Reviews

New Judd Apatow film The King Of Staten Island Coming soon To NZ Cinemas

New Judd Apatow film The King Of Staten Island Coming soon To NZ Cinemas

Over his storied career, Judd Apatow has elevated a series of promising young comedy talents to their first major big-screen performance, including Steve Carell, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig, Amy Schumer and Kumail Nanjiani.  

On July 16, Apatow directs Saturday Night Live breakout Pete Davidson in a bracing comedy about love, loss and laughter in THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND.

Scott (Davidson) has been a case of arrested development ever since his firefighter father died when he was seven. He’s now reached his mid-20s having achieved little, chasing a dream of becoming a tattoo artist that seems far out of reach. As his ambitious younger sister (Maude Apatow, HBO’s Euphoria) heads off to college, Scott is still living with his exhausted ER nurse mother (Oscar® winner Marisa Tomei) and spends his days smoking weed, hanging with the guys—Oscar (Ricky Velez, Master of None), Igor (Moises Arias, Five Feet Apart) and Richie (Lou Wilson, TV’s The Guest Book)—and secretly hooking up with his childhood friend Kelsey (Bel Powley, Apple TV+’s The Morning Show.

But when his mother starts dating a loudmouth firefighter named Ray (Bill Burr, Netflix’s F Is for Family), it sets off a chain of events that will force Scott to grapple with his grief and take his first tentative steps toward moving forward in life.  

The film also stars Steve Buscemi as Papa, a veteran firefighter who takes Scott under his wing, and Pamela Adlon (FX’s Better Things) as Ray’s ex-wife, Gina.  

The King of Staten Island is directed by Apatow (TrainwreckKnocked UpThe 40-Year-Old Virgin) from a script by Apatow, Davidson and former SNL writer Dave Sirus. It is produced by Apatow for his Apatow Productions alongside Barry Mendel. Together, the duo shared producing credits on the Academy Award®-nominated films The Big Sick and Bridesmaids, as well as This Is 40Trainwreck and Funny People. The film’s executive producers are Pete Davidson, Michael Bederman and Judah Miller.

THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND – in cinemas July 16.  

Devilskin Paint Aotearoa/NZ Red!

Devilskin Paint Aotearoa/NZ Red!

Devilskin are excited to announce a New Zealand wide tour to support their chart-topping new album RED! With the lifting of crowd and venue restrictions, and due to massive demand, Devilskin will hit the road this August.

The response to the album has been incredible right around the globe, with rave album reviews and fast additions to radio airplay at home and across the UK, Europe  and US,  Devilskin are amped to do what they do best – play live. 

We can’t wait to get amongst our good friends and celebrate RED, the music and the messages on this album are real and especially poignant.  We are extremely proud of these songs and the whole package of the album, but make no bones about it, this tour will be a party!” bassist Paul Martin contends “Everyone’s lives have been affected by Covid-19 to some degree, if anything, it’s made us appreciate our freedom and the simple joys of being with our friends to celebrate good times and good music. Let’s do that. I think we all need a party don’t we?”

With European tour dates on hold, the band are keen to treat their homeland to the live debut of RED. Announcing a string of NZ and Australian dates, Devilskin promise a blistering new live show to promote this monster of an album.

Once in a while a band comes along that breaks all the rules and delivers in spades. Devilskin is one of those bands, and with their third album Red, they have completely rewritten their own rules.”       –Sentinel Daily

With a staggered album release of digital on 3rd April and physical albums out 1st May RED made its debut at #8 and then climbed to #2 on the Official Album chart while achieving their third #1 NZ Album.

