Monday, 31 January 2022

Undine: In The Shade Film Festival Review

Undine: Movie Review


Less successful than perhaps director Christian Petzold would hope, Undine's tale of a doomed romance with supernatural elements falls short in some of its story telling.

Paula Beer is Undine, a historian who lectures locally about the past of Berlin and who as the film begins tells former lover Johannes that if he leaves her, she will have to kill him. Despite this, Johannes leaves, and just as it looks like Undine will exact her vengeance, she chance meets local diver Christophe (Franz Rogowski), latching onto him and launching into an affair.

Undine's supernatural moments are what lets the film down.

Undine: Film Review

For a film obsessed with water, and whose enjoyment probably relies greatly on some knowledge of the Ondine story, Undine is stubbornly obtuse and difficult to piece together. Moments tend to occur with little reason, and seemingly minor coincidences that are supposed to connect don't quite resonate perhaps as they should.

Thankfully, in the midst of all this, remains a central relationship between Beer and Rogowski that feels wistful and full of heart, keeping viewers entertained and papering over some of the narrative cracks. From Beer's opening moments where she seems defeated by an inner conflict and a necessary route, to moments where she's more open and animated, Undine feels more alive than the script would grant her.

Ultimately, Undine may entice audiences in, but it's hard work getting through the short 90 minute run time, despite Petzold's sharp-eyed lensing, and beauteous cinematography.

Sunday, 30 January 2022

Mortal Kombat: Neon NZ Film Review

Mortal Kombat: Neon NZ Film Review

Sometimes, a film does exactly what it says on the tin and nothing more.
Mortal Kombat: Movie Review


One such case is Mortal Kombat, the latest in a line of video game adaptations to hit the big screen, much to the nervous anticipation of fans and the general apathy of a public that's overwhelmed by soulless game movies that amount to nothing and rarely get a sequel.

There's plenty of fan service in Mortal Kombat that pays homage to its fighting platform roots.

From the dropping of lines from the game's various victory voiceovers to the general adherence to the lore, it's clear director Simon McQuoid knows who he's pitching the film to - it's just a shame the script and parts of the execution don't do more to build an excellent prologue that pitches both mythology, mystical edges and a desire for revenge through the generations.

In truth, nobody expects a deep plot for video game films - just something serviceable to make sure the film hits its required beats without feeling choppily edited. But Mortal Kombat serves up a 1617 Japan-set opening that hints at epicness and then plonks it into current day with a washed-up MMA Fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan) being hunted by Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) a dude who can throw ice and is taunting him about his destiny.

Soon Cole is slap-bang in the middle of a fight between good and evil as Earth's greatest champions face rivals from the Outer World, intent on destroying them.
Mortal Kombat: Movie Review


Maybe it's churlish to expect more, because in truth, with Josh Lawson's boorish and crass Kano providing comic relief (and borderline harassment machismo), and with fight scenes that stick to the MK aesthetic of side-scrolling and providing locations-based backgrounds for said fights, there's much that Mortal Kombat delivers for fans - even if too much editing renders some of the fight scenes a little trickier to engage with and the cheesier lines cause eyerolls.

Certainly, the film gels with its R16 rating, with enough gore to satiate the horrific levels of violence from within the game - but a film like Mortal Kombat is beholden to picking up a wider audience, rather than just fans who will see it. It's here that it falls short, promising set-up for future efforts and teasing in its final few minutes that there could be more.

But without some deeper writing so that characters like Cole Young don't just feel like hollow cyphers for the audience to follow, the future of the franchise is on shakier ground than it should be. It's serviceable enough, yet it can't help but feel more like a technical KO rather than a flawless victory you'd hope Mortal Kombat would deliver.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

The Eyes of Tammy Faye: Movie Review

The Eyes of Tammy Faye: Movie Review

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield
Director: Michael Showalter

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is a film that hinges solely on the performances of its two leads, with each complementing the other in ways that help them excel on the screen.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye: Movie Review

Which is fortunate, because as a drama and biography, The Eyes of Tammy Faye clearly really doesn't know what it wants to be.

Charting the journey of Tammy Faye Bakker as she negotiated her way into the world of televangelism in the 1970s, Jessica Chastain is excellent as the infinitely perky, potentially naive and believing-the-best-of-people Tammy Faye.  It's possibly helped by a script that really does champion her point of view, and does little else to delve deeper into the potential complexities of the crimes the Bakkers were committing, stealing from their evangelical foundation for their own use. 

The Eyes of Tammy Faye implies that Jim Bakker (a fierce Andrew Garfield, in one of his career best) was the manipulator behind the scenes, and that prosthetically-plastered Tammy Faye was merely swept along by the charismatic nature of the man who would found the phenomenally popular The 700 Club. 

Heralded as the Ken and Barbie of the televangelical world, and with Tammy Faye espousing such sentiments as "We're all just people, made out of the same old dirt, And God didn't make any junk", Chastain finds the bubbly nature of the charismatic and inclusive Tammy Faye and exploits it for every second on the screen. 

There are hints of tragedy behind the eyes, but the script never really seems content to try and mine any of that for any potential drama there may need to be, preferring to use time jumps just as dramatic moments rear their head.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye: Movie Review

Showalter seems content to guide matters on in a fairly workmanlike way, but the jumping around of the narrative doesn't really help, and leaves the audience feeling like they've had as much of a historical sleight-of-hand thrust upon them as the Bakkers seemingly did on their congregation.

Ultimately, The Eyes of Tammy Faye is a biopic that's light on detail, high on lurid costuming and looks, and frustratingly episodic in its execution. It's only the dazzling turn of Jessica Chastain that makes it worth watching - through any kind of eyes.

Benedetta: In The Shade Film Festival Review

Benedetta: Film Review

Cast: Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling, Daphne Patakia, Lambert Wilson
Director: Paul Verhoeven

Based on a true story, notorious director Paul Verhoeven's latest, a tale of a lesbian affair involving two nuns, is nowhere near as salacious as you'd think it would be - especially given Verhoeven's flair for lingering shots on women in various stages of undress.

French actress Efira plays Benedetta, a nun in the small Italian province of Pescia, who begins her life as a young girl wanting to go into the local convent, the Convent of the Mother of God, run by Charlotte Rampling's Abbess.
Benedetta: Film Review


When her father manages to buy her way in to the Convent, Benedetta early on learns the strict ways of the Abbess as she tells her "Your worst enemy is your body." But things come to a head as Benedetta starts to experience visions of Jesus coming to her as her husband, and when she forms a friendship with cast out Bartolomea (Patakia) which grows into lust and lasciviousness.

There's no discounting the fact that Verhoeven flirts with as much religious imagery in Benedetta as he does with the functions of the body. From early shots of birds pooping in someone's eye to showmen lighting their wind on fire, through to lingering close ups during sex scenes and full frontal nudity, Verhoeven's not afraid to push the envelope as far as he could go. An astonishing sequence with snakes and Benedetta and Jesus is utterly enthralling, yet feels wildly restrained for the provocateur.

And while the religious imagery and issues form a large part of this film, it's actually in the more emotionally engaging head to head battle and powerplay that Benedetta has with the Abbess that the film delivers more heft. Thanks to a ferocious Rampling, whose nuances make her nun enthralling to watch, the film's meat is actually more in the psychological warfare.

Efira is fine in the role, but not quite strong enough to be commanding, though in retrospect that's probably more what the film needs as her nun battles stigmata, trust issues and desire on her arc. Her mysterious visions are never questioned and feel like the film's not sure if she's telling the truth or not - but the ambiguity is intriguing - and seems to push more for revelations about the world around her.

