Sunday, July 6, 2008

First "Australia" review is in....and it's a RAVE

There is a second one somewhere out there, but it (apparently) spoils a lot of the movie, so I won't post it...

From: Ain' "hello from the sin-twities. Just got back from our lovely Mall of America-n idiots, where i saw a new movie that isn't out yet and not coming out even this summer I don't think. We got passes handed out on Saturday for a free film on sunday, but it didn't say what it was. I thought maybe it was for Handcock, but it wasn't, it was a movie about Australia that I never heard of. It wasn't what I expected by we were there so we stayed and guess what....... It was actually really cool. i had to sign some 6 paragraph legal *beep* but i will not be stopped!

They said in the beginning that it wasn't finished, and you could see where there were some paintings in it and some computer looking drawn stuff that moved that I assume is all special effects that weren't in the film. And some of the music was from gone wth the wind (no ****), so that couldn't be it im sure, but anyway it didn't matter really to the expierence of the movie, which as i said, was really special. For sure, the first words that will come out about this film are "old school" or "they don't make em like this anymore", but they do-- and this is it. And people are going to dig it because its not like anything I can think of ive seen in a long time. It's a big, epic, love story set in Australia in WW2 when the japs attacked the country (I guess), but that is really more about this black native kid that gets taken away by the government and the fight to get him back.

Anyway, I had not heard anything about the movie so I came into this pretty blank. It stars Nicole Kidman as an uptight British Lady and Hugh Jackman as a rugged horseman so mysterious and solitary he goes solely by the name The Drover.

There is A LOT of plot so if you don't care, skip this, but the story is pretty rich. Lady Ashley comes from england to see her husband in Australia and has to be escorted from the main town area to their cattle ranch by Drover, who is like the classic Eastwood character; clearly an honorable soul but refuses to live by anyones rules and annoyed that he has to cart around this prissy city chick. They are instantly at each other's throats, her thinking he's a crass, unwashed heathen (he kinda is) and him thinking she's a haughty bitch (she definitely is). But things change when they get to their destination. her husband's been murdered and a big time cattle man is stealing her cattle and her ranch is nearly bankrupt. Here's where they meet the aboriginal boy on the land who she kind of falls in love with and becomes a mother figure to. So lady ashley and the drover and the little kid and his aunt (?) plus the drovers 2 friends have to drive a heard of cattle across some desert that's never been crossed to the town in order to save her ranch. this is actually much more interesting and cool than it sounds. And not to be bitchy (as I said some of the effects were not done yet), but there is a stampede scene in the middle of the cattle drive that was SOOOOO unfinished it was laughable, in fact I heard some chuckles rising up around me. But whatever, I would have been *annoyed* if it weren't free.

cinematography is really amazing and every scene of the film looks like a painting. its truly beautiful to look at. as you might expect the tension between lady ashley and the drover begins to melt away and they start to fall for each other.

Kidman is perfect for this part and shes really great in it. It's very easy to buy her as stuck-up and snooty at the start, but she does open up to us and makes you care about her and her struggle. it doesnt hurt that she stands up for the aboriginals (who are the australian version of black people in the 1950s) against the *beep* white guys who work for the bigtime cattle baron.

As for Hugh Jackman, I only know him from being Wolverine but he has a real Clark Gable/clint Eastwood vibe going on. He obviously has the physicality and physique to pull off this rugged Marlboro Man character, but it turns out its his emotion and his charm that really get you. He feels like a real movie star movie star in it.. But The little kid playing the aborigine boy is the one who steals the movie and actually gives a great performance which is rare for a kid actor..

so they successfully get their cattle to the town and theres a big celebration where hugh gets all cleaned up in a white tux and him and lady ashley and the kid get to go back to faraway downs and live happily ever after like a married couple with a kid. you think this is the happy ending of the movie, (and after 2 hours it sure felt like the end) but you'd be wrong., just as they are on the brink of living happily ever after, the Japanese attack Australia (it's 194o something and World War II is raging). Somewhere around this point I started to get a little lost all of a sudden its an action movie ala pearl harbor. Weird transition. i wont give away the real ending but lets just say its not something your necessarily prepared for. its incredibly emotional and everyone around me was crying.

this is a serious epic film. you are in it from the beginning to the end. i found myself sincerely caring about all the characters, meaning mostly hugh and nicole and the little boy.

all in all, i was incredibly pleased with this experience and it was a very pleasant surprise. i felt actually quite priviledged that i got to see this movie so long before it actually comes out. its going to be a major to-do when it finally hits theaters. call me what you will but i am the weapon"

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