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sam worthington

Review: Attack the Block, The Women on the 6th Floor, The Lorax, Mirror Mirror and Wrath of the Titans

By Cinema, Reviews

Attack the Block posterIt has taken ten months for Joe Cornish’s bril­liant Attack the Block to make its way to New Zealand and one of the first ques­tions will be, is there still an audi­ence left for it con­sid­er­ing the most rabid fans will have found – licit and illi­cit – ways to watch it months ago. I cer­tainly hope there is because Cornish has pro­duced a highly ori­gin­al take on a clas­sic genre – a low-budget ali­en inva­sion movie that is thrill­ing, funny and socially aware.

It’s Guy Fawke’s Night and the attemp­ted mug­ging of off-duty nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is inter­rup­ted by a the explos­ive arrival of a strange creature. The lead­er of the young hood­lums, Moses (a star-making per­form­ance by John Boyega), man­ages to kill the beast and they take the car­cass as a trophy, not real­ising that there are oth­ers fol­low­ing – and that they will want revenge.

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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, 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: The Hurt Locker, Clash of the Titans, Nowhere Boy & Valentine’s Day

By Cinema, Reviews

The Hurt Locker posterIt took well over 18 months for Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker to get a gen­er­al release in New Zealand – a year in which it stead­ily built audi­ences and crit­ic­al acclaim at world­wide fest­ivals and pub­lic screen­ings. In fact, until it was nom­in­ated for a Golden Globe late last year the film had no New Zealand release date sched­uled and many film buffs resor­ted to illi­cit online sources to try and see (what was being touted) as one of the films of the decade.

This is a wor­ry­ing trend. Increasingly, some of the best films are head­ing straight to DVD (some­times, if the tim­ing works, with a Film Festival screen­ing but not always) and, des­pite New Zealand hav­ing a fine track record for sup­port­ing art­house and thought­ful product, I find myself con­fron­ted every week by rub­bish like Law Abiding Citizen and Bounty Hunter. Somewhere along the line the dis­trib­ut­ors have lost their nerve: The Blind Side, which won an Academy Award for Sandra Bullock last month, has only just been giv­en a slot by Roadshow (Warner Brothers). A Serious Man was one of the most bril­liant and intel­li­gent films I’ve ever seen and only one print was placed in Wellington – and it was a Coen Brothers Film!

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Review: Avatar, Five Minutes of Heaven, Bandslam & Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

By Cinema, Reviews

Avatar posterThere have only been asked two ques­tions that any­body has been ask­ing me this week: “Have you seen Avatar?” and “Is it any good?” Thanks to the help­ful people at Readings I can say “Yes” to the first one and thanks to James Cameron I can say “Whoah” to the second.

Like many Wellingtonians, I have been fol­low­ing Avatar’s pro­gress since pro­duc­tion star­ted in 2007 and it’s almost impossible to be genu­inely object­ive. It’s only nat­ur­al for loc­als to try and claim some own­er­ship of a pro­ject like this and we are all a tiny bit inves­ted in its suc­cess. The hype has cer­tainly been hard to avoid so I was slightly pleased when the fif­teen minute extract on “Avatar Day” didn’t fill me with delighted anti­cip­a­tion. I couldn’t quite my head around the char­ac­ter design of the Na’vi (the indi­gen­ous race peace­fully pop­u­lat­ing the beau­ti­ful but deadly plan­et of Pandora). The blue – the tails – the ears. I couldn’t for the life of me work out how these char­ac­ters were going to be cool and I thought that *cool* was going to be important.

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Review: Terminator Salvation, Love the Beast, Fugitive Pieces, JCVD and In Search of a Midnight Kiss

By Cinema, Reviews

Terminator Salvation poster’Tis the sea­son to reboot tired fran­chises and this week we get an explos­ive new look at James Cameron’s beloved Terminator. Set only nine years in the future (when open-air bat­tle­field heart trans­plants will be de rigeur dur­ing la guerre), the Judgement Day of T2 has des­troyed most of the West Coast of the USA and only a hardy band of ill-equipped rebels are keep­ing the mon­strous Skynet at bay.

John Connor, proph­esied future saviour of the human race, is a only a sol­dier in the rebel army but his reg­u­lar radio broad­casts bring hope to the scattered, ragtag freedom-fighters. In a battle to res­cue some human pris­on­ers his entire squad is killed – but he does man­age to release the mys­ter­i­ous Marcus Wright (Aussie boof­head Sam Worthington) who may hold the key to the defeat of the machines.

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