STACK #233 March 2024

Our cover feature for STACK March 2024 is Wonka, which explores Willy Wonka’s origin story with Timotheé Chalamet in the lead role. In addition, Michael Mann brings us the making of a legend in Ferrari. For the Tech section this month, we offer a guide to the latest in smartphones. Plus we explore security solutions and how to reduce your energy bill, in our Smart Homes showcase. In music, Ariana Grande is set to drop one of the biggest album of 2024 with eternal sunshine.




ISSUE 233 MAR ’24

© 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Limited

STACK Issue 233 MARCH 2024 “Every good thing in this world, started with a dream. So you hold on to yours.”

ISSUE 233 MAR ’24


ISSUE 233 MAR ’24





ariana grande eternal sunshine

new smartphone tech explained Getting the most from your smartphone camera 6 top tips for buying a phone









PERKS see page 5 for details


ISSUE 233 MAR 2024

MOVIES & TV 4 Intro 6 Take 5/Filmmaker’s Signature/ On the Radar 7 Merch of the Month/Charts/Socials 8 Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire / Kung Fu Panda 4 9 Wonka : You’ve never had chocolate like this 10 Uproar : Interview with director 12 Thanksgiving : Interview with Eli Roth 13 Ferrari : Interview with Michael Mann and Adam Driver 14 Trolls Band Together : NSYNC reunite 16 Priscilla : Director and cast interview 18 Bob J: Oscars - The Early Years 19 New to 4K 20 New from Imprint 22 Out this month TECH 26-28 Smartphone buying tips and phones for all budgets 30-32 The new tech making phones even smarter 34-36 The latest smartphones at JB 38 Why the new ROG Phone 8 is great 40-42 Getting the most from your smartphone camera 44 Accessorise with these smartphone extras 46-47 10 tips to smartify your home 48-52 Smart security solutions 54 How does your Veritable garden grow? 56 How smart home tech can reduce your energy bill 58 The new Bose Open Ultra Earbuds are a game changer 60 We review the new Sennheiser Accentum Plus headphones 62 Double the power with the new Google Chromebook Plus 64 New tech at JB MUSIC 66-70 The Music Room: Peter Garrett, Bananarama, and more 72-73 Cover story: Ariana Grande


Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the author’s best-selling book. It’s an engaging story where goodwill and kindness are rewarded, family and friendships prosper, and greed and bad behaviour lead to an inevitable downfall. Since the book’s publication in 1964, the themes and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have been used in numerous stage productions, musicals, and even a 2005 video game. Aside from the book, it’s the film adaptations that are best remembered by audiences across the globe. To date, there have been three based on the story, beginning with Mel Stuart’s 1971 classic, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory , featuring Gene Wilder in an iconic portrayal of Willy Wonka. Tim Burton brought a more gothic aesthetic to the story in 2005, casting Johnny Depp as Willy in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory . However, the Paul King-helmed Wonka , our cover feature for March, explores Willy Wonka’s origin story with Timotheé Chalamet in the lead role. It follows the young chocolatier’s struggle to open a chocolate shop and was well-received theatrically upon release. The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory universe, which now spans three generations, is an enduring story that continues to thrill moviegoers worldwide. 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

74-75 Vital Vinyl/Second Spin 76-78 On the Record Radar 79 Album reviews 80 This month at JB GAMING FLIP MAG AND READ FROM BACK 3 Take 5/Merch of the Month/ Game changers! 4 MSI Claw 6 Rise of the Ronin 8 Princess Peach: Showtime! 10 WWE 2K24 12 Logitech G Astro A50 X 14 Out this month/ Wham, bam, game exam! 16 STACK Recommends 18 Fast Forward/Q5

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, 2024 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.


PRIZE INCLUDES: 1 x eufy Security E340 Floodlight Camera 1 x eufy Security S350 Indoor Camera 1 x eufy Security eufyCam E330 4K Home Security System with Homebase 3 (4-Pack)

NOT A PERKS MEMBER? Join now and enter for your chance to win. PERKS MEMBERS SCAN THE QR CODE TO ENTER

SCAN TO JOIN & ENTER! Terms & conditions apply

Summary of Terms and Conditions: For full terms and conditions, please visit 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”). Entrants must login to their JB Hi Fi Perks account (or alternatively join JB Hi-Fi Perks and login) and answer the question on the competition page. Entrants must remain a JB Hi-Fi Perks member until the date the competition is drawn. The competition commences on 01/3/24 at 12:00 AM and closes 31/03/24 at 11:59 PM. The winners 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 12/04/2024 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 our 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 $2,127 (including GST), as at 1/3/24.



