Category Archives: Movie Talk

Hibiscus & Ruthless|”It’s Not That Much Magic, Just A Little Bit”

“It’s not that much magic, just a little bit.”

Please go watch the trailer and the film so the reference makes sense and isn’t nonsensical. Also, this film is a lot of magic. Truly.

New Zealand film Hibiscus & Ruthless, the second project of SQS (Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa) has been out in cinemas since January 25th. And I’m well aware that this review is very late, but y’all should’ve been at the premiere- I guess we all running on island time.

This is SQS’s follow-up to his big hit Three Wise Cousins and I’ve been eager to catch it on the big screen since the trailer popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. Following the life of Hibiscus (Suivai Pilisipi Autagavaia) with her best friend Ruth aka Ruthless (Anna-Maree Thomas), SQS directed a humorous film that evoked nostalgic memories of mum’s lectures, her hidings, the family events- I’ve never related so much with a film until now. Which I believe is one of the greatest things about SQS’s films. They’re a celebration of our culture and our people. He did this with Three Wise Cousins, and did it again with Hibiscus & Ruthless. It’s encouraging to be able to see people like me on screen. It’s uplifting. It’s empowering to have experiences similar to mine (and other Poly’s) on a screen in cinemas, selling tickets and drawing massive amounts of support. Yaaaaassss, I’m proud af.

And it’s the juxtaposition of Hibiscus and Ruthless that drew out my loud as laughs in the middle of The Civic- their friendship is something so familiar, so comfortable and so easy on screen. It made the film so enjoyable because it’s just natural. I’m encouraging everyone to go out and watch this film. Other than being a film that comes through with the laughs, it will appeal to all audiences. Check out the trailer below and my sister’s review-





You’ve been warned.

Also from this point, my writing is going to be even more informal and whack so bear with me- or don’t. I don’t care tbh. My review, not yours.

Guys guys guys- I loved this film. I feel like I might’ve liked it a little more than Three Wise Cousins if their soundtrack was as catchy, but for now they’re pretty much on the same level. Both fantastic.

The children who featured in the film were too cute- And kicking off the New Year on the table, making ipu ki’s? Y IS THAT MY LIFE HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA Straight up, I remember being really young and wishing I was a part of a white family so we could watch our money burn and not think twice about it. Is that offensive? Slightly. Weh.

As soon as I saw Hibiscus’ disaster of a date with Mr. I Speak Success (aka Steven), I knew that things were gonna turn to kaka because of drama with a dude. And boy did things go to kaka.

Steven turns out to be a grade A douchebag which sucks because I was rooting for him from the beginning. Heck, I was rooting for him since the trailer. Bible I thought I would just marry him when Hibiscus said her favourite colour was red and he said, “Mine’s blue! Would you like to fight? Ha ha ha ha ha I kid, I kid. Just a bit of street gang humour there.” That line had me crying with laughter. Sorry, my humour is so dry guys.

Then that other dude who isn’t even a potential bae. I feel like he would’ve been the safest option though.

Hibiscus is spending all her fa’alavelave money on dresses for when she’s going on her dates with Anthony. But boy was sooo smooth, with his words and his dancing *fans self* *heart eye emoji* WEH!! When he took off his shirt and the band stopped playing? Had me crying in my seat, for real. Don’t worry Hibiscus, I’d spend all my imaginary money to look good for him, too. Hol’ up while I quickly contact my bank and ask whether I’m eligible for an overdraft HAHAHAHA I kid I kid. No man will ever have that power over me.

Things turned so ugly. They weren’t ready to be together. They were both at different stages in life. Honestly, Hibiscus just needed those experiences because she’d been so sheltered her entire life. Doesn’t it make you think that by sheltering someone so much, your efforts to protect them is for naught because they aren’t prepared for the real world? They haven’t lived or seen enough of the world to know how things work in order to handle it on their own. Not blaming the mother at all for Hibiscus getting hurt, but it’s a teaching moment. The world is hanging and people will always learn from their mistakes. Let them make mistakes. That’s one of the things I felt that the film conveyed.

The whole film is so much deeper than it seems. I had so many questions, like where’s Hibiscus’ dad? OH DAAAAAAANG! While writing this, I just realised how absent male figures were in this film?? The only ones we really looked at were Hibiscus’ potential baes. This film clearly celebrates women, Polynesian women in particular, so maybe they did this so our focus would just be on the women of the film and their lives? SQS, slick af.

