Ordinary people find extraordinary courage in the face of madness. On 13-14 November 1990 that madness came to Aramoana, a small New Zealand seaside village. It came in the form of a lone gunman with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle. As he stalked his victims the terrified and confused residents were trapped in the village for 24 hours while a handful of under-resourced and underarmed local policeman risked their lives trying to find him and save the survivors. By dawn 13 people lay dead. This is a true story.
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There are hundreds of movies out their about mass murderers in a rangeof pretty much unwatchable to excellent, edge-of-your-seat viewing. Alarge majority of these films are fiction and can be dismissed as justblood and gore thrillers no matter their quality. There are a few thatare based upon terrorist acts that for most of the viewers,fortunately, can be dismissed as something so foreign to their everydaylives that a comfortable distance with reality can be kept. Out of theBlue doesn't fit into either of these categories, and that is whatmakes it even more horrifying.Probably in every neighborhood in the world, there lives the loner -the "You kids stay out of my yard," grouch who is probably more of anobject of humor or exasperation rather than fear. Out of the Blue isthe true story of one such man who lived in a small seaside village inNew Zealand in 1990.David Gray lived in a small shack in Aramoana, New Zealand. He was asocial outcast who often had disagreements with his closest neighborover petty things - things that most neighbors would settle easily. AsGray lived his lonely life, he was slowly amassing a large collectionof guns and supposed wrongs perpetrated against him by his neighborsand government officials. On November 13, 1990, one of his neighbor'sdaughters crossed into Gray's yard, and that set off a horrifyingseries of events which ended the next day with thirteen residents -men, women, and children - murdered.It is a bit ironic that earlier in the day before watching this DVD, Iwas discussing with a friend her nephew who suffers from mentalinstability. This man in his forties whom I have known since his lateteens has manifested imaginary wrongs, many of which happened more thantwenty years ago. He is unable to release himself from these feelingsbecause he truly believes them even though most of them never reallyhappened in the way that he has perceived them. Perhaps knowing thisman has caused Out of the Blue to have a greater effect upon me, but Iam willing to guess that most of the readers of this review knowsomeone like my friend's nephew who teeters on the edge of stabilitydaily. It certainly brought the film very close to home for me.The acting in Out of the Blue is excellent. Each and every actor onscreen makes you believe in the character, but I think the thing thatputs the film in the five star category is its brilliant direction.Robert Sarkies skillfully draws you into Aramoana and makes you aresident of the village way before the first shot is fired. He alsohelps you to understand David Gray as much as he can be understood. Theviewer hates David Gray for what he did but still can summon up a bitof compassion for this sad, sad outsider.Out of the Blue is a great little film that should be seen by anythinking adult - especially any adult who knows a sad outsider.
I rented this because of the other two 5 star reviews. Boy, was I disappointed. 5 stars? Are you kidding! 5 stars should represent a masterpiece or close to it (Godfather, Raging Bull, Citizen Kane, Fight Club, etc.)Out of the Blue was awful! Extremely low budget. Grainy. Poor photography. The audio was terrible. I was constantly changing the volume to either hear the dialog or to turn down the dialog. A great deal of the movie was spent on long boring shots. For example, a policeman pointing a gun. The camera would just sit there on the guy for like 20 seconds. That may not seem like a long time. But in a movie it's an eternity. They did this kind of photography throughout the entire movie. I found my self saying "come on already, next scene."The acting was sub-par. No good performances unless you count an actor just sitting there with a sad expression on his face. There were two pros to this movie. 1. It was factual. 2. The scenery of some shots were pretty. I guess the director knew this because about every 15 minutes he would switch to a satellite view of the town and just sit there for, you guessed it, 20 seconds. Overall, this movie was Bad with a capitol B.
Tired with reality life-struggle turned psycho mass-murderer and camera follows a slaughter of near all NZ country-town.Hopeless police add no appreciation to this story. Out of the Blue - The Definitive Investigation of the UFO Phenomenonis the much better viewing for a self-education.Probably, my personal slogan "It could always be much worse" applies to watching such sort of stories.
