Month: December, 2011

Happy Feet Two – review

Seema and I took the kids to see Tintin today, but alas it was sold out. My son was a quite disappointed as he was really looking forward to it … and to be honest so was I. So we ended up seeing Happy Feet Two. Unfortunately the whole experience was a little unpleasant; a rushed lunch, the hustle and bustle of a rush hour multiplex, the stress of sitting in the wrong seat and having their rightful owners turn up (yes that was my fault), and finally paying for a movie I didn’t really want to see in the first place. Surely things could only go up from here I thought. They didn’t.

You can see the full review in the reviews section here.


Film Weekly

The latest Film Weekly podcast from the Guardian is up and it can be found here. Jason Solomons and Xan Brooks count down their top 10 films of 2011. Always a good listen.

Toby Woollaston’s top 5 films of 2011

It has been a great year for cinema with some really interesting releases getting a decent amount of attention. Of course it’s not easy getting along to see them all and there is plenty I still would like to see (Shame, Drive, and The Artist to name a few). Nonetheless of the 2011 releases (in New Zealand) that I have seen here are my top five films. Feel free to chime in with your top five in the comments section.

1. Tree of Life – directed by Terrence Malick. Tops my 2011 list with comfortable ease. By far the most original and ambitious film of the year. Existential film covering the start of time till now … and somehow pulls it off. See my review for more.

2. True Grit – directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. I’m not a huge fan of the Western genre. But I’m a fan of the Coen brothers. This remake of the 1969 original has it all; gripping narrative, beautiful cinematography, and exceptional performances from Hallee Steinfield and Jeff Bridges. Simply put, this is top-shelf cinematic entertainment.

3. Melancholia – directed by Lars von Trier. Brooding film exploring depression in a unique way. Superbly acted and movie making par excellence. See my review for more.

4. Black Swan – directed by Darren Aronofsky. Natilie Portman deserved the Oscar nod for her portrayal of Nina Sayer’s slide into paranoid psychosis. A film of such neurotic exhilaration it had me exhausted by the time it finished. Typical of Aronofsky’s high standard.

5. 127 Hours – directed by Danny Boyle. Technically brilliant film that maintains a heart. It’s not easy to generate viewer interest in someone who is stuck under a boulder for 127 hours but somehow Danny Boyle has done it. It’s a fascinating story told with real passion, and the tension building up to the inevitable event (involving an arm and a cheap knife) is palpable.

Happy New Year everyone!

Prometheus – official trailer

And here it is. The trailer for Prometheus proper. I must say it look looks fantastic.

In Greek mythology Prometheus was “a champion of mankind, known for his wily intelligence, who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals.Zeus then punished him for his crime by having him bound to a rock while a great eagle ate his liver every day only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. His myth has been treated by a number of ancient sources, in which Prometheus is credited with – or blamed for – playing a pivotal role in the early history of mankind.” – taken from Wikipedia.

This strongly hints at some of the themes that the film will touch on.

The Guardian’s Film Weekly

Here is a fantastic podcast I listen to religiously; Film Weekly by The Guardian. Jason Solomons and Xan Brooks review the latest releases in the U.K and interview many directors and cast. This weeks episode:

“The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius discusses his Oscar-tipped black and white silent movie and Michelle Yeoh talks about playing Aung San Suu Kyi in Luc Besson’s The Lady.”

You can find Film Weekly here.

Or search for it in iTunes.


Just posted in the reviews section my thoughts on Von Triers’s Melancholia.

Prometheus – teaser 2

And so it continues … Prometheus Teaser Trailer Part 2

Prometheus – teaser

A little ridiculous really, but here is the trailer to the trailer for Prometheus.

I am sensing a palpable 1979 Alien vibe here! Compare this to the original trailer (a work of art in its own right):

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Saw Crazy, Stupid, Love last night. Hmmm … not a very good film. But then again I didn’t really expect it to be. So why did I watch it? Well it was a “couch night” with Seema (my wife) and I. She wanted to watch something “nice”, which usually means a romcom (or chick flick). Every now and then you’ll strike good one. Not on this occasion. I thought with Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling starring, this film might’ve climbed out of my pit of pessimistic expectations. Sure we had the odd giggle, but on the whole it was your usual corny romcom pap that in a years time will be lost in the oblivion of similar films. Not without regrets though as a film like this does wonders to my appreciation for good cinema, and of course a night in, watching any film with Seema, is time well spent!



Prometheus. A film I am really looking forward to. Not exactly a prequel to the original Alien(1979) but set in the same fictional space and unpackages many of the questions that arose from Ridley Scott original masterpiece. Alien is one of my favorite films, it chilled me to the core and hasn’t lost anything over the years. What’s really exciting is that Prometheus has the same pedigree as Alien with Ridley Scott’s returning to direct. From what little I’ve seen of released (and leaked) stills and footage Prometheus shares the same feel as Alien … and so it should should! However, now I’m expecting great things which makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable. Here’s hoping that Ridley can pick up his game after his recent disappointments.