All posts by Mata

Mata is an inveterate TV addict, chronic Bibliophile and is also a full-time journalist for a Pacific Magazine. As a co-founder and the editor of JawkwardLOL she gets to review TV shows, books, plays, music, films and anime.

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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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.

Nish Kumar | Back With A New Show Review

Nish Kumar’s (no relation to JawkwardLOL’s Jess Kumar) show at the Civic this Comedy Fest has enough polysyllabic words to make you feel like a real intellectual when you can keep up. Yeah, take that everyone who said my undergraduate English Lit and Political Studies double major arts degree would go to waste.

He’s well-researched, well-presented and despite a few outbursts rather polite. Sounds more like a guest lecturer than a comedian, but for real he’s pretty hilarious.

Don’t be alarmed, he may use big words but his jokes aren’t so overly complicated that you miss the punchline because you’re too busy trying to make sense of it.

Kumar takes some difficult topics, like ethnic divides, gentrification (Jess’s favourite topic/buzzword ever), existential crisis, and colonialism, and relays his thoughts on them in a witty way that doesn’t alienate his audience.

Even if he’s talking about how if a white British guy turned up in a country, everyone there who wasn’t white were screwed…to a room full of white people. He’s not confrontational, but he’s prone to political rants that walk a tightrope between hilarious and hard-hitting.

However at some point he forgets a primer for a closing joke that he deftly (questionable) manages to work back in in order to close the show with somewhat off on a high. Was it on purpose? We don’t know, maybe? But if it didn’t slow the momentum of his show down then sure, some might say it was an avant-garde way of anticipating and quelling a lull.

Random thoughts during the show:

  • Jess is definitely the drummer from Coldplay- that’s why she’s so money ballin’.
  • Must remember the name of the documentary – damn it something…forgotten. But seriously if you’re reading this and can remember the name of the documentary he talked about, please tell me.
  • Hmmm are hipsters a trend? More a fad, no? (Here’s that one postgrad class on popular culture kicking in.) Unless it has lasting effects on culture it isn’t a trend- it’s a fad. Kik, bebo and myspace? Fads. Social media? Trend- because it’s a fundamental change on how we communicate. But Hipsters well- crap I missed a joke, OR the name of that documentary- either way I lose- I gotta stop having boring internal monologues like this.
  • I was too drop sacks to whoop when he said long reads, but I get down to long reads. I’m all about that long-form journalism. It’s what I do for a living, after all.
  • Shit that was funny and pretty enlightening- everyone should get to one of his shows.

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BACK WITH A NEW SHOW

WHEN: Sat 23, Tue 26 to Sat 30 Apr, Tue 3 to Sat 7 May
WHERE: The Classic, Auckland
GET TICKETSTicketek
TICKET PRICES:

Monday – Thursday $25.00
Friday & Saturday $30.00

*service fee may apply

 

 

Frickin Dangerous Bro | G.O.A.T Review

Frickin Dangerous Bro, or rather ‘three brown guys who make funny’ (my words, not theirs), the sketch-comedy trio comprised of Jamaine Ross, James Roque & Pax Assadi started their G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time) comedy fest show off with a bang at the Basement Studio.

The premise is simple enough, three guys on stage performing live sketch comedy written by themselves for an hour. They’ve got props, excellent scene-setting music and of course themselves.

Does it all work like a well-oiled machine? No.

But is it funny? Heck yeah.

Sure they may have rehearsed but the only way in which that comes across is when they get a sketch going they know what’s happening in that sketch.

Otherwise you’ve got them checking their own set list and helping each other remember next lines should they be forgot. And expect a a fair few forgotten lines, missed cues, character breaks and mistakes, friends.

It’s all part of the charm of the show, they bounce off each other and off the audience and daaaamn it’s lucky they’re quick-witted or the audience might not have let them survive. Especially Assadi and Roque who manage to shut down a heckler without coming off as onstage bullies ha. Ross is caught between calling the other two out and not wanting to be excluded from their fun.

Their different personalities make for good group dynamics, both when bantering with the crowd, each other and during their skits.

The skits range from slice-of-life type storylines to wtf-did-I-just-watch type storylines. While I wouldn’t say the writing is altogether solid, jokes (which often work by subverting stereotypes and messing with what’s expected) do hit their mark if sometimes get stretched a bit thin and repeated a few too many times.

But through it all you’re frickin’ laughing and that’s all that frickin’ matters.

Random thoughts during the show: 

  • Lol I can count how many brown people I see in the crowd on one hand.
  • The ‘We like Billy T’ lady had the most perfect timing of the evening tbh I’d go to another show just to see if another audience member tops her- and also because the show’s hilarious and I doubt each night will be completely the same.
  • Is that an Avondale College tie?
  • Not for nothing but one of my favourite sketch comedy makers are the Laughing Samoans… just saying, for no reason related to the show or anything. [Side eyes emoji.]

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FRICKIN DANGEROUS BRO

WHEN: April 23-Saturday April 30th 7.30pm (No shows 25th & 26th April 2016)
WHERE: Basement Studio
GET TICKETS: iTickets 
TICKET PRICES: 

Full Price $18.00
Concession $15.00
Group 4+ $15.00
Cheap Wednesday $14.40

*service fee may apply