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GenXGirl’s Film Reviews

About me: A dedicated fan and collector of mostly 90s indie and festival films. I am especially fond of Wim Wenders, Peter Greenaway, Gus Van Sant, Richard Linklater, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Rolf De Heer, David Lynch, Nick Broomfield, Michael Moore, and Jane Campion. Call me old fashion, but I still happen to appreciate the comforting heft, enhanced footprint and shelf presence - and nostalgic appeal - of the analogue VHS format. I collect very selective titles.

510 Films have been rated or reviewed by GenXGirl.

Last DaysLast Days (2005)
4 stars (Very Good) This will not be everyone\'s cup of tea, but as a fan of the director and of the character portrayed I give it the thumbs up. Strangely hypnotic, odd, very experimental and brave, but definitely watchable.
Four LionsFour Lions (2010)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) A group of bumbling terrorists with a knack of mucking up spectacularly. Truly funny, laugh out load moments, for such dead serious subject matter. Totally original, and gutsy, but it just worked so well.
DVD $25 $12.50
This Must Be the PlaceThis Must Be the Place (2011)
5 stars (Exceptional) Tale of an aging 80's goth singer, who could be depressed (but more likely just bored) takes on the task of tracking down his estranged (and dead) father's tormentor. Loved the soundtrack, loved the cast, I'm just in love with this movie!
DVD $20 $10
Being ElmoBeing Elmo (A Puppeteer's Journey) (2011)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Extremely heartfelt story about the man who breathes life into lovable Elmo. Clash grew up idolising the puppeteers of Sesame Street from an early age, only to end up being one of the best. I have a whole new appreciation for the art.
DVD $20 $15
Exit Through the Gift ShopExit Through the Gift Shop (2010)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) At first a sort of random journey into the underworld of street art, which is completely tipped upsidedown when the doco–maker encounters Banksy – who turns the film, much like his art, into something thought provoking for the viewer to digest.
DVD $19.95
Biggie and TupacBiggie and Tupac (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Broomfield merely scrapes the surface of what was clearly a case of police corruption within Death Row Records. We get a fairly good explanation of Biggie\'s death, but many questions are unanswered about Tupac\'s. You have to commend his fearlessness
DVD $29.95 $15
Hoop DreamsHoop Dreams (1994)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) A doco that takes you on a journey of hope and ambition like no other. It\'s impossible not to become emotionally vested in the lives of these two disavantaged teens. No.1 on Spurlocks Top50DocosToSeeBeforeYouDie for a good reason!
DVD $19.95 $14.95
Jesus CampJesus Camp (2006)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A look inside the extreme Evangelical movement in the US. There is no question that some of the children attending these Jesus camps are subject to emotional abuse and it\'s a horrowing watch. It made me mad. Christians need to watch it.
DVD $19.95
Thin Blue Line, TheThin Blue Line, The (1988)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Nicely woven investigative look at a historic murder case in which an innocent Randall Adams was convicted and sentenced for shooting a police officer. Engaging characters, and an ending that will leave you cold.
Inside JobInside Job (2010)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) No holds barred look at how the corrupt practices of Wall Street caused the 2008 global financial meltdown, and how noone\'s held accountable. Exposes the corrupted politics, regulation, and conflicts of interest within academia. Infuriating & powerful.
DVD $20 $15, $25 $18.75
DriveDrive (2011)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Could be mistaken for just another violent mobster flick, with high–speed car action, but there\'s a subtle and gentle love story at it\'s core – with standout acting – that sets it apart from the usual. The perfect date movie, perhaps?
DVD $14.95
King of Kong, The King of Kong, The (A Fistful of Quarters) (2007)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) I never thought I could feel so passionate about 80\'s arcade video gaming, but this doco pulls you into the highly competitive subculture and has you rooting for the underdog all the way. Very geeky, but in a good way.
DVD $20 $15
Capitalism - A Love StoryCapitalism - A Love Story (2009)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) An exceptionally well–made history lesson in capitalism, then and now. In true Moore style it shocks and infuriates, and is probably responsible for the \'Occupy Wall Street\" movement. An absolute must–see, I just hope there\'s more to come.
DVD $20 $10
Get LowGet Low (2010)
4 stars (Very Good) A quiet tale about a small town outcast with a past, which is slowly stitched together when he decides to throw a living funeral – inviting anyone who has a tale to tell about himself. Powerful performances and more than worth a look.
Black SwanBlack Swan (2010)
1 star (Turkey) Compared to the director\'s previous efforts, it\'s a turkey. Had high hopes, but was confronted with an unconvincing tale of a ballerina suffering an array of psychotic behavioural problems, that appear to be constructed purely for voyeuristic purpos
DVD $20 $15
CatfishCatfish (2010)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) This is doco making at it\'s finest, as a long distance Facebook friendship unravels the viewer embarks on an unbelievably compelling journey. The characters are real and engaging. I was left with conflicting emotions, which scores it 5 stars in my book
DVD $19.95
Jesus of MontrealJesus of Montreal (1989)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Daniel, a fragile young actor enlisted to play Jesus in a popular passion play, starts to acquire aspects of Jesus\' character into his own. Light–hearted and also deeply moving, with quite a powerful message. The cinematography is spectacular.
Very Annie-MaryVery Annie-Mary (2001)
4 stars (Very Good) Rather delightful off–beat tale of one small–town woman's attempt to break out of her shell, and go after her dreams. Equally funny, sad and touching, it manages to leave you with a big smile.
Passion of the Christ, ThePassion of the Christ, The (2004)
3 stars (Good Enough) Very difficult to rate, considering the graphic violence & controversy surrounding the director. Part of me thinks it was over–the–top & guilty of too much shock factor, but there's no denying the powerful message that lingers long after the credits roll
FractureFracture (2004)
3 stars (Good Enough) Nicely told story that connects two Kiwi families through a young man's crime. Compelling characters and yet another well crafted Maurice Gee adaptation. Worth a look.
ChangelingChangeling (2008)
2 stars (Good Try) Surprisingly disappointing tale of a mother's quest to find her missing son amongst extreme police corruption in the 1920s. Over–dramatic performances that boarder on terrible, with countless scenes that leave you rolling your eyes saying "as if!"
Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at HerThings You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (1999)
4 stars (Very Good) Five separate stories loosely tied together about the lives of a cross–section of women. Some big Hollywood names are featured, without the typical fluffy Hollywood–style story–lines, that make this an intelligent watch with heart and soul.
VHS $10
Paris TroutParis Trout (1991)
4 stars (Very Good) Incredible performamce by the late Hopper who plays a money–lending redneck racist who believes he's above the law and can get away with murder. Powerful, little–known 90's film, that went under the radar. Well worth a look.
Until the End of the WorldUntil the End of the World (1991)
5 stars (Exceptional) Terrific 90's film that's a must–see for Wenders fans, this thought–provoking and haunting tale spans 15 cities in 7 countries. Probably the best road movie ever made. Superb cast and soundtrack. I can't rave about it enough.
King KongKing Kong (2005)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Well cast, breath–taking special effects (definitely one for the big screen) version of a classic. More than just good, but not astoundingly good as so many have come to expect from Jackson's previous creations.
DVD $15 $11.25 | Blu-Ray $19.95, $44.95
Lovely Bones, TheLovely Bones, The (2009)
3 stars (Good Enough) Tale of a young girl murdered by her neighbour & her journey into the afterlife, while her family are left grieving and try to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Visually lovely & well cast, but definitely a case of the book being a whole lot better.
DVD $20 $15
AtonementAtonement (2007)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A beautiful film with stunning cinematography, it's a tale of class differences, love, truth and justice, that spans several decades beginning shortly before World War II. Very popular and deservedly so.
DVD $15 $11.25, $19.95
Breakfast at Tiffany'sBreakfast at Tiffany's (1961)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Old Hollywood cinema, a high–class New York call–girl from humble beginnings meets a struggling writer who moves into her apartment building. It's a sweet funny romantic comedy that's still very much adored today.
DVD $19.95
Gone with the WindGone with the Wind (1939)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A classic epic tale that pushed cinematography to new limits. Superbly cast, this turbulent love affair set in the American South during the Civil War is every bit as good as the book.
CasablancaCasablanca (1942)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Hailed as America's most popular and beloved film, this is simply a must for any movie lover. It has a timeless quality and the opportunity to view it on the big screen for it's 50th anniversary was a real treat.
DVD $25 $18.75
Sleepy HollowSleepy Hollow (1999)
3 stars (Good Enough) Turn of the 19th Century stylistic Gothic–like horror about a small town that is plagued by decapitations. Dark and moody, there is perhaps more emphasis on the over all visuals rather than story.
School of RockSchool of Rock (2003)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) An unemployed wannabe rock–star and slacker fakes it at being a substitute teacher and gives the class an education in rock music they'll never forget. An original and very humerous tribute to the history of rock music.
High HopesHigh Hopes (1989)
4 stars (Very Good) Set during the Thatcher–era of social discontent and political upheaval, this slice–of–life look at a working–class family is both poignantly told and unconventional. Well worth a look.
OmaghOmagh (2004)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Compelling & chilling account of Irish separatist group "the Real IRA" who detonated a car bomb in the small town of Omagh claiming the lives of 31 people and injuring hundreds of others. One victim's father becomes an advocate for justice.
Bloody SundayBloody Sunday (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A stunning re–creation of events that took place in Northern Ireland, 1972, when British paratroopers opened fire on a peaceful demonstration killing 14 Irish Catholic civil–rights protesters. Exceptionally shot, very powerful realistic imagery.
Poster (G) $7.95
Wind That Shakes the Barley, TheWind That Shakes the Barley, The (2006)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Gripping drama set during the early days of the Irish Republican Army, it portrays a young man gradually turn from reluctant fighter to single–minded dedication to the cause. Perhaps a little one–sided, but still a powerful and mesmerising film.
Navigators, TheNavigators, The (2001)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Centred around a group of very likable railway workers, as their government owned railway company is taken over by a private corporation. Authentic and heartfelt, it addresses the social issues as a result of the cut–throat world of capitalism.
Last Exit to BrooklynLast Exit to Brooklyn (1989)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Set in bleak 50's Brooklyn, this is a gritty film that traces the lives of some rough urban characters. Exceptional performances, it's violent and sexually graphic – there's no hint of Hollywood gloss and sugar–coating here.
Taxi DriverTaxi Driver (1976)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Unforgettable tale about a highly disturbed Vietnam vet turned New York cabbie prowling the streets, on a mission to leave his mark on society. The film that kicked off both De Niro and Foster's successful acting careers. A real classic.
DVD $25 $18.75
Sex and the City - The MovieSex and the City - The Movie (2008)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Slightly older and wiser, the four have moved on with their lives with the main themes predictably being problems in love, friendship, doing the right thing, and taking chances. Good, but not great, unless you're a die–hard fan.
DVD $10 $5, $14.95 | Blu-Ray $34.95
Moulin RougeMoulin Rouge (2001)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A dazzling fantasy world, and love tragedy, the set design, costumes, and of course music, all cumulate into an original theatrical spectacle.
DVD $20 $15
Christmas with the KranksChristmas with the Kranks (2004)
2 stars (Good Try) Christmas comedy about a couple who cancel all Christmas festivities to save money for a cruise ship vacation instead. Only grabbed my attention at the end when a mysterious character enters the frame. Strange & sadly lacking in real humour.
Love ActuallyLove Actually (2003)
3 stars (Good Enough) Multi–storied Christmas romantic comedy/drama, sure to put you in the festive frame of mind, with an all–star cast. All the right twists and turns to demand your undivided attention. Great the first time, but nothing I'm dying to revisit.
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95
Notting HillNotting Hill (1999)Recommended
2 stars (Good Try) Slightly funny in places, while slightly nauseating overall (possibly due to an awful soundtrack), it will possibly depend on how much of a Julia Roberts fan you are as to your opinion. Mine is that it's only slightly better than rubbish.
DVD $15 $11.25, $19.95
Bridget Jones: The Edge of ReasonBridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
2 stars (Good Try) An insecure Bridget believes her now boyfriend Mr Darcy is being unfaithful. And when Daniel arrives back on the scene things go very pear–shaped. Silly plot, and nothing fresh is offered in this predictable and disappointing sequel.
DVD $39.95, $49.95
Bridget Jones's DiaryBridget Jones's Diary (2001)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A sort of modern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice – the dilemmas of a 30–something single girl living/working in London, as she juggles career with romance, friends and family. Feel–good romantic comedy with some substance.
DVD $24.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95
Wedding Singer, TheWedding Singer, The (1998)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Occassionally hilarious flashback to the 80's, a wanna–be rock–star falls for a waitress who's about to marry a complete toad. Worth seeing for "Love Stinks" as well as other original gems that sum up that cringeful era of music so perfectly.
DVD $14.95 | Blu-Ray $34.95
Music and LyricsMusic and Lyrics (2006)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Better–than–most rom coms, a washed–up 80's boy–band pop singer teams up with his quirky home–helper to write a song for his come–back performance. Any woman who's ever idolised an 80's pop–star will love it.
DVD $19.95 $14.95 | Blu-Ray $24.95
About a BoyAbout a Boy (2002)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Self–absorbed wealthy bachelor meets lonely unpopular teen – the pair form an unlikely friendship that enhances each of their lives. Original feel–good film, and a role that Grant was born to play.
DVD $15 $11.25
Among GiantsAmong Giants (1998)
3 stars (Good Enough) Atop gigantic electrical towers, in the Yorkshire countryside, romance blossoms between the crew employed to paint them. A quiet film that slowly pulls you in, and quite stunning camera work.
Full Monty, TheFull Monty, The (1997)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A bunch of unlikely British lads, all out of work, get their kit off hoping to make a small fortune performing for their local community. Clever dialogue, and very very funny.
Four Weddings and a FuneralFour Weddings and a Funeral (1993)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) A classic romantic comedy that is actually very watchable, about a bachelor whose always the best man but never the groom and his group of equally single friends. Funny and touching – nice to revisit now and again.
CocktailCocktail (1988)
2 stars (Good Try) Just like the decade it's from, a bit empty but over–the–top flashy and lots of fun. Nice to revisit for a trip down cinema memory lane and to have a good old reminisce to.
DVD $15 $11.25
League of Their Own, ALeague of Their Own, A (1992)
3 stars (Good Enough) A charming enough tale based on the true life story of the first female professional baseball league and their struggle to succeed amidst growing rivalry.
DVD $20 $15 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Dances with WolvesDances with Wolves (1990)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Epic Western about an army officer who goes "native". Sympathetic take on the flight of the Native Americans, who for so long Hollywood only ever painted as savages.
DVD $29.95 | Blu-Ray $34.95
Raising ArizonaRaising Arizona (1985)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) One of the best comedies to come out of the 80's, about a policewoman who falls for a remorseful robber. The odd–ball couple, unable to have a child, decide to kidnap one. Black comedy and slapstick all rolled into one. It's the zaniest ride ever.
Honeymoon in VegasHoneymoon in Vegas (1992)
3 stars (Good Enough) Romantic comedy about a reluctant bridegroom who finally agrees to marriage, only to lose his fiancee in a crooked poker game to a professional gambler in Vegas. Hilarious moments, and some quite cheesy ones too..
Someone to Watch Over MeSomeone to Watch Over Me (1987)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Nice 80's romantic–thriller that's pulled off with style. A tale about a New York cop and family man who falls for the rich and beautiful witness he's assigned to protect. Liked it.
Bodyguard, TheBodyguard, The (1992)
2 stars (Good Try) When an iconic 80's pop diva turns Hollywood actress, of course it's going to pull a crowd. However this corny tale is sadly lacking any substance and stands only as a platform for Houston's amasing vocal cords.
DVD $20 $15
William Shakespeare's Romeo and JulietWilliam Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1997)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Hip, modern, film adaptation of Shakespeare's classic tale of two star–crossed lovers – set on the streets of Verona the two gun–toting families wage war, while dialogue stays true to the original text. Clever, stylish, and very unique.
TitanicTitanic (1997)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Despite all the critics (after the fact), this film raked it in at the box–office proving that a sappy Hollywood love–story mixed with epic historical interest can be a winning combination of Titanic proportions!
DVD $14.95, $20 $15, $39.95 | Blu-Ray $49.95
Spy Kids 3-DSpy Kids 3-D (Game Over) (2003)
3 stars (Good Enough) Final, and possibly the best, of the three films – the kids take on a power–hungary villian at his own game, entering into a 3D virtual computer game where they must advance through the various levels to save the youth of today.
DVD $15 $11.25
Catch That KidCatch That Kid (2003)
3 stars (Good Enough) Three clever kids on a top–secret mission manage to crack the hi–tech security system of a bank, intent of robbing it to pay for a parent's much need operation. Fast–paced action filled ride that does deliver.
DVD $19.95
Spy Kids 2 - The Island of Lost DreamsSpy Kids 2 - The Island of Lost Dreams (2002)
3 stars (Good Enough) Just as entertaining as the first film, the spy–family return to take on a crazy genetics scientist who inhabits a mysterious island. Justifiably popular sequel.
