For the last three weeks I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to sit in for Simon Morris on RNZ National’s At the Movies. It’s a lot of work – at least a lot more work than writing for the website – which means I haven’t had a chance until now to post the highlights.Read More
Dan and Kailey are joined by Andy James, one of the world’s foremost experts on the MCU (or Marvel Cinematic Universe) to discuss Avengers: Age of Ultron and how all the pieces are supposed to fit together. Also reviewed, the much more serious Age of Adaline and Testament of Youth.
Once again Dan (in Wellington) and Kailey (in Vancouver) are joined by Fairfax senior film reviewer Graeme Tuckett. Hear more from Kailey’s adventures at the Vancouver International Film Festival; plus all three collaborate on a review of Robert Downey Jr. in The Judge and Graeme and Dan count the laughs in Let’s Be Cops. Also featuring several non-gratuitous mentions of Game of Thrones that should do a good job of boosting our iTunes ratings.
Whatever they are paying Robert Downey Jr. to play Iron Man, it is is worth every penny. Iron Man 3, the third instalment in his own branch of the Marvel Universe series that also features Captain America, The Mighty Thor and The Hulk is hurtling towards a billion dollars of box office revenues and might just have broken even on the $200m production costs by the time you read this.
I’m not sure that there is a better technician in commercial cinema than Downey. Even when he is poorly – or not even – directed in films like the last Sherlock Holmes or the last Iron Man, he is never less than watchable, but when he is challenged by a director and the material he is up there with the best ever. The name Cary Grant just popped in to my head and I think the comparison is reasonable.
Time to clear the summer holiday backlog so that the next time it rains you’ll have an idea of what you should go and see. There’s plenty to choose from – for all ages – and there’s a bunch more to come too.
Best thing on at the moment is Martin Scorsese’s first “kids” film, Hugo, but it took a second viewing for confirmation. It is a gorgeous love letter to cinema, a plea for decent archives, a champion of the latest technology – all Marty’s current passions – but it’s also about something more, something universal.
Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is a little orphan ragamuffin hiding in the walls of a great Paris railway station, winding the clocks and trying to repair a broken automaton that he believes contains a message from his dead father (Jude Law). While stealing parts from the station toy shop – and its sad and grumpy old owner – Hugo meets the old man’s god-daughter (Chloë Grace Moretz) and between them they try and unravel the mystery of the automaton and why Papa Georges (Ben Kingsley) is so unhappy. Hugo is a moving story about repair – the kind of redemption that comes when you don’t write off and discard broken machines – or broken people.