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A Walk in the Woods – Review 3.5/5

Walk in the woods

by Jarred Tito

It was quite refreshing to see a grand cast of ‘yester-year’ Hollywood ‘A list’ movie stars lined up to take on a movie project that most adults facing retirement could relate to on some level. It is quaint and honest, simple and believable, thoughtful and inspiring. I should also include in that list, sobering. Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson, Kristen Schaal, Mary Steenburgen and Nick Offerman together make up the cast for this ‘Adventure comedy biopic’ which is based on a book of the same title by Bill Bryson

​Robert Redford, who will always be in my mind, ‘The Sundance Kid’ from the western classic with Paul Newman ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’, plays the lead role of Bill Bryson who heads to the American outback to fulfil possibly his final ‘man adventure’ in the wild

​Bryson is inspired at a funeral which he attends with his wife, Emma Thompson, to consider hiking the Appalachian Trail. His wife objects and presents to him all kinds of reports of accidents and obstacles which eventually leads to him connecting with a long lost but life friend Stephen Katz played by Nick Nolte, who offers himself as hiking companion. It appears that Stephen is well passed his used by date, but claims to be up to the task

The two companions set out on their adventure which is scheduled to last a period of up to 6 months which seems daunting but somehow doable. But like a bucket list that cannot be denied the adventure must be done and like all good adventures, theirs leads them into a varied range of obstacles which are not always to do with the trail

A light and humorous film that will have you breathless at some of the very spectacular views and trails. Though no one here would be expecting any kind of acting awards for this picture, there are still some very good performances. It was great to see Redford and Nolte in a movie again and I must say they made a good pair

Anna Coddington – Touring Slate-side

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If you believe everything Wikipedia says then new mum Anna Coddington has quite the colourful past. Raised in the seaside town of Raglan (Anyone else get Home & Away vibes going there?) she tutu-ed on the drums at age 11 before taking up her signature guitar while fronting and writing for her first band Handsome Geoffrey which went on to win the 1998 Smokefree Rockquest, the prodigious siren went on to record an e.p. with her group Duchess before a tirade of solo albums including The Lake in 2008 & Cat & Bird in 2011

“I’ve got a good balance now” She muses. “But the way I look at music I mean it use to be one of the at least the most important things in my life, it still is but clearly having a child is now and everything else gets put down a peg, but it’s been a good way to get some objectivity on music as a thing as well – it’s important, very important”

She’s on tour taking her friends synth-duo Lips on the road with her, 2012 Apra Silver Scroll winner Stephanie Brown & New York native Fen Ikner who have both been living in New York for eight years will be joining Coddington, it’s a move that has Anna relishing the thought of touring the country as a three piece band

“We decided to tour together that we wanted to do the whole show” she reveals. “Between us we’re a full band really because we’ve got keyboards, bass, drums and I play guitar so we’re like ‘Let’s make our band’ so temporary band really”

Coddington’s new music video is called Slate, it’s the prefect juxtaposition of Coddington’s sultry voice and the stark contrast of the wild West Auckland beach location, the song wonderfully stands on its own merits, a mature departure from her previous outings

“Well it was the middle of winter” she remembers. “We were outside in the sand and I was wearing very fashionable dresses that the stylist had chosen, so it was cold – it was cool. My good friend Adie Walker directs all my music videos so it’s nice for me because I really trust her vision – yeah I was really happy the way it came out so that was the main reason for doing this tour because both bands had new singles out and they’ve (Lips) got a new video for Chasing Teddy as well

I prod and ask Steph ‘if she can sing’ she remarks casually ‘Barely’ with a tinge of laughter. “Can she ever? She’s a great singer” says Anna. I remark to Fen he must be like ‘Phil Collins and can sing and play drums’. “This is true yeah. I am like my man Phillip” he retorts back

Anna Coddington and Lips embark on a ten date nationwide tour that take in major towns & cities around the motu (country), however we couldn’t help but notice the absence of smaller places like Invercargill or Masterton

