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Showing posts from July, 2016

Paterson: NZIFF Review

Paterson: NZIFF Review
Jim Jarmusch's reflective and languid approach suits Adam Driver's rhythms in Paterson, a thematic companion piece to Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake in its salutations of the common man.

Driver is Paterson, a routine bus driver in the burb of Paterson, who has a daily routine. His watch wakes him around 610am daily, he eats the same breakfast, heads to work at the bus depot and finds time to write poetry before his shift and during. Heading home every day at 6, he corrects a leaning post-box that moves daily, has dinner, walks his shared bulldog Marvin and goes to the local watering hole.

So far, so familiar as Jarmusch's patented loops play out over an 8 day period. But as the days progress, small variations crop up towards the end of the week in Paterson's life - from a girlfriend whose borderline OCD and creative obsession with black and white mean each return home is random to a cataclysmic moment involving his bus.

These are the beats of Paters…

The Red Turtle: NZIFF Review

The Red Turtle: NZIFF Review
Studio Ghibli's latest sees Dutch British director Michael Dudok de Witt taking on the story of a castaway on an island.

As the film begins, in greying waters and stormy seas, the man is tossed asunder, his boat ripped from him. Clutching onto it, he makes it to shore - albeit on a completely deserted island. Woken the next day by a crab running up his leg, the man plots to escape, using bamboo canes to make a raft.

But his attempts are thwarted by something smashing the raft.... with desperation setting in, the castaway tries again; this time, his nemesis is revealed - a red turtle...

Mixing existentialism, some sumptuous hand drawn and painted animation, facials that look similar to Herge's Tintin executions and all scored to a lushly mournful and occasionally soaring soundtrack, the animation The Red Turtle is wordless and will leave you breathless.

While comedy of the occasion is provided by a clutch of crabs scuttling back and forth in the castaway…

Cameraperson: NZIFF Review

Cameraperson: NZIFF Review
Kirsten Johnson has spent her life working on films.

From working with Michael Moore on Fahrenheit 9/11 to CitizenFour, she's been a documentarian capturing moments of life within and committing them to screen.

In Cameraperson, she's collected and strung together some of the scenes which she claims have most marked her and created a tapestry of lives, with loose threads that appear random but are cleverly interconnected.

From the scenes of getting a newborn baby to breathe in Nigeria to getting a big baby boxer to breathe before exploding after losing a fight in New York, some of the threads are more obvious than others. From scenes of children playing in Bosnia with an axe after they return from ethnic cleansing fears to her own twins playing with the camera, these recoursive snapshots of life offer tempting insights into her world from the past 20 years.

There's no timeline - and nor should there be; but what emerges is a deeply personal timeline of…

Aquarius: NZIFF Review

Aquarius: NZIFF Review
Sometimes, the words tour de force are bandied around performances with gay abandon.

But in the case of Aquarius, Kleber Mendonça Filho's film, Sonia Braga deserves the accolade.

Braga stars as Dona Clara, a music critic in her 60s, who stands resolute in her apartment building when all else have moved out and the developers come to tear it down. Refusing to move on after a full life in the same building, Dona Clara digs in, but not by drawing battle lines - but by simply living her life.

Reflecting on her past and living in her present, Braga's extraordinary class in the role lends the whole piece a sort of innate charm. Broken up into 3 chapters, the story follows its own lyrical beats and pace as it demonstrates a life well loved and friendships well nourished. The enigmatic Sonia Braga is a commanding presence throughout, imbuing the ageing Dona Clara with a sheen of genuine feeling that this is a life well-lived as society has changed around her.

And Fil…

Tower: NZIFF Review

Tower: NZIFF Review
The sight of an animated pregnant woman being felled by an indiscriminate and undetermined sniper atop a building lays out the shocks of this visceral and electrifying documentary that looks at the University of Texas  campus shooting (released at the NZIFF nearly 50 years after it made headlines).

Pairing rotoscoping animation a la Waking Life with an oral history and interviewees from the shooting, this examination and reconstruction of the day is simultaneously compelling and horrifying, a study in the evil that men do and the way we rise and fall when tested.

There's an urgency to director Keith Maitland's story that's sickening and upsetting. Compounded with the honesty of the interviewees, it's real heart in your mouth kind of viewing.

But it's the little details which make Tower so viscerally powerful; a student goes to his friend's place with a Spider-man comic wrapped around his books, a sign of a more innocent world that was once lived…

Wild: NZIFF Review

Wild: NZIFF Review
From Germany, the film Wild is likely to press a few buttons of cinema-going audiences this festival, but when it all boils down to it, this is your tried and true fable of a girl's coming out party.

