Out of the Blue
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Movie is done in a somewhat documentary style- you don't get to know the people well who were involved. Read morePublished 13 months ago by shell
Although Karl Urban is listed as the star, it is more of an ensemble piece. Based on a true event and it was filmed as reality more than trying to Hollywoodise it. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Donna O'Toole
Powerful drama, recreation of real events in New Zealand. This was very well worth the purchase. Karl Urban delivers a great portrayal.Published 21 months ago by Chris
I got this movie because I am a fan of Karl Urban. I love his action movies but he is capable of so much depth and emotion that I actively look for the movies that he does in his... Read morePublished on September 20, 2013 by Jaime G.
A realistic account of what happened in a small town in New Zealand when some mama's boy didn't get his way.
Men need hobbies - the elderly lady was my hero
karl urban is wonderful in this movie. the movie is touching and scary that this really can happen anywhere. Read morePublished on January 7, 2013 by robin carter
The narrative is poorly written but makes a good police/crime story. This is a pass the time reading venture for a weekend.Published on September 13, 2012 by Lloyd F. Adams