Marlborough Mid-Week : November 19th 2014
OPINION MARLBOROUGH MIDWEEK, NOVEMBER 19, 2014 11 Revenge captivates at home and abroad NOW SHOWING BY MATT LAWREY The Dead Lands (R16) ★★★1 (out of five) but ★★★★ for Kiwis ⁄2 S ometimes this movie review business isn’t as easy as it looks. Occasionally movies come along that make it practically impossible to separate your feelings for a film and your personal interests or passions. Take The Dead Lands for example. It’s not the sort of film you see every day. For one thing it’s a New Zea- land production, for another it’s set in Aotearoa before Pakeha turned up and, for another, it’s entirely in te reo. Add to this the fact it’s a particularly bloodthirsty action film and you’ve got something unique on your hands. The issue I have is that watching it and thinking about it afterwards, I’m incapable of not judging it through the eyes of a New Zealander. And given the fact I’m rather keen on this country and its people, that puts me in a very different place to, say, the Canadians who went crazy for it at the Toronto Film Festival. The Dead Lands follows the adventures of a young warrior named Hongi, played by James Rolleston of Boy and more recently The Dark Horse fame. Hongi ends up in the revenge business after his tribe is slaughtered by a bunch of warriors. Vastly outnumbered, he follows the killers into a region known as Walking dead: Lawrence Makoare and James Rolleston get ready to rumble in The Dead Lands. Working with mau rakau the Dead Lands – a cursed place protected by a merciless warrior played by Lawrence Makoare. Hongi’s only hope of getting payback is to form an unlikely alliance with the mysterious warrior. Director Toa Fraser is best known for the heart-warming Number Two and the eccentric Dean Spanley, so his isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think of violence and mayhem. Despite this he has created a killer action film. Not surprisingly, The Dead Lands is full of hauntingly beautiful images but where it packs its biggest, um, punch is the intensity of its fight scenes. (Maori martial arts) expert Jamus Webster, Fraser has choreographed some kick-arse, patuwielding scenes that will impress even the most jaded action fans. The story feels a little like a retread of a western or possibly something from television’s Kung Fu but it moves fast enough to keep the audience engaged. Acting-wise, Rolleston does well. Seriously grown-up after Boy and now on a roll after his appearance in The Dark Horse, he looks the part and throws himself into the role with commitment. The man mountain Makoare brings a tragic sense of fatality to the part of the mysterious guard- Photo: SUPPLIED ian of the Dead Lands. Best known for playing an orc in The Lord of the Rings, this may be the role he was born to play. Other notable appearances include Te Kohe Tuhaka as the particularly ambitious and vicious leader of the genocidal warriors, and the likable and undeniably handsome Xavier Horan as his right-hand man. The film also marks the big screen debut of the talented and gorgeous Raukura Turei making a memorable appearance as the kind of woman you would not want to get on the wrong side of. Fraser’s direction is both haunt- ing and solid, and Don McGlashen provides the unexpectedly effec- tive synth-heavy score. For film-goers in other parts of the world The Dead Lands represents a rip-roaring, exotic night out. But for people who inhabit these shaky isles it’s something more. As far as homegrown cinema goes, the film is a landmark. The fact a New Zealand film with subtitles is packing cinemas around the world tells you something. The Dead Lands reminds us that our history is as rich, dramatic, colourful and crazy as anyone’s and we would be fools to pretend otherwise. Bottom line – kapa haka meets Kung Fu. Pitfalls of Christmas debt I By JENNIFER MACKENZIE t can be tempting to overspend at Christmas time, to throw caution to the wind, to worry about it later. However, it’s when the credit card bills come in in January when reality bites for many people and they realise that they can’t afford all of the commitments they made in December. Last January credit card debt reached a record high in New Zealand, showing that debt increases incredibly over the Christmas period. If you feel that you are getting into unmanageable debt, there are options for how to deal with this before the busy Christmas season. Options for dealing with unmanageable debt include: ❚ Seeing a budget adviser. They can help you work out how you got into this situation and can help you think of ways to cut back on your expenditure. ❚ Tell your creditors as soon as possible so they know of your situation, and try to negotiate changes in your payments with the creditor so that these can be managed. ❚ Check your credit contracts so you know what property may be repossessed and find out what to expect if this happens. ❚ Check to see whether Work and Income assistance is available. ❚ If you think you will not be able to meet your tax obligations, contact the Inland Revenue Department and tell them of your situation. ❚ Get legal advice about your insolvency options (just in case) Tempting: Shopping at Christmas time can lead to nasty surprises in January when the credit card bills start to arrive. eg. No Asset Procedure, Summary Instalment Order, bankruptcy. Photo: FILE If you are unsure about the implications of a credit contract or are being chased for money that you do not think you owe, Community Law Marlborough can help. We can read your contracts, explain what they mean in actual terms and direct you to budget advisers who will be able to help you to sort out your debt. If you dispute an amount owed, are being chased for an invoice that you believe you have already paid, or are being taken to court to recover debt, we can help organise your paperwork and help you to understand your rights. If you would like advice about insolvency options, Community Law Marlborough can advise on this, and can help fill out the paperwork to make sure this happens smoothly. ❚ Drop in to 16 Market St Blenheim, or call on 0800 266 529 for free, confidential advice on any of these matters.
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