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richard linklater

RN 1/12: Telluride Dreams

By Audio, Cinema, Rancho Notorious and Reviews

We get an update on what Kailey has been up to over­seas – the Telluride Film Festival and arriv­ing in Chicago – and we both get to review Richard Linklater’s Oscar-tipped Boyhood and the author­ised doc­u­ment­ary about Nick Cave, 20,000 Days on Earth.

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Before Midnight poster

Review: Before Midnight, The Lone Ranger, This Is the End, The Internship, Camille Rewinds, The Place Beyond the Pines and Thérèse Desqueyroux

By Cinema and Reviews

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Midnight, 2013.

As is so often the case at this time of year (usu­ally related to 48 Hours com­mit­ments) I am a little behind on my review­ing. This week­end I caught up on a lot the actu­al watch­ing (although apo­lo­gies to John Davies who sent me a screen­er of Remembrance that I haven’t yet sat down and watched) so now I will try and rustle up anoth­er one of my trade­mark col­lec­tions of “Capsule Reviews of Questionable Utility”.

Before Midnight posterOf all the movies I’ve seen so far this year, Linklater, Delpy and Hawke’s Before Midnight (after three movies I think it’s fair to cred­it author­ship sev­er­ally) is the one that has stuck in my brain the longest. In it, we catch up with the lov­ers from Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) as they reach the end of an idyll­ic vaca­tion in Greece. Hawke’s Jesse is won­der­ing wheth­er he should try and spend more time with his teen­age son who lives with his moth­er in the States. Delpy’s Celine is about to start a dream job back in Paris where they cur­rently reside with their two ador­able daughters.

They are at a cross­roads but, as the film makes clear, when are we ever not? Delpy is mag­ni­fi­cent, cre­at­ing a won­drous, beau­ti­ful, insec­ure, infuri­at­ing and right­eous woman who is sim­ul­tan­eously proud and frus­trated at the role she has found her­self play­ing. Watching her I was think­ing about a couple of rela­tion­ships of mine that I ended. Maybe I was a little bit hasty. Maybe I was­n’t really listening.

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Review: The Bourne Legacy, Bernie, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, I Wish and Iron Sky

By Cinema and Reviews

The Bourne Legacy posterIn The Bourne Legacy, Matt Damon’s amne­si­ac super-soldier Jason Bourne is a shad­owy fig­ure, loom­ing invis­ibly over a plot that for con­trac­tu­al reas­ons can’t accom­mod­ate him. It’s as if he’s in the sin bin – after a yel­low card for demand­ing dir­ect­or approv­al – watch­ing the clock tick down until he can take the field again.

The dir­ect­or that Damon objec­ted to is Tony Gilroy – co-writer of all the Bournes and writer-director of Michael Clayton – and next time someone should listen to Damon’s instincts. He said he wouldn’t do anoth­er Bourne without Paul Greengrass (dir­ect­or of the last two, Supremacy and Ultimatum) and the weird com­prom­ise con­cocted by Gilroy to keep the fran­chise alive will prob­ably only sat­is­fy the stu­dio and the Robert Ludlum estate. Bourne is on life sup­port but no more than that.

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Review: Toy Story 3, The Twilight Saga- Eclipse, Marmaduke & Me and Orson Welles

By Cinema and Reviews

For those read­ers tuned into these things, clear evid­ence emerged this week of the ‘end of days’ and our impend­ing anni­hil­a­tion – cul­tur­ally at least.

Simply put, Twilight: Eclipse is play­ing around three times as many ses­sions in Wellington cinemas this school hol­i­days as Toy Story 3, des­pite the lat­ter being demon­strably super­i­or fare in every con­ceiv­able way. It was pretty depress­ing to check the papers last week to see that TS3 was only get­ting one Embassy ses­sion (in the mat­inée ghetto) as opposed to Eclipse’s four. It’s enough to make one wish for a friendly wall to bang one’s head upon.

Toy Story 3 posterIs Toy Story 3 that good? Yes, it is. In fact, I would ven­ture the slightly dan­ger­ous opin­ion that if there’s a film in the Film Festival this year as good as Toy Story 3 then I will be very, very surprised.

The last couple of Pixar films reviewed in these pages have been gently chided for fall­ing away in the third act – fail­ing to main­tain their geni­us right through to the end. No such prob­lems occur with TS3. It stays on course, con­tinu­ing to illu­min­ate char­ac­ter and action with deft, sur­pris­ing and eer­ily appro­pri­ate plot turns.

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