Benedetta may occasionally falter in its overlong run time, but it's never less than engaging. 

Friday, 28 January 2022

Flee: In The Shade Film Festival Review

Flee: In The Shade Film Festival Review

Director: Jonas Poher Rasmussen 

Jonas Poher Rasmussen's animated tale of refugees and redemption is adept at humanising the face of a section of the human populace so often demonised by shallow headlines and attention-grabbing reporting.

Focussing in on a series of animated interviews with Amin Nawabi, a refugee forced to abandon his family home in Afghanistan, Rasmussen weaves a story of lives disrupted and of families torn asunder by conflict.

Mixing animation, archival Super 8 footage and evocative songs from the 80s pop scene, Rasmussen's tale of a refugee caught out in the system is nothing short of compellingly told, and emotionally exceptional. 
Flee: Movie Review


It's a survivor's story at heart, but importantly, it's never a story about a victim - conversely, there's a feeling of empowerment throughout Rasmussen's simplistic telling of Amin's story.

There's an immersive feel to this tale as it pulls the audience into proceedings, and cleverly does it without ever once feeling like Amin's tale is being exploited for cinematic expression. In fact, it's more a shared story of resilience and of memories deeply buried and only recently excavated.

For all the feelings of uncertainty throughout, of traffickers and the horrors of trying to find stability in a home that's "somewhere safe", the film ends on a joyous note of celebration as Amin ends up going to a gay nightclub after years of being unable to tell family members. 

It's this scene which provides the undeniable qualities of family, and of evocative joy and of support from unexpected places - after all the harsher truths throughout Flee, the final feeling is hard to deny.

What's on Neon in February 2022

What's on Neon in February 2022

Here's everything that's playing on Neon in New Zealand during February 2022.

Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber 

Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber

This seven-part drama chronicles one of Silicon Valley's most successful and most destructive start ups, Uber. The story focuses on Uber's hard-hitting CEO, Travis Kalanick, and his sometimes tumultuous relationship with mentor Bill Gurley. 

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days of Summer, Looper, Snowden) and Uma Thurman (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction). 

SUPER PUMPED: THE BATTLE FOR UBER AVAILABLE FROM FEBRUARY 28 

Raised by Refugees

It's the new millennium in Auckland City, and Pax Assadi is your typical 12-year-old who's obsessed with hip hop, basketball, girls, and Eddie Murphy. His parents came to NZ in the late '80s as refugees and all they want him to do is study hard and eventually become a doctor. All Pax wants to do is fit in and feel accepted, but with 9/11 a very fresh memory, that's easier said than done for a part-Pakistani part Iranian kid. Navigating his parents' expectations, finding friends, being a good sibling to his six-years younger brother, and trying to figure out what his identity is in NZ is hard enough - then add on the fact that he is also being ravaged by puberty. Pax quickly discovers that being funny is the easiest way to be liked. But when he prioritises being funny over everything else, those that are closest to him could end up as collateral damage. 

RAISED BY REFUGEES AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 25 

The Girl Before

When Jane gets the chance to move into an extraordinary minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, she finds there's just one catch: the occupants must abide by his list of exacting rules. Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways, but when she makes the shocking discovery about her predecessor, she begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before. 

Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Loki, The Morning Show, Motherless Brooklyn) and David Oyelowo (Selma, The Water Man, Queen of Katwe). 

THE GIRL BEFORE AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 13 

The Girl Before

Landscapers

Mini-series unravelling the strange, true story of Susan and Christopher Edwards, a mild-mannered librarian and accounts clerk from Nottinghamshire, who murdered Susan's elderly parents and went on the run for fifteen years. The series begins with the police already closing in on Susan and Christopher whilst they're in exile in France and living in relative poverty. Elements of magical realism lend the story a fairy-tale like feeling whilst telling the story of an unstable woman who lived within her own fantasies and her faithful husband who enabled her. 

Starring Olivia Colman (The Crown), David Thewlis (Fargo), Samuel Anderson (Gunpowder Milkshake) and Felicity Montagu (Bridget Jones's Diary). 

LANDSCAPERS AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 21

RAISED BY WOLVES S2 AVAILABLE FROM FEBRUARY 4 

Raised by Wolves S2

Mother, Father, and their six human children join a new colony in the mysterious tropical zone. However, navigating this strange society is only the start of their troubles. 

Starring Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Amanda Collin, Abubakar Salim (Jamestown).

SNOWFALL S5 AVAILABLE FROM FEBRUARY 25 

In the summer of 1986, Franklin and his family are rich beyond their wildest dreams. Close to having everything they ever wanted, the ground begins to fall from beneath their feet. 

BUMP S2 AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 7 

Returning for a second season, we follow the ongoing adventures of Oly, an ambitious and high achieving teenage girl who had a surprise baby and the complications that ensue for two families that are now brought together. Starring Nathalie Morris (One Lane Bridge, Black Christmas) and Claudia Karvan (The Secret Life of Us, Love My Way). 

DOLLFACE S2 AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 12 

Dollface

Jules and her best friends try to make up for lost time after spending over a year indoors due to the pandemic. As the girl's approach 30, they'll have to adjust to being back in the world again, all while navigating work, love and a deeper relationship with each of themselves. Starring Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls, Wandavision), Brenda Song (The Social Network), Shay Mitchell (You, Pretty Little Liars) and Esther Povitsky (iCarly, Alone Together) 

EQUAL AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 1 

Narrated by the incomparable Billy Porter, Equal is a dynamic four-part docuseries that pays tribute to the parents of the modern LGBTQ+ movement. Each episode captures the gripping origin stories of trailblazers who changed the course of American history, giving a voice to millions of people yearning to be out, proud, and equal. 

LA BREA AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 9 

When a massive sinkhole mysteriously opens in Los Angeles, it tears a family in half, separating mother and son from father and daughter. As part of the family finds themselves in an unexplainable primeval world, alongside a disparate group of strangers, they must work to survive and uncover the mystery of where they are and if there is a way back home. Starring Natalie Zea (The Detour, Justified), Eoin Macken (The Night Shift, Till Death), Jon Seda (Chicago P.D, Chicago Fire), and Nicholas Gonzalez (The Good Doctor). 

RAVI PATEL'S PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 23 

Join actor and humanitarian Ravi Patel on a trip around the world as he investigates societal norms in search of answers to some of life's most pressing questions. Each episode finds Ravi exploring local traditions and having honest conversations in hopes of achieving a more fulfilling life. 

MEDICI THE MAGNIFICENT 

A political drama about the House of Medici, a powerful banking dynasty that wielded great influence in 15th century Renaissance, Florence. When an attempt on Piero de Medici's life forces his son Lorenzo to assume leadership of the family-run bank, Lorenzo finds himself in conflict with the head of Florence's other powerful banking family, Jacopo Pazzi. Starring Daniel Sharman (Teen Wolf), Bradley James (Merlin), Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Troy) and Sarah Parish (Bancroft, Stay Close, The Holiday). 

MOVIES

SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 20 

An ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage welcomes tenacious loner Snake Eyes after he saves the life of their heir apparent. Upon arrival in Japan, the Arashikage teach him the ways of the ninja warrior while also providing him something he's been longing for: a home. However, when secrets from Snake Eyes' past are revealed, his honor and allegiance get tested - even if that means losing the trust of those closest to him. Starring Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, and Samara Weaving. 

