Kate on movies is a reel winner

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The last movie I watched on the big screen was Stuart Little

In particular, the scene in which the little white mouse drives a toy car through Central Park while being pursued by a clowder of cats remains one of the best chase sequences around. 

In the finale, when he was reunited with his folks, I’m guessing there wasn’t a dry eye in the cinema. 

It was only while watching TV3’s Reel Late With Kate (Sundays, 10.25pm) that it dawned on me how long it had been. More than 10 years. Or how much I’ve been missing by waiting for the television releases of movies, especially in terms of atmosphere and effects. 

For folk who still regularly attend the theatres and cinemas, Reel Late With Kate is probably already a staple of your weekly viewing. For anyone else, the best thing I can say about the Kate Rodger-hosted show is that now I want to go back. 

And if you don’t believe me, consider the recent ratings surge the late evening show has captured. After three weeks, it soared from a 10.4 per cent share of all viewers aged five and over to an 18.7 per cent share. 

The number of people watching the show rose by 50,000 in the same time period, increasing from 72,800 viewers to 122,800, or a staggering 69 per cent boost in the five years and older demographic. 

It’s not hard to see why. Reel Late With Kate not only brings you the latest movie news from home and overseas, it also carries some interesting interviews with high-

flying Kiwis in the film industry – well-known figures such as director Gaylene Preston, arthouse film-maker Ant Timpson, and Outrageous Fortune actor Antony Starr. 

But it was the short excerpts and behind-the-scenes exposures that really did it for me. 

By the end of last week’s episode I’d decided to revive the cinematic experience and had made a mental note to venture out to watch spy thriller Salt, Aussie war flick Beneath Hill 60 and the Kiwi movie Predicament, starring Jermaine Clement. 

Revealingly, Reel Late With Kate uses all tricks in the book to get in touch with its viewership. 

It replays on the following Saturday at 10.30am, has its own Facebook page in
which about 1300 “friends” vote on issues such as the Top 8 spy movies, and it promotes itself on Twitter. 

The only slight grizzles are very slight. Rodger’s interviewing technique is a touch fawning for comfort, and she often talks or laughs over the top of the interviewees, sometimes making their responses difficult to hear. 

And I’ll pretend to ignore the two blatant advertisements that regularly appear on the show, masquerading as editorial and unwittingly raising questions over Rodger’s sense of independence. It’s tacky but I guess it happens. 

For all that, the overall package is highly informative and Rodger’s enthusiasm makes the 30-minute nightcap worthy viewing, even in such an inconvenient timeslot. 

If she can convince this old hack to go back to the movies, she must be doing something right.