Tag Archives: New Zealand

The Legend of Baron To’a is Returning to Ringside Soon!

16 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Fantasia Film Festival 2020

Coming soon to:
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
October 15, 2020 at 12pm PT to 18th
Geolocked

For the latest screening updates, please visit TLoBT’s Facebook page.

The historical context nestled within The Legend of Baron To’a may well hide a deeper meaning. I found a lesson which speaks about early European-Tonga relations when New Zealand was being settled. No first encounter is ever perfect. This film’s introduction from two of the actors making an apology to the Royal Family and the Tonga suggests to viewers (who know the back history between these two nations) shouldn’t get offended in this satire.

Newcomers unfamiliar with this country will get an interpretation based on how a gang of ruffians can disrupt life in the suburbs. Thankfully, it only stretches a block or two. John Argall and Owen Black’s take had a context director Kiel McNaughton must have liked. When the Europeans first landed, the relationship between the Māori were largely amicable. But as land was sold and traded, tensions rose. Just how this relates to the Tonga isn’t fully clear, though it’s easy to assume Baron To’a’s name borrows from and plays with how to represent this sovereign nation.

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It’s An Alien Addiction, not Abduction with Shae Sterling!

16 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

On Demand, Blu-ray and DVD

Release Date:
September 29

Gravitas Ventures

Shae Sterling is a tremendous talent in New Zealand. He’s worked with international talents like Snoop Dogg and is better known for his music video work with local artists. He’s also collaborated with Stan Walker (The X Factor) and the list does not end there! Plus, he’s the director of the documentary sports racing series High Octane. To become a fully fledged filmmaker, however, means making a proper debut with the crazy stoner comedy, Alien Addiction!

Going into making genre films isn’t without its own unique set of challenges–especially concerning special effects–but I feel he’s done a remarkable job. 15 years is more than enough in one industry to develop one’s skills. A different question is whether this film would play with UFO lore from this region. This country is famous for one instance–The Kaikoura Lights–but as for whether this movie would explore this further or stand on its own is a decision this director no doubt had to figure out. His choice to do sit-com is much needed when the there’s been a lot of similar films released this year.

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The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Gets New Zealand’s Stamp of Approval!

5 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

First-day-cover

In anticipation for the next Hobbit movie, New Zealand Post has released a line of coins and stamps that only Smaug can afford. The former item is legal tender, and they are quite the premium item. But the cost is definitely not for the faint of heart. A single 1 oz. gold proof coin starts at $3395 and a complete set will set wallets back by a hefty $10K by the time shipping to other points of the Earth are factored in. At least there are imitation products, like the $29.90 (face value of $1) imitation gold product (bronze) that features Bard the Bowman of Lake-town.

At least the stamps are better valued. They start at a rounded off price of $12 as first day covers or single sheets. The items offered for the Desolation of Smaug is wide and varied whereas remaining stock for the previous film, An Unexpected Journey, will slowly become limited. Both movies have collectable coins and stamps, and the question of whether or not a mega-pack will arrive when the third movie releases will depend on what’s left over, or if more will be printed or minted.

That may be worth the wait for Hobbit collectors anyways. Although to own stamps made to commemorate films is great, but when a series is still ongoing, not all dragon younglings will be flocking to own every item out there.