STACK #229 November 2023

Ready to give your home a tech renovation? We’ve got you covered with six handy steps for setting up a smart home, plus all the new smart tech to get you started. We also take a deep dive into getting the best Wi-Fi coverage throughout the home, and turn the spotlight on security cameras and which ones are right for your needs.




ISSUE 229 Nov ’23

STACK Issue 229 NOVEMBER 2023 “Humans only have one ending. Ideas live forever.”


ISSUE 229 NOV ’23

ISSUE 229 NOV ’23













PERKS see inside for details


ISSUE 229 NOV 2023

MOVIES & TV 4 Intro 6 Take 5 and On the Radar 7 Merch, Charts and What Do You Do? 8 Box Office Barbie 10 Mission: Impossible - Upping the Ante 12 Gran Turismo : Playing for Real 14 Asteroid City and Meg 2: The Trench 16 A Crowning Moment: The Crown: Season 5 18 Naughty Dogs: Strays 19 Out this month 20 New from Imprint 22 Socials and Competitions MUSIC 26-30 The Music Room: Chats with Warren Ellis, Tkay Maidza, and more 31 Look cool, do good with AusMusic T-Shirt Day 32-33 Cover feature: The Great and Powerful Oz! 34 Lifting the Lid on Tina Turner 36 Vital Vinyl 40 This Month @ JB 42-44 Album reviews GAMING 48 Take 5/Merch of the Month/Game changers! 50 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III 52 Lords of the Fallen 54 EA Sports WRC 56 Sonic Superstars 58 STACK Recommends 60 Out this month 62 Fast forward/Q5/Wham, bam, game exam! TECH FLIP MAG AND READ FROM BACK 4 Intro 6-8 Smart home starters 10-12 6 steps for setting up a smart home 14 Why Matter and Wi-Fi matters 16-18 Mesh networking and why you need it 20 Widen your Wi-Fi with the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro 24-28 Smart home security and monitoring 30-32 Lighting up your smart home 34 Control your smart home with a smart TV 36 8 things to love about the Google Pixel 8 38 Full music immersion with the Bose QC Ultra Earbuds 40 Cans for kids from Belkin 42 Elevate your photography with the Nikon Z f camera 44 New tech at JB


A movie based on Mattel’s iconic doll might sound dubious, but Barbie managed to defy the cynics by becoming the year’s highest grossing film at the box office and a global phenomenon, and Margot Robbie’s cheerful incarnation is poised to have a similar impact on physical media when she hits JB this November. Add to that the best Mission: Impossible film to date, Dead Reckoning – Part One , and the high octane Gran Turismo , and you’ve got a month made for movie lovers. Ready to give your home a tech renovation? We’ve got you covered with six handy steps for setting up a smart home, plus all the new smart tech to get you started. We also take a deep dive into getting the best Wi-Fi coverage throughout the home, and turn the spotlight on security cameras and which ones are right for your needs. Historically, November in the world of games is a belter, and that’s the case again this year. Captain Price and Task Force 141 are back in the thick of the action again with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III landing at JB, we speak with Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka about Sonic Superstars , and dive into the ‘Soulslike’ action of Lords of the Fallen . And in music, Warren Ellis and Tkay Maidza chat to us about their excellent new albums, we pore over the best Aussie records for AusMusic Month, lift the lid on Tina Turner’s defining anthology, check out the exclusive AusMusic T-Shirt Day get-up from JB, and review new music from King Gizz, The Bamboos, and Marcia Hines. Paul Jones, Editor-in-Chief

Founder Nic Short Editor-in-Chief Paul Jones Tech Editor Scott Hocking Music Editor Zoë Radas

Music Consultant Mike Glynn Marketing Manager Fleur Parker

Social Media Manager Glenn Cochrane Production Manager Craig Patterson Correspondence STACK

Chief Contributors Gill Pringle, Bob Jones Contributors Bryget Chrisfield, Jeff Jenkins,

Games & Online Editor Amy Flower Movie & TV Editor Glenn Cochrane Creative Director Gary Siewert Movies Consultant Kerrie Taylor Games Consultant Sachi Fernando

Simon Lukic, Billy Pinnell, Denise Hylands, Simon Winkler, Jake Cleland, Holly Pereira, Adam Colby, Bec Summer, Dan Nicholson, Alex Deutrom, Michael Irving, Jacqui Picone


Parental guidance recommended

Recommended for mature audiences

Not suitable for people under 15. Under 15s must be accommpanied by a parent or adult guardian

Restricted to 18 and over


Disclaimer STACK is published by Scribal Custom Pty Ltd (ACN 092 362 135). © Copyright Scribal Custom Pty Ltd, 2023 All rights reserved. All material appearing in this publication is copyright unless otherwise stated or it may rest with the provider of the supplied material or advertisement. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of Scribal Custom Pty Ltd. No responsibility is accepted for accuracy of advertisements or information. Whilst care has been taken in the research and preparation of this publication, the publishers, writers or anyone else associated cannot accept any responsibility for any loss, injury or hardship arising from the content contained herein or reliance therefrom, howsoever caused, and it remains your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of any such content. Views expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher or the editor. By the very nature of this publication, things change daily and we cannot take responsibility for any changes or inaccuracies that occur subsequent to going to press.