Sofia Coppola, raised in Hollywood under her father Francis Ford Coppola’s influence, emerged in the late ‘90s with a distinct cinematic voice. From The Virgin Suicides (1999) to her latest film, Priscilla (2023), she’s known for a unique, elevated style evident in Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006). Let’s take a look at some of her trademarks. Voyeuristic observance Coppola is often characterised by her “feminine camera”, portraying female narratives and challenging male perspectives. Her focus on young women and their coming of-age experiences is observed with a voyeuristic lens, inviting viewers into a perspective that subverts the norm. Music Music has played a pivotal role in Coppola’s films since the ethereal soundtrack by French space pop duo Air accompanied The Virgin Suicides . She is said to compile song playlists before writing her scripts, with the soundtracks not only establishing tone but also driving narratives towards conclusion. Sun-bleached moments This signature style is consistently woven throughout Coppola’s body of work to craft blissful, dreamlike moments. Common motifs include rays of sunlight filtering through foliage and characters bathed in direct beams of light, adding a unique and recognisable nuance to her artistry. There’s something for everyone next month, with massive titles such as the Aussie-themed rom-com Anyone But You starring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell, the mind-blowing true story of the Von Erich brothers in The Iron Claw , and Illumination’s latest animated comedy adventure Migration . On The Radar


at school. I still have the ancient DVD copy of it after all these years, even

though it’s a shambles now.


What’s one of your all-time favourite movies, and why? When there are too many great movies to choose from, it’s quite hard to say. But I honestly feel as if I Saw the Devil takes that slot. It’s one of the most brutal but emotional revenge movies I’ve ever seen. What’s one of your all-time favouriteTV series, and why? People often raise a brow when I answer this, but my favourite TV show is a toss-up between Outback Truckers or the more recent Young Rock . I’m much more of a movie person. What have you been watching lately that you’d recommend? Recently I’ve been bingeing Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures . Honestly a great, easy post-shift watch. Either that, or a lot of ‘80s films. I’m very excited for Umbrella Entertainment’s release of The Hitcher , so I’ll definitely be revisiting that too!


What’s the best thing about working at JB? Being able to put my lanyard on and greet my DVD regulars every week (shout-out to Gary!) What’s a movie you saw as a child that has left a lasting impression on you? Miami Connection ! I’ll never forget watching it once a month on my old TV after a long day


Oscars, who was the first person to win an acting award playing a person of the opposite sex? Q4 In which silent short would you see a comedic actor light his cigarette with a smoking anarchist bomb? Q5 Who in 1992 played the title role of an infamous assassin? Q6 Who fights Joe Starrett to prevent him going into town where he would face certain death in a gunfight? Q7 Who was the American producer, born 1892, known

for the Laurel and Hardy films? Q8 “Why do I do this? Because the pay is good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives” is a quote from which 1998 movie? Q9 Which American actor/ comedian was in fact born Leslie Townes in Eltham, South East London? Q10 Oliver Stone and Spike Lee were both taught Film Sight and Sound at New York University by which future movie director?


*not final artworks

Q1 Name the film actor whose suicide note opened with “ Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. ” Q2 Who was the first actor to have directed himself to a ‘Best Actor’ Oscar? Q3 While on the subject of

Final Destination 6 This franchise might give the impression of having a dozen sequels, but there are only five movies so far. This is set to change with the development of Final Destination 6: Bloodlines currently underway. The creator of the series, Jeffrey Reddick, has confirmed the latest instalment of the gore-filled splatterfest, however the release date is to be determined on account of last year’s writer and actor strikes. The Final Destination franchise is best described as “Saw for teens”, and the upcoming sixth chapter will be directed by Zavh Liovsky and Adam B. Stein, who made Dead Rising: Watchtower (2015) and Freaks (2018).

FEBRUARY 2024 (Issue 232) ANSWERS - A1. Edmond O’Brien won a ‘Best Supporting Actor’ Oscar for his performance as Oscar Muldoon in The Barefoot Contessa (1954) A2. Marlon Brando and Robert de Niro for both playing Vito Corleone in The Godfather films A3. Tim Roth in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction A4. The Wild Bunch (1969) “Do not drink wine, nor strong drink... .etc. A5. Thelma Todd, who had refused her Santa Monica Roadside Cafe to become a mob gambling den A6. Michael Caine A7. L.Q. Jones, whose real name was Justice E. McQueen as credited in the 1955 film Battle Cry A8. Quo Vadis A9. Van Heflin in Johnny Eager (1941) A10. Apocalypse Now

MARCH 2024





Join us on social media and stay updated with the latest news, reviews, and exclusive interviews. See exclusive unboxing videos, the newest movie trailers, gameplay videos, and red carpet pics from film premieres. Make sure you get involved and follow us on: STACK Magazine stackmagazine @stackmag @STACKMag STACKPresents What you've been loving on socials this month: Everyone’s excited about Tim Burton’s long-overdue sequel to Beetlejuice (1988), and we all went nuts for the first teaser poster and title reveal. Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is slated for a September 5 cinema release, and it cannot come fast enough.

