Tag Archives: Movie Review

Piranhas: Innocence Lost – the legacy of Naples’ mafia families (Review)

Media Screening
Feautre Film (Italy)
Duration: 110 minutes

The story charts the controversial rise of a gang of Neapolitan youngsters – known as the paranza – who were originally recruited to act as hitmen by the Camorra.   Fifteen years old fearless boys with innocent nicknames, branded shoes, normal families, names of girlfriends tattooed on their skin, no trust in school or institutions.   Teenagers with no tomorrow, no hope, not afraid of jail nor death.   Their only chance is to bet on everything they possess right now.  If they want money, they need to go out and get it. They go off on their scooters, take over the drug market, shoot satellite antennas, defy the godfathers of Naples, spread terror and fear in the city’s streets.
These power-hungry adolescents are as trigger happy with a real AK-47 as they are on their PlayStations.  Paranza is a term that belongs to the sea: fishing boats with lights tricking small fishes with no hope to survive. This is a tale of kids darting through life, through adolescences  “tricked by light” as a paranza.
Saviano enters relentlessly in this reality of today, opening and shading light over it with a wonderful tale of innocence and subjugation.

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Skin: The white supremacist who developed a conscience (Interview)

Media Screening (Maven Pictures)
Duration: 110 minutes

Having not been familiar with the story or having any preconceptions, as a viewer a vexatious undertone of sympathy toward the character pays off as we’re taken on a journey to understand how Bryon’s extreme views and violent hate has come to be.   The closing credit’s of the film at the State Theatre gave way to a round of applause from the audience.

Inspired by the remarkable true story of Bryon Widner, who endured over a year of painful operations to his face and body to remove the tattoos that tied him to his terrible past.  Skin tells a story of a a destitute young man, raised by racist skinheads and white supremacists, turns his back on hatred and violence to transform his life, with the help of a black activist and the woman he loves.

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Vai: One Character played by 9 different indigenous actresses in 7 Pacific countries

Feature Film (New Zealand)
Duration: 90 minutes

A film about female empowerment that spans the breadth of the Pacific telling the story of one woman’s life in eight separate moments from the perspective of eight different pacific island cultures.  

Vai’ is a portmanteau feature film made by 9 female Pacific filmmakers, filmed in 7 different Pacific countries: Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Kuki Airani (Cook Islands), Samoa, Niue and Aotearoa (New Zealand). It is about the journey of empowerment through culture over the lifetime of one woman, Vai, played by a different indigenous actress in each of the Pacific countries. In each of these Pacific nations ‘vai’ means water.

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X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Review – No Spoilers)

Media Screening
Duartion: 114 minutes

It’s the final installment in the X-Men tetralogy of prequels possibly marking the end of the franchise that began 19 years ago  in the current form as we know it.  While the jury is still out, industry insiders continue to speculate on the integration of X-Men back into the current universe of Marvel Studios which was split up across competing production houses before owner, Disney merged with Twentieth Century Fox.

Did they miss a beat with the setup of this scene?   Could the mixed reviews from the recent “feminist” driven and diversified incarnations of Star Wars led to this area being a no-go zone to explore?   Corporate restructures and politics aside, whether you enjoyed it or not, it was the movie that had to tie up loose ends of the prequels that began in 2011 and there are some inconsistent hits and misses with the shift of focus moving away from core characters Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Professor X (James McEvoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Beast (Nicholas Hault).   The story revolves around Sophie Turner’s rendition of Jean (ex Sansa from Game of Thrones) who appeared in a supporting role in the last film.

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