This movie really puts you in the small-town New Zealand environment where David Gray went berserk one day and started shooting people at random. No slick production is made of this re-enactment. There are no stars, no special effects other than those necessary to re-create Gray's violent eruption. "Out of the Blue" has a simple hand-held, real-people feel all the way.Neither is there any inflated attempt to explain the man's motives or psychology. However we can feel his rage building as we approach him slowly from behind, just looking at the back of his neck through the camera's eye. For a moment, we become the stalkers. We can feel the bristling on that neck as we stand behind him, peering over his shoulder as he scrawls angry notes to the world.Then when Gray starts on his rampage, we sit with the frightened townspeople scattered here and there, hiding from the gunfire. It took the police a while to get word of what was happening and to get some forces out to this remote town by a spit jutting into the ocean. Once they did arrive, they were still helpless to stop the carnage. They didn't know the terrain. Gray did. He could dodge around among, into, and out of, the array of houses that made up this eclectic little town - now in someone's abandoned shack - now in someone's neat, abandoned ranch-style house. Or were these houses abandoned? Who had evacuated in time and who was left to hide in their homes? Gray could pop up like a gopher anywhere.The experience that will probably stick with me most from this film was the waiting with one of the town's senior citizens as she hunkered down in her kitchen through most of a whole day and a whole night. She dare not move. Gray was shooting at anything he glimpsed moving in or out of any of the houses. So the elderly lady waited, just daring to creep to her refrigerator a few times. And then oh, that tell-tale flash of light when she opened the refrigerator door. As relatives got word of the siege and phoned her, they increased her danger. Every time the phone rang, there was a possibility that the sound would alert Gray to the fact that someone was still alive in that house.Most of this film was not shot in Aramoana where the shootings actually took place. Feelings were still too raw among the survivors to subject them to a complete re-living of that reign of terror. However the producers did film in a nearby town with the same flavor and feel as Anamoana. And viewers re-live the event as it unfolds.
It was inevitable that - like the Stan Graham saga of 1941 made intothe movie "Bad Blood" - the Aramoana massacre of 1990 would eventuallybe turned into a feature film. To their credit, the cast and crew ofthis have done a good job of it and perhaps just as importantly, thescript writers have attempted to provide a little insight into why ithappened, although the full background is something that people willneed to read the two books that were written about it to get. The filmstarts in the morning of the day it started (the events lasted into thenext day) and continues - with only a couple of brief flashbacks on thepart of Gray - till a conclusion just after Gray is shot dead bypolice. It manages to keep fairly true with the actual events (asdescribed in the two books) although there are some departures ofvarying importance. The film works well as a drama and unlike aHollywood movie doesn't portray anyone as a superhero, or thickly applysentimentality. The cinematography is also superb.
For someone who grew up only a couple of hundred kilometres from the scene of the Aromoana shootings, it is difficult to write an unbiased review. Factually, "Out of the Blue" is as accurate an account as it is possible to bring to the big screen, and the acting, scenery, and atmosphere are flawless. The movie's relevance for a U.S. audience is as a societal lens that focuses on the many equivalent shooting tragedies that beset the United States year after year. That such alienation and hatred can be felt in a small town in a land far, far away amidst backdrops like those seen in "The Lord of the Rings," rather than at a U.S. university campus or a McDonald's is a reflection on the ubiquity of selfishness, sickness, and guns. No one wants to see a hyper-accurate account of Cho Seung-hui in the days preceding the Virginia Tech massacre, but viewing a similar downward spiral and the resulting tragedy may be easier for many audiences at a distance of 10,000 miles as a small New Zealand town faces down a demon in the form of David Gray. The courage displayed by little old ladies crawling about under fire to help others can only give hope to us all, and the final scene where Gray is roughly shackled and the police smoke cigarettes while he bleeds out is a satisfying glimpse of Kiwi justice. ANZUS is the Australia, New Zealand, United States treaty alliance, a commonality written in ink; "Out of the Blue" is a commonality we share through tragedy. Is this a review of events or a movie- you may well ask- but sometimes the two are inextricable, and the only way to face down the incomprehensible is through the medium of film.