DVD $14.95
Spy KidsSpy Kids (2001)
3 stars (Good Enough) Two top secret agents fall for each other, retire and have children. However, are called back to duty only to be captured by an evil techno–wizard – and it's up to their kids to save them. Good family adventure.
DVD $6 $3, $19.95 $14.95
StormbreakerStormbreaker (2006)
2 stars (Good Try) A 14–year old brought up by his uncle, after the death of his parents, discovers he's inherited the skills of an M16 agent – and must stop the an evil computer programmer from killing millions of schoolkids. Despite a good cast, a bit of a flop.
Be Kind RewindBe Kind Rewind (2008)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) A man whose brain becomes magnetised unintentionally destroys every tape in his friend's video store, so the pair endeavour to replace them by filming, and starring in, their own versions. Uniquely funny – a nice tribute to the fading VHS format.
GhostbustersGhostbusters (1984)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) An 80's Hollywood classic, about a bumbling ghost–busting trio who take on the city's surge of paranormal activity. Quite amateur visual effects compared to today's standards, but very cool back in its day. Still entertaining
DVD $14.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
BatmanBatman (1989)
4 stars (Very Good) Box–office smash–hit, revives the super–hero classic. Superb cast, and a dark surreal Gotham City makes the perfect back–drop for this thrill ride of a film where the Dark Knight takes on one very unforgettable clownishly homicidal Joker.
DVD $14.95, $60 $45 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Batman ReturnsBatman Returns (1992)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A star–studded Hollywood cast, Batman takes on the Penguin and contends with the mysterious Catwoman. Nice follow up to the first.
DVD $14.95
Batman: The Dark KnightBatman: The Dark Knight (2008)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Fast–paced super dark modern–day version of Batman – good versus evil – with ultra hi–tech weapons and gadgets, while still managing to delve into the psyche of the characters. Naturally, the late Ledger's crazed performance steals the show.
DVD $14.95
Series 7: The ContendersSeries 7: The Contenders (2000)
2 stars (Good Try) With the rise in popularity of American reality–tv shows, this satire portrays a group of contenders who's mission is to battle it out to the death 'reality–style' with cameras rolling. Clever concept, but unfortunately just didn't deliver.
Wolf CreekWolf Creek (2005)Recommended
1 star (Turkey) Absolutely revolting movie – and to say this was "based on true events" is laughable. Actually started out promising, but gradually deteriorated into a gratuitously violent blood–and–gore yawn fest. Just hidious.
DVD $34.95
Hot FuzzHot Fuzz (2007)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) An eccentric English village acquire a top city cop, who uncovers there's more to the seemingly sleepy idyllic township. Hilariously original, a very well executed film.
DVD $12.50 $9.40, $14.95, $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95
SignsSigns (2002)
1 star (Turkey) A family wake up one morning to find a massive crop circle in their backyard, then discover they're happening world–wide. A case of oh no the world's been invaded by aliens, we're all going to die. Sadly lacking in any substance.
DVD $20 $15
Village, TheVillage, The (2004)
2 stars (Good Try) A 19th–century village live in fear of the terrible creatures that inhabit a surrounding forbidden forest that no–one dares to enter. Not that difficult to guess the rest. Nicely shot film, but lacking in depth and too predictable.
DVD $15 $11.25
Butterfly Effect, TheButterfly Effect, The (2003)
1 star (Turkey) Psychology student discovers by re–reading his childhood journals, he can revisit his past and alter traumatic events and hopefully improve their previously unfortunate outcomes. Utterly ridiculous, a true turkey of a film.
DVD $20 $15
Dark WaterDark Water (2002)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) Suspense–filled thriller about a mother and young daughter beginning a new life together. But when they move to a dilapidated and worn apartment, it suddenly takes on a life of its own. Nightmarish and surreal.
DVD $20 $15
BeetlejuiceBeetlejuice (1988)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Excellent black comedy about a young couple whose premature death sees them as ghosts in their own New England home, and scaring off the pretentious new owners. Burton's unique visual style and twisted imagination galore.
Practical MagicPractical Magic (1998)
2 stars (Good Try) A couple of sisters embrace their witchcraft heritage to try and break a curse that kills any man that gets close to them. Completely silly.
Others, TheOthers, The (2001)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Set during World War II, a woman and her photosensitive children live in a darkened mansion believing their home is haunted. Impressive enough psychological horror.
Sixth Sense, TheSixth Sense, The (1999)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Chilling psychological thriller about a young boy visited by spirits who don't realise they're dead.. and the child psychologist who tries to cure him. Very clever and demands a second viewing.
What Lies BeneathWhat Lies Beneath (2000)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) The wife of a professor investigates the murder of a beautiful college student who has been appearing to her. Nice twists and turns, with lots of suspense.
Gift, TheGift, The (2000)
3 stars (Good Enough) Annie is a recently widowed mother of three boys in a small rural town with a gift for giving psychic readings, which gets her into all kinds of strife when she advises a woman to leave her husband. Creepy, starts out promising but becomes corny.
DVD $15 $11.25
Oscar and LucindaOscar and Lucinda (1998)
3 stars (Good Enough) Mid 1800's England, Oscar and Lucinda are two oddballs who meet on a ship with an instant attraction and form a romantic relationship based on trust. Nice adaptation of the book, with beautiful cinematography.
DVD $15 $11.25
Under the SandUnder the Sand (2001)
3 stars (Good Enough) A haunting portrayal of a woman's struggle to come to terms with the disappearance of her husband while vacationing at the beach, which really takes grief to another level. Simple, tender, and quite clever.
DVD $19.95 $14.95
Ferngully - The Last RainforestFerngully - The Last Rainforest (1992)
3 stars (Good Enough) Great little animation for younger viewers, with a forthright 'save–the–planet' message for the 90's that educated while still managing to entertain – and would definitely stick in the memory of impressionable young minds. Adorable characters.
DVD $39.95
Home Alone 2: Lost in New YorkHome Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
2 stars (Good Try) Kevin is back, but this time he's left alone with a heap of cash and credit cards in New York City – and when the bad guys show up again he's more than ready for them. Missing a bit of the charm of the first.
DVD $24.95, $24.95
Home AloneHome Alone (1990)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Loved by kids of all ages, an 8 year–old Kevin finds himself left behind at home while the family fly to France for Christmas. There's never a dull moment.
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95
Mrs. DoubtfireMrs. Doubtfire (1993)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Entertaining family flick about a father desperate to stay in his children's life after a divorce, so poses as a grandmotherly home–helper. Some enormously funny moments, while remaining quite heartfelt.
HookHook (1991)
3 stars (Good Enough) A well–cast modern–day version of Peter Pan, with some clever effects that brings this fairy–tale to life. Most memorable are the eclectic band of 'lost boys' who, among all the big Hollywood names, really stole the show.
Blu-Ray $24.95
Crocodile DundeeCrocodile Dundee (1986)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A huge box–office hit in its day, about an eccentric crocodile poacher and his love interest – an Australian reporter. Aussie Outback meets New York City with more than a few laughs at their (the Americans) expense.
Kangaroo JackKangaroo Jack (2003)
2 stars (Good Try) Adventure in the Aussie Outback with two bumbling New Yorkers and a cheeky kangaroo. Highly predictable comedy that's only going to cut it with younger viewers even though the content is probably more mature than they'll understand.
DVD $39.95
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood PrinceHarry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Dark forces gather over the wizarding world and it seems Lord Voldemort's rise to power is inevitable. Harry prepares himself for the battle that lays ahead, while romance is very much in the air. Fans of the series will be thoroughly impressed.
DVD $12 $6, $14.95
Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Returning to Hogwarts for his fifth year, Harry discovers that much of the wizarding community has been denied the truth about his recent encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort. A showdown awaits. Excellent fast–paced action.
DVD $14.95
Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Harry, now 14 years–old, has a new confidence as he and his friends leave childhood behind. Harry takes on the grueling Triwizard Tournament, an adventure thanks to some pretty cool special effects is pure entertainment.
DVD $10 $5, $14.95
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) It just keeps on getting better, in this third installment where Harry learns an escaped prisoner is coming for him. Much darker than the previous two, with even more creepy forces to contend with. A spellbinding ride that keeps you wanting more.
DVD $14.95
Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Harry returns to Hogwarts for his second year, with even more magic to learn and dark forces to battle. An improvement on the first installment with more action, humour and special effects.
DVD $14.95
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Harry Potter finds out on his 11th birthday he is in fact a wizard, and trotts off to Hogwarts to find a nasty dark wizard is hell–bent on destroying him. Nice beginning to an enchanting tale.
DVD $14.95
Shrek Forever AfterShrek Forever After (Shrek 4) (2010)
3 stars (Good Enough) An improvement on the third installment, the original gang are all back as Shrek's facing a mid–life crisis – and thanks to a devious Rumplestiltskin ends up in a strange parallel world. Imaginative conclusion to the tale.
DVD $39.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95, $49.95
Shrek The ThirdShrek The Third (2007)
2 stars (Good Try) The third installment is a flop compared to the previous two. Shrek becomes successor to the throne, but decides to find the legitimate heir Artie. Sadly a big let–down from the writers who failed with this one.
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95, $39.95
Shrek 2Shrek 2 (2004)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Shrek 2 follows on nicely from the first, as the newly married Shrek meets the in–laws. Another fabulous soundtrack, with the introduction of new characters, it's a good enough sequel – perhaps just not as memorable as the original.
DVD $10 $5, $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95, $39.95
ShrekShrek (2001)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) The fabulous tale of one very cynical ogre, and unlikely hero, has been enjoyed by children and parents alike. An upbeat soundtrack, snappy dialogue, and lovable characters, made this unconventional story a smash hit at the box office.
DVD $15 $11.25, $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95, $39.95
Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryCharlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
3 stars (Good Enough) While nothing like the original, Burton's unique style manages to create a very credible take on a classic story. Those loyal to the first version may be disappointed, but today's generation of children will relate well.
DVD $25 $18.75
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate FactoryWilly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A magical trip into the most eccentric and wonderful chocolate factory you could ever imagine. Still loved by children, and adults, it's a timeless classic that should be viewed by everyone.
BFG, TheBFG, The (Big Friendly Giant) (1989)
4 stars (Very Good) This lovely animated adaptation of Roald Dahl's delightful children's novel tells the tale of an orphan girl and her friend the BFG. Just magical.
DVD $19.95
Witches, TheWitches, The (1990)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A young boy stumbles across a witch's convention, and must stop them from carrying out their evil plans. Another Roald Dahl classic, the film really does do justice to the book quite wonderfully.
DVD $39.95
MatildaMatilda (1997)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Matilda is a charming little tale about a gifted and very smart young girl, from a horribly dysfunctional family, who beats the odds stacked against her. Classic Roald Dahl stuff, and thoroughly worthwhile.
DVD $14.95
HolesHoles (2003)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A boy accused of stealing is sent to a camp for wayward kids in the middle of the desert to spend everyday digging holes to 'build character'. Its a good enough adaptation of the best–selling novel, but I did enjoy the book a little more.
DVD $30 $22.50
Back to the Future 3Back to the Future 3 (1990)
3 stars (Good Enough) In the third installment Marty travels way back in time to the wild West to save the Doc from a gang of thugs. Like the second film, it doesn't have the same appeal of the first but provides an adequate conclusion.
DVD $59.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Back to the Future 2Back to the Future 2 (1989)
3 stars (Good Enough) This sequel sees the time–travelling pair venture into the future to try and help save Marty's future kids. Slightly less complex storyline and therefore not quite as exciting as the first installment.
DVD $59.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Lion King, TheLion King, The (1994)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Simba, a lion cub and heir to the throne of Pride Rock, learns his place in the world. Hard not to love this absolute classic, and box office smash hit, that is still loved by kids of all ages.
DVD $24.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95
Adventures of Milo and OtisAdventures of Milo and Otis (1989)
4 stars (Very Good) Japanese made film about an orange tabby cat named Milo and a fawn pug named Otis, who journey far from their quiet little farm life into the great unknown on a quest to search for one another. Will capture the hearts of young and old, a real gem.
Babe 2: Pig in the CityBabe 2: Pig in the City (1998)
3 stars (Good Enough) Quite different from the first, and slightly darker, Babe and the farmer's wife venture into the city to raise some funds to save the farm. Still an enjoyable tale.
DVD $19.95
BabeBabe (1995)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Babe the a pig, raised by sheepdogs and learns to herd sheep with a little help from Farmer Hoggett. A great little farmyard adventure, very memorable.
DVD $10, $19.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Secondhand LionsSecondhand Lions (2003)
3 stars (Good Enough) A coming–of–age story about a shy, young boy sent by his irresponsible mother to spend the summer with his wealthy, eccentric uncles in Texas. Heart–warming comedy/drama that shouldn't be completely dismissed.
Cats and DogsCats and Dogs (Cats & Dogs) (2001)
3 stars (Good Enough) A top–secret, high–tech espionage war going on between cats and dogs, which their human owners are blissfully unaware of. Very cute, but I have to say the cats rule and the dogs drool.
DVD $15 $11.25
Stuart Little 2Stuart Little 2 (2002)
3 stars (Good Enough) The continuing adventure of Stuart, a couple of years older, who sets out with Snowball to rescue his new friend, Margalo the canary. Just as cute and charming as the first.
Stuart LittleStuart Little (1999)
3 stars (Good Enough) The Little family adopt a charming young mouse named Stuart, but Snowbell the family cat is not at all impressed. Clever combination of real life and computer generated imagery.
Chicken RunChicken Run (2000)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Clever clay animation, set in 1950's England, tells the story of a band of chickens who seek escape from their coop on a sinister York's chicken farm. Smart and charming.
DVD $10 $7.50
Chicken LittleChicken Little (2005)
3 stars (Good Enough) Cute little modern twist on the classic children's fable Henny Penny, with a message about courage – Don't be a chicken little. Don't be afraid. The sky is not falling. An engaging dialogue.
DVD $15 $10
Racing StripesRacing Stripes (2005)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Nicely told tale of a baby zebra named Stripes, who is accidentally abandoned by a traveling circus during a rainstorm. While nothing really unique, it's very humourous and family friendly.
DVD $15 $11.25
Monster HouseMonster House (2006)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Although no adults will believe them, three children realise a cranky old neighbour's house is really a monster. An exciting thrill–ride, which perfectly balances creepiness with humour so as not to spook younger viewers too much.
DVD $15 $11.25, $14.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95, $29.95
Hoodwinked!Hoodwinked! (2005)
3 stars (Good Enough) Nice modern spin on Little Red Riding Hood, these characters are very engaging and there's a clever snappy storyline that holds the attention span. No boring old–fashion Grannie in this version, that's for sure.
DVD $15 $11.25
BarnyardBarnyard (2006)
3 stars (Good Enough) While the farmer's away, the animals play/sing/dance – infact it's just one big all–out party until Otis steps in to run things. Certainly a little more risque than most family entertainment and likely to raise an eyebrow or two in places!
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The SqueakuelAlvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel (2009)
3 stars (Good Enough) The Chipmunks enroll in school, and these rock–stars are faced with a set of new challenges including peer–pressure and girls.. the "Chipettes". An okay 'squeakuel', as good as the first, but they'd be hard pushed for a third one.
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $34.95
Alvin and the ChipmunksAlvin and the Chipmunks (2007)
3 stars (Good Enough) Thanks to a Christmas tree company chopping down their home, three little rockin' chipmunks make it big in LA with the help of rather self–absorbed and greedy manager. Not a laugh a minute, but still fun.
DVD $19.95, $54.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95, $34.95
Happy FeetHappy Feet (2006)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) One dancing little penguin's quest to find love. Hard not to adore these fluffy balls of cuteness, and the lovely detailed animation does compensate for any lack of storyline. It truly is a boogie wonderland.
DVD $10 $7.50, $19.95 $14.95
Grinch, TheGrinch, The (2000)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) We learn exactly why the Grinch has such an aversion to the festive season, and it's difficult not to have a little sympathy. Nice Hollywood adaptation of this Christmas classic.
DVD $15 $11.25, $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95
ElfElf (2003)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) An Elf on a mission to find his father, who happens to be anything but fatherly towards a fully–grown man in tights claiming to be from the North Pole. Some genuinely funny moments, amongst all the silliness.
DVD $14.95
Santa Clause, TheSanta Clause, The (1994)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A Christmas flick that people never seem to tire of, it's bound to end up screening on TV at some point over the festive season. A role that seems to have been especially written with Allen in mind.
Polar Express, ThePolar Express, The (2004)
4 stars (Very Good) An astonishing adaptation of this beautiful story about one boy's Christmas Eve journey upon the Polar Express. Groundbreaking animation that really needs to be viewed on the big screen to be fully appreciated. An unforgettable ride.
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
ZathuraZathura (A Space Adventure) (2005)Recommended
2 stars (Good Try) A bit like a modern day version of Jumanji, only this time two brothers discover an old tattered metal space–themed game which, with the roll of a dice, has some unusual qualities. Slight let–down as it feels like it's all been done before.
