Cinephilia: Opening This Week - The Wellingtonista

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Cinephilia: Opening This Week

by Dan on November 29, 2007 in Film

Beowulf posterIf you are at all interested in the future of cinema technology, the energetic retelling of dark age Norse Anglosaxon Anglo-Saxon legends or theme park rides then Beowulf 3D is the thing for you this weekend. The 3D version only screens at Readings and I understand from Roadshow, the distributor, that only two cinemas in New Zealand are equipped to screen it: Readings at Courtenay Central and Hoyts Sylvia Park in Auckland.

The digital equipment required to screen Beowulf in 3D cost upwards of $100k and is only in Cinema 5 (i.e. not one of the big ones). That cost puts it out of reach of all Wellington cinemas apart from Readings (and possibly Sky City at Queensgate) until the economic drivers to replace 35mm film become overwhelming. Check the listings carefully as the 3D version is definitely the one to see. The flat version can also be found at Regent-on-Manners and Sky City Queensgate.

The rest of this week’s new releases after the jump…

Also opening this week is Joshua , a supernatural thriller in the tradition of The Omen : that one is at Rialto only. For art-house fans French, the Penthouse has The Page Turner about a young woman who takes revenge on the concert pianist who (she believes) ruined her own career. It stars Deborah François from The Dardennes Brothers’ film The Child which we saw in Wellington last year.

Returning from the World Cinema Showcase is the Cuban/Spanish co-production Habana Blues, of which this reviewer said: “Boisterous, good natured but realistic. Do see it, because when Castro dies a lot about Cuba is going to change – both good and bad.” Paramount.

Also at the Paramount is the Show Me Shorts short film festival featuring many of the best indie short films from Australia and New Zealand produced in the last year. There are 39 films screening over 6 sessions, including Night of the Hell Hamsters co-written by Wellingtonista Hadyn.

Beowulf and Habana Blues have already been reviewed at Funerals & Snakes. The other features will appear at the site next week, and in the Capital Times next Wednesday.

Dan Slevin

A refugee from Thatcher's Britain, 27 years ago Dan Slevin produced and hosted the Radio Active guide to cultural Wellington, Asleep At The Wheel. Since then he has bounced around various creative endeavours including co-owning and managing the Paramount between 2002 and 2005. For six years he was the Capital Times film reviewer and is now the Managing Editor of ONFILM Magazine and In his spare time he is also the Wellington Manager for the Rialto Channel 48HOURS furious filmaking competition and proprietor of his own strategic communications consultancy. His collected film reviews can be browsed free of charge at Funerals & Snakes.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

KingpinNZ December 1, 2007 at 5:21 pm

just went to see Beowulf in 3D (even tho i should have been out in the sun!!!) and i have to say the movie was good and the 3d was great…if somewhat over used on occasion.
definatly worth the $1 extra to see it in 3D

***1/2 stars


Hadyn December 3, 2007 at 9:06 am

KingpinNZ is (with due respect) a little bit wrong.
The 3D was super impressive (and worth the ticket price) but the movie itself was awful. I’m looking forward to seeing some live action 3D movies soon.


Joanna December 1, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Let’s. Not “Lets”. It’s, not “its”. We could play this game all day!


Jeremy December 1, 2007 at 9:55 am

Lets out-Pedant the Pedant by pointing out its “Anglo-Saxon”, not “Anglosaxon”…

What’s the movie *like* in 3D?



Dan December 4, 2007 at 10:27 am

Evidently, 3D is a highly challenging format to shoot live-action in. From John August’s blog:

Today, I had a great conversation with Jed Weintrob, whose movie shot in a live-action 3D format. At the risk of invoking a Geek Alert banner, the technology sounds both fantastic and daunting, forcing filmmakers to confront a range of issues I hadn’t considered. In editing, for example, you might choose to cut the “left eye” or the “right eye” footage, but ultimately you’re going to need to watch each cut in converged 3D, since depth changes the perceived speed of shots.

One of the good things about shooting AVATAR here is that our crews are going to become experts in this new-fangled format.


stephenjudd November 29, 2007 at 2:48 pm

The local chapter of the Pedants Society wishes me to inform you that Beowulf is Anglosaxon, and hence not Norse, which term relates exclusively to the northern Teutonic peoples and languages. (Ok, so it’s ABOUT Danes and Geats, but it’s no more Danish than Hamlet is).


Dan November 30, 2007 at 1:20 pm

I stand (or sit) corrected. Will adjust accordingly.


Hadyn November 29, 2007 at 3:42 pm

I hear that Hamster film is awesome!


ratpony December 8, 2007 at 10:02 am

Beowulf wasn’t a crap movie – it wasn’t the greatest movie ever made, but it wasn’t crap. The 3-d ness was radical. I think I shrieked in horror when he was flying under the dragon through the trees and that one tree went right down the middle of the screen.


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