Star Wars - The Black Series - Wicket W. Warrick Figure

Star Wars - The Black Series - Mandalorian Fleet Commander Figure

Star Wars - The Black Series - Obi-Wan Kenobi (Jedi Legend) Figure

Star Wars - The Black Series - Qui-Gon Jinn (Force Spirit) Figure

Star Wars - The Black Series - R5-D4 Figure

Police Academy For those who didn’t experience the 1980s, it’s hard to grasp the enormity of the Police Academy franchise. With seven films released in a decade, plus two television series (animated and live-action), it’s an iconic project. Inspired by a scene in The Right Stuff , writers Neil Israel and Pat Proft created a film filled with comedic sequences tied to a police recruitment storyline. Despite critical backlash, the franchise has a loyal cult following and enduring rewatch value.








Y 40











Joke of the day: Q: What’s a climate activist’s favourite movie? A: Mad-At-Gas-Car A happy birthday to HALLE BAILEY 24 on March 27 Singer, songwriter and actress Halle Bailey, who found success as one half of the




the musical duo Chloe x Halle, is destined to become a bona fide A-lister. She shot to Hollywood fame as Ariel in the recent live action The Little Mermaid , and as young Nettie in the musical adaptation of The Color Purple (2023)... and all before the age of 24! Happy birthday, Halle. STACK ’s fave celebrity quote: “Try and fail, but never fail to try.” - Jared Leto





I n this fourth hilarious, butt-kicking animated adventure, our beloved black-and-white hero - AKA the Dragon Warrior - is tapped to become the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace. Naturally, this poses a couple of obvious problems. Firstly, Po knows as much about spiritual leadership as he does about the paleo diet. Secondly, he needs to quickly find and train a new Dragon Warrior before he can assume his new, lofty position. Following an almost ten-year absence, comedy icon Jack Black returns to the big screen voicing Po - everybody’s favourite furry kung fu fighting panda. Words Gill Pringle KUNG FU PANDA 4

”T hat movie was like a crosshair aimed at me, as an impressionable and movie-obsessed boy,” recalls Kenan, who became enthralled by the film’s parapsychologist trio of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and the late Harold Ramis. “I went gaga for it. It terrified me, it made me laugh - although I’m not sure I understood all the jokes.” Fast forward four decades and Kenan, now 47 years old, is equally wide-eyed as he directs the franchise’s fifth film, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire , promising to take audiences right back to the heart and spirit of the original. A sequel to 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife , the new film sees the descendants of Ramis’ Egon Spengler - portrayed by Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace, with Paul Rudd as enthusiastic accomplice - arrive in New York, having now embraced their legacy as Ghostbusters. “But they are soon met with the realities of what it means to arrive in the big city, after living a provincial existence in Oklahoma,” explains Kenan. “More importantly, we ask: ‘What's it like to define yourself within your family as a Ghostbuster?’” Teaming up with Murray’s Peter Venkman, Aykroyd’s Ray Stantz, and Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore, the family learns how the original Ghostbusters have now developed a top-secret research lab to take ghostbusting to the next level. “Those moments are incredibly challenging,” recalls the director, pinching himself. “These are people who you love and respect, but you need them all to do the exact right thing at the same time,” he says, adding how excited he was to reintroduce original characters from Annie Potts and William Atherton to this new story. “I started out my directing career as somebody who just went to the movie theatre and loved movies, and Writer/director Gil Kenan will never forget his dad taking him to see the original 1984 Ghostbusters at Hollywood’s famed Grauman’s Theatre, when he was just eight years old. Words Gill Pringle GHOSTBUSTERS

Even worse, there’s been a recent sighting of a wicked, powerful sorceress, Chameleon (Viola Davis), a tiny lizard who can shape-shift into any creature, big or small. And Chameleon already has her beady eyes on Po’s Staff of Wisdom, which would give her the power to re-summon all the master villains whom Po has vanquished to the spirit realm. What to do? With his loyal sidekick - Angelina Jolie’s Tigress - notably absent in this instalment, Po remains surrounded by familiar friends and foes, including Dustin Hoffman’s Shifu, James Hong’s Mr Ping, Ian McShane’s Tai Lung, and Bryan Cranston’s Li Shan. But Po is going to need some serious help if he's to find a worthy successor in time. He finds one in the unlikely form of Awkwafina’s quick-witted thief Zhen, a corsac fox who really gets under Po’s fur, but whose skills will prove invaluable. In their quest to protect the Valley of Peace from Chameleon’s reptilian claws, this comedic odd couple duo are forced to work together. And, in the process, Po will discover that heroes can be found in the most unexpected places. Director Mike Mitchell describes Kung Fu Panda 4 as a love letter to the first film, claiming Chameleon as a mirror to Po in that both characters were underestimated by society for their appearances, but went on to gain high status. "So Po has become the greatest hero, and now [Zhen] is the greatest villain,” he teases.

wanted to find a way to be one of the people who told stories on the screen. And I still feel that way when I'm looking at the monitor.”

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is in cinemas March 21.

Kung Fu Panda 4 is in cinemas March 28.