DVD $15 $11.25 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Back to the FutureBack to the Future (1985)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) With the help of a wacky scientist, a young teen travels back to 1955 in a Delorean turned time–machine, where he meets his parents. A massive hit, and thoroughly entertaining 80's classic that's still much loved and enjoyed today.
DVD $15 $11.25, $29.95, $29.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Jurassic ParkJurassic Park (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Scientists successfully extract dinosaur DNA from preserved prehistoric mosquitoes, clone it, and recreat a variety of dinosaurs to roam around a theme park. Truly convincing use of computer graphics that made it a box–office sensation.
DVD $19.95, $39.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95, $24.95
JumanjiJumanji (1995)
3 stars (Good Enough) Family entertainment, it's a visually elaborate fantasy about an enchanted board game that opens a magical portal to a jungle universe. Great use of movie computer generated graphics for its time.
DVD $19.95
Princess Bride, ThePrincess Bride, The (1987)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) A bedtime story, that comes alive, about a beautiful kidnapped Princess who needs rescuing – and along the way some pretty impressive monsters and giants are encountered. Visually stunning fantasy drama. Memorable.
LabyrinthLabyrinth (1986)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Young Sarah must rescue her baby brother, after she inadvertently conjures the Goblin King who steals the child and brings him to his castle in the middle of a labyrinth. Another magical 80's classic.
DVD $14.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Dark Crystal, TheDark Crystal, The (1982)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) On another planet, in another time, a mythical world of monsters and wizards and a quest to find a missing shard of crystal that'll restore the balance of the universe. A childhood favourite. No fancy computerised animation here.
DVD $14.95
Neverending Story, TheNeverending Story, The (1984)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Bastian is a bullied child who escapes into an ancient storybook where he must save the mythical world of Fantasia. A wonderous 80's fantasy film.
DVD $14.95
Stand by MeStand by Me (1986)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Four young friends set out on an adventure – to find the missing body of a local teenager. Heartfelt tale of boyhood friends and growing up, and now a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
DVD $20 $15
Goonies, TheGoonies, The (1985)
3 stars (Good Enough) A group of kids embark on a wild adventure after finding a pirate treasure map. In one word "fun", it's a wild adventure that possibly only kids of that era would truly appreciate.
DVD $20 $15
CocoonCocoon (1985)Recommended
2 stars (Good Try) Far–fetched tale about a group of trespassing seniors who discover a swimming pool containing alien cocoons, and find themselves energised with youthful vigour. Popular in it's day, but this viewer wasn't impressed.
DVD $19.95, $19.95
Batteries Not IncludedBatteries Not Included (1987)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Apartment block tenants seek the aid of alien mechanical life–forms to save their building from demolition – a sweet story about ordinary people who find the extraordinary.
GremlinsGremlins (1984)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Cute adorable fluffy pet from Chinatown turns feral, and spawns a host of evil creatures, when owners disobey a few basic precautions. Brilliant, every 80's kid wanted one.
AntzAntz (1998)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Adventure about a misfit worker Ant Z, who feels trapped by the conformist confines of his totalitarian ant civilization and sets out in search of Insectopia. Very Woody Allen–ish, a lot of the humour children just won't get!
DVD $29.95
Over the HedgeOver the Hedge (2006)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A mischievous racoon and his sensitive best–buddy turtle along with other forest creatures try to resist the evils and temptations of suburbia. Wonderful characters, and genuinely funny moments.
DVD $15 $7.50, $39.95
Bug's Life, ABug's Life, A (1998)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Pixar's modernised version of the Aesop fable The Ant and the Grasshopper, about a colony of ants who seasonally gather food for themselves and a wild gang of rowdy grasshoppers.
DVD $24.95 $19.95
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsLemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Lemony Snicket tells the story of how the three Baudelaire children became orphans, in this wonderfully dark but magical world where nothing is quite as it seems. Perhaps a little too dark for younger children, but sure to thrill older ones.
DVD $24.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, TheAdventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, The (2005)
3 stars (Good Enough) Tale of a very imaginative boy who's on the outer at school, but a total hero on the Planet Drool. The fact that it's 3D sort of makes it, as the storyline is weak and a little too predictable. But overall still worthwhile.
Jimmy Neutron - Boy GeniusJimmy Neutron - Boy Genius (2001)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Jimmy and his mates get a taste of freedom from parental supervision when aliens abduct the town's mums and dads. Real adventure and exceptionally good quality animation.
Monsters vs AliensMonsters vs Aliens (2009)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A motley crew of reluctant mutant heroes are recruited to save the earth from the evil alien Gallaxhar. Entertaining enough and not too over–the–top scary for the younger ones.
DVD $15 $11.25, $29.95, $39.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95
Monsters, Inc.Monsters, Inc. (2001)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Another magical world dreamed up by Pixar, this time of the most lovable monsters you're ever likely to encounter. A real adventure that will capture the imagination.
DVD $24.95 $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95 $24.95, $49.95 $24.95
Incredibles, TheIncredibles, The (2004)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) One superhero crime–fighting family you don't wanna mess with. The Incredibles is the kind of animation to hold the attention of not just kids, but parents as well.
DVD $24.95 | Blu-Ray $34.95
Finding NemoFinding Nemo (2003)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) An underwater sea quest of a father searching for his inquisitive Nemo, on the way he meets a number of new friends who assist him on his mission. A lovely tale of never giving up and determination.
DVD $24.95 | Blu-Ray $39.95, $49.95
CarsCars (2006)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Racecar legend Lightening McQueen goes AWOL right before the race of his career and finds himself trapped in a sleepy abandoned hill–billy town, where he learns the true meaning of friendship and loyalty. A sure hit with young car enthusiasts.
DVD $15 $11.25, $24.95 | Blu-Ray $34.95
Toy Story 2Toy Story 2 (2000)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Following on from the first, Woody ends up sold at a garage sale to a toy collector and discovers his true origin. Buzz comes to the rescue to save him from winding up as a life–less display toy. Not as good as it's predecessor.
DVD $15 $11.25 | Blu-Ray $39.95 $24.95, $29.95
Toy Story 3Toy Story 3 (2010)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Pixar's conclusion to the Toy Story trilogy, Andy is all grown up and ready to go to college. The gang goes to desperate measures to get his attention before ending up as donated kindergarden toys. Better than anticipated.
DVD $15 | Blu-Ray $49.95 $24.95, $29.95
Toy StoryToy Story (1995)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Groundbreaking animation story of Andy's childhood toys that come to life. Centres around the relationship and rivalry between Woody and Buzz who team up to save themselves from Sid the neighbourhood bully. Magical.
DVD $24.95 $19.95 | Blu-Ray $39.95 $24.95, $29.95
Water Horse, The: Legend of the DeepWater Horse, The: Legend of the Deep (2007)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Beautifully shot tale about a Scottish boy who finds an enchanted egg which hatches into a mischievous water horse that grows into the Loch Ness monster. The pair share a special life–long bond. Delightful.
DVD $14.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Wall-E Wall-E (2008)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Gentle–natured cute little recycling robot goes on a mission to find his new hi–tech friend Eve, sent from outer–space, who he encounters while she's visiting Earth to seek out signs of life. Pixar at it's best, with a 'save–the–planet' message.
DVD $15 $11.25, $24.95 $19.95 | Blu-Ray $34.95 $24.95
Iron Giant, TheIron Giant, The (2000)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) The Iron Giant follows the incredible adventures of young Hogarth who late one night discovers and befriends an enormous robot that fell from the stars. Magical and moving tale of friendship that'll tug at your heart–strings.
DVD $29.95
E.T.E.T. (1982)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Lovable alien drops in on unsuspecting family and wins the heart of a young boy who goes to any length to protect his newly found friend from the authorities. Heartwarming 80's family classic.
DVD $15 $11.25, $15 $11.25, $19.95 | Blu-Ray $39.95
Fan, TheFan, The (1996)
3 stars (Good Enough) Gil, a pathological baseball fan whose obsession is focused on a Giants all–star outfielder, goes to any length to eliminate all obstacles on his hero's road to stardom. Good enough.
DVD $10 $7.50, $14.95 | Blu-Ray $14.95
Cape FearCape Fear (1991)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Tattooed, Bible–quoting, Henry Miller–reading Max Cady spends 14 years in prison for rape, concocting his revenge on the lawyer who made it easy for him to be convicted. Classic nail–biting thriller.
DVD $34.95 | Blu-Ray $14.95
Angel HeartAngel Heart (1987)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Set in 1955, New Orleans, a supernatural thriller about a sullen detective Harry Angel who's hired to find a missing person by a shady client with pointy fingernails. Really creepy and really good.
DVD $20 $10
GoodfellasGoodfellas (1990)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) The lowly, blue–collar side of New Yorks Italian mafia is explored in this crime biopic of wiseguy Henry Hill. Impressive cast and outstanding script – one of those rare times you leave a cinema theatre knowing you've just witnessed something special.
DVD $20 $15 | Blu-Ray $14.95
American PsychoAmerican Psycho (2000)
1 star (Turkey) Perhaps I need to read the book, but this just came off as rather stupid satire about a delusional psychotic, completely shallow, investment banker who may or may not be a homicidal maniac. Yawn.
DVD $20 $15
Natural Born KillersNatural Born Killers (1994)
4 stars (Very Good) Mickey and Mallory are a modern day 'Bonnie and Clyde' hell–bent on mass murder. Trippy psychedelic, and ultra violent, road trip that highlights the absurdity of television news and tabloid media. Definitely qualifies as a cult classic.
DVD $15 $11.25
Silence of the LambsSilence of the Lambs (1991)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) A classic psychological thriller/horror that's probably permanently engraved in the memory of all who've ever seen it. The relationship and dynamics between Dr. Hannibal Lechter and Clarice is quite unforgettable.
DVD $14.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95
ZodiacZodiac (2007)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Well told account of a determined detective's attempts to crack one of the most mysterious cases in modern crime – the fearsome Zodiac Killer. Homicidal psychopaths don't get much more frightening than this.
DVD $20 $15
CopycatCopycat (1996)
4 stars (Very Good) S.C.A.R.Y. Oh my gosh, this one truly terrified me. Criminal psychologist becomes entangled in the deadly mind game of a vicious copycat serial killer. Brilliantly cast thriller, they don't come much more convincing than this.
KaliforniaKalifornia (1993)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Starts out promising, when hick couple catch a ride with trendy couple researching grisly murder sites. However it progressively goes down hill and boarders on the silly. Pitt does a nice job at playing the hill–billy from hell though.
Blu-Ray $39.95
SevenSeven (Se7en) (1995)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) A diabolical serial killer stages grisly murders, choosing victims representing the seven deadly sins. Well crafted cinematography, white–knuckle suspense and some truly stomach–turning scenes.
Single White FemaleSingle White Female (1992)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Successful professional woman meets the flatmate from hell. Scary enough thriller but some scenes are overdone and become a little comical.
Dolores ClaiborneDolores Claiborne (1995)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Dolores is a complex character, and as her relationship with her daughter unfolds she becomes even more intriguing. An excellent mystery/drama with twists and turns that definitely keeps you guessing.
MiseryMisery (1990)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) An obsessed fan/nurse holds her favourite author prisoner after rescuing him after a car accident. Suspenseful stuff, that'll have you on the edge of your seat.
Mystic RiverMystic River (2003)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A chilling mystery revolving around three boyhood friends in working–class Boston, all drawn together by a crime from the past and a murder in the present. Complex and dark, but very well cast and directed.
DVD $40 $30
Dead Man WalkingDead Man Walking (1996)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Inspired by the true story of a nun's relationship with a death–row killer she tries to save. Compelling insight into the depths of a dark soul's character, and issue of capital punishment. Honest, graphic, and exceptional performances.
DVD $20 $10, $25 $18.75
Shawshank Redemption, TheShawshank Redemption, The (1994)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Story of an innocent middle–class banker given life for murdering his wife, who befriends a fellow inmate and embarks on a truly remarkable escape. Emotional tale of injustice, but nicely depicts the life–long friendship of the two main characters.
DVD $14.95
Green Mile, TheGreen Mile, The (1999)
3 stars (Good Enough) A gentle giant with supernatural powers wrongly accused of a heinous crime sits on death row, and touches the lives of fellow inmates and prison guards. Powerful performances, some gruesome scenes, but a definite tear–jerker.
DVD $14.95
In AmericaIn America (2002)
3 stars (Good Enough) Young Irish couple with two daughters slip illegally into the US, moving into a run–down New York apartment. Deals with the aftermath of the loss of a child and doesn't stick to the typical Hollywood formula. Refreshing, watchable.
DVD $19.95 $14.95
8 Mile8 Mile (Eight Mile) (2002)
3 stars (Good Enough) Part biographical story of Eminem's rise to fame, from trailer–park/single–mom beginnings to landing a recording deal and international recognition. Despite being the least experienced actor here, he steals the show. Talented rapper, and actor.
DVD $19.95
World's Fastest Indian, TheWorld's Fastest Indian, The (2005)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) Interesting enough account of Burt Munro's adventure to the USA to enter his motorcycle in a race at the Bonneville Salt Flats. A tale of good old Kiwi ingenuity and turning a passion into reality.
DVD $14.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Bend It Like BeckhamBend It Like Beckham (2002)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Jess, determined to play for her local football team, defies the traditional Sikh boundaries of her to follow her dreams. Light–hearted feel–good tale that probably due to it's title had wider appeal than it might have otherwise.
DVD $14.95
Billy ElliotBilly Elliot (2000)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Young Billy secretly skips boxing practise to take up ballet classes and, against his Father's orders and ridicule of his peers, surprises everyone with his impressive skills. Feel–good film that'll leave a smile.
Match, TheMatch, The (2000)
3 stars (Good Enough) In a small Scottish village two pubs, in order to resolve a century old grudge, settle the score with a game of football. Delightful and eccentric little tale, with an excellent cast.
DVD $34.95
There's Only One Jimmy GrimbleThere's Only One Jimmy Grimble (2000)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) An uplifting tale of Jimmy who dreams of playing professional football for Man City, and along the way learns to believe in his own abilities. A must–see family film for fans of the game, both young and old.
DVD $20 $10
You Can Count On MeYou Can Count On Me (2000)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A heartfelt story of a single mother whose quiet life is disrupted when her rebel of a brother returns to town. A charming tale of redefining close relationships and family ties. Not over–done, and worth a look.
DVD $20 $10, $34.95
Topp Twins, The (TV Series)Topp Twins, The (TV Series) (1997)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Unmistakable Kiwi satire, the Topp Twins morph into the characters we all know and love in this fabulous series that explores our own unique culture. Highly entertaining.
River QueenRiver Queen (2005)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Beautiful historical drama, set in the Whanganui River valley, a widowed Irish settler's seven year effort to find her half–caste son, kidnapped by his Maori grandfather. Extremely moving, expressive and visually impressive production.
Topp Twins: Untouchable GirlsTopp Twins: Untouchable Girls (2009)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Fantastic, personal, tribute documenting a colourful career of two true–blue Kiwi icons. A real trip down memory lane that explores their political involvement in social change. The personal stories, like their music, are so entertaining. Just brilliant.
DVD $20 $15
We Can Be Heroes (TV Series)We Can Be Heroes (TV Series) (2005)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Superbly talented performance from Chris Lilley in this Aussie mockumentary, where he portrays the six extremely diverse finalists for the Australian of the Year. Unbelievably hilarious.
DVD $20 $10, $19.95, $39.95
Summer Heights High (TV Series) Summer Heights High (TV Series) (2007)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Chris Lilley really is quite genius for pulling off three such diverse, convincing and believable characters, in this series about high school life. Spectacularly funny.
DVD $20 $10
KennyKenny (2006)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Kenny is the ultimate mockumentary about a real top Aussie bloke, not without a few issues in his personal life, who runs a port–a–loo hire business with true professionalism and pride. Extremely funny, and the ending is truly epic.
DVD $19.95
Italian, TheItalian, The (Italianetz) (2005)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) In a Soviet orphanage, 6–year–old Vanya, abandoned at birth, is determined to find his mother. After catching a train to the city, he lives as a runaway hunted by the orphanage supervisors who've sold him to an Italian couple. It's a favourite.
DVD $29.95 $19.95
Girl in the Cafe, TheGirl in the Cafe, The (2005)
5 stars (Exceptional) Offbeat political–romance. Lawrence, a 57–year–old Londoner with a successful governmental career and nonexistent social life meets a mysterious, considerably younger, Gina. She accompanies him to a G8 Summit. Loved it – So very memorable.
Other Boleyn Girl, TheOther Boleyn Girl, The (2008)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A captivating tale of intrigue, romance and betrayal, two sisters, Anne and Mary, are driven by their ambitious family to seduce the king of England in order to advance their position in court. The cinematography is simply breathtakingly beautiful.
