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LOOP Screen Emailer 22-03-01

Mere hours away from this year's Oscars, and it's still anybody's game, a crap-shoot between some of the most underwhelming choices the Academy has offered the bookies in years.

Few will deny Gladiator's status as one of last year's finest popcorn blockbusters (with the emphasis on the 'corn')... but is it Best Picture material?

Still, with so many of last year's finest out of the running - including Wonder Boys and Almost Famous - and lame ducks Chocolat and Erin Brockovich in the lineup, it seems likely that The Spaniard and the Wudan fighter will be going head-to-head on Monday for top honours.

Now that's a duel I'd pay to see.

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CAST AWAY (BIG SCREEN): Tom Hanks is stranded on a desert island for four years with only a volleyball for company, courtesy of What Lies Beneath director Robert Zemeckis. Hanks has been nominated for the Oscar (having taken time out during shooting to shed the pounds), the box-office has been huge, but whether Hanks' performance can compensate for a less-than-compelling storyline remains to be seen. Official site:

DANCER IN THE DARK (BIG SCREEN, DVD (R1)): Long-awaited latest from celebrated Danish director Lars Von Trier is a dark musical starring Bjork, Peter Stormare and David Morse. A controversial choice for last year's Palm D'Or at Cannes, this one promises to be raw and powerful - as long as Von Trier supplies something at its heart, as he neglected to do with his last film, The Idiots. Official site:

THE 73RD ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS (SKY MovieMax, 26/03, from 11.30am): At long last, a local broadcaster sees the light... and we get to see the entire Oscars telecast live and unedited. Sure, it's not the most exciting Oscar line-up ever, and initial enthusiasm often gives way to tedium as the ceremony drags into its fourth hour - but at least we finally have the option of sitting through every self-congratulatory second.



TRAFFIC (BIG SCREEN, DVD (R1 29/5)): Emma Philpott checked out Steven Soderbergh's epic, multi Oscar-nominated tale of the drug trade:

THE PRICE OF MILK (BIG SCREEN): Noel finds a mixed bag but much to admire in Harry Sinclair's cow-studded romantic fairy tale:

QUILLS (BIG SCREEN, DVD (R1 8/5)): Douglas Wright's play becomes a heavy-handed Philip Kaufman movie, says Noel Meek:

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (BIG SCREEN, DVD (R3)): Better late than never, Noel Meek headed for the Embassy in the wake of the hype:

THE SHINING (DVD (R1, R4)): Simon Sweetman revisits Kubrick's creepy classic, spruced up for DVD:

AMERICAN PSYCHO (DVD (R1, R4)): Mary Harron's surprisingly good adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' 'unfilmable' novel now comes on a shiny little disc. Simon has the low-down:

ROLLING STONES: BRIDGES TO BABYLON (DVD (R1, R4)): Too big for the small screen? Simon watched those true monsters of rock on DVD:

MAN ON THE MOON (DVD (R1, R4): Is there more to Milos Forman's biopic of comedian Andy Kaufman than an uncanny impersonation by Jim Carrey?:



WORLD CINEMA SHOWCASE (Paramount/Embassy, 29/03 - 11/04): This year's warm-up to the New Zealand Film Festival is a stunner, featuring everything from the return of the awe-inspiring Princess Mononoke to NZ premieres of such anticipated offerings as Christopher Nolan's Memento, dog show mocko Best In Show, Joel Schumacher's pared-back Tigerland and Embassy screenings of a restored North By Northwest. Noel has the full run-down at:

BRESSON RETROSPECTIVE (The Lido 8-17/06, Te Papa 15-24/06), New Zealand Film Festival Trust and the French Embassy are bringing a retrospective by one of the 20th century's greatest filmmakers and directors, who died in 1999, to Auckland and Wellington. For details, check out:

BECK'S INCREDIBLE FILM FESTIVAL (Civic 13/04 - 05/05, Paramount 07/06 - 08/07): No longer strange but even more incredible, the eighth year of this celebration of cinematic eccentricity includes such delights as Tsui Hark's martial arts epic Green Snake, Danish oddity In China They Eat Dogs, Star Wars doco Starwoids and German horror thriller Anatomie, starring Franka Potente of Run Lola Run fame. Full preview coming soon to



A DVD NOT SO FAR AWAY?: There are those who believe that the most anticipated DVD releases ever are going to kick off on October 16, 2001. We'll believe it when we see it:

DO YOU TAKE SUGAR?: According to Dark Horizons, an NZ radio station was reprimanded recently for doling out baggies of icing sugar to Traffic preview audiences:

DA FOE UNVEILED: If the images of Tobey Maguire in the Spidey suit didn't get you drooling (check 'em out at, here's a first look at Willem Dafoe as Spider-Man bad guy the Green Goblin (what? No Dr Octopus?):,29855,x

SIMPSONS XXX?: Seems The Simpsons producer David Mirkin has secret plans to take The Simpsons to the next level when they eventually hit the big screen. Cinescape Online has the scoop:

EPISODE II PLOT REVEALED?: Okay, so there's enough speculation among Star Wars fans to power hype campaigns for a dozen movie franchises, but for those who crave spoilers, have put together a very credible-sounding synopsis of next year's mega-prequel/sequel:



For Hoyts session times, check out:


For Region 1 DVDs with free worldwide shipping, we think Canadian site DVD Box Office kicks arse. They have free worldwide shipping, and they even display prices in NZ$. Did I mention free worldwide shipping?


For new and Second-hand Region 1 and 4 DVDs, the Overlords of upper Cuba and Queen Streets, Real Groovy, are just that.


For the rental of Region 1 and 4 DVDs, Amalgamated Video on Taranaki St is your friend. Repeat after me: Amalgamated Video on Taranaki St is your friend.


To buy second-hand Region 1 and 4 DVDs on-line from other New Zealanders, you can do worse than the DVDs For Sale section at:

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