Directed by Nicolette Kreibetz and with a strong central performance by Lilith Stangeberg as Ania, a 20 something office worker who doesn't fit in at the office and doesn't fit in in the city. So far, so tried and tested tale of awkwardness.

However, one day, while heading home Ania clamps eyes on a wolf, roaming around. Exhilarated and obsessed, she concocts a plan to domesticate the wolf at home - but is her embracing of the feral all it's cracked up to be....?

Wild may have taboo busting scenes and moments that will polarise and shock some of the audience, but it's kept grounded by Stangeberg's nuanced turn as the plot progresses. Sure, there are allegories here about surviving as a lone wolf in the workplace, or out in society, but this at-times-…

The Greasy Strangler: NZIFF Review

The Greasy Strangler: NZIFF Review
Best suited to a midnight screening rather than a more temperate Thursday afternoon's viewing, Jim Hosking's The Greasy Strangler is definitively lurid and trashy.

But it's also a test of an audience's patience, with repetitive scenes, oft-repeated dialogue (from arguments) and looped soundtrack interludes.

It's a conventional story about an unconventional father and son relationship - of co-habiting Big Ronnie and Brayden, the pink wearing disco tour kings of a small town. By day, the duo lead people on tours of areas claiming that's where parts of disco were invented, or where "The Earth, The Wind and The Fire" set up shop.

But by night, Michael St Michaels' Big Ronnie has a secret - he likes to get slopped down in grease and go on a killing spree...

And things are further complicated when Sky Elobar's Brayden falls for Janet....

The Greasy Strangler certainly has the power to leave speechless and will polarise a…

Midnight Special: NZIFF Review

Midnight Special: NZIFF Review
Michael Shannon and director Jeff Nichols were responsible for a formative film festival experience when Take Shelter aired in 2011.

This time around, after more earthly concerns with Tye Sheridan in Mud, Nichols and Shannon re-team for what's essentially a sci-fi Spielbergian earth set chase story.

Shannon is Roy, who, as the film begins, is on the run, sparking a manhunt when he takes his supposedly-blessed-with-super-powers young son Alton (Jaeden Liberher) from a cult compound. Aided by childhood friend Lucas (Animal Kingdom's Joel Edgerton), the search for the pair is frantic, especially when the FBI and National Security team up after some disturbing anomalies are brought to light...

There's an all pervading sense of mystery to Midnight Special that sustains large chunks of the proceedings.

Much like the brilliant Take Shelter, Midnight Special revels in ambiguity for the large part, teasing out moments and dripping out answers when least ex…

Win a double pass to see Absolutely Fabulous the Movie

Win a double pass to see Absolutely Fabulous the Movie
To celebrate the release of Absolutely Fabulous the Movie on August 11th, here's your chance to win a double pass to see the movie!


Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamour, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London's trendiest hot-spots. 

Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi. 

Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more!
Absolutely Fabulous the Movie is IN CINEMAS AUGUST 11

To enter simply email to this address: darrensworldofentertainment@gmail.com  and in the subject line put AB FAB  

Please include your name and address and good luck!

Competition closes August 11th and is exclusive to New Zealand only!

The Great Wall trailer is here

The Great Wall trailer is here
Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure.  




The X Files: Season 10 Review

The X Files: Season 10 Review
Released by 20th Century Fox Home Ent


The latest season of The X Files comes 15 years after the last and represents a tour de force to those involved.

If you were ever touched by David Duchovny’s laconic FBI Agent Mulder and Gillian Anderson’s cooly detached FBI Agent Scully and their yin and yang partnership as they investigated all things unusual in the 90s, the 6 new episodes would practically have made you wet yourself in glee.
The hook with this season was never to dwell on the fine feeling generated by the nostalgia, but to bring a new generation of fans into the fold and to see it on its way to a new lease of life.
And to a degree, it manages that by saddling the delicate balance between using the show’s alien-centric mythology and stand alone eps in this 6 part outing. While the mythology eps remain a little murky and stuffed with their own self importance, (as well as an irritatingly open final ep that lands on a frustrating cliffhanger) the stand alo…

Operation Avalanche: NZIFF Review

Operation Avalanche: NZIFF Review
A found footage film that proves the Moon Landing was fake may sound like a joke too far, but director / star Matt Johnson’s relentlessly inventive piece is nothing but a pure blast of cinephile love and an ode to the American space race.