DVD $15 $11.25, $20 $15
Marie AntoinetteMarie Antoinette (2006)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) An ill–fated fairy–tale of the child princess who married France's young King Louis XVI. Isolated in a royal court filled with scandal and intrigue, she defies both royalty and commoner by lived like a rock star. Brilliant 80's New Wave soundtrack.
DVD $20 $15
Virgin Suicides, TheVirgin Suicides, The (2000)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Set in the 70s, four Lisbon sisters are kept isolated by their over–protective parents after the suicide of their youngest sister. The girls bond tightly with one another, and view the world as outsiders. A mysterious and heartbreaking tale.
Lovely and AmazingLovely and Amazing (2001)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A mother & her three adult daughters struggle with self–esteem & insecurities. Only the youngest daughter, and adopted African American 8–year–old, stands a chance of avoiding the family legacy of anxious self–absorption. Not amazing, but still lovely.
DVD $15 $11.25
Vera DrakeVera Drake (2004)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Set in 50's London, Vera Drake, an irrepressibly hopeful housecleaner and family woman, helps young women get rid of unwanted pregnancies, until the police appear and tear her world apart. Compelling, mesmerising, superbly acted and directed.
DVD $20 $15
IrisIris (2001)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Recounts the life of British novelist Iris Murdoch, from her courtship and marriage to literary critic John Bayley, to her devastating fight with Alzheimers. Made with great compassion.
Tea with MussoliniTea with Mussolini (1999)
3 stars (Good Enough) Set in 30's Italy during Mussolini's rise to power, it's the story of a young outcast boy who's adopted by a group of five eccentric aging Englishwomen living in Florence. Light frothy comedy about far more serious subject matter!
DVD $25 $18.75
My House in UmbriaMy House in Umbria (2003)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) When a terrorist bomb detonates on a countryside train–trip, killing a handful of passengers, the surviving strangers are invited to recuperate at the villa of an eccentric but kindly romance novelist. Heart–warming and beautifully shot.
Ladies in LavenderLadies in Lavender (2005)
3 stars (Good Enough) A pair of Cornish spinsters who discover a charismatic young Polish violin virtuoso castaway on the beach below their home. The tale leads inexorably to tender romantic conflicts and a warm concert house finale. A little disappointing, but sweet.
DVD $20 $15
Dangerous LiaisonsDangerous Liaisons (1988)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Beneath the elegant surface are the deviously twisted characters – the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont – a pair of schemers who take pleasure in coolly manipulating and seducing those around them. Delightful, whimsy & devilishly evil.
ElizabethElizabeth (1998)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) The naive & vibrant princess who becomes the stubborn & knowing queen, is both severe and sympathetic. Her rise ultimately entails rejecting love and marriage to redefine herself as the indisputable Virgin Queen. Lush costumes, dark sets. Magnificent!
DVD $20 $15
Shakespeare in LoveShakespeare in Love (1998)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) The beautiful Viola De Lesseps disguises herself as a young man to wangle herself an audition in the all–male cast, and wins both the part of Romeo and, after much misunderstanding, the playwright's heart. Beautiful set and costumes.
Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing (1993)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Largely the story of Benedick and Beatrice, adversaries who come to believe each is trying to woo the other. Shakespeare that's cheerful and accessible for everyone. Beautiful costumes.
In the Name of the FatherIn the Name of the Father (1993)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) The true saga of Gerry Conlon, a petty thief in 70s Belfast, who's imprisoned along with his friends and family accused of being part of a vicious IRA cell. It's harrowing and powerful, and all the more compelling for the fact it actually happened.
Doors, TheDoors, The (1991)
4 stars (Very Good) Hypnotic film biography of legendary Doors frontman Jim Morrison. Charts the meteoric rise of the Doors, chronicles the band's use of hallucinogenics, and Morrison's public indecency charges on stage. Near perfect performances.
Groundhog DayGroundhog Day (1993)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) A cynical TV weatherman is sent to small–town Punxsutawney to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities. Unable to leave, due to a giant blizzard, which he failed to predict, he falls into a time warp. A worthwhile romantic–comedy.
Pretty WomanPretty Woman (1990)
1 star (Turkey) Deserves 5 Stars for it's misrepresentation of prostitution. Hollywood whore meets millionaire businessman, they fall in love, and live happily ever after. Complete insanity.
DVD $14.95
Dirty DancingDirty Dancing (1987)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) While vacationing with her parents, a naive Baby takes dance lessons with the spunky, free–spirited, hotel dance instructor Johnny. One of the better teen romances to come out of the 80's – and makes the 1960's actually look like fun.
DVD $25 $18.75
GhostGhost (1990)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) After being murdered in a mugging gone wrong, a man's love is so great for his partner it enables him to remain on earth as a ghost. Most steamy scene ever filmed between woman and ghost! Whoopi stole the show though.
DVD $15, $24.95
Dead Poet's SocietyDead Poet's Society (1989)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Story of a radical English teacher who doesn't fit into the conservative boarding school where he teaches, but his charisma and love of poetry inspires several boys to revive a secret society with a bohemian bent. Memorable tear–jerker.
DVD $19.95
Madonna Truth Or DareMadonna Truth Or Dare (In Bed With Madonna) (1991)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A very carefully controlled documentary of Madonna's 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour, although more revealing for what it does show than doesn't. Ever so self–absorbed and self–loving, but still an entertaining watch at the time.
Without You I'm NothingWithout You I'm Nothing (1990)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Sandra Bernhard on stage, at her best, delivers a truckload of comic monologues and pop–star parodies. Her intent is quite obviously not just about getting an audience to laugh, but also to think and squirm. Incisively funny.
Rapture, TheRapture, The (1991)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) LA telephone operater, Sharon, ex–sinner extraordinaire, and driven by tragedy converts to a fanatical fundamental Christian sect and journeys to the desert with her young daughter to await the end of the world. Strangely absorbing watch.
DVD $35
Rambling RoseRambling Rose (1991)
4 stars (Very Good) Set in the American South during the Depression–era, Rose, a cheerfully promiscuous young housekeeper and nanny, brings sexual electricity to an unconventional middle–class household. Sweet, and raunchy, all at the same time.
SalmonberriesSalmonberries (1992)
4 stars (Very Good) Kotz lives her life disguised as a boy until, after falling for a librarian, reveals her true identity. A love story between an eccentric pair, who each help the other to discover the truth about their pasts. Surreal and dreamlike.
Night On EarthNight On Earth (1991)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Five seperate stories that occur at the same time in taxicabs in five different cities and time zones. Investigations fo the in–between times that people don't usually make movies about. Imaginative and charmingly different.
DVD $19.95
My Left FootMy Left Foot (1989)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Story of Irish artist and writer Christy Brown, whose cerebral palsy kept him confined to a wheelchair. Born to a large family, it follows his difficult formative years through to adulthood and love interests. Passionate performance.
DVD $20 $10
Peter's FriendsPeter's Friends (1992)
4 stars (Very Good) New Year's Eve, Peter's friends arrive one by one to his estate for a reunion – it's been 10 years since they'd all been together. During the course of a weekend they rediscover relationships – and themselves. An emotional rollercoaster, but lovely.
Winter Guest, TheWinter Guest, The (1997)
4 stars (Very Good) In a remote Scottish village, where the sea is frozen as far as the eye can see, recently widowed photographer Frances lives with her increasingly distant son, and finds life radically changed with the arrival of her mother. Stunningly beautiful!
M ButterflyM Butterfly (1993)
4 stars (Very Good) A French civil service officer risks everything in his obsessive pursuit of an enigmatic Chinese opera diva. An extremely well–crafted story of espionage, love, betrayal, obsession – and ultimately a dramatic reversal of the tragedy of Madama Butterfly.
Pianist, ThePianist, The (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Story of a Polish Jew & concert pianist who witnessed the Nazi invasion of Warsaw, miraculously eluded the death camps, and survived throughout World War II by hiding among the ruins of the Warsaw ghetto. Deeply stirring human drama.
DVD $25 $18.75
Schindler's ListSchindler's List (1993)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) An unlikely hero at its center, Catholic war profiteer Oskar Schindler, who risked his life and went bankrupt to save more than 1,000 Jews from certain death in concentration camps. Haunting cinematography, deserved the accolades.
DVD $29.95
Pulp FictionPulp Fiction (1994)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits, seemingly unrelated people, are woven together in series of funny and bizarre incidents. Fairly groundbreaking stuff to come out of Hollywood in its time.
DVD $20 $15, $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95 $19.95
Lost HighwayLost Highway (1997)
4 stars (Very Good) After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for his wife's murder & sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic. Undoubtedly made to mess with the minds of mainstream movie–goers, and please dedicated fans.
DVD $19.95
Reservoir DogsReservoir Dogs (1992)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Sensational, bloody, blackly funny account of a botched robbery and the ensemble of tough–guy criminals who must identify the traitor among them who tipped off the police. No shortage of violence, but also unexpectedly moving.
Like Water for ChocolateLike Water for Chocolate (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Set mostly in the Mexican desert, in an elegant hacienda where a nutty upper–class family play out their madness against the backdrops of revolution and illicit love. It has everything – sex, hatred, family spats, politics. Delicious & good enough to eat.
DVD $25 $18.75
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial KillerAileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Again, Broomfield takes you behind the sensational headlines and into the true life and unbalanced mind of a woman trying to deal with an horrific childhood and upcoming execution. It's terrifying, powerful, and will make you contemplate justice.
DVD $29.95
Aileen Wournos: Selling of a Serial KillerAileen Wournos: Selling of a Serial Killer (1993)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Broomfield investigates the real story of Aileen Wournos, and the commercial exploitation of her case. Going behind the headlines of "America's first female serial killer" and finds a complex character who's both culpable defendant – and victim.
DVD $29.95
Quiet Room, TheQuiet Room, The (1997)
4 stars (Very Good) A seven–year old girl chooses to go mute as a protest at her parent's dissolving relationship. A beautifully convincing performance. It's a quiet little film with a big loud message.
Strictly BallroomStrictly Ballroom (1992)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Scott, a champion ballroom dancer, who wants to dance "his own steps", meets Fran, a homely, beginner dancer who convinces Scott that together with her he should break all the rules and live out his dreams. Glorious Aussie comedy at it's best.
DVD $20 $15
Muriel's WeddingMuriel's Wedding (1994)
4 stars (Very Good) The plain and plump Muriel longs to be popular, and lives in a fantasy world of ABBA songs and weddings. But after meeting her new best friend Rhonda, she begins to put those dreams into reality. Funny, but at times sad, journey of self–discovery.
DVD $25 $18.75
To Die ForTo Die For (1996)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Suzanne Stone is a small–town housewife who fancies herself the next Barbara Walters or Diane Sawyer. Self–absorbed, amoral & utterly ruthless, she'll stop at nothing, even murder, to reach her goal of becoming a star. Dark humour at its best.
DVD $20 $15
Even Cowgirls Get the BluesEven Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)
4 stars (Very Good) Sissy, with her giant thumbs, hitchhikes across America – almost marries a Mohawk and falls in with a gang of radical lesbian cowgirls who inhabit the Rubber Rose Range. It's crazy, but charming, and a faithful adaptation of the book.
DVD $15 $11.25
Company of StrangersCompany of Strangers (Strangers in Good Company) (1990)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) When a bus breaks down in the middle of now–where, carrying seven quite different women on a sight–seeing trip, the women spend a weekend together sharing intimate stories of their lives with each other. Beautifully filmed, endearing, nostalgic.
I Shot Andy WarholI Shot Andy Warhol (1996)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Valerie Solana, a gun–wielding feminist prostitute, and author of the SCUM manifesto, obsessed with being a part of Warhol's Factory scene and fame, shoots the artist out of frustration – making her manifesto infamous. A unique & feisty over–looked film.
DVD $20 $10
My Beautiful LaundretteMy Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
4 stars (Very Good) Set in mid–80's London during the Thatcher–era, a young Pakistani teen Omar and his punk–ish school mate Johnny renovate a run–down laundrette. Probably has the most compassionate gay love–scene ever scene on film. A true 80's classic.
NakedNaked (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Johnny is a grungy, arrogent, self–destructive, charming sociopath, on the run from the family of a woman he sexually assaulted, meets up with an old girlfriend in London. A brilliant director who captures the essence of his characters perfectly.
Poster (F) $10.95
Bhaji On the BeachBhaji On the Beach (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A group of Asian women, aged from sixteen to seventy–five, take a day trip in a minibus to Blackpool. Each has her own tale to tell and in the course of the journey, to resolve. Heart–warming and heart–rending. Intelligent comedy.
HappinessHappiness (1998)
2 stars (Good Try) Happiness intertwines several loosely related plotlines about outwardly banal suburban characters whose private lives are really teeming with depravity, tragedy, ineptitude and self–loathing. It's dark, uncomfortable & a bit sick (not in a good way).
Dazed and ConfusedDazed and Confused (1993)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Set on the last day of school in 1976, it's a hilarious memoir of hanging out, getting stoned and having a spacy good time. Spectacularly funny and backed by a well–chosen 70's chartbuster soundtrack. Well worth a look, or two.
DVD $14.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Priscilla - Queen of the DesertPriscilla - Queen of the Desert (1994)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Three colourful larger–than–life drag queens tour the Aussie Outback in Pricilla their unreliable bus. An entertaining and up–lifting feel–good ride. Fans of ABBA will be especially pleased.
DVD $19.95
Welcome to the DollhouseWelcome to the Dollhouse (1996)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Offbeat story of a persecuted 11–year–old girl, Dawn, and a frightening depiction of junior high. A black comedy but could be accused of being overly preoccupied with trying to shock and disturb.
ShineShine (1996)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Inspired by the life of pianist David Helfgott, as he rises to stardom he finds himself unable to cope with separation from family which compromises his psychological health – but utimately a tale of the human spirit's capacity to overcome.
DVD $24.95 $18.70
ZatoichiZatoichi (2003)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Zatoichi is a blind Japanese masseur and itinerant wise–guy warrior who encounters yobs and bullies who prey on his supposed vulnerability. Slapstick comedy that slightly over–rides a more serious and sad storyline. Holds your attention though.
Poster (U) $14.95
Open WaterOpen Water (2003)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Harrowing account of two scuba divers accidently abandoned in the middle of the ocean during a diving excursion, it's so damn realistic you'll find yourself forgetting to breathe!
DVD $29.95
1 Nite1 Nite (2004)
3 stars (Good Enough) One best–forgotten night out on K Road that follows two old friends getting drunk, a Sikh taxi–driver, a prostitute, ex–cop, a good samaritan and a crippled ex–cop. Charged performances and engaging dialogue. Pretty good but not great.
BoyBoy (2010)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Remarkably insightful tale that leaves you with a big smile. Humourous and heartfelt, you're instantly transported back to 1984. A true Kiwi classic.
DVD $20 $15
Touching the VoidTouching the Void (2003)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Totally gripping reconstruction of the harrowing experience of two British climbers when they venture up the 21,000 foot–high Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. Edge–of–your–seat stuff – an incredible tale of the depth of man's will to survive.
DVD $20 $15
Harry, He's Here to HelpHarry, He's Here to Help (2000)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Harry knew Michel in high school – and when they meet up again by accident at a highway gas station, Harry inserts himself in Michel's life. But things take a sinister turn. A suspenseful French comedy/drama/thriller.
Intimate StrangersIntimate Strangers (Confidences trop intimes) (2004)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A Frenchwoman Anna tells her marital troubles to a man she mistakes for a psychiatrist. Moved and fascinated by her, he doesn't have the courage to confess the truth and the pair form an unusual relationship. An intimate comedy, very worthwhile.
DVD $15 $7.50
Turtles Can FlyTurtles Can Fly (Lakposhtha hâm parvaz mikonand) (2004)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Near the Iraqi–Turkish border on the eve of an American invasion, a group of refugee children lead by 13–year–old Soran installs an antenna for villagers keen to hear of Saddam's fall. Haunting – the director has a very keen eye for detail.
DVD $12 $6, $19.95
PreciousPrecious (Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire) (2009)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Precious has been abused all her life and, now pregnant with her father's second child, must escape her monster of a mother. Certainly not the easiest film to sit through, but worthwhile seeing the impressive performances from the two female leads.
DVD $20 $10, $25 $18.75
Young @ HeartYoung @ Heart (Young at Heart) (2007)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Group of singing senior citizens as they prepare for and then perform a live concert. I don't even like Cold Play, when that old guy at the end sang "fix you" I cried like a baby! Wonderful film, that goes to show you're never too old to try new thing
DVD $20 $10
Bad SantaBad Santa (2003)
3 stars (Good Enough) Each year a couple of criminals pose as Santa & his Elf in a different department store, case the joint, then run off with the loot. But this year one bullied little kid throws a spanner in the works. It's Santa gone truly bad, occasionally very funny.
DVD $15 $7.50
Weather Man, TheWeather Man, The (2005)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) David is a Chicago TV weatherman, estranged from his wife and children, whose life is a mess. And just like the uncertainty and unpredictability of the weather, things could turn out fine – or all turn to custard. Refreshingly different.
