* Nothing to do with the Donnie Yen flicks, IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT (葉問：終極一戰) is from the writer and the director of 2010's THE LEGEND IS BORN: IP MAN (葉問前傳). They are together again to detail Ip Man's twilight years, this time starring Anthony Wong from real good things like EXILED (放‧逐, 2006) and INFERNAL AFFAIRS (無間道, 2002). Playing on select Event screens starting now.
* Not even JGL could save the first one, but G.I. JOE 2: RETALIATION has arrived regardless (also in a 3D option). And weirdly, it looks kinda 'good'. With a cast featuring The Rock, Bruce Willis, RZA, the dude from I SAW THE DEVIL (악마를 보았다) / A BITTERSWEET LIFE (달콤한 인생) and Channing Tatum, I'm really hoping for FAST FIVE-type cartoonishness. In fact, remember when Bruce Willis has his own animated show? He even sang the theme song;
* Shot on lo-def 3/4-inch Sony U-matic magnetic tape, NO tells the true-ish tale of advertising executive Gael García Bernal and co. taking on Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet during the 1988 referendum. While I'm unfamiliar with the director, screenwriter Pedro Peirano has worked on a couple of wildly different things that've well impressed me over the years - psycho-servant drama THE MAID (LA NANA, 2009) as well as the adult-friendly kidnapped-TV-news-executive puppet-film 31 MINUTES: THE MOVIE (31 MINUTOS, LA PELÍCULA, 2008). I'm hoping that this thing has a similarly unique take and that my allergy to foreign politics doesn't come into play...
* RUST AND BONE (DE ROUILLE ET D'OS) is out in general release now, from the director behind UN PROPHÈTE (2009). I only know that it's a love story with Marion Cotillard as a killer whale trainer and that awards-folk seem to like it.
* On the other hand, Stephenie Meyer is back. THE HOST is thankfully NOT a remake of the awesome Bong Joon-ho monster flick; it's about aliens possessing human minds or something. Bridget von Hammersmark and Hanna are both in it, but I doubt that'll help.
* The poster actually says "Executive Produced by Ryan Reynolds & Scarlett Johansson". I s'pose THE WHALE is working with what it's got. Starting this Saturday at Rialto Newmarket and The Vic, this doco - also narrated by Reynolds - is about a friendly killer whale. Theme of the week. And don't forget - Friendship is bigger than we know.
* HYDE PARK ON HUDSON looks dull, but I doubt I can turn down a Bill Murray film. He plays Roosevelt, and this film assumes that he indeed did have an affair with Daisy Suckley, played here by Laura Linney. Also featuring Olivias Williams and Colman - Soph from PEEP SHOW as The Queen?!
* HIMMATWALA starts at select 'plexes on Friday and boasts being both a Sajid Khan "entertainer" and an action-romance that is a remake of the remake of 1981's OORIKI MONAGADU.
* And then there is the stack of Easter previews - Hoyts has a few screenings of IDENTITY THIEF; select Event and Hoyts cinemas have screenings of THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER for Hermione fans; and Ryan Reynold's other family flick of the week - caveman cartoon THE CROODS with Nic Cage and Emma Stone - has sneak previews EVERYWHERE.
REPERTORY / ONE-OFF SCREENINGS:
* The long Easter weekend means that Auckland Film Society won't be playing Ernst Lubitsch's DESIGN FOR LIVING (1933) until Tuesday 2nd next week. Based on the Noël Coward play, it's a screwball comedy about a trio of Americans doing a terrible job living together platonically in Paris. Having not seen much Lubitsch, this'll be a highlight of my week.
* If you're a fan of Studio Ghibli's animated wonders or the magical testicles of Japanese raccoon-dogs, I'll meet you under the University Library this Thursday 28th. The Consulate-General of Japan is playing POM POKO (平成狸合戦ぽんぽこ, 1994) as their FREE monthly Japanese film screening. Things kick off at 6:50 PM with LIGHT UP NIPPON, a half-hour doco about the tsunami recovery. And to get you in the mood (actually I just use any excuse to thrust Ghibli-fan Kyary Pamyu Pamyu upon people), have some two-week old J-pop;
* West Auckland's EcoWest Festival wraps up in a few days, but before then they are playing the 2012 documentary FOUR HORSEMEN. Join them at 7:30 PM Thursday 28th to see loads of clever fellows like Noam Chomsky talk on film about how the world really works.
* Rialto are down to their final two screenings (for now) of CASABLANCA (1942); 6 PM Saturday or 3:30 PM Easter Monday if you haven't seen that in a while.
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!