WRATH OF MAN

A mysterious new security guard for a cash truck company surprises his co-workers when he unleashes his precision skills during an attempted heist, leaving the crew wondering who he is and where he came from. Starring Jason Statham, Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan, and Josh Hartnett. 

THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 27 

Still reeling from the loss of three lives, Hannah is a smoke jumper who's perched in a watchtower high above the Montana wilderness. She soon encounters 'Connor, a skittish boy who's bloodied, traumatised and on the run in the remote forest. As Hannah tries to bring him to safety, she's unaware of the real dangers to follow: two relentless killers hunting Connor, and a fiery blaze consuming everything in its path. Starring Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult and Finn Little. 

EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 11

A psychiatrist's life gets turned upside down when a patient takes her own life, and he allows her surviving brother to become involved with his own family. Starring Sam Claflin, Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan. 

DREAM HORSE AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 26 

The true story of Dream Alliance, an unlikely racehorse bred by small-town bartender Jan Vokes. With very little money and no experience, Jan convinces her neighbours to chip in their meagre earnings to help raise Dream and compete with the racing elites. Their investment pays off as Dream rises through the ranks and becomes a beacon of hope for their struggling community. Starring Toni Collette, Damian Lewis and Owen Teale.  

LOCKED DOWN AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 13 

Just as they decide to separate, Linda and Paxton find life has other plans when they are stuck at home in a mandatory lockdown. Co 'habitation is proving to be a challenge, but it will bring them closer together in the most surprising way. Starring Chiewetel Ejifor, Anne Hathaway, Stephen Merchant and Mindy Kaling. 

SONGBIRD AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 25 

In the not-so-distant future, the city of Los Angeles has been living under quarantine for 213 consecutive weeks as 110 million people have died from Covid-23. Nico, immune to the virus, races against time to save the woman he loves from a quarantine camp. Starring New Zealand's own KJ Apa, Sofia Carson and Demi Moore. 

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection: PS5 Review

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection: PS5 Review

Developer: Naughty Dog
Platform: PS5
Released by Sony Interactive

Once more into the breach with Nathan Drake with this PS5 release that doesn't really reinvent what Naughty Dog had planned with the original games, but builds on the studio's aspirations of making them more cinematic.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection: PS5 Review


Collecting together the conclusion of Nathan Drake's arc in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and the shorter spinoff Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, it's worth noting these releases don't really do anything new with the core games and their mechanics, but simply gives them a performance spit and polish for the PS5 and uses the haptic feedback for gunplay.

Whether that's enough for most gamers will be a no doubt contentious issue (especially as Uncharted 4 is part of the PS Plus Collection that comes bundled with the subscription on PS5), but what is worth noting is that the games have been given a performance upgrade that makes them sing, and moves them closer to the movies the studios were clearly trying to make.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection: PS5 Review


Each game offers 'Performance' and 'Performance Plus' options, 60fps and 120fps 1080p respectively, plus 'Fidelity' which locks at 30fps with a 4K resolution.

Set several years after Drake’s Deception, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End sees Nate retired, a wearied man who has given up on the thrilling Indiana Jones style life and forsaken it for a normal life with wife Elena.

However, his world’s turned upside down when his long-believed-dead brother Sam shows up and thrusts him into another adventure, with Henry Avery at its core…

It starts with the first of many rug-pulls as you find yourself on the high seas (initially believing it to be behind the wheel of a jeep) and from there, it’s a rollicking adventure that never loses sight of the personal for Drake and consequently, the player.

To say more is to reveal spoilers in what is essentially a globe-trotting game that sees Naughty Dog being as audacious with their hero, as they are with their timelines. A lot of the start of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is about parkour, hurtling through Nate’s memories and appreciating the wondrously gorgeous backgrounds that Naughty Dog’s visualised. From the grimy streets of an orphanage style break-out, to the high tops of a prison riot, this is a game that knows what its core audience wants and also how to dazzle the casual gamer who may navigate their way to this episode because of the hype.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection: PS5 Review


But with enhanced visuals some of the set pieces soar; from enhanced graphics on streets to chase sequences which stand out, this is a visually compelling remaster that enhances the original's brilliance and will engage again - if you're willing to replay.

Much more than a female spin-off of Uncharted, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy stands alone as a great title, even if it does pilfer some of the dynamics from the previous games.

You get to take on the role of Chloe Frazer in her latest escapade, and are dropped into the middle of India and an escalating situation. Teaming up with Nadine Ross as the civil war starts to unfold, it's upto you two to try and retrieve the the tusk of Ganesh as a baddie Asav tries to beat you to it.

 Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is nonetheless a good solid title that adds a bit of depth to the Uncharted universe.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy: PS4 Review

It's great to have two solid female leads in this world of traditionally male driven heroes and the relationship between the pair grows as well as it should. There's a scale to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy that's obvious from the start when Chloe witnesses the bombing of an Indian city from the rooftops, and the arena glows orange.

Equally with the scrambling and scurrying over rooftops and buildings a very familiar move for the Uncharted games, there's still a sense of a real world being fleshed out here rather than a simple spin-off being done for financial gain.

Ultimately, the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection poses a very simple question - are you willing to pay again for games you've already bought and gone through?

With a barebones graphical upgrade, for some the price may be a bit too steep and the disappointment of little new in the package may pose a conundrum. But for those who've yet to experience the end of the Uncharted franchise, this is the best way to experience it.

A digital code for Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection was provided by PlayStation NZ for the purposes of this review.

Licorice Pizza: Movie Review

Licorice Pizza: Movie Review

Cast: Cooper Hoffman, Alana Haim, Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper, Tom Waits
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

More a hang out movie than an outright narratively driven affair, Phantom Thread director Paul Thomas Anderson's latest is a 70s set tale about the long route to a true love story.

Cooper Hoffman plays hustler kid Gary Valentine, a child actor, would-be businessman and hype maker whose grandeur comes from his own self belief. During the annual school photograph session, Valentine sees assistant Alana (Haim) and decides that she will be woman that he's going to marry.

Licorice Pizza: Movie Review

Pursuing her doggedly around the school, Gary's surprised when she shows up for a date with him despite a 10-year age difference - marking the start of their zig-zag romance and their adventures through the San Fernando Valley.

To call Licorice Pizza meandering is perhaps to do it a disservice, but the almost ramshackle nature of the film, its manifest-anything protagonist and its low self-esteem suffering female lead prove to be an intoxicating mix of mood more than anything.

Valentine may have his grifter trappings, the cocksure belief of a self-manifester and his seemingly persistent approach to life, but Cooper Hoffman imbues him with a sense of innocence that is painfully contrasted with the other older male role models in the Valley. 

From Sean Penn's seedy ageing actor, to Bradley Cooper's volatile and unhinged Jon Peters, via John Michael Higgins Japan-obsessed Jerry (who puts on an awful Japanese English accent to talk to his various wives), the older men in this tale are just varying degrees of repulsiveness personified, all indicators of how the Valley can produce nastiness when the sun goes down.

It's no wonder that Haim's Alana is wary of Gary, his youthful exuberance bristling against her never-ending feeling of being let down by men. It's a fascinating dichotomy that Anderson brings to the fore, an unsettling exploration of 70s exploitation within various industries.

Thankfully Haim's gradual softening into idealism blossoms, and with the flourishes, she brings her Alana to life as growing resentments and the push-and-pull dynamics of the burgeoning relationships come into play. Haim's a natural talent on the screen, and the pairing with Hoffman's Gary Valentine blooms over the 135 minute run time.