View full competition details at Summary of Terms and Conditions: For full terms and conditions, click here. Only JB Hi-Fi Perks members who are Australian residents may enter. The Promoter is JB Hi-Fi Group Pty Ltd (ABN 37 093 114 286) of Podium Level, 60 City Road, Southbank VIC 3006 (“Promoter”). The Entrants must answer the question here. Entrants must remain a JB Hi-Fi Perks member until the date the competition is drawn. Entries must include all requested contact details and a 25-word or less answer to be eligible to win. The competition commences on 01/11/23 at 12:00 AM and closes 30/11/23 at 11:59 PM. The winner will be the best valid entry as judged by the judging panel, having regard to skill, creativity, and originality, at the Promoter’s Premises on 11/12/2023 at 11:00 AM. The total number of competition winners in this competition is two. The winner will be notified by email and their names will be published online on the competition winners page for 90 days from the date of verification of the winner. Only one entry per person will be permitted. Total prize value is up to $2,506 (including GST), as at 1/11/23. The prize on offer is Arlo Essential 2 – 4 Cam Pack, 4 x Solar Panels, Video Doorbell 2, 2 x Indoor Cams.



Neill Blomkamp

Since making his triumphant debut in 2009 with District 9 , Neill Blomkamp has earned a reputation as an innovator of sci-fi, with films like Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015) cementing his place amongst the greats. His latest film, Gran Turismo , is a different beast entirely, yet boasts distinct Blomkampisms. Some of his From the moment he arrived on the scene, Blomkamp has told his stories with lots of handheld camera work and a documentary aesthetic. It’s a technique he applies to most of his films for realism and authenticity. Photorealistic CGI Blomkamp runs Oats Studio, a special effects production house that creates photorealistic computer-generated images. His most identifiable trademark is his depiction of tech, which is often grungy and scrapyard-like – the character of Chappie is the perfect example. Blomkamp has also applied photorealism to the racing sequences in Gran Turismo . Social issues Hailing from South Africa’s Johannesburg, Blomkamp often weaves social issues – typically those orbiting race and segregation – into his stories. There’s no better example than District 9 , which is a powerful allegory for South Africa’s historical apartheid. trademarks are: Cinéma vérité

What’s a movie you saw as a child that has left a lasting impression on you? Poltergeist (1982). I couldn’t look at the snowy TV for at least two years because I was scared it would suck me in. It also started my love of the supernatural. What’s one of your all-time favourite movies, and why? The Rocky Horror Picture Show : the singing, the dancing, the costumes! I first saw it when I was 12, and played the soundtrack on vinyl every single day for about three months. What’s one of your all-time favourite TV shows, and why? Charmed . The magic, the supernatural, the sisterhood. Having two sisters myself, it really resonated with me. It’s a strong family-based supernatural drama that lasted eight seasons. What have you been watching lately that you would recommend? Schitt’s Creek . I just finished watching it, and it is so wholesome and pure. It just fills your heart with joy and happiness. It’s a nice break from all of the intense, supernatural shows that I watch.


KIRSTIE IRWIN @ JB Cairns Central, QLD

On The Radar

What’s the best thing about working at JB? Working with a strong, supportive and diverse team, in a small store in the Cairns Central food court. Plus, I live and breathe everything pop culture.

Nia Vardalos and her big Greek family lead the way next month with My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 . Blue Beetle also brings his brand of adolescent-turmoil-with-adventure to home entertainment, while Stallone and his old cronies pummel bad guys in Expend4bles .


Q1 What name for early American movie theatres derived from the admission cost? Q2 Who had four legs and helped enormously to establish Warner Bros? Q3 Name the movie that has Tom Cruise playing a character caught up in the 1893 Oklahoma land rush? Q4 In which film does Ward Bond play Bert the cop who attempts to handcuff an angel? Q5 Which mis-cast role and ill-received production made Al Pacino retreat from

movies for four years? Q6 Which 1978 movie’s working title was The Babysitter Murders Q7 In which movie did Roy Scheider play Dustin Hoffman’s brother? Q8 Devil’s Tower in Wyoming played an important part in which 1977 movie? Q9 Which “school” movie had the theme music Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and his Comets? Q10 Which of the Crosby and Hope Road To films was set in the Klondike Gold Rush?


Legacy sequels are all the rage, but one of the least expected is Twisters , the upcoming follow-up to Jan de Bont’s 1996 blockbuster Twister . The story will follow Helen Hunt’s character and her daughter, who has become a stormchaser like her parents. With the original film’s star Bill Paxton having passed away in 2017, Twisters has a very big void to fill and a screen IN DEVELOPMENT

legend to honour. The movie will be directed by Lee Isaac Chung ( Minari ) and is said to have been greenlit based on Steven Spielberg’s

OCTOBER 2023 (Issue 228) ANSWERS - A1. Sergeant York (1941) starring Gary Cooper A2. Steve Buscemi in Pulp Fiction A3. Both have portrayed bank robber John Dillinger onscreen. A4. Martin Balsam played Milton Arbogast in Psycho A5. The God in ZARDOZ was named after the wiZARD of OZ A6. Cheyenne Autumn directed by John Ford A7. The Electric Horseman starring Robert Redford A8. The Electric Horseman starring Robert Redford A9. John Landis ( The Blues Brothers ) A10. The Fog directed by John Carpenter

enthusiasm after reading the script. If Spielberg’s down with it, so are we!





