Thursday, November 20, 2008

7 Word Movie Review: Australia

Overstuffed stiff absorbing EPIC. Hugh Jackman Porn.

a full review is now available, kids

45 comments:

Casey F said...

was that a negative review with a positive ending?

E Dot said...

You had me at Hugh Jackman porn...

Mariposa said...

Oh no. I so wanted Nikki Kidman to have a hit on her hands ...

abstew said...

there's something about the combination of overstuffed, stiff, and hugh jackman porn that just seems soooo right...

adam k. said...

Sounds like somebody just won Nat's sexpot of the year award... ; )

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.D. said...

BE MORE SPECIFIC.

"Hugh Jackman Porn" sounds intriguing, though.

Michael said...

Sigh, I will contain my anger at this film. :(

Anonymous said...

I don't think you should jump to negative. All the reviews so far have said it is contradictory...big, beautiful, overdone, etc. He said absorbing and epic after all.

Anonymous said...

What does that mean Nathaniel?! Please share!

And Michael, I would like to hear your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued, do you have any sort of technique to "empty" yourself from a movie before watching the next one? I don't think I could watch three movies in a day and have a clear mind to write about them.

Iggy

jimmy said...

....yeah....i'm kind of sitting here at the edge of my seat as well about the "porn" thingy.....do tell.

Anonymous said...

I'm stuck on "stiff"

Michael said...

Anonymous, I'm not entirely objective, as I like the spirit of Baz, but I don't think it's ever really translated into great filmmaking for a whole film. I think this film works in sections (stampede being very strong), but the sections aren't consistent with eachother, and overall you kind of wish they'd split it up in HOW THE WEST WAS WON fashion (possibly with Baz directing two of five stories or a similar deal) into a series of episodes. By asking for less Baz, I betray a prejudice there - I can't believe his good fortune in having this budget for these parameters (2 stars who aren't Will smith, an original property/screenplay with no previous incarnation).

But critically, I lack objectivity because my passport has the name of this film stamped all over it, and that adds to my rancour. We'd just cleared the generation that thought of Crocodile Dundee when the word Australia was mentioned, but this film will be a most regrettable ambassador for our nation and our filmmaking talent for quite a while to come. Alas. It's probably not fair to hold that against the film, but it is most definitely a thing.

I will certainly try to get my hands on David Hirschfelder's score though. (The music, as ever, can be the good thing in an otherwise 'meh' film.)

And all power to Hugh Jackman. He's very game, and with the younger co-star, is pitching his performance to the right place.

Yikes though... Red Curtain performances, postcard backdrops and bad bluescreening to link the two together. Not all the money is up onscreen.

- The Opinionated Australian

Rick said...

The few reviews I have read have been relatively positive with the acting honors going to the young boy in the film.

Anonymous said...

for the love of god could you just tell us already!!!

Joanne said...

The problem Michael(and I too have Australia stamped on my passport in fact my whole family does as we head off to Disneyland and Hawaii not the Outback though I really want to do that...) is that the movies that Australians do best, the urban dramas such as Little Fish and dark urban comedies such as Two Hands (two of my fav Aussie films along with MR Gallipoli and Picnic at Hanging Rock), just don't make money. Now maybe for the sake of artistic integrity we shouldn't worry about that. But "money makes the world go round". So Baz has said (imagine Baz being really articulate and exuberant here) "look give it to me I'll get them into the cinemas. I'll make the rest of the world stand up and take notice. They liked MR didn't they (well mostly says the exec)lets take it a bit further and showcase our landscapes lets adds some of those cliches but surely by now everyone knows thats just a joke. Lets embrace that. Give me losts of money and I'll show you the honey!!!

So the first part of his job is done. Aussie's and the world have taken notice. Next week we will begin to see if he can get Aussie bums on seats and US dollars in the cash register. But beware Baz this film has to make more than Crocodile Dundee in Australia at least or else it will be ever considered a folly.

Katey said...

Y'all, there's a Hugh Jackman shower scene. And he is never without tight pants... except one scene in a tuxedo.

Hugh Jackman porn is really the best way to put it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Michael for your review. I am not Australian nor have I seen the film, but it is my most highly anticipated movie of the season. I love Baz, and seeing him and CM on the red carpet just made me so happy because they have worked so hard. But I digress...

I know that many had a problem with the cliches, and that this will play better to international audiences. And this is Baz. He was bound to receive both love and hate within and outside of his country. It seems it did have it's problems, and some stuff will work better for others, but I don't know if it will ruin Australia's reputation. Baz Luhrmann is one of the greatest director's of this time, and even if the film can be messy at time, it's also big, epic, heightened, melodramatic. The CGI backgrounds were meant to emulate the painted backdrops of GWTH. And this really is probably not the place to talk about all this (sorry Nathaniel).. but anyway, I'm a huge romantic and I'm sure I will highly enjoy this film.