MARCH 2024



The original 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was inspired by Roald like Rowntree’s and Cadbury would send sample chocolates to schools in exchange for student opinions. Both companies also sent spies into each other’s factories, looking to steal trade secrets. Trade Secrets Dahl’s childhood, when companies

Written and directed by King - best known for the Paddington movies - Wonka also features Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, and Olivia Colman. An intoxicating mix of magic and music, mayhem and emotion (all told with heart and humour), it turns out that it’s Hugh Grant’s droll, dancing and flute-playing Oompa Loompa who is the ultimate scene stealer. “I read the book and watched the earlier films,” Grant tells us, “and then I thought, ‘How do we make this different?’ I definitely thought the key was to keep the sort of negativity and anger, the ‘curmudgeonly old bastard’ element of the Oompa Loompa. This is my speciality,” he quips. “The Oompa Loompa in this film is propelled by those things, but also

Timothée Chalamet’s performance as Willy Wonka proves just as sweet as his alter ego’s famed confectionery. Words Gill Pringle B ased on the whimsical character at the heart of Charlie and the me were things that were emotionally challenging,” continues the Call Me By Your Timothée Chalamet

Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl’s iconic best-selling children’s book - Wonka tells the story of how the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate maker became the Willy Wonka we know today.

Name and Lady Bird actor. “Either from some sense of vanity, or perhaps from some sense of needing to express what I was feeling. “So when I read Wonka , I did feel the classic thespian challenge - the

A prequel of sorts to Gene Wilder’s beloved incarnation of Wonka, as immortalised in the 1971 musical fantasy Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory , Paul King’s new take on the character is very different to Tim Burton’s 2005 version starring Johnny Depp. In our current troubled times, Chalamet hopes his film can spread a little happiness.

singing, the dancing. But when I think about the main theme of this movie,

by a sort of sadness and a kind of loneliness. He’s been ostracised, chucked out of his homeland and his home tribe for letting them down. And,” he adds, “he’s on a mission to try and win back their favours.” For Chalamet, his favourite filming days were when there were lots of children around. "It brought a sincerity, an earnestness and a joy to the set, especially when you’re wearing the burgundy coat and you see the way people are reacting... It

it is to bring joy into the world. It’s to encourage dreaming; to encourage the dreamers to continue dreaming; to encourage declaring yourself as you are, who you are, without question. It’s to declare that to

“This is a joyous movie. It is about bringing a light into a world that is in desperate need of it - at least, that’s how I read it,” he tells STACK . “As a young actor, the things that were most attractive to

The original working title for Roald Dahl’s book was Charlie’s Chocolate Boy . DYK?

*not final artworks

share in kindness and enthusiasm is to paint a way forward, not only

• Wonka is out on Mar 13

was great,” he says. King’s inventive spectacle - which has already grossed a tasty US$600 million at the box office - introduces audiences to a young Wonka: a dreamer who’s chock-full of ideas and determined to change the world, one delectable bite at a time. Dreaming of opening a chocolate factory, the dastardly chocolate cartel will do anything and everything to stop him - but Wonka outsmarts them, proving that the best things in life begin with a dream.

for yourself, but for those around you. It’s about community, and it’s about

community surviving in spaces of erosion. It’s about light and love. I’m so proud to have been a part of that,” the 28-year-old declares.




voice, or self-esteem, or who they were. And at that time, to a degree, the country was only just finding its feet. ”The idea of finding yourself and actually being comfortable with that was, to me, the essence of the story,” he continues. ”A kind of underdog story, but more than that, a very personal story about not having to fit in and actually feeling OK about yourself.” The casting of Julian Dennison couldn’t have been more fortuitous; his role as the boy with an English mum has been heralded as the performance of his career. His character - who not only finds

Uproar is an unassuming coming-of-age comedy-drama from New Zealand ,starring Julian Dennison, Rhys Darby, and Minnie Driver. Words Glenn Cochrane UPROAR A NEW ZEALAND

his feet, but also connects with his culture - presented Dennison with an opportunity to break free from the type of quirky smart alecs he became famous for, such as in Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Deadpool 2 . ”No one’s really seen Julian in a role this complex, and he’s marvellous,” says Middleditch, eager to praise his lead actor. ”It was a big thing for Julian to take on this role. You know, when you talk about self-esteem and you talk about identity, it’s enormously personal for Julian. It was amazing that he was so brave, and it was extremely exciting because

although everyone’s seen his marvellous performance in Hunt for the Wilderpeople , nobody’s really seen how great he is and how much of a true actor he is.” Funny guy Rhys Darby

• Uproar is out on Mar 20

plays Josh’s meek drama teacher, who encourages him to find his voice and take flight, even if it means leaving his hometown. It’s a surprisingly textured performance from Darby, whose reputation is that of a kooky nincompoop. ”Rhys totally connected with the character of Madigan, because he had an art and drama teacher who taught him at school, and he channelled that teacher,” says Middleditch. ”He loved the idea of playing that character. I think [Rhys is] a very fine actor, but a lot of what he’s done - particularly lately, with the bigger studio pictures - he’s inclined to paint bigger and broader characters. But he’s actually a really fine actor, and has a lot of complexity.”

