Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: Tucumcari Bound on May 25, 2008, 02:41:23 PM



Title: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on May 25, 2008, 02:41:23 PM
Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man (Hugh Jackman) in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.

This is a highly anticipated film for me! It's an adventure, drama, war, western, and romantic epic all rolled into one. These are the kinds of films I live for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7R2mN6D3sQ

NOTE: SERGIO LEONE and "THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY" fanatics: Listen closely to the music at the beginning of the trailer. The music sounds just like "Ecstasy of Gold" from "GBU." This is a direct homage to that film and of course Ennio Morricone's masterful score!!! I'm escatic right now!!!!!!

Here's the official website:

http://www.australiamovie.com/


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: The Firecracker on May 28, 2008, 09:44:12 PM
I'm certain the soundtrack used in the trailer is a snippet from the GBU soundtrack itself and not an imitation.

I'm not so sure about this movie. It looks like it doesn't know what it wants to be (Fantasy,Western, War epic) but I enjoyed Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet and will be watching this one.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on May 29, 2008, 01:32:24 AM
I'm certain the soundtrack used in the trailer is a snippet from the GBU soundtrack itself and not an imitation.

I'm not so sure about this movie. It looks like it doesn't know what it wants to be (Fantasy,Western, War epic) but I enjoyed Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet and will be watching this one.

Well, some of the music used in the trailer is from the film, "Henry V", so it's certain it will have an original musical score. I dunno, I think the film looks great. We shall see.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: moviesceleton on May 29, 2008, 05:53:08 AM
I liked Mouling Rouge very much and as much as I can remember I liked Romeo+Juliet also. I guess my sister would drag me to see it anyway, but I think I'll volunteer.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on May 29, 2008, 05:10:16 PM
I liked Mouling Rouge very much and as much as I can remember I liked Romeo+Juliet also. I guess my sister would drag me to see it anyway, but I think I'll volunteer.

Hey, it's got western influences in it. You have to see it!


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on June 30, 2008, 02:58:41 PM
Watch this! This film will blow me away. I have no doubt in my mind!


http://edition.cnn.com/CNNI/Programs/screening.room/


Title: Australia official trailer - Anyone seen it?
Post by: Sartana68 on November 06, 2008, 04:12:23 PM
I just watched the trailer of the epic AUSTRALIA. Hugh Jackman looms out of a saloon, looks out from underneath a very FOD looking hat and squints like the man himself. Hell, there's even a snippet of "Ecstasy of Gold" in the trailer. Everyone, check it out and tell me what you think.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 06, 2008, 05:18:42 PM

Here's the last two trailers! Awesome!

Trailer 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx2KLYdnfRc&eurl=

Trailer 3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kL-2q-bg5s&eurl=


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 06, 2008, 08:29:20 PM
Looks like it could be interesting. I'll wait until the reviews come out before I decide whether or not to see it.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: The Firecracker on November 16, 2008, 07:25:39 PM
Just saw a tv spot for this. The soundtrack sounds like a shameless rip of the POTC main theme. ;D


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 16, 2008, 07:27:28 PM
Just saw a tv spot for this. The soundtrack sounds like a shameless rip of the POTC main theme. ;D

Yeah, you do know that trailers and TV spots tend to recycle music from past film scores, right? If ads and previews were to be believed, half the movies Hollywood releases would feature the Crimson Tide score as their soundtrack.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 16, 2008, 07:28:41 PM
Just saw a tv spot for this. The soundtrack sounds like a shameless rip of the POTC main theme. ;D

It's not the score to the film.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: The Firecracker on November 16, 2008, 07:33:42 PM
It's not the score to the film.


Then what was I listening to?


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: The Firecracker on November 16, 2008, 07:34:52 PM
Yeah, you do know that trailers and TV spots tend to recycle music from past film scores, right?

I'm fully aware of that but I wasn't listening to THE POTC theme tune, it was something very similar.
Different riff.

And if that isnt the soundtrack to the movie, where is it from?


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 16, 2008, 07:53:19 PM

I seen the trailer too. I think they're advertising this film wrong. With that use of music, they're making it look like it's an action-comedy film when it's nothing of the sort. That music they use in the TV-spot I think it's from the POTC soundtrack but it's not being used in "Australia." As Groggy said, they recycle music for trailers and that's what they did here.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Cole on November 16, 2008, 11:12:51 PM
To be honest,I cared nothing for this movie,but after reading this thread and watching the trailer,I'm excited about it.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: moviesceleton on November 17, 2008, 05:07:05 AM
I seen the trailer too. I think they're advertising this film wrong. With that use of music, they're making it look like it's an action-comedy film when it's nothing of the sort.
Judging from trailers every Hollywood movie would be an action comedy.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 17, 2008, 08:46:19 AM
I'm fully aware of that but I wasn't listening to THE POTC theme tune, it was something very similar.
Different riff.

And if that isnt the soundtrack to the movie, where is it from?

Who knows? Or cares? (Could it be some of Zimmer's score for Gladiator? A lot of that sounded very much like the POTC music.) I seriously doubt any trailer music will turn up in the finished movie. The trailer I saw used The Ecstasy of Gold - how likely is it that piece of music will turn up in the film?


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 17, 2008, 11:28:25 AM

Here's a great behind the scenes featurette. Enjoy....

http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-US&vid=e59e0352-78b6-475f-8d0f-e147015cfd53


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 17, 2008, 11:42:09 AM
I might actually get to see this on opening day, since I'm not going home for Thanksgiving until that night. I'll have to see what showtimes my theater has though.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 17, 2008, 12:41:58 PM
I might actually get to see this on opening day, since I'm not going home for Thanksgiving until that night. I'll have to see what showtimes my theater has though.

I'm definitely seeing it opening day. I've been intrigued by this film since it was announced. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations. I was watching Oprah talk about the film and she said it was the best film she has seen in years. I'm not much of a fan of Oprah but that comment caught my ear.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 17, 2008, 02:09:00 PM
Well of films currently playing/coming out within the next month, I'm interested in seeing:

Australia
Frost/Nixon
Valkyrie
Quantum of Solace

It would have been nice if a few of these titles had come out within the past few months, so I wouldn't have had to waste money on W, but I shouldn't complain too much.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 17, 2008, 02:19:30 PM
Well of films currently playing/coming out within the next month, I'm interested in seeing:

Australia
Frost/Nixon
Valkyrie
Quantum of Solace

It would have been nice if a few of these titles had come out within the past few months, so I wouldn't have had to waste money on W, but I shouldn't complain too much.

