Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

This is the kind of indie comedy that you definitely don’t see every week (at the local multiplex), b/c that would be TOO delightful!  (FYI: I saw it 2 mos. back at Landmark E St. Cinemas.)  This story is NOT cloying or sugary, like SO MANY films centered on children, thanks to it’s tongue-in-cheek directorial style by Taika Waititi.  The director (who also has a cameo as a minister) is an up-and- comer from New Zealand (with a white mother and a Maori father).  His next project will be one of the Thor films (ugh, I guess that means success).

Ricky gets a cake for his 13th birthday!

In this film, 12 y.o. juvenile delinquent, Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), gets a cheery/sweet foster mom, Bella  (Rima Te Waita) and cranky/reluctant father figure, Hec (Australian veteran actor Sam Neill). 

Andy and Paula

This is Ricky’s LAST chance, as his “nemesis” Paula (Rachel House) from Child Services warns him, supported by bumbling cop, Andy (Oscar Kighty).  These two characters provide GREAT laughs later in the films- just wait for it!

Ricky (Julian Dennison) and Hec (Sam Neill) in the forest.

After a tragic turn of events, Ricky runs away to the forest, and Hec goes after him.  It turns out that Ricky, a self-proclaimed overweight book lover, has a natural affinity for the outdoors.  He wants to learn more and more, much to the shock and surprise of the hermit-like Hec (who refuses to be called “Uncle”).

Rhys Darby (VERY famous Kiwi comedian w/ cameo in this film), Sam Neill (Hec), Julian Dennison (Ricky), & Taika Waititi (The Minister/Director)

The More the Merrier (1943) starring Jean Arthur


Do you realize that practically most of the trouble in the world comes from people lying to people? Just take Hitler, for instance.  -Dingle on morals

This funny and VERY well-written romantic/screwball comedy, directed by George Stevens (A Place in the Sun, Giant) is a MUST-SEE for any fan of classic film!  I saw it for the first time (on TCM) last week, then wondered why I’d never heard of it before. 


Damn the torpedoes – full steam ahead!  –Dingle on seizing the moment

In WWII era Washington, DC, there is a housing shortage and “8 women for every man,” BUT Connie Milligan (Jean Arthur) ends up w/ TWO unwanted roomies.  First, there is retired industrialist, Benjamin Dingle (James Coburn- Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner), then mechanic-turned-soldier, Joe Carter (Joel McCrea).  Mr. Dingle sublets half of his room to the younger man, considering him “a high type, clean cut, nice young fellow.” When Dingle plays (unlikely) matchmaker, hilarity and romance ensue!  


There are two kinds of people – those who don’t do what they want to do, so they write down in a diary about what they haven’t done, and those who are too busy to write about it because they’re out doing it! -Dingle on life