Thursday, December 20, 2012

In Cinemas: December 20 - 26

I'm sure nobody's surprised, but this Christmas week is packed and messy. We have FIVE Boxing Day films, a stack of previews and everything is arriving on different days. I miss order already. Strap in, 'cause I'm in cast-list mode...


* WELCOME ABOARD (BIENVENUE PARMI NOUS) is the latest from the fellow behind CONVERSATIONS WITH MY GARDENER (DIALOGUE AVEC MON JARDINIER) and MY AFTERNOONS WITH MARGUERITTE (LA TÊTE EN FRICHE). A friendship blossoms between a depressed painter in his sixties and a young lady. Sounds very French. Not yet on Wiki and titled incorrectly on IMDB, it's still playing Rialto Newmarket, The Monterey and The Bridgeway.

* DABANGG 2 is a new Hindi action film starring Salman Khan. Yep, that's all I know. Playing at select multiplexes 'round town.


* From the director of the insane KILL LIST comes the black comedy SIGHTSEERS (NZFF 2012). This caravan trip with a body count was written by its two leads, and is well worth your time. Playing at The Academy, The Monterey and The Bridgeway.

* WRECK-IT-RALPH is ridiculously up my alley. A hilariously-animated CG film that worships the video games of old, directed by a dude from THE SIMPSONS & FUTURAMA, featuring the voice talents of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman and Alan Tudyk doing his best Ed Wynn, references to STREET FIGHTER, PAC-MAN, MARIO, SONIC, Q*BERT, plus an end theme from ludicrous J-poppers AKB48. Good Lord, I'll be seeing this again!

* While Marisa Tomei has had some decent roles lately, a new Billy Crystal / Bette Midler picture in 2012 seems odd. But PARENTAL GUIDANCE has indeed happened, starring the three of them. Something to do with babysitting grandchildren? Dustin Hoffman brings us the latest in grandma-cinema with QUARTET. Set in a home for retired opera singers, it stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and some other sweet old folk. Yikes. Woody Allen continues his tax-break period with TO ROME WITH LOVE. Interweaving tales that star Penélope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alison Pill, Greta Gerwig, Roberto Benigni, Judy Davis and of course Woody himself. I may be alone on this, but I adored VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA and will no doubt catch this one just in case.


The five Boxing Day films mentioned above are all getting 'preview screenings' over the next few days. And that's not all; four of next year's films are also getting early sneaks in...

* Ang Lee turned up at Sylvia Park on Thursday to do a Q&A after a screening of his latest film, LIFE OF PI. Based on the best-selling book, a dude gets trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger after his family tries to move their zoo from India to Canada. How awesome to see Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall & Gérard Depardieu together in a cast list! And the guy who played Shredder in the first TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES movie! Due January 1st, so you have a chance to see it eight days early.

* Nine days ahead of its January 3rd release is the CG fantasy film RISE OF THE GUARDIANS. The story of Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy & The Sandman calling in Jack Frost to help fight The Boogeyman sounds very childish, but the trailers make it seem better than that. They haven't gone the cutesy route and have Alec Baldwin voicing a tattooed Russian Santa. I'll give it a bash.

* Tom Cruise in an action flick from the guy that brought us THE WAY OF THE GUN might not be the coolest thing, but JACK REACHER also features Robert Duvall, Dick Jenkins, Rosamund Pike and Werner Herzog! Our titular hero is from a whole stack of novels that I've never heard of, about a tough guy who used to be a military cop.

* Rialto has already shown SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS and it seemed to get a pretty great response. Looks like a pretty light-hearted romp about dognapping gone wrong, but I'm in. Coming January 3rd, so the previews are almost two weeks early. From the IN BRUGES guy and check this cast; Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Colin Farrell, Harry Dean Stanton, Kevin Corrigan, Michael Pitt, Michael Stuhlbarg…even Tom Waits!!

Now, here is a handy breakdown of what's playing when, for those of you who either want to get in first or would rather forget that Christmas is a thing. And don't forget that Monterey is celebrating their birthday with $8.50 tickets all week!

- WRECK-IT-RALPH (3D) - All day, all Events & Hoyts.
- JACK REACHER - 6:30 PM St. Lukes, Albany & Newmarket Events.
- SIGHTSEERS - Monterey 8:25 PM ($8.50!) & Academy 8:40 PM.

- WRECK-IT-RALPH (3D) - All day, all Events & Hoyts
- SIGHTSEERS - 8:25 PM Bridgeway.
- TO ROME WITH LOVE - 8:30 PM Bridgeway.
- SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS - 8:20 PM Monterey ($8.50!) & 8:40 PM Academy.

- WRECK-IT-RALPH (3D) - All day, all Events & Hoyts
- SIGHTSEERS - 8:25 PM Bridgeway.
- SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS - 8:00 PM Bridgeway & 8:35 PM Monterey ($8.50!).

- PARENTAL GUIDANCE - All day, all Events & Hoyts
- TO ROME WITH LOVE - Monterey 1:10 PM & 3:15 PM ($8.50!), plus Bridgeway 6:30 PM.
- LIFE OF PI - Bridgeway 4:05 PM (2D) & Monterey 5:40 PM (2D)($8.50!)
- QUARTET - 2:10 PM Bridgeway, 5:45 PM Monterey ($8.50!), 6:10 PM Berkeley Takapuna, 7:20 PM Botany Downs & 7:30 PM Berkeley Mission Bay.

- PARENTAL GUIDANCE - All day, Manukau & Queen st Events
- QUARTET - All day, Manukau & Queen st Events
- RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (2D/3D) - All day, Manukau & Queen st Events
- LIFE OF PI (3D) - 2:00 PM & 6:50 PM Queen st Event.

REPERTORY / ONE-OFF SCREENINGS (Yep, we're not finished yet!):

* Disney's FANTASIA (1940) is the kids' screening this weekend at The Monterey. Only $5, playing at 9:30 AM Saturday and Sunday. If your kids like mushrooms, they'll love this;

* This week's film being shown on The Silo down Wynyard Quarter is HOME ALONE (1990). Go get some family goodness down you with Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara & John Candy.

* The Vic has got 2D screenings of Pixar's BRAVE & Aardman Animation's ARTHUR CHRISTMAS over the next few days. And since I'm big on my cast lists today, how 'bout the latter's voice-cast; James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Laura Linney, Eva Longoria, Michael Palin, Robbie Coltrane, Joan Cusack, Rhys Darby, Andy Serkis, Alistair McGowan, McNulty from THE WIRE, The Cat from RED DWARF and Fran from BLACK BOOKS. Dude.

* There are some more music docos screening for FREE as part of the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery this weekend. First up, PUNK: ATTITUDE (2005) is pretty self-explanatory and plays on Saturday at 2 PM. Playing 12:00 PM Sunday is IT MIGHT GET LOUD (2008), which sees Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White all chat about guitars, then jam together. And END OF THE CENTURY is the 2003 doco about The Ramones, playing at 2 PM Sunday.

* And, the one-night-only Rolling Stones doco CROSSFIRE HURRICANE is in its fourth week, sneaking in again at Rialto Newmarket, The Monterey and The Vic.

All sessions above are accurate at the time of publication. Your best bet would be to check Flicks or the theatre website before attending. Please let us know in the comments if you spy anything we've messed up/missed out!

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