T he film is set in 1981 during the infamous South African Springboks rugby tour, which was met with condemnation and protests in New Zealand when parallels were made between the disposition of M ā ori people and the plight of black South Africans during Apartheid. The story follows a 17-year-old boy, Josh (Dennison), who is forced to stand up for himself and his family when the civil unrest becomes too loud to ignore.

Behind the scenes with Rhys Darby, Julian Dennison, and Minnie Driver.

Chatting with STACK , director Paul Middleditch explains why Uproar is one of his most personal films to date. ”The genesis of

fit in,” he explains, ”but also at a time when I remember the Springbok Tour happening in New Zealand. The country was split in half, almost like a mini civil war. So I was wanting to make a personal film about my memories,

it stems from my memories of high school, and being

Thanksgiving is available on Blu-ray and DVD on March 20. Look out for our review online.

a misfit, and desperately wanting to

Julian Dennison has a twin brother. DYK?

but also about a boy without any sense of their

10 MARCH 2024



TheThanksgiving holiday may be a North American tradition, but that’s no reason for Aussie audiences to miss out on a good feast. Words Gill Pringle ”W eirdly, Thanksgiving was always my favourite holiday,” muses horror director Eli Roth, on the Roth, of course, grew up to become a horror maestro in his own right, making Cabin Fever, Hostel, and The Green Inferno , amongst others. But it was only when ELI ROTH’S THANKSGIVING FEAST

Gina Gershon and Patrick Dempsey

almost trapped us into saying, ’Well, now we have to make a movie out of that trailer’.” Fast forward 16 years, and Roth believes he finally has the answer to the conundrum of how that transformation could happen. ”The Grindhouse trailer was done as a joke,” he says. ”It’s all just fake, with one ridiculous kill after another with no explanation. And we found ourselves writing explanations for the kills, but it ended up just a 90-minute joke, and we don’t want to do that. ”The breakthrough moment was when we said, ’What if we pretend Thanksgiving was a movie from 1980? And the day it was released, people were so outraged and shocked that every print was destroyed... But one person stole a trailer, and it’s lived in the darkest corners of the internet since, and this is the 2023 reboot of that movie?’ ”That allowed us to homage it;

eve of the premiere of his latest gore-fest. The idea for Thanksgiving first took seed during his teenage years growing up in Massachusetts - a state that is probably more obsessed with Thanksgiving than any other, given how the pilgrims first settled there 400 years ago. ”Going to school in the ’80s in Massachusetts, everything is about the pilgrims and Thanksgiving,” Roth explains. ”They’d take you to recreation villages, where you can talk to people dressed as pilgrims and see how they lived. And, every year, there were these holiday slasher films - all the Halloween sequels, My Bloody Valentine, April Fool’s Day, and Silent Night, Deadly Night . ”I’d watch these horror movies with my best friend [co

use pieces we wanted, and come up with our own story, and write completely new, creative kills,” he concludes enthusiastically. ”A real, scary, holiday slasher!”

he directed and narrated the faux trailer segment Thanksgiving - from Quentin Tarantino and

Robert Rodriguez’s 2007 film Grindhouse - that Roth and Rendell’s idea became viable. ”That trailer was so successful, and really took on a life of its own online after Grindhouse ,” Roth says. ”It

• Thanksgiving is out on Mar 20

ROTH is a man who lives and breathes horror, and his excitement for Thanksgiving is palpable. Having played the slasher horror game only a handful of years longer than James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s entrance into the genre, it’s little surprise that this trio would become fast friends. ”When Leigh made the

short film of Saw , I met him in Los Angeles,” says Roth. ”I’d just seen the film, and he was like, ’That’s my head , in the bear trap!’ And then when James came to the first Screamfest screening, we hung out. ”When they were doing - I think - Saw 3 , and I was doing Hostel 2 , I remember calling them and going, ’OK, what body parts did you do?’

writer] Jeff Rendell, and it was so obvious to us that there needed to be a Thanksgiving slasher film. It was like this huge holiday without a killer! So, our whole lives we’ve been

Eli Roth

They said, ’Well, we ripped out a nipple piercing’. I was like, ’Ah, damn it, I have to take that out of the movie. Do you guys cut off a d***? No? Alright, I’m doing that,’” he laughs.

talking about doing Thanksgiving as a horror movie.”