If Anderson does occasionally give a feeling of episodic ramblings in this hangout movie rather than a strongly pursued narrative, along with an evocative OST from Jonny Greenwood, some choice music from the likes of The Doors, and some excellent costuming, his recreation of the era is greatly rewarding.

Licorice Pizza is definitely all about the journey, rather than the destination, but it's an engaging and enjoyable one to behold from beginning to end.

What's on DocPlay in February 2022

What's on DocPlay in February 2022

Here's what's new and coming to DocPlay in February 2022.

February 7

Catching a Killer: The Hwaseong Murders

This is the incredible story of South Korea’s most infamous cold case and its first ever serial killer. The notorious killer plagued the rural city of Hwaseong with 10 murders in just four years, leading to the largest manhunt the country has ever seen, and a 30-year long investigation.

In 2019, new DNA technology uncovered the real culprit, exposing a monumental miscarriage of justice. This special mini-series recaps the twists and turns of the police investigation, the vital evidence that was overlooked and the emotional trauma felt in a town where locals were scared to leave their homes.

Featuring searing testimony from witnesses, dramatic reconstructions, and exclusive interviews with Sung-yeo Yoon, the man convicted of the serial murders, who wrongly served 20 years in prison.

10 February

Wild Things
What's on DocPlay February 2022


WILD THINGS follows a new generation of environmental activists hell-bent on saving their futures from the ravages of climate change. Armed only with mobile phones, this growing army of eco-warriors are mobilising against forces more powerful than themselves and saying, enough.  

From chaining themselves to coal trains, sitting high in the canopy of threatened rainforest or locking onto bulldozers, their non-violent tactics are designed to generate mass action with one finger tap. Against a backdrop of drought, fire and floods; we witness how today’s environmentalists are making a difference. 

Surprisingly the methods of old still have currency when a groundswell of school kids inspired by the actions of 16-year old Swedish student Greta Thunberg say, ‘change is coming’ and call a national strike demanding action against global warming.

21 February
What's on DocPlay February 2022


Rolling Stone: Stories From the Edge

Rolling Stone Magazine: Stories From the Edge chronicles the last 50 years of American music, politics and popular culture through the story of the magazine that understood rock ‘n’ roll was more than music - it was a cultural force that re-shaped America. 

Drawing on previously unheard recordings provided by some of Rolling Stone’s greatest writers, as well as original interviews, rare photos and footage, the series is an inside look at how Rolling Stone helped shape the zeitgeist and has endured for a half-century.

28 February

Israel/Iran/USA, The Long War

Targeted assassinations, bombings, unidentified military attacks are piling up all over the Middle East.

Can the "secret war" between Iran and Israel turn into a major regional if not global confrontation? The two countries are nowadays the two dominant powers in the Middle East. Their conflict is reinforced by the renewed tension between the United States and Iran since President Trump decided to leave the nuclear agreement. 

Based on unprecedented archival research, access to high profile players in Israel, Iran, Lebanon and the US, the film looks back over the forty years that followed the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Civil war in Syria, to offer relevant keys to understanding the new Middle East.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Zola: In the Shade Film Festival Review

Zola: Movie Review

Cast: Taylour Page, Riley Keough, Colman Domingo, Nicholas Braun
Director: Janicza Bravo
Zola: Movie Review


Based on a 2015 viral Tweet thread from Aziah "Zola" King and a Rolling Stone article, Janicza Bravo's screeching road crime black comedy about strippers is a slice of life straight from an embellished voice put through a prism of Sean Baker's Tangerine.

Page is Zola, a stripper whose mission is to tell the audience "a story about how me and this bitch fell out" and whose pronouncement kicks off a rollercoaster ride through a weekend in Florida. No sooner has Zola met The Girlfriend Experience's Riley Keough's Stefani, she's rushed headlong into a chance to make some serious money as a dancer in Florida.

But as Zola heads down for what she hopes will be a weekend of fun, it soon transpires that Stefani's seeming pimp (Domingo) and clueless boyfriend Derrick (Braun) has other plans in mind for them. Soon, Zola is in over her head...

With its style over substance approach, this 85 minute film is a perfectly engaging ride, if you're willing to get on board with its rhythms early on. From some sentences being punctuated by the sound of a Tweet being posted (presumably to reference what was actually said in the original thread) to an about face of narrative later on, Bravo's film makes great fist of the threadbare nature of the source material to stretch it as far as it can go.
Zola: Movie Review


It's greatly helped by Page, who delivers a performance that elevates her from an unreliable narrator to someone who you believe from the very beginning. But once she gets her character Zola down to Florida, Page really takes control of the role, delivering from deep within to produce something that's worthy of your attention.

Equally, Keough's utterly unlikeable Stefani is a strong presence onscreen as Bravo mixes brash storytelling with hilarious voiceover and the thinnest of narratives to really tell the horror of what seemingly transpired on the Florida trip.

There's an addictive energy to Zola, with the initial screeching of the women almost too much to bear at times. But it's part of the story schtick as Page's Zola starts to tire of the antics of her newfound friends - and as the audience, it gets you on her side immediately, casting away any aspersions that Zola has embellished her story (even though she likely has).

It may be an urban thriller told through a slickly polished lens, but Zola's here for a good time not a long time approach pays off dividends to spin an urban myth that's fresh and exciting for an audience rarely exposed to such vibrant societal underbellies.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Peacemaker: TV Review

Peacemaker: TV Review

Born out of a pandemic-induced shutdown, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad director James Gunn's Peacemaker series clearly wants to cater for an audience that has been satiated by the likes of The Boys and The Suicide Squad.

John Cena's Christopher Smith aka Peacemaker returns, despite being shot and having had a building fall on him at the end of the aforementioned Suicide Squad movie. However, as the post credits to that film showed, he survived with only a damaged clavicle and has now been co-opted up to a secret clandestine group to avoid going to prison.
Peacemaker: TV Review


It's hard not to give in to Peacemaker's silliness and sense of the ridiculous.

While Gunn ever so slightly reined it in for The Suicide Squad, there is a feeling that Peacemaker lets both him and his star John Cena cut loose as much as they want - and the results are frequently hilarious, scabrous and puerile. But undercutting that is Gunn's appreciation for the genre, and his penchant for puncturing superhero tropes, before relying on them heavily to progress the narrative.

Cena once again gets to demonstrate his comedic chops, and thanks to the most engaging title sequence of 2022, his dance moves. Occasionally as well, he relies on some of the emotional heft to mine some more of the depth needed - this time Peacemaker is taunted by the final words of the murdered Rick Flag. There's a tragedy in dealing with his overtly racist and abusive father (Terminator 2 star Robert Patrick) and it's here that Gunn seems keen to paint Peacemaker as more of a pathetic character than first though.

Elsewhere, there's no denying that there's a feeling of similar grounds of gore, sex and violence as was witnessed in The Boys - but there's also an unshakeable feeling that if you're here for that, you'll be satisfied and left smirking. Peacemaker is undeniable in its infectiousness, and while it occasionally feels like a shallow exercise in extending the DCEU and showing they can do levity too, there's no doubt that each episode is as forgettable as it is fun.

Peacemaker is a series that benefits from its weekly episode drop - you can have too much of a good thing, and that's no bad thing here. You'll be surprised how much Cena carries the show and the audience along - but you'll be grateful that he does.

Peacemaker airs on Neon in New Zealand, with new episodes available on Fridays.

What's on Disney+ in February 2022

What's on Disney+ in February 2022


Here's the full list of everything coming to Disney+ in February 2022.

