Chimpomatic

News

Reviews

Articles

Surveillance

Captain Phillips

Intense modern piracy drama, skilfully handled as Paul Greengrass builds the tension and intensity.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

29th Mar 2014

Read more 4 star reviews

Search

Before Midnight

Celine and Jesse walk and talk nine years on, as teen dreams echo through 40s reality looking for love.


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71

23rd Mar 2014

Read more 4 star reviews

Wake In Fright

70s Aussie fever dream about an uptight teacher stuck in a booze-drenched Outback town full of menace.


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71

20th Mar 2014

Read more 4 star reviews

12 Years A Slave

Intense, harrowing slavery biopic. Steve McQueen leaps forward with a more accomplished hand.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Mar 2014

Read more 4 star reviews

One False Move

Tense, brutal film noir. Updating western sensibilities and old-fashioned tension for the 90s.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Jan 2014

Read more 4 star reviews

Boyhood

Epic indie odyssey from Rick Linklater, following lead actor Ellar Coltrane through 12 years of high school.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

20th Jan 2014

Read more 4 star reviews

Dallas Buyers Club

Great Matthew McC perf as a cowboy hustling unapproved drugs in the early days of the Aids crisis.


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71

10th Jan 2014

Read more 4 star reviews

The Hidden Fortress

Kurosawa's Tohoscope tour de force packs in action, a princess on the run and some great shots.

Halliwell says: In medieval Japan, the heiress of a feudal lord is saved from a bandit by a samurai. Roistering eastern Western.**


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71
#Halliwell

1st Jan 2014

Read more 4 star reviews

Prisoners

Dense, old-fashioned thriller with ratcheting tension and powerhouse turns from Gyllenhaal and Jackman.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

31st Dec 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

The Departed

Over the top, unsubtle, bombastic and thoroughly enjoyable Scorsese picture. Great script, great turns.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Dec 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

The bronze medal of Indy movies, but Connery and Phoenix expand the formula.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Dec 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Syriana

Stylish, classy, sprawling oil epic from Traffic's Stephen Gaghan. Backed up by a great ensemble cast.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Dec 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Robot & Frank

Smart, touching near-future parable, with a great turn from Frank Langella.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Nov 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

White Denim

Village Underground

Quirky, erratic Texan rockers go super tight and loud. So good.


#Gig
#CSF

20th Nov 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Robot & Frank

Subtle sci-fi that plays with ideas of memory loss, family & ageing - and has a great one last heist.


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71

19th Nov 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

End of Watch

Witty, tense, effective police procedural, despite the contrived hidden cameras. Heat meets Blair Witch.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Nov 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Side Effects

Taught, surprisingly Hitchcockian thriller, that makes for a great final film from Steven Soderbergh.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

2nd Nov 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Gravity

Bullock & Clooney float in space. 3D pushed to the limit, breathless tension, great shots. A proper cinema film.


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71

31st Oct 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Argo

Deftly handled period thriller, anchored by a solid script and a wide range of decent performances.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

19th Oct 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Django Unchained

Too long as usual, but relative restraint from Tarantino makes for his best pic since Jackie Brown.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Oct 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

25th Hour

Classy love letter to NYC from Spike Lee, with a great script and a rare, restrained turn from Ed Norton.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

10th Oct 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Skyfall

A semi-re-boot for James Bond, that's convoluted but with many thrilling moments and some nice twists.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Jul 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

The Limey

I hated this kaleidoscopic, fractured thriller in '99. In hindsight it's one of Soderbergh's highlights.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Jul 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

This Is 40

Well rounded marital LOLs from @JuddApatow ...that's a little close to the bone.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

29th Jun 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

The Outsiders

The Complete Novel

Despite Coppola's tinkering, this melodramatic 80s classic still stands up well.

Halliwell says: Oddball youth melodrama, a curious choice for a director with big successes behind him.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF
#Halliwell

13th May 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Margin Call

Taut, economical thriller with a strong cast filling out some juicy roles as the financial bubble bursts.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Mar 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Sound Of My Voice

Stylish, tightly written DIY indie sci-fi, with a cult leader claiming to be from the future.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Jan 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Top of the Lake

Flawless police whodunnit from Jane Campion. NZ's entry into the "unmissable TV" category.


#TV

21st Jan 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Another Earth

Spectacular low budget sci-fi that builds a touching human story in front of a high-concept backdrop.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Jan 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

Desperately Seeking Susan

A great story helps carry this career-launching slice of 80s New York cool briskly along.

Halliwell says: Mildly diverting romantic mystery which could have been both funnier and more thrilling.*


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF
#Halliwell

3rd Jan 2013

Read more 4 star reviews

The Princess Bride

Witty, totally enjoyable fairy tale romp, with Homeland's Saul sans beard. Modern classic.