BLU-RAY BEST-SELLERS in NOVEMBER 2023 1 Transformers: Rise of the Beasts 2 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 3 The Flash (2023) 4 Fast X 5 No Hard Feelings 6 Insidious: The Red Door 7 John Wick: Chapter 4 8 Renfield 9 1923: A Yellowstone Origin Story - Season 1 10 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 DVD BEST-SELLERS in NOVEMBER 2023 1 Transformers: Rise of the Beasts 2 AFL - Premiers 2023 Collingwood 3 Fast X 4 The Flash (2023) 5 1923: A Yellowstone Origin Story - Season 1 6 Sound of Freedom 7 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 8 NCIS - Season 20 9 Sisu 10 No Hard Feelings 5 Fast X 6 U-571 7 Halloween H20: 20 Years Later 8 The Wicker Man (1973) 9 Batman: Mask of the Phantom 10 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 4K UHD BEST-SELLERS in NOVEMBER 2023 1 Transformers: Rise of the Beasts 2 The Exorcist (Extended Director’s Cut & Theatrical) 3 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 4 The Flash (2023)

Barbie - Monopoly *Instore late November

Barbie LED Neon Light *Instore late November

Retro Barbie Mugs *Instore late November

Barbie - DVD OUT 8/11

Barbie - Blu-Ray OUT 8/11

Barbie - 4K Ultra HD OUT 8/11

Barbie The Album (Best Weekend Ever Edition) CD

Barbie Movie 2024 Calendar

Barbie - 4K Ultra HD Steelbook (JB Exclusive) OUT 8/11 *Strictly while stocks last

Best Day Ever! Poster

Hi Barbie! Poster

Retro Ken Keyring *Instore late November

Retro Barbie Keyring *Instore late November

Barbie A5 Premium Notebook *Instore late November

Barbie 2 Pen Set *Instore late November

MURRAY FRANCIS FILM PRODUCER Murray Francis is a New Zealand-based film producer whose work includes The World’s Fastest Indian starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 BC , and Z is for Zachariah starring Margot Robbie.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? I always find a deep satisfaction on the first day of the shoot. It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work. Then, of course, we have to undergo the editing process, sound and music, and mix it together to make a film we sincerely hope that people will enjoy.

What does your job entail? A producer identifies great stories for the screen. It may be a book you’ve read or a story you have heard. We have to get a script written, find a director, and work together to find a star, and then raise the funding needed to make the film. What’s the most challenging part of your job? The first challenging part is getting the script written. It’s creating 100 pages of excitement or drama that will entice an audience into a cinema.




Toy giant Mattel is set to bring more of its toylines to life now that Barbie is out of the box and smashing records. The movie landscape is about to look very different indeed, with some of the pictured toys currently being developed into live-action features.

Barbie is officially the highest-grossing film of 2023, having raked in more than US$1.43 billion at the global box office. Words Gill Pringle N ot only is Margot Robbie the eponymous star of this witty confection, but she and her husband, Tom Ackerley, an actress,” says Gerwig, who immediately became fascinated about how this film could evolve from the Barbie brand which we all think we know. “But then when we talked, I realised what an incredible producer she was. She was super smart, and extremely involved, and really interesting. “Margot is our Stereotypical Barbie,” also produced it. In a further genius stroke, the couple approached Oscar-nominated director writer Greta Gerwig to nurture their vision into being.

Polly Pocket

View Master


Magic 8 Ball

Pitted against Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer in the much-touted

Gerwig continues. “As she says in the film, ‘I'm the Barbie everyone thinks of when you think of Barbie.’ And when you think of the most beautiful, cheerful, friendly, blonde lady you’ve ever seen, that's Margot. But the thing I wanted to do most of all was to allow her to be outrageously funny. She’s the person

“Barbenheimer” opening weekend slam down, Barbie came out as the clear winner to become the highest-grossing film in Warner Bros.’ 100 year history, and also the highest-grossing film ever from a female filmmaker at the domestic box office. "Barbie is such a huge and


Hot Wheels

Robbie agrees: “You’d think there are dozens of guys that could play Ken, but there’s actually not. Ryan ticked all the boxes. He’s a brilliant dramatic actor, he makes incredible choices, he can play the romantic and he can do comedy. And, of course, he also looks like Ken: he’s gorgeous.” With an all-star cast assembled – including America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, Ariana Greenblatt, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Simu Liu, Dua Lipa and Helen Mirren – Robbie was still nervous. “It was terrifying! We knew it was a lot to take on, as audiences probably have a preconceived notion of how they think and feel about Barbie, whether good or bad. So that presented a big challenge, but we were up for it,” says the actress – and she’s having the last laugh, having pulled off something many thought impossible.

you're going to go on a real journey within the movie. And because she's always able to make things grounded, relatable, and very emotional even when it's ridiculously heightened and funny, you never feel like you lose the humanity.” Gerwig further attests that she immediately began envisioning Ryan Gosling as the perfect Ken to Robbie’s Barbie. “We wrote this part specifically for Ryan,” she says. ”Even though he's so wonderful in dramatic roles, I knew he was really funny. There was no plan B. It was always Ryan.”

globally recognised brand, with so much nostalgic connection for people,” says Robbie, 33. “Making a Barbie movie was an amazing opportunity, one we thought we could do something really special with if we could approach it in an unexpected, surprising, and clever way.” Having acquired the rights to Mattel’s Barbie, Robbie knew she was in safe hands as she passed the reins to Gerwig and her writer-director partner Noah Baumbach.

• Barbie is out Nov 8

“Margot had spearheaded this whole project, and I was a big fan of hers as





Actors who perform their own stunts Tom Cruise From scaling the highest buildings in the world to clutching the side of aeroplanes and driving his motorcycle off a 4000-foot drop, Tom Cruise might be the GOAT of DIY blockbuster action.