12 MARCH 2024


Before becoming an actor he served in the Marine Corps He runs a non-profit organisation called Arts in the Armed Forces He lost 23 kilos for his role in Martin Scorsese’s Silence He is 6 feet 2 inches tall The scar on his face is from a biking accident as a teenager He refuses to watch his own films ut Adam Driver Fun Facts abo

More than 20 years in the making, Michael Mann finally realised his dream of creating a film about ex-racer and visionary Formula One carmaker Enzo Ferrari, with his breathtaking biopic starring Adam Driver. Words Gill Pringle

S et in the summer of 1957, behind the spectacle of Formula One, Enzo Ferrari is in crisis. Bankruptcy threatens the factory he and his wife, Laura [Penelope Cruz], built from nothing ten years earlier. Their volatile marriage has been battered by the loss of their son, Dino, a year previous, and Ferrari also struggles to acknowledge his illegitimate son Piero, whom he shares with his lover Lina Lardi [Shailene Woodley]. Meanwhile, his drivers’ passion to win pushes them to the edge, as they launch into the treacherous 1,000 mile race across Italy: the Mille Miglia. Based on Brock Yates’ 1991 book Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Car, The Races, The Machine , Mann was fascinated by the story of these incandescent lives lived behind closed doors. “There is no equilibrium in his life, and that’s the whole point of Enzo Ferrari,” says the four-time Oscar nominee. “That fascinated me, because that’s more like the way life

Moving to the racetrack, Ferrari’s famed real-life drivers Piero Taruffi, Peter Collins, and Alfonso de Portago are portrayed respectively by Patrick Dempsey, Jack O’Connell, and Brazilian actor Gabriel Leone. A keen racing fan, Dempsey has had his eye on the role of Taruffi for the past 15 years. The actor has competed in various pro-am events - including 24 Hours of Le Mans - once even declaring he would "walk away" from acting if he could and dedicate himself full-time to motorsports. “This period in racing

and Italian culture was like an opera,” says the Grey’s Anatomy star, who boasts his own sports and vintage car collection. “The highs and the lows, the emotion, the death, the sexuality - all of it was just so amazing. “Taruffi survived

and logical; rational in everything to do with his factory and race team. In the rest of his life he was impulsive, defensive, libidinous, chaotic. This asymmetry and wonderful contradiction is what made him, and the other characters in this unique story, so human to me,” says Mann. The driving force of the film is, of course, Driver. “From what I understand, Enzo was a serious person of ritual,” says the

• Ferrari is out on Mar 20

his life in racing,”

actually is. Life is asymmetrical. Life is messy. Life is filled with chaos. Ferrari was precise

he continues.” I think that’s why he may not be as well-known as some of the other drivers. He was 50 years old when he won the Mille Miglia, and then he retired after that race. He may not have been the fastest driver, but he was

Patrick Dempsey lost all of his hair while bleaching it for his role in Ferrari . DYK?

40-year-old actor, who spent two hours in hair and makeup every day in order to portray a 59-year-old Ferrari. “He was incredibly stubborn. When it came to his life with Lina, it was different from his life with Laura. That was the one place where he felt at home. With Laura, there’s such a familiarity, and so much grief and history and also much loyalty. But at the same time, it was hard to find love there anymore.”

the most consistent and the wisest, as far as knowing what he needed to do to take

Adam Driver

care of the equipment and to win the race.”

Patrick Dempsey




In 1959, a Danish fisherman and woodcutter named Thomas Dam crafted the first troll doll. As a jack-of-all-trades, he often carved small mythical creatures from wood for his children, later selling them in Scandinavian department stores. Facing financial strain one Christmas, Dam improvised a gift by fashioning a unique, shock-haired, bug-eyed troll doll from his imagination. The doll quickly garnered attention, with his daughter's friends clamouring for their own. This sparked widespread demand, leading to the mass production of the dolls using plastic, marketed as Good Luck Trolls. By the 1960s, they had evolved into a multi-million dollar industry (equivalent to billions today). Unfortunately, due to an oversight in copyright trademarking, Dam missed out on his rightful share of the fortune. THE FIRST Troll doll

“They'll make a movie about anything these days,” was the sentiment back when the first Trolls movie was released in 2016. Kids will watch anything, right? Words Glenn Cochrane

H ollywood had already made a big-screen LEGO movie, and the Bratz movie was also a thing, so the next logical, inanimate object to shoehorn into a story was the classic Troll doll. The beloved toyline, which was created in 1959, is recognised throughout the world for its characters' pint-sized bodies and iconic Don King hair styles (a reference for our older readers). Somewhere along the line, Dreamworks Animation decided to turn the first Trolls movie into a musical, with Justin Timberlake brought on board to executive produce the soundtrack. The rest is history: Trolls became a runaway success. Timberlake's original song Can't Stop the Feeling earned a Grammy, and was also nominated for an Academy Award. These triumphs led to a franchise, with the second movie, Trolls World Tour , released in 2020, alongside two holiday specials and two television series. This leads us to Trolls Band Together , the spectacular third

well as NSYNC's first release since their album Celebrity in 2001. It became the group's highest charting single since their debut song I Want You Back , and was well received by critics. Adding to the excitement for loyal NSYNC fans is the fact that all five members played troll

versions of themselves in the movie, starring as a reunited boy band. Adding backstory to Timberlake's Branch character, whom we know from the troll band BroZone, we learn that he used to be in another boy band called Kismet. The in-joke for fans is that Branch previously left Kismet to pursue a solo career (a cheeky nod to

