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Loving (PG, 123 mins) Directed by Jeff Nichols ★★★★ Reviewed by Yulia Podrul

Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other.

You should probably read that paragraph twice, because in 2017 it does sound absurd. Somebody brings up a case against you because you got to marry a black person, and puts you into jail. Once you get out of jail, you get to leave your country because you have no rights to live with your “coloured” partner.

Enough said of these facts that were shaped into the film directed by Jeff Nichols, who also wrote the screenplay. I was touched by the story.

To be fair, I’d probably give up and leave the country with my partner who I’d ‘love to death’. I can judge that situation living now in 21st century and being immigrant myself. However, Mr. and Mrs. Loving never gave up, they fought for their love.

But back in 1924 America had certain race-based legal restrictions. Those restrictions went way too far for a young attorney Bernard S. Cohen who volunteered to file a motion on behalf of the Loving’s, realising that he could be the one to make an impact on American Constitution. This case was handled by Virginia Supreme Court.

Loving is a beautiful story that’s worth being spoken about. The film itself wasn’t dramatic, which I quite enjoyed. Not too much drama, based on facts, great acting, but unfortunately a bit too long. It was unnecessarily longer including quite a few scenes with extended silence.

For a young Director like Jeff Nichols himself, it was a good shot. I’m sure this movie will stand out of his filmography. Joel Edgerton as Richard Loving and Ruth Negga co-staring as Mildred Loving.
did an incredible job precisely as ‘the’ married couple.

Eleven years Richard and Mildred Loving lived together with the fear that something terrible could happen, but every day they enjoyed the moments they spent together. They lived a life full of risks but they took them in order to help thousands to get through. Watching this film, I can imagine how many families became happier and free once the constitution on racial marriage changed, forever.

I loved connection between those two. Their love was unbreakable, even by American Law. Perhaps I’d think completely different if I were to born in 20th century in America. People used to look up to America visualising it as a country of freedom, human rights and future. It’s not until you cross that fine line between living according to anti-miscegenation laws (interracial) and morality, as this film explores.

I highly suggest you see it. Don’t expect too much drama though. It’s a good solid story that will inspire you to enjoy what you have in life right now.

NZ Business Podcast 25: Murray Holdaway – CEO, Vista Group

Murray Holdaway has over the last 21-years built Vista Group into a world leading global business with a market capitalisation well in excess of $400-million. Sit in on the discussion as Paul Spain talks with Murray and hears insights into his journey, his inspiration and the story of his two businesses.

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Business Podcast updates via Twitter @NZ_Business, the website.

HEAD LIKE A HOLE ANNOUNCE 25th ANNIVERSARY TOUR FOR “13” – Interview with Nigel Regan

Kiwi rockers Head Like a Hole or more affectionately known to fans as HLAH, have seen a few things in their time. Guitarist Nigel Regan jokes at the thought of playing ‘starkers’ again citing, “I think I’m a bit soft around the middle to get naked these days.” The outlandish group from Wellington, have announced they will be re-releasing their eponymous debut album 13 on vinyl and also following up with a nationwide tour to support.

“Pretty much, it’s the 25th anniversary of when we recorded it,” says Regan. “Funny enough, we’ve never had any albums of ours on vinyl, apart from a single we did last year, so we’ve put out 13 on vinyl it’s looking really good. There’s red and black vinyl; we thought “Fuck it, let’s go on the road,” we’re going to play the album start to finish. In fact, three of the towns, we’ve never played live, ever, and a bunch of others we haven’t played for like twenty odd years.”

In 1992, they recorded their first album, 13, at Writhe Studio. The band produced it themselves with the assistance of Brent McLachlan (Bailter Space, Gordons). One of the singles off the album, Fish Across Face made the New Zealand Top 10, however the video was pulled off air because of a scene where orange juice streamed from Nigel’s mouth into Booga’s mouth (there happened to be a meningitis outbreak at the time).

“That was quite a big deal,” he says. “Funny enough, Booga whose real name is Nigel, was living with a guy called Nigel (Streeter) and he made the video. I remember going overseas when we had our Noise Records deal showing these people overseas these videos, and they were like “Fuck mate, that would cost $300,000 to make in America.”, and we were making it for five.

