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2008 cinema review: April to June


As April opened, New Zealand was undergoing a month of weather extremes  and it was certainly a tumultuous time with another high profile death following the departed Roy Scheider , Heath Ledger and Brad Renfro .

This time, it was Charlton Heston  whose career spanned differing roles from Ben Hur through to those damn, dirty apes in Planet of the Apes .

April was a curious month for film releases - everyone was waiting for Robert Downey Jr's take on Marvel actioner Iron Man and the return of Harrison Ford and his trusty bull whip in the first Indiana Jones film in 19 years.

The award for the quirkiest release of the month went to Ryan Gosling in Lars and the Real Girl in which his character Lars ends up finding love with a mail order doll. If it sounds weird, that's ok - but it's a great film about how far families and communities will go for each other.

The 3D renaissance continued with U2 3D - following on from their New Zealand concerts  , there was plenty of fans who missed out. This live concert worked best in IMAX and was at times akin to being there but with the added bonus of Bono almost touching you thanks to the technology.

Also out in April were Definitely Maybe, Never Back Down, Semi Pro, The Spiderwick Chronicles, How She Move, Dr Seuss' Horton hears a Who, Street Kings , Nim's Island, St Trinians, College Road Trip, Superhero movie, The Painted Veil and Sydney White.

Iron Man saw its box office takings blast off in May with talk of the sequel  being greenlit hot on its heels coming days after its weekend release.

While Indiana Jones returned to the big screen  and began a box office battle with Iron Man , (the two films had a combined box office take of $6m by the end of May) Kiwi film Second Hand Wedding was also released - and continued the trend of small New Zealand films doing exceptionally well at the home box office.

As May drew to a close, the film world lost another of its greats as director Sydney Pollack died  from cancer.

Also released in May McDreamy was Made Of Honour, Steve Carell moped over Juliette Binoche in Dan In Real Life , How About You, What Happens In Vegas, Dylanesque stylings in I'm Not There, Prom Night, Untraceable, Mama's Boy, Diving Bell and the Butterfly, superb space doco In The Shadow of the Moon, 21, Rolling Stones Shine a light, Happy-Go-Lucky , and Clooney and Zellweger in Leatherheads

After years of wrangling between the girls , June finally saw the Jimmy Choos and the Manolo Blahniks as Carrie and the gang came to the big screen in Sex and The City .

Returns to the big screen weren't as big as had been hoped for Ed Norton's turn as The Incredible Hulk and everyone wondered if it was game over for M Night Shyamalan as The Happening flopped - despite an incredibly spooky trailer, the story wasn't up to the success of the Sixth Sense.

Sadly June saw the deaths of George Carlin (Rufus in Bill and Ted's films), special effects genius Stan Winston (where would the Terminator be without him?) and Don S Davis (Stargate and of course, Twin Peaks)

Also released in June - Brick Lane, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, In the Valley of Elah, Narnia - Prince Caspian, Grow your own, Kung Fu Panda, Speed racer, Before the devil knows you're Dead. 


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