Say Something Nice | Review

From the mind of Sam Brooks (Riding in Cars with (Mostly Straight) Boys) comes Say Something Nice which isn’t so much a play, as it is an experience.

In this world you come across a lot of dicks out there, and sometimes you do and say things that makes you one of them- don’t do that.

Say Something Nice will teach us all how to be nice to each other, which isn’t too hard.

Often enough we’re too bogged down in our own lives to really care about the things we do and say, or more likely the things that we don’t do and say.

What we do, as opposed to what we think, defines who we are.

We may think we’re being nice, but unless your actions back this assertion you’re just someone who thinks nice things.

Say Something Nice is rather confronting, but not in a bad way.

You aren’t going to be lectured at by someone wearing robes telling you how to treat each other, save that nonsense for Sundays.

It’s a thought-provoking piece of multimedia theatre that doesn’t just require your participation, but your willingness to think about what ‘nice’ is and whether or not you’ve applied it at all in your actions.

The show is limited to about 20-30 people, which should make for an interesting session.

Here’s some advice: bring an open mind and your best poker-face, I reckon.

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When: 7pm, 7 – 10 March (As part of Auckland Fringe)

Where: Maota Samoa / Samoa House (Level 1, 283 Karangahape Road)

KOHA SHOW but limited to 20/30 people, so book at smokelabours@gmail.com to reserve your spot.

 

Logan Review | The grisly send off we didn’t realise we deserved

Director James Mangold makes very good use of the R-rating Logan is given, there’s ample amount of violence, course language and even a couple of boobies.

However that’s not why the film sets itself apart from all Wolverine related films that have come before. Logan does something  to the audience in the two or so hours it has you for. It proves to you that Logan (Hugh Jackman) deserved this send off as much as we did, because it doesn’t try to pander to or be a product of the first two Wolverine (and 11 other X-men) films.

It’s its own beast, a steady moving dystopian road film that’s less heady escapism and more gritty storytelling that gives Wolverine more character than any other X-men film before it.

Set in 2029 with a worse-for-wear Logan, driving around people in a limo-for-hire to save money not only to (illegally) buy medicine for an ailing 90 year old Charles Xavier- who suffers seizures that causes anyone near him to get mentally rocked- but squirrel away funds to buy a boat for him and the once regal Professor X to live on the high seas like a couple of grumpy mutant pirates.

This, unfortunately, doesn’t come to pass. Not a spoiler, surely you would have guessed that this isn’t where the film’s headed- or it would have been called Logan’s Island.

Enter 11-year-old Laura (Dafne Keen), a dark-eyed orphan dumped into Logan’s life by a Mexican nurse (Elizabeth Rodriguez) from a local clinic.

She’s quiet, broody and her eyes speak of a child who’s seen too much and knows too much of a world that’s been less than kind to her- remind you of anyone?

If you guessed Logan wasn’t going to be the best of babysitters you would have been right, but he’s the one she’s stuck with and I’m making the situation sound much lighter than it is.

Watch the film, decide how off the tone of my review is for yourself.

It’s good, there are LOLS- mostly of the slice of life/every day wry variety that you would experience yourself.

But I give it 4 and a half JAWKWARDLOLS out of five because half of one of the LOLS got stuck in my throat after that final scene.

It’s out now in New Zealand cinemas and just in case you haven’t seen the trailer, or you just want to watch it again, check it out below:

 

Your Name Review | visually stunning, emotionally stimulating

Makoto Shinkai’s (5 Centimeters Per Second, 2007, and The Garden of Words, 2013) latest offering, Your Name, is a stunning piece of animated film.  It takes you on a whimsical YA body-swap adventure that somehow manages to be grounded in reality in spite of the sheer imagination required for such a storyline. Despite pulling on your heartstrings, Your Name doesn’t exactly break it and leaves you satisfied but still wanting more.

Mitsuha and Taki are two total strangers living completely different lives.

But when Mitsuha makes a wish to leave her mountain town for the bustling city of Tokyo, they become connected in a bizarre way- somehow connected to the meteor shower we see at the very beginning of the film.