JunoJuno (2007)
2 stars (Good Try) High school student Juno finds herself pregnant, and decides adoption's the best option. She finds the perfect affluent, hip enough, parents and life goes on – until the couple's marriage goes pear–shaped. Boring plot, and characters too contrived.
Little ChildrenLittle Children (2006)
3 stars (Good Enough) Strangely narrated story with several plots, about marital infidelity in the suburbs, a pedophile who's released back into the community & a bullying ex–cop. You could interpret the characters as a metaphor for society. Well–crafted, nicely unpredictable
DVD $19.95
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) When Joel learns his ex–girlfriend, Clementine, has erased him from her memory he decides to do the same – only to change his mind during the procedure and struggles to hang on to the memories. Structurally complex & enthralling love story.
Mrs. BrownMrs. Brown (Her Majesty Mrs. Brown) (1997)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A unique, and deeply moving, friendship between two very unlike characters: Queen Victoria and her rugged Scotsman servant Mr. Brown. Although the film doesn't suggest an affair, it set tongues wagging at the time. Superb performance, beautiful location.
Commitments, TheCommitments, The (1991)
3 stars (Good Enough) Jimmy's vision is to bring 'soul music' to Dublin, so starts the quest to find the world's hardest working band – a group of self–absorbed, backstabbing, but talented individuals who find huge success.. then things go downhill. Good for its time.
Napoleon DynamiteNapoleon Dynamite (2004)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) The life of Napoleon Dynamite, a hopelessly inept high school misfit whose only friend is the new Hispanic student, Pedro. It looks a lot like the 80's, but with the Internet. Loved the ending – very original and heaps of fun.
Nacho LibreNacho Libre (2006)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A monastery cook, Ignacio, takes his day job of feeding the orphan children most seriously but, by night, he dons stretchy pants and becomes Nacho Libre – hoping to win the affections of a new nun. An unlikely hero, you have to love him.
EragonEragon (2006)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) In dark Kingdom where tyranny rules, Eragon finds the last dragon's egg in existence – and dragon and rider battle it out with King Galbatorix. Excellent special effects and a great cast make the pages of this wonderous tale come alive.
DVD $15 $11.25
Eagle vs SharkEagle vs Shark (2007)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Wonderful geeky romance about two social misfits, with a real Kiwi flavour. Jarrod and Lily's awkward courtship is both endearing and cringeful, with some real laugh–out–loud (really loud) moments. Great performances by all.
DVD $15 $11.25
Nightmare Before Christmas, TheNightmare Before Christmas, The (1993)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Halloween meets Christmas in this time–less classic – when whimsical Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington finds a door to the glittering bright lights & shiny packages of Christmastown. Highly imaginative musical treasure for the whole family.
DVD $20 $15
Top GunTop Gun (1986)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Possibly one of the most loved 80's block–busters, and they certainly don't make 'em like this anymore (it's 'actual' flying, not computer generated). Silly storyline, but action–packed. So good, they're actually making a sequel..
DVD $24.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95, $29.95, $44.95
Forrest GumpForrest Gump (1994)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) When Hollywood occasionally do get it right, they get Forrest Gump. Epic heart–felt tale of a simple boy, who becomes a simple man – but has a life that's anything but.
DVD $24.95
ChocolatChocolat (2000)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Arriving in a small French village, the free–spirited Vianne sets a chocolaterie which has a marked effect on the locals – for whom religion and politics dominate. And an Irish gypsy as the love interest. Whimsical, fairy–tale like – one for the dreamers.
DVD $19.95 $14.95
Green CardGreen Card (1990)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Bronte, a demure New Yorker, and George, a newly immigrated Frenchman, agree to an arranged marrige – she needs an apartment, and he needs a Green Card. Unforgettable – sadly they don't make "rom–coms" like this anymore
DVD $15 $11.25
Thelma and LouiseThelma and Louise (1990)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) The greatest girl–power road–move of all–time. As the pair set out for a girl's weekend away, a drunken foul–mouth would–be rapist loser ruins everything – and they set off cross country on an escape that'll change their lives forever. A true classic.
DVD $25 $18.75
Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights (1992)
4 stars (Very Good) My favourite adaptation of this classic book, due to the brilliant cast, gorgeous costumes and set, that tells the timeless passionate tale of good versus evil, selfishness, betrayal, and obsessive destructive love. Great stuff.
Earthly Possessions (1999)
4 stars (Very Good) When Charlotte goes to the bank one day to draw out her life–savings intending to leave her boring husband, she's taken hostage by a gorgeous bank robber – and embarks on one wacky road–trip. Under–rated quirky little gem. I highly recommend it!
Corpse BrideCorpse Bride (Tim Burton's Corpse Bride) (2005)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Deightfully dark tale of love in a magical underworld, where Victor is whisked away from the world of the living where he's supposed to marry Victoria, to wed a spooky corpse bride. Extremely creative, for children and adults alike.
DVD $15 $11.25
Little VoiceLittle Voice (1998)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Ever since LV's father died, she locks herself away in the attic listening to all his old–time records. When her boozy brassy mother's new boyfriend discovers LV's voice is not a record coming from her room, he smells the big time. Charming, well cast.
DVD $20 $15
Bringing Out the DeadBringing Out the Dead (1999)
4 stars (Very Good) Follows Frank, a burned–out New York City paramedic working the grave–yard shift, over three sleep–deprived, adrenaline–fueled nights amongst the dead and dying. And somewhere in the craziness of it all he finds love. Darkly funny, it's quite a ride.
Matchstick MenMatchstick Men (2003)
3 stars (Good Enough) Roy, neurotic with anxiety issues, and his ambitious protege are two successful con–artists. When the 14–year–old daughter he never knew shows up unannouced, she's also keen to learn the tricks of the trade. Great twists & turns, keeps you guessing.
DVD $15 $11.25
As Good As It GetsAs Good As It Gets (1997)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Melvin is not your typical romance novelist, he's a self–absorbed cynic, suffers from OCD, with a gift for offending people. But when he reaches out in an act of unexpected kindness, he tentatively starts to return to the human race. It's a hoot.
DVD $15 $11.25
About SchmidtAbout Schmidt (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Warren Schmidt is just retired, then widowed, and at a crossroad in his life – until he decides to pack up and hit the road in a 35–foot Winebago for his estranged daughter's wedding. Well crafted and very memorable.
DVD $20 $15
25th Hour25th Hour (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Monty's life has been a dream – lives with a beautiful woman, drives cool cars, gets into all the clubs, but financing this life is heroin and the Russian Mafia. He has 24 hours of freedom, before a 7–year prison term. Well acted & attention–grabbing.
Love LizaLove Liza (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Wilson is a computer programmer whose wife has committed suicide. He retreats from reality, using petrol fumes to numb the pain, his grieving process is a compelling watch – not without splashes of comic relief.
Hysterical BlindnessHysterical Blindness (2002)
4 stars (Very Good) Debby and Beth are two 80's chicks out for a good time, looking for the kind of love they sing about in songs – the kind that lasts forever. But the guys they meet in the bars are after the kind that lasts one night only. If you lived it, you'll love it
DVD $19.95
All the Real GirlsAll the Real Girls (2003)
4 stars (Very Good) Bittersweet tale of young love, set in a small claustrophobic town. Paul, a well–known womaniser, falls deeply for his best friend's sister Noel, an intellectual just returned home from boarding school. Original, thoughtful & beautifully filmed.
Magdalene Sisters, TheMagdalene Sisters, The (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Shocking account of the treatment by the Catholic Church of 'wayward' young women sent to live under the strict supervision of sadistic nuns, and sentenced to indefintie unpaid work in the Magdalene laundries. Unbelievable, gut–wrenching true story.
Poster (VG) $14.95
Deep End, TheDeep End, The (2001)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A subtle psychological thriller, Margaret disposes of the body of a sleazy night–club owner in order to protect her son from being implicated. But someone knows, and things take a nail–biting turn with a romantic twist. Truly suspenseful.
All or NothingAll or Nothing (2002)
5 stars (Exceptional) Tale of a working–class London family, each dealing with their own complex dilemmas – it's a blisteringly accurate and sometimes too painful to look at a slice of life. No frills or big Hollywood actors, just real heart, guts & soul from a top director.
DVD $20 $15
Wilbur Wants to Kill HimselfWilbur Wants to Kill Himself (2003)
4 stars (Very Good) Wilbur, depressive and cynical, habitually attempts suicide, while his older brother encourages him to work in their inherited bookshop. When a vulnerable customer enters their lives, Wilbur becomes less self–obsessed. Quirky, bone–dry humour.
DVD $19.95
Far From HeavenFar From Heaven (2002)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) A housewife living an idyllic 50's existence with a beautiful home, handsome husband & two children learns of her husband's gay affair and finds solace in the company of her black gardener. Ingeniously explores both themes very believably.
Crime of Father Amaro, TheCrime of Father Amaro, The (El Crimen del padre Amaro) (2002)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) A handsome young priest, Padre Amaro, who arrives in a small town and finds himself surrounded by hypocrisy and corruption, also finds himself tempted by a beautiful young woman. A revealing, slightly contrived, dig at the Catholic Church.
Heavenly CreaturesHeavenly Creatures (1994)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) True story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship. Incisive & very recommended.
CrashCrash (1996)Aro Favourite
1 star (Turkey) A crash victim is caught up in a subculture of folk who get sexual pleasure from being in car crashes, seeing car crashes, caressing the scars of people who've been in crashes. Plain weird. When cars crash, people get killed. Nothing sexy in that.
DVD $20 $15
Twelve MonkeysTwelve Monkeys (12 Monkeys) (1996)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Cole, a prisoner in a post–apocalyptic future recruited to do some dangerous time–travel work in the past for a group of very odd scientists. But is Cole is really on the mission he thinks he is, or just a wacky mental patient. Best 90's sci–fi ever.
Fight ClubFight Club (1999)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Bored with his hum–drum life, an insomniac office worker fills his hours attending support–groups. A chance meeting with charismatic Tyler & he commits his life to a male–bonding Fight Club which grows into a nationwide facist group. Repeat views a must.
DVD $20 $15
WonderlandWonderland (2003)
2 stars (Good Try) Depicts a washed–up drug–ridden cocaine addict, John Holmes, at the turn of the 80's. No longer in demand by the adult studios he turns to crime to fuel his habit, and becomes embroiled in a vicious multiple murder. Is really nothing to rave about.
DVD $15 $7.50
March of the PenguinsMarch of the Penguins (2005)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Captivating from start to end, it documents a journey like no other: the penguins' breeding cycle, and their treacherous task of protecting eggs and hatchlings from predators, while risking starvation, all in the harshest most icy conditions on earth.
DVD $15 $11.25 | Blu-Ray $19.95
MagnoliaMagnolia (2000)
2 stars (Good Try) Tale of neglectful parents, resentful children, and love–starved souls (all having a bad day) there's too many charactors and subplots for it to really suck you in. When something more than just rain falls form the sky, it becomes just laughable.
LantanaLantana (2001)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Anthony, a cop with an unsteady marriage, investigates the disappearance of a noted therapist. Suspecting that her marriage to an academic was similarly troubled, he pursues the case as if his own marriage can be redeemed through it. Worthwhile.
DVD $10 $7.50
RainRain (2001)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Set in 70's NZ, Janey spends a long lazy summer holiday with her family at the beach. Witnessing her partying/hungover parents' troubled marriage, and mother's affair, this is a coming–of–age tale with devastating consequences.
DVD $39.95
In My Father's DenIn My Father's Den (2004)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Paul, a successful war journalist, returns to NZ for his father's funeral. He encounters Celia, a teenage girl using his father's secret den to write in. But when she suddenly disappears, he becomes embroiled in a web of family secrets. Great performanc
DVD $25 $18.75, $30 $22.50
Rain of the Children Rain of the Children (2007)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Poetic & compassionate docu–drama of Puhi, an elderly Tuhoe woman, that weaves together her heart–breakingly tragic story with the larger historical significance of the area. Beautiful, haunting, and extremely moving.
Notes on a ScandalNotes on a Scandal (2006)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Poisonous friendship between two school teachers, Barbara, a hard–nosed spinster, and Sheba, a young & beautiful newcomer. Things take a sinister twist when Barbara discovers Sheba's affair with a student. Enthralling tale of blackmail & manipulation.
DVD $15 $7.50, $15 $11.25
Frost/NixonFrost/Nixon (2008)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Riveting account of Frost, an ambitious low–profile TV interviewer, taking huge risks with his finances and reputation, in order to get disgraced former US President Nixon in front of a camera to confess to his crimes. Compelling viewing.
DVD $15 $7.50
Million Dollar BabyMillion Dollar Baby (2004)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Maggie is a tenacious spirited woman with and burning ambition to box. When a reluctant former boxing manager, Frankie, agrees to coach her she steadily rises through the ranks. A genuinely touching, knock–out of a film.
DVD $20
Gran TorinoGran Torino (2008)
3 stars (Good Enough) Walt, a recently widowed grumpy Korean War veteren, fed up with immigrant neighbours, forms an unlikely relationship with Thao whose bullied by an Hispanic gang into stealing his beloved Torino. Fairly heart–warming tale of overcoming prejudices.
DVD $20 $15 | Blu-Ray $10
Slumdog MillionaireSlumdog Millionaire (2008)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Former slum street–child, Jamal, a contestant on a quiz show is one question away from the grand prize when he's detained & interrogated by police. Through flashbacks we're provided with how this 'slumdog' knows the answers. Bollywood meets Hollywood.
DVD $14.95
BabelBabel (2006)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Interlocking stories of a Moroccan family, a couple of American tourists, a mute Japanese schoolgirl, and a Mexican maid & her two American charges. One bullet brings it altogether. Culturally diverse, with universal human emotion.
DVD $29.95
Queen, TheQueen, The (2006)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, and those around her, during the time of Princess Diana's tragic death. As events unfold, and the Palace remain tight–lipped, Tony Blair steps in as general public demand an official response. Controversial & poignant.
DVD $14.95
No Country for Old MenNo Country for Old Men (2007)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Llewelyn, a Vietnam veteran, stumbles on a grissly find of dead bodies one morning while hunting antelope. Examining the site, he finds a case filled with $2 million & hits the road. Enter ex–special ops agent, Chigurh. Edge–of–your–seat stuff. Brilliant.
DVD $20 $15
Little Miss SunshineLittle Miss Sunshine (2006)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) An eccentric, eclectic, Hoover family come together when 7–year–old, Olive, is accepted to enter a beauty pageant. Travelling across America, to get there in time, in a beat up old van, family dynamics and tragedy play out culminating a hysterical finale.
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95
Brokeback MountainBrokeback Mountain (2005)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Epic love–story between Ennis & Jack, two itinerant ranchers who meet in the summer of 1963 while sheepherding on Brokeback Mountain. Despite societal constrainst, distance & raising families they forge a lifelong relationship. Passionate & heartbreaking.
DVD $20 $15
CandyCandy (2006)
4 stars (Very Good) Two students, Candy & Dan, with everything going for them become hooked on herion, stooping to anything to get their next fix. Depressing subject matter, but a superb cast & performances will keep you thoroughly engrossed.
DVD $12.50 $6.25
Good Girl, TheGood Girl, The (2002)
4 stars (Very Good) Justine, a bored & lonely housewife, falls for new co–worker at the small–town department store where she works. Holden is mysterious, brooding & passionate – everything her clueless pot–smoking husband is not. An off–beat & dark rom–com.
Loved (1996)
4 stars (Very Good) When an abusive man is accused of driving his girlfriend to suicide, investigations reveal two previous partners who attempted the same accident. One is confined to a wheelchair & the other is deeply emotionally scarred. Gripping psychological case–study.
Love and Death On Long IslandLove and Death On Long Island (1997)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Middle–aged English novelist, Giles, takes a crash–course in a teenage heart–throb, Ronnie, whose film he inadvertently ends up at. Completely infatuated he travels to Long Island determined to find him. Unconventional, witty & charming.
Poster (G) $12.95
SpiderSpider (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Spider, a highly disturbed man, having been institutionalised for many years, ends up in a halfway house. But his mental state is only exacerbated (and explained) when he revisits his childhood neighbourhood. Haunting tale that leaves you guessing.
DVD $20 $15
American BeautyAmerican Beauty (1999)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Despite appearing the picture–perfect upper suburban family, Lester, a man who feels completely dead inside, has a wife and daughter who despise him, Dig deeper & it's a domestic tragedy. Laced with black humour & thought–provoking.
DVD $20 $15, $24.95
Ice Storm, TheIce Storm, The (1997)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Two upper–class suburban families dealing with the changing times, a introspective and self–indulgent era, in which parents absolve themselves of responsibility for guiding their children while they explore free love and 'key parties'. Chilling.
Wedding Banquet, TheWedding Banquet, The (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Successful New Yorker Wai Tung & his partner Simonare are blissfully happy, only that his Taiwanese family don't know he's gay. To appease them he arranges a sham marriage to Wei Wei, a sexy go–getter in need of a green card. Hilarious, a real classic.
