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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great quaint little film.. if you have that sense of humor
I, personally, loved this film. Its sweet and awkward, and it warmed my heart. Like i say though, its hard to put a finger on, but you have to have a certain sense of Humor to really appreciate it. If it were a series it'd be along the lines of flight of the conchords/ The office. Theres no goofy, slap-dash 'running into lampost' moments, they leave it up to you to do the...
Published on 17 Feb 2008 by G. Colman

versus
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars dark departure for Conchord
I investigated this film on the back of brilliant indie comedy Flight of the Conchords, the vehicle through which Jermaine Clement achieved mainstream fame. Having never seen him outside of his bizarrely symbiotic relationship with Bret Mckenzie, I was surprised to see Clement here: in a Dynamite-esqe film. While Clement gets most of the good one liners in this film, you...
Published on 14 July 2008 by K. Dunstan


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great quaint little film.. if you have that sense of humor, 17 Feb 2008
By 
G. Colman (North wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eagle Vs Shark [DVD] (DVD)
I, personally, loved this film. Its sweet and awkward, and it warmed my heart. Like i say though, its hard to put a finger on, but you have to have a certain sense of Humor to really appreciate it. If it were a series it'd be along the lines of flight of the conchords/ The office. Theres no goofy, slap-dash 'running into lampost' moments, they leave it up to you to do the laughing, and i personally laughed a lot.
If you liked Napoleon Dymnamite, youll like this, If you enjoy Flight of the conchords, you'll enjoy this, If you Love quaint, cute and Maladjusted comdey, youll love this.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obviously too good for Oscar-recognition...!, 8 April 2009
By 
Chintan Nanavati "Chinhealer" (Staffs, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eagle Vs Shark [DVD] (DVD)
Quite simply the funniest film of recent times. Loren Horsley as Lily is a revelation. Tender, timid, wide-eyed, childlike, beautiful in so many ways... this is an astonishing and mesmerizing performance that ranks alongside that of Sally Hawkins as Poppy in Mike Leigh's masterwork Happy-Go-Lucky. It's frustrating that most female roles are so yawnsomely underwritten or resort to stock types. By contrast, Lily is an entirely original character with oodles of charm and heartrending vulnerability. My greatest frustration with the film is her incomprehensible infatuation with Jarrod. He is a manipulative, egomaniacal, deeply unattractive boor. Although Jemaine Clement portrays him well, the character is utterly unlikeable. Nevertheless, the film had me transfixed from the first to the last frame. I literally spent the entire duration either emitting hearty belly-laughs or grinning inanely. Oh, and in a film chock-full of great supporting players and interesting relationships, the most moving onscreen interaction of them all is that of Lily with her brother Damon. I can't think of many (any?) sibling relationships on film that express such unconditional, innocent love.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars take off your red shoes and DO the blues!!!, 27 Nov 2007
By 
sam's town (london,england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eagle Vs Shark [DVD] (DVD)
i'm careful when it comes to recommending low-key films cos to know too much about them usually equals missing the point but i really think this film needs to be seen by as many people as possible.i can't get this film out of my head and that's pretty rare,even more so being that it's a romantic comedy,one of the least favoured genres for being thought about post cinema.most reviews i've looked at since seeing the film make a big deal of two things,a)it's similarity to napoleon dynamite and b)the main characters being either unsympathetic or just plain pathetic.they're both justified but i think both work in the films favour.i love napoleon dynamite,yet it's an out and out comedy.where eagle vs shark has the edge is that it's not afraid to get a little dark at times.they're stylistically very similar yet at no point did i feel this film was ripping dynamite off.and b),to me makes the film that little more realistic cos upon first meeting them,the protagonists seem(though a little eccentric)straight-forward enough yet by the end of the film are anything but(this fact is even referenced by a comic line spoken by jared,the film's main protagonist,halfway through the film).i think that sums pretty much all of us out there up,doesn't it?!!this film isn't afraid to venture into grey areas yet doesn't make a big deal of it when it does.at times you'll want to either slap certain characters or go rescue them but at no point will you stop caring.loren horsely's performance alone is worth seeing the film for,at turns hilarious and heart-breaking(if you haven't fallen in love with her character lily by the end of the film,then you might wanna think about checking your pulse!)and the film features the best use of a stone roses tune i can imagine being put to film.AND a cover of bowie's let's dance,which sounds pretty touching in context here.anyway,so much for being careful...my favourite film of 2007,eagle vs.shark is hilarious,hopeful and hypnotical,a must-see.like some of the characters,strange but worth taking a chance on...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No, really not an NZ Napoleon Dynamite!, 17 Aug 2011
This review is from: Eagle Vs Shark [DVD] (DVD)
Like many others my interest in this film only came about as a result of Flight of the Conchords - it is a small independent film from NZ and I do not go to the cinema more than twice a year. It has been compared to Napolean Dynamite - but really it is a very different film.