Mitsuha finds herself in dreams of being a boy living in Tokyo while Taki dreams he is a girl from a rural town he’s never been to.

What does their newfound connection mean? And how will it bring them together?

In its exploration of the line between the beginning and the end, from minute things to the heavier questions of life, the film juxtaposes new and old, the urban sprawl and rural life alongside their male and female counterparts while allowing the audience both healthy doses of laughter and poignant moments of heartache.

It’s almost like being a daydream yourself, however everyone is speaking Japanese and of course it’s animated, not live-action.

The J-Pop soundtrack is lit, drawing you into the film straight away and complimenting the visual brilliance of the landscapes and forces of nature quite brilliantly.

Check it out when you can, it’s great to see on a huge screen I tell ya. Find out where, in NZ, and go see it! The film opens for a limited screening run on Dec 1st.

I’ve heard people compare Shinkai to Hayao Miyazaki, calling him Miyazaki’s heir apparent, but I can’t say the comparison is fair. Shinkai’s work is its own beast, and Your Name has a quality to it that isn’t Miyazaki but that’s a good thing in that we should be allowed quality work that isn’t cut from the same stone, or that follows a similar kind of format.

You’ll be thinking about the film’s plot and trajectory long after the vividness of the the painted cityscapes have faded from the screens, they become etched in your mind along with thoughts of ‘what next’ after that final scene.

Watch the trailer below, beyond the trailer are our honourable mentions RIFE with spoilers so continue at your own risk!

Honourable Mentions:

  • Just one because I’ve talked enough: Taki, you had ONE job just before twilight hit and Mitsuha disappeared. Write your name on her palm but instead he writes “I love you” and as cries and smiles before saying, “Idiot…I can’t remember your name with this…” I’m sitting in the theatre trying not to yell out TAKI YOU HAD ONE JOB. ONE JOB!
  • Huh and who’s have thought it was also a time travelling tale on TOP of the the body-swap?
  • Every time they’d wake up in each other’s bodies and Taki kept getting snapped fondling Mitsuha’s boobs was always a crack up- each time you think… nah he won’t this time, zoink the door opens he’s like: mdvdrif

Three Wise Cousins | Review

So the Three Wise Cousin’s DVD is now out, check out our review of the film and where you can get a copy of it for yourselves or your own wise cousins who’ve yet to see it.

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Film: Three Wise Cousins
Director: Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa aka S.Q.S

DVD’s Now Out: Order from MadMan NZ Entertainment!

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As Three Wise Cousins opens up in Hastings, Dunedin, and Palmerston North from today I figured I should write a review about the filmNot because I’m Samoan, or because it’s what everyone’s talking about, but because it’s good. Despite only being shown at a handful of cinemas across New Zealand the self-funded, grassroots, comedy has grossed about US$200,000 in the last two weeks.

And it’s about to head over across the ditch to Australia, with a Samoan premiere also set for the end of February.

The film has an engaging storyline, offers plenty of laughs, the characters are memorable, and there’s a universal message behind it that doesn’t just apply to Samoans or Pacific Islanders.

It follows a young New Zealand-born Samoan Adam (Neil Amituanai) as he heads to the motherland in an attempt to impress his crush Mary…

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children | Film Review

Please note the following review does not contain spoilers. 

“It’s time for you to learn what you can do.”

Another exciting film to hit the screens this year by none other than director Tim Burton. A great mixture of boy meets girl, wry humour, spooky elements, and most importantly the theme of self discovery – because in today’s society, who are you and how do you fit in, if you don’t know yourself.

The clash of fantasy and reality makes the journey of this film mesh so well with the self discovery and hero element. It also has a good blend of dark and light elements, that won’t scare the kids too much. The film is 127 minutes long, but time flies as you are absorbed into the storyline.

The visuals and effects will amaze, however the only downside I felt the film had was the unexplored history of Abe. It’s something the adults will pick up on but kids will wash over. I feel like it would give more of an impact and make the film far more well rounded in its story telling. Also majority of the characters are touched upon, and it makes you question what really is the point of having all of them.

However… Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a great all rounder film, for all to see. Escape the ordinary and check out the trailer below. Oh and stay peculiar people, life is much more fun that way… you’ll see.

Mua O! Macbeth by Black Friars Theatre Company | Review

Something wickedly amazing this way comes.

The Black Friars Theatre Company is founded on the ideal of breaking down preconceptions and stereotypes by retelling classic literature in a way that’s relevant to Pacific communities in South Auckland- and in a wider NZ context.

Comprised of young Pacific talent, they’ve been retelling Shakespearean plays in a Pasifika context for the past 10 years.

Their latest endeavour, a magnificent, dynamic and distinctively Pasifika re-imagining of Macbeth is not only a resounding success but an experience that manages to fuse together various Pacific cultures and classic literature in an impressive hour and a half of enthralling theatre.

Under the direction of Billy Revell and Michelle Johansson, Shakespearean prose and dark magic is blended seemingly with Pacific language, music and dance within a Pan-Pacific Hawaiki.

An innovative re-staging of the traditional Shakespearean classic for Pasifika in Aotearoa set against a backdrop of imagined Hawaiki, musical direction (Siosaia Folau) and choreography (Theresa Sao) is impressive and Viola Johansson’s costumes are amazing to behold.

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While Macbeth and Lady Macbeth actors Lauie Tofia and Denyce Su’a gave wonderful performances, which rendered the audience charmed, it was the three witches played by secondary school students Vitinia-Gabrielle Togiatama, Akinehi Munroe, Irene Folau (winner of the Stand Up, Stand Out vocal solo) who absolutely stole the show.

Although at times it can feel like the 14-strong choir is almost shouting into your ear, the harmonies and raw talent made up for the loudness.

Not many LOLs due to the fact that it was a tragedy, however it was a unique and well-executed production that you’d want to experience at least once.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople | Hunt for the DVD lol

Hunt for the Wilderpeople follows the story of a young boy, Ricky, who finds himself in a wild manhunt with his foster uncle Hec. Being on the run, they learn to put aside their differences and come to rely on each other, in order to survive out in the New Zealand bush.

In New Zealand, Hunt for the Wilderpeople hit cinemas on the 31st of March 2016, a film directed and written by Taika Waititi and based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump. Becoming the highest grossing New Zealand film, it has now been released on DVD which you can find and purchase here. It’s also available on Blu-Ray here.

Special features on DVD and Blu-Ray include:

  • Audio Commentary with Taika Waititi (director and writer), Sam Neil (uncle Hec) and Julian Dennison (Ricky).
  • Featurette
  • Interviews
  • Bloopers

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Don’t read on unless you want to be spoiled.

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My favourite scenes from the movie would include:

  • Any interaction with Aunt Bella because not only was she savage as hell, she was probably the sweetest lady ever. I actually threw a mini tantrum in the cinema when that thing (Y’ALL KNOW THE THING I’M TALKING ABOUT IF Y’ALL HAVE WATCHED IT) happened. Straight up, I sobbed angrily in the middle row, holding the cheeseburger that I’d snuck in.
  • Once rejected, now accepted,
    By me, and Hector.
    We’re a trifecta. 
  • ANYTHING WITH THAT SOCIAL WORKER, PAULA! No child left behind. Bruh, she actually terrifies me like how on Earth is she allowed to work with children hahahahahahahahaha send help.
  • Hector is cauc-asian? Well they got that wrong, because you’re obviously white. *inserts laughing emoji*
  • HECTOR BEING CALLED A PERVERT. PERV. MOLESTERER.
  • The Maori dad who asked for a selfie, and his beautiful daughter who sang “original” songs and had a seemingly endless supply of sausages.
  • The cute moments between Hec and Ricky where they’d bond and it’s probably the cutest uncle-nephew relationship because they both think the other is a bastard, but they protect each other and that’s true family. Tbh, they just have all these emotional moments and lessons throughout the film.

It’s actually so great. Please watch it. And buy it. And love it.

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The LOL is silent.

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