Happy Easter! A movie made in New Zealand…More to my liking than Tom’s…

Our favorite cow, a neighbor, whom we visit regularly on our “neighborhood” walks.  She’s always happy to see us.  This was the closest we could get to an Easter photo.

Happy Easter to all of our family, friend/readers who celebrate throughout the world.  May you have many blessings and a very fulfilling day!

As we travel we attempt to watch a movie that is either about and/or filmed in the country in which we’re living at any given time.  In reviewing all the movies filmed in New Zealand, we were in a quandary as to which movie we’d select.

Its not that New Zealand is short on options.  Nor are they lacking in producing many good movies and TV series, a few of which we’ve watched, particularly on Nat Geo, Discovery and the History Channel. 

What particularly caught my eye as I did the research were Peter Jackson’s movies.  He’s from Wellington on this North Island which we visited on a past cruise and plan to visit again on a future cruise in November.  Its a beautiful area.

Promo photo for King Kong 2005 remake.

Of course, many would suggest The Hobbit series of movies.  However, knowing Tom’s taste in movies, he’s hardly be interested in the subject matter, preferring reality to fantasy.  He also isn’t interested in science fiction or horror which are favorites of mine. 

We compromise. If I want to watch such a movie, he’ll stay busy on his laptop while I watch.  On occasion, he’ll suffer it out with me as he did last night when we watched Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of King Kong.

He was totally into the movie until it got to the part on “Skull Island” when the dinosaurs started fighting.  This was beyond his scope of “reality” and I could see he was rapidly losing interest. 

I stayed glued to the flat screen TV to which we’d plugged in the HDMI cord (a gift from daughter Tammy at Christmas 2014 which we use almost every evening.  Thanks, Tammy!). 

When giant octopus and dinosaurs appeared in the movie, Tom quickly lost interest.  He’s not into “monster” movies.

At a few points I found myself smiling non-stop as I reveled in the 11 year old technology and the quality remake of the classic movie originally made in 1933 (click here for video clip for the original movie). 

Tom’s eyes were glazed over.  I knew at any moment, he’d either doze off or pick up his laptop.  Once the dinosaurs started fighting he chose the later while I remained entranced until the end.

Of course, a highlight of the movie was the scenery which was filmed in New Zealand which had the flavor of this beautiful country especially close to the shore for the ocean scenes.  We weren’t readily able to identify certain locations but imagined many Kiwis would easily do so.

In any case, I enjoyed it immensely having never seen the remake in its entirety. Tom, not so much.

Here are a few mentions from this website on the filming locations:

Wellington locations

  • Skull Island / Shelly Bay and Lyall Bay: Filming for Skull Island took place at Lyall Bay. A second large-scale version, including the giant wall which separated Kong from the rest of the island, was built above the Massey Memorial near Shelly Bay. Skull Island was a key location in the original 1933 movie, and Jackson”s film follows the 1933 version faithfully, with a large portion of the film set on ”the island”.
  • New York / Seaview, Lower Hutt: 1930s New York came alive in New Zealand at Seaview in Wellington”s Hutt Valley as Jackson created a depression-era version of the Big Apple complete with Broadway, Times Square and Macy”s department store, as well as vintage cars and extras clad in period costume.
  • Venture ocean scenes / Kapiti Island and Cook Strait: Ocean scenes aboard the steamer Venture were filmed around Kapiti Island, a protected bird sanctuary off Wellington”s Kapiti Coast. Incidentally, Jackson and his crew made an unscheduled visit to Kapiti Island in March 2005 when they had to abandon the Venture because the boat began to take on water during filming, flooding the engine room.
  • Further ocean-going scenes were also shot on the Cook Strait, a stretch of water linking Wellington to Picton, at the tip of the South Island. The Strait is renowned for its rugged scenic beauty.
  • Venture pier scenes were shot at Miramar Wharf in Cobham Drive, Wellington.
Tom checked out when this guy appeared in the movie while I was excitedly reminded of the “Aliens” movies, one of my favorites.

Over the next five months we’ll be off to many other countries where we shouldn’t have any trouble finding appropriate movies to watch:  Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Viet Nam and Thailand.  Whether we’ll have a good enough wifi connection will determine our ability to download such movies along the way or thereafter.

Today, Monday, we’re heading to the mall to shop and for Tom’s first New Zealand haircut.  Of course, we’ll be back with photos tomorrow!

Carpe diem!


Photo from one year ago today, March 28, 2015:

This Red Cardinal stopped by our condo in Kauai several times each day with his less similar female (smaller) partner, looking for a hand out which we generously provided several times each day. After only a few occasions, he’d sing a special song to get me to bring out the nuts.  Click here for more photos from that date.

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