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Review: No, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Host and Hyde Park on Hudson

By Cinema and Reviews

Gael García Bernal in No by Pablo Larraín
No posterNo sounds like the kind of thing a tod­dler in the middle of a tan­trum might say, while stomp­ing around your lounge room at bed­time. At the cinema, though, the tan­trum belongs to the cor­rupt dic­tat­or­ship of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, forced through inter­na­tion­al pres­sure to let oth­ers play in his sand­pit. In 1988 he announced a ref­er­en­dum that would demon­strate – by fair means or foul – that the people loved him, weren’t inter­ested in demo­cracy and that those who thought dif­fer­ent were noth­ing but com­mun­ists and terrorists.

15 years after he and his mil­it­ary junta over­threw the legit­im­ate left-leaning gov­ern­ment of Salvador Allende, the ques­tion in the ref­er­en­dum would be a simple one: “Yes” to keep the dic­tat­or­ship and “No” for a return to free elec­tions. No, Pablo Larraín’s bril­liant movie, looks at the cam­paign from the per­spect­ive of an ad guy – a Mad Man – played by Gael García Bernal, who har­nessed the latest cor­por­ate sales tech­niques and the power of tele­vi­sion to change the dir­ec­tion of a nation.

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Review: Arrietty, Taken 2, On the Road, Life in Movement, Searching for Sugar Man, The Last Dogs of Winter and The Words

By Cinema and Reviews

After an intense week­end run­ning from pic­ture theatre to pic­ture theatre between – and some­times dur­ing – rain showers, I have now caught up on everything in cur­rent loc­al release. Except Tinker Bell and the Secret of the Wings but a Twitter cor­res­pond­ent assures me: “Just FYI my 5 year old great niece loved it so much she stood up at the end clap­ping & dancing…you should go you’ll love it ;)” and that review might just have to do for now.

Arrietty posterA little harder to track down than Tinker Bell, Madagascar 3 or Hotel Transylvania – but well worth the effort – is Arrietty, a Studio Ghibli anim­ated adapt­a­tion of The Borrowers, Mary Norton’s fam­ous children’s book about tiny people liv­ing under a house who are dis­covered by a frail young boy who needs a friend. Beautifully anim­ated – as always – and told with emo­tion and sim­pli­city, Arrietty is a fine altern­at­ive to those over-hyped Hollywood con­fec­tions. The ver­sion play­ing in Wellington is the English voiced one fea­tur­ing Saoirse Ronan, Olivia Colman and Mark Strong – much easi­er on the ears than the American voices and much easi­er to fol­low for the lit­tlies than the ori­gin­al Japanese.

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