Harrison Ford Scaling train tops and leaping from army tanks is all in a day’s work for Harrison Ford, who has many injuries and scars to show for it.

Charlize Theron The Atomic Blonde and Mad Max: Fury Road star has the hospital bills to show for her incredible work on screen. Cracked teeth, torn muscles, and slipped discs all feature on Charlize’s medical records.

With the iconic Opera House as a backdrop, we sat down with director Christopher McQuarrie and actors Simon Pegg, Hayley Atwell, and Pom Klementieff to discuss the latest instalment of the ever-enduring Mission: Impossible franchise. Words Glenn Cochrane

Jackie Chan Jackie Chan has slid down the sides of skyscrapers, been dragged behind buses, and rolled through flaming coals, earning himself a reputation as one of the greatest living action stars.

”Chris McQuarrie had come to see me in a play in London ten years ago, and took me out for dinner,” explains Atwell of how she met the filmmaking luminary. ”He said, ’I want to work with you, I just don’t know what the character or the story is yet.’ And I’d met Tom several times through screen tests and through a mutual friend. So I didn’t really come on feeling like I was a newbie. It felt like a natural progression of the conversation.” As for French actress Klementieff, she plays an assassin assigned to kill central character Ethan Hunt and Atwell’s Grace, and her character comes from the classic school of cinematic villainy. ”I was inspired by so many performances for my character, who doesn’t speak a lot,” she says. ”I was watching lots of movies with Clint Eastwood, with Steve McQueen, with Takeshi Kitano,” she adds enthusiastically. ”I was watching so many different movies - action movies, French movies - and then I got to do a lot of improvisation as well.” Pegg interjects, clearly in awe

”W hen I was on Mission: ’McQ’, as we call him,” says Simon Pegg. ”When he joined on part five, it felt like there was a creative partnership happening, and that’s only gotten more advanced and effective as it’s gone on.” The partnership Pegg refers to between Christopher McQuarrie and star Tom Cruise has become the stuff of Hollywood legend, the pair having made Valkyrie (2008), two Jack Reacher films, Edge of Tomorrow (2014), The Mummy (2017), and Top Gun: Maverick (2022) together. They’ve become synonymous with staging death-defying stunts and breathtaking action, which reach a peak in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, Part One . ”We talk about stunts over a very long Impossible - Ghost Protocol [2011], McQuarrie came in – or

period of time,” McQuarrie explains when asked if he and Tom have a little black book of antics they’d love to film. ”We have ideas that we’ll entertain and figure out somewhere down the road. Other things, like the motorcycle jump in this one – you can feel in other movies where we’ve sort of been rehearsing for this idea.” The ensemble cast features a bunch

of kick-ass women, who deliver some of the best action that the franchise has ever seen. Joining

of his co-star: ”Pom’s character says more with a little sniff than a lot of characters will say with a monologue. There’s this one scene where the camera closes in on her and she just gives a dismissive sniff. I love it, I love it!”

M:I stalwarts Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby are Hayley Atwell and Pom Klementieff, both of whom hail from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.

• Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One is out Nov 1

10 NOVEMBER 2023



Geri Halliwell (AKA Ginger Spice) plays Jann Mardenborough’s mother in Gran Turismo . DYK?



Archie Madekwe as Jann Mardenborough

Blomkamp’s auteurist, sci-fi realism style sets him apart from other filmmakers, and has put him at the helm of some very big Hollywood properties throughout the years. Films he almost made, but which fell through for one reason or another, include Alien 5 , an adaptation of Halo , and RoboCop Returns . It’s hard to comprehend a director better suited to these films, and how they never came to fruition is beyond us!

If you think that Gran Turismo is just another video game movie adaptation, then you are sorely mistaken. Words Glenn Cochrane G ran Turismo is based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough, the British professional racing

explaining: “Outside, you get this amazing water and dust hitting the windshield, and reflections and everything else. They put you undeniably on the track. But if you want to get intimate and be in the cockpit without using this device, we would genuinely have had to rebuild the entire race car.” “You don’t have to love racing to love Gran Turismo ,” says David Harbour, who plays the former professional racer turned mechanic who reluctantly becomes GT Academy’s senior trainer. “What you’re really watching is a feel good sports movie. “Jann is this kid who has no understanding of the real racing world apart from the video game,” he says of the film’s central character. ”It’s a movie about trying to achieve your dreams, and everyone is counting Jann out, saying he can’t win”. As for the man whose story

driver who beat 90,000 entrants in a PlayStation and Nissan-funded Gran Turismo tournament to earn a career as a professional racing driver. The tournament, known as GT Academy, was devised by a Nissan marketing executive (played by Orlando Bloom in the film) with the aim of testing the skills and merit of video game racers - or “race simulator participants,” as Mardenborough (played by Archie Madekwe) reiterates in the movie. The film’s biggest selling point, aside from its iconic title, is director Neill Blomkamp, best known for his grunge science-fiction films District 9 and Chappie . His appointment here not only lends integrity to the project, but also solidifies him as a master craftsman. Cut from the same cloth as Days of Thunder (1990), the movie is unlike anything he’s made before, and with his background as a special effects artist, he's applied his skill to the story in a way that few others might have envisioned. Shooting real race cars on real race tracks, and driving at real speed, his dedication to authenticity proved problematic for his cinematographers. “Very clearly, the vision from Neill was that he wanted this movie to be very real,” says cinematographer Jacques Jouffret. “The big challenge was how to shoot something with cars going at full speed: two hundred miles an