DVD $25 $12.50
Eat Drink Man WomanEat Drink Man Woman (1994)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A family story about a Taiwanese chef, Chu & his three rebellious daughters, through the meals he serves his family. As relationships sour and break down, he concocts a sure–fire recipe that'll bring his family back together. Surprising & quite delicious
Yi YiYi Yi (A One and a Two) (1999)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Chronicles the life of a large Taiwanese family – begins with a wedding, a birth in the middle & ends with a funeral. Then there's Yang Yang, the little boy of the family who's able to expose the nature of truth & exploration in a way only a child could
DVD $29.95 $22.45
Memoirs Of A GeishaMemoirs Of A Geisha (2005)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Chiyo, a young girl from the country who grows to become one of the most celebrated geisha in pre–war Japan. Americanised for a mass audience, but still worth seeing for its extraordinary acting and lush cinematography.
DVD $10 $5, $24.95 $14.95
Joy Luck Club, TheJoy Luck Club, The (1993)
3 stars (Good Enough) Story of four Chinese mothers and their American born daughters, and how the distinct cultural chasm in their upbringing play into their daily lives. The flashbacks into the young lives of each mother is masterful storytelling. A tearjerker.
DVD $20 $10
Chinese Box (1998)
5 stars (Exceptional) John, a British journalist living in Hong Kong for 20 years, deeply inlove with Chinese nightclub owner Vivian & obsessed with filming a young street–wise punk Jean. Set against the 90s Chinese take–over of Hong Kong. Hands down my favourite Chinese film.
In the Mood for LoveIn the Mood for Love (2000)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Chow, a newspaper editor, and his wife move into a new appartment. He finds himself drawn to a neighbour, Li–zhen, wife of an often absent businessman. Only to discover their respective spouses are having an affair. Exquisitely beautiful & very moody.
DVD $35 $26.25
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter... and SpringSpring, Summer, Autumn, Winter... and Spring (Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom) (2003)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Set on a floating monastery, an older monk teaches a younger monk the lessons of life. Full of symbolism, it portrays loss of innocence, love, the murderous power of jealousy & obsession, redemption & enlightenment. Enchanting Buddhist fable.
DVD $15 $7.50, $20 $15
Beijing BicycleBeijing Bicycle (2000)
4 stars (Very Good) A young country boy, Guei, lands a city job with a bicylce delivery service. Working to pay for and own the bike, it's stolen. Discovering the student who bought it secondhand, a harrowing cat–and–mouse fight over ownership ensues. A masterful drama.
AtanarjuatAtanarjuat (The Fast Runner) (2001)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) An epic tale of Atanarjuat "the fast runner" and his brother, beginning before they were born, with their father's history, and of the tribe's 40–year struggle against an evil spirit. It's also a compelling and endearing love story.
DVD $24.95 $18.70
Noi AlbinoiNoi Albinoi (Noi the Albino) (2003)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A rebellious 17 year old student, dissatisfied with his life in a remote Icelandic town, meets a girl who works at a petrol station and together they dream of a world away from the monotony of their small town existence. Refreshingly different.
Broken WingsBroken Wings (K’nafayim Shvurot) (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A family coping with the death of a husband & father, each in their own unique way, are pulled together after an unexpected incident – which provides a chance to heal their emotional hurt. Honest & quite heart–wrenching.
DVD $10 $5, $20 $15
Bread and TulipsBread and Tulips (2000)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Left behind at a rest stop while on a tour with her family, Rosalba decides to take a vacation of her own in Venice, which soon turns into something more as she makes new friends, gets a job and meets a new man. Romantic & funny, a real joy.
DVD $24.95
Open Your EyesOpen Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos) (1997)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Cesar tries to make sense of his life, after a car crash leaves his once handsome face grotesquely disfigured. Steamy, intriguingly complex psychological thriller, mixed with science fiction.
DVD $24.95 $18.70
Monsoon WeddingMonsoon Wedding (2001)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) An upper–class New Delhi family is overjoyed when a daughter accepts an arranged marriage with a successful Indian engineer. Set around the wedding, it follows a couple of tangents, and various romantic subplots. A beautifully rich colourful spectacle.
DVD $20 $15 | Poster (G) $14.95
Sex and LuciaSex and Lucia (2001)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Lucia, a waitress, falls in love with Lorenzo, a young novelist with a secret in his past. The story is intertwined with dramatised scenes from Lorenzo’s novel, with it left to the viewer to decide what's fact or fiction. Daring but tasteful.
Beneath CloudsBeneath Clouds (2001)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Lena and Murri are two marginalised Aborigine teenagers trying to make sense of their place in the world. Willing to undertake whatever journeys are necessary to find those places. A small, quiet film – with a big, loud, message.
Rabbit Proof FenceRabbit Proof Fence (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) True story of 3 young half–caste Aboriginal girls, on the run, to escape a barbaric government policy that forcibly removes them from family to become servants for whites. With grit & determination Molly guides the girls on an epic journey. Unforgettable.
DVD $25 $18.75
Tracker, TheTracker, The (2002)
4 stars (Very Good) An Aboriginal tracker guides three racist white officials through the outback in search of another Aboriginal accused of killing a white woman. Witness to arbitary killings of innocent Aborigines, he quietly plots his revenge. Brilliant. Stunning.
DVD $15 $11.25
Alexandra's ProjectAlexandra's Project (2003)
4 stars (Very Good) Alexandra is a frustrated housewife and mother who prepares a birthday surprise her husband with never forget. Provocative thriller that explores the darker side of marital sexual politics. Gripping to the end.
DVD $14.95 $11.20
PraisePraise (1999)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Grungy romance between two young allergy–prone Brisbanites. But when Cynthia moves into Gordons run–down flea–ridden squat, she proves to be physically draining and mentally dangerous to his health. Confronting, but worthwhile.
Poster (VG) $19.95
Circle, TheCircle, The (2000)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Harrowing and passionate portrait of the plight women endure under strict Muslim law in Iran. Tells the stories of three women, whose paths cross, in a world of constant surveilance, bureaucarcy and inequalities. Devastating and unforgettable.
Amores PerrosAmores Perros (Love's a Bitch) (2000)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Three interwoven tales – a man in love with his brother's pregnant wife, a perfume spokeswoman & her married lover, and a scruffy vagrant who sidelines as a paid killer – connect after a car accident. Bleakly violent, but also insightful & compassionate.
DVD $19.95
Father and SonFather and Son (Otets i syn) (2003)
2 stars (Good Try) Father and son share a profoundly close relationship. Son aspires to be like father. Son has a girlfriend who's envious of father and son's bond. Despite being visually beautiful, it bored me silly. I wanted to like it, I really did, but it fell flat.
All Things FairAll Things Fair (1995)
4 stars (Very Good) Stig is 15–years–old, Viola is his 37–years–old and his teacher, and they're passionately in love. A scandal that causes rumour and outrage in their small conservative township. Honest, sensitive, a portrait of forbidden love
All About My MotherAll About My Mother (1999)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) After single mother, Manuela, loses her teenage son in a tragic accident, she goes to Barcelona in search of the father – where she encounters some highly colourful characters. Embraces human emotion in all its outrageousness.
DVD $25 $18.75
Golden Bowl, TheGolden Bowl, The (2000)
4 stars (Very Good) Period drama about two marriages entangled in a complex, almost incestuous relationship. A rich portrait of the cruel games that lovers play in a society where language can be as brutal a weapon as any blade. Memorable, passionate performances.
VatelVatel (2002)
4 stars (Very Good) It's 1671 and Vatel, a party planner extrodinare, must impress the visiting King Louis XIV at his master's estate. Only he finds himself attracted to the King's newest mistress, who finds in him an authentic and principled man. Beautiful & extravagant.
Ae Fond KissAe Fond Kiss (A Fond Kiss) (2004)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Casim, a young Pakistani man, and Roisin, a young Catholic woman, enter into a relationship against the wishes of Casim's family who've already arranged his marriage. Beautifully woven love–story.
DVD $15 $7.50
Sweet SixteenSweet Sixteen (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Gritty story of Liam, a 15–year–old with youthful aspirations to help his mother who's about to be released from prison, and save her from her drug pushing boyfriend and a mean–spirited grandfather. Bitter–sweet, but more bitter than sweet.
DVD $15 $7.50, $24.95 $18.70
Anatomy of HellAnatomy of Hell (Anatomie De L'enfer) (2003)
2 stars (Good Try) Two complete strangers who to meet over four nights. When a suicidal woman is helped by a gay man, she pays him to 'watch her' – revealing man's basic fear of women's bodies, sexuality, and natures. Rather graphic, ever so French!
DVD $20 $15
Double Life of VeroniqueDouble Life of Veronique (1991)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Two women, Polish Weronika & French Veronique, have never met and don't know the other exists. Despite opposite personalities, their lives & souls are bound together. When one suddenly dies, the other searches for her double life. Beautiful & absorbing.
Pret-a-PorterPret-a-Porter (1994)
4 stars (Very Good) Fantastic portrayal of the superficial fashion industry. At Paris' hottest high–fashion show there's been a murder, and now everyone's a suspect. A glittering spectacle, and all–star Hollywood cast,
DVD $39.95
High FidelityHigh Fidelity (2000)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Bob owns a record store in Chicago selling music the old–fashioned way, on vinyl, with two wacky music–snob employees. When his girlfriend Laura walks out, he revisited his previous relationships to work out where he's going wrong. Funny, a real classic.
DVD $15 $7.50
Fast Food NationFast Food Nation (2006)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Highly disturbing tale that explores the flaws that exist in a meat packing plant, providing the beef patties for Mickey's, a fictional fast food chain that doesn't exactly have its act together. Will make you think twice about fast–food burgers.
DVD $20 $10
Super Size MeSuper Size Me (2003)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) The reason McDonalds now serves salads on its menu! Spurlock's month long diet of eating nothing but Big Macs, fries and sugary drinks, all in the name of research, has devastating effects on his health. Doco making at its best.
DVD $15 $7.50
Michael Moore Hates AmericaMichael Moore Hates America (2004)
1 star (Turkey) Mike Wilson sets out to discredit Michael Moore, in the style of Moore's own 'Roger & Me' – devoid of any humour or intelligence. He fails miserably. What a load of drivel.
DVD $29.95
Japanese StoryJapanese Story (2003)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Geologist, Sandy, hoping to strike up a business deal is required to take a visiting Japanese businessman on a trip into the Australian outback. The strangers find themselves thrust together in a potentially life or death situation. Film of many layers.
DVD $15 $11.25
Butcher Boy, TheButcher Boy, The (1998)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) The world according to a disturbed young Catholic boy, Frances, in 1960's Ireland, with completely dysfunctional parents. With an incredibly vivid imagination, and bullied at school, he finally snaps and goes quite insane. Imaginative & surreal.
DVD $35
Felicia's JourneyFelicia's Journey (1999)
4 stars (Very Good) A seemingly kind–hearted and lonely English catering manager befriends a young pregnant Irish woman, who arrives in his town searching for the father of her unborn child. Things soon take a disturbing twist into a journey of pure terror.
American SplendorAmerican Splendor (2003)
3 stars (Good Enough) The life and worldview of Harvey Pekar, a working–class everyman and keen observer of the people in his life and his surroundings, finds love, family and a creative voice through comic books. Makes everyday life look so complicated!
DVD $19.95
SidewaysSideways (2004)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Miles, a failed writer, and his soon–to–be married friend, a failed actor, hit the road to enjoy a male–bonding trip of wine–tasting – only to end up drowning in wine, women and mayhem. Hilarious, real laugh out loud moments.
DVD $19.95 $14.95, $20 $15
Coffee and CigarettesCoffee and Cigarettes (2004)
3 stars (Good Enough) An eclectic cast of actors and musicians feature in a series of short vignettes, involving sitting around drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes while discussing all manner of subjects. Slightly pretentious, but well acted and imaginative.
24 Hour Party People24 Hour Party People (2002)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Inspired by the Sex Pistols first Manchester gig, a young TV presenter founds Factory Records and the Hacienda night–club – the place to be. A crazy ride, featuring some of the best music ever, you don't want to miss it!
Me Without YouMe Without You (2001)
4 stars (Very Good) Follows the friendship of Holly and Marina, from the age of ten, through to teenagers, 80's students, and into adulthood. A story of how suffocating these intense relationships can sometimes be. An exceptional soundtrack!
Room for Romeo Brass, ARoom for Romeo Brass, A (1999)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Romeo and Knocks are a pair of typical 12–year old buddies, however the boys' friendship is when a stranger shows up in town who comes close to destroying their companionship. Funny, sad, and terrifying.
DVD $29.95
RatcatcherRatcatcher (1999)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Told through the eyes of 12–year–old James, set in 70's Glasgow, a boy haunted by a secret. From a poor rat–infested neighbourhood, his family live in hope of moving to newly built council flats. Beautiful and poetic coming–of–age drama.
Romper StomperRomper Stomper (1992)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Revolves around a gang of Melbourne skinheads, held together by a psychopathic and violent leader Hando, who take their anger out on local Vietnamese. Not easy watching, but definitely recommended.
DVD $25 $18.75 | Poster (VG) $19.95
Believer, TheBeliever, The (2000)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Story of Danny, a 22–year–old Jewish man with fiercely anti–semitic world–view struggling with his beliefs and his heritage. A psychological examination of self–loathing. Stunning performance.
Lost in TranslationLost in Translation (2003)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Bob, an aging movie star, and Charlotte a bored wife of a workaholic, are two Americans staying in a posh Tokyo hotel who form a touching friendship. Each is lonely, in their own way, and become an odd and unlikely pair of soul–mates. Emotionally subtle.
DVD $25 $18.75
Girl with a Pearl EarringGirl with a Pearl Earring (2003)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) An innocent young maid, Greit, is sent to work in the household of 17th Century painter Johannes Vermeer where she secretly becomes the subject for his most beguiling of portraits. Evocative, beautiful tale of forbidden love.
DVD $20 $15
Whale RiderWhale Rider (2003)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Deeply moving cultural tale of Pai, grand–daughter of local Maori chief Koro, who he rejects as the tribe's future leader because of ancient tradition. But he under–estimates the head–strong child as she fights to fulfil her destiny. One of a kind.
DVD $20 $15, $29.95
Perfect StrangersPerfect Strangers (2003)
5 stars (Exceptional) When Melanie meets a charming and handsome stranger at the pub, she's lured to a deserted island before realising he has alternative motives for the romantic rendezvous. It's a completely unpredictable thriller & love story. The perfect film.
Bread and RosesBread and Roses (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) The moving true story of NZ politician Sonja Davies early life, a young independent socialist embarking on a career in nursing during World War II. Terrific performance, and a lovely tribute.
DVD $34.95
End of the Golden WeatherEnd of the Golden Weather (1991)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Set in 1930's NZ, one summer holiday 12–year–old Geoff befriends Firpo – a strange magical character with a burning ambition to run in the Olympic Games – on the beach where he lives. A beautiful charming story of childhood dreams.
DVD $29.95
Sleeping DogsSleeping Dogs (1977)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) A true Kiwi classic of one man's desperate battle, caught between an extremist guerilla group and a right–wing fascist government. Action packed, and extremely impressive for its time.
Castle, TheCastle, The (1997)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) The Kerrigan family are a loveable ordinary Aussie family and when their home is under threat by the neighbouring airport's development, they don't go down without a fight – all the way to the Supreme Court. Great stuff.
DVD $19.95 $14.95
PowderPowder (1995)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A shy and wise albino teen, known as Powder, alienated by his peers who misunderstand and fear him, displays mysterious supernatural powers. Some memorable moments and contains a moving message.
DVD $15 $7.50, $24.95
Madness of King GeorgeMadness of King George (1995)
4 stars (Very Good) King George III, 30 years into his reign, becomes increasingly irrational – babbling and spewing obscenities. The Prince of Wales sets out to have his father declared unfit, proclaiming that he should take his place. Wonderfully funny.
DVD $34.95 $26.20 | Poster (G) $9.95
OrlandoOrlando (1992)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A journey through time of a man who lives for four hundred years. Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young & travels through four centuries and two genders. Artful, sumptuous, & lush locations.
Riff RaffRiff Raff (Riff-Raff) (1990)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Stevie, just out of prison, lands a building job in London with an interesting bunch of men who duck and dive the rules and regulations. He moves in with Sarah, and learns the ups & downs of London life lived on the margins. Gritty, funny & very moving.
Accused, TheAccused, The (1988)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Hard–living independent Sarah is raped in a small town bar, but that's only the beginning of her ordeal. With a compassionate and tough lawyer, she battles the legal system for justice – not once, but twice. Compelling & brilliant performances.
DVD $15 $11.25
Short CutsShort Cuts (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Cleverly interweaves the lives of 22 characters struggling to find solace & meaning in 90's Los Angeles – stories contain love, deceit, suffering, denial, fear, envy, forgiveness & death as the subjects explore new ways of dealing with life. Great.
