TL;DR – At times hilarious, at times incredible farcical, and at times a deeply moving look at the trials of friendship.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene
For a long time, there has been this growing bubble of particular dry absurdist comedy coming out of New Zealand. You see it in the work of Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, Rhys Darby, Rachel House, and also some of Peter Jackson’s early films. These are films that mix comedy and emotional understanding in equal measures. Whenever one of these movies like Hunt for the Wilderpeople (see review) or Hibiscus & Ruthless (see review) make it across the ditch I always really look forward to seeing it. Well, today we get the chance to look at a new entry into this wonderful genre The Breaker Upperers, from the comedic team of Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek.
TL;DR – This film is an hour and a half of pure fun, and probably the first video game film to work in a very long time, and some of the best casting I have seen in a while
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So to be honest right from the start this was a bit of a surprise. It has not been a good year for remakes in 2017, for example, The Mummy (see review) or the Ghost in the Shell (see review) all fell a bit flat on release. Add to this, it has been over twenty years since the first film, and all the information in the lead up to its release did not display Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in a flattering light at all. Indeed, it felt like this was going to be another case of reheating an old franchise rather than trying to do something new, and we are getting a bit tired of this. However, none of this came to pass, instead what we got was a fun romp through the jungle, with superb casting, and sense of knowing exactly what it wanted to do and succeeding in it.
TL;DR – A beautifully filmed story, with real depth and heart, a great cast, and more so since the Lord of the Rings makes the most out of its New Zealand setting
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Review – Wow, people had recommended ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ to me, but nothing prepared me for just how good it would be. It runs the gamut of emotions from humour to sadness, from absurdity to quiet contemplation, from grief to rejoicing. Wilderpeople tells the story of Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) who is a general problem child and on his last chance when he is sent out into the bush to live with Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and Hec (Sam Neill). Bella is a loving woman who takes an immediate shine to Ricky even though Paula (Rachel House) the social worker insists he is a problem case. Hec is a more gruff character that seems to more tolerate than actual like Ricky. It is within this framework that we get the motivation for act two and three when people are propelled forward and have to fight for what they believe in.