The only similarity is the focus of the geeky outsiders as central characters, of which there are many examples in recent years. Lily and Jarrod are exaggerated characters, but only slightly - we all know people who really do not see the world through mainstream eyes and feel that they are cool when everyone else is laughing, and these are those kinds of people. But it is more than laughing at awkward geeks who don't know how to dress. Lily is a kind and gentle soul who inexplicably loves Jarrod, and when he treats her like crap she is still the epitome of kindness. Somehow, however, this does not come across as her having low self esteem, and she is a much more central character than the blurb on the back of the dvd would have you believe.

This film will not suit everyone. Someone described it to me as 'very odd'. I did not find it very odd. I thought that it was mostly very realistic, but some may find it too off mainstream and not empathise with the characters. It is also quite slow, and that of course means that some will find it boring, I found that it adds to the realism. It is not a realistic film in many ways - there is some cute animation that pops up now and then, and the cinema Lily waited outside and the video game that Lily excels at are fictional - put in to create world that is subtly different to the real one. It is these little details that give the film its charm, and also the humour - the scene where Jarrod finally meets his school bully is hilarious with a hand over the mouth - I guess someone might find it offensive, but it works.

The director acknowledged that his actors were a bit old for the characters that they are portraying - that this kind of story is more suited to people in their early 20s, but their geekiness compensates for this a bit. Besides, there is a culture of delayed maturity throughout Western society where 30 can still be seen as young enough to have this kind of life.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars dark departure for Conchord, 14 July 2008
By 
K. Dunstan "triantha" (Bath, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eagle Vs Shark [DVD] (DVD)
I investigated this film on the back of brilliant indie comedy Flight of the Conchords, the vehicle through which Jermaine Clement achieved mainstream fame. Having never seen him outside of his bizarrely symbiotic relationship with Bret Mckenzie, I was surprised to see Clement here: in a Dynamite-esqe film. While Clement gets most of the good one liners in this film, you may find yourself disliking him in the first portion of the film. Before the action moves wholesale to Jarrod's family home, he comes across as rather one dimensional next to the bottomless well of emotion that is Lily. His assertion "I'm just so deep" makes you want to answer "No, you're just an insensitive idiot".

However, this is a film of 2 halves, and when you meet Jarrod's family, you realise what lies behind his Dynamite style bravado. Lily's patience, emotion and soul cannot help but touch you from here on in, and you'll root for her all the way through. Probably as the film maker intended, the whole film eventually hangs on one line spoken by Jarrod near the end, and you'll either hate or love the film based on this. If you loved the Life Aquatic (the film this most closely resembles apart from Dynamite), then you'll probably like this. It kept me smiling all the way through, but also left me very sad in places. The animation sequences have been criticised in other reviews, but I found they made sense by the end.

This is a different comedy from the Conchords, a deep emotional one, and it certainly has depths where Dynamite had none. It's much heavier than Little Miss Sunshine and Eternal Sunshine. I'm only awarding 3 stars, as some aspects of the film are tacked on for no apparent reason, (a certain little girl, for example) and this is definitely not a film for everyone. I liked it, It's broken, but beautiful.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!, 30 April 2008
By 
H. Anderson "wormy" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eagle Vs Shark [DVD] (DVD)
I went to New Zealand last August and stayed in Auckland. On my last night there we decided to go and see a Kiwi movie at the local cinema, and we wanted to go and see the film that had massive posters everywhere; Eagle VS Shark. Other than that we knew nothing about this movie. I honestly didn't expect Kiwis to have such an excellent sense of humour (I like to think Brits have the best) but I was verging on embarrassing because I was literally laughing hysterically for the majority of the film. The use of the stone roses track at the end did indeed bring a lump to my throat, and people may say this film is just an imitation of Napoleon Dynamite but I don't care to be honest because I've never even seen that film!! And I love Eagle VS Shark! It really suprised me and though I wanted to hate Jarrod for being so mean to lovely little Lily I actually found him kind of hot. The wheelchair scene is the best part! Watch it if only for that it is so shockingly brilliant! You expect this film to have a yucky American conclusion but it really swings the other way. Love it!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You foolish fool" add it to your basket, 11 July 2008
This review is from: Eagle Vs Shark [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this film completely off the cuff, after strolling in to a small cinema on a visit to Poland. I had no idea what it was called or what it was about we just picked the first film available in English.

