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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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Gravity poster

Review: Gravity, Mr. Pip, Grown Ups 2, Battle of the Year 3D and 2 Guns

By Cinema and Reviews

Gravity movie still

Gravity posterIs Gravity the first really new film of the 21st Century? I haz­ard it may be. It is cer­tainly the first to har­ness the bleed­ing edge of the cur­rent tech­no­lo­gies (per­form­ance cap­ture, 3D, soph­ist­ic­ated robot­ic cam­era rigs) to serve a story that could only really exist in this form. Sure, once his ears had stopped bleed­ing Georges Meliés would totally recog­nise what dir­ect­or Alfonso Cuarón and his screen­writer part­ner (and son) Jonás are doing here, but he would be the first to put his hand up to say that he would­n’t have been able to do it. Same for Kubrick, I suspect.

During a routine shuttle mis­sion high above the Earth, astro­nauts Sandy Bullock and George Clooney are strug­gling to make some adjust­ments to the Hubble tele­scope when Houston (a nicely cast Ed Harris) warns them of some incom­ing debris. A Russian spy satel­lite has been des­troyed by its own­ers caus­ing a chain reac­tion as the little bug­gers kick-off all over the place. Tiny frag­ments of satel­lite travel at leth­al speeds on roughly the same orbit and our her­oes have to get to safety before they risk being vaporised.

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Review: Mt. Zion, Hitchcock, Movie 43, Step Up to the Plate, You Will Be My Son, On Air and Flight

By Cinema and Reviews

Kiwi crowd-pleasers don’t come much more crowd-pleasing than Tearepa Kahi’s Mt. Zion, fea­tur­ing TV tal­ent quester Stan Walker in a star-making per­form­ance as a work­ing class kid with a dream. Slogging his unwill­ing guts out pick­ing pota­toes in the mar­ket gar­dens of 1979 Pukekohe, nervously mak­ing the first steps in a music career that seems impossible and fan­tas­ising about meet­ing the great Bob Marley, Walker’s Turei is out of step with his hard work­ing fath­er (Temuera Morrison) and the back-breaking work.

When a loc­al pro­moter announces a com­pet­i­tion to be the sup­port act for the reg­gae legend’s forth­com­ing con­cert at Western Springs, Turei tests the bound­ar­ies of fam­ily and friend­ship to get a shot at the big time. The bones of the story are famil­i­ar, of course, but there’s meat on the bones too – a slice of New Zealand social his­tory with eco­nom­ic changes mak­ing life harder for a people who don’t own the land that they work. Production design (by Savage) and authentic-looking 16mm pho­to­graphy all help give Mt. Zion a look of its own and the music – though not nor­mally to my taste – is agree­able enough.

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Review: The Artist, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress; The Vow; Safe House; Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D and Killer Elite

By Cinema and Reviews

Two of the big three Academy Award con­tenders this year are about look­ing back on the early days of cinema itself. While Scorsese’s Hugo uses the latest tech­nic­al whizz­bangs to bring to life the idea of early cinema and its nov­elty and excite­ment in The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius recre­ates the tech­niques of old Hollywood in search of pure nostalgia.

A painstak­ingly cre­ated silent movie with sev­er­al moments of love­li­ness, The Artist fol­lows the riches to rags story of screen hero George Valentin and the con­cur­rent rags to riches story of star­let Peppy Miller – who tries to catch him as he falls. The per­form­ances of Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo as the two leads are both splen­did, Dujardin in par­tic­u­lar dis­plays a tech­nic­al pre­ci­sion that most act­ors can only dream of.

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