David Harbour as Jack Salter

hour. The challenge was finding the technology and the means to go about it.” Blomkamp admits there were some hurdles. “It literally isn't possible to put cinematic level 6K, 8K sensors into the LMP2 race car’s cockpit, unless we

we see unfold on screen - Jann Mardenborough himself - he’s clear about his life’s motivation. “Racing is all I ever wanted to do, but it seemed so out of reach,” he explains. “You need money and connections, and you need opportunity, and I had none of that. Then Nissan and PlayStation started the GT Academy, and suddenly I had a shot. I was young, I was fearless, and I wasn’t thinking about the danger. If this wasn’t my story, I don’t know if I’d believe it.”

had the Rialto,” he says, referring to a unique detachable camera rig attached to Sony’s Venice camera. The complicated equipment involved a network of fibre optic cables that were woven through the car into a very small, compact camera unit, which allowed the team to capture the real in-car action. “We were super specific about being inside the cockpit, versus outside the cockpit,” adds the director,

• Gran Turismo is out Nov 15

12 NOVEMBER 2023




In common with most of Wes Anderson’s other lms, Asteroid City has a delicious cast. Words Gill Pringle

T he film stars Steve Carrell, Margot Brody, and Anderson tells STACK that the film’s central figure is longtime collaborator Jason Schwartzman. "When Roman Coppola and I began creating this together, we wanted to write a part for Jason at the centre of a movie that would be something he hadn't done before,” writer director Anderson explains. “And we didn't really know what it was, but we had a few notions about what this character was going through,” he adds, in his typical whimsical style. “The other thing was, we thought we'd tell a story of the play they're putting on, and then we expanded it to the desert. And I guess it then became something like this interaction of a black and white New York stage, and a colour western cinema kind of story. And everybody's Robbie, Tom Hanks, Jeff Goldblum, Maya Hawke, Bryan Cranston, and Adrien

both an actor, and the role they're playing – they kind of mix together. And that's how I got the idea for Asteroid City .” Confused? Yes. We are, too – even after seeing the movie. Arguably, Anderson's films – which include Bottle Rocket (1996), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and, most recently, The French Dispatch (2021) – have

Wes Anderson?’” says Hanks, who plays a bossy grandfather figure in Asteroid City . “I would imagine [there’d be] spectacle, [he’d be] pompous or smoking a pipe. And we just talked. But I don't know if I said at that point, ‘Hey, come on man, let me into that rep company of yours. Give me a call!’ “I haven't seen a Wes

always been more about the experience, and less about the story. A newcomer to Anderson’s merry troupe, Tom Hanks’ involvement came about after a chance restaurant meeting in Rome in 2005. “We were there, and part of it was like, ‘That's

Anderson movie that I didn't wish that I was in,” he continues. “So, it was great to be a part of this. And the role was great. I think he used the reference of, ‘We're looking for a retired Ronald Reagan type', and I went, ‘I'm your man. I can do that.’”

• Astroid City is out Nov 15


If you thought The Meg was outrageous, wait until you get a load of Meg 2: The Trench . Words Glenn Cochrane

J ason Statham returns for seconds in this larger-than-life sequel that has his specialist diver character Jonas Taylor working to fight environmental crimes,

“This time around, we have some more scares, a little more carnage in and out of the water, two globally popular actors in Jason Statham and Wu Jing, some new cast members, more action... and more Megs.” Adds producer Belle Avery: “You can’t take yourself too seriously when you’re doing a giant shark movie! Like Jonas said in the first film, ‘Meg versus Man is a slaughter.’ So, you’re going to see a little bit of that in this one, too - but fun slaughter,” she laughs.

Meg 2: The Trench is a far fetched thrill ride that will keep creature feature lovers glued to the screen. “There was a little bit of

• Meg 2: The Trench is out Nov 1

as well as exploring the depths of the Mariana Trench, where the prehistoric megalodon from the first movie was found. Like the original film, Jonas is chased by giant sharks and puts up a fight that is so ludicrous that it’s unmissable. In the tradition of the classic sharksploitation movies of old,

uncertainty with the first film, in how the comedy would play for the audience,” admits producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. “But they really bought into the notion of ‘Let’s not take ourselves too seriously - let’s have some fun and some scares’.

14 NOVEMBER 2023



When Australia’s Elizabeth Debicki debuted her Princess Diana on the set of The Crown , her co-stars were absolutely gobsmacked by her sheer resemblance to the late princess. Words Gill Pringle A CROWNING MOMENT

”S he’s really got it down - while I was terrified,” recalls Dominic West, who portrays Prince Charles in Season 5. ”I remember that first camera test we did was the worst day of my life. She came in looking just like Princess Di, and sounding just like Princess Di - and I walked in dressed up

Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki as Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

’Oh, he’s been slightly miscast, hasn’t he? They got Diana right, but I’m not sure about him’,” he laughs. ”What The Crown has always done so cleverly is not try to imitate the characters, but to evoke them, and that’s how I’m hoping to get

characters or people,” says the actress, who made her film debut in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby , going on to feature in Guardians of the Galaxy, Tenet, Everest, and Widows . ”I’m grateful that I had a very blank canvas. I just came at it from a really open place. I’m Australian; I know we’re part of the Commonwealth, but I don’t have an inbuilt, genetic understanding of these people, or even the importance of this family.” Ask Debicki if she felt daunted in portraying one of the most famous women in the world, and she admits: ”It’s a whole emotional, psychological journey from the beginning to end in terms of even allowing yourself to think that you can play it.”

