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The World's End poster

Review: The World’s End, Pacific Rim, The Look of Love + School Holiday Roundup

By Cinema and Reviews

Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Simon Pegg, Paddie Considine and Martn Freeman in The world's End

I can ima­gine some people not enjoy­ing The World’s End. People who don’t care about – or even notice – cine­mat­ic crafts­man­ship, people who think that being self-referential means being self-indulgent, audi­ences who prefer their action sequences to be cos­mic in scale and meas­ured in mega­bytes per second rather than laughs per minute – I expect those people might feel that the latest mas­ter­piece by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost goes sail­ing over their heads. After all, a film like The World’s End rewards con­cen­tra­tion (and second and third view­ings) where­as most block­busters rely on increas­ingly destruct­ive spec­tacle for audi­ences to get their kicks.

The World's End posterThat’s not to say that this film is light on apo­ca­lypse – it prom­ises the end of the world after all – but its core remains the deep friend­ships between men of a cer­tain age and how those friend­ships grow when tested – the same theme that infused their pre­vi­ous two films togeth­er, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

[pullquote]Pacific Rim shows how lov­ing bad films some­times means you make bad films.[/pullquote]Pegg plays Gary King, middle-aged lost soul, pin­ing for the glory days of High School and des­per­ate to com­plete his mas­ter­piece – the 12 pub crawl through Newton Haven known as “The Golden Mile”. He and his mates failed back in 1993 and he’s round­ing them up for one last crack at it. His four old mates (played by Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and the won­der­ful Eddie Marsan) are reluct­ant to leave their tidy grown-up lives behind but, per­suaded, they get to their old stomp­ing grounds only to find they are human­ity’s only hope to avoid inter-galactic colonisation.

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Review: Attack the Block, The Women on the 6th Floor, The Lorax, Mirror Mirror and Wrath of the Titans

By Cinema and Reviews

Attack the Block posterIt has taken ten months for Joe Cornish’s bril­liant Attack the Block to make its way to New Zealand and one of the first ques­tions will be, is there still an audi­ence left for it con­sid­er­ing the most rabid fans will have found – licit and illi­cit – ways to watch it months ago. I cer­tainly hope there is because Cornish has pro­duced a highly ori­gin­al take on a clas­sic genre – a low-budget ali­en inva­sion movie that is thrill­ing, funny and socially aware.

It’s Guy Fawke’s Night and the attemp­ted mug­ging of off-duty nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is inter­rup­ted by a the explos­ive arrival of a strange creature. The lead­er of the young hood­lums, Moses (a star-making per­form­ance by John Boyega), man­ages to kill the beast and they take the car­cass as a trophy, not real­ising that there are oth­ers fol­low­ing – and that they will want revenge.

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Review: Animal Kingdom, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Despicable Me, Grown Ups, Mother and Child and Gordonia

By Cinema and Reviews

Animal Kingdom posterWhen the Film Festival screen­ing of Animal Kingdom fin­ished, my com­pan­ion and I turned to each oth­er and real­ised that neither of us had breathed for the last five minutes. The ten­sion that had been slowly build­ing through­out the film had become almost unbear­able and dir­ect­or David Michôd’s Shakespearean cli­max was no less than the rest of the film deserved.

Seventeen-year-old “J” (extraordin­ary new­comer James Frecheville) goes to live with his Gran and his Uncles when his Mum over­doses. The fam­ily are more than petty crim­in­als but less than gang­land roy­alty – bank rob­bers and thugs rather than black eco­nomy busi­ness­men. Gran (Jacki Weaver) seems like a nice enough sort, though, and the fam­ily pulls togeth­er des­pite the con­stant pres­sure from the loc­al fuzz.

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More wireless

By Audio, Cinema and Radio

I’m filling for Graeme Tuckett on Nine to Noon for the next few weeks. This morn­ing Lynn Freeman and I dis­cussed Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Despicable Me (and 3D gen­er­ally) plus Tom Reilly’s Gordonia. That was a lot to squeeze in to just over 10 minutes so it got a little breathless.

Listen here or down­load from the link below:

[audio:http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20100923–1149-Film_Review-048.mp3]

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As an added bonus, here’s my review of the nov­el Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett from last Thursday’s show:

[audio:http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20100923–1149-Film_Review-048.mp3]

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