“No we did talk about Masterton actually but we just couldn’t fit it in logistically speaking” she assures us. “So we start Wellington September 10th. The run which I have embedded in my mind is Wellington, Nelson Takaka, um Christchurch, Oamaru, Dunedin Wanaka, Napier, Hamilton and Auckland”. “I’ve been to three or four places at this point” chips in Fen. “Really looking forward to seeing the whole thing”

“I’m actually flying in and out for each leg then going home in between to look after my 21 month old baby” picks up Anna. “These guys will be doing the drive. The last time I toured I was 7 or 8 months pregnant and I was very optimistic you know, like ‘you don’t get any time to yourself’ and this and that. I was like ‘I’m going to be different I’m going to make music while he’s sleeping’ but uh I was so wrong. I kind of didn’t do much for the first little bit but I’ve slowly been getting time back for myself and getting better at the whole routine at doing everything so that I can make more time for making music”

Straight Outta Compton – Review 4/5

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By now you would’ve seen the copious memes all over the web with its Straight Outta Compton template. Not even the countless conspiracy theories of rapper Ezy E’s death (Eric Wright) of an aids related illness could predict a biopic film about one of the most influential rap groups in the world would be number one at the American box office

SOC is better than your usual bio type movies by a stretch. It was the 90s, the time of Rodney King a black man who was beaten up by cops and later became a symbol for racial tension in the States. It was a time of civil unrest and police brutality which director F.Gary Gray captures wonderfully. It’s a stark reminder that sets the mood of the film, the darker side of Gangster Rap and ‘gang banging’ the norm that came with the hype as NWA stormed the country straight outta Compton

For the most part this film works. Jason Mitchell as Ezy E is impressive in the role, right down to his stature (he was 5”5) and brash mannerisms you could be right thinking that this was the rapper incarnate back for another go. The movie is produced by Ice Cube, Tomica Wright (Ezy’s widow) and ‘billion dollar’ hip-hop mogul Dr Dre so you can bet this film is going to be a hard hitting portrayal of the group, opening itself to scrutiny and possible libel (it’s America after all)

One of my favourite actors Paul Giamatti seemed at times overplaying the role of Jerry Heller the man responsible for signing NWA and ultimately starting Ruthless Records with Wright. Giamatti‘s gritty performance ensures you feel the tension in the relationship between Heller and the group as they slowly part separate ways – Dre to start Death Row Records with Suge Knight (Snoop Dog & Tupac) and Ice Cube going solo, leaving Ezy E and Heller to thresh out the label post fallout, apparently the others didn’t like Heller’s handling of the contracts

Ice Cube’s kid O’Shea Jackson Jnr is uncanny as his dad, playing the young Ice Cube he brings a real presence to the role, as does Corey Hawkins as the young Dre cementing themselves as the new Hollywood brat pack, the future looks bright for the film’s young lead stars

SOC surprised me, its bawdy commentary on 90s West Coast Hip Hop and NWA is a surprisingly good watch. Sure it’s a little ‘Hollywood’ in places but this is kept to a minimum, some of the acting maybe overcooked but there’s lots to like about this film. It’s a film that will shock most who are not familiar with the group’s beginnings, most famous for their anti-police anthem Fuck the Police or the beat riddled Straight Outta Compton

How much of the film is true and how much is Hollywood is really anyone’s guess, one things for sure though, there isn’t anybody who could’ve made this film as legit than Dre & Ice Cube. Director F.Gary Gray has pulled off one hell of a story and translated that successfully into box office dollars. It’s a given then the movie has put West Coast Hip Hop back on the map and reignited renewed interest in NWA’s music

NZ Tech Podcast 247: Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore – Past, Present, Future

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In a candid chat Microsoft Vice President of PC-Tablet-Phone Joe Belfiore talks with Paul Spain about how he he was recruited by Microsoft from Stanford University and the 25-year journey that brings us to the launch of Windows 10 and beyond.

This NZ Tech Podcast hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) with guest Joe Belfiore. Published by Podcasts NZ – home of NZ’s favourite podcasts.