To say I’m a fan of this album is an understatement. Devilskin are a band that keep moving onward and Red deserves to be the making of this band outside of New Zealand.” –AllAboutTheRock

Devilskin will be joined by special guests Shepherds Reign at all shows. These rising stars from South Auckland have amassed international acclaim with their latest single Le Manu. Shepherds Reign say “It’s an honour for us to join Devilskin on tour in NZ. They’re well known for their epic live shows so we’re very excited to be a part of that. Following the success of ‘Le Manu’ reaching 1 million views on YouTube, we had big touring plans in the works for 2020 but like everyone else in the world we haven’t been able to get out there. This is a great time to return to the stage and we hope NZ is ready for this one two punch!”

The tour is proudly supported by Road and Sport and Harley-Davidson, Devilskin have forged a great relationship and a perfect synergy with the Harley-Davidson community. Road and Sport Harley-Davidson dealer principal Barry Sproule mentions of their partnership “We are absolutely stoked to support and share our Harley-Davidson brand and freedom machines with our local iconic and legendary rock and metal band Devilskin, both world class. We will be riding alongside supporting them throughout their NZ 2020 Tour.”

Tickets on sale Thursday 18th June 2020

See details https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/tour/2020/devilskin-red-nz-tour-2020

Resistance Film Review

Resistance Film Review

Words Glenn Blomfield

History knows Marcel Marceau as the greatest Mime Artist of all time. His dedication to the Performing Arts is known the world over, and he is recogniseable everywhere and, every country. Director/Writer Jonathan Jakubowicz’s film Resistance, gives light to what many may not know, Marcel Marceau was also a War Hero. Helping to save hundreds of Jewish children while fighting with the French Resistance, the film concentrates on this period of Marceau’s life while he fought under Nazi occupation.

Hollywood actor Jesse Eisenberg (that accent!) takes on the enigmatic role of Marcel Marceau. Playing the role of a Jewish Boy Scout, he takes care of young Jewish orphans, and eventually ends up joining the French Resistance. Through the art of mime and entertaining children, Marceau helps the children navigate through the difficult Nazi occupation of France. The important part of this film is of course is Eisenberg’s portrayal of the famous ‘silent clown’. I must admit, I was surprised see Jesse cast in this role, but it doesn’t feel to me like the right choice. Actually, something inside me wishes it might’ve been better to have had a French actor. I wasn’t fully convinced of the nuance of Eisenberg as Marceau, to me he seemed too neurotic in candour and performance!

Now, if we can put aside these comments then there is a film here that is a rather poignant, dark and somber tale. There are a couple scenes that really have emotional punch, they play a reminder of a very dark time. It is definitely interesting to have a story of a man that is renown for enlightening the human heart through the craft of Mime, and then have a film that shows frankly the opposite, the despair and sadness of War. That being said, the film provides a direction towards hope, if not maybe a bit on the melodramatic. I am not quite sure the film gave me enough bite to know the person Marcel Marceau, but we do get the inkling of a War Hero, and the presence of some very troubling times. 

Resistance is a conundrum of a film for me, I actually learnt things I did not know of Marcel Marceau, his amazing background, his Jewish heritage, how he got the name ‘Marcel Marceau’. His mindblowing story of being a war hero, and helping save the lives of hundreds of orphaned Jewish children is great to watch. From such despair, to a man that brought so much joy to thousands upon thousands of people throughout his life, is admirabe, but yet, I am left feeling I did not get the ‘real’ person of Marcel Marceau. There is an incredible story of a man, that deserves recognition. The film succeeds in revealing the horror of the Nazi forces and the atrocities committed during that time, but this wasn’t fully elevated by the portrayal of Eisenberg’s character. This brings me back to Jesse Eisenberg as the actor, the two do not fully combine to work in the narrative. The ‘resistance’ unfortunately was more a feeling on my behalf than the film’s intended box office effect.

The Assistant Film Review

The Assistant Film Review

Words Wal Reid

“The Assistant is a hard watch to maintain. If you thought Level 4 lockdown was difficult, then be prepared to meet your match”

Australian born film maker Kitty Green’s ‘fly on the wall’ film, revolves around central protagonist Jane (Julia Garner) a recent college graduate and aspiring film producer. She’s just landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul – yep, smacks of “50 Shades of Weinstein” here, however, that’s where the comparison ends and the drama unfolds.