This review is from: Out of the Blue (DVD) Yes, it started slow like everyone else said, but when it got going, it really took off. I found myself yelling at Karl Urban's character to pull the trigger when he had David Gray in his sights- by not doing that, he cost the lives of countless others, and I'm sure it's something that poor police officer revisits every night in his sleep. Overall, it was good.
This review is from: Out of the Blue (DVD) Out of the Blue: A man just snaps one day and goes on a shooting spree, killing and hurting who comes near him in a small town. Now, I think just the fact that it really happened, should be something that a person has going through their minds when they watch this movie. think about how you would feel if you were the old lady, the child, or heck even the killer himself....and how the movie was set up and displayed the director wanted you to be in that perspective, to feel what they feel and so on. To me that gives more of a rating than the special effects, the photography, the audio and whatever else that some people degrade a movie and lower its worth just because of those reasons. Yes its a lower budget film but just because it is dont mean its not a good movie. My issue is that at the beginning I was like WTF is going on and when is something going to happen. It seemed to have taken forever to get to that point but than its bam bam and than i was paying attention and into the movie. I giggled when he went into the bedroom and went to bed, hey he had a long day he needed to sleep. I liked the movie and am content of spending the money on getting it heck i think i spent only 3 bucks on it so hey, who knows i may watch it a few more times in my lifetime...
New Zealand screenwriter and director Robert Sarkies' second featurefilm which he co-wrote with screenwriter Graeme Tetley, is based on thebook "Aramoana: Twenty-Two Hours of Terror" from 1991 by retired NewZealand police officer Bill O'Brien and on the Aramoana Massacre, thedeadliest criminal shooting in New Zealand history, which took place onthe 13th and 14th November 1990 in the small coastal settlement ofAramoana in the South Island of New Zealand. It premiered in theDiscovery section at the 31st Toronto International Film Festival in2006 and is a New Zealand production which was shot on location inAramoana and Long Beach, Ontagio in New Zealand and produced by StevenO'Meagher and Tim White.It tells the story about a sunny Friday morning in mid-November 1990 inthe small community of Aramoana, New Zealand. A 37-year old man namedDavid Gray who is known as an eccentric goes to the bank where heinstigates an argument. At the same time, a woman named Julie-Anne whois thinking about moving in with her boyfriend Garry sends her threeadolescent daughters Chiquita, Jasmine and Rewa with the school-bus,Garry visits his mother to tell her about his and Julie-Anne's plan andlocal police officer Nick arrives at his office where he meets hiscolleague Stu. The day goes by like most other days. Julie-Anne'sdaughters returns from school and Garry returns from his mother'shouse, but when Chiquita, Jasmine and Rewa goes outside to play, theirneighbor becomes upset and when Garry confronts him he goes into hishouse an picks up a rifle.Finely and acutely directed by New Zealand filmmaker Robert Sarkies,this fictional depiction of an unforeseen, shocking and horrendous massmurder that took away the lives of thirteen innocent people on anautumn day in the township of Aramoana near the city of Dunedin in theSouth Island of New Zealand, draws a mindful and at times efficientlysilent portrayal of great human courage. Robert Sarkies's commendablenarrative feature pays homage to the people of Aramoana who witnessedthat horrible day and focuses on their compassion for one another andon the many acts of bravery that saved lives. An authentic and reverentreconstruction with many good acting performances.
Intelligent viewers can understand and appreciate this film without needing the over-the-top Hollywood hype (explosions and gunfire every 3 seconds). It tells a powerful story, in a very respectful way.Karl Urban delivers a genuine performance. While he has thrived as an action hero, he shows he has a sensitive side as well. Worth watching for his performance alone.
This review is from: Out of the Blue (DVD) Aside from the fact this is based on True Events which is sad I really enjoyed this film. It is NOT an action film nor is it fast paced but a steady stream of action and interesting plot of survival and fear kept me into it. Good acting and not cheesy by any means it is worth watching and definitely worth the price here on Amazon!
