The Breaker Upperers (2018)

Can’t go wrong with a quirky Kiwi comedy about two best friends who run an offbeat (sometimes on the beat–see their hilariously awkward cop con shenanigans) business out of their wood-panelled office, especially with the natural performances on display here. The premise is a little flimsy like a flimsy flower but the way it portrays the nuances of maturity and fulfillment in relationships (romantic and platonic) is heartfelt and comes to a charming song-and-dance break-up and make-up ending.

Jojo Rabbit (2019)

There are great moments of dark satire (see the training camp), but it’s the more intimate scenes (some funny, some poignant, some both) of developing relationships that carry the film–that of JoJo and Adolf (a quirky friendship gets ugly as JoJo grows–see Adolf’s anger in the kitchen), Elsa (McKenzie is excellent), and Rosie (see the riverside talk) respectively, and even that of Elsa and Rosie (see the cupboard convo). So the climactic battle felt out of place, but the dance after was perfect.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)


A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush. (IMDb)
Uneven, mostly for better but sometimes for worse: The fast paced story hinders good character development, comes to an unsatisfying climax, and feels a little too fantastic for its setting, but generally, splashes of dark humour (“well that’s dinner sorted!”) and silliness (see the bevy of quirky secondary characters), along with the charismatic lead kid, mesh well with the energetic editing (see the dramatic still shots of Ricky’s room; the boar slaughter) and calming scenic cinematography.
7.5/10 (Really Good)