Player, ThePlayer, The (1992)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Hollywood studio executive, Griffin, rejects a writer who begins to stalk him sending threatening postcards telling him his days are numbered. After confronting the suspected, ends up involved in murder. Great plot, with dozens of cameos.
DVD $20 $15
True RomanceTrue Romance (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A rock'n'roll adventure of two unlikely lovers who accidentally double–cross the Detroit mob by stealing valuable contraband, and flee to LA where they're sought by both gangsters and cops. Off–beat, over–the–top, violent black comedy.
Romeo Is BleedingRomeo Is Bleeding (1994)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Jack, who leads more than a double life as a veteran cop, two–timing husband and corrupt mob informant. But his life goes haywire as he squares off with a Russian hit woman. An excellent cast and great dialogue.
Kill Me AgainKill Me Again (1989)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Jack is a down–on–his–luck private detective who receives the most unusual offer of his career – a beautiful and mysterious woman wants to hire him to fake her murder. Ingenious, erotic, intense crime thriller.
Red Rock WestRed Rock West (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A man traveling through a Western town is caught in a web of circumstance and betrayal, the rich femme fatale, the corrupt policeman, the wounded military veteran, the homicidal psychopath. Great plot, keeps you guessing.
DVD $14.95
Last Seduction, TheLast Seduction, The (1993)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Bridget, the ultimate ice–queen, skips town with the cash her dead–beat doctor husband receives from a drug deal. She hooks up with the naive Mike who will do anything for her, even murder. Clever, intriguing black humour. Definitely not a date film..
Simple MenSimple Men (1992)
4 stars (Very Good) Two New York brothers set out to find their long lost father, an anarchist who breaks out of jail. An unusual, tranquil and highly entertaining film with very likeable characters.
DVD $49.95 | Poster (U) $9.95
ClerksClerks (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Dante, a convenience store clerk, is called into work on his day off by his boss to cover for another employee who is sick. Along with Randal, he spends the day annoying customers, discussing movies and plays hockey on the roof. Witty dialogue.
DVD $15 $11.25
SlackerSlacker (1992)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) A uniquely–structured and seemingly plotless film, following a single day in the life of an ensemble of mostly twenty–something bohemians and misfits in Austin, Texas. Really kicked off the independent film movement of the 1990s.
KidsKids (1995)Recommended
2 stars (Good Try) Telly, a promiscuous HIV–positive teen, and his mate Casper, hang out on the streets of New York 'de–flowering' as many girls as they can. Was supposed to be a wake–up call for the 90s, but for who? Gratuitously violent & explicit. Didn't get it.
DVD $20 $15, $25 $18.75
Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab StoryTulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story (2003)
4 stars (Very Good) Revolving around the contents of one man's suitcases, we follow Tulse Luper in 3 distinct episodes: as a child during World War I, as an explorer in Mormon Utah, and as a writer in Belgium during the rise of fascism. Utterly gorgeous.
Poster (VG) $12.95
Prospero's BooksProspero's Books (1991)
4 stars (Very Good) An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter, and the son of his chief enemy, fall in love. Uniquely structured retelling of the 'The Tempest'. Quite a spectacle to behold.
Zed and Two Noughts, AZed and Two Noughts, A (1985)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Two zoologist twin brothers lose each of their wives in a freak car crash involving an escaped swan from the zoo. They become obsessed with understanding death, the creation of life, and become involved in a menage a trois. Beautiful scenes & music.
DVD $15 $7.50, $39.95
Queen MargotQueen Margot (La Reine Margot) (1994)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Young Queen Margot finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage amidst a religious war between Catholics and Protestants. During the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, a badly wounded man knocks on Margot's door.. Epic French period drama.
DVD $30
Post CoitumPost Coitum (1997)
4 stars (Very Good) Diane, a married professional, enters into an affair with a man 20–years younger. Her husband, a defence lawyer, turns a blind eye hoping the affair will end. Compelling, at times comic, and thoroughly French.
Poster (F) $9.95
Assassin(s)Assassin(s) (1997)
4 stars (Very Good) An elderly hitman ready to retire passes his skills (and code of ethics) on to a younger successor, a 25–year–old Max, who's years of television watching & video gaming have dulled his emotions. Violent, but artfully shot and well worth a look.
Three Colours: RedThree Colours: Red (1994)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Irene is a beautiful, but sad, young model who rescues the dog of embittered retired judge – who listens in to his neighbours conversations through electronic surveillance. An emotionally engaging story that cleverly concludes the trilogy.
Three Colours: WhiteThree Colours: White (1994)
5 stars (Exceptional) A Polish hairdresser leaves Paris, with no money or possessions, after his wife divorces him. Returning to his home country, the new democratic Poland, his fortunes improve and he schemes his revenge. An intelligent comedy – just fabulous.
Three Colours: BlueThree Colours: Blue (1993)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Julie's famous composer husband and their daughter are killed in a car crash. Greif–stricken she moves to Paris and withdraws from the world, and slowly discovers a web of lies as the secret life of her husband begins to unravel. Quite spellbinding.
Pure Formality, APure Formality, A (Una pura formalità) (1996)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) A deranged man is picked up running through the woods during a violent stormy night & taken to police where he claims to be a famous writer. He, and the interrogating inspector, face off over what becomes a gripping murder mystery. Completely riveting.
Tous Les Matins Du MondeTous Les Matins Du Monde (All the Mornings of the World) (1991)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) A ravishing 17th Century detailed portrait of two masterful musicians, whose love for their craft become intertwined with their love for women and life itself. It truly is a visual feast, both for the eyes & the ears. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
Cyrano De BergeracCyrano De Bergerac (1990)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A sword–wielding poet Cyrano, equipped with a massive nose and a broken heart to match, must lend his words of love to another man to woo the woman he yearns for. An exhilarating, witty, lavishly filmed classic – not to be missed.
Triplets of Belleville, TheTriplets of Belleville, The (Belleville Rendezvous) (2003)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) A cyclist is kidnapped from the Tour de France by mysterious gangsters, and his grandmother travels to the city of Belleville where she tracks him down with the help of a musical trio. Just magical, a real treasure.
Return, TheReturn, The (Vozvrashcheniye) (2003)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) The father of two Russian boys suddenly returns home after a 12–year absence – their only memory of him, an old photograph. When he takes them on holiday, each boy reacts differently to his unsettling & stern demeanor. Riveting & emotional, must–see.
Wrestler, TheWrestler, The (2008)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Washed up 80's wrestling sensation, Randy "The Ram", is a sad & lonely figure, desperate for a relationship with his estranged daughter & smitten with an aging stripper. You don't need to be a wrestling fan to appreciate this outstanding performance.
DVD $10 $7.50, $29.95 $19.95
Fisher King, TheFisher King, The (1991)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Shock–jock Jack loses his job after causing an horrific tragedy strikes up a friendship with Perry, an ex–teacher & likeable nutter living homeless after the violent death of his wife. It's compassionate, endearing & will leave you smiling.
DVD $25 $12.50
Handmaid's Tale, TheHandmaid's Tale, The (1990)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A futuristic tale of a patriarchical society under martial law in which fertile women are captured & made into handmaids to bear children. Told through the eyes of Kate, as resistance movement begins to challenge the regime. Gripping & disturbing stuff.
DVD $14.95
Men Don't LeaveMen Don't Leave (1990)
4 stars (Very Good) Recently widowed with mounting debts, Beth moves with her two sons from the family home to a small apartment in the city. It's a quiet film about grieving, moving on, living and new beginnings. An over–looked little 90's gem.
Rosalie Goes ShoppingRosalie Goes Shopping (1990)
4 stars (Very Good) Rosalie, German–born wife of crop–dusting pilot Ray, lives in mid–west America and spends her days making the most of her 37 credit cards and rubbery cheques – while keeping the creditors at bay. Goofy, charming, delightful fun.
Bagdad CafeBagdad Cafe (1988)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Somewhere between Disneyland and Las Vegas, in the desert off Route 66, Jasmin wanders into a shabby motel complex – frequented by a bizarre collection of individuals, and run by the bossy Brenda. An enchanting and off–beat delight.
Baby of Macon, TheBaby of Macon, The (1992)
4 stars (Very Good) A baby is born from a supposed virgin woman, so a chain of hysteria about divine intervention in the birth takes place. A story of corruption in all levels of society – family, church and state. Sumptuous, heavily costumed, provocative and shocking.
Belly of an Architect, TheBelly of an Architect, The (1987)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) An American architect in Rome, supervising an exhibition, learns that his idol had stomach ailments much like his own and he becomes convinced that his straying, younger wife is poisoning him. A visual feast, and utter masterpiece.
Drowning by NumbersDrowning by Numbers (1987)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A highly eccentric tale of three women who each murder their husbands by drowning them. They then promise to sleep with the coroner in exchange for recording the deaths as accidental. A terrific black comedy & battle of the sexes.
Poster (VG) $12.95
Draughtsman's Contract, TheDraughtsman's Contract, The (1982)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Mr. Neville is a draughtsman who's hired to produce 12 drawings of a stately home in England. While he draws, objects bizarrely appear in the landscape around him. It's an elaborate conspiracy thriller, fascinating watch and exquisitely shot.
ScandalScandal (1989)
4 stars (Very Good) Based on a true event of 1963, the 'Profumo affair' scandal is one the classic sex scandals of British political history – an excellent example of how politics, power, weakness & self–interest can corrupt, destroy & even end lives. Well–crafted film.
Talk RadioTalk Radio (1988)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) Shock–jock Barry Champlain, is free to provoke, insult and anger his listeners. His abrasive, obnoxious persona connects with many of his disaffected, vulnerable overnight audience – but also offends in equal measure. Worth a watch.
DVD $14.95 $11.20
Pump Up the VolumePump Up the Volume (1990)
4 stars (Very Good) Mark, a painfully shy new kid in town, is by night the cynical rebel DJ Hard Harry. Unaware of his identity, he's idolised by his classmates. When he exposes a corrupt principal, she calls in the authorities to shut him down. Witty, with a message.
Truly, Madly, DeeplyTruly, Madly, Deeply (1990)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Nina has lost the love of her life & experiences a greif so profound she may never get over the loss. But when Jamie starts reappearing as a ghost, she learns some very important lessons about living life. Whimsical, yet about some incredibly deep stuff.
Cinema ParadisoCinema Paradiso (1990)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Through the eyes of the adult Toto, we relive his childhood and adolescence in a small Sicilain village – especially his relationship with Alfredo, the Cinema Paradiso's gentle and wise old projectionist. A magical celebration of cinema.
MoonstruckMoonstruck (1987)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Loretta is a widowed Brooklyn book–keeper planning to marry Johnny, that is until she meets his black–sheep brother Ronny who sweeps her off her feet into an unexpected love affair. Que bella luna!
Fatal AttractionFatal Attraction (1987)
4 stars (Very Good) Dan has the perfect live, that is until he cheats on his wife one weekend with psychotic bunny–boiler, Alex. A thriller about obsessive passion. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! It's a classic.
Witches of EastwickWitches of Eastwick (1987)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) When wealthy Daryl Van Horne shows up in a quaint New England town, three modern day women all yearning for Mr. Right find themselves thoroughly seduced. Upon learning the truth about this devil of a man, they conjure up their revenge. Excellent stuff.
DVD $15 $11.25
9 1/2 Weeks9 1/2 Weeks (1986)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) After a chance meeting, Elizabeth and the mysterious John plunge head long into a relationship so intense that it completely consumes them. He makes the rules and she completely surrenders to them. The book's better, but it's not unwatchable.
Breakfast Club, TheBreakfast Club, The (1985)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Five teens spend a Saturday detention together. To the outside world they were simply: a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal – but to each other they will always be The Breakfast Club. My all–time favourite 80's flick.
DVD $25 $18.75 | Blu-Ray $24.95
Sixteen CandlesSixteen Candles (1984)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Samantha is a 15–year–old with a crush on the most popular boy in school, and the geekiest boy in school has a crush on her. And with all the excitement of her sister getting married, her family forgets her birthday. Hilarious coming–of–age 80's flick.
DVD $15 $11.25 | Blu-Ray $14.95
Pretty in PinkPretty in Pink (1986)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) When not–so–popular teen Andie falls for the rich and popular new guy Blane, she ruffles a few feathers. Bittersweet 80's love story, with some classic 80's characters, a brilliant soundtrack to boot!
DVD $19.95 $14.95
Desperately Seeking SusanDesperately Seeking Susan (1985)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Bored New Jersey housewife spends her days reading personal ads, following an ongoing romance between Jim and the mysterious & free–spirited Susan. After showing up at their rendezvous, her world changes beyond her wildest dreams. Delightfully off–beat.
Valley GirlValley Girl (1983)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Randy is Hollywood punk who falls for Julie, a 'trendy' chick from the Valley. Her shallow friends attempt to split the pair up, who are obviously from todally different worlds. One of the best 80's teen flicks fur sure. Cool soundtrack too.
Ladybird LadybirdLadybird Ladybird (1994)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) True story of Maggie, mum of four with a history of violent partners. After her children are removed by social services she meets Jorge, a gentle Latin refugee, & finally finds happiness. But it's short–lived. An emotional rollercoaster, tissues required
My Name Is JoeMy Name Is Joe (1998)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Reformed alcoholic and handyman Joe falls for Sarah, a local social worker, when she employs him to do a job. From different worlds, it's an unlikely pairing and Joe's demons from the past threaten to ruin everything. Powerful, a really touching film.
DVD $25 $18.75
ProofProof (1991)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Blind from birth, Martin takes photos as proof that the world he senses is the same one others see. His new friend, a kind young Andy, is trusted to describe the pictures – but a jealous housekeeper sets out to destroy the relationship. Totally original.
Do the Right ThingDo the Right Thing (1989)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Centred around Sal's Famous Pizzaria, as the sweltering summer heat rises, tensions build to boiling point on the streets of Brooklyn between local blacks, whites, and foreigners. Controversial and courageous for it's time.
DVD $39.95
Bad LieutenantBad Lieutenant (1992)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Quite possibly the dirtiest cop ever portrayed in any movie, who tries to find redemption in solving the case of a nun who is raped inside a Catholic church. Not an easy watch, but a powerful performance of justice and forgiveness.
Frankie and JohnnyFrankie and Johnny (1991)
4 stars (Very Good) Frankie & Johnny are two damaged souls who work in a New York restaurant. Frankie, afraid to get her heart broken again, makes Johnny work for her affection. Okay, so it's a bit corny but you do warm to the characters. Sweet, feel–good flick.
City of AngelsCity of Angels (1998)
1 star (Turkey) Why mess with a Wim Wenders masterpiece? Even with the star power of Cage it's a completely over–the–top, horribly corny, Hollywood trainwreck.
DVD $14.95
Jesus' SonJesus' Son (1999)
4 stars (Very Good) FH, short for F'head, stumbles through a life of drug–addiction and petty crime with his girlfriend Michelle. It's a tale of finding compassion & touching other people's lifes, and in the process changing your own forever. Intense, edgy & often hilario
WhoreWhore (1991)
3 stars (Good Enough) A candid look into the day–to–day life of Liz, a streetwise hooker, played out in a pseudo–documentary style. Anyone even remotely thinking of taking up the profession needs to see this first. Funny, sad, and leaves an impression.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with MeTwin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Further investigates the murder of Laura Palmer by exploring events that took place before the terrible night of her murder. In true Lynch style, it raises more questions than it answers. Much darker & more disturbing than the series.
Mulholland DriveMulholland Drive (2001)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Femme fatale Rita and perky blonde, Betty, who wants to make it in Hollywood, helps Rita to get her memory back. Difficult to grasp in one sitting, it takes repeat viewings to understand the dream sequences that blur the lines between reality & fantasy.
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
My Own Private IdahoMy Own Private Idaho (1991)
4 stars (Very Good) Story of two young hustlers Mike, a narcoleptic in search of his mother, and Scott, the son of a wealthy politician, who journey among the hookers, con–men, schemers and bon vivants. Visually imaginative and often surreal.
DVD $20 $15
Portrait of a LadyPortrait of a Lady (1996)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) The story of strong–willed, independent–minded Isabel Archer, it's largely about good intentions going awry, roads not taken, misguided decisions made for good reasons. Lovely, heartbreaking, and at times terrifying, I liked it better than the book!
DVD $15 $7.50, $20 $15
In the CutIn the Cut (2003)
3 stars (Good Enough) English professor Frannie gets in way over her head when she becomes sexually involved with a police detective investigating a murder in her neighbourhood. Unpredictable and moody, it's not the director's best work but still watchable.
DVD $20 $10
Holy SmokeHoly Smoke (1999)
4 stars (Very Good) Ruth discovers guru enlightenment in India, much to her distinctly down–to–earth family's horror who believe she's brainwashed. Tricked into returning home, a hired clueless deprogammer 'PJ' awaits. Funny, brutal, and quite seductive.
DVD $25 $18.75
SweetieSweetie (1989)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Sweetie is a monstrous child/woman, with a sister Kay who couldn't be more different. Moving the viewer through a fractured world of beautiful and unsettling images, Sweetie is this director's most richly creative & by far my favourite.