as Charles. I don’t look anything like him, and I don’t really sound anything like him either! ”And I also don’t move like him. I’ve got little legs like him, but other than that, that’s it. So I was standing there waiting for my test, watching the screen where Elizabeth was walking down a corridor, and I went, ’Oh my God, it’s amazing, it’s uncanny’. And I just thought I could hear the crew going,

away with it. Elizabeth looks like Diana, though. Not in real life, but my God she does when she’s in the makeup and hair,” he says in awe. Unlike perhaps everyone else on this planet, Debicki came into The Crown knowing very little about Princess Diana. ”I didn’t have

• The Crown: The Complete Fifth Season is out Nov 29

a particularly profound knowledge or understanding of any of these





Every parent knows how hard it is to keep the little ones quiet for longer than five minutes, and the easiest solution is to plonk them in front of a movie. So, it goes without saying that it's hilariously frustrating when Hollywood releases an adults-only movie that has all the hallmarks of a wholesome kids' flick. We feel your pain, and recommend that you keep the tikes away from these rude bangers.

Strays is not a kids' movie. It's not even a family film. In fact, it's a vulgar, profanity-laden comedy that also happens to be one of the funniest movies of the year. Words Glenn Cochrane S trays riffs off the talking dog genre, taking cues from – and parodying – flicks like Far from Home and Marley

Forte). It’s a movie full of heart and non-stop laughs, and Greenbaum was adamant that getting inside the minds of dogs to understand their behaviours was the key to making Strays relatable. ”To me, the film is not a dog movie. It’s more of a metaphor about toxic relationships in friendship, and how your friends help you out, and how you find your sense of self-worth. That’s really what I wanted to do. But, of course, knowing that the dog genre that we’re using was our sheep’s clothing [for the wolf], I wanted to spoof the genre, which we do at times, but I also wanted to make sure that we did give voice to those dog moments that we know. ”Like when they’re trying to lay down and fall asleep,” he smiles, referencing a hilarious moment when the four dogs

& Me . And with a cast led by Will Ferrell, it offers a peek into the minds of dogs that most pet owners will wholeheartedly understand. STACK caught up with director Josh Greenbaum to discuss the film and pick his brain about its R-rated leanings (noting that an American R rating is more aligned with an Aussie MA15+). One trick many horror directors employ to achieve the edgiest possible R rating is to submit a ridiculously explicit cut to the ratings board, so that any enforced censorship will bring the content down to the originally desired levels. Is it possible that this was Greenbaum’s tactic with Strays , and a forbidden cut of the film exists? ”Oh, I love that question,” the director replies enthusiastically. ”It does not [exist]! But I feel like I should have tasked my editors with making an NC-17 version,” he laughs, before elaborating on the movie’s content. ”We always knew that we were in such an R-rated sweet spot. ”You know, an interesting thing that I found making a comedy is that when you want to make an R-rated comedy, you definitely want to

Director Josh Greenbaum and his canine cast

push. Because there’s an expectation of what is ’absurd’, and how people will be surprised. For

me, it’s not about making sure that the jokes are all R-rated; it’s just making sure that the jokes are funny.” Strays is the story of an abandoned dog named Reggie (voiced by Ferrell), who, along with three newfound friends, embarks on a four-legged

habitually fidget in circles before resting comfortably.

”Like, what is going on!? I love that we got the opportunity to not just give voice to that, but give an adult, R-rated voice to it, because they look like they’re getting frustrated. And what do dogs think about chocolate? And why do they think we pick up their sh—?”

• Strays is out Nov 29

road trip to seek vengeance on his abusive former owner (Will

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DRACULA: VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER From the director of Troll Hunter comes a new terror on the high seas with Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter . Based on the Captain’s Log chapter from Bram Stoker’s Dracula , the film chronicles the voyage of the merchant ship, The Demeter, from Carpathia to London. There’s no keeping Count Dracula boxed up, and carnage ensues as he feasts on crewmen all the way to England. It’s a bloody good time! IT LIVES INSIDE This supernatural horror movie, with a distinctly Indian flavour, tells the story of a teenage girl who rejects her heritage in order to fit in with her peers at school. But when an ancient demon spirit latches onto her best friend, she must overcome her embarrassment and embrace her culture to defeat it. This is a unique horror movie that arrives at the right time after fans have been pleading for more original horror fare. INVITATION TO MURDER Murder mysteries have never been more popular, and with Kenneth Branagh's Poirot trilogy and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out series leading the latest charge, this new British thriller is a total curiosity for all fans of the genre. A tech billionaire invites six random strangers to his island estate and, when they die one by one, a budding sleuth (played by Mischa Barton) seizes the opportunity to solve the case. 01/11/23 Horror 08/11/23 Horror