While Jane goes about her daily routine, the camera scrutinises her every move, whim and emotion. Green’s keen camera-eye leans into the tropes of both Documentary & Drama genres. For the most part this works, but by the end of the film it leaves you empty pining more.

Ozark’s Julia Garner is sublime as the potty-mouthed Ruth Langmore opposite Drug Boss Jason Bateman. Here she is not given much of a template to work with, the canvas restrictive and dialogue is kept to a minimum, all which seem to suit the mandate of Green’s film.

Jane’s day is much like any other assistant – making coffee, ordering lunch, arranging travel accommodations and taking phone messages. But as Jane follows her daily routine, she grows increasingly aware of the abuse that imbues every aspect of her workday.

Garner’s character is emotionally perturbed as she balances her conscience against the typical degradations happening in the work place. Bullying, sexual coercion, sexism, emotional abuse etc.. How that plays on the viewer’s own moral ethics is left open at the end of the film to maybe pontificate.

The Assistant is a hard watch to maintain. If you thought Level 4 lockdown was difficult, then be prepared to meet your match – the movie could probably do with some assistance in that regard.

My Rembrandt Film Review

My Rembrandt Film Review

Words Glenn Blomfield

“Convoluted as the story gets, an unsettling narrative sets in, just like a Rembrandt master with all its awe and mystery..”

Well, that turned out to be an unsuspecting surprise watch. What initially feels to be a pompous art world film, where snobbery, wealth and class is at the undertone of the Art World Society, turns out to be quite the opposite. Rembrandt’s paintings being a pedestal of ownership, the mystical and highest order of famed painters are regarded masterpieces. Rembrandt has been created into a religious icon, a spiritual endeavour and enigma to unlock, so of course this discourse with all its prestige played out, exposes the inevitable monetary wealth ownership.

Art Dealers, Historians, Collectors, Museums, all bidding their worth and power, as they battle with knowledge, class, power of prestige, and their unheralded power of monetary control. The lines then start becoming blurred; what is a masterpiece painter, without its created narrative? Is a Rembrandt just as important and powerfully beautiful, without its bidding war of ownership, money, and ego?

As you move delve into the documentary, the film pieces particular characters into the story start to stand out, and a jigsaw puzzle starts to come together that shakes the reality of the foundations of the Art World. Convoluted as the story gets, an unsettling narrative sets in, just like a Rembrandt master with all its awe and mystery, as is the Art World and critics created around such a painting. What is real, what really is the importance of the story? The importance of the creation of the painting, the importance that eventually comes into monetary wealth and ownership.

It is a conundrum that has you scratching your head at what really the Art World is about. Who says what, and who says this and that, what does this mean? etc, the quandary of what is a fake painting, and what is a fake Art World narrative, they work side by side. The old addage really does become the argument, it’s in the ‘eye of the Beholder’. The documentary focuses nicely on the Art World characters in Netherlands and France. The film includes interviews with people who own Rembrandts, they of incredible wealth, family prestige and pedigree. A deceitful world of Art Dealers, Art Museum Curators, Art Historians, all becoming a political world of exclusivity.

The documentary story builds, manifesting back and forth into a political PR communiqué. It certainly pulls you into mystical Art World that is rarely seen, beyond simply a Rembrandt painting hanging on a wall. The characters are of wealth and privileged, questioning why the fuss and importance. ‘My Rembrandt’ is an inconspicuous watch. It’s a very interesting perspective, it’s involving and mystifying, and definitely raises more questions than its worth.

Bait Film Review

Bait Film Review

Words Glenn Blomfield

Bait is an extraordinary film to review. It is difficult to box the film into a category to recommend to an audience. I will try describing it as an Art House Film, experimental in nature/style, but very nostalgic in its process, i.e golden age of silent, black & white films.

