"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Australia The Movie

Australia The Movie


Set prior to World War II, 'Australia' centres on an English aristocrat, Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman), who finds herself unexpectedly fighting to save a cattle station the size of Belgium. When local cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle drover (Hugh Jackman) to drive 1500 head of cattle across northern Australia’s breathtaking landscape. Love ensues, but they must still face the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier.

Nicole and Hugh both looking very happy about their parts in "Australia"

Warning... Don't enbiggen this picture if you have a heart problem

OK.. so he's currently rated "The Sexiest Man In The World" is that any reason to give him ALL the good parts?

This movie is Baz Luhrmann's baby in every sense of the words, it will sink or swim on his talents regardless of the best efforts of everyone else involved in its making.

I've seen the trailer on TV many times and a few grabs on the net and on "Oprah" but I'm waiting impatiently for the full movie before I give the world my opinion , as you know it covers a subject very close to my heart so I'm still waiting.
I've gone through the preparation stage as fully as possible, right down to a re-run of "Gone With The Wind", with which "Australia" is being compared.

It's Friday Nov 28, it's evening and I have seen Australia the movie, before getting down to a more serious review let me say that I enjoyed the movie, let me add that I think it will be a bit too "Australian" for lots of overseas viewers.
Now to get a bit more specific; Nicole Kidman played a role, to perfection, of a spoiled English aristocrat who learns fairly quickly that outback Australia will not tolerate her attitude, once that has been learned she gives a creditable performance, Hugh Jackman provides the other side of the coin, his role leaves him no where to go but further into the macho Aussie character until toward the end of an overly long movie he is at last allowed to mellow a bit, the unknown Brandon Walters who plays the mixed blood (black & white) child "Nullah" is a scene stealer of grand ability, he takes control of much of the film in such an endearing way that his future would seem to be assured.
Almost every Australian actor worth his salt gets a role in this movie, most doing a creditable job in their parts, I was disappointed with David Wenham as the evil Neil Fletcher, Wenham has done much better work than this, Jack Thomson as the drunken accountant for "Far Away Downs" as the property is so aptly named, Bryan Brown as the cattle baron who wants the property for his empire the brilliant aboriginal actor David Gulpilil who plays "King George" the wise tribal elder, all contribute to the story.
There is enough beautiful outback scenery to make an excellent travelogue, it is all well photographed although I must say its very difficult not to make this sort of scenery look good.... which just about gets me back to my original statement, that
Australia will sink or swim on the talents of Baz Luhrmann.... here we find the weak link in the chain of Australia.... he has overdone many of the themes that run through the movie and has continued with the "Theatrical" treatment of his recent works like Moulin Rouge, Strictly Ballroom, and Romeo and Juliet, this treatment in Historical outback epic was not as successful, particularly when a chunk of it was about the WW2 bombing of Darwin by the Japanese, a chunk that could easily have been omitted in my opinion.
To summarize; I will give Australia 4 stars out of 5 and repeat that I enjoyed it very much, it provided a few laughs (especially to an Australian audience) breath-taking scenery, enough moving scenes to produce a few tears, and the feeling that I had seen a worthwhile movie.


Jeanette said...

Gday Peter, you have given the movie a great review. Cant wait to see it.. but will have to wait till its on Dvd..

karisma said...

I haven't seen it yet, heard it did not go down so good in the US though! I always prefer to see for myself so will wait and see!

Sue said...

Hi Pete,

I think I will wait for the DVD too. I'm always disappointed when the hype does not resemble the product. Not really into Aussie films though ( sad but true).
Got invited to present my blog at at a regional conference next year. Ben thinks that's hilarious!

Maria said...

Coincidence, but I am going to see it tomorrow. I will let you know my take on it later. I plan to get lots of buttered popcorn so if it is not as good as I am expecting it to be, I will simply enjoy the great flavor of the popcorn.

Rachel said...

Thanks for the review Peter. There was a review in the local paper today and they gave it 2 stars out of 4, saying it was "visually stunning but too expansive." I'm glad you enjoyed it!!

Merle said...

Hi Peter ~~ Good review and I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope to see it soon and am sure I will enjoy it. Like you I thought there was no need for the Japanese bombing of Darwin.
Enough story without that.
Take care, Love, Merle.

linda may said...

Oh I definitely gotta see that!

Joy Des Jardins said...

Thanks for the review Peter. I want to see this one...two actors that I like a lot. I'm going to put this one in my Netflix queue when it becomes available.

karisma said...

Cameragirl saw the movie today and voted it was great! She loved it!

Christina said...

Great review. I have been wanting to see this movie, and stil;l plan on watching it.

Ralph said...

Okay I'll have to see this one. By the way, Like your Santa Claus header.

Big Dave T said...

My supervisor went to the movies the other day and he was tempted on Australia but the running length made him see Four Christmases instead.

Walker said...

This is on my towatch list.
I enjoy movies about other places.
History and geography through movies what a brilliant tool

Cliff said...

Looks to me like Nicole got some good parts too but Hugh has his hands all over them.

LZ Blogger said...

Peter ~ Boy that acting is some TOUGH work! P.S. I can't stand snakes and I am not talking Mr. Jackman either! Travel safely my friend! ~ jb///

Jeanette said...

Yikes snakes and spiders. As Alan said after he was bitten on the toilet seat by a redbck and was quite sick for a week. the only good spider is a dead spider..

Safe traveling Peter and all my love to Vicki and all the family,,and hope the Doctors can get Vicki's meds right were she can have some relief and start to recover.. Jan

Jamie Dawn said...

Thanks for the movie review. I plan to see this with Courtney. We wanted to wait and see it with my mom (Granny) when we go to CA for Christmas, but we feared it might not still be theaters at that time.
I think the two main stars are gorgeous to the max!
I had heard that the little boy is amazing in the film and you confirmed that. I can't wait to see it!

Those snakes are spiders are hitonious!!!!!
You called that one snake a cutie. Snakes cannot be cuties. They are never cute at all.
The Death Adder has a neat looking pattern, but he is not at all cute and never will be, nor are any of those others.
The sight of those spiders cause me to shiver all over.
Yes, I'm one of those people who could die worrying about being bitten by a snake or spider.

Enjoy your travels.