Category Archives: Editor’s Pick

The films I’ve rated the highest.

Source Code

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I love time travel films! This is a brilliantly simple story combined with the mind-bending possibilities of time travel. 

‘Source Code’ is a top-secret military experimental operation where injured pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is given the ability to repeatedly relive the final eight minutes of a man’s life. The man is Sean Fentress who dies in an explosion on a train. Each time Stevens relives the final eight minutes of this man’s life, he is given the opportunity to seek out the person responsible for planting the bomb on the train in an attempt to stop it from ever happening… Continue reading

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Hot Fuzz

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A brilliant action-comedy from writers Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. It’s one of my favourite films, and I can’t believe I’d never gotten around to review it.

This is my favourite film because it is so cleverly written and very funny. It follows the story of goody-two-shoes London policeman named Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) who gets transferred to a small, rural village against his will… Continue reading

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Split

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Another brilliant film from M. Night Shyamalan. It’s the best kind of story – the kind that you’ll be thinking about for days.

For me, Split is a return to Shyamalan’s trademark of well-rounded characters and fantastic storylines. It’s a film that echoes the genius of The Village and The Sixth Sense.

Split is about a man called Kevin Wendell-Crumb (James McAvoy, whose talent will be gushed upon shortly) who has 23 personalities… Continue reading

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Darkest Hour

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If you thought Dunkirk and The King’s Speech were epics, wait until you see Darkest Hour. It’s another perspective of the remarkable rescue of British soldiers from the shores of Dunkirk, this time, from inside British parliament… Continue reading

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Dunkirk

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Dunkirk is definitely the best war-based film I have seen since Saving Private Ryan.

This is an incredibly moving and haunting survival film about British soldiers desperately trying to escape the ever-approaching Nazi German forces. They’re attacking by air and land. The British soldiers attempt to evacuate France at Dunkirk to England via ship, despite all odds… Continue reading

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The Girl on the Train

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The Girl on the Train is up there with Gone Girl! A mind-twisting psychological thriller, through the eyes of Rachel (Emily Blunt) – a frail alcoholic who is the last person to see Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett) alive… Continue reading

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople

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I really needed this film in my life. 

Another Kiwi classic from director Taika Waititi, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is about a national manhunt ordered for a rebellious Kiwi kid, Ricky (Julian Dennison), and his foster uncle, Hec (Sam Neill), who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush. A fantastically hilarious and beautiful tribute to everything that is Kiwi… Continue reading

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Hidden Figures

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This was actually quite a funny film!

I was expecting a super dramatic biopic, but as compelling as the storyline absolutely is, it is intertwined with down-to-Earth humour.

A fantastically inspiring movie based on three real-life black women who worked at NASA in the sixties. It follows their triumphs and successes, despite being completely discriminated against for being black, and for being women… Continue reading

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La La Land

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IT’S SO MAGICAL!

Despite the trailer making me expect Glee meets Grease, I had heard so many rave reviews about La La Land, that I simply had to see it for myself.

I was not disappointed.

A story about a boy and a girl, with grand dreams (already a refreshing storyline in itself). Ryan Gosling’s character, Sebastian, wants to be a jazz musician, playing in his own bar. Emma Stone’s character, Mia, wants to be a successful actress. Two strong-minded people going in different directions, yet refusing to let go of each other… Continue reading

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Finding Dory

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I was more keen to see BFG if I’m honest, but mostly because I thought Finding Nemo was so good that ‘Finding Dory’ was just going to be a cash-in. But due to a particularly over-excited boyfriend, we ended up seeing Finding Dory. Sharing a small cinema with about 50 people – some of them peculiar, some of them creepy, and only a couple of them under the age of 13 – we unabashedly cracked open a couple of ciders and the movie began. And I was pleasantly surprised… Continue reading

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Brooklyn

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I am ashamed how close I came to watching Tina Fey’s new movie, Sisters, rather than seeing this touching drama. (I still reckon Tina Fey is a genius, though.)

After seeing the Brooklyn trailer I was prepared to see a slow-paced, sullen and potentially grim film. But this was not the case!

I walked out of the cinema feeling uplifted, positive and encouraged. I felt as though I’d been wrapped up in a big, fat duvet, sung a lullaby while sipping on hot cocoa inside by the fire during a blizzard… It gave me the warm and fuzzies, and made me feel happy… Continue reading

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The Time Traveler’s Wife

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A heart-breaking story about, not the person who leaves, but the person who’s perpetually left behind.

I like this unusual perspective, particularly since time-travel is such an attractive, but foreign, concept. Yet, the story is focused on the more human and deeply relatable themes.

I’ve heard the book is fantastic – I’m going to read it this summer. But, the movie is exquisite. If you haven’t seen or read The Time Traveler’s Wife, the low-down is that a man is a time traveller and his wife is not. The time traveller, named Henry (Eric Bana) can’t control his travelling, so his impromptu disappearances and reappearances become a way of life for his wife Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams)… Continue reading

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Top 4: Favourite Festive Films

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You may have noticed I have done this post before. You are correct. This time last year, I gifted you people with a splendid collection of my personal Christmas film favourites. However, I am here to refresh this post with one additional film. Also, this time I’ve included quotes from my cat-loving, film-tolerating brother, who dresses his fur-babies up as Christmas-themed characters… Continue reading

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Arthur Christmas

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Only just came across this animated festive feast. I had ignored it when seeing it in the bargain bin for sometime, but with a ‘buy two get one free’ deal on, I found myself struggling to pick the third and free DVD. Stuck between Alvin and the Chipmunks and Barbie in A Christmas Carol, I reluctantly decided on Arthur Christmas as my free movie…
I got my ticket. I was ready to be a passenger on this one-horse open sleigh ride of festive fun. I was ready to deck the halls with wonder and joy. I was ready to let it snow with good tidings, tinsel and turkey.

