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marton csokas Archives - Funerals & Snakes

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: Anonymous, The Debt, Beautiful Lies, The Thing, Conan the Barbarian and I Don’t Know How She Does It

By Cinema and Reviews

Economically speaking, theatres are a complete waste of space. I mean, take a look at the St James or the Embassy and try and imagine how many cubicles and desks you could fit in to those huge pieces of prime real estate. Or even better, how many cars could you park inside them? (Car parks require lower ceilings therefore more floors for the same building height) What kind of fool thinks of constructing a big empty building simply to shine a light through the middle of it?

Anonymous posterThis kind of nonsense has been going on for centuries though as Anonymous, Roland Emmerich’s new piece of speculative fiction, demonstrates. Stretching credulity almost as far as Star Trek requiring us to believe in faster-than-light speed, Anonymous asks its audience to assume that barely-literate actor Will Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) was not the author of all those plays and sonnets but instead they were penned by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans) and used as a tool to rile the populace and provoke political unrest.

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Review: Water Whisperers/Tangaroa, Vampires Suck, The Other Guys and three more ...

By Cinema and Reviews

Water Whisperers posterMy big beef with most eco-documentaries is the lack of hope. Whether it’s Rob Stewart (Sharkwater), Franny Armstrong (The Age of Stupid) or even Leonardo DiCaprio (The 11th Hour) most of these films go to a lot of trouble to tell you what’s wrong with the planet but leave us feeling helpless and depressed.

That’s why I like Kathleen Gallagher’s work so much. Her film last year, Earth Whisperers/Papatunauku told ten stories of people who were making a difference, inspiring change and showing us that there are solutions as well as problems. This year she has repeated the tonic, focusing on our waterways and our relationship with the sea: Water Whisperers/Tangaroa.

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