James Nokise | Talk a Big Game

Samoan-Welsh James Nokise talks a big game in his Auckland show, Talk a Big Game, this comedy fest.

I couldn’t help myself.

In his 15 years of comedy, he’s spent the last 10 years focused on biting political commentary.

However when political commentary (internationally as well as locally) needed him the most- in the wake of 2016’s NZ Flag referendum, America’s Trumpocalypse, Brexit in Europe and Jexit (John Key’s exit) in NZ- Nokise vanished.

Or rather decided he’d had enough of the hoopla and was going to throw in the political commentary towel and spend an hour talking sports like a good kiwi bloke.

Or did he? Nokise lulls us into a false sense of sport security before actually hitting us with his on point political and social commentary the entire time.

The poster issa ruse, however don’t complain, because much like the promo pic for his show you’ve GOT to know that it’s not what you’re going to get.

And if you didn’t click second or third joke in, mate, c’mon.

In amongst all the laughter Nokise seamlessly unpacks a myriad of issues- disguised as a Sky-sport post match package- holding a mirror up to our society and telling us to flex.

It’s great, it’s good banter ranging from his Samoan father’s favourite sport, to theories on why Steven Adams- who I swear looks more Mexican than Tongan- signals the end of the All Blacks as he makes his way through a list of sports.

He trusts his audience’s intelligence levels, comfortably discussing sports and complex issues in a way that’s not an hour of calling out racists, or of impersonations of minorities- though you do get a bit of both.

With the finesse of a performer completely at ease on stage his style of structured- but loaded with tangents- set keeps the audience not only entertained and in stitches, but has them thinking ‘well goddamn’.

We highly recommend you grab yourselves tickets to his remaining shows- you can do so here.

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Guy Williams | Why am I like this?

I’m pretty sure 95% of people who know Guy Williams, have seen him on the telly, or have heard someone mention, “that dick Guy Williams,” has wondered: Why is he like that?

Why is he so awkwardly upfront and so eager to put people in uncomfortable positions? Why is he so keen to offer loud opinions? Why does he like Twitter so much?

So, I headed along to his International Comedy Festival gig ‘Why am I like this?’ at The Basement Theatre to learn why.

Guy has insulted many people in his career as a TV and radio personality in New Zealand, but to see him do it live in a comedy set, is just simply art in motion.

As soon as Guy pranced on stage, killed a couple musical instruments, grabbed an audience member and stole their beer, it was non-stop.

He left no prisoners. There wasn’t a person he didn’t mention without insulting them (well, maybe his mother). It was more than I could’ve hoped for.

The 1 hour set covered a range in topics, from Guy’s love of basketball to Kaikoura sperm whales, and finally focused in on New Zealand’s political climate – as only good comedy gigs do – which is unsurprising as he holds a degree in Political Science from Victoria University.

Throughout the loud and opinionated set, Guy “man-splained” (his word, not mine) and gave us an insight on what it’s like to grow up in a privileged white middle-class upbringing.

Apparently, it was both easy and hilarious.

So, if you’re wondering why the guy that once said, “I’ll do anything for a retweet,” is who he is, or just want an hour of straight-up laughing, then head along to see him in action.

Guy Williams – Why am I like this?

Guy Williams is back with more of his wrong opinions spoken confidently and loudly!

His revolutionary quantity over quality approach is “licensed to thrill”. Boy oh boy this is bound to be one of the shows in the year!

“The most unfunny comedian since Seinfeld” – Ivan Lloyd, Facebook

“Almost as bad as Reece Darbie and Flight of the Concords” – Kiwilad, Stuff.co.nz commenter 

guywilliams.co.nz

Facebook – Guy Williams

Twitter – @guywilliamsguy

Instagram – @GUYWILLIAMSGUY

Tickets are selling out – get them here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rose Matafeo | Sassy Best Friend

What could possibly be better than snuggling up on a couch watching NRL on a showery Friday night in Auckland you ask?

How about a quick trip into the city centre to a little place called the Basement Theatre, to watch a quick witted, intelligent and beautiful woman named Rose Matafeo tear up the stage in her latest show “Sassy Best Friend”. Not only that but on arrival to be served BEST FOODS MAYO SLIDERS … FOR FREE … ALL NIGHT! What even is this heaven!?!

The NZ International Comedy Festival is back for another year serving us some belly aching laughter as per usual. This year I was lucky enough to head down to watch Rose Matafeo serving some sass and man was it worth every minute! Not only did I get a feed pre entry thanks to the festival sponsors BEST FOODS MAYO! But I also got a hell of a lot of funny, in the form of a single brown female, an ipad with some pretty awesome tunes, some mills and boon type books, a microphone, a guy named Conrad who works in design and perfectly timed comedy.

Rose who has moved to live in London has come back home and upon return is showing us just why she is one of our favourite NZ Comedians. Walking into the theatre itself we were greeted by her and then had the privilege of watching her dance and do yoga poses as a warm up! Her taste in music would get a 10 from me! Who could be mad at Bruno Mars was serving us bars telling us what he likes as we waited for 7pm to roll around.