February 2

The Chicken Squad (season 1, 4 episodes)

The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress

The Book of Boba Fett - Chapter 6

February 4

Never Been Kissed

Torn

Snow Dogs

February 9

Alice's Wonderland Bakery (season 1, 6 episodes)

The Book of Boba Fett – Finale

Marvel Studios: Assembled – The Making of Hawkeye
Hawkeye


ASSEMBLED is a comprehensive series of documentary-style specials streaming on Disney+ that chronicles the creation of Marvel Studios' thrilling new shows and theatrical releases. Journey behind-the-scenes of productions such as WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki via exclusive on-set footage. Join filmmakers and stars like Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner as they detail the genesis of the Black Widow film and the Hawkeye series. ASSEMBLED is an immersive and in-depth examination of the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

February 16
Assembled


Marvel Studios: Assembled – The Making of Eternals
An in-depth look at the making of Eternals that takes viewers behind-the-scenes with on-set footage, conversations with stars and filmmakers, and more. See how Eternals came to life in this fascinating, exclusive examination of the production.

February 18

The Wonderful Winter of Mickey Mouse – Premiere

The wonder of the winter season takes Mickey Mouse and his friends on a journey through three magical stories.

February 23

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder - Episode 1 "New Kids on the Block"

A continuation of the acclaimed series, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder follows the adventures and misadventures of newly 14-year-old Penny Proud and her Proud Family as they navigate modern life with hilarity and heart. The 2020s bring new career highs for mom Trudy, wilder dreams for dad Oscar, and new challenges for Penny, including a socially woke neighbor who thinks she has a lot to teach her, bullying social media influencers who want to cancel her, and her own teenage hormones. Penny's friends return, including Dijonay, LaCienega, Zoey, and Michael. Penny's Suga Mama also returns, ready as ever to dispense tough love or a gentle hand whenever Penny needs it. Among the new faces are Maya and KG, new kids who not only have to deal with the struggles of being the new kid but also having two dads, a first for Smithville.

Torn

When world renowned climber Alex Lowe was tragically lost in a deadly avalanche, his best friend and climbing partner went on to marry his widow and help raise his three sons. This profoundly intimate film from eldest son Max, captures the family’s intense personal journey toward understanding as they finally lay him to rest.

This National Geographic documentary is coming to Disney+ on Friday 4th February.

Pam & Tommy
Pam and Tommy


Set in the Wild West early days of the Internet, “Pam & Tommy” is based on the incredible true story of the Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) sex tape. Stolen from the couple’s home by a disgruntled contractor (Seth Rogen), the video went from underground bootleg-VHS curiosity to full-blown cultural obsession when it hit the Web in 1997. A love story, crime caper and cautionary tale rolled into one, the eight-part original limited series explores the intersection of privacy, technology and celebrity, tracing the origins of our current Reality TV Era to a stolen tape seen by millions but meant to have an audience of just two.

New episodes are going to be released on Disney+ internationally every Wednesday throughout February.


No Exit
No Exit


In “No Exit,” Havana Rose Liu (“Mayday”) makes her feature film leading role debut as Darby, a young woman en route to a family emergency who is stranded by a blizzard and forced to find shelter at a highway rest area with a group of strangers. When she stumbles across an abducted girl in a van in the parking lot, it sets her on a terrifying life-or-death struggle to discover who among them is the kidnapper. Directed by Damien Power (“Killing Ground”) from a teleplay by Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (“Ant-Man and the Wasp”) based on Taylor Adams’ 2017 novel and produced by PGA Award winner Scott Frank (“The Queen’s Gambit”), the film stars Havana Rose Liu, Danny Ramirez (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Top Gun: Maverick”), David Rysdahl (“Nine Days”), Mila Harris (“Young Dylan”) and Dennis Haysbert (“Breakthrough”).

“No Exit” is coming to Disney+ internationally on February 25th.

What's on Shudder in February 2022

What's on Shudder in February 2022

Here's a full break down of What's on Shudder in February 2022

Slapface – A Shudder Original
New Film Premieres 3rd February
Slapface


After the death of his mother, Lucas, a loner who lives in a rundown home with his brother Tom, regularly seeks solace in the nearby woods. With his only “friends” being a group of female bullies, he keeps to himself most of the time. 

But, after a strange encounter with an inhuman monster, Lucas begins to withdraw from others. When the two reach a tentative trust, a bizarre friendship is born, and Lucas is swept up in a series of primal adventures.

Slapface, which won the Best Audience Award for Best Horror/Thriller/Sci-Fi Film at the Cinequest Film Festival in 2021, was written and directed by Jeremiah Kipp (Black Wake; 60 Seconds to Die ‘Monster’; The Sadist; The Pod) based on his short film of the same title. The film stars August Maturo (Girl Meets World, The Nun), Mike Manning (Son of the South, Teen Wolf), Dan Hedaya (The Usual Suspects), Mirabelle Lee (Blood Ties), Lukas Hassel, and Libe Barer (Sneaky Pete), Bianca D’Ambrosio (The Bay, I Am Mortal, Fear of Rain), Chiara D’Ambrosio (The Bay, I Am Mortal).
Written and Directed by: Jeremiah Kipp

All the Moons – A Shudder Original
New Film Premieres 10th February

North of Spain, at the end of the 19th century, during the final throes of the last Carlist war, a little girl is rescued from an orphanage by a mysterious woman after it’s destroyed by a bomb. Wounded and close to death, the girl believes the woman is an angel coming to take her to Heaven. Soon, however, she discovers that this strange being has given her the gift of eternal life by turning her into a vampire.
Directed by Basque filmmaker Igor Legarreta (When You No Longer Love Me), All the Moons won several awards at the 25th Edition of The Fantasia International Film Festival, including Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Audience Award. The film stars Haizea Carneros, Josean Bengoetxea, and Itziar Ituño.
Directed and Co-written by: Igor Legarreta

They Live in the Grey – A Shudder Original
New Film Premieres 17th February

While investigating a child abuse case, a young social worker discovers that a supernatural entity is tormenting the family. To save the parents from losing custody of their child, she must confront her fears and use her clairvoyance to stop the malevolent force. Written and directed by brothers Burlee and Abel Vang (The Tiger’s Child), They Live in the Grey stars Michelle Krusiec (Hollywood), Ken Kirby (Good Trouble, Dynasty), Ellen Wroe (For All Mankind, Shameless), Madelyn Grace (Don’t Breathe 2).
Written and Directed by: Burlee Vang and Abel Vang

Hellbender – A Shudder Original
New Film Premieres 24th February

16-year-old Izzy leads an isolated life on a lonely mountaintop.

All she’s learned is from her protective mom and the wilderness that swallows them. It’s a gentle, quiet existence — except for when Izzy and Mom bang out loud songs for their band, H6LLB6ND6R. Izzy dreams of a live gig, but her mother thinks she’s too sick and mustn’t be around others. Questioning her illness and starved for companionship, Izzy sneaks down the mountain where she befriends brazen Amber. Izzy is in heaven until a cruel drinking game with a live worm unleashes a new kind of hunger. 
Hellbender, which had its world premiere at the 25th Fantasia International Film Festival in August 2021, is the sixth feature film written and directed by the filmmaking Adams family, Toby Poser, John Adams, and their daughter Zelda Adams (The Deeper You Dig, Halfway to Zen, The Shoot). 
Poser and Zelda Adams star in the film, along with Zelda’s sister Lulu Adams. Zelda took home the Best Actress award at the Fantasia International Film Festival.
Written and Directed by: Toby Poser, John Adams and Zelda Adams

NEW ADDITIONS TO SHUDDER’S MOVIE LIBRARY

8th February
• Entwined

Panos, a city doctor, relocates to a remote Greek village to offer his services to the underserved community. It's love at first sight when he sees Danae, who lives in isolation and with a mysterious skin condition. Determined to cure her, Panos will soon discover Danae is not the helpless princess he thought she was, and time is of the essence for both.