Thomas Dam

Timberlake's own departure), and that Kismet was actually the original name of NSYNC. Of course, music is integral to the Trolls series, which are described as jukebox parties for all ages, so having NSYNC on board was a massive coup. “Justin was essential in the last movie, working with all the different collaborators like George Clinton and Ludwig Göransson,” says director Walt Dohrn. “For Trolls Band Together , Justin had ideas with classic, familiar songs. We had even more collaboration with him on this film, and I’m excited to put the songs out into the world.” Anna Kendrick reprises her role as Princess Poppy alongside Timberlake, with a stellar lineup of Hollywood's finest joining the fun; Kenan Thompson, Kid Cudi, Troye Sivan, Amy Schumer, Zooey Deschanel, RuPaul, and Anderson .Paak are among the talented voices bringing the high energy pop music to life.

• Trolls Band Together is out on Mar 20

movie featuring one of the biggest pop groups of the ‘90s reuniting for the first time in 20 years. NSYNC’s unofficial frontman Timberlake has dubbed Trolls "the gift that keeps on giving," and to amplify the new movie's impact, he arranged a surprise reunion with his old bandmates. Timberlake co-wrote a new song called Better Place with renowned music producer Shellback and singer songwriter Amy Allen, and it would become the movie's lead single as

NSYNC (L to R): Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Justin Timberlake, and Joey Fatone.

14 MARCH 2024



”Cailee is so expressive with her face, and she has an incredible ability to move between different stages of life. We shot the film out of order, but somehow she could be a 15-year-old in Germany in the morning, and in the afternoon be pregnant in her 20s at Graceland. And both felt equally true,” says the director. Based on Presley’s 1985 best-selling memoir, Elvis and Me , the film sees Spaeny deftly take Priscilla from wide-eyed schoolgirl crush through to numbing disappointment,

motherhood, and divorce. ”The first step was reading Priscilla’s book, and then reading the script, and writing out the biggest questions that I had,” Spaeny, 25, tells STACK . ”Then [it was] meeting with Priscilla and trying to go through that chapter of her life. ”I always wanted her to feel comfortable,” she continues. ”I never wanted to feel like I was interviewing her. I wanted it to come up naturally, but she would go into these sort of specific memories that she had with him. It was really special, the detail that she would talk about, but also just taking in the presence of this woman who’s lived this life. ”It was like her eyes would sparkle again talking about certain moments, or she’d laugh at an inside joke. It was these nuggets of gold that helped me put this massive puzzle together, especially in the way that Sofia tells it - in this sort of impressionistic, memory type way. ”[Presley is] such a fascinating woman, and very graceful in the way that she holds herself, and very soft spoken. But she also has this fierceness about her, and she’s very protective.” Spaeny attests she was thrilled when she learned that Elordi had been cast as Elvis. ”I was a fan of his work,” the actress explains, ”so I was interested in what he was going to bring to the table. I messaged him right away when I found out he had the role.” Spaeny and Elordi met several times before they began shooting. ”I just wanted to get a sense of who he was and for us to feel comfortable around each other,” Spaeny says of the meetings. ”I knew once we started filming it would be crazy, shooting this in 30 days. But he had my back throughout the whole process, and he’s so naturally charismatic and wears his heart on his sleeve, so it was nice for those parts of him to come through.”

Baz Luhrmann gave us the pulsating and sexy Elvis last year, and now Sofia Coppola uses a more muted lens to tell the story through the eyes of Elvis’s teenage bride, Priscilla. Words Gill Pringle

S tarring Australia’s Jacob Elordi as The King, he delivers a dazzling performance - though this film isn’t all about him.

this vision, Coppola looked for an actress able to embody both Priscilla’s youthful naivete, and her inner growth in the hothouse of Graceland - which she found in rising star Cailee Spaeny. ”Talking to Priscilla, I always found something very sweet and soft and open about her,” recalls Coppola, whose selection of Spaeny met with approval from the film’s co-producer, Priscilla Presley herself, now 78 years old. ”And when I saw Cailee, I saw those same qualities.

With our 14-year-old ’heroine’ having a girlhood crush on Elvis (who is ten years her senior), it’s hard not to immediately feel uncomfortable watching the genesis of this relationship. If Priscilla’s own parents only briefly raise an eyebrow, then it’s the audience who, in a sense, become surrogate parents, helplessly watching Priscilla’s romantic fantasy unfold with a moody and controlling Elvis. While Priscilla was ill-equipped to handle her lover’s volatility, Coppola reminds us that Priscilla

Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny

• Priscilla is out on Mar 27

was attending a Catholic girl’s school by day, while sharing Graceland with her king by night. And even after they marry, Priscilla is little more than a lonely bedroom fixture while Elvis enjoys flings with his Hollywood co-stars. The entire movie is channelled through Priscilla’s point of view, and to accomplish

The Beekeeper is available on Blu-ray and DVD on March 27. Look out for our interview with the director and cast online.

