Movie Reviews

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31 October 2015 (Movie Viewing)

While most people were out "trick or treating" on Halloween night, my family went to watch "Born to Dance" NZ's first Hip Hop movie. I think it works a treat with teens into Hip Hop and the current scene in music but I wanted to see more of Stan Walker's character and a little more of Paris Goebel.

For a NZ film, I thought it did pretty well in developing the story about a young South Auckland Maori guy who wants to join a top world class hip hop dance crew. Although I couldn't figure out what 'Kura' stood for until I realised that it was short for "Papakura" which is another South Auckland suburb.

I couldn't help likening it to "Once were warriors" the classic Maori movie that came out in the 1980s and how far we have come as I was able to point out different streets in Otara, the bus stop at Otahuhu and the bus stop at Akonga which must be like what some Americans must do. It's no longer about being rejects of society but more now about carving own paths in society.

But overall I enjoyed the atmosphere, the fact that although his character dad wanted him to be in the army - the dad changes his mind when he sees just how good his son is in hip hop dance. Although I couldn't help thinking that the Tongan looking dad looked nothing like his Maori son unless his partner/wife had been Maori with Maori artefacts in the walls but it was just that clear Pasifika/Maori delineation that I was aware of.

So well done on the makers of "Born to dance". We need more movies like this where local people can see themselves on movie screens and not having to always relate to USA or even white NZ societies issues and problems.  This movie helped people to see that South Auckland urban stories are also relevant and need to be shared on a global scale. High recommended...

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Went on a girlz nite out this weekend to watch the latest offering by the Kendrick brothers called "War Room". Had heard some positive reviews through Radio Rhema and thought to check it out myself as there are 4 days of screening at our local movie theatre and I suppose depending on attendance may continue or not.

At our particular screening it was pretty full and the funny thing about it was that there was clapping by the audience which I normally see at a kids movie but at this, there was a lot of interest in the subject matter.

I think even more interesting was that the main family was based on an African American family and the crises that they go through. I would definitely encourage this movie for couples to watch together but also for adolescents etc. as my children found it really interesting to view and it discussed a lot of issues that modern day families go through.

Another theme which was very important in the movie was the power of prayer or how we often don't tap into it enough. It also made me reflect on how prayer was such an important part of my life as a child growing up with my dad regularly encouraging us to come together as a family every evening. Something which he still does today both mornings and evenings with Grace in between.

It's definitely a movie I would recommend to all and a timely reminder to check in with the Man upstairs not only when things are going badly but even when things are going well...

Reviewed: August of 2015

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"American Sniper" (2014) Director: Clint Eastwood. I had already read a review on the movie last year and an article about the man of whom the movie was about and thought to watch it but was way too busy. However, on the plane from Sydney, I got to watch the movie and reflected on it's messages.

The movie was interesting in how it portrayed the main character of wanting to become a cowboy and pursued that but that he became a navy seal later in his 30s and how his pinpoint accuracy in shooting as a child out hunting deer with his dad later became a symbol of killing people to survive. 

Some of the difficult horrors that he had to face was having to shoot a woman and a child in their hatred of Americans in wanting to kill them with a armed weapon. It's hard to believe that there are societies out there that would promote this.

The horrors of war in the killings of those close to him aided to his mental state in especially going on 4 tours to Iraq when some didn't even survive their first. He definitely was given a gift in his shooting but ironically he killed others to save the lives of his own.

The sad ending also ironically showed how if 'you live by the sword, you die by the sword' with one of his own shooting him. I really felt sorry for his children and family in not only was he a hero for saving the lives of many, he also became a victim of his own post in the war.

I would not only highly recommend this movie for those who are interested in the war genre but it's also a movie that discusses the issues that we face about humanity and how the horrors of war can make one re-evaluate our view those who fight for freedom in risking their own lives for others.

Reviewed: 7 June 2015

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Another very interesting Christian movie based on a best selling true story book called "Heaven is for real" (2014). Tells about a young boy who has a near death experience and he begins to tell his preacher father about it. Gets real interesting as he reveals what he saw and the details which threatens to polarize family members, members of the church and the community at large.

It also poses the question about whether you believe that heaven is for real and who you would like to see there as well as unborn babies being in heaven with no 'old' people as age is not a factor. I'd highly recommend this movie to view with your family and to ask the question as to where you fit in the spectrum of those who have heard his story. It's funny too that towards the end of the movie, the church which had been flailing is full to the brim with people wanting to know more.

I know that for me, I believe that there are some special family members that I've never met before that I'd like to meet, like my namesakes and generations before who have shared the faith legacy that I never got to meet as well as those whom I loved so well but have passed away to the next gateway. I wonder if we would live our lives differently if we knew that heaven was for real because it's not easy to get there.

1 Feb 2015
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Been watching a few Christian theme based movies and will be posting short reviews about them from my perspective starting with "God's not dead" based on the song by one of my favourite contemporary Christian bands 'The Newsboys'. This weekend they came to the 'Cloud' concert in Auckland just after I'd watched the movie - no coincidence.

In fact, it was my younger sister who watched this movie first and recommended it to me to watch with my children. The story centres around a first year College/University student who wants to take a particular paper and ends up with a lecturer/professor who challenges him to defend his statement that God is 'not' dead.

It reminded me of when I had to take a level 1 Physical Anthropology paper at Auckland Uni as an undergraduate student to complete my course of studying History, Geography, Art History and English papers. I was very scared about taking it as I felt that with all of the research resources that Universities had that my faith would be challenged with the 'evidence' that this paper would present to me from it's pro evolution position.

I went to my Teachers College mentor, at the time, who was a Christian and he encouraged me to take it up and to listen to what they had to say. Needless to say, I read all the books and studied the theories that were presented and came to the conclusion that the Bible had more answers to life questions than the one or two skeleton remains that was used as their 'evidence' from archaeological digs.

That faith has remained strong over the years passed on through my parents Christian faith legacy, my grandparents' especially amazing in my 95 year old Grandmother and some neat friends. I would highly recommend this movie to view with family/friends to answer this simple question to yourself about whether you believe that 'God's not dead' in your life.

29 Jan 2015

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