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Out of the Blue

4.1 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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(Jun 10, 2008)
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$29.95 $1.91

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Editorial Reviews

One horrific day, David Gray suddenly snapped. Based on the true story of a quiet, friendly town turned nightmare, Gray massacred those he'd known for all of his life, holding the whole town hostage through the night. A stunning portrait of a madman Out Of The Blue forces us to question the safety of our own communities and neighborly ties.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Karl Urban, Matthew Sunderland, Lois Lawn, Simon Ferry, Tandi Wright
  • Directors: Robert Sarkies
  • Writers: Robert Sarkies, Bill O'Brien, Graeme Tetley
  • Producers: Steven O'Meagher, Timothy White
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2008
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00151QYCQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,886 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Out of the Blue" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: DVD
Released completely under the radar and only grossing a truly pitiful $728 in its one US engagement, Robert Sarkies' Out of the Blue is one of the most cruelly overlooked films of recent years. The material doesn't sound too promising - a true story about a eccentric loaner in the ramshackle New Zealand coastal town of Aramoana who went on a 22-hour shooting rampage and killed 13 people, including four children, in 1990. The crime was all the more shocking in a country with such a low crime rate: this was the sort of thing that happened in other countries. (Their previous worst mass murderer had been Stan Graham, who murdered seven people in 1942, the subject of 1991's excellent and similarly underseen Bad Blood).

The potential for exploitation or cheap TV movie of the week dramatics was certainly there, yet the film is made with such understated sincerity, putting the focus firmly on the victims and the community - not just Karl Urban's smalltown cop completely out of his depth as he's unable to help people he knows and loves but also unlikely real-life heroine in 72-year old Helen Dickson, who dragged herself back and forth through a ditch to bring help and comfort to one of the victims. It's the sheer ordinariness of how they cope that is so devastating. The performances are all naturalistic and utterly convincing, only adding to the power in a quietly heartbreaking scene in the back of a police car where Karl Urban's cop whispers a bedtime story to a wounded child as his partner blankly holds a dead child in his arms.

As a sidenote, it's interesting how much of the film works as a (presumably unintentional) critique of Paul Greengrass' cheapjack technique.
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Format: DVD
The first thing to say is that this is more of a docudrama than a film. The second thing is that it is based on real life events that happened in the small town of Aramoana, New Zealand, in November of 1990.

On 13 November 1990 David Gray (Matthew Sunderland) picked up his weapons and, walking around the small costal community shot everyone he could see - men, women and children. For 22 hours he terrorised the local area. Why he did this no one will ever know as he was eventually shot dead by the police. The reason suggested by the film maker is a form of paranoid schizophrenia, with the final breakdown starting with problems at the bank and culminating with him chasing a child of "his land". He first picked up his rifle when the child's father approached the house to find out what the problem was - he was the first to die.

By the end of his rampage he had murdered 13 people (from the age of 5 to 70) and wounded many others. Nine police officers received awards and commendations. Sergeant Stewart Guthrie (William Kircher) received a posthumous George Cross. Mrs Helen Dickson (Lois Lawn), aged 73, received the George Medal for "great bravery". Mrs Dickson (who had undergone hip replacement surgery and walked with sticks) repeatedly crawled back and forth to a wounded neighbour and to the phone to call for help.

Nick Harvey (Karl Urban) was one of the local policemen and most of what happens after the rampage is seen from his point of view, though several incidents which occurred to a number of different officers have been amalgamated into this one persons view for ease of movie making. Nevertheless, it is amazing and horrifying to think that anyone could have lived though a single one of these events.
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