“After they saw the videos they didn’t want to talk to us anymore. Their name was Mordred, they were like a San Francisco band trying to be Faith No More, they had a rappy singer and DJ but their music was fucking awful. I was like “I’m glad we’re not playing with these guys. That was before the Shihad/HLAH European Tour, we were going to do it with that San Francisco band, but ended up with Shihad.”

With a perspective 25 years on it’s easier to break history up into chunks but narcotics, noise and nakedness pretty much sums up when that album was released, it’s a fairly accurate description. The bands been through a lot, and what hasn’t killed them has made them stronger.

“It was our first album,” he continues. “We were really young. We’d done one recording session where we booked the four-track cassette Shitnoise. We didn’t know anything about it, we were like totally buzzed to be doing it, because when we started we were just getting together to jam for us, we didn’t really think anything was going to happen, but once we went on tour with Shihad and Gerald (Dwyer) got involved and next minute he was like, “You guys want to do an album?”, we were like “Fuck yes.

“Me and Booga have been mates since we’ve been fifteen years old and that time we spent together so it holds really special memories and a place in my heart. I look at the songs and what they’re about. I’m working on – you know when you go to the theatre you get like a programme? We’re doing one of those for the tour, and I’m going to be printing all the lyrics in it, kind of explaining what the songs are about, how they came about. It’s actually going to be a big deal and we’re pulling out all the stops, I don’t want to give too much away but the live show’s going to be fucking awesome you know?”

Over the last couple of decades they travelled at pace, releasing the albums ‘13′ (1992), ‘Flick Y’Self off Y’Self’ (1994), ‘Double Your Strength, Improve Your Health and Lengthen Your Life’ (1996) and ‘Are ya Gonna Kiss It or Shoot It?’ (1998). Constant airplay on commercial and student radio, a slew of stench-ridden “classic” videos and relentless touring saw them build a loyal fan-base across New Zealand, Australia and Europe. Their shows were epic, unpredictable and swinging. This wasn’t rehashed pub-rock or limp wristed pop schmaltz – it felt like some new rock frontier where Judas Priest met Doctor Seuss and shared a joint.”

“First and foremost, Head Like a Hole are a live band,” he recounts. “’I’m really proud of all the albums we’ve done but I think it’s only in the last couple taking all the knowledge we’ve gained over all the years put some of that live ‘feel’ in the recordings.

“There’s this Kiwi guy in Aussie who’s in a band called Saggy Jesus, I think through him it came about that we would put it out on vinyl, and I think I thought “What’s the point of putting it out on vinyl? when what would make it doubly great, is to go out and actually play all those songs off it. It was the vinyl first then playing it live came after that.”

Head Like A Hole will embark on a 13 date national tour in May to mark the 25th anniversary and the re-release of their debut album “13”. The tour will see the band playing this landmark kiwi rock album in it’s entirety across the country throughout NZ Music Month, and hinting maybe they will even get to play across the ‘ditch’

“Yes, I’ve been talking to Booga about that,” he says. “What would be really good is at the end of the tour – I don’t know about a full Australian Tour but, I mean we went to Melbourne last year and I was saying at the end of the tour, “Let’s just duck over for a weekend and play a couple of gigs,” but yeah, fuck, we’d love to do the whole Aussie Tour again, but I think the whole Sydney scene has crapped out, hasn’t it?”

2017 looks to be a very busy year for the band with recording well underway for their highly anticipated 7th studio album in addition to the “13” anniversary tour and album re-release. The band are cautious of labels, especially being likened to a ‘legacy’ band, with bands like Push Push and Misex reforming recently, its a sentiment that has some truth to it.

“I think we kind of surpassed that,” he says. When we did get back together it was like ‘reunion’ blah-blah-blah. We’ve actually done two albums since then and quite a few national tours, we’ve got some new stuff we’re working on – so to me, we’re actually a real band again. If we weren’t releasing anything, I’d probably have done a few gigs and called it a day. Its quite tough really, because when we play 13, it’s not enough for a set so then we’ve got six albums to draw from, the classics like, I’m on Fire, Glory, Glory and stuff like that.

“I’m just a big kid, I haven’t grown up, I don’t feel much different. My mother often asks me “Do you think you’ll be playing music when you’re 50 or 60?”, my answer is “Fuck yes, If I can, I will be – for sure.”