• Initiation
Whiton University unravels the night a star-athlete is murdered, kicking off a spree of social media slaying that force students to uncover the truth behind the school’s hidden secrets and the horrifying meaning of an exclamation point.

15th February
• The Wretched
A defiant teenage boy, struggling with his parents’ imminent divorce, faces off with a thousand-year-old witch, who is posing as the woman next door.

• A Night of Horror
A collection of strange and terrifying shorts from Australia’s long running A Night of Horror International Film Festival.

• XX
XX is an all-female helmed horror anthology featuring four dark tales written and directed by fiercely talented women: Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Karyn Kusama (The Invitation), Roxanne Benjamin (Body at Brighton Rock) and Jovanka Vuckovic (Riot Girls), featuring a cast that includes Natalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey, Breeda Wool and Christina Kirk.

22nd February

• Dawn of the Beast
A group of graduate students get more than they bargained for while searching for the legendary Bigfoot. Not only is he real, but there’s something far more lurking in the shadows.

What's on Netflix February 2022

What's on Netflix February 2022

ORIGINAL SERIES

Raising Dion: Season 2 (01/02/2022)

Nicole continues to raise a son who has much to learn about his superpowers. But with Dion growing stronger, danger may be closer than they think.

Dark Desire: Season 2 (02/02/2022)

As Alma tries to rebuild her life, a reunion with Darío rekindles their doomed affair and brings his more sinister side to the surface.

Murderville (03/02/2022)

Murderville

Meet Senior Detective Terry Seattle (Will Arnett), Homicide Division. For Terry, every day means a new murder case and a new celebrity guest star as his partner. But here’s the catch: each episode's guest star isn’t being given the script. They have no idea what’s about to happen to them. Together, the guest star and Terry Seattle will have to improvise their way through the case... but it will be up to each celebrity guest alone to name the killer. Join them as they punch a one-way ticket to Murderville. The six-episode procedural crime comedy premieres globally on Netflix on February 3. Based off the BAFTA award winning BBC3 series Murder in Successville by Tiger Aspect Productions and Shiny Button Productions. Celebrity Guest Stars include Annie Murphy, Conan O’Brien, Ken Jeong, Kumail Nanjiani, Marshawn Lynch and Sharon Stone.

Finding Ola (03/02/2022)

After a life-altering event, Ola embarks on a journey of self-discovery while dealing with the challenges of raising two children and making ends meet.

Sweet Magnolias: Season 2 (04/02/2022)

Together, the Magnolias work through new relationships, old wounds and town politics as the sweet parts of life blend with the salty and the sour.

Love is Blind Japan  (weekly episodes from 08/02/2022)

Episodes 1-5 (08/02/2022)

Episodes 6-9 (15/02/2022)

Episodes 10-11 (22/02/2022)

In this reality dating series, marriage-minded singles in Japan meet, date and get engaged — before ever setting eyes on each other.

Ideias à Venda (09/02/2022)

Brazilian entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to an audience and celebrity judges. But to win R$200,000, they’ll also have to navigate tough challenges.

Disenchantment: Part 4 (09/02/2022)

Disenchantment

The misadventures of hard-hitting, hard-drinking Queen Bean, her feisty elf companion Elfo and her personal demon Luci return and deepen in Part IV of Matt Groening’s comedy fantasy series Disenchantment. The mystery of Dreamland’s origins - and the stakes for its future - become ever clearer as our trio - and King Zøg - find themselves on personal journeys that will ultimately tie in to the kingdom’s fate. Separated at the end of Part III, our heroes race to reunite in this sweeping series of ten episodes. They’ll find themselves everywhere from the depths of Hell to the clouds of Heaven and everywhere in between, including Ogreland, Steamland, underwater, monasteries, insane asylums, the Enchanted Forest, the Dreamscape and more. All the while, puzzle pieces both canonical and personal will reveal themselves to eager fans.

Until Life Do Us Part (10/02/2022)

Three generations of a family living together in an idyllic villa juggle the demands of their wedding planning business and their own personal crises.

Inventing Anna (11/02/2022)

Audacious entrepreneur or con artist? A reporter digs into how Anna Delvey convinced New York’s elite she was a German heiress. Based on a true story.

Toy Boy: Season 2 (11/02/2022)

As Hugo investigates the bombing, he and his friends deal with a new pair of adversaries and a fresh set of challenges at work.

Love Is Blind: Season 2 (weekly episodes from 11/02/2022)

Episodes 1-5 (11/02/2022)

Episodes 6-9 (18/02/2022)

Episodes 10-11 (25/02/2022)

A new journey begins for singles seeking transformative love — sight unseen. Who will find romance and who will come face to face with heartbreak?

Forecasting Love and Weather (12/02/2022)

Inside a national weather service, love proves just as difficult to predict as rain or shine for a diligent forecaster and her free-spirited co-worker.

Twenty Five Twenty One (12/02/2022)

In a time when dreams seem out of reach, a teen fencer pursues big ambitions and meets a hardworking young man who seeks to rebuild his life.

Devotion, a Story of Love and Desire (14/02/2022)

A seemingly happy marriage begins to dissolve when the husband's faithfulness is called into question, and both spouses become tempted by other people.

Fishbowl Wives (14/02/2022)

In a luxury apartment tower, six different women in unhappy marriages end up crossing the line into infidelity. Based on the manga series by Kurosawa R.

Thirty-Nine (16/02/2022)

Leaning on each other through thick and thin, a trio of best friends stand together as they experience life, love and loss on the brink of turning 40.

Swap Shop: Season 2 (16/02/2022)

One person's junk is another person's profit. Seasoned collectors venture out across Tennessee in search of bargains they can sell for big money.

Young Wallander: Killer's Shadow (17/02/2022)

Kurt investigates a mysterious, grisly death that seems connected to an incendiary national news story that was one of Rask's first cases in Malmö.

One of Us Is Lying (18/02/2022)

Detention brings together five disparate high schoolers, but a killing — and secrets — keep them together as a cat-and-mouse murder mystery unfolds.

Space Force: Season 2 (18/02/2022)

Under a new administration, General Naird and his dysfunctional but endearing crew have four months to prove that Space Force is worth keeping around.

Cat Burglar (22/02/2022)

Classic cartoon craziness meets an interactive quiz in a new series from the creators of "Black Mirror."

Back to 15 (25/02/2022)

Thirty-year-old Anita travels back to age 15 and starts meddling with everybody's lives — until she realises the only life that needs fixing is her own.

Merlí. Sapere Aude (25/02/2022)

Pol is challenged by intimidating professors and a group of new friends when he enrolls in university in pursuit of a philosophy degree.

Vikings: Valhalla (25/02/2022)

Vikings Valhalla

In this sequel to "Vikings," 100 years have passed and a new generation of legendary heroes arises to forge its own destiny — and make history.

Business Proposal (Coming soon)

A blind date leads to misunderstandings and mishaps in this workplace rom-com.

Love, Life & Everything in Between (Coming soon)

An ode to Valentine's Day in various Arab cities, this anthology series tinged with dark humour explores love at large — and relationships up close.