Besides, MR! had it's problems, no?

Nathaniel -- please give us your review!!

Anonymous said...

Gone with the Wind*

Anonymous said...

Nat, how many Oscars do you think Australia will win? 10++?

Joanne said...

Something I just thought about. If this film makes a few people go out and hire Rabbit Proof Fence a more serious, fairly successful treatment of the stolen generation issue then it will be doing a good thing. So if you come away from Australia feeling "overstuffed" as Nathaniel puts it try Phillip Noyce's beautiful film starring that not an Aussie Kenneth Branagh. It may ease your indigestion. Mind you I'm just looking forward to the banquet.

Anonymous said...

I think that Nat is in such awe of Australia that he is numb with glee and unable to write coherently

Anonymous said...

Joanne: I've heard nothing but praise about Baz's treatment of the Stolen Generation. And of course the child actor Brandon Walters is receiving rave reviews.

Anonymous said...

http://www.variety.com/blog/150000615/post/650036865.html?nid=4360

Joanne said...

Yes actually I meant to point that I. My point is that though the movie might put some people off becuase of how over the top it is they still might want to know more about the stolen generation and RPF is one place to start. I'm trying to do my small bit in helping to promote Australian films in general :)

Anonymous said...

Nat, did Nicole sing in this!!!?? Please give us some details! We are dying here, can't you see that??

Anonymous said...

This is taking longer than the conclusion of that Moulin Rouge write up you started a few years ago!!!

Anonymous said...

The movie sucked and now the fans try to come up with something else to cover up the tragedy!

NATHANIEL R said...

y'all don't read carefully. I stated this morning that I'd be at the movies all day! How can I also answer all these questions while in screening rooms? I'm going to bed. More tomorrow.

p.s. abstew. you crack me up.

anon yes, Nicole does sing in this. Sort of.

Anonymous said...

Alright, that's it!! I CAN'T SLEEP!! I need to know what Nate thinks about Revolutionary Road!! I just DO!! Has he fallen asleep? Will he write a review tommorow?? Whyyyyy?? Insomnia has destroyed my nervous system. I need to know about Kate! This is TOO HARD! I will stop now.

Jim

Anonymous said...

Wait! I just want a grade, or a word of confidence. Did you love it?

Anonymous said...

"I'm going to bed. More tomorrow."

I'm officially on the verge of a nervous breakdown! Nate, Nate, you are killing me. I can wait. I think...


Jim

Michael said...

"...the movies that Australians do best, the urban dramas such as Little Fish and dark urban comedies such as Two Hands (two of my fav Aussie films along with MR Gallipoli and Picnic at Hanging Rock), just don't make money. "

Hi Joanne - thanks for your reply, and no dispute there with what you say. You're more generous to those films than I am. I look around my own country and rarely find inspiration from our feature sector. Either it's unbearably unimaginative drama or high spun caricature.

My own favourite Australian film from recent years (barring the one I recently worked on) was NOISE, and that certainly wasn't a film that was going to draw a crowd.

I should warn everyone here that my dissatisfaction with AUSTRALIA should probably be taken as a ringing endorsement. It's the things I don't like about Baz that kept me at arm's length. So, enjoy!

Cluster Funk said...

Just saw Australia, and I must say that while spectacular it was quite disjointed too. To me it seemed like a three-act play that worked well in segments (especially one and two) but was marred by awkward transitions and an ending bordering on saccharine overdose. Now that said, Jackman looked de-lic-ious and had decent chemistry with Kidman whose period clothes fit her much better than her current face. Go see it regardless!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was too long, just like I suspected.

Escribej said...

Michael - I did like the film, but I get what you're saying. I agree with your comment about the lack of consistency between sections -- the stampeded scene being particularly stirring -- then other sections falling a little flat.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE, HURRY UP!!

Anonymous said...

Why 7 word reviews? Why not 3, or 5, or 6? Don't you think that 7 is just superfluous?

Anonymous said...

Nat, don't you understand that torturing your readers by withholding information isn't a polite thing to do?

Catherine said...

Okay guys, I don't think he's purposefully "torturing" us...

Anonymous said...

oh shit you guys. Nat dropped Baz out of his nomination predictions all the way down to 12

Anonymous said...

You know what's really funny? Tasmania have just spoofed the movie for a Tourism campaign. Perfect, I think we're all a little tired of the overhype. Check it out.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=_DbW9PmpCH4

http://www.tasmaniathemovie.com

Anonymous said...

Has anyone read a book by Xavier Herbert called
"Poor Fellow My Country"
You only have to read the first paragraph & then believe that the remaining epic number of pages to follow will be filled with the whole story line (King George) included, taken up by Baz Lurhman & re titled Australia

cashback said...

I might just wait and rent the movie instead of going to the cinema.