Also where does Ruthless live? Especially since my favourite characters were Ruthless and good ol’ G-Ma- I was stuck trying to figure out more of Ruthless’ backstory because she was basically adopted into this small Samoan family, quickly adopting their culture and teachings. I feel as though this small Samoan family shaped her in such a significant way and the moment this really showed, for me, was when Hibiscus went off at her mother and Ruthless was sat at the table. In all honesty, Hibiscus’ meltdown was bound to happen. And so when Ruthless slapped her, I felt that had been because she grew up with them. It was her saying, “Don’t you dare speak to mum like that. Don’t blame anyone else for your mistakes. Don’t wallow in self-pity. You hurt me. Pull yourself together.”

When Hibiscus’ mother (portrayed by Nafanuatele Lafitaga Mafaufau Peters) had her heart to heart with her daughter, I had to blink back tears. It was slightly awkward and stiff, and I’m not sure if it was purposefully done that way, but it was realistic, for me, anyways. In my experience, our Samoan mother’s are headstrong and not overly emotional people (unless it’s anger because they so quick to show you their death stare lol). They don’t show weakness, they don’t coddle or baby us, and they always give it to us straight. And despite talking to her daughter who’s heart’s just been broken, who’s failed her last year of Uni and also let down her best friend, I didn’t feel like Hibiscus’ mother had suddenly become this super duper nice and totally not intimidating and strict parent. She just stopped being so harsh. She was sad about her daughter being sad, and that’s real. I don’t even know if what I just typed up made any sort of sense. Oh well.

This film was some next level stuff, and it really lived up to Three Wise Cousins. I walked out of the theatre trying to plan when I would next watch it. I also walked out and immediately went in search of the cast because I wanted selfies with them. I’m so cool.

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Don’t mind the quality, guys. I don’t know how to fix it.






Spookers | The story behind the scares

The documentary, Spookers, directed by Florian Habicht, has recently hit cinemas as of the 14th of September and Mata and I were lucky enough to be invited to a preview screening.

Now, before going into the cinema, I had watched the trailer and from the get-go, I was stoked. We get to see behind the scenes, we get to see what sort of people worked in this sort of environment and why. My curiosity about this place sky rocketed because last year in early December, the 11th of December to be exact, I had gone to Spookers with Mata and some other family members. It had been one of the most frightening experiences of my life. Idfw clowns… or loud, inhuman screeching.

Fast forward to the preview screening, we were lucky enough to have one of the Spookers actors there, IN FULL MAKEUP AND COSTUME. Juneen (I think that’s her name) walked out and I sacked my metaphorical nuts. She walked towards me and I swear, I thought she was that demon Valak from The Conjuring 2. I wasn’t even in front of the screen and I was already scared.

Walking into the cinema 11 or whatever, it was hard to ignore the looks the rest of the audience cast our way because I may have freaked out louder than I had originally thought (lol). But once the film had started playing, I couldn’t stop thinking Juneen was going to pop out at me. So throughout the first 20 minutes, I was sitting there tense af and hella jumpy.

Now, Spookers, the documentary was everything I thought it would be and more. It was scary (for me) but it was so unbelievably funny. It almost had a ‘Shaun of the Dead’ feel, and I couldn’t understand how I could be scared and laughing at the same time. One of the greatest things about Spookers is they let you into their world and where that might sound incredibly unappealing, it’s heartwarming watching the way the actors and the family who runs the place interact. They really are a close-knit unit that not only supports each other in the workplace, but also through personal hardships.

This documentary was insightful and we were able to look at the history of Spookers, or more the history of the former psychiatric ward, Kingseat Hospital. Founded in 1932 and closed in 1999, the hospital held over 800 patients for various reasons. And it was good to see the different perspectives on the infamous haunted attraction, Spookers.

Please, anyone who has gone to Spookers or wants to go should definitely watch this. Anyone who enjoys watching people get the crap (code brown) scared out of them should watch this. Tbh I reckon everyone should watch this, it’s just great.

Special Mentions:

  • Shout out to the amazing cast, y’all are epic and the dramatisations on the rugby field are A++
  • How’s about The Sausage Song had me crying. SAUSAGES. Really??!?

  • Peep our cute ass family photo at Spookers loooooolScreen Shot 2017-09-18 at 8.50.03 pm
  • When ‘Ia Lava Lava’ started playing at the end, and Mata and I couldn’t help but hum/sing along because wow what a bangaaaa. Ad libs, trills and everythaaang.
  • We didn’t see our friend Two Chainz (although he only had one chain) in the doco. We met him at Spookers and he haaaaaaaated us, especially Leilani (the one in the stripped top). I swear he wanted to drop kick her hahahahaha!!!
  • I think everyone should enjoy our photos, ay.
  • This has nothing to do with the film, but like, there was this super cute priest when we went last year????? Um???? Hook us up please???? Hahahahahaha just joking. Or am I?