Juvenile Justice (Coming soon)

A tough judge balances her aversion to minor offenders with firm beliefs on justice and punishment as she tackles complex cases inside a juvenile court.

NETFLIX FILM

My Best Friend Anne Frank (Mijn beste vriendin Anne Frank) (01/02/2022)

Based on the real-life friendship between Anne Frank and Hannah Goslar, from Nazi-occupied Amsterdam to their harrowing reunion in a concentration camp.

Through My Window (04/02/2022)

Raquel's longtime crush on her next-door neighbour turns into something more when he starts developing feelings for her, despite his family's objections.

Looop Lapeta (04/02/2022)

When her boyfriend loses a mobster's cash, Savi races against the clock to save the day — if only she can break out of a curious cycle of dead ends.

The Privilege (09/02/2022)

A wealthy teen and his friends attending an elite private school uncover a dark conspiracy while looking into a series of strange supernatural events.

Into the Wind (10/02/2022)

While vacationing at a seaside resort, a hopeful medical student experiences first love with a local kitesurfer, but their friends and family disapprove.

Love Tactics (Ask Taktikleri) (11/02/2022)

An ad executive and a fashion designer-blogger don't believe in love, so they place a bet to make the other fall head over heels — with unusual tactics.

Love and Leashes (11/02/2022)

Love never hurt so good for two co-workers who enter a contractual relationship as partners in consensual play, pleasure and pain.

Anne+: The Film (11/02/2022)

Under pressure to finish her novel and move to Montreal for her relationship, a queer 20-something in Amsterdam searches for what she wants in life.

Tall Girl 2 (11/02/2022)

Landing the lead in the school musical is a dream come true for Jodi, until the pressure sends her confidence — and her relationship — into a tailspin.

Bigbug (11/02/2022)

Android chefs. Drone security. Robot overlords. The future looks bright until the cracks show and the AI uprising begins in this sci-fi comedy.

Erax (17/02/2022)

During a sleepover, Auntie Opal and her niece Nina accidentally release the mythical and dangerous Erax creatures that must be returned to the storybook from which they escaped.

Heart Shot (17/02/2022)

High school seniors Nikki and Samantha are in love and planning their future — until Nikki's violent past comes back to threaten everything she holds dear.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses (17/02/2022)

In 1939 Germany, a disabled farm boy is pursued by Nazi soldiers after Hitler enacts Aktion T4; a program to euthanise people with disabilities.

Fistful of Vengeance (17/02/2022)

A revenge mission becomes a fight to save the world from an ancient threat when superpowered assassin Kai tracks a killer to Bangkok.

Rabbids Invasion Special: Mission to Mars (18/02/2022)

An unlikely team of Rabbids are on the mission of a lifetime to Mars. It's up to them to come together and stop the galaxy's newest threat.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (18/02/2022)

After nearly 50 years of hiding, Leatherface returns to terrorise a group of idealistic young friends who accidentally disrupt his carefully shielded world in a remote Texas town.

Don't Kill Me (20/02/2022)

After Mirta dies of a drug overdose with her lover, she resuscitates alone and discovers she's part of a violent world she never knew existed.

UFO (23/02/2022)

When aspiring musician and student Deniz falls for a rough-hewn motorbike racer, tragedy and family opposition obstruct their path to love.

Tyler Perry's A Madea Homecoming  (25/02/2022)

Madea's back — hallelujer! And she's not putting up with any nonsense as family drama erupts at her great-grandson's college graduation celebration.

Restless (25/02/2022)

After going to extremes to cover up an accident, a corrupt cop's life spirals out of control when he starts receiving threats from a mysterious witness.

My Wonderful Life (28/02/2022)

A blackmail note threatening to reveal a woman’s affair sparks a chain of events that serves as large-scale group therapy for her entire family.

NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIALS

Ms. Pat: Y'all Wanna Hear Something Crazy? (08/02/2022)

Y'all wanna hear something crazy? Then tune into Comedian Ms. Pat's first hour-long Netflix special, directed by the legendary Robert Townsend. Ms. Pat recalls growing up poor in Atlanta during the Reagan era, what she learned spending five days in juvenile detention, how her mom made her get baptised at local churches to get money, and much much more. Ms Pat: Y'All Wanna Hear Something Crazy? is produced by award winning producers Page Hurwitz and Wanda Sykes for Push It Productions and Reg Tigerman. It launches globally on Netflix on February 8, 2022.

Only Jokes Allowed (09/02/2022)

Six of South Africa's top comedians take centre stage and showcase their talent in this collection of short stand-up sets.

Mo Gilligan: There's Mo to Life (17/02/2022)

Mo Gilligan breaks down his days as a broke teenager, working in retail, relationship dynamics, annoying talk show producers and more in this special.

NETFLIX DOCUMENTARIES 

The Tinder Swindler (02/02/2022)

Posing as a wealthy, jet-setting diamond mogul, he wooed women online then conned them out of millions of dollars. Now some victims plan for payback.

MeatEater Season 10 Part 2 (02/02/2022)

Steven's travels take him to New Mexico for big game and an exotic import, as well as Hawaii, where he hunts feral goats and takes up spearfishing.

Catching Killers: Season 2 (09/02/2022)

The detectives who captured the BTK Killer and other notoriously brutal murderers recount the brave actions and burdens behind their investigations.

jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy (new episodes weekly from 16/02/2022)

The lives of an emerging superstar and a filmmaker intertwine in this intense, intimate three-part documentary charting rapper Kanye West's career.

Downfall: The Case Against Boeing (18/02/2022)

Investigators reveal how Boeing’s alleged priority of profit over safety could have contributed to two catastrophic crashes within months of each other.

Race: Bubba Wallace (22/02/2022)

Bubba Wallace navigates a new NASCAR season, and newly created team, in this documentary series.

KIDS & FAMILY

Gabby's Dollhouse: Season 4 (01/02/2022)

New lessons, new surprises, same adorable kitties — including Floyd! Gabby leads the way with Pandy, CatRat, Cakey, Baby Box and other beloved pals.

Kid Cosmic: Season 3 (03/02/2022)

Kid's superhero dreams come true as the Local Heroes become Earth's greatest champions. But is something amiss with this ridiculously awesome adventure?

Ridley Jones: Season 3 (15/02/2022)

Outer space adventures, treasure hunting and new friends keep Ridley and crew busy as they protect the museum from magical mishaps — and Mr. Peabody.

Secrets of Summer (16/02/2022)

A remote Argentine resort revives its wakeboarding competition, drawing in Mexican athlete Steffi, who is determined to uncover a family secret.

The Cuphead Show! (18/02/2022)

Follow the misadventures of the impulsive Cuphead and his easily swayed brother Mugman in this animated series based on the hit video game.

Karma's World Music Videos (24/02/2022)

Step into Karma's musical world as she rocks the mic — and her curls — for this fun and funky playlist packed with rhymes and the power of positivity!

NETFLIX  ANIME

Child of Kamiari Month (08/02/2022)

A year after losing her mother, a young girl learns that she must journey across Japan to the annual gathering of gods in the sacred land of Izumo.

NETFLIX GAMES

Dungeon Dwarves (Coming soon)

Behold the ultimate idle dungeon crawler! Explore dungeons, vanquish monsters, and collect goodies to upgrade your warrior's abilities and weapons.

LICENSED HIGHLIGHTS

Red Dog: True Blue (01/02/2022)

While struggling to adjust to life at his grandfather's cattle station in Western Australia, a boy forms a bond with a one-of-a-kind dog.

