Action / Adventure / Drama / Romance / War


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February 05, 2013 at 02:35 AM



Nicole Kidman as Lady Sarah Ashley
Hugh Jackman as Drover
Essie Davis as Cath Carney
Ben Mendelsohn as Captain Dutton
720p 1080p
1.00 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 45 min
P/S 18 / 29
2.10 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 45 min
P/S 7 / 34

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tomwalshco 1 / 10

Why didn't somebody warn me

Had no idea going in except the few bits of trailers I saw. Was expecting an epic thriller with a solid story line - instead... you get all the old stock, trite Australian perceptions.

- sage old Aboriginal grandfather who can listen to the birds sing and tell you when the second coming of Christ will be.

- the painfully cute, half breed boy that can outsmart NASA scientists. - the knock-down, drag-out Aussie bar brawls where everyone emerges 24 hours later as good as new without a scratch after getting smacked 10 times with a cricket bat and beer bottles.

- the jalopy that can carry 10 tons of supplies across 500 miles of blazing desolation without a backfire.

- the old lush that spews pearls of wisdom after falling off every bar stool he sits on.

- the proper English royal dame that can out-ride, out-fight, out-last any grizzled outback veteran.

- the kangaroos that appear out of nowhere in what looks like the middle of the Sahara Desert, and get shot for a delicious high-protein dinner.

- and of course, the chatter about stealing half-breed babies to make them more refined.

I thought this was a comedy 10 minutes in! Maybe it was. I couldn't bear to see the last half. I was ready to tie a cinder block around my neck and jump in the billabong......

Reviewed by NonSequitur_1 5 / 10

Uneven, hulking monster of a film

This film struggled throughout its epic length to stay upright. Unfortunately at the end it stumbled and fell like a pile of bricks.

It tried to juggle so much but in the end, it all turned out to be too little. The film starts like a corny slapstick comedy, turns into a romantic fantasy, then into an outback adventure, then into a war movie, a heartfelt drama, a comment on the stolen generation, a comment on racism... etc, etc. It's just too much. Yes, it's supposed to be an epic, but things like this need to be handled with finesse. Unfortunately, it isn't in this case. The themes were too muddled, the script too stretched - it's a mess. The characters are cardboard cutouts, the acting is over the top and cheesy, the pacing is off, the bizarre use of Somewhere Over the Rainbow... It's just a broken film.

Being an Australian, I did hope that this movie would be alright, but it turned out to be almost 3 hours of wankery that disgracefully cost our taxpayers over $40m.

On a more positive note, on the whole it wasn't BORING, and it was aesthetically and aurally pleasing - even though it made use of countless, shameless green screen shots which were simply unnecessary.

There was ONE great scene in the film, and that's when Hugh Jackman and his Aboriginal friend enter the ruined pub. That was absolutely excellent. Too bad the rest of the film couldn't live up to that in the slightest.

Reviewed by MattsMovieReviews 8 / 10

After all of the publicity and the hype that preceded it, Baz Luhrmann's larger than life and highly entertaining epic, Australia, has finally arrived.

Here is a film that works on multiple levels; thrilling action adventure, detailed period piece, moving romance, stirring war movie, and it also continues the resurrection of the western.

As a result, the sum of its vast parts make for a long running film (165 min), yet every minute is filled to the brim with captivating detail.

What Luhrmann does well with Australia is tap into the majestic allure of the outback, and amplifies it. This is no surprise, since he is a master at approaching his material with a fantastical bent, creating truly memorable and often surreal sequences, which Australia provides plenty.

Aboriginal culture and its relationship with nature, in particular, have fuelled Luhrmann's imaginative vision. The heart and soul of Australia lies within the mythology and customs of Australia's indigenous people, and their often tumultuous relationship with European settlers.

This is made flesh in the form of young Nullah, a mixed race Aboriginal boy on the run from the authorities, who want to forcibly remove him from his home, and place him in a "civilised" environment. He is played by Brandon Walters, who is impressive in his debut performance.

With Nullah playing narrator, the viewer is introduced to Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman), an English aristocrat who inherits her late husband's cattle station, which is located in the Northern Australian city of Darwin. Caught in a rivalry with fellow beef exporter King Carney (Bryan Brown), Lady Ashley enlists the services of The Drover (Hugh Jackman) to herd 1500 head of cattle in order to fulfil a contract with the Australian Army.

Both Kidman and Jackman – two exceptionally gifted actors who, with the help of Australia, have overcome recent rocky patches in their careers – provide noteworthy performances and believable on screen chemistry.

Tall, pale, and thin, Kidman plays regal very well, courting an in full force stiff upper lip, that gives way to several funny moments, while trying to break out of her icy exterior. Of particular mention is her vain attempt to herd cattle; and a woeful rendition of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" to a clearly amused Walters.

Jackman, meanwhile, evokes Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, and Humphrey Bogart to fine effect as the no nonsense, hands on Drover, while also providing eye candy for female viewers.

Supporting roles are superbly fulfilled by top shelf Australian talent: Bryan Brown is effective yet given a disappointing limited amount of screen time; Jack Thompson seems to be gleefully enjoying his role as an alcoholic lawyer; and a scene stealing David Wenham is all evil smirks and nasty attitude as the films key villain.

Yet the most impressive character in Australia has to be its awe inspiring and vibrant landscape, which is captured magnificently by cinematographer Mandy Walker.

Unfortunately, the films use of artificial visual effects does clash with the natural beauty that the outback projects.

Australia is a film which clearly parades its influences on screen. References to The African Queen, Gone with the Wind, and Big Country are particularly notable.

Yet it is no mere carbon copy of the films from decades past. Rather, Australia is an enchanting throwback to an era of film-making which strived to entertain its audiences with dazzling spectacle and melodrama, coupled with a historical snapshot of circa early 1940s Darwin, and all of the beauty and ugliness that comes with it.

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