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Beyond the Edge poster

Review: Beyond the Edge, Thor- The Dark World, Inch’Allah, Valley of Saints, Thanks for Sharing and The Counselor

By Cinema and Reviews

Tim Robbins and Mark Ruffalo in Thanks for Sharing (2013)

It’s one of those rare sunny Saturday after­noons in Wellington and I have work to do. But I’m not going to do that work because it does­n’t look like much fun and – for once – writ­ing tiny film reviews seems like the bet­ter option.

Beyond the Edge posterLeanne Pooley made New Zealand’s most suc­cess­ful doc­u­ment­ary ever in 2009 – The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls – and now turns her eye towards a mountain-sized Kiwi icon, Sir Ed Hillary and his ascent of Everest in 1953. Beyond the Edge is a limp title for the greatest adven­ture ever under­taken by a New Zealander and the film some­times seems a bit blood­less too. The 3D recre­ations of Himalayan scenes – filling in the gaps in the archive of avail­able still and mov­ing pic­ture ele­ments – are thrill­ing though, espe­cially if heights get your heart racing faster as they do I.

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The Weight of Elephants poster

Review: Jobs, The Weight of Elephants, Red 2, White House Down, Salinger & In the House

By Cinema and Reviews

Demos Murphy in Daniel Borgman's The Weight of Elephants (2013)

Jobs posterThe best way I can think of to sum up Jobs, the hastily-prepared not-quite adapt­a­tion of Walter Isaacson’s hastily-published bio­graphy of the Apple co-founder, is that its sub­ject would have hated it. After all, Steve had taste and – fam­ously – exer­cised it. He also did­n’t release products until they were ready where­as Joshua Michael Stern’s film feels like the win­ner of a race to be first rather than best.

Ashton Kutcher imper­son­ates Mr. Jobs effect­ively enough, to the extent of mim­ick­ing the man’s strange lope, but nev­er gets fur­ther under his skin than a blog post or tabloid head­line might. I sus­pect that is not a com­ment on Mr. Kutcher’s tal­ent but on the epis­od­ic script by first-timer Matt Whiteley. Josh Gad’s Woz provides com­ic relief only and the amount of fake facial hair on offer sug­gests the film might bet­ter have been titled iBeard.

The Weight of Elephants posterOperating on a much deep­er level is Daniel Borgman’s The Weight of Elephants, a film that pri­or­it­ises what goes on under the sur­face almost to the com­plete exclu­sion of plot. Gorgeous Demos Murphy plays 10-year-old Adrian, liv­ing with his depressed Uncle Rory (great Matthew Sunderland) and Gran (Catherine Wilkin) in sub­urb­an Invercargill. The strange dis­ap­pear­ance of three loc­al chil­dren has an upset­ting effect on a boy who is strug­gling to fit in to the world around him anyway.

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