I can't wait for FROST/NIXON and VALKYRIE as well.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 17, 2008, 02:21:38 PM
I saw the trailer to Frost/Nixon when I went to see Changeling, it looks excellent. That's out on December 5th, and I'll be sure to see it ASAP after that. Valkyrie doesn't come out until after Christmas though, I don't think.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: PowerRR on November 17, 2008, 03:35:56 PM
My interest for this has been spiraling downward quickly. I'll just have to see it and hope for the best.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 17, 2008, 06:05:02 PM
My interest for this has been spiraling downward quickly. I'll just have to see it and hope for the best.

Spiraling downward quickly? Why? Everyone here should be excited about this film. They just don't make them like this anymore.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 17, 2008, 06:33:46 PM
Spiraling downward quickly? Why? Everyone here should be excited about this film. They just don't make them like this anymore.

I think we need to withhold statements like that until the film actually comes out, TB. The previews look awesome, but so did those for Atonement, and that was merely okay.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 17, 2008, 07:02:08 PM
I think we need to withhold statements like that until the film actually comes out, TB. The previews look awesome, but so did those for Atonement, and that was merely okay.

I'm just saying the way they made the film. They did a lot of filming on location which they don't do much of anymore. That's what I mean. I actually love "Atonement." It's gotten a lot better with repeated viewings.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 17, 2008, 11:24:08 PM
I've only seen Atonement when I saw in theaters, I remember being a mite disappointed at the time - the movie doesn't quite have enough gas to be an epic but it's too slow-paced to work as a regular romance. The novel was infinitely better than the movie though, it would be interesting to see how the movie stacked up having read the book.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 25, 2008, 10:50:29 PM
OMG, I might get to see this tomorrow! :o Here's hoping... :-\


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: The Firecracker on November 25, 2008, 11:00:55 PM
I actually feel compelled to watch this.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 26, 2008, 01:28:26 AM
I actually feel compelled to watch this.


I have a feeling it will be either really good or really bad. Hopefully in twelve hours I'll be able to answer that question.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: The Firecracker on November 26, 2008, 01:45:50 AM
I have a feeling it will be either really good or really bad.

I feel the same way.
Even from the early trailers it seemed like a movie with an identity crises.
It just doesn't know what it wants to be...

a western, a war film, a story book fantasy...
What is it?


Usually films like these are either very good or just appalling.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 26, 2008, 08:17:28 AM
I feel the same way.
Even from the early trailers it seemed like a movie with an identity crises.
It just doesn't know what it wants to be...

a western, a war film, a story book fantasy...
What is it?


Usually films like these are either very good or just appalling.

I've been hearing it sold as a romantic epic (especially in the trailers), but the previews I've been seeing lately don't even hint at that. I'm not too put off by critical reviews, as spectacle/epic movies tend to divide critics.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 26, 2008, 01:44:26 PM
I feel the same way.
Even from the early trailers it seemed like a movie with an identity crises.
It just doesn't know what it wants to be...

a western, a war film, a story book fantasy...
What is it?


Usually films like these are either very good or just appalling.

Well, a film like GONE WITH THE WIND kind of had an identity crisis as well and this film homages that greatly. So we'll see. The film looks great to me. I just hope it lives up to my expectations.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 26, 2008, 03:24:48 PM
Just got back (thank YOU Pittsburgh Port Authority :P). Some very brief comments.

Holy shit.

This is, and I say this without hyperbole, my favorite of the decade. This is a movie on a par with Lean's romantic epics, and The English Patient, and other great films of that ilk, so if you like your Doctor Zhivago and English Patients, go see it right the fuck now.

The movie is a mite schizophrenic - the first half is basically a Western (Jackman even gets an awesome Eastwood-esque intro scene) and the second half is a more conventional genre epic - but it makes the transition between the two storylines brilliantly. The action scenes are very well-done, particularly the awe-inspiring stampede and the bombing of Darwin. Yes, they use CGI, and it's hard not to notice, but it's integrated seemlessly into the film so you won't really care. Luhrman has a few gratuitous style flourishes but for the most part keeps his usual excesses in check. The cinematography throughout is gob-smacking, the music is realy affective - it's got pretty much everything you want in a film and more. If you want to complain about color pallette and cinematography in modern films, go see this pronto - they show how to utilize modern tools like digital film and CGI right.

Hugh Jackman is an awesome, kickass hero. Nicole Kidman starts out as a silly, clueless refugee from a Merchant-Ivory film but she grows into a much more interesting and likeable character as the film goes along. Very good supporting cast includes Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown, Ben Mendelson and David Wenham.

There were a few minor flaws - the mystical aborigine thing was overdone and the first 20 minutes or so were just silly - but nothing that can't be overlooked for the whole. It's VERY old-fashioned and doubtless cliche, but in a good way. I hate to use such a vapid and trite cliche, but they REALLY don't make them like this anymore. 9++/10


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: moviesceleton on November 27, 2008, 01:08:26 AM
I hate to use such a vapid and trite cliche, but they REALLY don't make them like this anymore.
Evidently they just did. Now I'm pretty interested.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: noodles_leone on November 27, 2008, 04:51:31 AM
Great news, Groggy ! O0


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 27, 2008, 08:06:46 AM
Evidently they just did. Now I'm pretty interested.