I'm a somewhat elderly American, resident in New Zealand, and this isone of the best movies I've ever seen. Everyone who appreciates trulyfine movies should see this one. You needn't be a kiwi to get it.Photography, acting, composition, everything in this movie shines. Asother viewers have suggested, this movie compares favorably toHollywood and Hollywood-influenced movies (such as "Lord of the Rings",ahem) because it doesn't depend on special effects, mind-blowing battlescenes, guts or gore or gorgeous actresses to keep our attention.Regardless of what you do or do not compare it to, this one isriveting, a masterpiece.
New Zealand docudrama about the massacre that occurred in Aramoana whenan angry gun nut opened fire on his neighbors and severely reduced thepopulation.Slow to start, I thought that this was going to be a typical story of ashooting with its pleasant vistas and the get to know the participantsset up scenes. However once things got going things spiral out in waysthat they can only in real life. The violence, which we know is coming,is at first explosive and in its way out of left field. Then as theneighbors and soon to be targets attempt to figure out what the"fireworks" are things becoming darker as the random acts of violencebegin to pick up. What do you do when a nut job begins to open fire?Here's the answer.Though far from perfect, its a tad too clinical for my tastes, thisfilm really packs a punch, especially in the final scenes where thereare a few decidedly haunting images that not only drive home whatshappened but also turns so of what we've seen on their ear (The swatteam in slo mo).I thought it was quite good. However I'm not particularly pleased withthe Weinstein company who is its distributor. No ads for the film inNew York. Sure you screened it for critics, but no add other than inthe general ad for the IFC center where its playing. Clearly you don'twant anyone to see it or know it existed.(I caught it on IFC on Demandcable service.) I only gave it a shot because I saw the title in theTime Out New York film reviews. Clearly they don't know what they aredoing since here's a film they should promote but don't, yet otherthings like... Doogal...they promote like mad even thought it belongsin the bottom of a charnel house's fire pit.If you get a chance to see it do so, its too good not to be seen.
I remember very well the events unfolding in Aramoana as it wasbroadcast on the TV and radio. I was a Police Officer at the time andthe death of a fellow officer was tough news to hear. Seeing the eventsrecreated on screen for the first time brought the memories floodingback. Seeing how even in a relatively peaceful nation such as NewZealand, no-one is immune from random acts of violence was verysobering. I sat bolt upright the entire movie and didn't realise it.The theater was deathly quiet. This is a movie that pulls no punchesand has not an inkling of Hollywood in it. It is a sad, dramatic, trueto life retelling of the massacre. This type of film is one of thereasons I avoid many of the big budget Hollywood movies. There's noglorification here, no overly animated death scenes, this is moviemaking at it's best. The story is being told without embellishment andin a sadly beautiful way. A must see for New Zealander's, and foranyone else interested in seeing a powerful, compelling movie. NewZealand's movie of the year, without doubt.
This review is from: Out of the Blue (DVD) Very few films can tackle the horrors and details of such an event yet still address the sensitivities and desires to get it right. Describing the story in the film is not needed as it can be found in the book and online. The filmmakers painstakingly reproduced the events without much artistic license (like BHD and Bridge/Kwai) so I will review the R1 DVD version.Karl Urban performed in his best role to date. He was very believable and showed a sense of compassion and fear that made the film revolve around him in a powerful way. Seeing him in the likes of Doom, Bourne and Pathfinder makes this title even more important in taking these kinds of roles. The supporting cast was very respectful in their portrayals even down to the darkness and psychosis of the shooter. The DVD extras are outstanding in providing a lay person with the details and real footage of what happened that day. The producers and cast all poured their hearts into auditioning and making this movie, both elements of which are shown on the associated docus. The transfer was very clear and the menus easy to navigate. Once you see the footage of the crime scenes you realize they tried to get every detail remade down to the letter, including the way windows had shattered and bodies had come to rest.I had a couple customers already say they forwarded through the "slow" parts in the beginning, which do last for the first 31 1/2 minutes but it is a necessary monument to what those families went through that afternoon and evening. I highly recommend this film for those that want to see a respectful and well made portrayal of a horrendous event.