Halliwell says: Rather strained fantasy with occasional bright moments.*


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71
#Halliwell

31st Dec 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

What Just Happened?

Engaging, stylish black comedy with DeNiro on rare decent form. Great Bruce WIllis beard cameo.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

31st Dec 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

It's A Wonderful Life

Inspiring, slow-burning sentimental Christmas classic with vintage waterworks finale. #BTTFII.

Halliwell says: Superbly assembled small-town comedy drama in a fantasy framework; arguably Capra's best and most typical work.****


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF
#Halliwell

26th Dec 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Hugo

Touching homage to cinema from that guy that did Goodfellas, tucked away behind a broad brushstrokes kids film.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Dec 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Seven

The edgy extremities may have worn with time but David Fincher's masterpiece still packs an accomplished punch.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Dec 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Ladyhawk

No Can Do

I stupidly under-rated this album for a few weeks. So many hooks.


#OnRotation
#Music
#CSF

12th Dec 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Timecrimes

Ingenious Spanish thriller that ties itself up in all kinds of knots.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Dec 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis is Oscar-bait in Spielberg's history lesson, a West Wing 1860 full of wit & political drama.


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71

13th Nov 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Skyfall

Solid, stylish, well-rounded Bond - that tips its hat while also serving as something of a reboot.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Oct 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Argo

(dir. Ben Affleck)

Trenchcoats, crazy CIA plans, beards and a gripping true life hostage situation - there's a lot to enjoy in Ben Affleck's latest. Following The Town and Gone, Baby Gone, this is another assured directorial job from Affleck, here channeling the spirit of 70s classics like All The President's Men and Klute to craft an intelligent, grown-up thriller that doesn't have to resort to shoot-outs to ratchet up the tension. Bonus points for Van Halen and Led Zep on the soundtrack.

Tehran 1979: Ayatollah Khomeni's revolution is in full swing, the US embassy is stormed, 52 hostages taken - but six staff members manage to escape in the confusion and seek refuge in the Canadian embassy. Back in Washington, Carter-era spooks concoct "exfiltration" plans - with "the best bad idea" being a fake Hollywood production company scouting middle eastern locations for a Star Wars rip-off.

The film keeps the potential for any "Hollywood - so CRAZY!!" stuff to a minimum - managing to contrast it with the intensity of 70s revolutionary Tehran without resorting to Get Shorty wackiness. Max graininess in the cinematography (shot with an Arri Alexa, fact fans, as well as "on film, cut in half, blown up 200%" according to IMDB trivia) combines with actual news footage to build convincing period atmosphere. 

Affleck plays Tony Mendez, the CIA agent leading the plan, a role that plays to his strengths. The rest of the casting is spot on - Bryan "Breaking Bad" Cranston, Tate "Damages" Donovan, John Goodman as Hollywood make-up expert John Chambers (responsible for Planet Of The Apes' apes and Spock's ears), Alan Arkin, Victor Garber, Rory "Dazed And Confused" Cochrane, Titus (Lost's Man in Black) Welliver, Scoot (Monsters) McNairy and a cameo from Adrienne Barbeau in the goofy Argo cast's table read.

For more background, here's the Wired article on the actual CIA operation and the real-life fake movie. It's a great read, though obviously it's pretty much the entire plot. One nice detail that gets a little lost in the film - Captain America co-creator Jack Kirby did the original comic strip-style production drawings.

#Film
#chimp71

24th Oct 2012 - Add Comment - Tweet

Read more 4 star reviews

Looper

Decent time-travel conundrums from @RCJohnso in this indie-meets-tentpole scifi effort. A bit like 12 Monkeys.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Oct 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Tyrannosaur

Gut-wrenching drama from Paddy Considine. Desperate, raging performances from Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman.


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71

12th Sep 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

A Separation

Elegant, multi-sided family drama from Iran that unravels a complex mess from everyday moments.


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71

23rd Jul 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Accomplished, terrifying, kaleidoscopic portrait of a child's descent to the dark side.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

29th Jun 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Absorbing psychological indie cult-escape drama. Beautifully written, shot and directed.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

4th Jun 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Chronicle

Well-executed found-footage teens w powers drama; tight, great characters, understated FX.


#Screened
#Film
#chimp71

1st May 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Billy Bragg and Wilco

Mermaid Avenue Complete Sessions

Great round up of the project with 3rd disc and DVD doc.


#OnRotation
#Music
#CSF

30th Apr 2012

Read more 4 star reviews

Collateral

A hokey ending, but the set-pieces and edgy technical direction still make for an often riveting thriller.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Apr 2012

Read more 4 star reviews