Yeah, and it really looks and feels like an old-school epic film, unlike most of the other epics that have come out in the last few years. That's the best part IMO. O0

I just read Roger Ebert's review, and while he liked the film he got one major plot point wrong. mild spoiler The Aborigine kid's grandfather is not anywhere in the film claimed to be dead, and in fact interacts with other characters on multiple occasions. Ebert seems to think otherwise, but I'm curious how a dead guy (even a ghost) gets thrown in jail or kills someone with a spear. Maybe he's just getting senile. I agree with his position that the mystical Aobrigine stuff was a bit overwrought, but if you're gonna criticize it get the facts straight.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 27, 2008, 08:35:33 AM
Found this interview/article where Luhrman talks about his influences for the film - the Red River and Lean ones are obvious, but an interesting read nonetheless.

http://chud.com/articles/articles/17147/1/INTERVIEW-BAZ-LUHRMANN039S-EPICS/Page1.html (http://chud.com/articles/articles/17147/1/INTERVIEW-BAZ-LUHRMANN039S-EPICS/Page1.html)


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 27, 2008, 01:09:12 PM

Great review Groggy! Now, I'm even more excited to see this than I was before. I actually didn't get the chance to see it yesterday because I was busy. And today is Thanksgiving so I'm not sure if I'll be able to see it today either. Eitehr way, I will see it as soon as I can and post my thoughts.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: T.H. on November 27, 2008, 01:18:46 PM
Baz Luhrmann lol.

I'm sorry but this looks terrible.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 27, 2008, 03:37:47 PM
Baz Luhrmann lol.

I'm sorry but this looks terrible.

If that's your only objection... ::)


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 27, 2008, 04:00:21 PM
Here's my full-length blog review. I'll refrain from posting anything more for now.

Quote
It's very rare that a newly-released movie has much effect on me. For the most part, despite my best efforts to the contrary, I have a decidedly cynical view about the current state of cinema; I'm willing to watch it, but I find very little to be truly memorable. I might have a fun time with something like Pirates of the Caribbean or Charlie Wilson's War, but only on extremely rare occasions do I encounter a film that has any bearing beyond the two hours I spend in my seat. Where's our Stanley Kubrick, our David Lean, our Alfred Hitchcock? Stuff like The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford - examples of old-fashioned film-making, avoiding for the most parts the quick-cutting, overlit and washed-out, obviously fake wowzer special effects for the sake of style and story telling - are exceedingly rare, and when one comes along, it's like a puddle of water in Death Valley. Even many of the most acclaimed movies of recent years seemed curiously empty and lacking compared to the work of the masters.

Then comes a movie like Australia. Which is the kind of movie that comes along maybe once in a decade. When they say they don't make them like they used to - usually us crotchety grandpa types - this is the kind of movie they tend to be referring to. You don't see movies like this any more, because. But with Australia, Baz Luhrman has given us an invaluable cinematic gift.

I found it amusing to perview the extraordinarily mixed critical reviews of the movie; many people love it, others despise it, seemingly for the same reason. Indeed, whoever wrote up the IMDB review summary shrewdly notes that critics have been "twist(ing) similar words around" to describe the movie, to alternately praise and damn it. What this points to says more about: you either like this kind of movie or you don't. As audiences didn't give a *beep* when Pauline Kael lambasted Doctor Zhivago and Richard Corliss (and a million lifeless Internet geeks and bitter teenaged boys) roasted Titanic, so will those susceptible to this kind of film making disregard the utterances of some overpaid navel-gazing snobs (but look who's talking).

The film's plot takes place in World War II-era Belize - no, wait, Australia. Japan is threatening to enter the war and bring it home to Aussies, while Australia soldiers are shipping off to Europe and Africa to die for England. Much of Australia is uncharted, wild territory, ruled by crooked politicians and cattle barons like King Carney (Bryan Brown). And of course, it's home to an oppressive caste system, where aborigines are treated as subhuman outsiders and half-breeds - "creamies" - are even worse. Nullah (Brandon Walters) is one such boy; the son of an aboriginal woman and Fletcher (David Wenham) a vicious, ruthlessly ambitious cattle herder, he witnesses the murder of Carney's chief rival and tries to flee from arrest. The wife of said cattle baron, Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman), arrives in Australia to negotiate the sale of her cattle, only. With the help of a handsome, tough-guy cattle drover (Hugh Jackman), Nullah and the usual assorted sidekicks, she struggles to drive her herd to Darwin, finding Fletcher trying to stop her every step of the way. Afterwards, Drover and Sarah marry but find themselves seemingly incompatible, while Fletcher claws his way to the top and is in a position to topple Sarah's empire. However, World War II interferes, leading to a denouement in the streets of a bombed-out Darwin.

Australia is a sweeping epic; as one of the world's biggest Leaniacs, it's of immense complements for me to say that it bears actual comparison to the works of that master. Not since The English Patient has a movie captured such a wonderful sense of timelessness, a feeling of romance swept up by the tides of history. Some might call it cliches, but I'd opt for the term old-fashioned; it feels like Gone With the Wind or Doctor Zhivago. And it comes pretty close to looking like them too.

The movie seems a bit schizophrenic at first - the first half's cattle drive and civilized girl out "West" (or East, in this instance) story definitely seems like a Western (Drover even gets a tough guy, Clint Eastwood-ian intro scene), while the second half, with its romance and personal conflicts with a historical turmoil, is a much more conventional genre picture. But in my view, this is all for the better. It follows the two-act structure of many an epic film of old, and though different at first glance, the two halves complement each other perfectly.

The early scenes are a bit jarring; Nulla's narration is a mite annoying at first, the animated title display seems out of place, and some of Sarah's early scenes are a bit too parodic and overwrought. The angle of the "mystical aborigine" - personified by Nulla's grandfather, the omni-present King George (David Gulpilil) - is a mite overdone as well, although it's satisfactorily dealt with in the conclusion. Still, most of this awkardness is sorted out by the third reel or so.

Technically, the film is a marvel; if nothing else, it's one of the most beautiful, ravishing movies of the last ten years. Luhrman, a director not usually known for subtlety, manages to keep his usual excess in check (with only a few excusable moments of unnecessary flair and wow moments) and delivers us a handsomely mounted, beautiful film. The Outback scenery is ravishing, Mandy Walker's cinematography brilliantly capturing the stark beauty of Australia, both forbidding and gorgeous at the same time. CGI is used quite often, but would you expect otherwise? In the movie's big set-pieces - the Japanese bombing, and more notably the breath-taking cattle stampede - they're gob-smackingly brilliant. If you need convincing that these modern cinematic tools can be put to good use, then look no further.