Unsound (01/02/2022)

A disillusioned guitarist stops touring and moves in with his mother in Sydney, where he falls for a trans man who runs a nightclub for Deaf people.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Season 9 (17/02/2022)

The Kardashian family gathers for a serious talk, Khloé struggles with anxiety, and Kim and Kanye take a step toward lasting commitment.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Season 10 (17/02/2022)

Now that the Jenners have finalised their divorce, the family must confront the challenges of adjusting to their new structure.

What's on Amazon Prime February 2022

What's on Amazon Prime February 2022

Below are the highlights of What's on Amazon Prime in February 2022.

THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL SEASON 4
AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FROM FRIDAY 18 FEBRUARY 
What's on Amazon Prime February 2022


It's 1960 and change is in the air. Looking to hone her act, Midge finds a gig with total creative freedom. But her commitment to her craft—and the places it takes her—creates a rift between her and the family and friends around her. The edgy, uncompromising, and hilarious new season includes guest appearances from Kelly Bishop, Milo Ventimiglia, John Waters, and Jason Alexander, and is written and directed by renowned creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and executive producer Daniel Palladino.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel stars Emmy-winner Rachel Brosnahan, four-time Emmy-winner Tony Shalhoub, two-time Emmy-winner Alex Borstein, Emmy-nominee Marin Hinkle, Michael Zegen, Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron, and Emmy-winner Luke Kirby. 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 4 will be available to stream here and you can view the teaser trailer here.

REACHER 
AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FROM FRIDAY 4 FEBRUARY 
What's on Amazon Prime February 2022 - Reacher


Reacher follows Jack Reacher, a veteran military police investigator who has just recently entered civilian life. Reacher is a drifter, carrying no phone and the barest of essentials as he travels the country and explores the nation he once served. When Reacher arrives in the small town of Margrave, Georgia, he finds a community grappling with its first homicide in 20 years. The cops immediately arrest him and eyewitnesses claim to place Reacher at the scene of the crime. While he works to prove his innocence, a deep-seated conspiracy begins to emerge, one that will require Reacher’s keen mind and hard-hitting fists to deal with. One thing above all is for sure: They picked the wrong guy to take the fall. Season One of Reacher is based on Lee Child’s first Jack Reacher novel Killing Floor, and is written for television by Emmy-nominated writer Nick Santora (Scorpion, Prison Break), who also executive produces and serves as showrunner for the series.

Reacher stars Alan Ritchson, Malcolm Goodwin, Willa Fitzgerald, Chris Webster, Hugh Thompson, Maria Sten, Harvey Guillén, Kristin Kreuk, Currie Graham, Marc Bendavid, Willie C. Carpenter, Maxwell Jenkins and Bruce McGill. 

PHAT TUESDAYS
AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FROM FRIDAY 4 FEBRUARY 
What's on Amazon Prime February 2022 - Phat Tuesdays


This docuseries celebrates Phat Tuesdays at The Comedy Store, the influential comedy showcase that helped launch the careers of some of the most famous Black comedians in the industry today. The series features some of today’s most famous comedians and personalities, including Anthony Anderson, Tichina Arnold, Nick Cannon, Dave Chappelle, Snoop Dogg, Cedric the Entertainer, Tiffany Haddish, Steve Harvey, Lil Rel Howery, Regina King, Jo Koy, Luenell, Flame Monroe, Jay Pharoah, Craig Robinson, JB Smoove, Chris Tucker, Kym Whitley, and more, and tells the unbelievable story of how Guy Torry moved mountains to launch an all-Black comedy night at The Comedy Store. Loaded with exclusive interviews with comedians and celebrities who were there—either performing on stage or in the audience—and never-before-seen footage of legendary comedy sets from back in the day, Phat Tuesdays is the inspiring story of how a little experiment to help Black comedians following the tragedy of the 1992 LA riots turned into a triumphant must-see experience. The showcase regularly brought together people from all walks of life—icons and ex-cons, stars and starlets, pros and regular joes—for one purpose, laughter, and became the most popular comedy show in Hollywood during the ‘90s.

I WANT YOU BACK 
AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FROM FRIDAY 11 FEBRUARY 
What's on Amazon Prime February 2022 - I Want You Back


Peter and Emma were total strangers, but when they meet, one thing instantly bonds them: they were both unexpectedly dumped by their respective partners, Anne and Noah, on the same weekend.  As the saying goes, “misery loves company,” but their commiseration turns into a mission when they see on social media that their exes have happily moved on to new romances, Anne with Logan and Noah with Ginny. Terrified that, in their 30s, they have lost their shot at happily ever after and horrified at the prospect of having to start over, Peter and Emma hatch a desperate plot to win the loves of their lives back. Each will do whatever it takes to put an end to their exes’ new relationships and send them running back to their arms.

I Want You Back stars Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Gina Rodriguez, Scott Eastwood, Manny Jacinto, Clark Backo, Jami Gertz, Dylan Gelula, Mason Gooding, Isabel May, Luke David Blumm. 

LOL: LAST ONE LAUGHING CANADA
AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FROM FEBRUARY 18
What's on Amazon Prime February 2022 - LOL


Jay Baruchel hosts the much-anticipated Canadian version of the international hit comedy series LOL: Last One Laughing, where 10 of Canada’s top comedic talents face-off in a six-hour wacky competition, their objective is to eliminate others from the house by making each other laugh, while not laughing themselves. The comedian who doesn’t break a smile and outlasts their competitors wins the grand prize of $100,000 for their charity of choice. The series uses over thirty cameras to catch all of the deranged hijinks during the unpredictable competition as the all-star cast bring their various styles to the table, including stand-up, musical performance, improvisational, and physical comedy, among others.

LOL: Last One Laughing Canada competitors are Caroline Rhea (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Debra DiGiovanni (Humour Resources), Dave Foley (The Kids in the Hall), Jon Lajoie (The League), Tom Green (Road Trip, The Tom Green Show), Mae Martin (Feel Good), Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Brandon Ash Mohammed (TallBoyz), Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience), and K. Trevor Wilson (Letterkenny).

FEBRUARY 2022 FULL TITLES (IN DATE ORDER)

LAW & ORDER S10-S20 1/2/2022 (TV)
​​THE UGLY TRUTH 2/02/22 (MOVIE)
LIMITLESS 3/02/22 (MOVIE)

PHAT TUESDAYS: THE ERA OF HIP HOP COMEDY  4/02/22 (TV)
REACHER  4/02/22 (TV)
17 AGAIN 8/02/22 (MOVIE)
CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY 8/02/22 (MOVIE)
PINEAPPLE EXPRESS 8/02/22 (MOVIE)
SEX & THE CITY 9/02/22 (MOVIE)
SEX & THE CITY 2 9/02/22 (MOVIE)
DREAMHORSE (2021) 11/02/22 (MOVIE)
LES NORTON S1 11/02/22 (TV)
I WANT YOU BACK 11/02/22 (TV)
INFERNO (2016) 16/02/22 (MOVIE)
DOWNTON ABBEY S1-S6 17/02/22 (TV)
LOL: LAST ONE LAUGHING (CA) S1 18/02/22 (TV)
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL S4 18/02/22 (TV)
ALMOST FAMOUS 21/02/22 (MOVIE)
LIFE (2017) 23/02/22 (MOVIE)
HITMAN'S WIFE'S BODYGUARD 24/02/22 (MOVIE)
OLD 27/02/22 (MOVIE)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT S17-S18 1/02/22 (TV)
SHREK 28/02/22 (MOVIE)
SHREK 2 28/02/22 (MOVIE)

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