STAR TREK PICARD: SEASON 3 Patrick Steward returns for his third and final season of Picard , bringing an end to the celebrated Next Generation reunion series. This season sees Picard searching for his long lost friend Dr. Beverly Crusher, in a daring voyage with newly recruited allies spanning generations old and new. This final season is essential for all Trekkies and reveals secrets that may alter the future of the Federation forever. THE WALKING DEAD: DEAD CITY This direct sequel to the original 11 seasons sees Maggie (Lauren Cohan) return in search of her kidnapped son, and with help from Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) the two travel to a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, which is cut off from the mainland. The shift in location and tone gives this Walking Dead story an aesthetic all of its own, making for a compelling and spine-chilling continuation. A must for Walking Dead devotees and newcomers alike. AFL PREMIERS 2023 - COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES VICTORY PACK “Good old Collingwood forever…” While we don’t all revel in singing that catchy club song, we must congratulate those who do. The 2023 AFL season came to a thrilling end with the Pies beating the Lions in a spectacular showdown. Now footy fans can relive the moment with the release of this year’s annual Premiers Victory Pack. This definitive keepsake includes every match of Collingwood’s 2023 AFL finals campaign, and belongs in the collection of every one-eyed Magpies supporter. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM Cowabunga! The end of the month sees the sewer-dwelling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles swinging their way to home entertainment for ultimate mutant mayhem. This unique and energised interpretation is the best TMNT adaptation yet, and is produced by Hollywood funny guy Seth Rogen. Featuring an all-star cast including Jackie Chan, John Cena, Ice Cube, Rose Byrne, Paul Rudd, and Post Malone, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is perfect action packed, laugh-out-loud entertainment for the whole family. 29/11/23 TV Sci-Fi 29/11/23 TV Horror 29/11/23 Sports



THE COLLECTIVE Don Johnson, Ruby Rose, Lucas Till, and Tyrese Gibson star in this gripping action thriller about a group of righteous assassins known as The Collective, who take aim at a highly sophisticated human trafficking ring that's backed by a network of untouchable billionaires. With their backs against the wall, The Collective members have no choice but to put their most important mission in the hands of a rookie assassin.








Make room on your shelves for more film noir classics and obscure tales of adventure – many making their worldwide debut on Blu-ray from Imprint. Words Scott Hocking

TALES OF ADVENTURE: COLLECTION 2 (1948-1957) Welcome to the jungle in this second adventure collection that takes viewers from

the Amazon and Java to Sri Lanka and deepest darkest Africa. Experience tribal ceremonies, the hunt for hidden treasure, and tales of courage and survival in this 5-movie set that includes Angel on the Amazon (1948), Daughter of the Jungle (1949), Fair Wind to Java (1953), Elephant Walk (1954), and Safari (1956) – all making their worldwide Blu-ray debut. Extras include new audio commentaries and more.

Island of Doomed Men (1940)

ASSIGNMENT K (1968) An espionage thriller in the tradition of the 1965 classic The Spy Who Came in from the Cold , this adaptation of the 1964 novel by crime writer Hartley Howard involves a toy company

ESSENTIAL FILM NOIR COLLECTION 5 (1940-1962) Four more film noir classics, kicking off with Island of Doomed Men (1940) starring the legendary Peter Lorre as the sadistic owner of a diamond mine, who's using ex-convicts as slave labour. Next up is The Red Menace (1949), which, as the title suggests, involves an ex-soldier who's recruited by the Communist Party and soon begins to question their principles. The title character of The Burglar (1957) and his associates attempt to rob a wealthy spiritualist, while in 13 West Street (1962) a rocket scientist (Alan Ladd) seeks revenge on a gang of juvenile delinquents after being brutally beaten. Extras TBC.

exec who's moonlighting as the head of a British spy organisation. But his double life could be revealed following the kidnapping of his girlfriend by Stasi agents. It's not a spoiler to say that the 'K' stands for Kill! Extras TBC.


DEAD HEAT ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND (1966) James Coburn plays a recently paroled con artist who's already planning his next scam – a bank heist at LA International Airport

THE MAN IN HALF MOON STREET (1945) Film noir meets sci-fi in this tale of a mad scientist who discovers a way to extend his lifespan using gland transplants that ultimately prove fatal to the donors.

Passion and prejudice collide in this romantic melodrama set in Hawaii. Charlton Heston stars as a ruthless land baron secretly engaged in an affair with a local

But when his supply is compromised, he must find a way to preserve his youth or die trying. This thriller in the tradition of the classic The Picture of Dorian Gray was remade by Hammer Films in 1959 as The Man Who Could Cheat Death . Extras TBC.

woman, but determined to prevent his sister's marriage to a Hawaiian boy. Based on the 1960 novel by Peter Gilman and featuring a score by legendary composer John Williams and a theme song crooned by James Darren, this epic tale makes its worldwide Blu-ray debut. Extras TBC.

during the arrival of the Russian premier. This lively caper film swings between comedy and drama as it builds to a surprise twist. Look out for a young Harrison Ford in his first (and uncredited) movie appearance as a bellhop. Extras TBC.

• The new Imprint range is out on November 29 for a limited time only, while stocks last.

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STACK Magazine




ISSUE 229 NOV ’23














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As far as debut albums go, you'd be stretched to find one that punched a bigger crater in the landscape of musical history than Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. In the very early '90s, RZA (Robert Diggs) and Ghostface Killah (Dennis Coles) – both experienced but unheralded rappers trying to make their way in New York – started collaborating. The pair decided to launch their hip-hop collective as "Eastern philosophy picked up from kung fu movies, watered-down Five-Percent Nation preaching picked up on the New York streets, and comic books," according to RZA. Eventually expanding the Clan to nine and producing an album utterly unique for its sinister beats, hardcore and humourous lyrics, martial arts movies samples and – not least – its incredibly tiny budget, Wu Tang immediately stomped their mark and became a new standard for the genre.


Tkay Maidza

Raekwon in the clip for Wu-Tang's C.R.E.A.M (1993)

Warren Ellis

Looking back at the stories behind our favourite album covers, this month it's R.E.M's Automatic for the People (1992).