The cast is flawless. Hugh Jackman gives an excellent performance as Drover, tough, believable, with a romantic side that seems perfectly natural. It's a shame he's not a bigger star, because he's just perfectly for this type of role. Nicole Kidman isn't far behind Jackman here, her frosty beauty perfectly suited for her character. At first her character is rather grating, seeming like an implausibly ditzy and posh refugee from a Merchant-Ivory film, but as her character develops she becomes more and more likeable, and her annoying and awkward early scenes serve to help character development. The two make a dynamite couple, attractive and believable, their conflicts and differences seeming real rather than a plot device.

While Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett are inexplicably absent, the cast is populated with a plethora of brilliant Aussie actors. Old pros like Breaker Morant vets Jack Thompson and Bryan Brown have solid supporting roles; David Wenham handles his gleefully evil rotter with aplomb, and Ben Mendelsohn gives a strong background performance as a dignified Army Captain. Brandon Walters gives an excellent performance as Nulla, occasionally irritating but always convincing as the boy who is really the focus of the story.

I will concede that Australia isn't for everyone; the current generation of movie-goers may or may not appreciate it (I won't issue a blanket condemnation for the moment), and the usual cranky critics who abhor this sort of film. Let them write what they will, sneer as they like. Those of us who love these movies and can appreciate their beauty and craft will be more than satisfied. During the credits, I found myself on the verge of tears, utterly enthralled, unable to leave until the last frame had spooled off the screen. Now that is a cinematic experience. All that's left to say is: Thank you, Baz Luhrman. And readers: go see this movie right this second.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: T.H. on November 27, 2008, 04:59:47 PM
If that's your only objection... ::)

It looks like your standard overblown, pretentious hollywood epic. I hate these movies. nicole kidman is a crummy actress and I'm not a big jackman fan either. and, of course, the baz factor.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: The Firecracker on November 27, 2008, 06:36:13 PM
nicole kidman is a crummy actress


I don't know about "crummy" but she isn't exactly a fav of mine. The hype surrounding this woman's acting skills are overblown.
She isn't even that good looking. She can look stunning in one shot and then look extraterrestrial in the next.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 27, 2008, 07:08:29 PM
I didn't know Hollywood was in Australia Tuco. ::)

If you don't like the genre that's fair enough, not everyone does. I'm sure DJ and Titoli would probably hate it as well. Those of us who do enjoy films like that, however, will be enthralled.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 27, 2008, 07:21:05 PM

I don't know about "crummy" but she isn't exactly a fav of mine. The hype surrounding this woman's acting skills are overblown.
She isn't even that good looking. She can look stunning in one shot and then look extraterrestrial in the next.

I'm not a huge fan of Kidman but she's good in the right role. I really liked her in this one, and especially in Cold Mountain. Most of her lighter films tend to annoy me though.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: The Firecracker on November 27, 2008, 07:31:27 PM
I'm not a huge fan of Kidman but she's good in the right role. I really liked her in this one, and especially in Cold Mountain. Most of her lighter films tend to annoy me though.


I remember liking Cold Mountain but I don't remember much about her performance.
The only performance that stuck out for me was Portman's and Zallweger's but for all the wrong reasons.
Portman is at her usual woodeness (except when she's asked to cry on cue, which is the only thing she's good at) and Zellweger is soooooo fucking annoying! I was amazed she got the Oscar for that role.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: T.H. on November 27, 2008, 07:52:13 PM
I didn't know Hollywood was in Australia Tuco. ::)

pfft.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 27, 2008, 08:07:11 PM
It looks like your standard overblown, pretentious hollywood epic. I hate these movies. nicole kidman is a crummy actress and I'm not a big jackman fan either. and, of course, the baz factor.

Oh my, give me a break Tuco Harmonica. You couldn't be more wrong about Nicole. I haven't seen this film but it pisses me off that somebody could put down a film so much when they haven't seen it yet.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: T.H. on November 27, 2008, 08:49:46 PM
Nicole Kidman has zero charisma, screen presence and personality. none.

baz luhrmann directed romeo + juliet and Moulin Rouge.

I'm not going to spend close to three hours of my life watching this movie. R+J is one of the worst directed big money movies I've seen and I turned MR off after ten minutes.

With no offense to the groggster, I don't put much stock into his  glowing review because he seems to enjoy this particular brand of movie, which is fine and dandy, but it's a trip to the dentist for me.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 27, 2008, 09:05:37 PM
Nicole Kidman has zero charisma, screen presence and personality. none.

baz luhrmann directed romeo + juliet and Moulin Rouge.

I'm not going to spend close to three hours of my life watching this movie. R+J is one of the worst directed big money movies I've seen and I turned MR off after ten minutes.

With no offense to the groggster, I don't put much stock into his  glowing review because he seems to enjoy this particular brand of movie, which is fine and dandy, but it's a trip to the dentist for me.


Well I happen to think Nicole Kidman is wonderful. You should also try listening to an interview she conducts. She's irresistible in my mind. Also, I happen to think "Moulin Rouge" is a work of art and that's because of  Baz who has vision behind the camera. I don't believe he's half as bad as you're making him out to be. But, that's just me.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: T.H. on November 27, 2008, 09:18:41 PM
Nicole Kidman seems like a very sweet person but I don't find her to be talented.

I'm not a fan of BL, whatsoever. He just throws the camera around like a rag doll, not my style.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 27, 2008, 09:39:06 PM
Nicole Kidman seems like a very sweet person but I don't find her to be talented.

I'm not a fan of BL, whatsoever. He just throws the camera around like a rag doll, not my style.

Well, I'd still like you to see the film. I think it's ment to see on the big screen. You never know Tuco, you may enjoy it.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Atlas2112 on November 27, 2008, 10:44:01 PM
I'm split on this.

On one hand, I tend to like these kind of epic movies and i generaly trust groggy's judgement.

On the other, BAZ (insert barf emoticon here) LUHRMAN. R + J sucked hard and I commend Tuco Harmonica for sticking around as long as he did through MR, I couldn't make it past the ear fucking that was ewan mcgregor singing "the sound of music", or the epilipsy inducing colors and camera movement. i looked around me and saw that none of my freinds were remotely phased by the anachronism. I promptly left the building.

I don't care for nicole kidman either.

If i go to the movies i might sneak in to catch some of this and leave if my fears are reassured.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 28, 2008, 07:20:35 AM
Nicole Kidman seems like a very sweet person but I don't find her to be talented.

