* OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL - Sam Raimi's prequel to Dorothy's adventures - is out now in 2D and 3D (and Dolby Atmos for you Wellington folk). It stars Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams, which would normally sound all class to me. James Franco and Mila Kunis have both impressed me before, plus I'm totally fine with Zach Braff and a Bruce Campbell cameo. Yet I'm unenthused...
* From the director of the 4th Harry Potter, comes the Dickens classic GREAT EXPECTATIONS, starring Voldemort, Bellatrix and Hagrid. He also directed PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME, DONNIE BRASCO and FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, but I was enjoying the theme there. This tale of the orphan Pip, wealthy spinster Mrs. Haversham and the convict Magwitch has been told by so many folk - David Lean & Obi-wan; Ray Winstone & Scully; Charlotte Rampling & Theoden; De Niro & Paltrow; Sir Anthony & Gimli; James Mason & Michael York; Jean Simmons even had two turns, 45 years apart. This stab also features the wonderful Sally Hawkins, Jason Flemyng, LITTLE BRITAIN's David Walliams, TRAINSPOTTING's Spud and Finchy from THE OFFICE. AND there's an Executive Producer credit for Our Very Own Cliff Curtis, the pizza delivery guy from 2004's Heinous Crime;
* The duo that wrote THE HANGOVER and THE CHANGE-UP have had a crack at directing; enter 21 & OVER. The kid from RABBIT HOLE and the dude from PITCH PERFECT get crazy with Eric from the TWILIGHT films on his 21st or something. Surprisingly, it sounds like nobody likes it.
* Some of the films that have recently impressed Auckland Cinephile are still showing; DJANGO UNCHAINED and ANNA KARENINA haven't completely disappeared yet; AMOUR, SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, THE IMPOSTER and ARGO are all still showing in some form or another, too.
REPERTORY / ONE-OFF SCREENINGS:
* The biggest film news this week though is the return of Auckland Film Society! $165 (less for returning members) for 31 screenings throughout the year is pretty exciting, plus they're back at the recently-refurbished Academy Cinema. Their 2013 program kicks off with 1971's TWO-LANE BLACKTOP, which I won't say much about, because SOMEHOW, I've never seen it. Ask me again next week.
Doug stepping in for a moment here: TWO-LANE BLACKTOP is what the French refer to as a motherfucking masterpiece. Go see it.
* West Auckland doesn't get a lot of special screenings, so it's nice to see the EcoWest Festival out in Henderson this month. This week's film at the Waitakere WEA is THE END OF THE LINE: A WORLD WITHOUT FISH (2009), a documentary about overfishing and the notion that we'll be completely out of seafood by 2048. That plays for FREE at 7:30 PM Thursday 7th, but in the meantime, a cartoon about the seafood fighting back;
* Good ol' CASABLANCA (1942) has received another limited theatrical run, this time at Rialto Newmarket. And while it feels as though we get the chance to see this every year on the big screen, it IS a fantastic flick. Bogart, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, that dialogue...So if you haven't caught it yet, these eight $12.50 screenings begin this week with sessions at 4:30 PM Saturday 9th and 1 PM Wednesday 13th.
* As part of "Fashion In The Big Little City", the Auckland Art Gallery is screening a Film Archive compilation entitled THE WAY WE DRESSED, about how film and television have influenced NZ fashion over the years, for better or worse. Playing for FREE at 1 PM and 2:30 PM Saturday 9th.
* Back from NZIFF 2009 for "Fashion In The Big Little City", the Auckland Art Gallery also has a FREE screening of THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE (2008) at 10 AM Sunday 10th. Documenting the making of Vogue Magazine's September 2007 edition, it's the Creative Director vs. Editor-in-Chief battle that folks seem to like about this one.
* Also back after a not-so-long break, also as part of "Fashion In The Big Little City" and also screening for FREE - this week's Silo Cinema offering, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S. With Hannibal from THE A-TEAM, Jed Clampett from THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, a staggeringly un-PC Mickey Rooney and Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, this screens at 9 PM Friday 8th down the waterfront.
* Uxbridge Arts Cinema Club has A ROYAL AFFAIR (EN KONGELIG AFFÆRE) playing this week. Starring Mads Mikkelsen from PUSHER (1996) and CASINO ROYALE (2006), and Trine Dyrholme from THE CELEBRATION (FESTEN)(1998) and IN A BETTER WORLD (HÆVNEN)(2010), this well-respected Danish historical drama from last year is about the titular affair between the Queen of Denmark and the royal physician. $8 entry, 8 PM Thursday 7th, out Howick way.
* ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL has got a few days left in it! This week you can catch a bunch of films, including Jacques Tati's 1953 comedy MR. HULOT'S HOLIDAY (LES VACANCES DE M. HULOT), YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET! (VOUS N'AVEZ ENCORE RIEN VU) from the 90 year old Alain Resnais or Raymond Depardon's deeply personal JOURNAL DE FRANCE. Those're the three I'mma see, anyway. That's after I've seen CINDERELLA (1950) at the so-called Disney Princess Film Festival, naturally...