Favourite movies

After saying that Hunt for the Wilderpeople is probably the best New Zealand movie I’ve seen and one of the best movies I’ve seen – see Wilderblog – Clemgeopin asked “can you name about 5 of the very good movies that you have seen in your life please”.

I’ve had to give that a bit of thought. here are the movies that came to mind.

The first movie that I think impressed me significantly was Easy Rider, controversial, had a number of messages and had some great music.

Two other movies with a strong musical component that have left a lasting impression were Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair, although I was familiar with the music before the movies came out in both cases. I’ve since watched repeats and will watch both again.

Other movies that I remember liking more than usual were or leaving a lasting impression were A Clockwork Orange, Deliverance, Forrest Gump and Shakespeare in Love.

Gloomy Sunday also left a big impression.

Chicken Run is memorable for me, as a movie it was ok but more for other reasons.

Older New Zealand movies I particularly liked were Smash Palace and Goodbye Pork Pie (I wonder what the remake will be like).

I’m not a fan of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbitt sort of movies, and King Kong was too corny for my liking, but I thought Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures was a top movie.

I thought Whale Rider and Boy were very good, and I also enjoyed the quirky Eagle vs Shark.

Taika Waititi directed both Boy and Eagle vs Shark, but I rate Hunt for the Wilderpeople above them and most other movies.

I don’t know what Wilderpeople will be like for people who aren’t familiar with Crump’s writing but I think there’s enough current content and straight out entertainment to satisfy most people. And it’s just a very well written, well paced, funny and at times emotional movie.

Watch it and judge for yourself.

I’ve just checked the top all time 100 movies on Box Office Mojo and of my picks only Forrest Gump features, at #85. I’ve watched maybe 20 of the others but none have impressed me particularly and certainly not much as those I’ve mentioned above.


I don’t go to the movies very often these days but had heard enough about Hunt for the Wilderpeople being worth watching to go and see for it myself.

It is based on a Barry Crump book that I read long ago, Wild Pork and Watercress – that dates back to the days when we called movies ‘the pictures’ before we got Americanised.

I won’t give much away about the movie, except that I think it’s well worth watching, it’s not just probably the best New Zealand movie I’ve seen, it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen.


Anyone that knows Crump’s writing will recognise a lot, but his old wilderness yarns blend seamlessly with contemporary topics.

It’s a very funny modern colaced with nostalgia, and tinged with real sadness at times.

I had wondered how Sam Neil would manage the role of Hec – I had my doubts he could do it – but he was spot on, it was the best I’ve seen him.

And Julian Dennison as the fat kid was a top performance.

Director Taika Waititi is very good at picking and making stars of young unknowns. He also did a masterful job with the screenplay.

I don’t want to give anything away about it, but if you are inclined towards going to see a big screen then I think Hunt for the Wilderpeople is well worth trying.

There’s a trailer and reviews online but I suggest skipping them and just going and watching it.