16 MARCH 2024



the first ceremony, prior to which this information was released in advance). There are several contradictory claims made as to how and when the gold-plated, Academy Award of Merit statuette was given the nom de plume "Oscar". There are two oft-repeated versions. The first says that Academy librarian Margaret Herrick, when shown the award for the first time in 1931, remarked: "It's the spitting image of my Uncle Oscar." The second version goes that the back of the statuette reminded two-time Academy Award winner and actress Bette

This month marks the 96th anniversary of the Academy Awards ceremony, which is now almost a sacred ritual in American culture. Words Bob J

Davis of the rear end of her then-husband Harmon Oscar Nelson. In 1934, Walt Disney used the

term "Oscar" in public for the first time during his acceptance speech for an award for his cartoon Three Little Pigs ('Best Short Subject'), and by the end of the 1930s the Academy itself was using the name officially, which gave the

Oscars 1929: Douglas Fairbanks and Janet Gaynor

statuette its unique identity. Each year the Oscars ceremony is televised across the world, and huge audiences watch in fascination: the posturing movie celebrities, the false tears, the upsets, the snubs, and the endless ‘thank you’ speeches. Then, of course, there are the actors who use their acceptance speech to promote their own political causes - hoping it lends a more serious legitimacy to someone who ‘just makes movies’. One film executive famously described the Awards ceremony incessant attention to the Awards appears to validate their gongs as a mark of true quality - but are they really important, or is it all just movie marketing hype? A number of 'Best Film' award winners have certainly not aged well (some now being totally forgotten), while a portion of the memorable losers remain popular for decades after. Nevertheless, when the Academy does get it right and awards an Oscar for a worthy movie or an actor who has delivered a stunning performance, all the accompanying hype is swiftly excused - for there is still no better art form for engaging all of our senses than a great movie. as "Hollywood's orgy of self congratulation.” The media's

Oscars 1929: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

I t was in fact the original idea of MGM boss Louis B. Mayer to form, with other movie moguls, an organisation that represented the five main areas of movie production: directors, producers, actors, writers, and technicians. Named the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, the body would promote technological advances in all aspects of filmmaking and would also mediate any employee disputes internally, negating the need for trade unions. In fact, the crafty Mayer's original concept had far less to do with actors and movies receiving awards of merit, and everything to do with maintaining a stranglehold on his employees by combating legitimate unionisation of the film studios. As a result,for close to a decade the Academy would delay any serious labour negotiations within the whole US movie industry. The first Academy ceremony, held on May 16th 1929, was an intimate, black tie Hollywood

gathering hosted by Douglas Fairbanks

ceremony, to take place on April 3, 1930, in the Ambassador Hotel of Los Angeles. Fed by intense media coverage, public curiosity began to grow to such an extent that the Academy were practically forced to allow one LA radio station to produce a live, one-hour

Sr and paid for by Mayer. The

presentation of the merit awards, which had been merely an afterthought of the Academy, took no longer than 15 minutes to conduct and conclude. Consequently, the

Oscars 1929: Wings - First 'Best Picture'

broadcast during the award presentations. To enhance the public's excitement, a decision was made to hold the winner’s names in secret until announced on the night (unlike

event received very little media

attention. But that was about to change dramatically with the announcement of the second

Sir Anthony Hopkins and Tatum O’Neal are the oldest and youngest winners of acting Oscars, winning at the ages of 83 and 10 respectively. James Ivory is currently the oldest ever Oscar winner, having been awarded 'Best Adapted Screenplay' for Call Me By Your Name at the age of 89. Composer John Williams is the oldest to ever be nominated, at the age of 91.

18 MARCH 2024


Words Amy Flower


CONTAGION Steven Soderbergh’s scarily prescient 2011 movie, which tells of a global pandemic and the fight by the CDC to arrive at a cure, hits 4K Ultra HD this month. While some may find the thought of watching a movie

SAW Go back to the very beginning, where two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, and soon discover that they’re pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer. Now releasing as a standalone package, this is the best that you’ll ever see Saw , with a native 4K transfer of the unrated cut, complete with both Dolby Vision and standard HDR, with a truly immersive Dolby

DEAD END DRIVE-IN Hats off to Umbrella for bringing a legendary slice of Ozploitation movie magic to us in glorious 4K Ultra HD – and native with HDR, no less! Here in its completely uncut glory, this favourite of Quentin Tarantino from Aussie auteur Brian Trenchard-Smith is set in the not-too-distant future, where a drive-in becomes a maximum-security prison camp. The release is packed with extras, including the international cut, commentary tracks, featurettes

Atmos audio track. Two commentaries, a featurette, and bonus goodies seal the deal. Out March 13

about a worldwide outbreak a little close to home, those who are up for it will get to witness a brand new, native 4K transfer struck form the original camera negative, and overseen by Soderbergh himself. Plus, there’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, as well as a trio of featurettes. Out March 13

galore, deleted scenes, trailers, and more! Out March 20


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