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This week Philip Seymour Hoffman features in two new American sports movies, one about their most venerable - if not impenetrable - pastime of baseball and the other on the modern-day equivalent of bear-baiting, the presidential primaries. In Moneyball, Hoffman plays Art, team manager of the Oakland Athletics, left behind when his boss - Brad [...]

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2010 Wellington Cinema Year in Review

So, after trawling through the many thousands of words written about cinema in these pages this year, I suppose you want me to come to some conclusions? Do some “summing up”? Help guide you through the great video store of life? Well, alright then. Here goes. We don’t do Top Ten lists here at the [...]

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From the tour de force of A Few Good Men in 1992 (“You can’t handle the truth!”) to the winning Charlie Wilson’s War in 2007, Aaron Sorkin’s sparkling dialogue and intelligent characters provide (all too rare) beacons of brilliance among the parade of dross that is most commercial cinema. And that doesn’t count his contribution [...]

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I miss Jed Bartlet

Aaron Sorkin imagines former President Jed Bartlet giving Candidate Obama a pep talk: BARTLET That was a hell of a convention. OBAMA Thank you, I was proud of it. BARTLET I meant the Republicans. The Us versus Them-a-thon. As a Democrat I was surprised to learn that I don’t like small towns, God, people with [...]

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The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on Christmas Day in 1979. They remained in the country, brutally suppressing the local resistance, until they were forced to leave in 1989: almost ten years of occupation that destroyed one country and ruined another. One side of the story was told in the recent film The Kite Runner: in [...]

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