The Shape of Water – a Fable, Dark and Beautiful

Writer director Guillermo del Toro brings a story that is a romance, a thriller, and a fantasy, all wrapped up in a B grade 1950/60’s Hollywood noir setting. It is beautiful to look at, and richly rewarding as a piece…

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – a truly standout movie

This is a hell of a story and a hell of a film. It takes difficult subject matter – the violent death of a teenager, suicide – and with a clever plot, a smart and often humorous script, and spot…

Bryan Adams at Matakana Country Park

It would be very easy to sneer at Bryan Adams. He is responsible, after all, for some profoundly cheesy and saccharine songs; it’s hard, indeed, to forgive such cheese as (Everything I Do) I Do It For You — no,…

Crave! episode 52: Paul McCartney, Cat Stevens, Sia, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Paddington 2

Steve has had the great good fortune to be at Paul McCartney’s recent Auckland concert, while Simon enjoyed Cat Stevens’ show at Spark Arena a couple of nights earlier. Both were outstanding shows, but Steve’s a little less convinced about…

Paul McCartney at Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland — a classic show from a veteran performer

There was a moment in the middle of a vicious reading of Helter Skelter, half-way through the encore — the half-hour encore to a show whose main set had lasted two and a half hours — when I realised: this…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Not the last Star Wars film, but a very good one.

The first Star Wars film, the one we now know as Episode IV, was a very different creature from its most recent sequel, The Last Jedi (Episode VIII, in case anyone’s still bothering to keep track of such things). A…

Cat Stevens/Yusuf, Auckland, December 14 2017

Several songs in this beautifully played concert by Yusuf/Cat Stevens were greeted with cries of joy. Father and Son, Wild World and Miles from Nowhere were embraced like childhood friends. Someone near me kept calling out “You’re a legend!”. Stevens…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – where’s Han Solo when you need him?

Exciting sequences, memorable visuals, and the full return of a long lost character – Star Wars The Last Jedi has all that. But it also has some tedious storytelling which at times had me looking at my watch. Two and…