And turned out to be this wondrous gem, Eagle vs Shark' lily an obviously lonely individual takes an eye for an electronics shop assistant `jarred' an emotional inept loveable idiot! Who decide to embark on a quest for jarred to get he's revenge on a school bully after jarred takes to her with a little help from her computer game skills. On the way we get to meet their family's who are all justified and interesting characters the performances are flawless from everyone and mixing that with a great scrip films rarely fail.

It was funny and in places hilarious, throughout yet I had tears in the back of my eyes some of joy and some of sorrow the majority of the way through. The music is another thing that goes hand in hand with everything I have just listed and only adds the way this film knocked me down in its avalanche of beauty.

I have struggled to realize the point in films in our current decade but I think we have finally got some kind of formula that is unique. The formula I believe `Wes Anderson' is king of. Sensitive films that are deep and loving that seem to peel off layers and layers of emotions and situations until they get to the films climax or the core of the character and ourselves. Also usually a film containing an array of characters that keep you loving them start to finish. Not only with his films such as`Bottle Rocket' Royal Tenenbaums' `Dargeeling limited' which I think lay at the heart of this original movement we also have others like `Little miss sunshine' Napoleon Dynamite' `Happiness' even `Nacho libre' Les Choristes' and of course this classic `Eagle vs Shark' I hate putting things in boxes and I'm not, its just nice to finally see some films with substance and feeling. Which allow me to finally start think that perhaps these are not just little one offs but finally a good thing happening to the modern film industry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Underdeveloped, 18 April 2010
This review is from: Eagle Vs Shark [DVD] (DVD)
Taika Cohen's lo-fi love/hate story resembles Napoleon Dynamite not just in terms of its bad 80s sportswear, unmanageable hair, and blank-faced brand of humour, but also in its recognition of the fact that the central nerd is not a well-meaning loser, but actually bit of a git. Borderline sociopath and self-proclaimed depressive in Jarrod's (Jemaine Clement) case. While this provides the seed for a more soulful film than Jared Hess's minor classic, it also lacks that film's joke quotient. For a quirky sub-90-minuter with minute pretensions, played alongside an animated love story played out by half-eaten fruit, Jarrod is simply too bleak a character. Meanwhile, Lily (Loren Horsley) is too sketchy to win our sympathy; too empty to provide the narrative with anything but a bucket for Jarrod's often wittily written bile. By the time the repetition starts kicking in at about the hour mark, you'll be wishing she'd just walk home.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky bundle of joy, 6 April 2008
By 
Anya Bramich - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eagle Vs Shark [DVD] (DVD)
Watched this one Saturday afternoon when had nothing else to do. Maybe it was my frame of mind at the time but I just loved it. It made me laugh straight away, I loved its oddness and by the end felt all warm inside! At 84 mins it was just the right length to keep the viewer engaged and keep up the pace.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars napoleon dynamite - BUT WITHOUT the mean spiritedness and WITH lots of laughs, 21 Jan 2008
This review is from: Eagle Vs Shark [DVD] (DVD)
Other reviewers have already pointed out the similarities to Napoleon Dynamite. Obviously I picked up on this within about 3 minutes of the start of the movie, which automatically put me on edge, as I deplored Napoleon Dynamite. I didn't laugh once and I detested the mean-spiritedness of the characters. Plus there are overtones of Clerks by Kevin Smith, which I also disliked for its desperation in trying to be down with the kids. So, I was all set not to like Eagle Vs. Shark.

But here's the thing: I liked Eagle vs. Shark quite a lot. Why, given the formula is so similar to Napoleon Dynamite? Well, firstly, because some of the gags in Eagle Vs. Shark are actually extremely funny, laugh out loud stuff, and the film generally rattles along with a good funny vibe, picking up on the nerd / loser / parochial culture in a League of Gentlemen sort of way, rather than the forced, unfunny smutty Kevin Smith sort of way. But the main thing about this film is that its got heart and isn't mean in the way that Napoleon Dynamite's character is. I couldn't have cared less about Napoleon Dynamite, he had no empathy for anyone and therefore elicited none from me as a viewer. But whilst Jarrod (the Dynamite-style character in Eagle Vs. Shark) does have a lot of the elements of Dynamite, he does also show some humility and also affinity for some selected others, which makes him more accessible as a character and engaging. You can believe he has a soul, whereas you couldn't give two hoots about Napoleon Dynamite.

I think the other main think to think when comparing Napoleon Dynamite with Eagle vs. Shark is where they were made. Napoleon Dynamite - US - generally not a very amusing bunch. Eagle Vs. Shark - New Zealand - very good at poking fun at their parochial national steorotypes, and generally just an inherently amusing bunch with funny turns of phrase. Conclusion: A big-hearted, geeky, quirky film - Napoleon Dynamite without the mean-spiritedness.
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