In 1967, it’s the height of the Cold War, and there are concerns Russia’s going to beat America into space. At NASA, there’s an even deeper fear – that a mole has infiltrated their ranks and is stealing secrets.

Enter four undercover CIA agents (helmed by Matt Johnson’s goofball) who convince NASA to let them in under the pretense of filming a documentary about NASA – and who end up pitching the idea of a spoof Moon Landing film to ensure American interests win the day. To their surprise, the CIA says yes….

Endlessly clever and draped in 70s aesthetics with Super 8 footage and an infectious joie de vivre, Operation Avalanche is a film within a film conspiracy and it damn well knows it. But the meta doesn’t become so smar…

Jason Bourne: Film Review

Jason Bourne: Film Review
Cast: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Riz Ahmed, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel
Director: Paul Greengrass

Solid, yet formulaic and workman like, the latest Bourne is anything but spectacular.

In the latest non-essential part of the series, which unpicks all the neatly tied up threads of the series, Damon is a dogged Bourne, a machine-like automaton of assassination that's lacking any kind of real dialogue whatsoever.

When former comrade Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) finds Bourne and tells him there's more to his past than he actually realises, Jason Bourne is forced on to a quest to make those pay for the truth...

Nearly 10 years have passed since the The Bourne Ultimatum, and in a world where Wikileaks, Edward Snowden and security have become major issues, it feels like Jason Bourne does a token amount to address such things this time around.

Even with the apparently personal level of this mission this time around, Bourne himself may pull no punc…

Play 5 New GTA Online: Cunning Stunts Races Today + New Vehicles, Bonuses and More

Play 5 New GTA Online: Cunning Stunts Races Today + New Vehicles, Bonuses and More

Play 5 New GTA Online: Cunning Stunts Races Today + New Vehicles, Bonuses and More
Today, five new Stunt Races join the roster of GTA Online: Cunning Stunts, taking you and your appetite for high-flying, daring, stunting action everywhere from the peaks of Mount Chiliad to the shores of Vespucci. And next week, the official launch of the Stunt Race Creator tool will harness the talents of the amazing Creator community to usher in a whole new era of player-made mayhem. Check out a brief overview of this week's new Stunt Races below, and read on for details on three new vehicles, this week's bonuses and more.
Chiliad (Super)
Mount Chiliad has inspired artists, hippies and death cults for generations, but until now it's offered precious little for the key Los Santos demographic: reckless Super car enthusiasts. All that changes with this towering Stunt Race over the iconic peak of San Andreas.

H200 (…

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 launch on Playstation®4 and Xbox One

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 launch on Playstation®4 and Xbox One


Super Hero action RPGs also return to Steamfor Windows PC
Activision Publishing, Inc., in collaboration with Marvel Entertainment, is this week making the classic Super Hero action RPGsMarvel: Ultimate AllianceandMarvel: Ultimate Alliance 2available digitally on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One for the first time, as well as once more on Windows PC via Steam. The pair of critically praised titles can be purchased separately or together in theMarvel: Ultimate Alliance Bundletoday via the PlayStation®Store and Steam, and on July 28 through the Xbox Games Store.
Featuring a cast of over 22 playable characters, the first Marvel: Ultimate Alliance lets players create their own teams of heroes from the Marvel Universe, or recreate their favourite existing ones, like the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four and more. Experience a story starring more than 140 legendary characters…

KONAMI and FC Barcelona announce three-year agreement as PES 2017 publisher becomes Premium Partner of Catalan giants

KONAMI and FC Barcelona announce three-year agreement as PES 2017 publisher becomes Premium Partner of Catalan giants

KONAMI and FC Barcelona announce three-year agreement as PES 2017 publisher becomes Premium Partner of Catalan giants
Sydney, 27th July - Konami Digital Entertainment B.V., creator of the award-winning PES series of football simulations, has announced a top-level partnership with FC Barcelona, the first of its kind for a video game publisher.
"This is a real statement of intent for us,” explained Tomotada Tashiro, President of Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. “By working closely with a team of Barcelona’s stature we can introduce the PES series to a huge global fan base. This partnership will deliver access to the very best players in the modern game and to one of the world’s most respected and ambitious clubs. The PESseries is famed for its realism and control, so the fit between such a skilled team and a game that celebrates such ability is perfect.”
KONAMI and FC …

Doglegs: NZIFF Review

Doglegs: NZIFF Review
The idea of a film about a disabled Japanese wrestling league may provoke reactions within the audience, but Doglegs is a sensitive and intriguing peek into a world hitherto unwitnessed.
And given the tragic events in Japan earlier this week when a care worker stabbed at least 19 disabled people in a centre west of Tokyo, this film’s taken on another level.