I'm not a fan of BL, whatsoever. He just throws the camera around like a rag doll, not my style.

Well, it didn't seem like a Luhrmann film. He was remarkably restrained by his standards, at least.

I do indeed like these kinds of films, but I wasn't crazy about Atonement and merely think Titanic is okay, to name some counter-examples. I don't like everyone of these to come down the pike, and in any event I thought it had a different feel from modern epics like the above-named.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 28, 2008, 05:54:12 PM
Quote
you either like this kind of movie or you don't.
Not so fast, Celluloid Breath.

I, for one, like good movies, regardless of type. There are good historical epics (if that's what this is), and there are bad ones. I like, for example, LoA (a war picture with a difference), but dislike Zhivago (a long-winded soap opera). It just depends: on the writing, the direction, the acting, the score.

I went to Australia today in spite of my antipathy toward the previous work of S'Baz Luhrmann. I'm always open to the possibility of encountering a good film, especially one of epic sweep. The Australian setting sounded interesting too. So I went, and . . .

My response is mixed. This is because, Grogs, as you correctly note, the film falls into two parts. I thought the first part was reasonably successful, the second part hopelessly tedious. The writing is most likely at fault here, but I can't help feeling that the direction failed as well. There is a lightness to the first part that is exchanged for mawkishness in the second.

The set-up is magical, and I use that term deliberately because from the first the supernatural in invoked to take us into a tale of fantasy and adventure. In fact, I immediately began to see parallels with the Lord of the Rings pictures: those, of course, were filmed in New Zealand, and if Kiwi-land could play Middle Earth, it seems appropriate that Australia could stand in for a fantastic Land of Aus; or "Oz", if you prefer: Luhrmann isn't subtle about making the connection (Luhrmann isn't subtle about anything). This picture could have been called The Wizard of Aus.

Not that the plots are similar. As I said, I thought the film--the first half, anyway--had more in common with Tolkien. In LOTR we had Gandalf, who began as a grey wizard, then graduated to the color white. In Australia we are given a Black Wizard, who, it emerges, is a good guy; he has a grandson, Nullah, the Frodo of the piece, and the Fellowship that is assembled around the precocious man-child is made up of an Aragorn type (the Hugh Jackman character) and a kind of Lady Eowyn (played by what's-her-name). Jack Thompson is Gimli! Legolas has become Magarri! They're even taking along a chuckwagon with a Chinese cook!! In the embarkation scene we see that the Fellowship numbers 7, that most precious of mystic numerals.

The plot at this point is simple: a cattle drive to Mordor--er, Darwin.  If the the sacred cows are delivered into the abyss on Mt. Doom, Sauron's power will be broken. Of course, along the way there are hazards, emissaries of the Evil One, led by the turncoat Fletcher (David Wenham doing a great Sean Bean impersonation), sent to bring our heroes to grief. They command the Fires of Napalm! The cattle stampede they induce is a good one (though CGI'd), the highlight of the film.

Did I mention that the title of this film could be The Two Towers? At the beginning, when the Fellowship sets out from the Shire, we see Gandalf perched on a butte overlooking the cattle station. I saw that and wondered, Would we see a corresponding High Place later in the film? You will understand my sense of gratification when we arrived in Darwin later to find the Dark Lord's keep situated on a promontory overlooking town and harbor. 

I have been speaking somewhat sarcastically up to this point, but in fact the film benefits, to my mind, from these associations. For the first half of the picture I didn't worry about Kidman's rather arch performance--her character wasn't to be believed anyway. I didn't worry about historical accuracy--I understood that the Australian elements were merely stage properties, that the setting had been divested of traditional meaning and reinvested with mythic significance. The story was one of adventure, and I enjoyed it as such.

But after the end of the cattle drive, things began to go seriously wrong. First, there was a lull in the plot; with little happening, I had opportunity to notice plot holes. Then the mythic elements evaporated, and the whole film defaulted to a dull message piece about the plight of people with mixed blood (wasn't this already covered in Rabbit-Proof Fence?). Cliche followed cliche as the Kidman-Jackman relationship "developed"; the whole plot with the boy taken away from Kidman and sent to the island was ridiculous. I waited impatiently for the Japanese to arrive and bomb the pooh out of Darwin (didn't Morrissey sing about this place? "In this seaside town/That they forgot to bomb/ Come, come nuclear bomb.") The cookie-cutter scenes put me in mind of better pictures, Empire of the Sun and The Sand Pebbles (when Magarri did his Steve McQueen routine to cover the retreat of his friends I had to laugh: night scenes in films are almost always too well lit, and here it was so bright there was no way the Japanese could miss the running man. The irony being: in real life, it would have been much too dark to hit him).

Worst of all: the reuniting of Kidman and Jackman is accompanied by orchestral swell, and not GOOD orchestral swell, either. In fact, as I was watching the second half of the movie, it occurred to me that it has one of the worst scores I have ever heard. I'm not a big fan of Zhivago or The English Patient (to cite 2 films Groggy mentions for comparison), but at least they have better-than-average music. Australia's score is not merely vulgar, it is obscene (Grogs, in your 1300 word review you do not devote a single comment to the music; what's with you, do you go into the theater wearing ear-muffs?). In the end, it is the music that ruined things for me, and because it is so atrocious I would never recommend anyone seeing this film.

So, I'd give the first half of the film a 7 (where things were so exciting I didn't notice the score), the second half a 2. And it's not because I like or dislike "this kind of movie."


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 28, 2008, 06:28:46 PM
I think it's fair to say you "don't like this sort of movie" Jenkins. I wasn't expecting you to enjoy the movie, given your past history. You gave Lawrence a six, which is at best a mild enjoyment, so I fail to see how that's a counterargument.

I don't have time right now to right a detailed rebuttal, but I have to say your review is 100% what I was expecting. No surprise there. You did a good job articulating your opinion, as usual.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 28, 2008, 08:14:03 PM

Giving LAWRENCE OF ARABIA a 6 is borderline insane.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 29, 2008, 07:43:26 AM
I think it's fair to say you "don't like this sort of movie" Jenkins. I wasn't expecting you to enjoy the movie, given your past history. You gave Lawrence a six, which is at best a mild enjoyment, so I fail to see how that's a counterargument.
Well, I don't like the second half of Lawrence, or it would have scored higher. Part 1 I'd give a 9.

