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Picks of the Week for 9 February

By Audio, Cinema and Reviews

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.

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RN 2/16: Universal

By Audio, Cinema, Rancho Notorious and Reviews

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.

RN 1/17: Guilty as charged

By Audio, Cinema, Rancho Notorious and Reviews

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.

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Review: Iron Man 3, First Position and Identity Thief

By Cinema and Reviews

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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.

Iron man 3 posterI’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.

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Cinematica 4/02: Man of Iron and a Mandarin

By Audio and Cinematica

Cinematica_iTunes_200_cropThe hot­test tick­et in town is Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3; the hot­test tick­et in America two weeks ago was Evil Dead, the dreaded Gerard Butler tries to save the White House from ter­ror­ists in Olympus Has Fallen – yes, it’s the school holidays.

Review: Summer Holiday Roundup (2011/12)

By Cinema and Reviews

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.

Hugo posterBest 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.

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