Block-based blockbusters stick to formula

lego hobbit

With two new Lego games released in as many weeks, is this the moment when the series finally jumps the shark?

Dance venue is field of drums

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A family dance party event at the revamped Abbey Cafe on Appleby Straight will make a new use of a familiar location.

Easter entertainment guide

Mapua Easter Fair

A round up of all the best events, gigs and live entertainment for Easter Weekend across the Nelson region.

This gang just grows and grows on you

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REVIEW: Parks and Recreation, Mondays, 9.55pm, Four Reviewed by Alastair Paulin

Whimsical comedy set in darkening times

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REVIEW: Dave Manning finds a sumptuous feast on the menu at The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Liam Finn: The Nihilist

Liam Finn has come a long way from the frantic teen pop of Betchadupa, and The Nihilist is an intriguing album from an artist who wants to challenge the listener.

Vineyard venue for flute quartet

Himmelsfeld Vineyard in Upper Moutere is hosting its first open air concert

Game of Thrones: A Song of the Sofa (spoiler)

joffrey wedding

Our resident Westeros watchers are still recovering from last night's jaw-dropping Game of Thrones - if you're yet to see episode two, look away now.

Choral performance enchants

Easter Passion Music Nelson Civic Choir with Motueka Guest Choir

Easter Passion Music Nelson Civic Choir with Motueka Guest Choir and organist Jonathan Berkahn, conducted by Carl Browning, Old St John's, Nelson, Saturday night.

Lake Street Dive: Bad Self Portraits

Ten years is long enough to wait for success, and the third album by Boston indie jazz-soul quartet Lake Street Dive appears set to give them the breakthrough they richly deserve.

Out of Africa with a hint of NY

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New York musician Chris Berry brings the sounds of Zimbabwe to the Free House tonight.

Best thing about 7 Days is the drinks you scull

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REVIEW: 7 Days/Jono and Ben at Ten TV3, Fridays, 9.30 and 10pm

All action romp fails to raise bar

Captain America

David Manning takes a look at the latest comicbook superhero movie.

Game of Thrones: A Song of the Sofa

Game of Thrones

As TV's most violent, incestuous and horribly compelling programme returns to screens, so, too, does the Nelson Mail's most fearless review column.

Updated Kinect moves in the right direction

kinect sports rivals

Kinect Sports: Rivals, while not without flaws, is probably the most fun I've had using motion controls since the early days of the Wii.

With a touch of messianic madness


The Art of the Architect is a NZ On Air funded answer to Grand Designs.

Elbow: The Take Off and Landing of Everything

Elbow have long been at the forefront of the modern British art-rock crowd, because they've never forgotten the importance of a solid melody and spacious arrangements that let each ingredient stand out.

Flood tale neither one thing nor other


REVIEW: David Manning takes a look at the latest biblical epic.

Bay is in for a talent treat

The passion of Fiona Pears makes her violin sing, and on Sunday night Golden Bay audiences will get the chance to experience it when she performs at The Mussel Inn with Christchurch guitar duo La Petite Manouche.

50 shades of rampaging beige


This month, Geraldine Brophy, plus Lynda Milligan and Jude Gibson, take new show Grumpy Old Women: Fifty Shades of Beige on tour around New Zealand.

Band of Skulls: Himalayan

This Southampton trio come from the Black Keys-Raconteurs school of heavy blues-rock, but they softened their sound with folky melodic touches for their last release, Sweet Sour.

It's Elementary, Watson, but only by a whisker

NICK WARD - © Fairfax NZ News

REVIEW: Nick Ward takes a look at two quite different versions of the old Conan Doyle detective mysteries.

Random acts of kindness

 Jacquie Walters

A simple act of paying it forward has resulted in a hit song for a Nelson singer-songwriter.

Saxophonist brings trans-Tasman vibe home

 Jacquie Walters

Some of Australasia's finest young jazz talent plays in Nelson and Golden Bay for the first time this week, bringing with them plenty of regional flavour.

John Butler Trio: Flesh & Blood

John Butler chose to evolve for the JBT's last outing, April Uprising, introducing a new rhythm section and punchy electric guitar riffs.

Struggle songs and swordplay

 Inside Llewyn Davis

REVIEW: An evocative fictional folk tale and a sword-and-sandals story with volcanic visual effects are on Dave Manning 's movie menu in Nelson this week.

