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RN 2/12: Cinquante nuances de Grey

By Audio, Cinema, Rancho Notorious and Reviews

Dan and Kailey are joined by Sarah Reese, dir­ect­or of the Alliance Française French Film Festival, to talk about this year’s event which opened in Auckland on 19 February, and RNZ Afternoons review­er Sarah McMullan and Kaarin Macaulay step up to dis­cuss the hot­test tick­et in town, Fifty Shades of Grey.

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RN 2/11: Wild in the country

By Audio, Cinema, Rancho Notorious and Reviews

Online com­ment­at­or, review­er and racon­teur Steve Gray joins Kailey and Dan on the line from Hamilton, New Zealand, to help review Reese Witherspoon in Wild, Julianne Moore in Still Alice and Johnny Depp in Mortdecai. Steve also has top TV watch­ing tips for 2015 includ­ing Adam Curtis’ Bitter Lake.

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First Nine to Noon appearance of the year

By Audio, Cinema and Reviews

Nine to Noon podcast iconAfter what seems like weeks of hol­i­days, Summer Noelles and Matinée Idles, Radio New Zealand National is pretty much back to nor­mal which means the return of my fort­nightly movie reviews. Let this be a little place­hold­er now that Rancho Notorious has become a fort­nightly release.

This week: Still Alice, Force Majeure, American Sniper, Unbroken and a little snipe at Birdman.

As an added bonus, here’s Rancho Notorious co-host Kailey Carruthers talk­ing to Lynn Freeman on Sunday’s Standing Room Only arts show.

Plus, New Zealand International Film Festival dir­ect­or Bill Gosden and I talk­ing to Lynn earli­er this sum­mer about the future of New Zealand film under the new film com­mis­sion régime of David Gibson.

RN 2/10: Straight to video

By Audio, Cinema, Rancho Notorious and Reviews

Dan and Kailey are joined by Steve Austin on the line from Auckland to talk about “Straight to Video”, his blog review­ing the increas­ing num­ber of films that don’t get a the­at­ric­al release in New Zealand (includ­ing James Gray’s The Immigrant). He sticks around to help the team review Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper which stars Bradley Cooper as an all-American hero trau­mat­ised by the Iraq war.

Plus, Kailey inter­views Tess and Jamie from the Circa Theatre pro­duc­tion of Seed.

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

By Cinema and Reviews

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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