Thoughts: Star Wars – The Force Awakens (No Spoilers!)

Star_Wars_The_Force_AwakensYesterday was Opening Day for the seventh film in the Star Wars saga, and I was fortunate to be able to take my 13 year old son to see it. The Lux style (Hoyt’s version of Gold Class). I wanted to create a memory for him that lasts long.

Let me explain.

I saw the original Star Wars in the Regent Theatre in Palmerston North when it was released. I’m not entirely proud of how I got to see it, but I got to see it.

Oh OK. Here’s the story. If you insist.

I really really really wanted to see it but my parents were quite frugal (Dad was a teacher, Mum was a relief teacher (both at PNBHS) and they were raising four kids) so my going to see it was out of the question according to them. ANYWAY, I learned that my sister had been invited to a friends 7th birthday party – and the horde of girls was going to see Star Wars!!! Girls??? Star Wars??? And NOT me??? I rather suspect I threw my toys. Just a little bit. Long story short, I got to see Star Wars. And that fact transcended the fact I was at a 7 yr old girls birthday party.

I remember it vividly. I remember the Tangy Fruits in plastic pottles. I remember walking out of the theatre on its red carpet feeling like I was walking on air. And the memory of seeing the banner stretched across the hallway with ‘May The Force Be With You’ is seared in my mind.

So yesterday was a re-living. Another generation experiencing Star Wars on release in the cinema!


We were so excited.

I picked my son up a couple of hours before screening time thinking we’d wander the shops a bit, look for Christmas gifts, yarn, fill in time. Well – THAT idea went out the window pretty quick. Neither of us could concentrate. We were twitchy, fidgety and restless all at the same time.


My son has been nervous about this movie since it was announced. Years ago. He’s been “I hope Abrams doesn’t stuff it up” since he was 11. (He didn’t actually know who JJ Abrams was at the time). He loves these movies so much and has become the go-to kid at school on all things Star Wars. I’m not sure I should be proud, but at least he gets out in the sun and plays some sports…

Finally, the time came. We were escorted to our seats.


The coke and popcorn and wine arrived, the 3D glasses were put on, the lights went down and then…


We were not disappointed. A stupid, silly, happy grin has been on both our faces for the last 24 hours. Do go see this movie. It’s terrific!



Thoughts: Lars von Trier


A couple of years ago I saw ‘Antichrist’ with a friend. I’d not encountered the work of Lars von Trier before, and I really was not prepared for what I was watching.  The synopsis for the movie is this: “A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.”

Nature takes its course? What the hell kind of nature does this guy live in?

Over recent months I made the effort to watch the others in his Depression Trilogy. ‘Melancholia’ and ‘Nymphomania I and II’.

Oh my god. This guy has a seriously bleak world view. Clever movies. Well-written movies. Well-directed and crafted movies. But incredibly abrasive and shocking.

I’m still processing how they made me feel. What things I should confront as a result.

I think I need to go back to banter and explosions for a while.

Thoughts: Scary Movies

Halloween night saw me at the girl’s place cooking dinner (FYI: tandoori-style BBQ chicken – and it was amazing) and wondering what we should do. It’s always a bit tricky finding a balance between fun and having to go to bed early due to a certain compulsory 4:45am rise.

I figured we should at least watch something Halloween-y and I saw that ‘Paranorman’ was on. I’m still very much in parent-mode it appears (hence the selection) and as my kids weren’t around, I got bored with it pretty quickly.

Then I had a genius idea. Let’s watch something actually scary!

Netflix on, and The Conjuring selected!

I enjoyed the movie. I didn’t find it remotely scary. Just clever.

But watching this movie introduced another concept. The girl was actually very uncomfortable with (and somewhat scared) by this movie. And from our conversation apparently most, if not all, movies of this genre.

Which got me thinking.

Who gets scared by Horrors? Is it a gender spread? Females more than males or is it pretty equal? Is it an age thing?

And what is it that is scary? Is it graphic violence? Is it spiritual suspense? Is it the audio? (Cue: scratching fingernails down a blackboard). Is it being able to imagine that this could happen and it could happen to you?

There are only two movies that I can recall playing with my mind. Event Horizon (I couldn’t sleep for days) and The Stepfather (just a very dark tale). But these are more thrillers?

And then I’m curious about the idea that people who are scared by these movies, seem to like being scared, and go back for more. Why?

I’m keen to hear your stories and thoughts. Go on, share with the class.

The Late Night Big Breakfast

Watch TV ONE's new local comedy featuring Leigh Hart and his crew on The Late Night Big Breakfast

I’d heard about this show and finally got to watch it (recorded) the other day.

I’ve not laughed so hard for a very very long time. Actual tears.

It’s dry. It’s irreverent. It’s crass. It’s silly. And it is SO very good!

I love the guests who are utterly bewildered by the interviews. They play the straight foil to Leigh, Jeremy and Jason so well. And they’re so unaware that they are. It’s comedy gold.

Give it a try. Highly recommended by this viewer.