Mata’s Mentions:

  • Hi guys, miss me? A few things from me- I thought the dramatisations were a bit dramaatz- but I suppose you can’t have a dramatisation without the drama.
  • I do appreciate that the documentary had input from a former Kingseat nurse and patient, it gave the doco a somewhat balanced approach.
  • I’d give the doco FOUR JAWKWARDLOLS out of FIVE- because the slowmo scares and the sausage song had me in stitches.







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He’s the priest hahahahaha 😉

Kingsman: The Golden Circle | Trailers

Out in NZ theatres September 21st, we cannot wait! So we’ve watched and rewatched the trailers and put them in one place for you to watch (or rewatch) too!

So the Kingsman headquarters gets destroyed and the world is held hostage and of course, OF COURSE, there’s an allied spy organization in the US.  It’ll be interesting to watch the brits and the yanks work together to save the world, always good for a laugh.

Ze cast: Taron Egerton, Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Mark Strong, Jeff Bridges, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore

It’s a star studded cast but I’m mainly glad to see that Roxy aka LANCELOT (Sophie Cookson) is still in the picture. Because idc… issa ship.


Black Butler: Book of The Atlantic | Film Review [#OTAKU LIFE]

The latest animated rendition of the Black Butler [黒執事; Kuroshitsuji] manga by Yana Toboso grabs the story of the sixth arc, Luxury Liner, and gives us an action-packed film rendition of an already amazing manga series. ‘Kuroshitsuji: Book of the Atlantic’ is brought to us by A-1 Pictures, directed by Noriyuki Abe and written by Hiroyuki Yoshino. The film follows our ever-so-dark yet cute main boy Ciel Phantomhive and his butler Sebastian Michaelis as they embark on a luxury cruise full of nobles to hunt down the source of a rumour revolving around human experimentation.

If you’ve been following the manga, GREAT. If you’ve watched the anime versions (sans the latter part of the second season which is hypothetical) and managed to watch up to the ‘Book of Murder’ movie/2 long episode special, then some characters may seem familiar (one in particular who makes an appearance in the ‘Book of Circus’ series/arc). If not, THEN YOU MUST! I won’t spoil any of this film, apart from the plot which I’ve mentioned and I guess you don’t necessarily HAVE to watch the preceding seasons/films because, like most anime, when a character appears, the main character, usually in a shocked state, reveals their whole name. That being said, a lot of the story would make MORE sense if you watched the series or read the manga before this arc (The film covers volumes 12, 13 and 14 of the manga if that’s useful information) and characters you once knew from the stuff before this film might help to add shock value to some of the revelations in this film.

The film retains the Black Butler series’ dark and sombre aura, with that hint of comedy, flying cutlery ass-kickery and the characterization ranging from the composed cool main cast to the over-flamboyant and narcissistic characters that our main men Ciel and Sebastian seem to always ‘coincidentally’ run into. The art and character design is the same between the manga and seasons before this film, music is grand and dramatic and the story is plot-twist GALORE.

As a long-time fan of the series, I highly recommend the film – the reasons why though, I can’t give because spoilers level: MAX. SO WATCH IT PLEASE! If you’re looking for a ‘if the Titanic was the meeting ground for a secret society of nobles and the passengers included a revengeful earl and his demon butler’ kind of story (and it’s not even a joke at the fact that it’s a luxury liner, THE SHIP LITERALLY FACES (almost) THE SAME DEMISE)  then give the film a try. Like I said before, even if you’ve read the manga, seen the animations before this one or haven’t seen it at all, give it a try because “You see, its one hell of a movie.”

Take a look at screenings here in New Zealand for the film which premiered yesterday at EVENTS Cinema and goes on until next Wednesday (21st of June) and you can also catch it today at 4:30pm and at 12pm noon on Saturday and Sunday at Academy Cinemas.


Logan Review | The grisly send off we didn’t realise we deserved

Director James Mangold makes very good use of the R-rating Logan is given, there’s ample amount of violence, course language and even a couple of boobies.

However that’s not why the film sets itself apart from all Wolverine related films that have come before. Logan does something  to the audience in the two or so hours it has you for. It proves to you that Logan (Hugh Jackman) deserved this send off as much as we did, because it doesn’t try to pander to or be a product of the first two Wolverine (and 11 other X-men) films.

