Category Archives: foreign films

The Dead Lands

deadlandsThe movie takes place in New Zealand before colonial times when Maoris ruled New Zealand. Polynesian people are the ancestors of the Maori. They originated from south-east Asia and migrated to New Zealand. The movie is about two Maori tribes that have ancient rivalry.  The conflict has been put to rest, and the tribes live amicable.

Until, a young war chief called Wirepa covets the glory gained in battle by rekindling the ancient rivalry. He violently attacks the other tribe. The Chief’s son, Hongi, survives with a few other members of his tribe. Hongi goes after them with full out assault on revenge.

As a strategic plan, they decide to cross through the `Dead Lands’, hence the movie’s name The Dead Lands, where it is believed that a warrior spirit lies in wait. The spirit will devour any person who trespasses, adding a haunting tale to the storyline.

The rest of the movie is action packed outing, with a bunch of martial arts fighting, blood splattering and other violent plundering. The backdrop of the movie is a beautiful tropical forest with the harsh contrast to the story, and the music adds a fair amount of intensity to the movie. A standout actor in the upheaval is Lawrence Makoare as the Warrior, who drives his role with vim and vigor, emotion and pure charismatic presence.

The movie is entirely in Maori with English sub titles. Don’t get caught up in the sub-titles, just watch the movie and the story will unfold. I recommend this movie if you enjoy real violence in a rather barbaric fashion that gets under your skin.

The White Storm

whitestormIf you like John Woo’s classics, you will enjoy this action-filled, police tale. It’s the story of three police officers with striking personalities. One of the officers is undercover while the others are on the force. They make great efforts to bring down a major Asian drug lord. The movie is driven by its story with deceptions and betrayal, suspense and some major action.

Directed by Benny Chan, The White Storm is textured with personalities that have to prove they are righteous, which is similar to movies from the 80s – like Tango & Cash or Lethal Weapon.  The cops are in conflict over their personalities and how they handle the job.  Like one bad cop and one good cop solving a crime together while competing against each other.

The story begins with a brotherhood put to the ultimate test when a narcotics sting operation fails.  Three friends will fight to the end to escape the retaliation of the most dangerous drug lord in Hong Kong.  They are working in the Hong Kong Police Department’s Narcotics Bureau and get caught up in a case with the drug lord. Their sting operation fails, and they are forced to make a devastating decision – two can live but one must die.

Five years later, the two of them declare revenge for their fallen friend.  But, conflict arises and they wind up competing against each other for their own lives. At this point, the story gets real interesting, and I could not take my attention off the movie.

Chan is an award-winning producer and director for the film New Police Story starring Jackie Chan.  He brings action-pack entertainment with a cutting edge of storytelling.