Kong: Skull Island. (M, 118 mins) Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts ★★★½ Reviewed by Jarred Tito

‘Kong: Skull Island’, the new epic movie from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, has got to be one of the best adventure, thriller and suspense films of the year which features ‘larger than life’ prehistoric characters. No I’m not referring to Samuel L Jackson, who has appeared in yet another epic movie block buster. Nor am I talking about John Goodman or John C Reilly. In fact these guys really add a lot to the film. John C Reilly was my pick for best actor in this movie. He’s both B story and comic relief.

Thankfully this is not a remake of Peter Jackson’s remake, nor is it an attempt to recreate something that is already classic.
‘Skull Island’ is more like the reboot of Vincent Ward’s ‘Mad Max’. It doesn’t waste time messing around with subplots and human interest stories. It just cuts to the chase.

The film has a great soundtrack too because it is based in 1973, a time period when most of the classic rock songs were written. Some of the scenes play out really well because of the music which allows for some classic film moments that you might expect to see in films like ‘Full Metal Jacket’ or ‘Apocalypse Now’. I kinda wish they played this up a bit more than they did but hey, this is a Kong movie not a Vietnam war story.

Kong himself is the main act. He’s both villain and hero, protagonist and antagonist, and doesn’t make any attempt to become something that he’s not. Thank goodness it doesn’t go anywhere near that. It’s more about wild beasts on a deserted island like Jurassic Park.

This film is packed with adventure and action. There’s plenty of suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat too. You could liken it to the scary ghost train ride at the amusement park or even the rollercoaster ride. There are things that will surprise you and things that will amuse you. It was great watching it in 3D and on the Imax sceen. I would recommend the cinema experience over the television for this one.

NZ Tech Podcast 324:

Toyota autonomous cars, Fairphone modular phone, Wellington’s LookSee campaign attracts global tech talent, Tivo shutdown, iPad Pro vs Surface Pro, Oppo NZ, 3D printed houses. Also CEO updates from Flick Electric and Marker Metro.

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 Business Podcast 24: Murray Holdaway – Group CEO, Vista Group

Murray Holdaway has over the last 21-years built Vista Group into a world leading global business with a market capitalisation well in excess of $400-million. Sit in on the discussion as Paul Spain talks with Murray and hears insights into his journey, his inspiration and the story of his two businesses.

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Business Podcast updates via Twitter @NZ_Business, the website.

NZ Tech Podcast 323: Sky/Vodafone, Spark/Netflix, Mobile World Congress, Telsa NZ, SpaceX moon mission

Dr Michelle Dickinson (Nanogirl) and Joe Davis chat with Paul Spain – SpaceX moon mission, a failed Sky/Vodafone merger, Spark’s Netflix giveaway, news from Mobile World Congress (Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung, Telsa NZ launch and a new Boston Dynamics vid.

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.

Fist Fight – Film Review 2/5 “Few laughs” Yulia Podrul

Have you ever been bullied in school? Lots of people would agree with me that some schools can tell us so many horrifying stories about kid fights, bullying weaker ones and just pranking all over the show.

In Fist Fight, that’s when the show begins. Its tough luck when actor Charlie Day is challenged to stand up against rapper Ice Cube. Not in real life of course, but in Richie’s Keen new film Fist Fight.

Just like in most of the previous movies, Ice Cube did a legendary job by playing the most bazaar and ruthless teacher of useless students in an American high school.

Ice Cubes has dozens of credits as an actor and as a producer, but he didn’t stand out for me in this particular movie. He could do better than a no-hope teacher who has no ability to speak in any educational language with his students.

The story line in Fist Fight clearly shows that students have no respect for teachers unless they win a fight. Why bother? I couldn’t understand the desire of both lead actors in that pathetic job of being a high school teacher. I guess they were playing dead-beat characters who needed a job, no matter how below average it might be.

What the film showed however was that Day absolutely killed it, and showed that even as a pathetic teacher he could stand up for himself to become a Rock-star.

Don’t be a pussy, just find a decent job and become a success story. Become a good example for your kids and don’t watch this movie. I did have few laughs though, and so now, can you.