It’s its own beast, a steady moving dystopian road film that’s less heady escapism and more gritty storytelling that gives Wolverine more character than any other X-men film before it.

Set in 2029 with a worse-for-wear Logan, driving around people in a limo-for-hire to save money not only to (illegally) buy medicine for an ailing 90 year old Charles Xavier- who suffers seizures that causes anyone near him to get mentally rocked- but squirrel away funds to buy a boat for him and the once regal Professor X to live on the high seas like a couple of grumpy mutant pirates.

This, unfortunately, doesn’t come to pass. Not a spoiler, surely you would have guessed that this isn’t where the film’s headed- or it would have been called Logan’s Island.

Enter 11-year-old Laura (Dafne Keen), a dark-eyed orphan dumped into Logan’s life by a Mexican nurse (Elizabeth Rodriguez) from a local clinic.

She’s quiet, broody and her eyes speak of a child who’s seen too much and knows too much of a world that’s been less than kind to her- remind you of anyone?

If you guessed Logan wasn’t going to be the best of babysitters you would have been right, but he’s the one she’s stuck with and I’m making the situation sound much lighter than it is.

Watch the film, decide how off the tone of my review is for yourself.

It’s good, there are LOLS- mostly of the slice of life/every day wry variety that you would experience yourself.

But I give it 4 and a half JAWKWARDLOLS out of five because half of one of the LOLS got stuck in my throat after that final scene.

It’s out now in New Zealand cinemas and just in case you haven’t seen the trailer, or you just want to watch it again, check it out below:



Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children | Film Review

Please note the following review does not contain spoilers. 

“It’s time for you to learn what you can do.”

Another exciting film to hit the screens this year by none other than director Tim Burton. A great mixture of boy meets girl, wry humour, spooky elements, and most importantly the theme of self discovery – because in today’s society, who are you and how do you fit in, if you don’t know yourself.

The clash of fantasy and reality makes the journey of this film mesh so well with the self discovery and hero element. It also has a good blend of dark and light elements, that won’t scare the kids too much. The film is 127 minutes long, but time flies as you are absorbed into the storyline.

The visuals and effects will amaze, however the only downside I felt the film had was the unexplored history of Abe. It’s something the adults will pick up on but kids will wash over. I feel like it would give more of an impact and make the film far more well rounded in its story telling. Also majority of the characters are touched upon, and it makes you question what really is the point of having all of them.

However… Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a great all rounder film, for all to see. Escape the ordinary and check out the trailer below. Oh and stay peculiar people, life is much more fun that way… you’ll see.


Hunt for the Wilderpeople | Hunt for the DVD lol

Hunt for the Wilderpeople follows the story of a young boy, Ricky, who finds himself in a wild manhunt with his foster uncle Hec. Being on the run, they learn to put aside their differences and come to rely on each other, in order to survive out in the New Zealand bush.

In New Zealand, Hunt for the Wilderpeople hit cinemas on the 31st of March 2016, a film directed and written by Taika Waititi and based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump. Becoming the highest grossing New Zealand film, it has now been released on DVD which you can find and purchase here. It’s also available on Blu-Ray here.

Special features on DVD and Blu-Ray include:

  • Audio Commentary with Taika Waititi (director and writer), Sam Neil (uncle Hec) and Julian Dennison (Ricky).
  • Featurette
  • Interviews
  • Bloopers


Don’t read on unless you want to be spoiled.


My favourite scenes from the movie would include:

  • Any interaction with Aunt Bella because not only was she savage as hell, she was probably the sweetest lady ever. I actually threw a mini tantrum in the cinema when that thing (Y’ALL KNOW THE THING I’M TALKING ABOUT IF Y’ALL HAVE WATCHED IT) happened. Straight up, I sobbed angrily in the middle row, holding the cheeseburger that I’d snuck in.
  • Once rejected, now accepted,
    By me, and Hector.
    We’re a trifecta. 
  • ANYTHING WITH THAT SOCIAL WORKER, PAULA! No child left behind. Bruh, she actually terrifies me like how on Earth is she allowed to work with children hahahahahahahahaha send help.
  • Hector is cauc-asian? Well they got that wrong, because you’re obviously white. *inserts laughing emoji*
  • The Maori dad who asked for a selfie, and his beautiful daughter who sang “original” songs and had a seemingly endless supply of sausages.
  • The cute moments between Hec and Ricky where they’d bond and it’s probably the cutest uncle-nephew relationship because they both think the other is a bastard, but they protect each other and that’s true family. Tbh, they just have all these emotional moments and lessons throughout the film.

It’s actually so great. Please watch it. And buy it. And love it.