
Stevie Cruz-Martin, Gemma Hall, Daniel Monks, Simon Camp (executive), Annie Murtagh-Monks (executive), Roslyn Walker (executive)
directed by Stevie Cruz-Martin
starring Caroline Brazier, Daniel Monks, Scott Lee, Sian Ewers, Isaro Kayitesi, Jaimee Peasley, Troy Rodger, David Richardson, Lee Jankowski, Jad Abid, Alex Malone, Kate Neylon, Evan Williams
written by Daniel Monks, music by Featurette

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Olly (Daniel Monks) is a disabled high schooler - and he's sick of it, he's sick of always being pitied and being made to feel like the fifth wheel on the waggon, even by his best friends, being taken care of by his over-bearing mother (Caroline Brazier) and her posterboy boyfriend Mark (Troy Rodger), someone he has never felt a connection to, while never being even considered as a sexual being - after all, the only reason he has never come out as gay is because nobody even wondered. So when a new miracle cure for his condition is presented, he jumps right onto it - even if that cure is being transplanted in a whole new body ... and that's not enoubh, Olly has chosen a woman's body to be his new me - so welcome Olivia (Jaimee Peasley), she's hot, she's sensual, she likes to party. Of all of Olly's friends, Britney (Isaro Kayitesi) is the first who warms up to her, but mainly because she's a big partygirl and sees Olivia as a great partner in crime. Having never been the center of a party as OIly though, Olivia is just overwhelmed by all the attention she's getting, and she quickly loses control, drinks too much, has random sex ... and weirdens out her best friends Luke (Scott Lee) and Nat (Sian Ewers). And what's worse, he/she's secretly in love with Luke and has been for some time (even back as Olly), and her confessing his love to him and him turning her down really doesn't do anything to ground her. And thus Olivia just goes on making one bad decision after the next due to not been prepared for her new life, to more and more learn that now she can have everything, she has exactly nothing ...

 

A premise like Pulse's is an almost surefire recipe for disaster, as it feels like the invitation to a dumb comedy or heavy-handed, overly preachy drama - but Pulse is neither, basically since it really makes the effort to understand its lead character and bring his/her struggle across to the audience, rather than just hammer a message of a joke home. And thanks to a very clever script that refuses to condemn anyone, a directorial effort that makes Olly/Olivia's struggle palpable and shows great understanding to her flaws, and a solid cast, this has actually turned out to be a very fine movie that's well worth a watch.

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD