An Update – July 2016

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Jul 172016


Hello all. You may have noticed we’ve been a little quiet since Sydney Film Festival wrapped up last month. We thought it was time to provide an update. For the foreseeable future we have decided to scale down our efforts on An Online Universe. For a long time we’ve posted festival news, weekly release schedules, reviews of new films and more on a fairly regular basis. While rewarding, it is extremely time-consuming, and that’s time we just don’t have to give at the moment.

We’re not closing down or going away. When we see something we want to write about or have something to say, we’ll post it on here, it just won’t be to any schedule – we might post 4 things one week and then go 3 weeks without posting anything else, but we’re still going to be here in some form. We hope you’ll still stop by time to time. You can also still find us spouting opinions regularly on Twitter.

Sam & Andrew

The 2015 AOU Awards

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Jan 012016


We (Sam and Andy) have together reminisced on the year that has just passed, and have honoured the films, actors, directors, writers and various technical professionals whose work we believe define the best of what 2015 bestowed upon us.

These are not the films we expect to win the Oscars, but these are our personal highlights of another fantastic year for film. They are the An Online Universe Oscars, selected with love and appreciation. We hope you enjoy them, and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Continue reading »

So, hey…

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Sep 242015


So, hey. You might have noticed we’ve been a little quiet over the last few weeks. It turns out when you move house you don’t have time to see many movies, and you have even less time to write about them. It turns out, you also need the internet to keep a website running. We were without the internet for a couple of weeks and it just wasn’t possible to get content up.

Tomorrow we’re off to New Zealand for a short while, much means the site is going to be quiet for just a little longer. When we’re back we’ll be well rested, connected, and excited to get back to writing about films.

So, hey. We’ll be back soon. We hope you’ll be there.

PS – go see SICARIO and THE MARTIAN. We think they’re both tops.

 Posted by at 18:09

An Update

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Jul 272015

Law School
Dear Readers,

This is just a little update to let you know of some changes. There is going to be a little less content on the site for about 50% of the year, as I have gone back to studying. It’s on a part-time basis only as I’m still working full-time, but the studyload is heavy. Unfortunately that means something has gotta give, and that something is film.

I’ll still be posting the odd review and post here and there, but for the most part it will be Andrew who will keep An Online Universe chugging along. We’ve been talking about doing a podcast for a while now, so that’s something that could happen in the near future…we’re working on it.

Anyway, we’re still here and we’re still seeing films…so don’t leave us, okay?


 Posted by at 18:29

RUBEN GUTHRIE to open Sydney Film Festival 2015

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Apr 162015


Australian film Ruben Guthrie will have its world première as the opening night film of the 62nd Sydney Film Festival on June 3rd. The film is the directorial début of award-winning playwright, screenwriter and actor Brendan Cowell, who adapted it from his own critically acclaimed theatre production. The film, produced by Kath Shelper, was shot on location all over Sydney. The cast includes: Patrick Brammall, Alex Dimitriades, Abbey Lee, Harriet Dyer, Jeremy Sims, Brenton Thwaites, Aaron Bertram, Robyn Nevin and Jack Thompson.

The synopsis of the film is as follows:

Life is good for ad man Ruben Guthrie – he leads a party boy lifestyle, has a model fiancée and lives in a house on the water. He’s at the top of his game, until some drunken skylarking lands Ruben at the bottom of his infinity pool, lucky to be alive. His mum hits the panic button, and then his fiancée leaves him, but not before issuing him one final challenge: If Ruben can do one year without a drink, she’ll give him another chance…
Ruben Guthrie is the story of one man not only battling the bottle, but the city that won’t let him put it down.

Tickets will go on sale for the film and opening night party at 9am Thursday 16 April via

The full festival line-up will be announced next month.

Netflix launches in Australia & New Zealand

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Mar 242015


After years of stories reporting Netflix was launching a local service, it has finally happened. Today Netflix launched Netflix Australia and New Zwaland with pricing plans starting for A$8.99 per month for Australia and NZ$9.99 per month for New Zealand  (one month free trial available). Those in Aus who have internet through iiNet or one of their subsidiaries (such as Optus), will get the added bonus of Netflix being unmetered – meaning it doesn’t count towards your data usage. Take note though, those using a VPN to access Netflix US etc will still be charged – this only applies to Aus customers directly accessing Netflix Aus/NZ the old-fashioned way.

Netflix’s Australia and New Zealand offerings will be different, with Stuff reporting that Kiwis will miss out on the likes of Downton Abby and season 3 of House of Cards, which are/will be available in the Australian catalogue.

It’s said that more than 200k Australians are thought to be accessing Netflix via VPN. How many will change? Well, that entirely depends on how quickly the Aus/NZ Netflix catalogue grows. It’s never going to have everything the US Netflix has due to licensing deals and issues acquiring local rights, but there is still potential. Considering the cost of US Netflix + VP is about US$13 per month, the Aus/NZ pricing does come out considerably cheaper, especially when the appalling exchange rate is taken into account.

It’s fantastic that film & TV lovers in this part of the world finally have legitimate access to the service, and if nothing else, it’s going to shake up the local market and provide some much-needed competition.

If you sign up to Netflix, let us know what you think of the offerings.

Happy 3rd Birthday To Us!

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Feb 072015


An Online Universe is now three years old.

I have thought about closing the site down and quitting so many times. There are weeks when writing is a chore and months when I hate everything I write. Life gets busy and it’s often difficult to dedicate the time needed to keep it ticking along. Sometimes the site is busy and other times, not many people drop by. Often I wonder, is the effort is worth it?

Then THAT film comes along. The one that crawls into your brain and fills in every space it can. It eats away at you, it haunts your dreams, it jumps on your moments of quiet. When that happens, writing is the only cure. Writing is exorcising the whirling thoughts from your brain and shaping them into a form that others can hopefully comprehend.

So for now, An Online Universe lives. Thank you for dropping by, it really does mean the world.

 Posted by at 14:40

St.George OpenAir Cinema 2015 program

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Dec 022014


St.George OpenAir Cinema unveiled its 2015 program today, the biggest ever to date, with an outstanding line-up of 42 films, including seven Première and 13 Preview screenings. From January 7 to February 21, 2015, this annual iconic summer event returns to Mrs Macquaries Point for a season of fantastic open air cinema.

The 2015 season commences with a big bang on January 7 as it rolls out the Australian Première of THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, a film sure to be in contention for awards this coming awards season. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones deliver outstanding performances in this fascinating story of love, resilience and one of the planet’s greatest living minds, Professor Stephen Hawking.

Programme highlights include
THE ADVENTURES PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT: On Australia Day, audiences are invited to a 21st birthday! Priscilla turns 21 in 2015 and this iconic Australian film will be shown in her honour. Patrons are invited to wear their wigs, tiaras, feather boas and heels and to come toast to one of Australia’s favourite queens!

INHERENT VICE: Award-winning indie director Paul Thomas Anderson’s (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love) newest film will have its Australian Premiere at OpenAir. An adaption of Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel, Joaquin Phoenix plays detective Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello, an unlikely hero leading a stellar cast – including Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone, Maya Rudolph and Martin Short. PTA at OpenAir – sounds like an amazing time to us.

BIRDMAN: Michael Keaton leads an all-star cast – Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis and Emma Stone – in the highly anticipated black comedy that follows a one-time Hollywood star’s risky bid to claim authenticity on Broadway. We cannot wait to finally see this!

SELMA: Audiences will be moved by the special preview of the arousing and superbly made drama SELMA, which focuses on the historical US Civil Rights movement in the 60s and Martin Luther King Jr.’s inspiring leadership that changed America. This film has received extremely positive early reviews and is one we’re really looking forward to.

TOP FIVE: For those looking for a laugh, don’t miss TOP FIVE the upcoming American comedy film directed and written by legendry comedian Chris Rock. The film stars Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Rachel Feinstein and Hayley Marie Norman. This film was extremely well-received at TIFF and should be on the must-see list for anyone interested in contemporary comedy.
To see the full program please go online to

Where: Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney – adjacent to Royal Botanic Gardens
When: January 7 to February 21, 2015
Gates, bar and restaurant open from 6.15pm
Films commence shortly after nightfall (approx. 8.30-8.45pm)
Tickets: Tickets on sale from MONDAY 8 December at 9am via the event website . Get in fast as sessions will likely sell out in advance of the screenings.