Bait feels raw, simple, you could be excused from saying it looks ‘amateur’, though don’t be fooled. For the first 15 or so minutes, you are trying to decipher the film, take it in and put together the pieces to make a coherent story, it’s a journey rewarded by the end. It takes a the crowd on a trip that encapsulates the film with visual poetry. It may feel surreal, like a dream, but Bait has potency and power.

The basic premise of the film is about two brothers, fishermen, struggling to make a living in their home village in Cornwall. They have inherited the family heritage of fishing from their dead father, but modern times are tough. Both brothers have alternative views, one can’t let go of the ‘fishing’ way of life, the other uses the fishing boat for tourism, visiting the village to make a monetary living.

“As you further delve into watching Bait,  its cinematic language absorbs you into a beautiful moving experience”

When I say the film is “raw and simple”, I’m coming from a technical point of view. Director Mark Jenkin made the film using a 16mm Hand wound Bolex Camera using Kodak Black & White film. Sound wasn’t able to be recorded on set, all audio was dubbed later in post. To describe the look of the film, is like describing it found in a vault from the 1920’s. You can see flicker in the film, hair that was trapped in the gate of the camera, dirt contaminating the film negative. This old nostalgic look and style does not not distract from the film, actually I feel it enhances it.

It adds visual poetry, there is nostalgia that works as theme and tone, the film’s narrative and plot doesn’t rely on expository explanation. Its quietness and imagery subjected to subtext. As you further delve into watching Bait, its cinematic language absorbs you into a beautiful moving experience.

I conjure films of influence and comparison like Ingmar Bergman, Nicholas Roeg, even contemporary modern film ‘Witch’ and ‘Lighthouse’ from Director writer Robert Eggers, would make a great companion piece to this film. Bait is told like an old Fisherman’s tale, but set in a modern day world.

The two brothers are in conflict, separated by different views, both lives metaphorically ‘float lost at sea’. It is a microcosm of a world the brothers live in. The film world of Bait moves no further from the seaside tiny Fishing Village. There is the local pub, and the small harbouring shore, a frugal community. It’s a small existence, that has been disturbed by ‘outsiders’ bringing tourism dollars to their simple economical life. The word ‘community’ becomes a complicated expression.

“The drama is strong, its long lasting effect resonates like a dark haunting ode”

The drama is strong, its long lasting effect resonates like a dark haunting ode. Bait is a fresh breath of old sea air, it reminds me of the power of film and filmmaking. I was genuinely taken in. Surprised of its reminder retaining the magic, the mystery and power of film that still can found in minuscule budget, compared to mainstream movies. All achieved with outdated or lack of modern technology too. A beautiful and poetic marvel. Out in cinemas May 21st.

Interview With Grace Kelly

Interview With Grace Kelly

words Wal Reid

Rising New Zealand country music singer, songwriter and musician Grace Kelly released her debut EP entitled Before on Thursday 26 March. The talented Kiwi songstress burst onto the scene after a remarkable opportunity set her on an epic path of amazing experiences in a very short period of time.

Last year was a whirlwind year for her, with Californian city San José choosing her song San José as their theme song and pushing her further into the limelight. The song has now hit over 50,000 streams on Spotify.

Wal Reid caught up with her recently (phone – of course in this Covid new-norm) to ask her a few questions and how she got to open for country music giant and television personality Blake Shelton.

WR: Hey how you going Grace? Just cruising around at home I’m guessing?

GK: I’ve got instruments galore and just time, it’s beautiful. I’ve already written an isolation song. The first of many, yes. Locked Up is the initial title. The concept was if you had to be locked up in a house that you’d be with a said person – sort of a love story. But if you were locked up with this person, it would actually be ok if you had to stay inside.” Even if you’re with people you love and care about, it’s not going to be that bad. I’m just here with my family and it’s been a lot of laughs.

So, is Grace Kelly your real name or stage?

