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Film

September 4, 2016

★★ Director: Steven Spielberg   It’s a mystery whether Steven Spielberg’s BFG will impress young audiences in the same way that his cinematic offerings to previous generations did. We can assess the commonalities that The BFG has with E.T., Hook, and Jurassic Park—they’re all surreally good-looking surrealism—but The BFG is boring, and the rest aren’t.  If you’re Roald Dahl illiterate, BFG […]

September 4, 2016

★★★★ Director: David Ayer   It’s no secret that DC’s cinematic universe hasn’t gotten off to the roaring start that Warner Bros would have hoped for, with their first two big­-budget superhero films, Man of Steel and Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, receiving middling critical and commercial success. Now, critical reviews have come flooding […]

August 14, 2016

★★★★ Director: Matt Ross   The biggest praise I can give this film is that you’ll probably leave the cinema wishing, just a little bit, that Ben (Viggo Mortensen) was your father. In a nuanced and unabashedly glorious turn, Mr Mortensen brings us Ben, aka Captain Fantastic, a father who has taken to raising his […]

August 14, 2016

★★★★ Director: Jeff Nichols   Following in the footsteps of Spielberg’s excellent sci-fi output of previous decades, this new film from the acclaimed director of Mud, Jeff Nichols, is a mashup of classic government conspiracy and sci-fi tropes of the 70s, with a twist of darkness and an element of the supernatural. Think less E.T. […]

August 14, 2016

★★★★ Directors: Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan   This is about the strangest film you’re likely to see this year. If you haven’t heard of it (or seen the trailer), a brief summation would be that Hank (Paul Dano) is lost in the wilderness with nothing but the corpse of Manny (Daniel Radcliffe), giving a […]

August 14, 2016

★★★★★ Director: Jim Hosking   This completely bizarre, stomach-churning, fun-filled film with infantile dialogue, cartoonish gore, and full-frontal male nudity is an absolute masterpiece.  At its core, the film is about a love triangle between a father (Big-Ronnie), his simple-minded son Brayden (who runs a walking disco-tour), and one of their only customers Janet. Meanwhile […]

August 7, 2016

★★★★ Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky   The documentary Beware: The Slenderman is an evocative entry to this year’s ‘incredibly strange’ section of the New Zealand International Film Festival, it offers a telling journey of the danger of the web, mental illness, and murder. Using a style similar to that of The Blair Witch Project, director […]

August 7, 2016

★★★★½ Director: Jeremy Saulnier   It’s hard to tell if the horror genre is finally setting into its renaissance period. Sure, there are still dozens of terrible horror films pumped out every year on what seems like an assembly line of recycled ideas and terrible clichés, but the resurgence of critically acclaimed horror films is […]

August 7, 2016

★★★★ Director: Thorsten Schütte   Frank Zappa was a prolific musician and composer from the early 1960s until he died of prostate cancer in 1993. Unlike the more “traditional” music documentary style where the filmmaker interviews distant friends and family who often barely knew them (see every Kurt Cobain, Elliot Smith, and Nick Drake documentary […]

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