24 years after the premiere of Jennifer Saunder’s outstanding sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, Edina (Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley) hit the big screen. The ageing party girls – still trying to keep those bygone drug-and-alcohol-fueled days rolling – find themselves at the centre of a major incident at an uber-fashionable launch party. Blamed for the incident, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi. Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more.
As irresistible as the song it celebrates, Tearepa Kahi’s documentary explores the many tributaries that flowed into the mash-up of pop music, traditional waiata and bop that first took New Zealand by storm in 1984.
Dalvanius Prime, the man who made it happen, enjoyed an international R&B career in the 70s. He returned from Sydney to Taranaki to nurse his dying mother and stayed to embrace his culture and Te Reo Māori. Collaboration with singer Prince Tui Teka led him to Māori language composer Ngoingoi Pēwhairangi. Together they composed ‘Poi E’: in this film you will hear the first ever recording, made soon after.
Adding embellishments that did not please his co-composer but impressed her mokopuna, he persuaded his Taranaki whānau, the Patea Māori Club, to perform it. A man on a mission, chihuahuas under each arm, he pulled together a diverse and talented bunch of collaborators to record the song and crowdfund a brilliant music video that, amongst other things, captured the vitality and pride of his hometown facing hard times.
The film, told largely in Dalvanius’ own words, is brimful of music and frank and funny testimony from numerous participants in the song’s richly peopled history. Taking a lesson from the man himself, Kahi draws the next generation into the story, ably assisted by Taika Waititi, who provides Stan Walker, aged 25, with essential information about what life was like before ‘Poi E’.
The third entry into the DC Comics shared universe films, following Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman. A secret agency recruits imprisoned villains – including The Joker (Jared Leto) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) – to execute black ops missions in exchange for clemency. Will Smith plays Deadshot, while Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne are rumoured to also appear.
Stop motion animated fantasy adventure from Laika (ParaNorman), set in ancient Japan, following a boy who must find help when a vengeful spirit is released. Features Oscar-winning voices Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey, as well as nominees Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes and Brenda Vaccaro.
Clever, kindhearted Kubo (Art Parkinson, Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Akihiro (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Kameyo (Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta.
Mila Kunis (Ted), Kristen Bell (The Boss) and Kathryn Hahn (Tomorrowland) lead this comedy as overworked mums attempting a new approach to parenting – irresponsible partying and self-indulgence. Co-stars Christina Applegate (Vacation) as a life coach who trains mothers to ‘play by the rules’ (i.e. be dull and no fun). From the writers of The Hangover.
In the mind of a champion.
Documentary on All Black and World Cup legend, New Zealand’s favourite son, Riche McCaw. Charts McCaw’s final 365 days as an All Black as he attempts to become the first captain to win back-to-back World Cups. Features exclusive access to family archives.
Says McCaw: “I was an ordinary kid who loved playing the game of rugby and had the dream of becoming an All Black. I’ve surprised myself with what’s possible if you want something badly enough. I’ve learned a heck of a lot along the way. I’ve never been big on talking about myself but I hope that by sharing my story, people might be able to find something in it to help them achieve what they really want to.”