It was just a fer instance. I'm sure I can find other films of "this sort" that would go higher. Brando's Mutiny on the Bounty I'd give an 8 to. Far From the Madding Crowd would earn a 10, Tom Jones an 8 or 9. I like Barry Lyndon a lot. And of course Bondarchuk's 8-hour War and Peace gets an 11 . . .


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 29, 2008, 08:23:03 AM
Now, let's deal with your post in more detail.

You did a good job dealing with the magic realism parts of the first movie, which I overlooked. This movie doesn't necessarily take place in the real world, at least for the first hour and a half, but a fantasy allegory of Australia, seen through the eyes of Nulla, an aboriginal child. The opening scene with Nulla was rather jarring; I honestly wasn't expecting this sort of thing to be present in a film like this (nothing in the previews and trailers indicated as much). Kidman's first few scenes - her intro in England and her arrival in Darwin - were outright parodic, deliberately or not, and a mite overdone. Once grows innured to that, however, it ceased being a problem.

This, I think, is crucial. The early parts of the film are a high adventure film (more or less a Western), because it is told through Nulla's eyes. Everything has the perspective of a child's fantasy in this part of the movie, and even when bad things happen (Flynn's death in the stampede) they're done in an exciting context. The second half is told from a more objective point-of-view, however; Nulla's narration remains, but it serves as more of a commentary than a guide, as we see other characters acting "behind closed doors", as it were.

The second act falls back on a more conventional genre structure; Drover and Sarah get married but then have difficulties due to their different perceptions of the world. I might agree with you that this stuff could have been done better, but character development and shift in focus make it work. Were we expecting Sarah to almost immediately become a naturalized Aussie? No, and the film shows that very well; we see at the end of Act I a false ideal that isn't really achievable. We see Nulla's outsider's view of their relationship, the green farm, the happy wranglers and servants, and Sarah waiting patiently on the porch for Drover to come home - that is very in keeping with the first half of the movie. Then, however, we're allowed to see the reality; Drover and Sarah DON'T have an ideal relationship, and the high romanticism is soured when we get an objective look at them. The grim nature of the second half remains punctuated by hints of the fantasy (King George's continued presence in the story), but he's kept in the background to ensure the reality of the second half. The ending, however, revives the dream of the first half; the mystical forces (King George) conquer nasty reality (Fletcher), we're allowed an idyllic if somewhat bittersweet conclusion. I'm not denying that there was plot contrivance in the second half, as there is in any number of films of this type, but I don't find it any more egregious than, say, the ridiculous plot (or lack thereof) of Barry Lyndon, where things happen for no reason at all but Kubrick and his acolytes can get off by claiming it as "satire".

You can disagree with my opinion of the film's two-act structure; perhaps an Intermission would have helped? I remember our discussion of Lord Jim over the summer, where you defended the disjunction of the film's two acts as being like the original film and a sequel in one go. Although there was a shift in tone between the two halves, I think they complemented each other perfectly, and it all tied together at the end.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 29, 2008, 09:39:55 AM

The second act falls back on a more conventional genre structure; Drover and Sarah get married but then have difficulties due to their different perceptions of the world.
I don't think they do get married. In fact, it's crucial to the plot that they don't: if they married, then they could legally adopt Nullah, and the film would be over. Just another plot contrivance that keeps things chugging along.

I like your idea that the first half of the story is from the boy's perspective, the second half, a more objective take. But such a reading only serves to point up the deficiencies of part 2: we can accept the wild coincidences and epic gestures of the first half if they are in fact coming to us filtered through the kid's imagination, but why should we put up with such things in the "objective" part? There are just too many dumb things that happen: the taking away of Nullah is the most egregious example: Kidman only discovers this as it unfolds, and so is helpless to stop it (but why can't she just get on the boat with him? or hire a boat to go after him?): but as time goes on, even though she is a wealthy property owner with standing in the community, no legal recourse is open to her; she has to make a backdoor deal with Fletcher. Idiocy. The stupidest thing is the island itself: it is the listening post that is supposed to warn the Darwinians of the impending Japanese attack (daily expected). Why then isn't it being run by the army? Why have the children and the priests been consigned there, of all places?  And why do the Japanese land on the island? They might do so if they were planning to land at Darwin, but since they never do, their presence on the island is a complete mystery. If this were all part of a fantasy-adventure, I wouldn't be so bothered by it, but as it occurs in the more "realistic" part of the film, well . . .

I guess I'll skip all my other objections or I'll have to be at it until Christmas. Let me just re-iterate: I enjoyed the first half, the second half annoyed me to death.



Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 29, 2008, 10:51:55 AM
This is interesting, but I don't think sticking with the "original" ending would have improved anything: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24627794-5006023,00.html


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 29, 2008, 11:17:05 AM
I don't think they do get married. In fact, it's crucial to the plot that they don't: if they married, then they could legally adopt Nullah, and the film would be over. Just another plot contrivance that keeps things chugging along.

This is true.

Quote
I like your idea that the first half of the story is from the boy's perspective, the second half, a more objective take. But such a reading only serves to point up the deficiencies of part 2: we can accept the wild coincidences and epic gestures of the first half if they are in fact coming to us filtered through the kid's imagination, but why should we put up with such things in the "objective" part? There are just too many dumb things that happen: the taking away of Nullah is the most egregious example: Kidman only discovers this as it unfolds, and so is helpless to stop it (but why can't she just get on the boat with him? or hire a boat to go after him?):

Because the authorities blocked her from going?

Quote
but as time goes on, even though she is a wealthy property owner with standing in the community, no legal recourse is open to her; she has to make a backdoor deal with Fletcher. Idiocy.

Presumably because she's a new arrival as opposed to Fletcher, who through his connections to the late Mr. Carney and marriage to his daughter has much broader influence with the government. It was implied Lord Ashley's power was more or less confined to his ranch, and that his land and influence was being usurped by Carney when he met his demise. Also Ashley's flippant attitudes towards the Australian caste system and Carney's death probably undercut any power and influence she may have gained by her cattle drive (except with the Army, of course).

