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Reviews

They Shall Not Grow Old

★★★★★ - STUFF  - The last time Sir Peter Jackson directed a "documentary" he caused a national outrage. After his and Costa Botes' convincing, compelling and admittedly slightly confounding look at unsung Kiwi film-maker Colin McKenzie, Forgotten Silver, aired on TVNZ in 1995, many viewers were...
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Vermilion

★★★½ - Stuff  - From an opening moody rendition of Hunters and Collectors' anthemic Throw Your Arms Around Me to a final study in conveying emotion via silence, this Kiwi drama is very much a showcase for one of our finest actors. Jennifer Ward-Lealand (Desperate Remedies, TV's Dirty Laundry) is...
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Bohemian Rhapsody

★★★★★ - STUFF  - There’s a couple of ways this review can go. I could start with a very long list of the absolute nonsense in the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Writer – and Taranaki’s own – Anthony McCarten has a fine gift for taking outrageously interesting and complex lives and...
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Brimstone and Glory

★★★★★ - Stuff  Every year, the Mexican municipality of Tultepec celebrates the local fireworks industry by absolutely blowing the living hell out of the town square, surrounding streets and several members of its population. Film-maker Viktor Jakovleski and the rest of the Court 13 collective (the...
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A Star is Born

★★★★★ - The Guardian  - Bradley Cooper directs and co-stars in this outrageously watchable update of the love story doomed by shifting fame. It’s the romantic epic of male sacrificial woundedness and it’s been regenerating like Doctor Who. We had it in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris...
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A Star in Born

★★★★½ - NZ HERALD  - Bradley Cooper makes an assured directorial debut with this fourth mounting (fifth if you count the original inspiration, 1932's What Price Hollywood?) of the venerable tale of two talents falling in love as their careers head in opposite directions. Taking its setting cues...
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First Man

★★★★★ - Stuff  - You know the broad strokes of the story. The Apollo 11 mission got to the Moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface while Michael Collins orbited above. The trio flew home to ticker-tape parades and a high-water mark of American technical and economic superiority...
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She Shears

★★★★- Stuff  - Last year, it was Christchurch poultry fanciers, this year’s it’s feminine fleece specialists in the spotlight. But while Pecking Order became more political thriller than sporting drama, She Shears is very much about the contest and the striving to be the best. That might rob it of...
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First Man

★★★★★ - Empire  - First Man is not a million light years from Whiplash and La La Land, Damien Chazelle’s first two films. Gone are the drum solos and dance numbers, but it’s another study of obsession, and the compromises that inevitably brings. What’s notable is the upsurge in his cinematic...
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Stray

★★★★★ - NZ Herald  - Less a straightforward narrative than a lyrical tone-poem, Kiwi filmmaker Dustin Feneley's self-funded debut feature is a strong contender for the best film to come out of New Zealand this year. Off the back of a remarkable genesis - eight years trapped in development before a...
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Stray

★★★★½ - Stuff  - At an un-named detention facility somewhere near Wellington, a young man is told that the pre-release work-experience programme he is on has been pulled from under him. The employer is "cutting back".  The young man – we learn his name is Jack – absconds. He takes the ferry across...
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Beast

★★★★ - The Guardian  - Fairytale meets psycho thriller as rising stars Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn find that opposites attract.  The Channel Islands become home to something eerie in this Jersey-set debut feature from writer-director Michael Pearce. Charting a turbulent relationship between a...
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  • The Girl in the Spider's Web
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  • Suspiria
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  • A Star is Born
  • Yellow is Forbidden
  • Brimstone & Glory
  • They Shall Not Grow Old
  • The Old Man & the Gun
  • Pick of the Litter
  • The Seagull
  • King of Thieves
  • First Man
  • Stray
  • Ladies in Black
  • NT Live 2018: Julie
  • Cinema Live The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 20
  • NT Live 2018: King Lear
  • The King and I: From The London Palladium
  • Met Opera 2018: Aida
  • Met Opera 2018: Samson et Dalila
  • Met Opera 2019: La Fanciulla del West
  • Met Opera 2019: Marnie
  • Met Opera 2019: La Traviata
  • Met Opera 2019: Adriana Lecouvreur
  • Met Opera 2019: Carmen
  • Met Opera 2019: La Fille du Régiment
  • Met Opera 2019: Die Walküre
  • Met Opera 2019: Dialogues des Carmélites
  • Older Than Ireland
  • Making the Grade
  • Black '47
  • Lovers of the Night
  • Shelter me: Apollo House
  • André Rieu’s Sydney Town Hall Concert – A Celebration
  • Kusama - Infinity
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