Rose brings to the table a delicious bite sized (1hr’ish) show that sheds light on what it is to be the “Sassy Best Friend (SBF)”. You know, the one in movies, not the lead female, but her best friend, the one always there doing the most to prop the other one up! Her sass knows no limits delivering almost faultless one liners about everything from why her curly hair makes her a shining example of the SBF (which includes an excellent remix of the Rihanna tune “Work”), anecdotes from her childhood reminiscing about a wonderful teen period (one of my favourite LOL moments), to the struggles us Hip Hop loving feminists have (yes I would still give her a 10 for her choice in music here too). Her presence in a small intimate environment like the Basement Theatre is so loud and commanding but at the same time there is a hilarious, almost awkward shyness about her that makes her so damn loveable (just ask Conrad)!

Her little quips about her time spent in London gave me some of the heartiest laughs I have had in a long time, these coupled with her tales of her time spent at Auckland Girls Grammar School  in the drama department had me in tears and upon looking around I sure as hell wasn’t the only one. Rose has the ability to make the most awkward poses on stage seem so natural, or perhaps it’s the other way around! Regardless her stage presence, props, persona, jokes and outfit (including the very distressed wife of Martin) made for a hugely enjoyable night. She is one of the best comedians we have round these parts and not only that but she is half Samoan! Can I get a YASSSSSS one time for our Pacific Sister!

If you enjoy quick humour and a bit of self deprecation (in classic Kiwi style) then this show is for you. Make sure you get down and support a sister! Do it for your happy feels! Get some endorphins flowing fam!

Rose Matafeo – NZ International Comedy Festival 2017

Sassy best friend (sas-ee best frend)

  1. A sidekick to the main character in a romantic comedy;
  2. not conventionally attractive, quirky, hard to love;
  3. sometimes not white, often gay.

Rose returns home with a show inspired by her favourite film heroes and her terrible taste in movies. Sassy Best Friend is about friendship, finding yourself and giving up on your dreams.

Rose is performing at the Basement Theatre over the next week you can BUY TICKETS HERE! 

 

‘A Silent Voice’ Film Review | Bullying is NEVER OK!

Directed by Naoko Yamada, ‘A Silent Voice’ (Japanese: 聲の形 ‘Koe no Katachi’; lit. ‘The Shape of Voice’) is a coming-of-age story about second chances, social stigma and overall, a heart drenching tale of reconstruction and redemption.

A film adaption of Yoshitoki Oima’s manga series of the same name, the story’s protangonist is Shoya Ishida and follows his life as a high schooler on the brink of suicide. He becomes ostracized from his peers and everyone around him after he takes bullying Shoko Nishimiya, a deaf female student, too far in elementary school and rather than admit his mistakes, pushes blame amongst his friends. In doing so, he destroys his social connections and ends up with no friends.

From start to finish, the film provides a realistic view to the plot; no fantasy, no sugar-coating. Shoya’s struggles are all painted out and placed in plain sight. The film does rewind time to when Shoya was in Elementary school to provide context, and does it effectively without dragging on too long and away from the present-day of the film.

The art is colourful, beautiful and intricately detailed and this shows especially in the variety of locations and characters shown in the film. In terms of music, the film provides instrumental BGM to accompany appropriate scenes, but other than that, nothing really stood out in terms of music, which could be a good thing, as to not draw from the story and the focus wouldn’t drift away listening to the music. Although the theme song for the movie “Koi wo Shita no wa” by J-Pop artist aiko (which plays in the credits) is an acoustic song that really suits the mood of the film, sombre yet light and fleeting.

Anyone who is familiar with Japanese Anime or Manga will know the typical cliches; wide variety of eccentric characters, self-narrated inner thoughts, comedic flair and emotion you can’t seem to capture enough in real life. That being said, the plot, the characters and the aforementioned emotions are all put on display in a way that is realistic and engaging, making it easier for people to enjoy, relate to and overall, genuinely feel the emotions surrounding the characters.

For that very reason this film is defintely a must-see! I loved it, and there was points in the film where I wanted to scream, cry and at one point I held my breath and almost turned purple (but I ain’t spoiling that moment so you can all experience that suffering too😅)

Whether you’re accustomed to Japanese Anime, be it series or movie, or not, this film has a plethora of relativity for almost anyone, and with illustrious aesthetics and an even more beautiful story, it would be an absolute crime to pass off. (So says me, the Anime Police!😂)

AND WITH THAT BEING SAID, HERE IS THE TRAILER AND SOME HONOURABLE MENTIONS~ [and a well placed SPOILER ALERT right here]


Honourable Mentions

  • The film never properly shows her but Shoya has a sister who has a daughter with a man of African descent (I assume) who all live in a small flat above his mother’s hair salon. Which makes a total of 5 people living together in the small flat and adds to the diverse collection of characters in the film😄
  • One of Shoya’s friends after a significant event (that would be waaaaay too much of spoiler) says to Shoko “You have to love yourself, even the bad parts” – I thought that was nicely placed in the film.
  • This wouldn’t be obvious to western viewers, but the characters are often feeding Koi fish (Carps), a significant kind of fish in Japan. Koi fish in Japan are a symbollic icon of overcoming adversity, so the fact the characters are always seen jumping into the river and feeding Koi fish is a symbolism of the main characters overcoming their short-comings and working on reconstructing their lives. Koi fish also can signify love *wink wink* They’re also spiritually significant, think Pudge the fish in Lilo and Stich.
  • There is a scene where Shoya and his friend visit a place called “Meow Meow Club” and unfortunately for them it wasn’t the kind of “meWOW” they were hoping for – it was a literal Cat Cafe, which is common in Japan and self explainatory – a cafe where you sit and play with cats😅

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

The LOL is silent.

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