Australia

I return from my three day ban with a movie review that I actually wrote two days ago, but couldn't post because of my circumstances. Enjoy.

And just so we're clear, I didn't specify this was a movie review in the thread title because the shock that a user might review a whole continent (which might not be that strange considering some of the other reviews that have been posted in recent days) will cause more people to open the thread.

Australia (Movie Review)

You know what would surprise me, Hollywood? A shiny big name film where the auxiliary character that narrates it doesn't survive. At least that would keep the film interesting. I can tolerate derivative clichés for the average movie, but when I'm expected to spend three hours staring blankly at a screen, you could at least make an effort to mix things up from time to time. The only thing about Australia that keeps you guessing is exactly when the hell it's going to end.

So I've broken my promise to never watch another Nicole Kidman movie after The Invasion was a pile of suck and Daniel Craig tricked me into paying admission for The Golden Compass. Since I don't attend linguistics classes anymore, I spend my Monday nights wandering around campus looking for something to do. Usually this leads me to the ole theatre house. After spending ten minutes debating whether to watch Australia or something else, I decided to pick the movie that would kill the most time. I emerged from Auditorium #23 of AMC at Yonge and Dundas three hours later with a strengthened resolve to boycott Nicole Kidman.

Maybe that's a bit harsh since Australia really isn't that bad if you ignore the deliberately indulgent run time (that is why they call them epic movies after all). The year is 1939 and World War II is just getting into the swing of things. Not that anyone in the land down under particularly cares though since most of the residents spend their days getting into bar fights and pondering new racial slurs. Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) owns a cattle farm in northern Australia that's fallen on hard times and leaves England to protect her interests from a rival cattle company on the verge of a monopoly. At the same time, World War II has Australia on edge since their position on the conflict isn't exactly clear. Australia can be neatly cleaved in two: the first half following Lady Ashley's cattle rustling adventures with Drover (Hugh Jackman, who seems to be channeling Clint Eastwood for most of the film), and the second half being a collection of dramatic air-strikes.

But wait, this is actually all beside the point. Australia is really about the "Lost Generation," a group of mixed coloured children delightfully dubbed creamies, although I'm pretty sure I was the only one who found this funny. The narrator is Mulla, a young creamy boy who hangs around Lady Ashley's cattle farm. Between the cattle rustling and air-strikes is the main plot thread of tolerance and family, tragically overshadowed by the more visually interesting things surrounding it (even if there is some god-awful green screen work from time to time). The closing captions of the film tug at the heartstrings of family and acceptance, but I couldn't buy into it since the characters never really gave me a reason to, and it never seemed important. Sure the film pointed this out before they could even throw up the 20th Century Fox logo, but it's a shining of example of how not to tell a story. This thread was so downplayed and poorly drawn that indeed no one would have cared had the film not reminded us at the end. I can't be generous either since they had plenty of time to get this point across effectively (165 minutes to be precise).

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There's also a really subtle bestiality joke that I'm pretty sure I was the only one to pick up on...

Australia is visually pretty though, as it had damn well better be considering how long I have to sit there and look at it. The scenery is well captured and there's a great sense of scope and breadth. The cinematography is never particularly inspired and hardly takes any chances, but for the most part it's competent. The only real grievances come from the director's lopsided tone. The film begins with a jaunty score and light humour, and this dissipates into serious drama without much subtlety. The narrative isn't quite as streamlined as a film of this nature demands, which is unfortunate because it could have actually been really excellent. Instead, it just settles for passing entertainment.

It's difficult to pass judgment on Australia because while it's a solid film that achieves its goals, it does so without an appreciable panache that demands attention. It's the type of film I'd recommend seeing if you're standing outside a theatre with $12-$13 in your pocket and three hours to kill, but it's not necessary viewing. An ambitious project that the world will soon forget.

Ahh man, your tactic worked. I thought you were actually going to review Australia, the country. I've heard mixed opinions about it.

Still, a good review.

Great review. I like your sense of humour too.

The thing to remember is that Australia isn't actually a movie, but a really, really long tourism ad.

This movie completely bombed overseas apparently. It was not the masterpiece of drama that people intended it to be.

