Movies – 241


At 165 minutes, Richard Linklater’s tender and profound new feature may make some nervous. It shouldn’t, the run time flashes by in a heartbeat – a bit like real life. Which is what it is, sort of…

When he started it in 2002, his subject Mason (Ellar Coltrane) was just six. Then he assembled the same cast at regular intervals over the next 12 years catching various episodes in the boy’s life. It is all scripted, yet feels so natural, intimate and real, that by the time Mason is 18, a beautiful young man on the cusp of adulthood, we feel like we’ve been through the mill with him.

His mum (Patricia Arquette) – already separated from his dad (Ethan Hawke), has quite a few bumpy patches, and we’ve watched and worried. But both parents are loving, if imperfect – particularly Mason Snr – so boho, cool, with an impractical sports car early on – middle aged, a bit daggy, with a respectable station wagon by the end.

Yep, that’s real life and this is Linklater’s stunning achievement. It is his masterpiece.

M, Sept 4.

★ Thanks to Universal Pictures we have we have 10 double in-season passes to give away.



movies-pulpPulp: A Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets

Eccentric NZer Florian Habicht (Love Story) is at it again with this portrait of Jarvis Cocker and his band Pulp, which begins with the bespectacled ’90s Brit-pop superstar changing a tire in the back streets of Sheffield.

Then it gets weird, as scenes of the band’s fiercely dedicated fans (pensioners, a cross-dressing teen, newspaper sellers, fishmongers, an academic) intertwine with Cocker’s deadpan musings, concert footage and scenes of him dry humping a speaker box.

It’s also a loving homage to the band’s home town and its people. Once a mighty industrial city making steel for the Empire, Sheffield now produces movies like The Full Monty and self-mocking, geeky musos like Jarvis.

Fresh from its Sydney Film Festival outing, this warm, witty and wonderful musical doco is really quite unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

M, available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD  from Sept 10.

★ Thanks to Entertainment One Australia we have five DVDs to give away.




After celebrating a heroic drug bust rather too heroically, good cop Mal (Joel Edgerton) clips a cyclist with his car, putting the kid in a coma. Mal panics.

Edgerton’s own taut and controlled script then dishes out the tension and moral conundrums so expertly that our brains start hurting… “Prison is for pricks who don’t take their pain – here!” growls his superior (Tom Wilkinson) pointing to his own head. And so it goes, just getting worse and worse for Mal.

A very stylish, brooding Aussie psychological thriller: Very, very good…at everything!

M on now.


movies-vintage-casablanceVintage Classics at Palace Norton Street

So who remembers those colourful Valhalla Cinema posters, a fixture of the walls and fridges of every Inner West share house of the 1970s? Featuring an eclectic and ever-changing mix of vintage, art-house and cult hits, the best thing about that venue was its cheap admissions.

Cinemas are way more comfortable than that draughty old Glebe barn now, but Palace Norton St still has those same great old films, and at much the same prices. Check out the Vintage Classics every Sunday at 3pm.

Casablanca (Sept 7), Vertigo (Sept 28), Pulp Fiction (Oct 5), Apocalypse Now (Nov 23) and there’s much more, all at $10 admission ($8 Club). Tempted? Pick up the poster of the entire season. It’s got a fridge magnet! See for more info.

★ Thanks to Palace Cinemas we have 10 tickets to Vintage Classic sessions to give away.


movies-what-we-do-in-shadowsWhat We Do In The Shadows

More of an extended skit than a movie, Taika Waititi’s (Boy) and Jemaine Clement’s (Flights of the Conchords) vampire mock-doc could do with a blood transfusion itself… Or at least some jokes that deliver more than wan smiles in its 86 minute run time.

It’s set in a Vampire share house. Despite the generational differences, Viago (aged 379), Vladislav (862) and Deacon (a hip youngster of only 183) all live together in downtown Wellington, about as far away from Transylvania as it’s possible to get.

Exactly how they got to NZ has to be over-explained, which raises the question: Is it still possible to parody vampires? Didn’t Bella and Edward spoil all the fun?

Full marks for trying though and, fans of the Conchords’ trademark self-depreciatory style (and usually I am) may find enough to enjoy – particularly with fellow Conchords’ Rhys Darby’s pack of tame, tail wagging and very polite werewolves. As well Jackie Van Beek has a very smart cameo as the put-upon gal pal of the undead flatmates, forever complaining about cleaning up the bloody dishes and entrails after luring fresh victims to their blood splattered dinner parties.

M from Sept 4.  


Reviews – Russell Edwards


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