This review is from: Out of the Blue (DVD) The narrative is poorly written but makes a good police/crime story. This is a pass the time reading venture for a weekend.
I was lucky enough to attend a preview screening of Out of the Blue atthe Embassy theater. As the final credits rolled and the curtainsclosed I realized I had finally found the meaning to the word'masterpiece'. This is unquestionably one of the best films I have everseen. Period. The portrayal of David Gray is haunting in every meaning of the word.Matthew Sutherland is an expert as his craft. I despised him throughoutthe film but at the same time felt pity; for what he was going throughmentally was almost as scary as what he was causing the town to gothrough.Robert Sarkies has proved to us that he has a genuine eye fordirecting, and that he is loaded with talent. Although he has alreadyworked on several other New Zealand films/series, I believe that thiscould be his calling card for getting into the big-budget pictures.The acting is incredible, and I really admire Karl Urban for returningto NZ and doing this low-budget film. Every single performance in thisfilm is nothing short of spectacular. I have never felt as though Iactually knew a bunch of people in a movie until now. It was genuinelythe most scary thing I have seen when the town goes to hell.I wish that this movie could get a wide theatrical release, although Iam almost certain it wont because its story wont really effect anyoneoutside of New Zealand. However, if you live in New Zealand you mustsee this film when it is locally released in cinemas. In fact no;everyone should go see this film. Everyone. Twice.10/10 This is what happens when you get a bunch of people together wholove what they do to make a movie.
I went to see this having read a couple of books on the subject severalyears ago, including the one on which the film is based.Wasn't sure what to expect as there's been a lot of hype & mediapublicity surrounding this film.I must say I certainly wasn't disappointed.This is an excellent film. I haven't seen director Sarkies' other filmScarfies but I was impressed with this. No doubt he's headed for biggerthings if this film is any indication.Take a bow Mr Sarkies, you've already got the NZ Film Awards sewn up.This is the kind of film you don't see too often, shocking andextremely tense, but without relying on the graphic violence andbloodspatter far too prevalent in mainstream films these days. Add tothat this is a true story and there's plenty of attention to detail.A few other 'bigger' directors could take note from this that theaudience aren't all idiots. They can figure out what's happeningwithout squibs going off left, right and centre and spent cartridgesejecting from the chamber in slow motion.As the cinema sat in silence, I swear I could hear my own heartpounding at times as my blood pressure went through the roof. A greatmovie going experience not felt too often.I wasn't sure if If I was watching a reenactment or remastered old newsfootage as the specialist Police moved in on the town. It looked veryauthentic.In spite of his dastardly deeds, one couldn't help but feel a tad ofsympathy for the bad guy who is portrayed as a sad, lonelydysfunctional person who's mental health gradually deteriorates. Moregood work by the director and certainly different from the norm.It wasn't perfect though, the pacing of the film seemed a bit out ofkilter in a few places, while I thought some of the acting in the filmwas brilliant at times, but not quite so at others.The up close gun fire as well probably fell a little bit short in thedecibel department and could possibly use a touch up.That aside, on a global scale it's a small budget film so anyshortcomings are excused.I give it an 8 because I'm a very tough marker, with a 10 being nearlyimpossible.Given the subject matter, I don't think I could call this entertaining,but it sure is an experience & somewhat unforgettable, enough to make agrown man cry.In short, see this film!
I went to see this film on the day it was released. WOW what a awesomemovie very powerful true and deeply moving. The way they have filmed itis good and its not as graphic as I thought it would be. Everyone inNEw Zealand should see this film but it is not one I recommended youwatch alone as it is very sad. The actors in the movie play there partsgreat they all gave it 100% . One of the actors in the film ispersonally known to me and for the young age he is played his role verywell considering what the film is about. I give this movie 10 out often for everything . Its a must see film .T M D
This review is from: Out of the Blue (DVD) karl urban is wonderful in this movie. the movie is touching and scary that this really can happen anywhere. this is not an action movie like some of his other work so don't get this expecting that.