Dommyboy:
This movie completely bombed overseas apparently. It was not the masterpiece of drama that people intended it to be.

Is that a surprise considering Baz (the director) was almost forced from the room physically so they could prep it for distribution? I mean like, if he'd spent another hour tinkering it would have delayed the premiere.

As for the character dying, in the original Jackmans character was meant to, but it went down bad with test audiences.

Personally I agree, I think big budget films need more main character death, but then I'm just a movie-goer, not some fancy film tester.

EDIT:
Sorry I got so caught up with delusions of my movie knowledge grandeur there that I forgot to say: nice review, well done.

Armitage Shanks:

Dommyboy:
This movie completely bombed overseas apparently. It was not the masterpiece of drama that people intended it to be.

Is that a surprise considering Baz (the director) was almost forced from the room physically so they could prep it for distribution? I mean like, if he'd spent another hour tinkering it would have delayed the premiere.

As for the character dying, in the original Jackmans character was meant to, but it went down bad with test audiences.

Personally I agree, I think big budget films need more main character death, but then I'm just a movie-goer, not some fancy film tester.

EDIT:
Sorry I got so caught up with delusions of my movie knowledge grandeur there that I forgot to say: nice review, well done.

An anti-climax and death ending can be good if used correctly and can spawn sequels easily too. Though with the recent bombardment of horrible movies that are just for happy endings, I don't think we will see a death ending too soon.

That picture in your review looks like it has computerized graphics.

Dommyboy:
This movie completely bombed overseas apparently. It was not the masterpiece of drama that people intended it to be.

All our films bomb. Though we don't like to admit it; we can't make good film or television.

Dealin Burgers:

All our films bomb. Though we don't like to admit it; we can't make good film or television.

Yeah, but the inability to make good television hasn't stopped Neighbours or Home & Away, has it now?

Dommyboy:

An anti-climax and death ending can be good if used correctly and can spawn sequels easily too. Though with the recent bombardment of horrible movies that are just for happy endings, I don't think we will see a death ending too soon.

Most recent offender that really annoyed me was Eagle Eye. Sure it was a dodgy movie to begin with, but when the


...You can probably see that movie annoyed me a fair bit lol.

GloatingSwine:

Dealin Burgers:

All our films bomb. Though we don't like to admit it; we can't make good film or television.

Yeah, but the inability to make good television hasn't stopped Neighbours or Home & Away, has it now?

Oh Snhap!

The only good thing to come out of Australia so far has been the comedians who just ramble on about non-Australian things. Maybe if they added a few random comedians in the movie it could of made it sparkle a bit more.

Dealin Burgers:

All our films bomb. Though we don't like to admit it; we can't make good film or television.

All our films bomb overseas. We can't get our heads around the fact that we don't need a foreigner to tell us we have a good movie for us to have a good movie.

Honestly, the only film named "Australia" I want to see is 2hrs of Hugh Jackman singlehandedly winning WW2, including throwing a bayoneted rifle at a Japanese solider like a spear.

And this scene:

Hugh Jackman: You call that a tiger tank, heres a tiger snake! (throws snake down gun's barrel)
Germans: Achtung Giftschlange! (scurrying out of the tank)

Bah! I came in here, expecting a continent and what did I get? Not a continent, that's what I got! I don't care if the review was good or not, you spoiled my fun. Now, I'm off to write Europe : A meh continent, but with good bits.

Novajam:
Great review. I like your sense of humour too.

Thanks. I honestly wasn't too sure how well this review would fly since I think it's a bit more abrasive in tone than my other reviews.

BrynThomas:
Honestly, the only film named "Australia" I want to see is 2hrs of Hugh Jackman singlehandedly winning WW2, including throwing a bayoneted rifle at a Japanese solider like a spear.

And this scene:

Hugh Jackman: You call that a tiger tank, heres a tiger snake! (throws snake down gun's barrel)
Germans: Achtung Giftschlange! (scurrying out of the tank)

Hugh Jackman isn't nearly as badass in the film as he should've been. Especially given his "Clint Eastwood without the poncho" character.

Theres a reason we don't make movies. THEY ARE ALL EXTREMELY BORING! I will never enjoy Rabbit Proof Fence or The Tracker, and I never want to see either of them again in my life!

