Movies – 282

The Meddler

Marnie (Susan Sarandon) is recently widowed, and has moved to LA to be closer to her daughter Lori (Rose Byrne).

She’s a whirlwind of energy, most of it misspent on helping others, even total strangers like the Apple genius bar guy she’s convinced can better himself. Most of all she drives Lori crazy with unceasing calls, messages, texts, surprise visits and unwanted relationship advice.

Also on her radar is a Harley riding ex-cop (J.K. Simmons) with the improbable name of “Zipper.” Who, when he’s not nodding to Marnie’s always excellent advice, serenades his organic farm pet chickens with Dolly Parton songs…

Lorene Scafaria’s breezy sitcom and delivers plenty of laughs, it’s amiable and quirky, but scarily, she based it all on her own mother. (Wow… How’s the therapy going, girls?). Though Sarandon doesn’t often get such brightly comic roles, and here she just perfect as the woman with too much love in her heart, And way too much time on her hands.

M from May 19.

Thanks to Sony Films Releasing we have five double in season passes to give away. See our Giveaways page for details.


movies-hunt-wilderpeopleHunt for the Wilderpeople

New Zealand’s eccentric deadpan comedies (Flight of the Conchords) have already had cult success, and now the style seems set break out into the mainstream.

Taika Waiti’s (What We Do in the Shadows) most recent home-grown effort has been a huge box office hit in NZ, but more importantly, has so far scored a 100% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating – and all thanks to very hard-to-please US and UK critics.

At first it sounds like a silly family comedy: Ricky (Julian Dennison) is a troubled overweight city kid who finds himself on the run with his grumpy foster uncle (Sam Neill) in the wild New Zealand bush. After a series of misunderstandings, a national manhunt ensues, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together to survive – before an inevitable, but hilariously upbeat climax.

And it is silly… Really – all profoundly odd, with so many farcical elements and off-kilter moments that not even Wes Anderson could pull off something quite so uniquely funny. Only a Kiwi could do that!

PG from May 26.

Thanks to Madman Entertainment we have five double in season passes to give away. See our Giveaways page for details.


movies-flesh-boneFlesh and Bone

Are dancers all dysfunctional obsessives? After Black Swan and this gritty eight-part TV drama – created by Breaking Bad star writer Moira Walley-Beckett, we’d be forgiven for thinking so.

Flesh and Bone very quickly dives into murky territory indeed. Claire (Sarah Hay) is a shy and damaged young ingénue who arrives from Pittsburgh and secures a spot with a prestigious New York ballet company run by volatile control-freak Paul (Ben Daniels). Who quickly spots Claire’s brilliance and plots to turn her into a diva.

Her problems are revealed early, so it’s not a spoiler to say her family make the Lannisters look functional. All of which make for compulsively ripe bingeing, and as a bonus, the dancing is fantastic.

But parents be warned, don’t let your aspiring young ballerina near this one. The sex, drugs and nudity may be ok, but surely not all that smoking!

MA15+ Available on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital on May 18.

Thanks to Defiant Screen Entertainment we have 3 DVD box sets of the series to give away. See our Giveaways page for details.



New York City is safe and prosperous now, but in the 70s, it was a dangerous place – widely regarded as decadent, a city in moral and economic decline.

There’s a great selection of films from those troubled times at the Essential Independents Film Festival, but perhaps nothing defines the city and decade better than the confronting Cruising, which stars Al Pacino as an undercover cop in the city’s notorious S&M bars.

As a bonus, it screens with the ultra out-there no-holds-barred Interior. Leather Bar, co-directed by James Franco.

May 24 8.30pm at Palace Norton St.


Reviews by Russell Edwards