Blackout dance party coming

Fire Without Permit

Nelson's second gig aimed at teenagers, the Blackout dance party, is on this weekend.

Good idea, shame about the movie


Directed by gore-meister Paul W. S. Anderson, Pompeii is basically Titanic set in Roman times with a massive volcano standing in for the iceberg.

Bleak background for charming comedy

ben hurley

Dave Manning finds charm in a road-trip drama and disappointment in the latest George Clooney epic.

Jailhouse rock turns raw emotions into music

ben hurley

In Songs From the Inside four prominent Kiwi musicians work with 12 prisoners and mentor them through the process of writing a song.

Making mean music at Marchfest

ben hurley

Marchfest artist Iva Lamkum has an incredible versatility that makes her stand out from her soul-funk contemporaries.

Beck: Morning Phase

Beck's latest album, after six years away from the spotlight, is intended to be a companion piece to 2002's Sea Change, and it has a similar dreamy, melancholic mood, with a lot of end-of-the-affair songs (Say Goodbye, Don't Let It Go) and odes to emotional isolation, the highlight being the exquisite ethereal strings of Wave.

Trio ready to make us laugh

ben hurley

© Fairfax NZ News

Watch out Nelson. Ben Hurley is heading our way along with Dai Henwood and Vaughn King for the Real New Zealand Comedy Tour.

Birthday celebration

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This Saturday the Nelson Symphony Orchestra celebrates composer, teacher and musician John Rimmer's 75th birthday with a concert dedicated to him.

You're the new kid on South Park's block

South Park - The Stick of Truth

South Park: The Stick Of Truth plays out like an interactive, 12-hour long episode of the show, with you in the starring role.

Haley's Comets still flying

sky ferreira

His dad was the founding father of rock'n'roll and now Bill Haley Jr is set to shake, rattle and roll Nelson.

Not much procedure amongst this bunch

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 2, Monday, 9pm. The GC, 3, Monday, 8pm.

Blood and gore

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A mixed bag with no standouts featured on reviewer Dave Manning's watch-list this week.

Sky Ferreira: Night Time, My Time

NICK WARD - © Fairfax NZ News

Sky Ferreira spent her childhood socialising with Michael Jackson (her granny was his stylist) – and like him, she's got a few hangups, though hers are attributable to a rocky ride in the music industry.

A showcase of classical mastery

Kelemen Quartet, Chamber Music New Zealand

 Kelemen Quartet, Chamber Music New Zealand. Old St John's, March 12, 7.30pm.

Bringing Aids back into focus

Dallas Buyers Club (R16) is a good film for many reasons, including the fact it has put the spotlight back on the disease that has so far killed over 36 million people.

The funny guys are coming

Dai Henwood

Kiwi comedians Dai Henwood, Ben Hurley and Vaughan King are on top of their game - and on their way to Nelson.

Review: Donkey Kong Country - Tropical Freeze

donkey kong tropical freeze

As one of the most difficult games of recent years, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is probably not one for the faint-hearted.

Deadly predicaments

Sol3 Mio

© Fairfax NZ News

REVIEW: Action, excitement and suspense - at times of disbelief - feature in reviewer Dave Manning's caseload this week.

Lo-Fang: Blue Film

NICK WARD - © Fairfax NZ News

Classically trained LA resident Matthew Hemerlein pieced together the songs for his debut album while trekking around the world for three years, and it's an extremely impressive production that reflects both his natural gifts and the lessons learned from his travels.

DVD reviews

Thor: The Dark World, Thanks for Sharing and Beyond the Edge.

Bombay Bicycle Club: So Long, See You Tomorrow

For their fourth album, these London indie-rockers have continued with the electronica-oriented sound of their last release, 2011's A Different Kind of Fix, while also diving headfirst into the world music part of their influences.

Cole and Johnson team up as part of national tour

British singer Lloyd Cole will perform a concert at Nelson's Old St John's in early June, with New Zealand's Greg Johnson returning from Los Angeles to join the bill.

The power of song

Sol3 Mio

NAOMI ARNOLD - © Fairfax NZ News

Almost all of the concerts on opera trio Sol3 Mio's national tour, including the show at Nelson College this month, are sold out.
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