Eagle vs Shark

September 30, 2007 at 7:40 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Sep 30, 2007 by Film_Hanger

Filmed in Wellington, New Zealand: Titahi Bay, Plimmerton, Manners Street Mall, and maybe more; it was fun trying to figure out where the scenes were shot. The best was the Manners Street KFC.

Despite some very serious bouts of misfit-ness. It all ends happily.

The film is a little close to home, for most people; that might explain why there was less laughter during the movie. Most people have had bouts of misfit-ness, so some of the funnier scenes are tinged with ‘cringe’. American Pie this film is most definitely not – and a good thing too.

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Stardust

September 29, 2007 at 6:10 pm | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Sep 29, 2007 by Film_Hanger

Based on the best-selling novel by Neil Gaiman illustrated by Charles Vess.

This film is quite complicated: two parallel worlds – one ‘ours’ and the other a fantasy world where magic works – a love story and a coming of age story. It follows the adventures of Tristan – a 17 year boy coming into manhood. The film/story follows Tristan’s journey from adolescence through to manhood; along the way, he discovers true love, his courage, his true heritage, and some useful skills with a sword.

Tristan is the issue of a one-night-stand between Tristan’s father – from our world – and a market girl in the world of magic. It turns out that Tristan’s mother is actually a princess of the Royal House. So Tristan has a tenuous claim the the throne, and when Tristan’s seven uncles start dying off, his claim gets better an better. This thread of the story is obvious to the audience, but not to those in the story.

The other strong thread in the film is that of true love: Tristan thinks he loves one person, but actually loves another. This too becomes increasingly evident to all but Tristan.

Other threads: being true to yourself; ignorant young men should learn more before they set off; ignorant young men a well suited to the robust adventures, they stumble into due to ignorance, because their bodies can take the knocks!

Michelle Pfeiffer plays the evil witch.

Robert De Niro plays a camp pirate, who maintains a fierce fascade.

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Breach

September 22, 2007 at 6:20 pm | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Sep 22, 2007 by Film_Hanger

Based on the true story of FBI Intelligence Analyst Robert Hanssen – who from 1979 to 2001 passed secrets to the Soviet Union.

This film follows the months in 2001 when the FBI suspect that Hanssen is the ‘mole’ and place FBI Investigative Specialist Eric O’Neill close to him. O’Neill is not told the real reason why Hanssen is being investigated and this initially leads to divided loyalties; and O’Neill forces his handler to tell him the truth.

The film explores loyalty at a personal level – O’Neill’s marriage is placed under great strain, as he cannot tell his wife the reason’s for his strange comings and goings. Why Hanssen who is deeply religious and apparent contemptious of the godless Soviet system yet spies for them is briefly explored: a combination of money and generally annoyance that he is ignored by the gun toting political bureaucrats

The film held my attention, but at times I found that it was not very believable. O’Neill has to lie to his wife and Hanssen – constantly. At time, the lies would not stand up to close scutiny. The pager that O’Neill’s handler gives him promises to blow his cover everytime it goes off.

I can’t help comparing this film with The Falcon and the Snowman, which I felt was slightly better.

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Black Snake Moan

September 20, 2007 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Sep 20, 2007 by Film_Hanger

This is an American art movie: A black man chains up a young white woman to cure her of her uncontrollable sexual urges. And it all takes place in the American South. Lazarus is played by Jackson; while, Rae is played by Ricci. The film was given a R16 rating by the NZ Film Censor – there is violence, Ricci appears in a number of scenes wearing a pair of briefs, there is ‘sexual activity’, there is some ‘mildly violent sex’ (it is concensual).

It was a good film, but not entertaining in a relaxing sense – it is just too tense. The film is set in the Deep South of the United States – where African Americans are still ‘less equal’. Through most of the film, I kept asking myself “how will it end for Lazarus ?”. As the film proceeded, whenever Lazarus and Rae are together, I kept expecting some violent interruption.

the film raised some real ethical questions:

  • “Is it alright to deprive someone of their liberty, for their own good?”
  • “If one feels one can help, should one intervene?”
  • “If someone has a physiological disposition towards some physical needs, is it exploitation to assist them satisfy that need?”

The film ends well for all of the main characters, and no one dies. That is why I classify it as an American Indy movie – there is happy ending!

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WOW 2007

September 19, 2007 at 7:00 pm | Posted in Show Review | Leave a comment
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I went to the dress rehearsal of this year’s World Of Wearableart (WOW) Award Show.

Sep 19, 2007 by Show_Hanger

It was great! Year after year, WOW manages to surpass itself.

The highlights for me were:

  • The Children’s Section
  • The Guy’s Suite Section
  • The ‘Raining Men’ Section
  • The UV Section

The Children’s Section was based on “Where the Wild Things Are” picture book; with a large cast of monsters and the stuff of children’s nightmares. The children’s energy – WOW use child performers – was very infectious.

There was lots of energy in the ‘Raining Men’ Section: the audience, of mainly young women, gave all of the guys lots of cheers. It got pretty hot – the audience got very excited when the topless guys moved right up to the edge of the stage (stage right).

The UV Section was the best I have seen. Well composed and used all three dimensions – incorporating a static trapeze and other five suspended performers.

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The Bourne Ultimatum

September 16, 2007 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Sep 16, 2007 by


Film Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
Wellington
New Zealand

The Bourne Ultimatum

The third film in Jason Bourne’s quest to find himself. As usual with these kinds of film – action / thriller – I put my brain into neutral and cruised. The first 80% was one long action sequence and had one of the best fight-in-a-bathroom sequences I have for sometime. It got to the point where I wondered how it would end. How it ended was a bit of a disappointment. Bourne is the product of brain washing – by the flashbacks, using some Gregory-Peck-Manchurian-Candidate techniques. Despite the best that Bourne’s former colleagues can throw at him, Bourne wins through some spectacular fights and crashes. In the end, it felt like Die Hard (1,2,3 or 4.0) mets the Manchurian Candidate.

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Die Hard 4.0

September 1, 2007 at 10:30 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Sep 1, 2007 by Film_Hanger

This the fourth film in the “Die Hard” series and the ‘4.0’ is an obvious tip towards the Internet – signalling that its is all about the use of the Internet to take over the critical infrastructure of the United States of America; or is it ?

As is usual with these kinds of movies I switched my brain into neutral and unload my disbelief modules. Thus prepared I enjoyed two hours or so of light entertainment.

Towards the end of the movie, it struck me that the plot was just the old ‘evil wizard wishes to take over the kingdom, and must kill any wizard who might be powerful enough to oppose them, and uses magic and swords for hire to do so, enter the old paladin and apprentice wizard who needs a moral centre’ … pant pant … plot.

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