Tag Archives: movies


I went to see Toa Fraser’s cinematic version of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle. I enjoyed it very much. It’s the stage show (shot from some interesting angles) and every so often veers into the rehearsal room or into regular life. I found the ‘interval’ section and the pas de deux in the rehearsal room the most affecting. Lovely work.

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The World’s End

The World’s End seems to be out in most countries so I’m going to write about what it meant to me. There may be SPOILERS. I’m honestly not sure which bits I’ve read about or seen in the film’s publicity, and what is in the film. Also, if you haven’t seen the film, this will make no sense at all. You’ve been warned.

So, yeah. I loved it. LOVED it. It was almost as profound an experience for me as Apollo 13: Mission Control. (That’s the immersive show that changed my life.) I think part of it is timing, part of it is storytelling, and part of it is Nick Frost’s pushkick. (It’s a thing of beauty.) I am around the same age as the characters in the film. I’ve recently been contemplating the opportunity cost of the kind of person I am. I recognised recently that I love stories with elements that are woven together and holy mother of awesome there are plenty of those in this film. (There are plenty in the other two Cornetto films too.)

My two word review for Cinematica was “Fighting Humanness.” That was my attempt to sum up the aliens vs. humans theme AND the humans vs. humans (or human vs. themselves) theme. We are jolly good at doing things that we know we shouldn’t.

Anyway, here are the things that resonated with me. (Obviously this is a personal take on the movie, influenced by the aforementioned things. The filmmakers may not have intended for someone to read these things into their film. That’s the subjective beauty of creation innit?)


Nick Frost throws some punches, kicks and elbows that make me dance with glee every time I see them. The very funny Rosamund Pike also has a pushkick that looks great on the screen. Martin Freeman does a nice little escape move. Simon Pegg’s spit-take in one of the fights is hilarious. There’s a fabulous fight scene between Frost and Pegg. Fully committed fighting. Excellent.


Great songs; well used.


If one pays attention the whole story is laid out before it is spoken. The running visual jokes – the numbers, the pub signs as chapter headings (e.g. “In which our heroes…”), the bar slogans and promotions, the out-of-order-disabled toilet, the euphemisms that aren’t… The audio cues – half heard lines, a technology sound we hear all the time, the ambient sound (this has a technical name, can’t remember what it is)…  Favourite visual joke – the “Drink Responsibly” sign. Favourite audio joke – the sound as they exit the bathroom after the first fight. *tee hee hee hee hee*


Eddie Marsan’s character has a poignant back story about being bullied. (The resolution to that story, well I’m ambivalent about it, he briefly gets satisfaction by sort of turning the tables. However, the day after I saw the movie a tweep posted that the girl who’d bullied her all through school had spotted her in the supermarket and had come over to apologise for her actions. In front of my friend’s Dad no less. How cool is that? My friend’s elation was palpable even through the screen.)

Gary King and what he represents. He’s every friend you’ve ever had who is the best time ever – as long as you can get out before it all goes fuck up. God I love this character. (I’m not 100% sure I understand the resolution to his story. On one hand…then on the other… I don’t feel cheated though.)

The banter. King Arthur, ‘rain’, lost, slaves, “Let’s Boo Boo”, Cousin Paul. (I love me a callback.)

The reveals. There are a bunch of nicely done reveals. Visual reveals, story reveals. Nothing feels like it’s being held back for the usual “I can’t talk to you because I love you too much” bollocks. This is unfinished business.

The way that the personal is more important than the bigger picture. The town may have changed but the thing that’s important is the friendship. Steven and Sam’s story resolution is very satisfying.


Thanks to the cast and crew of The World’s End for your film.


Cornetto trilogy

Last night I went to the lovely Roxy Cinema for a double bill showing of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. I was pretty excited as I’d never seen either of them on the big screen before. (I know, late to the party.) It may be still be the glow from the weekend but I really like those movies. I like the structure of them, the slightly weird and eccentric characters, the acting, the mood swings, and how real (in a fake way) the relationships feel. A good night out. Totally worth the four hours sleep before Thursday.

This is Sir PJ talking to Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost about The World’s End.


The World’s End

Tonight I went to the final movie in the Cornetto trilogy. *EEEEEEEE* Some thoughts/things from the evening:
– I am rubbish at the red carpet stargazing.
– I’m quite good at the one on one chat as long as it’s not too long. – Security guys are nice to chat to.
– I’m not so good at placing people from their names. (Especially when they try to be sneaky.)
– I tried to give my Cornetto to a dwarf but his wife told him to get his own. *tee hee*
– R row, while quite far back has a good perspective for the giant screen at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington. – Martin Freeman is rather good at the comedic speech.
– The movie is EXCELLENT.
– Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg write scripts that have all the elements of storytelling that I love. – Nick Frost has a pushkick that is a thing of beauty.
– Dinner will be late.

Thanks @paramountnz for the brilliant evening.


Fantasy casting

Two questions on Twitter today:

1. Who would play you in the movie of your life?

2. Who would play you in the movie of your dream-version-of-your-life?

@text_publishing asked me the first question on Twitter this morning. I had to stop and think about it. Then, since I think my life is not narratively satisfying (it’s not over for one), I started to wonder about who would play me in my dreamed-version-of-my-life. Essentially we’re playing with the notion of ‘who am I?’ The people I (you) chose reveal something about me (you). I’m not entirely sure what that is, but it’s definitely something. (When I asked Design Guy these questions he segued into a discussion about art revealing the artist and I think this is a little bit like that.)

My choices?

1. Rachel Weisz.

2. Ryan Gosling. (If I’m ethnicity-blind casting, then I’m damn well gender-blind casting as well.)

Your answers and/or interpretations are welcome in the comments, or on Twitter.

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Two movies I have watched recently

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (movie poster) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I watched this ridiculous nonsense on (after?) the last day of ArmageddonExpo and enjoyed it very much. Maybe it was because comics were on my mind that this movie felt like the best adaptation of a graphic novel that I’ve seen. (Which is incorrect as it’s actually based on a novel.) The colours, composition (changing points of view), editing (switching from time zones and between locations), dialogue, and use of slow-mo were all very entertaining.  The fight scenes were excellent.  The script does not follow the book exactly and they mess around with vampire mythology. Oh, and the story of Abraham Lincoln. However, as Ebert says “we do not attend “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” in search of a history lesson“. Damn skippy.


Shopping  Shopping

Quite a different film. Very languid, the story unfolds before you with the inevitability of an unraveling scarf. It is triggery for domestic violence so keep that in mind if you’re going to see it. There are some harrowing moments, made even more so by the editing (which I really liked.) Some great performances by the actors give charm and personality to dangerous characters. Good stuff.


  • Beautiful Paekakariki.
  • Lovely cinematography – lots of close ups and shallow focus.  In one scene a character is speaking off camera, the character reacting is in the foreground out of focus, and the furniture in the background is in focus. Love it.
  • I got to hang out with the lovely Rochelle who moved down to Wellington just after I did. You won’t get to do this.  Sorry. #NotSorry

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead


I have found another movie for my ever evolving top ten list.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.

It’s the story of minor characters in Hamlet and what they are doing when they are not on stage. The script is full of word play. That makes me very happy


For example

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