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Review: The Chef, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Step Up 4: Miami Heat

By Cinema and Reviews

The Chef posterCinema and fine food have been getting along rather well in recent times. This year El Bulli showcased the amazing molecular creations of Spanish genius Ferran Adrià and the painstaking seafood creations in Jiro Dreams of Sushi are still on select screens here in Wellington. Films like those honour the creativity, training, hard work and experience of some remarkable people. Meanwhile, Daniel Cohen’s The Chef takes a different path and mercilessly — and humourlessly — satirises their pretensions.

The great Jean Reno (The Big Blue, The Professional) is Alexandre Lagarde, still head chef and creative force behind the Paris restaurant that bears his name but long since sold out to corporate interests that pimp him out for tv cooking shows and frozen supermarket ready-meals. Jacky Bonnot (Michaël Youn) is Lagarde’s biggest fan — a talented young chef whose talents are unrecognised by the bistros and roadside cafés that regularly fire him.

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Review: Love Birds, Tamara Drewe, Wagner & Me, Conviction, The Last Exorcism and Curry Munchers

By Cinema and Reviews

Love Birds posterFollowing the surprise success of Second Hand Wedding in 2008, screenwriter Nick Ward and director Paul Murphy have been given a vastly improved budget and access to two international stars and told to make lightning strike twice.

The stars of Love Birds just happen to be the two fussiest actors in the world, Sally Hawkins (Golden Globe winner for Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky) and TV comic Rhys Darby, and when the two of them start fidgeting and stammering it feels like you are in for a long night. Luckily, both have their still-er moments and at those times you can see that Darby has real potential as a big screen romantic lead.

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The Devil’s Double [Updated]

By Asides and Cinema

After the abject disaster that was the Nicolas Cage vehicle Next, I am surprised to report that Once Were Warriors director Lee Tamahori has made another film. And even more surprised to report that it looks quite interesting.

The Devil’s Double is based on the autobiographical novel by Latif Yahia who spent a great deal of the 80s and 90s as the official fiday or body double for Saddam Hussein’s psychopathic son Uday.

The film stars Dominic Cooper and Ludovine Sagnier and launches at Sundance shortly.

UPDATE (25 Jan 2011): Filmbrain has seen the film as part of the preperation for the Berlin Film Festival and tweeted his verdict here:

Filmbrain (Andrew G) (@Filmbrain)
25/01/11 5:35 AM
Wait…some people at Sundance actually liked THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE? #awful #worsethanawful