I know, it’s a lot to live up to. The name thing definitely turns some heads. Usually if I start a school year and if the teachers are all older, that’s the classic comment, “Oh my god, do you know there’s a princess with the same name?” I’ve gone seventeen years and I’ve never known. (laughter). I lived in the States for six years. My dad got a job over there when I was eight, we didn’t move over there, but I’ve spent a lot of time living in the US. My older siblings were in high school, for me it was a lot of trips going over there for long periods of time. I was living in two countries for a while so it became a fun place that escaped your usual Auckland happenings with school and whatever. It became a playground to me as a young person.

How did your song San José get picked up over there?

I did a recording in Nashville which was very exciting and after that went back to San José to visit a couple of friends; you’re in America so you do the rounds while you’re there. I met the CEO of the Tourism Board there Karolyn Kirchgesler, she’s been a massive believer in me. She was like, “You should write a song about San José. It’s kind of the classic throw away comment when someone finds out that you write songs. I never thought anything of it and then once I was back home I got the idea for the initial line I just had this rolling in my head, “San José, nah nah nah. That’s ok we’ll roll with it,” we pumped it out in one night. I then emailed it to her and she didnt get it for a few weeks, then she called me, “We want to fly you out, and we want you to record a music video and we’ll use it for the tourism campaign”. I thought it would be like, write a song about San José and I’d send it to her and she’d be like, “Oh I love the song” and then that would be it. It just snowballed and became an epic stepping stone.

What about you meeting Country Music giant and television personality Blake Shelton?

I was staying at my Mum’s house and Dad came over at four in the morning with this hectic knock. Everyone was like, “What is going on, why are you here?” and then he read out the email from the Country radio station that played my song KRTY, it was from the station manager. “We were wondering if Grace wanted to be one of the opening acts for Blake Shelton.” and it was like, “Let me mull that one over”. I still can’t believe that happened, it was the coolest day in my life opening for him.

I read you’ve played with Taylor Swift’s songwriter Liz Rose, how was that?

As a Country music fan I got to sing You Belong To Me which was bizarre. She was at this winery where I was playing with four other Country artists. In the middle of the set she was like, “Is Grace still here? Cool, can you come up and help me sing this song?” Oh my god I’m freaking out, I had no idea that she was going to ask me. “I hope you know the song, if not you’re going to fake it real well.”

Has Before been released yet?

The live shows have been postponed, yeah it’s out. Everyone’s just siting at home what are you going to do? I’ve also done live streaming. I guess it’s just adjusting to this ‘curve ball’ of life. Lots of song writers I love in Nashville, that’s what they’re doing also.

How was recording your E.P. Before, are you happy with it?

So happy with it. First track is called Before and After and was recorded in 2018 and I redid the vocals last year. it’s been a super fun journey because I was lucky enough to record twice in Nashville, 2016 and 2018. For no other purpose than to get studio time and get comfortable in the studio, listen to my songs and have a fun project that family could listen to. Everything shifted when I got older my song writing got better so my Dad and I went back to Nashville and I was recording for the purpose of releasing an E.P, it was so much fun. It was cool to record with those guys because they’re so lovely so down to earth, everyone plays with everyone in Nashville, it’s so chilled and kind of the norm to be playing with these huge artists, so when Steve King who was touring with Keith Urban prior to playing on my songs was coming in, producer Bill Watson would go, “Steve’s coming in and laying down tracks with the keys, he’s been touring with Keith Urban”, and I’m like, “Oh, ok.” They’re all so down to earth.

What’s your best Covid-19 advice?

Stay calm, stay kind. There’s so many negative things people are talking about, like being stuck inside. One of my biggest things is; look how amazing this is going to be for the planet. I’m a big Earth gal, so its nice to be able to pause. Find time to do the things you love. For me it’s music, so I’m trying to write a song every day and find new artists I love. It’s about making the best of the situation.

