Shadowland comes to The Civic

 

Shadowland

Dance choreography used to create an epic shadow cast you’ll have to see to believe!

How cool does that sound? For the first time in New Zealand the USA’s talented Pilobolus Dance Theatre company brings it’s enchanting tale of illusion and dance to the Auckland stage.

Get lost in the whimsical world of a young girl’s mind as she thinks about life and the impending responsibility of growing up. The shadows on her bedroom wall beckon her forward, beyond the constraints of the real world and into Shadowland.

Find out more on the Shadowland website.

Shadowland
The Civic, Auckland
Tuesday 3 – Sunday 8 June, 2014
Buy tickets online here

Documentary Edge Festival is coming

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Guys, who doesn’t like a good doco? The Documentary Edge Festival is the best time of year for us to check out the world’s best documentaries, and luckily we’re spoilt for choice with this year’s line up looking as impressive as ever. The programme features a stunning 58 films from all around the world, but one of the highlights is sure to be the opening night premiere of Erebus: Operation Overdue, a New Zealand film about the tragic loss of Air New Zealand Flight 901 when it collided with Mt. Erebus in Antarctica. The film is a highly anticipated feature of the festival which TVNZ Documentary Commissioner Jude Callen describes as “a powerfully emotional account of one of the darkest moments in New Zealand history.”

Another highlight will definitely be God Loves Uganda, a movie from Academy Award-winner Roger Ross Williams which looks at the role of the American Evangelical movement in fuelling Uganda’s terrifying turn towards the proposed death penalty for homosexuality. This will close out the festival this year.

For a full list of films, head to the Documentary Edge Festival website and be sure to get your tickets now!

Documentary Edge Festival

Auckland (21 May – 2 June 2014)
Q, 305 Queen Street, Auckland Central

Wellington (5 – 15 June 2014)
The Roxy, 5 Park Road, Miramar

The LEGO Movie is awesome!

The Lego Movie

Holy crap you guys The LEGO Movie is freaking awesome!

Ok seriously from time to time a kids movie comes out that is legitimately awesome. The LEGO Movie is one of them. This is like The Lion KingToy Story trilogy, How to Train Your Dragon level awesomeness.

Directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord have managed to make a movie that brings out all the feelings of joy you get when you’re playing with Lego. You feel like you’re making the movie yourself, like you could go home and bust out your Lego sets and have more adventures or make the sequel yourself. Which I guess is the point. Sure this movie is a giant ad for plastic brick toys but it’s the best ad you’ll ever see. The story follows a generic construction worker Legoman whose life revolves around following the instructions. When his world is threatened he must embrace the idea of free thinking and creativity instead of simply following instructions.

It’s charming, it’s hilarious and it makes you feel like a kid again in all the best ways. Go see The LEGO Movie right now.

Divergent aka The Hunger Games lite

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Remember how awesome both The Hunger Games movies were? Don’t expect similar awesomeness from Divergent.

Here’s a movie that’s only been made because The Hunger Games, and you can really tell. The story is kind of all over the place, and even though they spend the first 30 minutes or so literally explaining the world they exist in it still doesn’t really make sense. The problem is that the film asks you to believe in this harmonious community made up of co-existing groups of people based on values that seem to have been plucked out of mid-air. There’s no explanation of why the factions are important, or why they work, or who chose those specific values to create the factions. Putting all of that aside the movie is filled with plot holes and weird non-twists.

On a positive note the acting is amazing. Shailene Woodley and Theo James are captivating as Tris and Four, respectively. Talented as they are their performances aren’t enough to rescue the rest of the film. Average, unsurprising, run-of-the-mill, other cliche sayings. That said, it’s not as awful as Twilight. Nothing could be as awful as Twilight. Just watch The Hunger Games again, instead.

Captain America sequel thrills

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The Winter Soldier represents a more sophisticated Marvel movie.

Captain America: The First Avenger is my favourite non-Avengers movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so I was as excited as a superhero movie buff could be when the opening credits credited away on screen for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The trailers were awesome (did you SEE The Winter Soldier catch Cap’s shield mid-air?!), and the film itself doesn’t fail to live up to the trailer.

What directors the Russo brothers have done here is strip back some of the pomp and explosiveness of previous MCU movies and focus on the core of Captain America as a character, which is being the moral compass of this entire cinematic universe. What made The First Avenger so refreshing was the timeless, almost lost, core values of honesty and doing the right thing no matter what, being brought into the big, loud, sarcastic Marvel universe. The Captain’s role is to bring a little class and all-Americanness to the screen.

In The Winter Soldier the villain is less obvious. Less a person than an idea. Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers goes up against everyone and everything he knew before to figure out who the hell the bad guys are and whether he has the resolve to do what he knows is right. The political tones in this movie are achingly relevant with what’s happening right now in world politics, touching on issues like surveillance of citizens and the loss of freedoms and privacy “for the greater good.”

There are some great twists here and certainly events in this movie will have far-reaching consequences for future MCU movies and TV shows. “Game-changer” is a term thrown around a lot these days but in terms of this ever-growing and incredibly intricate cinematic universe game-changing is an accurate descriptor.

Chris Evans is awesome (as always) in a role he seems born to play. From the opening shot you see he embodies the Captain, especially physically. Seriously. How the heck did he get so big? Robert Redford brings some amazing political weight to the film, and slinks on to the scene to take a blender to right and wrong. Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson return as Black Widow and Nick Fury respectively, and continue their pitch perfect performances as the Cap’s right-hand lady and the ever-tough head of SHIELD.

Marvel-heads will love this solid entry into the MCU canon, for non-fans there is also lots here, particularly the relevant political undertones and a particularly explosive climax.