Tom in NZ

Fans scarce as Tom Cruise slips into NZ

07.01.2003 By PAULA OLIVER
When a gleaming private jet carrying Tom Cruise flies into town, you would expect a big crowd.

Except in Taranaki, that is.

Yesterday morning only a lucky few caught a glimpse of the world’s highest paid actor as he stretched his legs on New Plymouth Airport’s tarmac shortly after 9am.

Cruise flew from Honolulu to begin filming the Japanese period epic The Last Samurai.

His arrival in Taranaki had long been the talk of the town, but the exact time he would touch down had been kept secret.

The American star of films such as Top Gun, Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire was greeted by a small but excited group of onlookers – mostly airport staff – as he stepped out of a Gulfstream jet.

“It’s Tom Cruiser, it’s Tom Cruiser,” one small girl shouted.

Dressed in black, Cruise hugged and shook the hands of waiting members of his entourage before spending about 10 minutes standing in the sunshine as Customs and MAF officials carried out checks.

He was accompanied on the plane by a small group, but his children and his partner, Penelope Cruz, did not fly with him.

After enjoying a few stretches, Cruise strolled about 20m across the tarmac to a waiting helicopter, pausing several times to raise his baseball cap and wave to the locals.

One family passing the airport diverted when they spotted Cruise’s twin-engined jet approaching.

They got to the carpark just in time to glimpse the star. A woman in the car said: “It’s our lucky day. I hope he enjoys New Zealand.”

Cruise, clutching his passport, was whisked away in the helicopter.

His numerous bags were plucked from the jet and ferried to his nearby accommodation in a fleet of four-wheel-drive vehicles with tinted windows.

Cruise is renting a mansion in the Kaitake Ranges, not far from Oakura, southwest of New Plymouth. The house has state-of-the-art security and a heli-pad.

Minority Report DVD News

As of December 29th, 2002, Minority Report DVD leads both in DVD sales and rentals. According to Hollywood Reporter, the DVD has earned $29.4 million on the rental front and has sold more than 5 millions units across North America.


The Last Samurai News

The Stax Report: Special Year 2002 Retrospective
Stax cites the best and worst scripts he reviewed this year.

December 19, 2002 – Stax here with a year-end retrospective on the best and worst screenplays I’ve covered at IGN FilmForce during 2002. (Be sure to check out my 2000 and 2001 retrospectives, too.) I’m including quotes from my original reviews that explain why these scripts made my list. (I’m excluding Sherlock Holmes and the Vengeance of Dracula from consideration as that review originally appeared at my now defunct site Flixburg back in 2000.)
3) The Last Samurai, by John Logan. Haunted Civil War hero Captain Woodrow Algren (Tom Cruise) is now a drunken pitchman for Winchester Repeating Arms when the Japanese government hires him to go to Japan and serve as an “advisor” to their military. Recently restored emperor Meiji wants to transform his military from a society of samurai warriors into a modern army. The samurai, however, will not go out gently. A large rebel faction, led by the charismatic poet-warrior Katsumoto, are branded traitors and ordered quashed. After Katsumoto captures him in battle, Algren spends the next few months recuperating in Katsumoto’s mountain village where he learns about Japanese culture and the ways of the samurai. Algren’s loyalties soon become torn between the noble samurai he’s grown to respect and the duplicitous fellows who hired him.

“The Last Samurai is a rousing adventure yarn, an intriguing commentary on a key turning point in the history of Japan and its relationship with the United States, as well as an enlightening lesson on Japanese culture and the titular samurai. … What I enjoyed most was the story’s (rather overt) parallels to contemporary issues as it recounts America’s first foray into Southeast Asian affairs. … The story’s ‘white man living amongst the natives’ plot made me want to rename this tale Dances with Samurai.”

The Last Samurai News

First Look at Tom in The Last Samurai
Thanks to


I updated the galleries: click here to view what’s new.

Minority Report

Minority Report was chosen #4 movie of the year by Mike Clark from USA Today:

4. Minority Report. It is a mystery but also a thriller but also science fiction — and it has perhaps the funniest and most creatively integrated product placement ever. This futuristic cop drama is everything a summer movie — and a first-time collaboration between Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg — should be.