It was time to bring Santa back to town… Continue reading

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A Few Good Men

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“You can’t handle the truth!” Well. Now I know where this famous quote actually comes from. I’ve heard it being referenced in Seinfeld (and probably countless other shows), and hadn’t the slightest clue it was from a good movie – not some Terminator, mindless action film that for some reason I always assumed it would be from. A Few Good Men, a courtroom drama from 1992. I know, I know, I’m only 23 years behind. Man, this movie is my favourite at the moment. I’m assuming I was the only person on the planet who hadn’t seen this film, but if you need a refresher of the plot without any of the court or Marine jargon… Continue reading

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The Town

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Not to be confused with The Village… I think this movie has everything in it – a compelling love story, fantastic action scenes and Ben Affleck *swoon*. You also can’t go wrong with a rough Boston accent either! A story about a town in Boston named Charlestown. Where, for some, bank robbery is a way of life and treated as an art handed down through the generations… Continue reading

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Big Eyes

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This is the story of Margaret (Adams) who is the artist responsible for the memorable paintings of the children with big eyes during the sixties and seventies. She married a salesman Walter Keane (Waltz) after walking out on her previous husband. (Which was a big thing for women of that time.) Keane told her that people don’t buy ‘lady art’, so it would be in both of their best financial interests if Margaret’s art was passed off as his. Over 10 years, that lie snowballed into something much larger, where Margaret was lying to her daughter, lying to herself and losing her identity in a dominated relationship. Continue reading

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Inside Out

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What a fantastic premise!

I am fascinated by psychology and why people behave they way they do, and this film has simplified our complex behaviours into an entertaining and interesting animation.

It’s about a young girl… Well, more like the emotions that make up a young girl. We see inside her head and see who controls her moods, decisions and feelings:

Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear… Continue reading

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Whiplash

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I’m sure you’ve heard of Whiplash, and referred to it as ‘that drumming film with Juno’s dad in it.’

Or, perhaps you first heard of it when J.K. Simmons won best supporting actor at the Oscars for his role in Whiplash. (Which, OH MY GOD did he deserve. He was… Every teacher I’ve ever feared.)

Although, I reckon everyone should have known Whiplash as ‘that amazing film I went to see yesterday for the second time’. Yet, at least in Auckland’s case, it was barely shown – if at all – in the major cinemas… Continue reading

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Wild

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Based on a true story, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) battles the ghosts of her past: heroin addiction, divorce, the death of her mother and the abandonment of her father. As a way to start fresh, she goes on a 1000-mile journey along the Pacific Crest Trail.

To be frank, the flashbacks made me feel really uncomfortable. But… I guess the world of heroin addicts shouldn’t exactly be attractive.

A classic ‘runaway movie’, although I’m not entirely sure if this is actually a sub-genre. Nevertheless, Wild fits into this category along with Into the Wild, Thelma and Louise, and to some extent: Eat Pray Love, Gone Girl and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty… Continue reading

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Gone Girl

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I was so shocked by Rosamund Pike’s performance – she was fantastic of course – but I wasn’t prepared for her to pick this role.

Let’s be clear, this isn’t the mystery/detective/Midsomer Murders deal I was expecting. This is a story of a manic, psychopathic panther disguised as a house cat.

Pike’s character, Amy, is the wife to Nick (Ben Affleck), when she goes missing. They were a seemingly perfect couple who live in the suburbs, but how happy were they really before this tragedy happened?… Continue reading

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American Graffiti

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This movie nearly didn’t get made. Boy, am I glad it was. This is in my top five movies – at least!

American Graffiti is the colourful account of the final night of high school for a group of students who go out cruising, attend ‘the hop’ and hang at the drive-in dina.

It’s not only an incredibly entertaining film, it’s also the most accurate documentation of what the sixties were all about.

This movie makes me upset because it makes me mourn the spectacular sixties. As mentioned in Midnight in Paris, it’s “Golden Age Thinking” – the thought that I’d be happier in another time. And boy does American Graffiti do that; it hits me right in the feels… Continue reading

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Her

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(Prepare to see a lot of screen grabs with quotes from this film around. The script is so poetic.)

Her is a sci-fi romance, drama hybrid that premiered at the 2013 New York Film Festival.

It’s set in the near future where rather than keeping one’s head down – staring at a phone screen – people now have an ear piece that respond to voice commands.

The operational system – or OS – that performs the requests now have personalities, and for all intense and purposes, are a personal assistant with feelings and emotions equal in complexity to humans.

This new update is something that the main character, melancholy and lonely Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), becomes immediately interested in… Continue reading

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Young Adult

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Another classic Diablo Cody script! I love the dialogue she writes for characters who are (for lack of a better word) ‘real’. Jason Reitman is the director of this comedy-drama, who is responsible for the likes of Juno and Up in the Air.

Young Adult is about a ghost writer, Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), who returns to her home town to try and get back with an old flame, Buddy. Buddy, however, is married and has just had a baby and is in no way interested in what Mavis is so obviously implying… Continue reading

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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I wasn’t expecting much from this sequel, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

A desolate planet with a small population living within the remains of an apocalypse. The humans are in search of a water supply to ensure electricity to their commune. However, the apes that were used in trials in the prequel have populated the forests where the water supply is.

I found the body language of the apes and the reactions of the humans fascinating… Continue reading

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