Cliff Curtis in The Dark Horse (2014)

The Dark Horse (2014)

Opening this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival and now making its way to Australia, The Dark Horse elevates its familiar storyline through specificity and authenticity. It tells the story of Genesis “Dark Horse” Potini (played by Kiwi character actor Cliff Curtis), an erstwhile speed chess player who now exhibits erratic behaviour fuelled by his…

Adventure Time Season 4

Adventure Time Season 4

Adventure Time’s third season represented an evolutionary leap forward for the show, taking Pendleton Ward’s template – a preschool mix of Dadaism and Dungeons & Dragons portion out in eleven minute episodes – and directing towards experimentation and serialisation alike. The third season featured a range of episodes that deviated from the established formula of…

Jack O'Connell in Starred Up (2013)

Starred Up (2014)

The phrase “starred up” is British slang, referring to the transfer of a juvenile offender to adult incarceration. In David Mackenzie’s Starred Up the offender in question is Eric (Jack O’Connell). We enter the prison with Eric, watching him as he is strip-searched, as he constructs a makeshift shiv, as he unleashes savage violence on…

The Wolf of Wall Street - Leonardo DiCaprio

Lessons on the Wolf

I usually stick to posting solely my own content on ccpopculture, but occasionally you stumble on something that just needs to be shared. Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is the best film I’ve seen in the cinema in the past year and Milad Tangshir’s video essay, Lessons of the Wolf, goes a long way towards…

Attack on Titan - Collection 2 (female titan)

Attack on Titan – Collection 2

From a consumer point-of-view, I’m always a little sceptical of staggered releases of television/anime series, where one season is broken up into two (or more) physical releases; on the surface, it seems like straight-up profiteering. But just as the The Deathly Hallows and many of its cinematic antecdents turned their bifurcated releases into artistic strength,…

Let's Be Cops (2014)

Let’s Be Cops (2014)

Let’s make a mainstream comedy with a pair of intensely unlikable characters with a pathological fixation on power; a failed footballer who tackles children (Jake Johnson) and a games designer who’s upset that he doesn’t run the place (Damon Wayans Jr). Let’s allow them to indulge their power trip by impersonating police officers, because that…

Tom Hardy in Locke (2013)

Locke (2013)

Describing Locke as a one-man show is misleading; yes, Tom Hardy as titular protagonist Ivan Locke is the only actor on screen throughout, but this is not some experimental, Manakamana-esque piece of cinéma vérité where we stare into Hardy’s handsome visage for ninety wordless minutes as he drives from point A to point B. Instead,…