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The Silver Brumby (1993)
sorry, Elyne Mitchell
i devoured these books when i was young, and formed wonderful fantasies and images of the horses. imagine my surprise when i watched the movie. not silver, palamino. not brumby, thoroughbred (made up to look arabian). not stallion, mare. not watchable, embarrassing. a missed opportunity to present an ethereal, gritty, accurate adaptation of an iconic series of books which entranced many readers. there is a place for pretty horses in great condition in the movies, but not as representations of wild brumbies; where were the rough, rawboned, wary horses with tangled manes and untrimmed feet? and i'm sure there is no longer need for maniacal, reverberating laughter outside of a pirates of the c. franchise. there is still sense to be made of dialogue, given an adequate script. there is suspension of disbelief, and then there is accidentally inspired lol moments of prolonged painfullness. no-one over the age of 10 should watch this movie. unless you want to hate yourself.
Men in Trees (2006)
i watched this show because there was absolutely nothing else watchable. this show taught me that, once again, all some American TV producers think people need to make a show watchable is boppy music, dime-store philosophy, rampant sexual undertones, every cliché imaginable, sadly predictable 'story' lines and stereotypical characters. unfortunately, for me (and most discriminating viewers) content needs to be evident, also. i stayed with it for the first 5 episodes and hate myself for doing so. that it is a poorly disguised rip-off of northern exposure is almost forgivable, but the parallels are not.
lost effort: don't bother
i watched this movie against my better judgment - i am so not a fan of mickey rooney. i ended up watching it in fast forward to minimise brain damage. saccharine music, execrable plot, wooden 'acting' and GUESS WOT???? NOT ONE STALLION IN THE WHOLE MOVIE. unless you are 5 years old (in which case you will fall asleep before half-way through) give it a major miss. this movie reminded me of one of those little golden books published by well-intentioned but hopelessly misguided adults who think that if a message has constant piano in the background, pretty horses, gruff but kindly old folk, token Indian mysticism and sleeveless denim jackets (how tough) it will circumvent completely natural teenage angst and make us all want to square dance in the dust. i don't think so. this movie is a collection of clichéd and stilted scenes which confirmed my worst fears; major studios have little appreciation of reality and absolutely no originality.
Never Cry Wolf (1983)
i DO wish movie makers would stop throwing in the odd German shepherd to pad out the wolf numbers. they stick out like the proverbial 'dog's balls'. apart from that, this is a fine movie particularly for anyone interested in Farley Mowat's adventures. the fact that it is a Disney movie i find quite encouraging - the Disney studios obviously once had no compunction about making a decent movie. scenery is marvellous, the few characters are sympathetically presented and the movie seems free of the abominably cheesy elements which typify Disney movies. though Mowat was a singularly driven person, this is not the main theme of this movie and i for one am thankful for that. well worth watching and stands the test of time well.
Once Were Warriors (1994)
another brilliant kiwi movie.......
as a 'victim' of long-term domestic violence (my fault for staying of course) this movie resonated fiercely with me. apart from the personal identification, i consider this one of the best movies i've seen for many reasons, although on a populist level it stereotyped Maoris. the cinema i watched this movie in was in Adelaide, and i had arrived early. the previous session was finishing and some of the viewers were Maori men. one of them was crying. 15 minutes into the film so was i. this film is also unfussy, unadorned, not too expected and carries a brilliant soundtrack. once again, proof that the kiwis make great movies.