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francois cluzet

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: The Devil’s Rock, The Lion King (3D) and Little White Lies

By Cinema and Reviews

The Devil's Rock posterWith The Devil’s Rock, Wellingtonian Paul Campion has cre­ated an effect­ive slice of pulp cinema, per­fectly pitched to fly off video store shelves around the world. A fiendishly simple idea – Nazi Devil-worshippers – is executed with a pan­ache that belies the tiny (vir­tu­ally) self-funded shoot­ing budget. Despite being some dis­tance from everyone’s cup of tea, The Devil’s Rock knows its inten­ded audi­ence and shouldn’t dis­ap­point them.

Just before D‑Day in 1944 a pair of NZ com­mandos (Craig Hall and Karlos Drinkwater) silently beach them­selves on a remote Channel Island. Their mis­sion is to dis­able the German guns, and fool the enemy into think­ing the Allied attack will be more than 150 km fur­ther west than the real plans to land at Normandy. As they make their way inside the spooky for­ti­fic­a­tions an unholy scream from the depths below raises the hair on the back of their necks and intro­duces them to a ter­ror more … ter­ri­fy­ing than any­thing in their ori­gin­al mission.

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