Entertain Me - December
The Florida Project
Described as “so human it hurts” and a darling of the 2017 film festival circuit, The Florida Project tells the story of precocious 6-year-old chatterbox Moonee (Brooklyn Prince), who lives in a run-down motel in the dusty shadow of Disney World with her struggling single mum Halley (Bria Vinaite). Spending her summer looking for adventure with her ragtag group of friends, ignorance is bliss for Moonee, whose sense of wonder blinkers the struggles of the adults around her, including motel manager/father figure Bobby (Willem Dafoe). A heartbreaking portrait of life on the fringe from nuanced director Sean Baker (Tangerine).
Rounding out a year crammed with locally-filmed killer Kiwi flicks, gold rush-era western/thriller The Stolen flips the Death Wish script, with violently widowed Charlotte Lockton (Alice Eve, Star Trek: Into Darkness) searching for her kidnapped son after the murder of her husband. Charlotte traverses the wild and untamed NZ of the 1860s, joined by a rag-tag posse of whores, ex-cons and a Māori warrior (Stan Walker) in this revenge-soaked romp. Local viewers will recognise Ferrymead Heritage Park among the film’s locations, while further Kiwi connections include actor Richard O’Brien (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) and former local producer Emily Corcoran.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
The game might have changed, but the legend continues in this thrill-a-minute reboot of the 90s adventure classic. Following the Robin Williams original, but upping the age of its protagonists, Jumanji 2.0 sees four high-school kids sucked into the jungle setting of an old-school video game they discover. Moving with the times, the teens become the avatars they chose: gamer nerd Spencer becomes a hulking adventurer (Dwayne Johnson); football jock Fridge shrinks in stature but cranks up his IQ as an Einstein (Kevin Hart), token hottie Bethany is transformed into a middle-aged male professor in the form of Jack Black, and mousey wiener Martha becomes a badass warrior (Karen Gillan) a la Lana Croft. This is looking like the perfect family-friendly summer blockbuster popcorn flick.
DVD: The Changeover
Based on the best-selling and Carnegie Medal-winning novel by Margaret Mahy, The Changeover sees post-quake Christchurch star alongside an international cast that includes Timothy Spall, Lucy Lawless and Melanie Lynskey in a celebrated young adult thriller that’s charmed audiences.
The Architect, Paloma Faith
Fashion tour-de-force and quirky crooner Paloma Faith dropped her massively anticipated fourth album The Architect this month, and it’s crammed with some of the coolest co-labs you’re ever likely to find on one album. Ringing in legends Sia, TMS, Eg White, Rag’n’Bone and the iconic, brilliant and slightly typecast US actor Samuel L. Jackson across the 15-track release, Faith’s self-proclaimed “social observation record” charts new territory for the feisty artist. The first single ‘Crybaby’, is a slinky, soul-funk track that wades into the deep end with heavy-hitting questions in a perfect, edgy pop package, while the high-stakes lyrics of ‘Guilty’ are perfectly belted out by Faith’s deep, soaring vocals in a strings-filled powerhouse.
When I Was Young, MØ
She of the helicoptering plait and angst-ridden tracks of love gone wrong has been keeping fans sated with team-ups with Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX and Major Lazer on ‘Lean On’. Now she brings it home with her latest 6-track surprise EP. Title track ‘When I Was Young’ sees the Danish singer-songwriter rocking her signature killer vocals alongside a beat-laden jam that’s pimped out with one of the year’s most infectious hooks. Other standouts include the Lana Del Rey-esque ‘Roots’: sublime minimalism allows MØ’s (real name Karen Marie Ørsted) sultry vocals to shine, while the crackling energy of ‘Turn My Heart To Stone’ offers a nostalgic romp in her early sounds.
Everyday Is Christmas, Sia
If you are going to listen to a Christmas album this season, make it the one from Aussie singer-songwriter and all-round powerhouse Sia. Having penned some of the biggest selling songs in forever, the beautifully bonkers mega-star has turned her hand to Christmas tracks. There’s some real crackers, from ‘Santa’s Coming For Us’ to jam with a message ‘Puppies Are Forever’. Put down Mariah’s monotonous tripe and rock Christmas right, Sia-style.
The killer tracks on high-rotation in the Cityscape office.
‘Walking in the Sun’
We Light Fire
You Don’t Worry, Honey
Hideaways, Sam Stuchbury, Hilary Ngan Kee
Discover far flung retreats, mountain hut escapes, beach-front baches, hunting shacks, riverside cribs and more in this beautifully presented celebration of Kiwi holiday getaways that showcases spots open to the public – perfect for arranging a rustic getaway.
Sugar, James Walvin
“Sugar is bad … sugar has been bad for centuries,” writes James Walvin in this searing book that charts the history of sugar’s rise from luxury to modern-day staple and its effects on society, from slavery through to global health in the 21st century. Put down the candy bar and give it a shot.