Young Auckland singer-songwriter Grace Kelly officially makes her mark with the release of her debut EP ‘before.’, delivering five catchy, upbeat tunes of feel-good country songs and heart-felt ballads.
LISTEN TO ‘before.’ SPOTIFY / APPLE

Infectious lead single ‘That Girl’ is a sparkling blend of catchy effervescent pop and classic country music and, accompanied by a gorgeously simple video that encapsulates Grace’s easy charm.
WATCH ‘That Girl’ HERE

Devilskin Paint Aotearoa/NZ Red!

Devilskin Red Album Review

Words Mike Beck / Photo David Watson Photography.

Having a thick skin in today’s surreal times is more than a necessity, so it’s good timing that Hamilton hard rock/metal unit Devilskin have just put out their 3rd studio record; Red. Released in multiple formats (you’ll dig the colour-matching vinyl) today Arpil 3rd, Red is described by founding member/bassist Paul Martin to be; “laying ourselves bare”, with “personal subject matter.”

“The verdict – Musically lush & textural, with high production standards & visceral content”

The songs- Orwellian forecasts & loss of freedoms are prevalent in Do You See Birds & We All Fall Down, while Blood & Bone explores being alone/isolated in nature but staying connected. Be Like The River, also the title of their last studio long player, offers independence & a philosophy akin to Bruce Lee; to stay on course & be yourself.

Corrode Video Devilskin

Sweet Release deals with the underlying epidemic of suicide, Martin penning the tune in honour of Nicky Stevens, who took his life while in care of mental health services. A close to home story (the Tron), highlighting a system broken.

“Fans can rejoice in this heart offering, newcomers get in there also; this is your angle of entry”

The band – Impressive on Red is D’skin’s synergy as a unit, they sound like a band bonded. Father & son rhythm section Paul (bass) & Nic Martin (drums) are kicking in full noise, complemented by Nail Vincent’s creative gat layering. Vincent’s acoustic guitar coda on Eyes Red Heavy is deeply personal, & will be explored in its entirety on the next record.

Lead vocalist Jennie Smathers is in full voice on Red. She’s got plenty of grunt & power, mixing trademark guttural styles with soaring feminine runs; take note of her self-penned Eyes Red Heavy & Corrode.

A record of depth, Martin encourages listeners to immerse themselves in the ride. Fans can rejoice in this heart offering, newcomers get in there also; this is your angle of entry. The verdict – Musically lush & textural, with high production standards & visceral content, Red is Devilskin’s best yet.

*with thanks to Paul Martin for an online Q&A

The Way Back Film Review

The Way Back Film Review

Words Sarah Kidd

Everybody likes a good drama; a film that has a little emotion, a little feel good factor and a protagonist that despite his flaws an audience will end up rooting for by the end credits.

The Way Back is that kinda film.
Originally scheduled for release back in October last year, the new Ben Affleck vehicle has now been given a March release date. Whether this will work in their favour in regard to box office takings or not considering some of the recent issues in larger countries remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, director Gavin O’Connor [The Accountant] delivers a palatable movie, that – while it offers up nothing new – is very balanced, a touch of humour thrown in for good measure.

Ben Affleck plays Jack Cunningham, a construction worker who it is soon revealed has a liking for alcohol. Separated from his wife, he spends most of his time at the bar when not at work but is endeavouring to keep a stable connection with both his sibling and mother despite their obvious concerns for his habit.

Approached by the local high school to coach the basketball team (a small group of kids who haven’t won a game in so long that it is just accepted as the standard) due to the fact he is a bit of a home town hero in that area of sport as well as a former student, the film follows the journey of both Jack and the boys.

Written by Brad Ingelsby, the story starts out with a softer approach to addressing Cunningham’s alcohol problems, slowing ramping it up in regard to consequences as the movie progresses. The repetitive nature of one particular scene however, where Cunningham sits at home rehearsing a phone call he needs to make, provides some insight into the ritualistic elements of addiction that in time proves to be one of the hardest things for most people to break away from.

