Bill Gavin

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What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted? Review


Good
More than a decade later, I'm still recovering from the emotional devastation I suffered while watching Once Were Warriors, a film about the downtrodden underclass of New Zealand's native Maori and how domestic abuse, poverty, and alcoholism have brought so many of them to their knees or even to early graves. The movie packs an almost literal punch.

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? is the somewhat unnecessary sequel, picking up the story of the shattered Heke family a few years after the first film. Violent wife beater Jake (the overpowering Temuera Morrison) is now divorced from his long-suffering wife Beth (Rena Owen), the emotional core of the first film. Their teenage daughter is already a suicide victim, and as this film opens, their eldest son, Nig (Julian Arahanga), a gang member, is shot dead in a gang fight. How awful to see Beth agonize through another funeral when the film is only five minutes old! Give the poor lady a break!

Continue reading: What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted? Review

The Last Tattoo Review


Good
You don't see many movies these days where a gonorrhea outbreak plays the central role. You can be thankful for that or not, but the oddball noir The Last Tattoo cuts a reasonably good movie despite a cryptic plot line. This New Zealand production is also set there, during a 1940s stopover by American troops. Kerry Fox plays the local medical examiner, who discovers an untreatable strain of the clap on the loose... and stumbles onto a murder and cover-up scandal along the way. Curious, though not totally compelling.
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