Director: Taika Waititi.
Starring: James Rolleston, Taika Waititi, Te Aho Eketone-Whitu. New Zealand 2010. 88 mins.
Taika Waititi’s Boy was the highest-grossing New Zealand film at the local box office until his hit third feature, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, overtook it in 2016. Sadly, when it was first released, this hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age tale never made it to our shores. But now UK audiences have a rare chance to watch the underseen work of one of film’s most offbeat directors before his loveably silly genius returns in Thor: Ragnarok.
Boy is about heroes, magic and Michael Jackson. Eleven-year-old Boy (Rolleston) has two heroes, and the King of Pop is one of them. The other is his absent dad, Alamein (Waititi). In his dreams, his father’s a hero; in reality, he’s a bumbling crook doing time in prison. When Alamein returns after seven years away, Boy has to learn to get along without the dad he had been hoping for.
Leaving the world of J-pop behind her, Mima Kirigoe begins life as an actress on a crime drama show called Double Blind. When offered a lead role in the show as a rape victim, Mima accepts in spite of her manager’s reservations. However, the backlash from fans over her career change and a strange website called ‘Mima's Room’, written by a fake Mima, begin to worry her. When a stalker appears and people involved in Double Blind begin turning up dead, with all the evidence pointing to her, Mima is thrown into a state of confusion, madness and paranoia.
Director: John McTiernan.
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura. USA 1987. 108 mins.
Take everything you could want from an ’80s action movie – guns, muscles, sweat, fire, mud, choppers, one-liners – and drop in a highly intelligent extra-terrestrial warrior and you’ve got John McTiernan’s timeless Predator. Holding up superbly in its 30th year, this multi-faceted Rambo-esque action thriller sees an in-his-pomp Arnold Schwarzenegger lead a team of commandos through a remote jungle to rescue potential survivors of a downed helicopter. They soon discover their superiors lied about the true nature of their mission, but this turns out to be the least of their problems: a shape-shifting otherworldly killer is stalking them, and begins to pick them off one by one. By the end, it’s just Arnie and the alien – and the alien’s picked the wrong man to hunt.
Director: Jim Henson
Starring: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud. USA 1986. 101 mins
Frustrated with babysitting on yet another weekend night, Sarah – a teenager with an active imagination – summons the Goblins from her favourite book, Labyrinth, to take her baby step-brother away.
When little Toby actually disappears, Sarah must follow him into the world of the fairy tale to rescue him, in hope that their loyalty isn't just another illusion in a place where nothing is as it seems!
Combining music, adventure, comedy and fantasy, this beloved family film boasts a cast of incredible creatures created by the Jim Henson Creature Shop, and stars the late, great David Bowie, who performs five original songs in the role of the Goblin King.
Director: Tim Burton.
Starring: . Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Vincent Price, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall. USA 1990. 105 mins.
In a creepy abandoned castle, an Avon Lady discovers Edward (Depp), the unfinished creation of kindly Franken-scientist (Price), in solitary mourning for his inventor/father whose untimely death has left him with scissors in the place of hands. Taking pity on this shy and innocent child-man, she adopts him into her suburban home. Naïve, artistic, and inescapably nonconformist, Edward learns that social and physical difference can inspire celebrity and mistrust in equal measure. Comedic and tragic in turns, this poignant celebration of a visionary spirit struggling to survive in an unforgiving world remains Burton’s most original and beguiling contemporary fairy story.