Film Festival reviews – Wednesday – Sunday

Best Worst Movie

A documentary about Troll 2, 20-ish years after the film was made. The documentarian was the child star of the movie and managed to track down all the other actors. The star of the documentary was George Hardy, the guy who played the father. George is a dentist and full of life and humour. He was a great centre point for the story, watching him as he discovered the cult following and signed autographs for the fans he didn’t know he had was a joy. Generously peppered with excerpts from Troll 2 and interviews with the writer and director made me and Lee rather desperate to see the movie. I have since bought it on DVD off Trade Me. Watch this space for a review, not sure it will ever beat out Manos: the hands of fate for my favourite worst film, but I’ll let you know.


A Christmas Tale

Our first disappointing movie, this was a french drama about a family reuniting at Christmas following the news that the matriarch has a rare disease and needs a bone marrow transplant. Kind of reminiscent of The Royal Tenenbaums but not as quirky, it gave us background on most of the characters. I was disappointed that the black sheep, Henri, was the default star of the movie, because I found him unsympathetic. Sure, it sucked that his sister caused him to be banished from family gatherings for five years, but it’s hard to be on his side when the first thing he does when reunited with her is to verbally abuse her. That said, it was a great film; beautifully shot and with plenty of humour, it was just very long.


The Secret of Kells

An Irish animated feature set in medieval times and following Brendan a boy monk. The Northmen are terrorising Ireland and the Abbot, Brendan’s uncle, is preoccupied with building a stronger wall around the settlement. Brendan is more interested in illuminating manuscripts and becomes involved in creating the Book Of Kells. The story is highly mythical, with him befriending Aisling, a fairy, quite early in the movie. The best thing about this film though was the design, it’s highly stylised and beautiful. The snowflakes are shown as Irish knots, the smoke is curled and braided, the characters are extreme caricatures.

Several of the frames were so stunning I wanted big prints of them to put up on my wall.

Movie website pretty pretty.


We were a little late for Departures because I wanted real food for dinner and it wasn’t quite quick enough in the half hour in between Kells and this. The food was great though, stuffed chicken breast, winter veges and beans. Nom.

Anyway, the movie was lovely. It’s a Japanese film about a cellist whose orchestra is shut down. He and his wife move back to his home town and he accidentally gets a job at a casketers, who are the people who prepare the body and put them into the coffin, working for the undertaker. It was very beautiful and moving, and perhaps hit a little close to home with the funeral we attended on Tuesday, but I loved it.

Departures movie website. I also found out today that it won the Academy award for best foreign language film. Well deserved.

Dead Snow

It’s a movie about zombie Nazis. Do I need to say any more?

I was a bit worried at the start that it was actually going to be scary, and I wasn’t ready to cope with that at 11.15pm after a long and hard week. However, it was just as funny and silly and hilarious as a Norwegian zombie Nazi movie should be. I laughed my ass off, fell in love with the bad-ass characters and can quite thoroughly recommend it.

In fact, go and watch the trailer now!!!!!

Coco Avant Chanel

Lee bailed on this one to audition for another community theatre production, so I took the Lovely Chelle with me instead. We had a good time, although the movie was quite sad. Audrey Tautou was her usual graceful and charismatic self, the other actors were also very good. Pretty fashions, pretty locations. I’ll watch it again I think.


Written by the guy who wrote Superbad (which I haven’t seen), this is the story of one summer, after finishing college James is set to go on to post-grad study at Colombia, but it turns out his father has been transferred to a lower paying job. James takes the only job he can get, working the sideshow games as a carnie at Adventureland. There he immediately makes geeky male friends and falls in love with Kristen Stewart.

It was a gentle, funny film with some real heart to it. It kind of reminded me of watching Garden State, except the characters were younger and dumber. I really enjoyed it overall and would recommend you seek it out when it comes back. I did feel sorry for the lead though, since it seemed like James was written for Michael Cera and he was directed to act like Michael Cera.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.