R.E.M.'s reputation for oblique references (mostly thanks to lyricist and frontman Michael Stipe) was well established by the early '90s, so no one was particularly surprised when the Georgia alt-rock pioneers' eighth album arrived with cover art of... an anchor? A steeple? A Czech hedgehog? A naval mine?

Plenty of listeners were happy not to know what it was at all, because the image's mystery was well suited to the album's introspective and poignant ruminations on mortality, love, and regret. But here's the truth, and – trust R.E.M. – it's typically esoteric. The cover art of Automatic for the People – the band's most successful album, which spawned singles Everybody Hurts, Nightswimming, Man on the Moon and more – is a photograph taken by Stipe himself, on Miami's Biscayne Boulevard (around the corner from Criteria Studios, where most of Automatic for the People was recorded). It's a detail from the unilluminated sign of the Sinbad Motel, of a star ornament in a style common in '60s architecture – often called a 'Sputnik sign'.

The 25th anniversary edition of

R.E.M's Up arrives Nov 10, while the yellow vinyl reissue of Automatic for the People drops next month.

A Sputnik sign at Joe's Wines and Liquors in Memphis, Tennessee. Credit: MemphisCVB

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the flow. And this is what life is, from now on. I don't have to be afraid.'” One of the people she found in her new orbit was multi-Grammy-winning, Haitian Canadian producer and DJ Kaytranada, whose fingerprints we can hear in the funky, clinking, off-beat details of Ghost! and Our Way , both of which he produced. “It was really funny,” Tkay smiles of their friendship's beginnings. “When I first moved to LA, I had a period of six months or so where I was partying probably three times

Sweet Justice by Tkay Maidza is out now via Dew Process/ Island.

a week. Not sustainable at all! But [Kaytranada]

I wasn't waking up watching my back, I wasn't paranoid about anything... and I don't have to convince people of what I can do

was one of the people that I would always run into. It kind of became a joke: “Hey, you again, what's up?' The first time he was like, 'What's your name, Tkay? Like, Tkay from Australia?' And I was like,



'He knows who I am!' “Before we knew it, we had a festival tour. That was really cool, because I think it solidified that

I'm not just some random girl that he sees that parties," she chuckles. Soon afterwards, a friend hooked the two up professionally, "It was really simple, easygoing," says Tkay. "It was very natural.” The elements of Sweet Justice 's universe that hit decidedly not simple are its spectacular visuals; we're blown away when Tkay shares some of her original moodboards and visual decks during our convo. Myriad hair, makeup, jewelry, costume, and mis en scène ideas resulted in the slithering, prowling snakeskin WUACV and, in that same clip, the way Tkay playfully swings her braids like Catwoman does her whip. Sweet Justice 's aesthetic bursts with ideas, and Tkay is a very able ringmaster – but her team have their own ideas, too. “One of them will come in being like, 'Alright, we're gonna push the envelope again. Are you down, Tkay? We're putting worms on your face.' And I'm like, 'Yeah, I haven't done that before – that'd be cool...'" fits of Ring-a-Ling , the terrifying mouth stretcher and Hannibal-like face-cage of

Get into the scenic railcar which winds its way through the last two years of Tkay Maidza's life and you'll realise just how many facets there are to the woman's talent.We spoke to the rapper-singer-songwriter about her astonishing second LP, Sweet Justice. Words Zoë Radas

T kay Maidza's second album Sweet Justice blooms with genres bent on their heads, and truly sounds like liberation – as if the artist has spread her arms wide and gathered all the wild, musical flowers she's grown around herself as she discovered how to leave her assigned lane. Tkay attests that it is indeed a rebirth record. “I definitely felt, when I was working on the album, that I have a sense of 'I am who I am' – and I'm accepting it,” the Zimbabwe-born, Oz raised, LA-residing arist says. “There's a sense of confidence – I'm not worried any more. I've made the foundation, and I don't have to convince people what I can do.” That foundation was built through three extraordinary EPs – Last Year Was Weird, volumes 1 (2018), 2 (2020) and 3 (2021). “The whole goal from my EPs was to... get to a point where people understand that I don't really

belong in one place,” she says. “And I knew exactly how I wanted to exist for the next era. I knew how far I could go in each song. It didn't feel confusing anymore.” That reality is on stirring display, in the ominous glitches of WUACV, the deeply latticed harmonies and synths on Monica and Brandy esque Won One , and thunderous lead single with Flume, Silent Assassin. It was a matter of, Tkay knows, “growing up” – and wielding the power to surround herself with the energy she wanted, through a serious reckoning. “I just felt like I had found the right friends,” she explains. “I wasn't waking up and watching my back, I wasn't paranoid about anything. While I was making this album, it was like, 'Every day is nice. I love my friends, my family. We're gonna go to the studio, doesn't matter if we didn't finish the song; we do it again the next day. I'm actually living... This is

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In late November 2013, UK boy band One Direction dropped their third album Midnight Memories – and the world frothed over with 1D love as the release broke record after record. It became the fastest-selling album in Amazon UK





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history (breaking the record set by 1D's previous LP, 2012's Take Me Home ) and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 – which made the fellas the first-ever group to debut in the US's top spot with their first three albums. Most incredibly, Midnight Memories became the best selling album of 2013, even though it was released just five weeks before the end of the year.










The 1D boys as their alter egos in the clip for Best Song Ever (2013)

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