Director Heath Cozens follows a few founding members of the Doglegs wrestling group, set up by a collection of self-described misfits. Becoming a lifeline for the marginalised, the group would settle scores between each other in the ring (and in one clash, two rivals clash over a woman) and gradually became a close knit community.
It’s into this world that Cozens ventures, following the likes of “Sambo” Shintaro who has cerebral palsy and who wants to retire. But not without one final fight against a long term rival – the able bodied Kitajima. And in a twist that shakes Shintaro, Kitajima says he will fight but on…

Personal Shopper: NZIFF Review

Personal Shopper: NZIFF Review
Olivier Assayas reteams with Kristen Stewart after last year's NZIFF outing The Clouds of Sils Maria, a surprising film that won the erstwhile Twilight star a prestigious acting award.

This time, Stewart plays Maureen, a twin whose other half Lewis has died from a heart condition which she shares. However, Maureen is a medium too, who spends her night trying to contact her dead brother, believing his spirit still to be in the house.

By day, Maureen is a personal shopper for a model, who's never home and who exchanges notes with her charge. But Maureen's unhappy with her lot, decrying that spends her days "doing bullshit".

Her life changes though when she encounters a spirit in the house - and then starts to get anonymous texts...

Mixing a concoction of atmospheric ghost story (via the likes of The Others and The Orphanage) with a psychological sideline in stalking proves to be an intriguing proposition for Personal Shopper. It's a fi…

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie: Film Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie: Film Review
Cast: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, Jane Horrocks, Kathy Burke
Director: Mandie Fletcher

There is perhaps something commendable about the way the Ab Fab film arrives decades after the show finished.

And given it opened big in wake of the BREXIT decision at the UK Box Office, there's still clearly an audience desperate for the nostalgia, the light-hearted silliness and for the beehived Patsy and the deluded Edina.

Tottering around the semblance of a plot too thin to ultimately bother with (loosely, the duo go on the run after Jennifer Saunders' Edina knocks Kate Moss into the Thames, drowning her), the film's MO is to simply provide a nostalgic blast of Ab Fab, an extended episode of the TV show stuffed full of cameos (some of whom are too young to have remembered the original.)

It's fair to say the jokes are spread pretty thinly from the get go, but Joanna Lumley as Patsy utterly owns her time back on screen with…

LEGO® Dimensions™ Expansion Packs Revealed for November 2016 Release

LEGO® Dimensions™ Expansion Packs Revealed for November 2016 Release


LEGO® DimensionsExpansion Packs Revealed for November 2016 Release
Holiday Assortment Includes Fantastic Beasts, Sonic The Hedgehog, GremlinsE.T. and Adventure Time
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment at San Diego Comic-Con revealed details around six highly collectable expansion packs for LEGO® Dimensions, the LEGO® toy and videogame hybrid, that will be available in the Wave 7 product release on November 18, 2016.  Led by the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them™ Story Pack and the Sonic The Hedgehog™ Level Pack, the new packs broaden the selection of the world’s most popular entertainment brands allowing players to customise their experience by mixing and matching favourite characters and universes with full compatibility.  LEGO minifigures included in all of the wave 6-9 expansion packs will come with special, golden Toy Tags which unlock a Battle Arena within the Adventure World of the corresponding enterta…

Go behind the scenes of South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Go behind the scenes of South Park: The Fractured But Whole




GO BEHIND THE SCENES OF SOUTH PARK: THE FRACTURED BUT WHOLE


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – July 27, 2016 – During the “South Park 20” panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Ubisoft released a new behind-the-scenes video for South Park: The Fractured But Whole. The video gives viewers an inside look at how the teams at South Park Studios and Ubisoft San Francisco are collaborating to create the new title. 
Developed by South Park Digital Studios and Ubisoft San Francisco, The Fractured But Whole has expanded with more places to explore and greater freedom to customize each players’ character. An all-new combat system offers unique opportunities to master space and time while on the battlefield, and a revamped looting and crafting system gives players the freedom to craft their own equipment to aid them in battle.



South Park: The Fractured But Whole will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on December 6, 2016.