DVD $20 $15
This is EnglandThis is England (2006)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) A lonely 12–year old Shaun, who lives with his mum (his dad killed in the Falklands War) is befriended by a gang of local skinheads. The leader, Combo, becomes an older brother figure who couldn't be a worse influence. It's both charming and disturbing.
DVD $19.95, $69.95
HiddenHidden (Cache) (2005)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A professional couple are the victims of an unknown stalker who leaves videotapes and child–like bloodied drawings at their front door. But dig deeper and things get ever murkier. Captivating, you'll be pondering it long after the credits roll.
DVD $25 $18.75
Son's Room, TheSon's Room, The (La Stanza del Figlio) (2001)Recommended
2 stars (Good Try) Story of a grieving middle–class family. As they fall apart an unexpected visiter knocks on the door, and turns out to be an unknown girlfriend of the deceased son. It's simple but almost to the point of being bland. Some will love it, but I didn't.
Women On the Verge of a Nervous BreakdownWomen On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Pepa is having a crisis – her lover leaves her & she discovers she's pregnant. Her best friend is caught up with terrorists, and her lover's wife is after her. Nutty comedy with some laugh out loud moments. Strongly recommended.
Benny and JoonBenny and Joon (1992)
4 stars (Very Good) Benny is devoted to caring for his mentally–ill sister Joon. When an eccentric Sam, who models himself after Buster Keaton, appears in the picture Joon is instantly smitten – much to Benny's disapproval. Quirky, sweet and memorable.
DVD $20 $15
Before SunsetBefore Sunset (2004)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Jesse & Celine reunite nine years after one life altering night together in Vienna. This time it's Paris where Celine is living & Jesse is visiting from America to launch his book. The dialogue really carries these films & this is a much needed follow–up
DVD $20 $15
Before SunriseBefore Sunrise (1995)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Jesse and Celine are young tourists who meet on a train, and spend a magical and spontaneous evening and night getting to know one another intimately on the streets of Vienna. A totally engaging 90's romance.
TrainspottingTrainspotting (1996)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) The story of Mark and a bunch of his friends that consist of junkies, thieves, liars and psychos, and the self–destructive lives they lead. Unconventional and non–judgemental – it's squalid, hilarious and harrowing.
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
Faraway, So CloseFaraway, So Close (1993)
4 stars (Very Good) Almost as perfect as it's prequel, this time it is angel Cassiel's turn to "fall" to earth and experience all the pleasures (and pain) of being human. But unlike Damiel, who transitioned for love, Cassiel's reasons are more spiritual and philosophica
Farewell My ConcubineFarewell My Concubine (1993)
5 stars (Exceptional) Seen through the eyes of two rising stars of the Peking Opera, and a seductive young prostitute that comes between them, this is an unforgettable epic tale that spans 50 years of Chinese art, passion and revolution. Totally not to be missed.
Idiots, TheIdiots, The (1998)Aro Favourite
2 stars (Good Try) A group of seemingly intelligent people live as a community of 'idiots', taking delight in being as mentally retarded as possible in public and either annoying or shocking as many 'normal' people as they can. I tried to 'get it', but failed.
DVD $20 $15
Wings of DesireWings of Desire (1987)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Damiel & Cassiel are two angels hovering above Berlin, listening to mortals' personal thoughts, who live in a parallel world devoid of any humanness. Damiel falls for a beautiful trapeze artist & longs to experience life & love. One of my all–time favs.
DVD $34.95
DelicatessenDelicatessen (1992)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) A post–apocalyptic society where food is so rare it's used as currency. The owner of an apartment building, with a delicatessen below, likes to prepare the odd delicacy for his quirky tenants. Visually outstanding, bizarrely funny & highly memorable!
FunFun (1994)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Bonnie & Hillary are two teens who quickly become friends, both sharing a common bond of abuse & neglect. But what leads them to go on to murder a defenseless old woman, in the name of fun, is difficult for anyone to understand. Truly devastating watch.
Poster (G) $9.95
Leon The Professional, TheLeon The Professional, The (Professional, The) (1994)
5 stars (Exceptional) Lone assassin Leon reluctantly takes in 12–year–old Mathilda, a neighbour whose family are murdered by a deranged corrupt cop, and an unlikely bond of friendship develops. She wants revenge & he teaches her his trade. Exceptional, suspenseful, must–see.
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $24.95
White PalaceWhite Palace (1990)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Max is a successful advertising executive mourning the death of his wife. A chance meeting with an older Nora, a waitress from the wrong side of town, turns his life upside down. Despite their immense differences and rocky start, love blossoms. Excellent!
DVD $20 $15
Sex, Lies and VideotapeSex, Lies and Videotape (1989)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Sexually repressed Ann is married to John, who's having an affair with Ann's sister Cynthia. When John's old friend Graham (with an unusual hobby) shows up, the film becomes a fascinating character study. Clever dialogue and very intriguing.
Secrets and LiesSecrets and Lies (1996)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Cynthia & her difficult daughter Roxanne live in a shabby flat, while her neglectful brother is doing much better for himself. Cynthia is contacted by a young woman searching for her mother & faces up to a well–kept secret from her past. Top rate film!
Punk, The (1993)
4 stars (Very Good) David is a London street–kid and punk, who falls for a rich girl Rachel. But when things take a turn for the worse, David goes on the run. It's described as a Romeo & Juliet for the 90's, but it does have a certain charm of its own. Thumbs up from me.
Johnny SuedeJohnny Suede (1991)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Johnny models himself on 50's pop–idol Ricky Nelson, and when a pair of suede shoes literally land on his head one night he adopts the surname Suede and dreams of stardom in a rock'n'roll band. A stylish, very funny, off–beat 90's romance.
Roger and MeRoger and Me (1990)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Hilarious quest to meet General Motors Chairman Roger Smith, the man responsible for the factory closing in Moore's hometown of Flint, Michigan, causing devasting effects on the economy. A fine example of Moore sticking it to corporate America.
DVD $12 $6, $15 $11.25
Filth and the Fury, TheFilth and the Fury, The (2000)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Excellent account, straight from the horse's mouth, of the rise and fall of the one and only Sex Pistols. Having seen Johnny Rotten perform on his 1996 tour, I eagerly awaited this film and it truly delivered. Revealing and extremely honest.
DVD $19.95
Sid and NancySid and Nancy (1986)
3 stars (Good Enough) John Lydon is on the record as saying this film is a piece of crap but, even if it's not an entirely accurate biographical account, it is watchable. You do get the feeling, though, that Sid was going to self–destruct with or without the help of Nancy.
DVD $14.95 | Blu-Ray $19.95
ElephantElephant (2003)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Just an ordinary day at an ordinary American high school, you wouldn't notice anything amiss. As we observe the students' comings and goings it becomes more obvious that each of the characters experience is quite different from the next. Very clever.
SecretarySecretary (2002)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Lee is overcoming some mental issues when she lands a secretarial job for Mr. Grey's law office, who she quickly develops an obsessive crush on. Just the right mix of sadomasicism and love–story to make it an endearing tale. Unconventional & sweet.
DVD $20 $15, $25 $18.75
Barton FinkBarton Fink (1991)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Barton Fink, a successful 1940's New York playwright, lands a job in Hollywood only to be struck with writer's block. Enter insurance salesman, Charlie Meadows, and things really take a turn for the worst. Exhilarating and totally unforgettable.
DVD $25 $18.75
Bitter MoonBitter Moon (1993)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Wheelchair bound Oscar recounts his disturbing tale of passion with the beautiful Mimi,that left him a cripple, to a complete stranger on a cruise–ship. An extreme love thriller. The tagline sums it up perfectly: "Some lovers never know when to stop".
DVD $25 $18.75
Edward ScissorhandsEdward Scissorhands (1991)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Edward lives all alone in a dark cold castle high upon a hill, until one day a kind Avon lady takes him home to live with her family. Unforgettable fairytale about a goth with scissors for hands, I love love love it.
DVD $19.95
An Angel at My TableAn Angel at My Table (1990)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) NZ's most distinguished & internationally recognised author, Janet Frame's life is immortalised in this remarkable account of a destitute childhood and onto years of treatment for misdiagnosed schizophrenia. An absolutely spellbinding performance.
DVD $25
Piano, ThePiano, The (1993)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) When Ada arrives on the shores of NZ for an arranged marriage, with daughter & piano, her wealthy new husband refuses to transport the piano & sells it to a neighbour, George – and things become interesting. The cinematography is simply perfection.
DVD $14.95
Straight Story, TheStraight Story, The (2000)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) True story of Alvin Straight who, no longer able to drive, hears of his estranged brother's debilitating stroke and ventures out on his 1966 John Deere lawn mower determined to make the 260 mile trip. Along the way he touches many lives. Heartfelt gem.
DVD $44.95
Elephant Man, TheElephant Man, The (1980)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) True story of John Merrick, afflicted with a disfiguring congenital disease, is cast aside & mistreated by society. Until a kind surgeon rescues him from his life as a side–show freak, and reveals a man of great intellect, emotion & depth. Inspirational.
DVD $25 $18.75
Wild at HeartWild at Heart (1990)
5 stars (Exceptional) Sailor & Lulu are two young lovers on the run from the law, and Lulu's insanely obsessive mother who'll stop at nothing to keep them apart. An erotic, violent, bizarre road movie with murderous secrets, from a director with a penchant for weirdness.
Blue VelvetBlue Velvet (1986)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Naive Jeffrey investigates a sinister find, uncovering the dark underbelly of his small suburban town. A mysterious cabaret singer, Dorothy, involved with a psychotic killer, Frank, become his main focus. A memorable, erotic, disturbing thriller.
DVD $19.95
Bad Boy BubbyBad Boy Bubby (1994)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) For 35 years Bubby's entire existence consisted of a two–room slum with his abusive mother, cockroaches and a feral cat. When Pop shows up, Bubby ventures out into the world for the first time where he takes a crash–course in life. Unforgettable!
DVD $19.95, $24.95 | Blu-Ray $39.95
Bright StarBright Star (2009)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Unabashedly romantic, warm & witty, the English countryside, blooming then snow–filled, is the perfect setting for John and Fanny's short–lived story of love that really could never be. It's gorgeous & Campion's attention to detail never fails to impre
DVD $20 $15
Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, TheCook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, The (1989)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) The wife of a barbaric London gangleader & theif has an affair with a gentle bookseller who dines at her husband's restaurant, run by a cook who despises his boss. Despite the cruelty, torture, murder & cannibalism, it's beautifully filmed. Pure genius.
Crying Game, TheCrying Game, The (1992)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Jody is a British soldier who befriends his IRA captor, Fergus. After Jody is killed in an ambush Fergus carries out his friend's dying wish to track down his girlfriend, Dil. The pair strike up a romance & as they say, the crying game begins. A classic!
Bowling For ColumbineBowling For Columbine (2002)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Michael Moore exposes his county's obsession with guns, traveling to the heart of America interviewing some real characters along the way. He draws on the Columbine massacre to make his point & tells some eye–opening stories as a result of lax gun laws.
DVD $15 $11.25, $20, $29.95
Fahrenheit 9/11Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Important & necessary examination of Bush's actions post 9/11, in the unique & persistent style that can only be Michael Moore. Lifting the lid on some astonishing revelations about Bush's personal & business ties, here's the story the media never told
DVD $25 $12.50 | Poster (VG) $12.95
Betty BlueBetty Blue (1986)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) A torrid love affair between Zorg, an aspiring writer, and Betty "a flower with psychic antennae & a tinsel heart". The pair are perfectly matched & Zorg will go to any length to please & protect his Betty. Beautiful 178minute cinematic masterpiece.
DVD $25 $18.75
What's Eating Gilbert Grape?What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Gilbert is trapped in small–town life but also responsible for his intellectually handicapped brother while his sisters care for a morbidly obese mother. When he falls for an enchanting stranger he's torn between family & his own hopes & dreams. Love it!
Million Dollar Hotel, TheMillion Dollar Hotel, The (1999)
4 stars (Very Good) Child–like Tom Tom is one of a bunch of misfits who inhabit a run–down LA hotel. When a junkie falls to from the roof to his death the FBI investigate. This is the backdrop in which Tom Tom falls for the angelic street waif, Eloise. 5 Star soundtrack.
Punch-Drunk LovePunch-Drunk Love (2002)
4 stars (Very Good) Barry has some rather pronounced emotional issues that hinder him socially and is clueless when it comes to women, even though he happens to have 7 dominating sisters. A mainstream 'rom com' this is not. It's totally in a league all of its own.
DVD $25 $18.75
Around the BendAround the Bend (2004)
5 stars (Exceptional) Eccentric great–grandpa Henry has an unusual last wish, which sees 3 generations of Lair men embark on a road trip they'll never forget. Heart–warming (but not in a cheesy way) hilarious, uplifting, but not without the need for a tissue or two.
DVD $24.95
MonsterMonster (2003)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) True story of Aileen, America's first female serial–killer, and her girlfriend Selby. Violently attacked working as a prostitute she kills purely in self–defense. Whatever her motive for the other 6, there's plenty to think about. Outstanding performanc
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $24.95 | Poster (VG) $12.95
Butterfly KissButterfly Kiss (1995)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) When Eunice, unpredictable and dangerous, teams up with the far gentler and perhaps "too caring" Miriam, they set out on one heck of a road trip. The relationship is both tender and disturbing. Gritty & macabre, this is no Thelma & Louise!
Boys Don't CryBoys Don't Cry (1999)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Based on the real life of transgendered teen Brandon Teena, a girl that wanted to be a boy, which makes it even more compelling. Highlights how ignorance and prejudice can bring out such brutality and violence. Only the heartless wouldn't shed a tear.
Career GirlsCareer Girls (1997)
4 stars (Very Good) Two old uni flatmates, Annie & Hannah, meet up 10 years on and reflect on the good old days while rekindling the close friendship they once shared. Fans of this director will be completely drawn in. Brilliant performances, a real must–see.
DVD $15 $7.50
AmelieAmelie (2001)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Sweet & naive Amelie lives in her own little magical world, taking pleasure in the simple things in life. While devoted to assisting in other people's destiny, she discovers her own quest for true love. Quirky French cinema that appeals to the masses.
Piano Teacher, ThePiano Teacher, The (2001)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Wow, not for the faint–hearted. Erika explores her obviously repressed & extreme sexuality. Her relationship with her mother is volatile & could explain some of her behaviour. Not an easy watch but well worth it if you're able to psychologically handle i
DVD $29.95 $22.45
Shy People (1987)
5 stars (Exceptional) New Yorker Diane takes her rebel teen daughter Grace to find their long lost relies in the swamps of Louisiana, which opens up a whole can of worms. A world of superstition and ignorance awaits them, but ultimately draws them closer. This is a real gem.
Kurt and CourtneyKurt and Courtney (1997)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Broomfield at his best investigates Kurt's suicide and in the process reveals more about the unstable Courtney, after interviewing those closet to the couple. Nirvana fans will still say she had an indirect hand in his untimely death and I'm one of them
DVD $24.95
Drugstore CowboyDrugstore Cowboy (1989)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Bob is one cool, hip, respected 70's drug dealer who, after the death of a close gang–member, decides to straighten out rather than stay on the run from the law forever. It's definitely not about glamourising junkies, though, there is a message in there
DVD $25 $18.75
BasquiatBasquiat (1996)
4 stars (Very Good) From humble beginnings & living rough on the streets of New York City, to living it up with the rich and famous. Finding his sudden fame and new high society friends to be a world he doesn't belong in he pays the ultimate price of success, with his life.
I've Heard the Mermaids SingingI've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Polly is a nerdy but lovable secretary/photographer who becomes a bit obsessed with her glamorous, articulate and educated, new boss. It's whimsical, off–beat and endearing, and one of the best to come out of the 80's.
Paris, TexasParis, Texas (1984)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Travis is missing, presumed dead by his family, & his wife has abandoned their young son. Not until Travis stumbles out of the Texan desert, & we delve into this estranged couple's past, does the mystery begin to unravel. One of the greatest films ever.
LeoloLeolo (1992)
4 stars (Very Good) Strangely–captivating, bleak and often shocking, tale of the strangest family you're ever likely to encounter. Through the eyes of young Leolo you'll enter into his bizarre world. You're probably not going to forget this one in a hurry.
SomersaultSomersault (2004)
4 stars (Very Good) Beautifully shot coming–of–age film. An emotionally troubled Heidi leaves an unsuitable homelife to start anew in a new town. She meets and falls for Joe, a boy from a much wealthier family, who seems to bring out a self–destructive side in her.
DVD $25 $12.50
Leaving Las VegasLeaving Las Vegas (1995)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) A gut–wrenching tale of unconditional love. Tender & torturous all at the same time. Ben & Sera are outcasts on the fringes of society who embark on an unconventional romance. It's dark, no happily ever after, but its rawness & poignancy is breathtaking.
DVD $20 $15

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