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

NZ Tech Podcast 246: NASA’s mission to Hawaii, the lonely Billionaire, Facebook M, Chrome vs Flash, John Sculley

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We discuss NASA’s mission to… Hawaii, Markus Persson’s dejected tweets, Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative moves forward, Fishpond finded $50k, Facebook M and a billion users, Chrome vs Flash, LG Rolly, smartphone from former Apple CEO John Sculley’s company.

This NZ Tech Podcast hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) with guest Ben Bodley. Published by Podcasts NZ – home of NZ’s favourite podcasts.

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

NZ Entertainment Podcast 40: NZ Flag, David Bowie is, Mad Max, Eden Mulholland

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This episode the boys go David Bowie theme as the David Bowie Is exhibition rolls on in Melbourne. Wal & Jarred catch up with the ex Motocade singer Eden Mulholland and talk about his latest album Hunted Haunted, also the NZ flag debate raises its ugly head plus Mad Max with Tom Hardy a film we love to bits

To download use any good podcast app and search for NZ Entertainment Podcast then subscribe – or listen here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Entertainment Podcast updates via Twitter @NZ_Ent, the NZEntertainmentPodcast.com website and Facebook page.

This episode hosted by Wal Reid & Jarred Tito, Paul Spain is the executive producer. The NZ Entertainment Podcast is published by Global Voice Media – the home of NZ’s favourite podcasts.

Cosentino the Grand Illusionist – Civic Theatre Auckland August 29th

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Well the moment we have been waiting for, New Zealand’s turn to witness Cosentino in his first show. A grandiose occasion cementing Australia’s escapologist & Illusionist as one of the best entertainers around. His amiable brand of street magic & death defying escapes has had the world a buzz and now it was our turn to see the multiple Merlin award recipient’s magic live on stage

Radio personality Mel Homer introduced the Tony Hassini CEO/World President of the International Magicians Society to present Cosentino with a Merlin award (the equivalent of an Oscar in Magic) for 2015 Escape Artist of the year, a photo onstage had Cosentino laugh about ‘awkward pauses’ before he quickly rushed off to get ready

Now this wasn’t like the magic shows of old, and if you’ve ever seen Cosentino (or Cos as he is known as) on TV you’ll realise he’s not your conventional looking magician, with his strange piercings and signature fedora hat he looks more suited to a rock star than his given talent

As Rage Against the Machine signalled Cosentino, the stage gave way to his Twisted Reality world, giant enclosed contraptions of sorts and a makeshift study where he conducted magic tricks with the audience all beamed out on four screens so you could get a view anywhere in the house. The more than effective lighting & sound heightening the experience whether he cajoled the audience to come on stage or performed his death defying escapes that had people around me literally aghast

As this was my first live magic show (not including the haphazard magic show from my primary years) I was blown away by the sheer entertainment & grand scale of Cosentino’s Twisted Reality Show, it was almost like being transported back as kid remembering as a child those tricks that made you go ‘wow’ and there’s a lot of ‘wow’ factor in this show, more than you can shake a stick at. Cosentino warm humorous rapport won over the stilted audience in the beginning as he jokingly adding “the more you get into it the better the show, if it’s no good then it’s your fault”

Of course this is the 21st century so no rabbits however with his theatrically cool assistant Priscilla traditional magic tricks like sawing a woman in half (with Cos twist in a Perspex box) levitating on a broom and an array of eye popping card tricks nicely broke up the frenetic stage show drawing the audience into his magical realm as they reciprocated with cheering and clapping

Some of the highlights included ‘helper’ Lisa losing her $50 note (well it was turned into $5 given current exchange rates) she had a happy ending and young audience member Nate, who gave the Australian Dancing With The Stars winner Cosentino some serious competition. Cos’s Time Machine and giant soccer ball crowd narrative led to the finale act Stabbed, a menacing machine that incorporates 18 or so knife blades to inflict serious damage. The toughest trick is trying to win the crowd over however this was never an issue as the world class illusionist Cosentino gave his heart & soul.

Some secrets are best left unknown. After all, not knowing how a trick is done leaves you mystified with that magical feeling. That’s definitely how the audience felt leaving the show

Kiwi Hip-Hip Film ‘Born to Dance’ to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival

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NZ’s first multi-million dollar hip-hop film Born to Dance has today announced it will have its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival this September.

