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ben affleck

RN 1/15: Don’t go to bed angry

By Audio, Cinema, Rancho Notorious and Reviews

Guest host Liam Maguren sits in for Kailey and tells us about the goings on at flicks.co.nz and fliks.com.au plus he and Dan review David Fincher’s Gone Girl, which opens this week­end all over the world, and The Equalizer star­ring Denzel Washington as a gen­i­al old dude who you really don’t want to mess with.

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Review: Argo, The Intouchables, Fresh Meat, It’s a Girl, Shadow Dancer and Mental

By Cinema and Reviews

Argo poster Near the end of 1979, the new hard­line rulers of Iran – incensed by the US government’s sup­port for the pre­vi­ous des­pot – stormed the embassy in Teheran and held the occu­pants host­age for over a year, long enough to wreck President Jimmy Carter’s attempt at re-election and to define American rela­tions with the Persian Gulf for anoth­er thirty years. That side of the story is rel­at­ively well-known. The secret story of the six embassy staff who escaped, hid in the Canadian ambassador’s house, and were then spir­ited out of the coun­try dis­guised as a Hollywood film crew? Not so much.

Thanks to the recent declas­si­fic­a­tion of the CIA and State Department files, the weird and won­der­ful story of Argo can be told, and – this being a Hollywood story about a Hollywood story – it gets a bit of a punch-up to make sure none of the enter­tain­ment poten­tial is wasted. So now, Argo is “inspired by a true story” rather than “based on a true story” and it is also the smartest and most enter­tain­ing Hollywood pic­ture for grown-ups this year.

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Review: Savages, Where Do We Go Now? and Kiwi Flyer

By Cinema and Reviews

Savages posterOliver Stone dir­ec­ted his first fea­ture film in 1974 (Seizure) so I’m going to be char­it­able and assume that the clunky con­struc­tion of the scenes in his new film, Savages, is delib­er­ate. I ima­gine that with all his exper­i­ence, it would be easi­er to make shots match than to be as sloppy as they appear here. Perhaps it’s a heavy-handed ref­er­ence to being stoned, see­ing as the film is about big time California can­nabis grow­ers being tar­geted for takeover by a Mexican car­tel. Or per­haps not.

Bright young things Aaron Johnson (John Lennon in Nowhere Boy) and Taylor Kitsch play the part­ners in a med­ic­al marijuana busi­ness that makes its real money by illeg­ally export­ing the high grade product across state lines. Johnson is the brains and Kitsch is Iraq and Afghanistan vet­er­an muscle. As an aside, Kitsch must be won­der­ing what he has to do to get a hit. Three big films this year and they have all been duds – John Carter, Battleship and this. It’s not his fault – he’s been decent in all of them, par­tic­u­larly so in this – but I’m sure he’s run­ning out of Friday Night Lights cred­it with the stu­di­os. Johnson, on the oth­er hand, once again fails to mine much depth from his character.

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Telluride Diary part four: The show (part one)

By Cinema and Travel

After two days of “phony war” with even­ing teas­er screen­ings in the Ralph Lauren-funded Elks Park Abel Gance Cinema, Telluride got under way form­ally yes­ter­day with a full slate of screen­ings at all nine venues.

The “unof­fi­cial” pro­gramme – a 90 page news­print guide fea­tur­ing a mostly-there draft of the sched­ule – was made avail­able on Thursday and a press release had announced the names of the three hon­our­ees and the main fea­tures, but there were still a large num­ber of slots marked “TBA” includ­ing almost all of Monday. Even then, we were told not to put too much faith in the unof­fi­cial guide and to wait for the glossy DLE pro­gramme which would be avail­able at Noon on Friday – the first day of the festival!

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