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bill cunningham new york

Review: Sione’s 2: Unfinished Business, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Buck, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and El violin

By Cinema and Reviews

The first Sione’s movie arrived in cinemas in 2006 – before I com­menced this weekly cata­logue of hits and misses – so I have to plead ignor­ance about the Duck Rockers and their earli­er hijinks. I didn’t even try and down­load it. How lame! So, Sione’s 2: Unfinished Business has to stand on its own two feet and I’m pleased to report that it does just that.

It’s five years on from Sione’s wed­ding and the boys have been brought back togeth­er for a dif­fer­ent kind of fam­ily gath­er­ing but one of them has gone miss­ing. The min­is­ter (the great Nat Lees) gives them a mis­sion: find Bolo (the great David Fane) and bring him back before he does some­thing he will regret. So com­mences a mad dash around cent­ral Auckland in a com­mand­eered taxi – from my memory of Ponsonby/Grey Lynn most of those jour­neys would have been faster on foot – try­ing to loc­ate Bolo before all Hell breaks loose.

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Review: Kung Fu Panda 2, The Company Men, Potiche and Bill Cunningham New York

By Cinema and Reviews

Kung Fu Panda 2 posterIt’s nice to be reminded every now and then that going to to the movies is sup­posed to be fun. The first Kung Fu Panda film was a bois­ter­ous and enter­tain­ing treat (“resembles an eight-year-old’s bed­room while they are throw­ing all their toys around” I said in 2008) and the latest ver­sion is an improve­ment on that, adding a lay­er of sen­ti­ment to the amus­ing hijinks. It also trucks along for a nothing-wasted 91 minutes and should keep adults and not-yet-adults well and truly amused.

Panda Po (Jack Black) became the unlikely Dragon Warrior in the first film and now has rock star status among the anthro­po­morph­ic cit­izenry. Along with allies “The Five”, he defends the inno­cent from tyranny in between (and often dur­ing) meals. A new tech­no­logy and a shad­owy fig­ure from Po’s past threaten the peace and force our hero to grapple with the strangely unanswered ques­tions about his child­hood and how a panda came to be adop­ted by a goose in the first place.

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Preview: World Cinema Showcase 2011

By Cinema

For this year’s World Cinema Showcase pre­view I star­ted with a list of all the films I wanted to see and then real­ised that I had used up my entire world lim­it. So, for­give me if these briefs are brief but this year’s Showcase is as heavy­weight as it’s ever been (and runs for three days longer so everything can fit).

I’m not sure why one Festival would need two films about New York street pho­to­graph­ers but if you have to choose between them, skip Smash His Camera – about the paparazzi self-publicist Ron Gallela – and tune in to the delight­ful Bill Cunningham New York instead.

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