behind the orcs..,.

…are some amazing Polynesian actors.

While they might not get the recognition that Orlando Bloom or Ian McKellan get for their emotive capabilities (usually covered by layers of latex and other makeup), they show a gritty set of skills by surviving heat and cold and crazy stunts in layers of latex and makeup and heavy costumes… and still make us believe their characters are real.

We couldn’t have a good epic fantasy without some good villains.

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Bolg (top) and Azog are two of the top villains from the Hobbit trilogy.

Just had a chance to see the extended version of that last night with friends. The film (as with all the Tolkien films by Peter Jackson) is far better in its extended DVD version than the chopped and edited version seen in theaters. While the Hobbit was a simple kids book, the book version of 1955’s Lord of the Rings was the template for the Epic Fantasy novel. I happen to like Epic, so when Jackson and company extended and detailed the Hobbit films to match the LOTR films, I was pleased.

Now my admiration of characters runs to: I wanna go live in Mirkwood with the Elves. After all, they talk to trees, ride horses without saddle or rein (you really need to read the book), and kick butt with longbows.

But I have to give due credit to some amazing Kiwi actors, primarily of Maori descent, who put the hard work into these fabulous villains: Manu Bennett and John Tui.

Here’s what they really look like…

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John Tui


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Manu Bennett


I caught John Tui’s name in the credits and it sounded familiar because…

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Moana’s father is the chief, and his name is Tui, which means, basically, chief.

Temuera Morrison voiced Tui, Morrison is also a Kiwi actor of Maori, Scottish, Irish and Spanish descent … he also gave us a memorable villain in the form of Star Wars’ Jango Fett (whose DNA spawned the clone troopers). Morrison also voiced Boba Fett in the re-releases of the Star Wars trilogy.


Here John Tui leads an awesome haka on the deck of the USS Missouri… 

He was in a 2012 movie called Battleship.

…alien invaders have arrived on Earth with plans to steal Earth’s resources. When a confrontation with the invaders knocks out the Navy’s radar capability, American and Japanese forces must work together to find a way to save the planet.

The haka is a Maori dance/chant, it can be done for many reasons and occasions, but the best known is as a kind of display of the power and intensity of the dancers… as in, don’t fight with us, you wouldn’t win.

The haka (plural haka, as in Māori, so in English) is a traditional war cry, dance, or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.

I think the aliens probably fled…


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