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bill murray Archives - Funerals & Snakes

Review: St. Vincent, Deepsea Challenge 3D, Interstellar, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Nightcrawler

By | Cinema and Reviews

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In the last (non-Rancho) post I made a commitment to get back in to regular reviewing and to end my year-long sabbatical. (For the reasons behind the hiatus, it is recommended that you have a quick read. Go on, I’ll wait here.) It has come as a bit of a surprise to me that I’ve actually seen as much as I have over the last few months. It didn’t feel like it but — thanks to Radio New Zealand, FishHead and Rancho Notorious — fully 18 of the films currently screening around Wellington are films I can actually have an opinion on.

Anyway, here goes, and I might as well start with the oldest first. Which, as it turns out, is also a contender for the worst film in this post.

St. Vincent movie posterI’ve never managed to hide my disdain for Little Miss Sunshine, a film which is beloved by many and held up as an example of quality screenwriting to which we all should aspire. It is, in fact, garbage. A collection of tics masquerading as characters stuck in a contrived-cute situation in which life lessons will be learned too easily and happy endings will be unearned. Theodore Melfi’s debut feature St. Vincent also falls into all these traps only deeper. It also relies so heavily on the great Bill Murray that it manages to even bring him into disrepute.

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RN 2/2: The All-Star Salute to Studio Ghibli

By | Audio, Cinema, Rancho Notorious and Reviews | 2 Comments

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Dan and Kailey are joined by Sarah Watt, Liam Maguren, Tim Wong, David Larsen and Dominic Corry to celebrate the works of Ghibli, the famous Japanese animation studio, and talk about their favourite productions. They also review the Bill Murray vehicle St. Vincent and introduce the word “educashaming” to the world.

 

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Review: No, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Host and Hyde Park on Hudson

By | Cinema and Reviews | No Comments

Gael García Bernal in No by Pablo Larraín
No posterNo sounds like the kind of thing a toddler in the middle of a tantrum might say, while stomping around your lounge room at bedtime. At the cinema, though, the tantrum belongs to the corrupt dictatorship of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, forced through international pressure to let others play in his sandpit. In 1988 he announced a referendum that would demonstrate – by fair means or foul – that the people loved him, weren’t interested in democracy and that those who thought different were nothing but communists and terrorists.

15 years after he and his military junta overthrew the legitimate left-leaning government of Salvador Allende, the question in the referendum would be a simple one: “Yes” to keep the dictatorship and “No” for a return to free elections. No, Pablo Larraín’s brilliant movie, looks at the campaign from the perspective of an ad guy – a Mad Man – played by Gael García Bernal, who harnessed the latest corporate sales techniques and the power of television to change the direction of a nation.

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Telluride Diary part seven: The show (part four)

By | Cinema and Travel | 2 Comments

It’s now Saturday morning in NYC and Telluride already seems like old news. Venice has just announced its prizewinners (The Master obv. – or not so obv.) and Toronto is in full flow. Still, I have one more day of my Telluride Film Festival experience to record and I’d better get it down before I forget.

The Monday of Telluride is a catch-up day. Most of the celebrities and honourees have departed and a lot of the programme is announced the night before, extra screenings of popular titles (or at least the films that most people were turned away from. This is an excellent plan and I was able to fill in quite a few of my gaps (though not all).

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Telluride Volunteer Fire Station.

The first screening was the Q&A session for Sarah Polley’s new documentary Stories We Tell, a film that had generated quite a bit of buzz over the weekend. Polley – with gorgeous six-month-old daughter in harness – briefly introduced a film that at first intrigues, then surprises and finally delights. She has done a marvellous job of making what might have been an indulgent piece about her own personal dramas into something universal. I sincerely hope this gets a decent New Zealand release so I can review it at more length but I’m also going to hold back the details of the story so readers without access to Google might come to it as unsullied by spoilers as possible.

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Telluride Diary part six: The show (part three)

By | Cinema and Travel | 2 Comments

Firstly, I should add a vital – totally Telluride – detail to yesterday’s post. By choosing to watch Rust & Bone and the Marion Cotillard Tribute I missed the first indoor screening of Hyde Park on Hudson and therefore a rare live appearance by Bill Murray at the Q&A. Regret is an emotion reserved for those who only look backwards but – damn!

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Legend Leonard Maltin waiting to gain entry to At Any Cost.

Back to the show. Sunday was always likely to be a very full day and – with my new found confidence in the “system” I was determined to take full advantage. I once begged the New Zealand Film Festival to let me watch a screener of Ramin Bahrani’s Man Push Cart, even though they had chosen not to programme it because I loved the idea so much and because Roger Ebert has been championing the talented young director for years. In fact, they have only screened one of his three films to date: Goodbye Solo in 2009.

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