Quote
The stupidest thing is the island itself: it is the listening post that is supposed to warn the Darwinians of the impending Japanese attack (daily expected). Why then isn't it being run by the army? Why have the children and the priests been consigned there, of all places?

I believe the island was based on historical fact, or I've gotten that impression from the little reading I've done. My guess about they're being consigned there is that it's to show how little the Aussie government cares about the "creamies".

Quote
And why do the Japanese land on the island? They might do so if they were planning to land at Darwin, but since they never do, their presence on the island is a complete mystery.

My explanation for this is that it was a scouting/reconassiance force. As the Australians had been using the island for a radio position, might the Japanese not put it to use themselves? It would theoretically give them a base within a few miles of the Australian mainland, which would have been invaluable to them. I see this as a very minor error. I was surprised when the Japanese showed up, but I didn't really have a problem with it.

Quote
This is interesting, but I don't think sticking with the "original" ending would have improved anything:

I was really surprised (if not necessarily disappointed) that the film did have a happy ending. I thought it was a pre-requisite in epics like this that at least one of the main characters bites the bullet, and I definitely thought Drover was doomed in his confrontation with Fletcher.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 29, 2008, 12:20:10 PM
I believe the island was based on historical fact, or I've gotten that impression from the little reading I've done.
Well, from what little reading I've done (just now, on the web), it seems that the Bathurst Island of history bears very little resemblance to the island in the film. There was evidently a Father John McGrath there who is famous for radioing Darwin about the approaching Japanese planes, who went unheeded. He also went unbombed; the Japanese never landed; Fra McGrath didn't evacuate, he lived peacefully there throughout the war, ministering to the Tiwi people who are native there. And needless to say, he didn't operate a ferry service between Bathurst and Darwin.

But do you really want to go down this path? Defending the film on historical grounds when it suits your purpose, and then throwing the history away when it doesn't? Regardless of what actually happened historically, the film as it is presented to us has to make sense on its own terms. And even when there is historical warrant for something, if that something seems counterintuitive or otherwise odd, it is up to the filmmaker to allay our misgivings and provide us with an explanation.

Please note, by the way, that while I will dicker with you over the details of the Darwin Raid, I have no problem accepting the fact that in another part of the film a boy can stop a stampede simply by raising his hand and using the Force. Again, two different styles of filmmaking require two different critical-exegetical approaches.

Hey, have you noticed TB is being awfully quiet? Could it be he's waiting to see the film before commenting? Yet, why should he bother? I'm sure he could write his critique without actually going to the theater. In fact, I think I can even write it for him.... >:D


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on November 29, 2008, 03:57:05 PM
Is this the only point you wish to dicker over Jenkins? If so, I don't see it as being very fruitful.

It is interesting that TB isn't berating your points, but I'm more likely to chalk it up to his probably not being on the last few days.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on December 01, 2008, 03:29:59 PM

It's nice to see that Jenkins is talking down on me because of the possibility of me liking this. Very mature. But you know what, I absolutely loved it and I finally had the chance to see it last night and I could care less if you poke fun of me Jenkins. This film was incredible. It's my kind of movie.

Autralia (2008) - My review:

I've been waiting patiently for years to see an old-fashioned Hollywood EPIC and I finally received my wish with "Australia." Can you say SENSATIONAL? This lived up to my expectations and then some. Baz Luhrmann gives us a larger than life film that homages similar epic films such as "Gone With the Wind", "Lawrence of Arabia", "Red River", and the Australian film "The Overlander." Just think David Lean and John Ford and you will get an idea of what kind of film this is. And the references to "The Wizard of Oz" were beautifully and tastefully done throughout the film. This really moved me.

The film is highly ambitious. And for that alone, Baz Luhrmann needs to commended. The film is romantic, funny, dramatic, and action-adventurous. It will excite you, make you laugh, and make you cry all at the same time. It's a combined Romance, Western, Dramatic, and Action-Adventure affair that we NEVER see in movies today. It's a film that I live to watch, a film for all film-lover's who are fan's of that old EPIC we never see anymore. It's 'Baz Luhrmann's love-letter to Australia and an UNFORGETTABLE one at that.

The photography is GORGEOUS and the WIDESCREEN ratio is used to perfection. We see the vast, wide open OUTBACK of Australia with multiple sweeping, beautiful, and EPIC shots throughout the film. The use of the crane and airiel view shots are some of my favorite's. It's a dazzling, eye-popping experience. I love how Baz brings us right into the movie and shows us first hand just how beautiful this place is.

I also love the film's dialogue. There are a number of memorable line's that I fell in love with right away. Some of the dialogue made me laugh and at other times it really moved me. The movie has moments that really make you think.

And the people that put down Nicole Kidman's acting should be ashamed. This is arguably her greatest work yet. Her character is quite layered and we see a beautiful transformation of Lady Sarah Ashley throughout. Kidman's performance blew me away and her chemistry with Hugh Jackman sizzles. Hugh Jackman's performance as The Drover reminded me of a young Clint Eastwood from the Sergio Leone "Dollars Trilogy." He's brilliant here. After seeing this performance, I'd love to see Hugh take on another western related film. I think the genre suits him perfectly.

The star of the film may be Brandon Walters who played the little boy Nullah. What blows me away about his performance is that he did not have one bit of acting experience before this film. He was outstanding. What a beautiful little boy. Every time he was on screen with those big old brown eyes of his, he ate it up. And when he opened his mouth with that little accent, you can't help but not take a liking to him.

I also wanted to point out that horse and cattle stampedes we see more than once throughout the film. With it's powerful, drum-beat music that plays along with them, I could not help but to get chills running through my body. What a site to see, especially the main cattle stampede that puts you on the edge of your seat.

My only gripe of the film is some of the use of CGI. At times you could tell when green-screen was used. However, it's not that big of a deal. Most of the special effects were done nicely. I loved to much about this film to have that bother me. We rarely ever see a film like this anymore and I enjoyed every second of it.

This is up there for me as the best film of the decade thus far alongside "There Will Be Blood" and "The Dark Knight."