Dommyboy:
This movie completely bombed overseas apparently. It was not the masterpiece of drama that people intended it to be.

Thats because all our movies are boring as all hell. With the possible exseption of Fat Pizza and Blured. All drug movies I might add. Kakota wasn't bad but not great either, we pretty much missed all the best Aussie battles and stick with some boring yobbos.

I'm tempted to review the entire country now...

I saw a trailer for the movie and decided then and there that I wasn't going to see it.

Good review, well written (though I would think you're beyond the need for reviewing tips, especially from me)

This was a movie by Baz Luhrmann? That dude is incredibly self-indulgent. Best thing he made was something he didn't intend to make (Everybody's free to wear sunscreen, look it up on youtube if you don't know it, and then check out the spoof: Chris Rock's Champagne Room).

Uhm, good stuff from Australia?

From the top of my head:
Everybody's free to wear sunscreen
80's and 90's low budget sci-fi flicks. Most notably Mad Max of course, but there's a lot of interesting stuff there.
Paul Hogan...?
Ben Templesmith

Last and most importantly
Farscape
Can I get a hell yeah?
(okay, so it was funded by Americans, to blazes with that. They used up all the dynamite in Australia while making the mini-series. How can you beat that?)

And yes, I'll know to dodge this movie when it comes up, thanks.

Armitage Shanks:
As for the character dying, in the original Jackmans character was meant to, but it went down bad with test audiences.

I saw a movie (I forget the name but if you have some google skills I'll help you out: it had David Duchovny and Sigourney Weaver and it was about a tv show) that, if true, leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth re: film testing. In the movie (which is pretty clearly biased, but may be telling the truth anyway) anything test audiences find sad is cut - even if that's the point - and the name of the show is changed from an admittedly bad, but fitting, name to a truly terrible one - all based on a blind test of shoppers, who are given no information on the series itself, and thus whether it might actually be appropriate.
So yeah, colour me annoyed that "bad thoughts" are avoided at all costs.

ANTI-SANTA:

Dommyboy:
This movie completely bombed overseas apparently. It was not the masterpiece of drama that people intended it to be.

Thats because all our movies are boring as all hell. With the possible exseption of Fat Pizza and Blured. All drug movies I might add. Kakoda wasn't bad but not great either, we pretty much missed all the best Aussie battles and stick with some boring yobbos.

I'm going to have to disagree with you. Have you not seen the Trailor [sic] for the upcoming teen comedy Meat Pie?

Note: Linkage is deemed inappropriate by Youtube, so click at own risk.

Armitage Shanks:

ANTI-SANTA:

Dommyboy:
This movie completely bombed overseas apparently. It was not the masterpiece of drama that people intended it to be.

Thats because all our movies are boring as all hell. With the possible exseption of Fat Pizza and Blured. All drug movies I might add. Kakoda wasn't bad but not great either, we pretty much missed all the best Aussie battles and stick with some boring yobbos.

I'm going to have to disagree with you. Have you not seen the Trailor [sic] for the upcoming teen comedy Meat Pie?

Note: Linkage is deemed inappropriate by Youtube, so click at own risk.

What about The Castle?

Mind you, it's a movie only an Aussie can possibly understand.

As an Australian I can tell you not to watch the movie, we don't like the idea of this movie trying to sum up our entire country.
The real Australia would have alot more: bogans, beer, punch ups, flies, drop bears, riots where nothing really happens, everyone complaining when the government changes something even if they voted for it, sport, beaches, everyone taking their turn to comment on the heat and racism.

I don't like Baz Luhrmann. His films are kinda bit queer and I get the feeling he makes the film in the sake of hype. I'm fine with whomever made Mad Max, Babe and Peter Weir though.

ANTI-SANTA:

Thats because all our movies are boring as all hell. With the possible exseption of Fat Pizza and Blured. All drug movies I might add. Kakota wasn't bad but not great either, we pretty much missed all the best Aussie battles and stick with some boring yobbos.

I liked the movie Two Hands.

I think there are a couple that are pretty good, I can't name any though...

I really don't want to see Australia, the thought of it makes me cringe ><

 

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