While Cunningham’s addiction is not hidden it is not dwelled upon either; it is an integral part of the protagonist’s character, his major flaw and the cause of his downfalls, but he is high functioning. He continues to carry on going to work while also coaching the team.

The basketball team bring about their own charms, from the Casanova-type who is hilariously taught a lesson about respect through to a more in-depth storyline between a boy and his father, one that Cunningham it would seem, can relate to.
While there are no major plot twists, information is introduced throughout the movie that fills in the holes in Cunningham’s character and gives the viewer an insight into what has brought him to this pivotal point in his life.

The way back itself however is not one of redemption but of evolution. Cunningham along with many of the people around him learning to grow through embracing past mistakes rather than trying to correct them as some words and actions just can not be taken back.

The project itself was one that was deeply personal for Affleck, the actor citing it as a form of therapy following his own stint in rehab. This does seem to have coloured his performance, Affleck turning in a character study that is realistic with none of the usual Hollywood bravado filter.
A solid movie, The Way Back may come across as standard fare, but scratch beneath the surface and there is actually a bit of a small carat diamond hiding underneath.

Electric Kiwi Billy T Jams Review

Electric Kiwi Billy T Jams Review

Words Glenn Blomfield

Soon this year’s International Comedy Festival season will kick off. As a precursor, we got to see five nominees for the Billy T James award, shinning stars of NZ comedy take the stage, having the opportunity to be the new participants of winning the coveted ‘Billy T James Award’, a seal of NZ comedy gold approval. Five finalist nominees, have a ten minute stand up show each in front of a live audience, they will be judged, the winner will be later announced. The five nominees are Lana Walters, Josh Davies, Brynley Stent, James Mustapic, and Ray O’Leary. All of them are also part of the comedy line up in the upcoming comedy festival.

MC for the evening was previous Billy T James nominee, Kura Forrester, taking the task of setting the mood and livening the audience announcing each nominee for the evening. Kura graced the stage with welcoming confidence, heartening the room with relaxed laughter priming us for the acts to come. We were definitely in safe hands, happy to be there and laughing ready for more comedy.

Kura forrester

First to hit the stage was Josh Davies, using his near blindness disability as his comedy act, exploring his world which may seem uncomfortable to laugh at, he had us laughing along with the craziness and irony of his view of the world. Definitely funny and insightful.

Next was Ray O’Leary, awkward and oddly relatable wit, dressed in what maybe his grand dads suit, his weird and odd views on the world have you giggling and laughing out loud. His quirkiness draws you in, he reminds me of ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ a character from a cult comedy film. Very Funny man. 

Things took a change when Brynley Stent took the stage, the only sketch act of the evening, using normal situations that take you on crazy journeys, silly and absurdly wonderful, you’re not sure how to take it, though you can’t help but laugh. Unique and awkward, comedy combo.

Storming the stage comes openly proclaiming his gayness James Mustapic, meek in stature, large in comedy bravado. Using his stand up as a ‘coming out’, his personal anxieties, his life, being gay, and how her see the world growing up. James was hysterical and lyrical.

Final nominee Lana Walters, stand up act using her personal problems as comedic expression. She is accessible, and a breath of fresh air, in using her uncomfortableness for funny enjoyment.

Tom Sainsbury

A special guest round up for the evening show, was Tom Sainsbury, using his funny awareness of fellow New Zealanders, from his travels of the country scouring the internet of kiwi news and comment sections, holding a mirror up to of the vey funny lives we live, and views we have on our daily lives in Aoteroa. Who would of thought the Tauranga Travel website would be treasure trove of hysterical comments, and the local council and peoples responses to the absurdity we live in?

Overall very funny and enjoyable evening. NZ comedy is in very safe hands. Everyone in tonights show, was worth the show’s admission alone. Sure there were some stand outs, but each one of them deserves to be seen and heard during the upcoming Comedy festival. Support the local talent and get amongst it.