9/10


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on December 01, 2008, 03:30:58 PM
I give your review a 100/10 TB. O0 O0 O0


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on December 01, 2008, 03:33:20 PM
I give your review a 100/10 TB. O0 O0 O0

haha thanks man. I do agree with you the first moments of the film scared me a bit but the film picked up quickley in the direction I was expecting.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 02, 2008, 11:45:06 AM
I give your review a 100/10 TB. O0 O0 O0
Oh, Groggy, why so parsimonious? Give him a 1000/10 at least.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: T.H. on December 02, 2008, 03:42:37 PM
And the people that put down Nicole Kidman's acting should be ashamed.

Why wasn't 'ashamed' typed in caps? I feel less important.

joking aside, I can't understand how some find this woman to be an interesting actress. She's at the forefront of the new school, unoffensive, uninteresting, robotic leading actor movement.



Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on December 02, 2008, 09:05:58 PM
Why wasn't 'ashamed' typed in caps? I feel less important.

joking aside, I can't understand how some find this woman to be an interesting actress. She's at the forefront of the new school, unoffensive, uninteresting, robotic leading actor movement.



Tough. :P


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: The Firecracker on December 07, 2008, 12:00:50 AM
I'm with Jenkins on this.

Not bad but bloated and far too long.

No director should be allowed to make a movie longer than 2 hours today.
Only the masters (The Fellinis, the Leans, The Leones, The Kubricks) can take on such a task.

I hated the first half hour of the movie but loved all the cattle herding driving stuff.
Once the movie turned into Pearl Harbor 2 I lost interest again.
The CGI is clearly made to look like Matte Paintings but one wonders why they didn't just make an actual matte painting, might have given the movie a bit more flavor.

6/10



Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on December 07, 2008, 10:58:14 AM
I'm surprised neither of you noted that a good amount of the bomibng footage was borrowed from Tora! Tora! Tora! I didn't really notice, but others did.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 07, 2008, 12:20:26 PM
I read mention of that, but I don't see how it signifies. Unless I wanted to make the one-turkey-borrows-from-another argument, which I guess I could. It just seems that there are better points to argue.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on December 07, 2008, 12:36:52 PM
There was a thread on IMDB not long ago listing the variety of direct references to other films in this one. Some were more obvious than others - the Red River analogues were pretty obvious, and Jenkins' LOTR parallels are quite interesting as well.

Also noted were nods to:

- OUATITW - the look of Faraway Downs seems clearly inspired by a bizarre mix of Sweetwater and Cattle Croner (particularly the wind mill and water tower), also Sarah arriving to find her husband murdered and the funeral. Also King Carney trying to convince her to marry him in order to take her land put me in mind of the Frank-Jill scene.
- The Dollars Trilogy - definitely Drover's intro was intended to be Eastwood-esque
- The Cowboys - the stampede scene and Fletcher's gang tracking our heroes
- Lawrence of Arabia - having to cross the "Never-never Land" to get to Darwin
- The Searchers - a shot of Kidman on the porch waiting for Drover to come back
- Gone With the Wind - the shots of Faraway Downs in full bloom, plus the scenes at the fund raiser
- Walkabout - Obvious I hope.

Jenkins argued for the death of Drover's assistant equalling the end of The Sand Pebbles, but quite frankly I thought that was such a generic scenario I'm not sure I buy the equivalence.

I'm just going from memory. I'm merely pointing these out, not necessarily arguing they mean the film was good. Feel free to add any I'm missing.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Groggy on December 09, 2008, 06:20:47 PM
Decided to rewatch this movie today to get the bad taste of Twilight out of my mouth (and no Jenkins, Slumdog Millionaire wasn't playing anywhere nearby ::)). Here's my second impression:

I think I enjoyed the film roughly the same, so I'm keeping my nine rating. There weren't any real flaws or problems that I noticed that I hadn't noticed the first viewing, a few additional observations though.

I have to say, in line somewhat with Jenkins' comments, I enjoyed the first half a lot more in the second viewing than the first. Perhaps becomes I knew what to expect, unlike last time where I was expecting a straight historical drama and the almost-parodic scenes at the beginning threw me off. I had a much stronger reaction to the cattle stampede, and I found Nicole Kidman far more amusing than I did last time, when she mostly annoyed me (her reaction to the roo being shot had me rolling in the aisles, I must admit). I definitely think I was inured to the King George/magical realism aspects of the story, which kind of bothered me the first time but today I didn't mind at all, knowing now they were integral to the story; I apparently missed the scene where he guides them through the "Never-Never" last viewing and it added a good deal IMO, showing that George was a character and not just a symbol.

I did think the second half dragged a bit but nothing fatal. My only real problem is that the scenes after the Darwin bombing seem a bit arbitrary and drawn-out; other than the arrival of the mission children in the harbor there isn't much of cinematic value here. I liked the fate of Fletcher a lot more this time around, although I still think a tragic ending would have worked better (wouldn't it have been novel if Kidman had died and Jackman lived?). I was a mite annoyed knowing what was going to happen, how they set up all three leads as possibly dead only to pull back and say "Oops - just joking!"

However, I still loved it, perhaps even more than the first time around. I just think it's hideous that I've paid $11 for two matinee screenings of this movie and $10 for one show of Twilight, which was shit.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 14, 2009, 11:41:49 AM
Fox has given up on the film in R1 and announced the DVD/BRD release for 3 March:
http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content/id/69821/australia-r1us-bd-in-march.html


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Whalestoe on January 14, 2009, 12:22:26 PM
Fox has given up on the film in R1 and announced the DVD/BRD release for 3 March:
http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content/id/69821/australia-r1us-bd-in-march.html

Wasn't this movie a commercial failure over here in the States?


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on January 14, 2009, 12:32:04 PM
Wasn't this movie a commercial failure over here in the States?

Yeah basically. I don't know the exact numbes off hand but it didn't do well here. Huge, long epic's don't necessarily do all that great anymore here. Most of the movie-going crowd is young and out of touch with an old-school type EPIC like "Australia" which is sad.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: ShortFuse on January 14, 2009, 12:49:49 PM
It's a failure all alright


http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=australia.htm



Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: The Firecracker on January 14, 2009, 01:32:54 PM
Wasn't this movie a commercial failure over here in the States?


More reason to put it out faster and make more money.


Title: Re: Australia (2008)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on January 14, 2009, 02:00:41 PM

Well, at least I'll get this faster on DVD so that makes me happy.