Love and Monsters (2020)

Love and Monsters
Director: Michael Matthews
Writer: Brian Duffield, Matthew Robinson
Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, Dan Ewing, Ariana Greenblatt, Ellen Hollman, Tre Hale, Pacharo Mzembe, Senie Priti, Amali Golden, Te Kohe Tuhaka
Seen on: 25.4.2021

Plot:
7 years ago, the world basically ended. There was a meteorite heading towards earth. To stop it, humanity blew it up, but the chemicals that got blown back to earth changed things forever, creating monsters and forcing people underground. Joel (Dylan O’Brien) is one of those people, living in a community in a bunker. Joel is not a fighter, so he hasn’t actually left the bunker, but through a radio, he has found Aimee (Jessica Henwick), the girl he dated when everything went down. Her colony is only a week or so away, but a week among monsters is a very long way. But after the radio dies, Joel decides that he has had it – he will make the trek and find Aimee. Easier said than done, though.

Love and Monsters is cute enough. Not great and probably not a film that will become a favorite of mine, but I enjoyed it while it lasted for sure.

The film poster showing the main characters, including a dog, in various sizes in front of a desolate landscape.
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Mahana [The Patriarch] (2016)

Mahana
Director: Lee Tamahori
Writer: John Collee
Based on: Witi Ihimaera‘s novel Bulibasha: King Of The Gypsies
Cast: Temuera Morrison, Akuhata Keefe, Nancy Brunning, Jim Moriarty, Regan Taylor, Maria Walker, Sienna MacKinlay, Tuhiwhakauraoterangi Wallace-Ihakara, Kyra McRae, Eds Eramiha, Ngahuia Piripi, Yvonne Porter, Te Kohe Tuhaka
Seen on: 12.10.2016

Plot:
Simeon (Akuhate Keefe) has always been a good kid. But now he is approaching adulthood and is ready to make the transition and work with the men of his family in their sheep business. But his grandfather Tamihana (Temuera Morrison) is not convinced of Simeon’s maturity and tells him to stay behind with the women and other children. This disappointment causes Simeon to reevaluate Tamihana as the undisputed ruler of the family and even the entire family’s rivalry with the Poate family.

Mahana is beautiful, big, emotional cinema. It’s a sweeping epic as only a private family story can be and left me crying my heart out more than once.

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The Dead Lands (2014)

The Dead Lands
Director: Toa Fraser
Writer: Glenn Standring
Cast: James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Xavier Horan, Raukura Turei, George Henare, Rena Owen
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 01.05.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]

Plot:
Hongi (James Rolleston) lives with his tribe in the rainforest of New Zealand. When representatives of a neighboring tribe led by Wirepa (Te Kohe Tuhaka) come to visit a shared holy site and pay respects to their ancestors, Hongi witnesses how Wirepa defiles that site, but then tries to blame it on Hongi and his people. Hongi’s account is enough to avoid all-out war, but it doesn’t keep from Wirepa returning and slaughtering Hongi’s entire tribe anyway. Hongi manages to escape and heads deep into the woods, to find the infamous Warrior (Lawrence Makoare) to be able to take his revenge on Wirepa.

I was really looking forward to this film (in fact, S. and I joked about the fact that this was probably the chick flick of this spring /slash – with all those half-naked, tattooed guys running around), but I was a little disappointed – apart from the cool and unusual setting, the film had very little to offer.

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