The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005


New-ish at the movies: Jobs, The Weight of Elephants, Red 2, White House Down, Salinger & In the House

by Dan September 27, 2013

The best way I can think of to sum up Jobs, the hastily-prepared not-quite adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s hastily-published biography of the Apple co-founder, is that its subject would have hated it. After all, Steve had taste and – famously – exercised it. He also didn’t release products until they were ready whereas Joshua Michael […]

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New-ish at the Movies: Kick-Ass 2, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Much Ado About Nothing & Frances Ha

by Dan September 16, 2013

There has been much discussion in the circles in which I move about the quantity of films released to local cinemas. Not only are there too many films coming out every week – too many for each one to generate much heat at any rate – but the ones that are coming out aren’t always […]

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‘Gardening Nun’ goes viral (on the big screen)

by Anna September 9, 2013

If you were part of the audience at the Embassy theatre for the world premiere of Gardening with Soul during the International Film Festival you will have witnessed something quite extraordinary. A standing ovation for a 92 year-old Island Bay resident and a speech by the diminutive woman, who started by telling the clapping crowd, […]

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New-ish at the Movies: Pain & Gain, Only God Forgives, The Wolverine, The Way Way Back, The Conjuring & Byzantium

by Dan September 9, 2013

Still hovering around some local cinemas – and the longest-delayed of all my outstanding reviews – Still Mine is a surprisingly effective Canadian drama about an elderly man (James Cromwell, 73 but playing a fit 89) determined to build a new house for his wife (Geneviéve Bujold) before her memory deserts her completely. Cromwell gives […]

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New-ish at the Movies: Elysium, Stoker, We’re the Millers, The Heat, Giselle, Private Peaceful, Reality and Now You See Me

by Dan September 3, 2013

With this year’s festival now a rapidly diminishing memory – and my recovery from that event (plus another magazine published, some “live” podcast recordings, a few Q&A’s, some director interviews and a Big Screen Symposium) almost complete – I return to the commercial cinema and what do I find? Twenty-three new films have been released […]

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Preview: 2013 New Zealand International Film Festival

by Dan July 25, 2013

Now, I’m risking the ire of the extremely helpful and generous New Zealand International Film Festival team here, but I’m going to recommend an approach to festival-going that will probably reward you more than it will them. Here goes: don’t book for anything. Don’t plan your life around any particular screening of any particular film. […]

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New at the Movies: The World’s End, Pacific Rim, The Look of Love + School Holiday Roundup

by Dan July 19, 2013

I can imagine some people not enjoying The World’s End. People who don’t care about – or even notice – cinematic craftsmanship, people who think that being self-referential means being self-indulgent, audiences who prefer their action sequences to be cosmic in scale and measured in megabytes per second rather than laughs per minute – I […]

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New-ish at the Movies: Man of Steel, Everybody Has a Plan and White Lies

by Dan July 5, 2013

Man of Steel is a self-consciously epic re-imagining of the Superman story, first told in print in the 1930s and most recently rebooted on screen by Bryan Singer as Superman Returns just prior to the commencement of my reviewing career in 2006. It’s remarkable both for the scale of the production, the stakes for producers […]

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New-ish at the Movies: World War Z, After Earth and The Hunt

by Dan June 27, 2013

Bloodless zombies would appear to be that latest trend if April’s Warm Bodies and this week’s World War Z are anything to go by. No blood means studios get a lower censorship classification and – hopefully – a bigger audience. But the absence of viscera also appears to bring with it a loss of metaphoric […]

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New-ish at the Movies: The Great Gatsby, Bekas, Fast & Furious 6 and The Last Sentence

by Dan June 14, 2013

For all the digital glitter and anachronistic hip-hoppery that signifies our latest re-entry into Luhrman-land, The Great Gatsby itself takes fundamental inspiration from a black and white classic from 1941. Featuring a flashback framing device, a lonely and heartsick tycoon staring out of the window of a grotesque castle, and even a breathless deathbed “Daisy” […]

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