Born to Dance will premiere as part of the festival’s Discovery section and be followed by a series of public screenings as part of the wider film festival. Actor Stan Walker and choreographer Parris Goebel are confirmed to be attending the film’s premiere alongside the film’s director and producers.

Born to Dance is the debut feature film from director Tammy Davis. Davis pays tribute to the cast and crew for getting this film to its international premiere.

I am just over the moon that Born to Dance has been selected to screen at TIFF. The fact that we have made to this A list festival is a real tribute to all the hard work put in by the cast and crew. I am excited that the first screening of the film will be with an international audience and I hope they love it as much as I do. #veryproud #nervousmuch #aotearoainthehouse – Tammy Davis

Born To Dance producer and general manager of the film’s NZ distribution company, Vendetta Films, Jill Macnab, is excited about the chance to screen the film to North American audiences.

Toronto is renowned as a festival for real film fans, with the most enthusiastic audiences of any A-list film festival, which is why it’s the perfect place to launch Born To Dance internationally. All the movie studios and film buyers from other countries will be there and on the lookout for new films, so it’s a fantastic opportunity for the film to be acquired for release in different countries. There will also be a spotlight on the film from both NZ and international media, which helps raise the profile of Born To Dance around the world – Jill Macnab

Born to Dance joins Kiwi features, A Flickering Truth and 25 April previously announced to be part of the festival.

NZFC CEO, Dave Gibson, said “Born to Dance’s selection to screen at TIFF is a wonderful opportunity for North American audiences to see New Zealand’s first dance film and experience Polyswagg, a New Zealand-born style of hip hop originating from the shores of Auckland, New Zealand and made famous by the films chorographer Parris Goebel. Last year, we introduced the world to Maori martial arts, Mau Rakau – this year it is Polyswagg.”

Born to Dance will open to Kiwi audiences nationwide on September 24th.

KIWI HIP-HOP FILM ‘BORN TO DANCE’ TO PREMIERE AT THE TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.

NZ’s first multi-million dollar hip-hop film Born to Dance has today announced it will have its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival this September.

Born to Dance will premiere as part of the festival’s Discovery section and be followed by a series of public screenings as part of the wider film festival. Actor Stan Walker and choreographer Parris Goebel are confirmed to be attending the film’s premiere alongside the film’s director and producers.

Born to Dance is the debut feature film from director Tammy Davis. Davis pays tribute to the cast and crew for getting this film to its international premiere.

I am just over the moon that Born to Dance has been selected to screen at TIFF. The fact that we have made to this A list festival is a real tribute to all the hard work put in by the cast and crew. I am excited that the first screening of the film will be with an international audience and I hope they love it as much as I do. #veryproud #nervousmuch #aotearoainthehouse – Tammy Davis

Born To Dance producer and general manager of the film’s NZ distribution company, Vendetta Films, Jill Macnab, is excited about the chance to screen the film to North American audiences.

Toronto is renowned as a festival for real film fans, with the most enthusiastic audiences of any A-list film festival, which is why it’s the perfect place to launch Born To Dance internationally. All the movie studios and film buyers from other countries will be there and on the lookout for new films, so it’s a fantastic opportunity for the film to be acquired for release in different countries. There will also be a spotlight on the film from both NZ and international media, which helps raise the profile of Born To Dance around the world – Jill Macnab

Born to Dance joins Kiwi features, A Flickering Truth and 25 April previously announced to be part of the festival.

NZFC CEO, Dave Gibson, said “Born to Dance’s selection to screen at TIFF is a wonderful opportunity for North American audiences to see New Zealand’s first dance film and experience Polyswagg, a New Zealand-born style of hip hop originating from the shores of Auckland, New Zealand and made famous by the films chorographer Parris Goebel. Last year, we introduced the world to Maori martial arts, Mau Rakau – this year it is Polyswagg.”

Born to Dance will open to Kiwi audiences nationwide on September 24th.

#BTD #NZDANCEFILM #BORNTODANCE